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Thread: What is a subscriber based forum?

  1. #1
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    What is a subscriber based forum?

    Hi,

    I know it seems likely that SMC will transition into a subscriber based forum in the future.

    I don't know what this means. I tried an internet search, and did not find anything definitive, but got the impression this means a site that allows viewing by non subscribers, but that is the limit.

    It seems to post questions or reply with answers to someone's question, one would need to be a subscriber.

    Is this the case?

    Curious really, as I don't understand what the coming change will entail...

    Thanks...Bill
    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

  2. #2
    Don't know how Keith plans to do his. But I've been assuming that I will pay a fee to view the content or to post. FWW does that for certain content now and so do some newspapers. I saw a note from Keith that he's travelling today and will respond to more questions/suggestions when he gets back.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
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    It's a pay to play system. Those who help support the site will be allowed to post and view. From what I have read of Keith's description, non-subscribers will be able to view the "Hall of Fame" images and nothing else.
    Ken

  4. #4
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    Bill, in short, it will mean that folks who want to participate will subscribe to the forum by paying a small monthly or annual fee, depending on how Keith decides to set things up. With advertising revenue tanking due to ad-blocking and other factors, and so many folks not being willing to voluntarily contribute a tiny sum of money to support this great resource (the ask has been a mere six bucks a year), the model has to change to insure that things can continue into the future and provide folks with access to a wealth of knowledge that dates back to early 2003.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    It's a pay to play system. Those who help support the site will be allowed to post and view. From what I have read of Keith's description, non-subscribers will be able to view the "Hall of Fame" images and nothing else.
    That's how I interpreted it as well. However, this seems a bit odd to me because 47 of the 64 Hall of Fame projects are from Members, not Contributors.

  6. #6
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    Mike, that's not surprising given that the work spans so many years including all that time when advertising was supporting well. The HoF projects were chosen purely based on their outstanding craftsmanship.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kreinhop View Post
    That's how I interpreted it as well. However, this seems a bit odd to me because 47 of the 64 Hall of Fame projects are from Members, not Contributors.

    Mike,

    Here is my take on it.

    From looking at things here, I think the ratio of members to contributors may be 3 to 1, in other words, 75% members and 25% contributors. Just a guess...

    That proportion would fit the ratio of members to contributors in the HOF.

    What worries me is that if the forum goes to a contributor only forum, whatever that ends up meaning, the number of participants may diminish significantly. And participation is the life blood of a forum.

    There may be reasons why a member does not decide to become a contributor. Perhaps many reasons, I don't know.

    This is a nice place. Hope it continues to be popular.
    Last edited by Bill Space; 03-22-2019 at 5:29 PM. Reason: typo
    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Space View Post
    There may be reasons why a member does not decide to become a contributor. Perhaps many reasons, I don't know.

    This is a nice place. Hope it continues to be popular.
    Consider this to be a formal invitation to become a contributor yourself. Six. Bucks.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
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    Every day for over 16 years Members become Contributors and Contributors become Members. People stop woodworking and come back after 5 to 10 years when they start up again. There are thousands of reasons why the numbers here change dramatically and so frequently. Projects in the Hall of Fame cannot be categorized as Member or Contributor projects because people's status changes over the years.

    SawMill Creek has always been a business even though we have been flexible in many ways adjusting to a variety of situations. The legal risks of operating an online forum are serious concerns and only a fool would consider risking their personal wealth to operate a online forum without the protection that a corporation provides which is why Northwind Associates Inc owns SawMill Creek. I have been flexible concerning how we manage our finances here the majority of the time because we had support from the Community and Advertisers. The mix was self protecting in that we had the means to survive if either group decreased for a period of time. In 2008 when the big recession hit we lost almost all of our advertisers but we survived because Contributors remained steadfast and we supplemented our income from our savings.

    What attracts advertisers is big numbers and we lost them over the last year and the numbers will probably never return. Once again, just as we did in 2005, we are faced with the need to make changes. I have received a very long list of suggestions about what I could do to lessen the impact of the decreasing advertising support. Folks, I'm not a programmer and I don't have the staff to create or include any of the suggestions I have received. It's all way over my head and I won't take major financial risks investing in new technology at my age just to save a group of people 50 cents per month.

    People invest their time and talent here, not to make me money, they are sharing their expertise with their peers. Please lets drop the idea that when you contribute your skills and expertise you do it for me. We all know that's not the case. You support the Community not an owner or administrator. I have been supportive myself over the years sharing a lot of my skills, talent and expertise to help people who in turn helped me as a craftsman/woodworker not as the owner. What everyone has created here is a very friendly place to share and make new friends. The information and guidance is what is most valuable, this is why I have always supported maintaining our archives purchasing larger and larger drive space over the years. If SawMill Creek went offline tomorrow it would still be a library worthy of anyone's time to search and acquire a wealth of information. For the next 16 years you guys and gals can be responsible for our financial health and it won't be a fraction of the challenge that I have faced for the first 16 years.

    It's a woodworking forum folks, its not life or death if we continue on not. You enjoy yourself here you can support the Community, its not going to be a life threatening change for anyone. Many online forums have adjusted to a subscriber based system and survived and some haven't its really a simple question whether you like it here or prefer another venue.
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 03-23-2019 at 1:21 PM.

  10. #10
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    I think a subscriber based system is not a bad idea for a system like this. While it's a 2 way street, people who are not willing to pay to play will not be able to use the system to it's fullest, however, those that decide to pay the fee may tend to utilize the system even more since they pay for it. So, overall quantity of information flowing may not have an impact.

  11. #11
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    I hope it works out, I certainly am willing to contribute.

    I look at it this way, if I met monthly with one of the contributors here, it would cost me a couple of bucks for a mug of tea.

    There are so many people here I would love to meet that I would need a second job to pay for the tea.

    I consider my financial contribution here a pittance once I think about it.

    Regards, Rod

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Bill, in short, it will mean that folks who want to participate will subscribe to the forum by paying a small monthly or annual fee, depending on how Keith decides to set things up. With advertising revenue tanking due to ad-blocking and other factors, and so many folks not being willing to voluntarily contribute a tiny sum of money to support this great resource (the ask has been a mere six bucks a year), the model has to change to insure that things can continue into the future and provide folks with access to a wealth of knowledge that dates back to early 2003.
    Except that the Search function (even with prescribed user tweaks) is so weak that only a tiny fraction of that wealth of knowledge is routinely accessible.

    That's one reason why the same questions keep getting asked repeatedly in perpetuity, even mere days after they're been previously answered.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Consider this to be a formal invitation to become a contributor yourself. Six. Bucks.
    I officially joined this forum a little over 10 years ago, after just reading it as a guest for a few months. I always have ad-blockers installed in my browsers, so I was effectively hurting the site's income by blocking ads. But given all the great content here and the advice I had received, somewhere in there I decided to become a contributor. Before this year I only ever contributed the bare minimum: $6 a year. Cheap, easy, and let me feel like I was helping out the "cause".

    But having read Keith's posts, seeing that PM's are now only available for Contributors, and knowing how things are going these days, I decided to up my contribution. To me, it's totally worth it. If I can keep getting access to this site and the wealth of knowledge here, then for sure I'll pay for that. And the extra amount I'm paying will hopefully help out. But even if someone doesn't want to pay that much, $6 / year is definitely worth it.
    And there was trouble, taking place...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post

    That's one reason why the same questions keep getting asked repeatedly in perpetuity, even mere days after they're been previously answered.
    While I absolutely agree that search functions on the current implementation of SMC...and quite frankly, pretty much every other forum I participate on...leave a lot to be desired, the primary reason that the same questions get asked over and over again is merely human behavior. Folks just don't search. It's always been that way and I seriously doubt it will change anytime soon.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    Except that the Search function (even with prescribed user tweaks) is so weak that only a tiny fraction of that wealth of knowledge is routinely accessible.

    That's one reason why the same questions keep getting asked repeatedly in perpetuity, even mere days after they're been previously answered.
    The problem with the Search function is that it defaults to doing this in Google:
    <search term> site:www.sawmillcreek.org

    but the site is technically sawmillcreek.org, and so the query should be this:
    <search term> site:sawmillcreek.org

    Any time I use the Search function I remove that "www." and end up with much better results.
    And there was trouble, taking place...

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