Question on Pay-Only sites.

Bob Hubbard

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Before anyone gets alarmed, no I'm not considering taking MT pay only.

I'm curious about what peoples thoughts are regarding communities like this though, that are pay only.

I recently took one of my other communities to pay-only format (meaning you can read for free, but must pay an annual fee to post). It's cut spam to zero.

What are your thoughts? Open forum, give me it all.

Let me repeat though, this has nothing to do with MT, MT isn't going pay only, it's not being considered, so no need to worry.

Though feel free to include any reasons why you do/don't have a supporting membership here if you like.

Thank you.
:asian:
 

shesulsa

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I don't "do" pay-only sites. In fact, this forum is the only internet spot I've ever given money to for any reason.

Pay to have a group of folks you chat with? Nah.
 

terryl965

<center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR
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Bob I believe a pay for community would weed out alot of the people who just comes here to trash and dis-respect others. I would be a part of that kind of site.
 

Jenna

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I think the internet is one place (rightly or wrongly) where I do not expect to have to pay for things.
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Jenna
 

LuckyKBoxer

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Well as someone who has only recently gotten active on this site, and has done nothing more then chat on the forums and play the damn black jack game a few times... I have not paid for any internet site, simply because there have been none that I have utilized in a way that I can't simply pack up and go elsewhere for similar usage.

I thought about what I would pay for in regards to a pay only to participate martial arts forum and this is what I have to add to that.

I would only pay for a forum site if it had legends of the martial arts as regular contributers(proven in some way so I can be sure its not a 600 pound MMORPG dude sitting in his mommas basement giving advice) combined with a mix of up and coming martial artists, videos and interviews that are part of the pay only offering.
I think the hang up would be being able to get these legends, or big names to actually stay consistent enough to keep the attention, and honest enough to answer questions truthfully, and unbiased. I think that is a bit of a problem anytime it is not one on one with one of these people though. I find it very interesting how much different an interaction I get from the top martial arts instructors/legends when I talk to them in person and when they are being politically correct on the internet.
Another cool feature could be an interactive Q & A, with a big chat room, and a live question and answer session to see where things go in a real time atmosphere..

I am not necessarily against paying for a website, its just my interests and usage have not gotten to the point that I feel that a certain site is a necessity and that paying is necessary yet. No offense meant, this is turning out to be a fun site for me, I will see where it goes, but you know..
 

Sukerkin

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Hmm, to pay or not to play, that is the question :D.

I became a Supporting Member here because I found the site to be a deeply interesting one with strong moderation to keep the trolls at bay and some intelligent discussion going on in the 'art' specific fora.

I continue to subscribe because I know that keeping things up and running is not free on the internet and I am now invested enough in MT as a place to visit that, even tho' at present the non-arts sections are not as pleasant as they were, I would like to help 'pay my way'.

Pay only sites do have their place as the entrance-fee-or-no-see gateway can both stop unwelcome visitors from messing in the pool and also stop 'unpleasantness' from those sites whose content is less savoury from popping up in search results.
 

Xue Sheng

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:eek: MT IS GOING PAY ONLY!!!!! :erg:

:D

Sorry I just had to do it.

Chenwired cut down on the spam by not allowing anyone to see the sight unless you signed up but it is still no charge.

I will not join a pay site I get charged enough for everthing already and I have from time to time considered becoming a supporting member but it is generally followed by me thinking why do I bother logging on at all. (see my most recent silly crap posts)
 

Tez3

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Sukerkin said everything I was going to and if he says it first I'm not paying lol! I like supporting MT, it's a choice thing and I think it deserves support. I don't know any paying sites so can't really say much about them.
 

geezer

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I will not join a pay site I get charged enough for everthing already and I have from time to time considered becoming a supporting member but it is generally followed by me thinking why do I bother logging on at all...

That pretty well sums it up. I keep coming back because of the posts of a few thoughtful individuals ...who also write pretty well. I used to get paid for writing articles myself back in the days before the internet. I don't think I'd be as inclined to keep coming back if it cost me more than my time to be here. And I really like hanging out here.
 

Andrew Green

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I think that where it works, it works great. But making it work requires something special.

I did belong to a paid only community at one point years ago, there was more then just the discussion forum though, they also put out a regular magazine that was emailed out to members. Original content was really the key, as it is in higher profile paid only forums like SA.

It can definitely lead to a higher level of dialogue though, but I don't think that alone is enough to motivate most people
 

JDenver

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I'm very new here, but in my opinion, and this is somewhat unfortunate, our culture leans to pay = something very substantial.

I love MT and consider it valuable, but if I were to pay for a site I would want some ancillary pieces; like well written articles, videos or photos of styles and lineages, etc.

Forums by their nature are mitigated in importance by the anonymity of it all. You don't know how deep the experience level of the person responding to you, so EVERYTHING comes with a healthy skepticism. Paying for that becomes an interesting internal tug-o-war.

PS - thanks again for MT...me like......
 
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Bob Hubbard

Bob Hubbard

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In the case of MT, paid memberships help me cover the costs of the server, software and support (about $4,000 a year), and supporting memberships do get extra features that free members don't (arcade, blog, photo galleries, and private sections).

In the case of the DP, the membership is small, the traffic light, and most new signups were spammers. While going pay-only has caused a huge decrease in signups, traffic there is the same. Going that route here would cause alot of problems though. New signups would drop 90%, existing members would wander away, and the site would suffer IMO. That's why it's not a consideration for MT. In the unlikely event we ever did go pay, existing members would be grandfathered in at existing service levels. Only fair way IMO. MT though runs on a volentary pay system. You support the site, you get more toys as a thank you.

A couple people have mentioned articles, etc. We do have a free ezine section. It's not the same as something emailed in a print ready form, but we do have content. I'd like to do more with it, but submissions are slow trickling in. Our supporting member program is actually an expansion from when I ran the ezine and published it monthly.

Videos, hard to compete with Youtube. I actually started converting our existing library over to Youtube. Saves space and bandwidth, plus helps us attract members from there.

Experts. We've invited a large number of recognized experts to visit us, but most are too busy, or too burned out from forum flame wars to be very involved online unfortunately. We do have a few here though, the most recent being 2 Balintawak GM's signing up. It's hard though we keep trying.
 

Bruno@MT

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I would not have signed up.

When I started MA again in january, I did a lot of research on my art, and eventually decided to sign up to a forum. I signed up at 2 others as well, and lurked on a 4th one.

It's only when you participate for a while that you get a feel for the people and the atmosphere. I liked this one best, and became a supporting member here because it was cheap enough, and that way I could use the blog for recording my progress / ideas and general blabbering.
Right about that time I also ditched the other forums.

If I had to pay for registering up front, then I would simply have found a different place to hang out. If the free membership had been time limited, I may or may not have registered. I don't know.
 

K-man

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That pretty well sums it up. I keep coming back because of the posts of a few thoughtful individuals ...who also write pretty well. I used to get paid for writing articles myself back in the days before the internet. I don't think I'd be as inclined to keep coming back if it cost me more than my time to be here. And I really like hanging out here.
Geezer pretty well sums up my thoughts. I joined initially to see if there were some like minded individuals to privately discuss an issue that I was trying to research. Although I didn't find what I was looking for, I did find a few kind souls for whom I feel an affinity and who, at some stage in the future, I would like to pick their brains. In the meantime I will contribute to the best of my ability in the spirit that I believe flows strongly through the MA brotherhood. As to the spammers and the cranks, who cares? If they are ignored they will go away and if they create a nuisance block them.
In the meantime Bob, congratulations, you are running an excellent forum.
icon14.gif


(One of the aviation forums I belong to covers costs by selective, unobtrusive, advertising.)
 
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Bob Hubbard

Bob Hubbard

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We do paid sponsorships, and run Google ads which help here. Sadly Google's paying out less than they used to, plus any good adblocker blocks em. lol.
 

cdunn

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On trusted, regular visit sites, I greenlist my AdBlock Plus. This is a politeness to the webmaster. What I will not grant willingly is the ability to hijack my browser. Others won't tolerate lewd or obscene ads. Implement an ad screening policy, announce it, ask politely for greenlisting, (and link to a faq for ABP and whatever the common IE one is.) and STICK TO THE POLICY, and I'll bet ad revenue will go up.

That said, I have paid for forum membership at other fora. It is both good and bad, and I must admit I am fairly fond of the Something Awful payment system. One payment, and if you do anything that would get you a brief vacation from the forum, you get the banhammer instead, and have to pay again to come off vacation. Works for me. Significant, recurring payments though... forget it.
 

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