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Forum Moderators: lawman
a) Pre-moderation. All threads would require moderator approval before public posting.
b) Voting and public moderation. There would be a system where posts could be voted on by users. You would be able to set your own "twit list" level where messages below that level would not be included.
c) Members only. All members would have to log in.
d) Subscribers only. All members would pay a subscription fee.
Which one would you vote for and why? (one vote only please)
c) Members only: People who are really interested would be able to participate.
e) Banners: I do not like the idea, unless there is no other choice.
I do not like the idea of paying a subscribers fee, because you may loose some people who are fundamental to the forums rich content. I am mostly learning and hopefully contributing a little bit. You may implement the subscriber’s fee to new members, but then again, a lot of interesting people, new to the forum, but with the knowledge to contribute may lose interest. May be you can implement an economic contribution system (right now I am starting a business, however, as soon as I am able, I will be happy to contribute). :)
If (A) had been in place when I joined I may never have posted due to the intimidation factor which has been discussed before. But this may be appropriate for a few "select" forums - G...LE
(B) I cannot agree with this form because it opens up too many possibilites of a new member never getting heard. Also one of the great things about this board is that personal attacks are not allowed this opens the door to those attacks IMHO.
(C) I have no problem with this but do you want to restrict access completely to members? I and many others lurked for a period of time before we came to to the realization that this was not another one of "those" boards filled with people who trying to promote themselves and stomp on the man next door.
(D)This will probably be the best model that will let you supplement what you are turning away to keep this COMMUNITY running. But I think that TallTroll proposed a modified model that would be best if implemented correctly.
As far as fees are concerned it is not a matter of "would you pay ?" but "how much do you have to pay with ?". I'm just starting out so I know I wouldn't be able to afford $100/mnth but I could and would be able to pay a nominal yearly fee.
....as soon as I post this I'm hitting the donate button...I encourage those who can to do the same
To avoid that might lead to free membership if you volunteer at ODP or Zeal. Actually there could be some synergy there. Kinda like an AAA card. Join or volunteer at one organization & get some perks at another. The forums here would benefit from ODP and general SE/Webmaster expertise and there would be an incentive to join the ODP without really paying the editors. This forum and the one from ODPers compliment each other pretty well already.
Of course WebmasterWorld could receive no preferential treatment in the ODP but its already well listed anyway.
I think we all agreee that this sourse of information is priceless and we all take it for granted. What we all forget when we log on is someone is having to pay for this, manage this and do brett'ish things to it (I ran out of things to add) I think we juat have to go along with what ever is decided. If we need to pay we need to pay. Just now WebmasterWorld is free for us but is certainly not free to run and operate.
There has to be a point where free for us is asking to much of someoen else.
This forum is the life blood of many and in many different ways. Brett envisioned an idea that captured so many qualified and experience people and from so many walks of life.
It is very rare to find such a professional resource that offers so much residual values from so many professions without monetary gains. Knowledge doesn't need to cost alot but there is always a price.
The harsh reality ... next years traffic will likely doubled, or triple again or more. Word-of-Mouth and search engine referrals produce this result.
Totally free is unsustainable, and worst yet is "burn out".
Where would all the members and newbies be if... WebmasterWorld folded because it became too must of a chore, no more fun. Brett and all the adminstrator and moderators are no less deserving.
Fun doesn't need to make a living but when all the fun is gone out of it, and work is all that's left... no one works for very long for free.
What's the problem with banner advertising?
When I first seen the link to here (Found on Google) and the name WebmasterWorld, I had a vision of a magazine. This is a great name for a webmaster mag. Is it already being done? If not, there's your income. With the right content, I'd subscribe. As a note, I don't do email newsletters and I think not alot of others do also. So, whatya think? I have only several terabytes of content ideas swimming around in my head and you could start off with a small publication to subscribers from this site alone. No fancy magazine needed, you could put it together cheaply but nicely at Office Depot or even at home. And you could enlist the help from us for articles and illustrations free, with only references that we could use for resumes and such.
I could go on and on but thats me. I was personality type tested as a visionary inventor or something like that.
I would rather not see a solution that makes the board more exclusive, as often new users bring considerable experience, or an inexperienced question can shed light on something not considered.
Maybe I'm an odd isolated case but I don't live in the US and I have no credit card (and I don't want one).
It's really not a point of money. I don't care about money anyway. It's a point of "easy to handle for me".
Sell BestBBS, display ads, make the donation thing, make parts of WW for members only or start a initiative to let the community write a book and sell this book. The informations are here anyway, why don't collect, print and sell them (with help and agreement of the posters of course).
However, do what ever you can to keep this great plays alive!
b) This board is to a large part about knowledge. Voting about the value of knowledge items isn't a very useful concept in my book. Such an approach might also have a negative impact on some of the social interaction between members, mods, and admins. The resolution of such problems is mostly being done quietly behind the scenes at the moment. Pulling parts of that to the front stage doesn't seem a desireable thing to do.
c) I can see this working if balanced correctly. As already mentioned, it shouldn't affect all content, so that new and truly interested visitors as well as search engine spiders will see enough to get hooked. Things that might be made accessible to the general public include:
- The threads highlighted on the home page (possibly extended to several pages).
- The threads listed in the board library.
- The threads listed in each forums library.
- Maybe every thread over a certain age, through the search function.
- The thread list of each forum. Unregistered visitors either simply won't see any links there, or they may only access a limited number of posts in each thread.
Yes, requiring membership for full read access will put up some initial psychological barrier for new visitors. But if the goal is to improve the information density and reduce the work load on the mods, then a carefully balanced distinction between private and public information may help a lot in reaching that goal. The title of this thread talks about exponential growth. I don't think that growth in itself is necessarily a good goal. Keeping (or even improving on) the current quality may require to restrict growth in one way or another.
This same balance should also reduce the negative impact of hiding most of the content from the search engines. I don't have the numbers, but if googlebot already only crawls a subset of the pages here, then it might actually be a good idea to make sure that those pages she does crawl are packed with information, and "library worthy". This might end up to both reduce the server load due to crawling activities, as well as improve the search experience for people finding this site through the engines. Those effects can then be finetuned by adding more or fewer threads to the library lists.
d) "Hey, I paid for this, you can't edit my post!" Even if it is only a nominal fee, complaints like this are bound to happen. There's also the point made by Choster, that some members tend to primarily answer questions insted of asking them, which may not be a priviledge they are ready to pay for. Over time, I have come to profit a lot from other peoples answers as well, even if I didn't ask the questions myself, so I would not have a problem paying a nominal fee *now*. But when I first registered, I did so to answer a question I just happened to know the answer for, and it is pretty safe to assume that I wouldn't have paid for doing this *then*. There's a theoretical possibility to have some members pay, and allow others for free (using whatever criteria), but I don't really like the thought of such a two-class solution.
Even if the technical operation of the site is relatively cheap, I'm sure that Bretts time costs money too. I have no idea whether the current donation mechanism covers any significant part of that. However, I understand this thread to be about administrative issues, so it may not be the right place to speculate about the best funding options.
This screen would require no moderator involvement, and it could be set to appear only for people, say, below the level of full member.
c) Members only. All members would have to log in.
I think you will find your membership numbers to sharply decrease if you are going to asl a subscription fee for all forums, but if you would apply this to 'premium content' such as the affiliate stuff, SEO and Google technicalities --and perhaps also including the reports that get written by members, this would surely work and I for one would certainly subscribe.
The site is worth a general subscription, but I think that's missing the point here, unless you want to end up with a small club of people who have realised in the past that this is valuable--while simultaneously depriving newcomers the ability to make out for themselves if this is valuable or not...
d) Subscribers only. All members would pay a subscription fee.
In rethinking this though, with all the magazines subscriptions I've had over the years (at $25 - $70 year) I've never once been provided such focused content - interactive at that. And I think nothing of dropping $35 - $75 on a book if I think it will help me. My initial reation may be based on the fact that the majority of the web is free. But what I often forget is that the majority of the web doesn't nearly provide what I get from WebmasterWorld! Not one other website I can think of.
I'd suggest that if you do decide to go for a subscription base membership then advertise WebmasterWorld and/or allow us to talk it up. Maybe provide incentives for members to get others to sign up. The problem with paid membership is that it's hard to know what you're going to get for your money so I say let anyone view current posts but not be allowed to search or post or view profiles. In addition, get some folks to write articles/reviews about WebmasterWorld for some trade magazines.
As for other traffic limiting schemas, whatever you decide - I'll support it. Thanks for asking.
If it means, too much user load for not enough money to maintain the forums. Then I would suggest targeted (non-x10 or Worlds Largest Casino) banner ads with the option to donate to remove the ads.
My only apprehension becomes heavy addiction to banner-ad revenue. Resulting in a fundamental shift in WebmasterWorld.com priorities.
I fed all the input into the mcp here and have come up with The Plan. I know everyone is going to like the plan (code name: Project Camelot) because it addresses 95% of everyones major concerns.
How is that possible given the wide range of opinions? After reading all the replies here, it just sorta came to me.
We will revisit this thread to see if I've accomplished that goal about Jan 1 of 2003. And don't try to drag it out of me before then ;-)
note: Only the orginal webmaster and members of a certain level can view the post or by invitation from the webmaster (seen your post in the affiliate marketing forum can you help me.)
Of course the webmaster has to pay brett and the senior members do it out of the goodness of the hearts.
a) using current content behind closed doors.
We would not do that. Anything posted in public would remain in public, and anything posted in private (except my own personal stuff), would remain private.
b) several suggested semi public/private threads.
I just don't see that working. I wouldn't want to post in a thread that could go public or viceversa.
Either way, we have the plan, and it will work. If everything goes according to "plan", no major changes or disruptions in the current system should occurr.