Premier – other than ad removal – is it worth it?

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 119 total)
  • Premier – other than ad removal – is it worth it?
  • rene59
    Member

    That’s the funding model they have chosen. The subscription fee is for the magazine and online articles and the removal of ads, not for the forum. Similar to how the TV licence is for live broadcast tv and iplayer (which I dn’t use therefore no tv licence), not for the radio or bbc website (which I do use).

    If they change the funding model then I’ll look at it again and consider subscribing. Why pay for something I don’t use nor need to pay for? It’s not like they are a charity or anything.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I think this thread illustrates that there’s people who see the use of the forum as something that should run through an ad based revenue model (and then, in a lot of cases, choose to ad block the revenue element), those who see the forum itself as worth throwing a couple of quid a month in to support and, finally, those who want a printed bike magazine with a forum and are happy to pay to support both.

    And I doubt any of them will be won over to another approach by the arguments of others.

    There’s probably also a group of subscribers who only want the mag and never visit the forum. Weirdos.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    Bugger. Suckered back into subscribing.

    5plusn8
    Member

    That’s the funding model they have chosen. The subscription fee is for the magazine and online articles and the removal of ads, not for the forum.

    If this is the case it’s interesting as that then gives me no reason to subscribe.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Why pay for something I don’t use nor need to pay for?

    Because you won’t get the thing you do use if you don’t pay for the thing that you don’t. If that’s the way you want to look at it.

    Premier Icon andybrad
    Subscriber

    I subscribed, it means you get a blowie from chipps if your ever drunk in tod. For that alone its worth it.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    Can’t I have a t-shirt instead?

    rene59
    Member

    Because you won’t get the thing you do use if you don’t pay for the thing that you don’t. If that’s the way you want to look at it.

    In which case I go somewhere else. No big deal. I’ll not be the one out of a job if the thing folds.

    scotroutes
    Member

    One alternative would be to ring-fence the forum subscriptions to, you know, develop and test changes to the forum and then let the magazine subscribers pay for the costs of the magazine but I guess those want the magazine aren’t, actually, wanting it badly enough to pay the full cost of it.

    Premier Icon funkrodent
    Subscriber

    As someone who has worked in magazine/internet publishing most of his professional life, and who spent four years slaving night and day to keep a small online publishing business alive, I consider myself to be at least as well informed as most of the posters on this site (over multiple threads), and actually better informed than most. So lets slay a few dragons whilst we can:

    – Online advertising pays buttons, unless you’re Google or facebook with unimaginable readership bases and economies of scale. Small publishers like Singletrack get sweet FA – I’ll speculate at maybe hundreds a month, probably not even enough to cover their office rent – from the online stuff that is on the site. They have it because a) they would be crazy not to (every penny counts) and b) because it helps drive people to a more consistent and profitable way of driving long-term revenue, which is subscriptions.

    – Your £35 a year (or £2.99 A MONTH) subscription is worth much more than the actual cover figure. That’s because it includes subscription to the magazine and a magazine’s ad value is nowadays linked directly to the number of paying subscribers that they have. Believe it or not it is still possible to drive decent ad revenue through print (though at less than 50% of the value pre 2005(ish), but this is directly linked to paying subscribers. More generic distribution through news stands etc is significantly less valuable

    – Singletrack employs 8-9 people. As I see it their original aim was to create a high quality, independent magazine that provided reviews, insight and entertainment. And then the internet exploded. And like a lot of people who understood traditional publishing they had to suddenly come to terms with a medium that offered real possibilities, but also threatened their very existence. Given the extent to which most of the mainstream media companies have been decimated by the advent of the internet and “free” content (though the cost, ultimately, will be to the consumer as independent journalism dies and populism thrives – though that’s another thread), not to mention then recession and the advent of GDPR, I think Mark and his team should be lauded for how they’ve managed to keep the ship afloat.

    – With regard to the issues experienced with the update, one only needs to look at the issues experienced by large organisations, with huge IT departments and massive budgets (banks anyone?) to see that when you look to upgrade/replace legacy systems, that have often grown organically with different databases and protocols mishmashed together, you’re going to have problems. Given all the other issues that Mark and his team are faced with on a daily basis, and given the size of the organisation and the resources (or lack of) that they have access to, I think they’ve done an admirable job

    – The forum is an important part of what Singletrack does, but not the most important part. At the end of the day, they’re publishers. They love doing what they do and they love mountain biking. It sounds obvious, but they didn’t set out with the intention of producing a forum. That’s not to say that they don’t value it and the readers/users/commenters per se, but it’s not the sole reason for doing what they do and on a daily basis they have more pressing concerns. Which leads neatly to..

    – Mark is the MD of a small business. And a publishing one at that. And has successfully run it and ensured its survival through a period that has practically destroyed the publishing industry as we know it (be it books, magazines, newspapers). On a regular basis he’ll be juggling money, chasing invoices, worrying that if Scott (or whoever) don’t pay before the end of the month he’ll struggle to pay salaries and/or have to sacrifice his own. I’ve been there, it’s not nice. It’s sleepless nights, it’s the weight of responsibility that you have 7-8 people (in my case anyway) who are dependent upon you, who have families, mortgages etc. He’s consistently got the business through (disclosure – I’m assuming this, I’ve never met or spoken to him), through hard work, bloody mindedness and an inability to know when he’s beat.

    – To me it is unsurprising then that he’s achieved all this despite the fact that he’s had to deal with a small number of loud, entitled, sanctimonious know-it-alls who have such a strong affiliation with, and need for, the forum that they’re not prepared to shell out less than the price of a pint a month to pay for it. And it’s unsurprising that given all the other competing demands on his time, that he’s sometimes been perhaps a little short with people, and withdrawn from the “death by a thousand cuts” pointless debates with those who would trumpet their utilisation of his hard work with a gleeful unwillingness to pay for it.

    – So my conclusion is that those who genuinely feel it’s not worth paying for it. Stop using it. Seriously, at the moment you’re having your cake and eating it. Walk away. By remaining here you’re essentially branding yourselves as hypocrites. I guarantee that in the long run whether you’re here or not won’t make the slightest bit of difference as to whether Mark and the team can keep the ship afloat, and at least they can continue to crack at it without your negativity dragging them down (I’ll bet my bottom dollar that they do read these threads on the forum)

    – And finally, by continuing to use something that you claim isn’t worth paying 70p a week for, you’re not only being hypocritical, you’re tight too. I mean white knuckle tight. If you genuinely can’t afford that money then you have my heartfelt sympathy, but to throw that in someone’s face – “I don’t consider the time and effort and downright hard work that you and your team put into this venture to be worth 10 pence a day of my money” is not only tight, it’s actually downright rude, and I hope that whatever you do in your working lives you never have to put up with being treated in that fashion.

    Sorry about the rant, got it off my chest I guess. But really, some of the people who regularly use this site as a free plaything (and benefit no doubt from the world of experience and wisdom that is available) really need to take a look at themselves..

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    what funkrodent said.

    People’s who’s attitude is: In which case I go somewhere else. No big deal. I’ll not be the one out of a job if the thing folds really need to think about what they’re saying.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Subscriber

    👍😳👍😳🧐💋

    Premier Icon oikeith
    Subscriber

    Just signed up after reading some of the posts on this thread, had forgotten what a forum looked like without adverts everywhere, £1.99 a month well spent considering I check the forum on most weekdays!

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    really need to think about what they’re saying.

    I think they are saying all they need to.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Funkrodent

    5plusn8
    Member

    I guarantee that in the long run whether you’re here or not won’t make the slightest bit of difference as to whether Mark and the team can keep the ship afloat, and at least they can continue to crack at it without your negativity dragging them down (I’ll bet my bottom dollar that they do read these threads on the forum)

    Insults aside – if they don’t need us, why don’t they charge for forum access? You could say I’m not paying at the moment because I don’t have to, if the non payers presence is so valueless then why not charge everyone for access?

    I asked for a convincing argument as to why I should pay a voluntary charge, your argument is that your insults apply if we don’t pay. Its not very convincing. I think the best way to convince non payers to pay is to make the service pay only, then we will see who values it. I have not seen that happen and I think that is because our presence here is worth something.
    TBH if I was forced to pay, I probably would, the fact I am not asked to makes me think I must be worth something (well not me, but other less sanctimonious moany types with some knowledge to offer), so I don’t see why I should pay for the STW to have value of my presence.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    I asked for a convincing argument as to why I should pay a voluntary charge, your argument is that your insults apply if we don’t pay.

    No, he’s pointing out that there is a handful who come on here who insult the business, the forum, the staff and owners adding very little to the forum. Some of them probably freeload too so add absolutely zero value to the fotum.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    @funkrodent *applause*

    One thing I’d like to add to this,

    Online advertising pays buttons, unless you’re Google or facebook with unimaginable readership bases and economies of scale. Small publishers like Singletrack get sweet FA – I’ll speculate at maybe hundreds a month, probably not even enough to cover their office rent – from the online stuff that is on the site. They have it because a) they would be crazy not to (every penny counts) and b) because it helps drive people to a more consistent and profitable way of driving long-term revenue, which is subscriptions.

    I don’t know how applicable this is to STW as I don’t have that degree of insider knowledge but I would be exceptionally surprised if you’re not bang on the money.

    Mark once told me how many new subscribers STW would need to be able to do away with third-party advertising networks completely. I don’t remember the exact figure now but I remember at the time thinking that it was astonishingly small.

    Bang on Funkrodent.

    Occasionally I think about cancelling, as I don’t bother too much with the mag any more, but tbh that’s more my issue of my interests changing, and I always come back to ‘it’s 3 quid a month, and this place has on occasion been ace over the years’.

    rene59
    Member

    People’s who’s attitude is: In which case I go somewhere else. No big deal. I’ll not be the one out of a job if the thing folds really need to think about what they’re saying.

    I did think about what I was saying. The forum is not that big a deal to me and there are other ones out there I could easily switch to. I was a subscriber when I first joined, read some of the back issues, didn’t like them much so stopped reading and stopped subscribing. Stayed for the forum which they do not charge for. If I am a free loading tight scrounger contributing nothing then they are free to get rid of me. If they want to charge for using the forum then I’d consider that when/if it happened. I use many online resources. If they all started charging 10p a day then it soon adds up and priorities would need to be made. It’s their business not mine, I have no vested interest in it, nor any sense of personal connection to the owners and staff really. If you do, good for you if you want to contribute finacially to it. As the forum is currently free then that’s individual choice.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I think the best way to convince non payers to pay is to make the service pay only, then we will see who values it.

    I think perhaps the flaw here is that you are massively underestimating the number of lurkers on the forum (or indeed, on any forum). Our big hitters may be visibly prolific posters but they are a very tiny minority of the site’s users.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1%25_rule_(Internet_culture)

    It’s purely speculation on my part, but I’d guess that the 90/9/1 rule (where 90% of users only read, 9% post occasionally and 1% post regularly) is probably optimistic in relation to the number of active posters.

    5plusn8
    Member

    No, he’s pointing out that there is a handful who come on here who insult the business, the forum, the staff and owners adding very little to the forum. Some of them probably freeload too so add absolutely zero value to the fotum.

    Fair enough, its not my intention to insult them, I don’t actually think the quality of some of the reviews I have commented on is that great, but I don’t mean that as insult.
    The general thrust for paying is that our presence here adds nothing, we are lucky to have it, so we should pay for what are seemingly moral reasons.
    I stand by what I said – if we are truly worthless then why are we not compelled to pay? If we were compelled then I actually feel I might value paying, as it is I still feel like my presence here is part of the product and they need us, hence why we are not forced to pay.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Try going into a pub, to chat to you mates, other patrons, even the bar staff, but don’t buy any drinks. Better still, criticise the pub, it’s decor, it’s beer selection and staff. Then every now and then, openly have a sip from a hip flask in your pocket.

    People act the same way, to similar degrees, on here and expect to be welcomed with open arms as they make the place look busy and provide conversation.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    rene59 – you’re entitled to your opinion. I suspect you wouldn;t be walking into a UK Airbus factory today saying: “Lose your jobs, see if I care!” so why share what you think about stw on stw.

    I was questioning your manners, not your opinion.

    5plusn8
    Member

    So Cougar if what you say is true, then the non paying lurkers are worth something too? Otherwise why is it relevant? What am I missing here?

    EDIT – I am not intending to be nasty to the owners, journos or mods, its navel gazing point only…

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    So Cougar if what you say is true, then the non paying lurkers are worth something too?

    Collectively, they are worth something, but if one of them starts saying how shit they think the place is/not worth anything etc, that individuals worth drops from a few pence to, well, less than that.

    rene59
    Member

    wwaswas – I wouldn’t go into an airbus factory saying that no. But if they tried to sell me something I didn’t want whilst giving me for free something I did want (whilst at same time telling me they aren’t interested in that same thing) and then try guilt tripping me into paying for the former anyway as their jobs are at stake, they’d get the same response.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I stand by what I said – if we are truly worthless then why are we not compelled to pay?

    For the same reason that some people will happily spunk a grand on a smartphone and then piss and moan about having to pay 69p for an app. We’ve seen this in action on other threads, there’s a very small but highly vocal subset of users who refuse to subscribe, openly boast about blocking adverts and then still feel justified in bleating on about how shit everything is. I can’t speak for Mark or the rest of STW but personally I’d cheerfully see those self-entitled feckers get in the sea. If it’s so shit and yet they’re still hanging out on here every day then just maybe if some of them considered investing a few pence STW could afford to hire another developer? Ether that or they could just GTF to those magical Other Places we keep hearing about and stop being such a pain in my arse.

    Sorry. Rant aside: The point I was getting to is that mandatory payments would blatantly decimate the userbase. That’s not an STW thing, that’s the nature of the world.

    5plusn8
    Member

    but if one of them starts saying how shit they think the place is/not worth anything etc

    I never said that. I have said I value the forum, however I try to impart info whenever I can so hopefully this balances what I get out.
    I also keep being told the forum adds no value to the site.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    So Cougar if what you say is true, then the non paying lurkers are worth something too? Otherwise why is it relevant? What am I missing here?

    Dunno TBH. It’s not my company, I just help out here.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I also keep being told the forum adds no value to the site.

    I don’t think anyone’s said that have they?

    if they tried to sell me something I didn’t want whilst giving me for free something I did want

    I once took out a trial magazine subscription because I wanted the free gift. True story.

    5plusn8
    Member

    So in which case you made this statement without any reasonable back up as to what you expected it to mean? Dude, you are one of the smart people on here.

    I think perhaps the flaw here is that you are massively underestimating the number of lurkers on the forum (or indeed, on any forum).

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    I stand by what I said – if we are truly worthless then why are we not compelled to pay? If we were compelled then I actually feel I might value paying, as it is I still feel like my presence here is part of the product and they need us, hence why we are not forced to pay.

    Think if you were compelled to pay there’d be abar ten posters total on here tbh, given the state of this thread. That aside, have you seen this type of pay to post model operate successfully anywhere else on the internet? I know somethingawful do / did but I don’t think it’s v common (could be wrong).

    Forums sprang up at the start of the internet as free to use and were a huge part of that early internet culture, so paying to post goes against people’s expectations. Think it would take something well out of the ordinary to get people signing up for that sort of model.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    So in which case you made this statement without any reasonable back up as to what you expected it to mean?

    I was speculating, really. As I said, I have very little insider information, but a chunk of this is self-evident.

    There is a very large number of people who use the forum, the main site or both and never type a word. Many don’t even have a member login. This is almost certainly true of the vast majority of websites. These readers will still be valuable to the site (collectively as @tomhoward says) in any number of ways, as our rodenty friend explained just now far better than I could. And of course, any website that doesn’t want to attract more visitors pretty much fails as a website, it’s its raison d’etre.

    5plusn8
    Member

    Cougar –

    I don’t think anyone’s said that have they?

    you implied it

    I don’t remember the exact figure now but I remember at the time thinking that it was astonishingly small.

    So you and others have said

    The point I was getting to is that mandatory payments would blatantly decimate the userbase. That’s not an STW thing, that’s the nature of the world.

    Think if you were compelled to pay there’d be abar ten posters total on here tbh, given the state of this thread.

    and

    And of course, any website that doesn’t want to attract more visitors pretty much fails as a website, it’s its raison d’etre.

    So why is it a problem if there are only ten users if the previous many users contribute little significant ad revenue.
    I stand by my point – the fact we are not compelled to pay means that they need us in some way. Which does not feel conducive to making me want to pay when until the article quality improves, I am only interested in the forum.

    rene59
    Member

    If it’s so shit and yet they’re still hanging out on here every day then just maybe if some of them considered investing a few pence STW could afford to hire another developer?

    But they have said they are not interested in the forum, they are not in the forum business, that’s been made clear. I hang out here every day because of the user base, not because of the owners or their publication. If they don’t want to capitalise on that then that’s their business. What else do you pay for that you don’t need nor want?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    they have said they are not interested in the forum, they are not in the forum business, that’s been made clear

    *Citation needed.

    5plusn8
    Member

    *Citation needed.

    TBh I agree, I have been going on a few other posters saying this – whereas the actions of STW show that they are interested in the forum, even need/want the forum.

    scotroutes
    Member

    So Cougar if what you say is true, then the non paying lurkers are worth something too? Otherwise why is it relevant? What am I missing here?

    Of course non-paying lurkers are worth something. The number of page impressions (clicks) is what STW sell to the advertisers. The advertising revenue from the forum/website keep the magazine going. Folk who post in the forums are worth a bit more as they are unpaid content creators and attract the lurkers.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    The advertising revenue from the forum/website keep the magazine going.

    On its own? That’s impressive…

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 119 total)

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