Viewing 39 posts - 81 through 119 (of 119 total)
  • Premier – other than ad removal – is it worth it?
  • Premier Icon bikebouy
    Subscriber

    Looks like this thread is going down the usual route, can someone pull the chain and spray some Fabreeze around afterwards.

    Ta.

    🤷‍♂️

    Premier Icon craig5
    Subscriber

    Funckrodent hit it on the head.

    If the freeloaders are that arsed about paying for the site (penny’s FFS) any classified/ease of use/IT changes/problems with the forum they can shut up and go jump. Nobody’s going to miss them.
    I’ve enjoyed the mag and the site since day 1, and independent journalism in this day and age is surely worth supporting. If you use something and value it, surely its worth a few pence. If you don’t support it, it wont be here for ever.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    you implied it

    I most certainly didn’t. You may have inferred that. If the forum wasn’t of value to the site then there is no doubt in my mind that it wouldn’t be here, I expect it’s a huge drain on resources.

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

    To be fair I think Mark did actually say something to this effect, the latter half of that sentiment at least. It’s not that they “aren’t interested” in it, rather that the publishing side of the business is a higher priority than the forum.

    STW is a small, independent publishing company with maybe a dozen employees (someone earlier said eight or nine, I’m not sure exactly but it doesn’t really matter). Commercial decisions have to take priority over anything else or the site, the forum and the entire business will no longer be here. That’s just good business sense. I totally get that a number of forum-only users really don’t like to hear this but it’s the nature of the beast I’m afraid.

    You want justification for subscribing, let me give you mine. I currently get a free [P] due to me being a moderator, it’s about the only perk I get aside from an invite to the staff Xmas do. If I didn’t, I would 100% be paying for a digital sub. I don’t read the magazine – I stopped reading it as I was off my bike for maybe four years or so until last summer for personal reasons and the last thing I wanted to do was read about other people having fun – but for the amount of time I spend just on the forum alone I’d feel morally obliged to contribute something back. (Hell, that’s why I said yes to being a moderator in the first place.) It’s a pittance for the amount of enjoyment I get out of it (moany arsed gits aside 😊 ) and to my mind well worth the price of admission. Plus it’s investing in STW’s future and supporting a small local business; how many folk here laud the notion of buying gear from their LBS over giants like Wiggle and CRC?

    TL;DR: I’d subscribe simply because I’d think it was the Right Thing To Do.

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Subscriber

    The forum is brilliant, as almost everyone here has said, it’s the main thing they value.
    But we are the product.
    The whole internet is free, in your pocket and one click away.

    Therein lies the problem with forums on the internet. We want it for free, we also hate the intrusiveness of the adverts, we provide the content for the forum, we are annoyed when it does not work properly.

    Given the forum model of 90/9/1, could you get say the 9’s and 1’s to pay enough to cover its costs. If you remove the ads, what would it cost to run it ?

    I would pay money for that. Even if only the 9’s and 1’s paid up, how much would it cost ?

    Premier Icon russyh
    Subscriber

    I get a full print sub every year from my in laws for My birthday, I have enjoyed the mag but rarely do more than graze through it unless I am away from home on a journey and need some time to kill. I always treat my sub as support for the website.

    I will not be renewing this year I’m afraid, not in the websites current format and the current classifieds. I would much prefer that the website became pay content only if it was developed accordingly. But appreciate that it’s not STW prerogative and it’s quite clear where their intentions lie. So I make a decision put up or shut up. It’s a shame, from where I’m sat the general aparent degradation of the online element of the site. But there you go!

    I think there are two seperate and distinct issues here.

    One is the mag, how it is funded and how it survives. The other is the forum.

    Point the first, print is not dead, this has been proven by the likes of Cranked and even Dirt which was profitable till Factory shut it down, Dig is still going under original ownership. It may need a new strategy like cutting the number of issues (increases quality) and raising the price but if you have something people want they will pay for it.

    The second point, the forum, is what people are really discussing. I appreciate the folk in charge don’t have all day to answer every query and that’s fine but to show the complete level of disengagement with the userbase that they continue to do (still waiting on the results of Chipps’ feedback) is just crap. If they want folk to use the forum/website they need to fix it. If they want to fix it they need money to do so. If they want money they need to actually seem like they value their customers. The site is an absolute mess, it needs rebuilt from the ground up by someone that knows what they are doing and tested properly before getting rolled out. People are pissed off because it’s been pointed out, repeatedly what the problems are and after the nth time it’s just too much of a pain to be constructive when nobody seems to give a toss. Start engaging, publish a roadmap and even just a once a month “here’s what you said, here’s what we did” update would be miles better than now. Let us pay for a forum sub, but if you do it has to actually mean something – no more utterly broken logging in and out, no more borked classifieds (just roll back till you know what is causing the isssues ffs) and a UX worth paying for. And no more **** GDPR popups or ads that utterly break the site, if you are going to serve ads fine but enogh of the crap that hangs up the browser. If you don’t want folk using ad blockers then stop giving them such a compelling reason to, whitelisting doesn’t work if you can’t load the page!

    Get them both right and the forum will more than support the mag. The classifieds should be doing this right now especially considering how bad and how expensive eBay is but it’s constantly having issues! Fix it and charge for it. A pound a go, unlimited ads, bosh, job done.

    Give us value for money and we will give us your money, give us a broken heap and we walk on by, it’s really not difficult.

    Premier Icon russyh
    Subscriber

    Squirrelking! Bravo, spot on!

    Premier Icon craig5
    Subscriber

    It seems like the biggest moaners are the freeloaders

    mikewsmith
    Member

    russyh and squirrel king sum it up for me

    For the mag I read every issue when I was in the UK, when I was in Oz it was a nice connection to the UK by the time I left I found a couple of issues still in the wrapping when I chucked them out. I don’t think I’ve read an complete issue in the last year.

    Not sure why, maybe I’m drifting away or STW is off in a different direction to what I remember it being.

    I don’t think it’s going to be renewed, as for the forum sub, time will tell as to how much stuff gets sorted out by the time my sub expires.

    It seems like the biggest moaners are the freeloaders

    The slagging off of the customers doesn’t really help either.

    Premier Icon craig5
    Subscriber

    Your not a customer if you don’t pay for anything

    mikewsmith
    Member

    Your not a customer if you don’t pay for anything

    If you are getting fed the ads and reading the content you are.

    Premier Icon craig5
    Subscriber

    No. Your a user (literally)

    MrSmith
    Member

    The ads don’t bother me but what stops me contemplating paying a subscription is the abysmal forum software and the browsing experience on the iPad, or does it magically ‘come alive’ if you pay?

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    browsing experience on the iPad

    Do you want to borrow mine?

    fd3chris
    Member

    Interesting thread this. I used to be a subscriber for quite a while and I only used the forum. Lately I don’t feel the forum is as friendly a place as it used to be, say 3 or 4 years ago. I remember great, long funny threads, picolax?, now all I see are smart arsed nasty biting comments between people and lots of put downs. I think that is why the place isn’t as busy as it used to be, or at least doesn’t seem to be and will put a lot of people off staying and eventually paying for the extras.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    now all I see are smart arsed nasty biting comments between people and lots of put downs. I think that is why the place isn’t as busy as it used to be, or at least doesn’t seem to be and will put a lot of people off staying and eventually paying for the extras

    I’ll support that .

    The previously-mentioned 1% of prolific posters – whether it’s a forum/office/pub – that 1% can be jovial, interesting, articulate, and by their ‘prolificness’ end up shaping the upbeat feeling of that forum/office/pub.

    Or they can be total weapons and, in equal measure, shape it that way.

    I wouldn’t want to run this place for a living; I’d ban most of the 1% 🙂

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    I wouldn’t want to run this place for a living; I’d ban most of the 1%:)

    We did have a cull a few months back and it did help.

    nickjb
    Member

    now all I see are smart arsed nasty biting comments between people and lots of put downs.

    I’ve definitely noticed a rise in this sort of thing over the last couple of years. In fact this thread is a good example. Shame really as the negativity is a bit depressing and it has taken some of the fun away. Some people seem to have no interest in the other person’s point of view if it is different to their own.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Subscriber

    I agree nick. I know I annoy without intending to but by ‘eck I don’t half get some nasty stuff back

    On the main point Scotroutes and squirrellking pretty much outline my point of view.

    I was not here at the beginning of all this but I thought I had read that actually the forum came before the magazine. Is that right?

    It irritate me to be made out I am freeloading when actually its the posters who create the content that drives the ad revenue that the forum creates that subsidises the rest of the site. without a vibrant forum the whole thing dies.

    It also annoyed me that pictures I posted on here were put on STWs facebook page without asking or acknowledging. I am sure I will have signed away my rights but to not even acknowledge seems a bit much

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Freeloading refers to those that use ad blocking.

    The forum and the mag started as an utter idea together, the forum came firt but it was a joint plan.

    Premier Icon DavidB
    Subscriber

    I agree with the tone changing. So many smart arsed patronising replies to everything. So little taking the other point of view. So many people who just HAVE to win the argument. It’s reflecting what’s happening elsewhere perfectly. The most disgusting phrase for me is always “if you don’t like it go elsewhere “. Pure gammon.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    The second point, the forum, is what people are really discussing. I appreciate the folk in charge don’t have all day to answer every query and that’s fine but to show the complete level of disengagement with the userbase that they continue to do (still waiting on the results of Chipps’ feedback) is just crap. If they want folk to use the forum/website they need to fix it. If they want to fix it they need money to do so. If they want money they need to actually seem like they value their customers. The site is an absolute mess, it needs rebuilt from the ground up by someone that knows what they are doing and tested properly before getting rolled out.

    Could this even be done, though, with a realistic small business resource and without completely starting from scratch? I mean the forum software is a colossal turd, that is indisputable, but I can see why the owners might be reticent to roll up the sleeves to give it a good polish.

    Seems like one of those ‘I wouldn’t start from here’ things – I admit I don’t know though, maybe it is relatively straightforward.

    ransos
    Member

    Freeloading refers to those that use ad blocking.

    Having tried to use the site when not logged in, I completely understand why people resort to add blockers.

    mikewsmith
    Member

    Could this even be done, though, with a realistic small business resource and without completely starting from scratch? I mean the forum software is a colossal turd, that is indisputable, but I can see why the owners might be reticent to roll up the sleeves to give it a good polish.

    It’s exactly what they did last year, this is the new improved forum…..

    Judging by the bug posts here are new interesting features being deployed on top of it weekly.

    Premier Icon bearnecessities
    Subscriber

    1%

    mikewsmith
    Member

    1%

    Just checking is that you falling asleep posting something or just a passive aggressive you want to see me booted off the forum? 😉 Keep smiling

    Premier Icon sc-xc
    Subscriber

    Well, after reading funkrodent’s post I have resubscribed.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Nice one sc-xc and oikeith.

    Premier Icon slackalice
    Subscriber

    This is an interesting thread, having read @funkrodents view, I initially thought it was Mark having not paid attention to the posters name. For me it put a refreshing view as to the trials and tribulations of steering a business through a time when the sector is struggling.

    I also get what @squirrelking & @russyh say and share some of their frustrations.

    Like others here, I rarely read the articles, it’s the forum that holds my interest and it’s noticeably quieter. Browsing the forum as a non payer has become much easier since buying my refurbed iPad, visiting before was too much like hard work with pages not loading. Then it felt like to subscribe was to reward something that didn’t work. Now, I’ll more than likely subscribe again as the argument of pence a day to support something I regularly use is a compelling one for me.

    I rejoined the site/forum about 8 or so years ago, I didn’t keep my original account after the ‘great hack’. What I did and have noticed since rejoining is what was mentioned up there ^^^ that opinions and/or beliefs that don’t fall in line with those who are most vocal are not welcome and at times, either as a recipient or observer it comes across as pack mentality.

    Which is not the fault of the owners and how the forum performs but the feel of the forum has changed to its detriment.

    Having said that, the humour and broad knowledge base here is, IME, unrivalled.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Which is not the fault of the owners and how the forum performs but the feel of the forum has changed to its detriment.

    Maybe it is something that we need to address if it is an issue.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Subscriber

    Bugger. Suckered back into subscribing.

    Me too! I’ll renew in a bit. I was cutting back on all unnecessary expenditures (Deezer, Netflix, here etc), but this place falls under needed for an idiot who asks a lot of questions.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    opinions and/or beliefs that don’t fall in line with those who are most vocal are not welcome and at times, either as a recipient or observer it comes across as pack mentality.

    It’s been like that as long as I’ve been a member. There are some opinions I’ve expressed where a cohort would spring up hurling abuse. I could name some of the more frequent responders 🙂

    To an extent I think it’s just a feature of the medium. Some folk have a desperate need to “belong” and will wade in once they see a potential victim.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Nice on Funk. Well this thread has brought in some new subscribers which is ace.

    It’s been like that as long as I’ve been a member. There are some opinions I’ve expressed where a cohort would spring up hurling abuse. I could name some of the more frequent responders

    Yes there has always been a few but it did get a lot worse hence the cull, there does seem to be a little undertone stil. So yes we will keep an eye out discuss if we need to take action.

    #……

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    Just ban threads on politics (especially Brexit), religion and the suffering of the modern man and most of the vitriol would be gone in a heartbeat.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    What’s interesting reading this is that a lot of people seem to think they would be “paying for the forum” when I see the forum as a feature (quite a valuable one) tacked onto a small publishing business.

    Not only that but a publishing business that’s adapted to a more internetty world and adjusted their published offerings to suit those not so wed to paper as well as the odd page sniffer.

    I suppose what you have to wonder is how other similar websites which are primarily driven by a forum manage to survive…

    I was for quite a long time a user of both Pinkbike and SDH (later renamed Ride-IO) and those are an interesting pair of sites to look at.

    PB appears to be thriving because it is a Global MTBing site, they were about a looooonnng time ago as I recall and became a default portal for a lot of people to go and read and share in relation to MTBs, I don’t visit it often anymore and TBH I don’t miss it, the ‘News’ page just seems to carry the same press release stuff as any other bike site and the forum is busy but probably because it is just so big, has a billion sub forum’ and most of the posts appear to be from 12 year old’s calling each other names and bad-mouthing each others bikes…

    Ride-IO appears to be dead, I just had a quick look for the first time in maybe 2 years and the most recent thread was titled “WHERE IS EVERYONE?” last posted on a week ago, many of the sub forum’ appear to have been left untouched for as much as 4-5 years!

    Nobody pays to use those two sites (as far as I know) so their revenue is entirely driven by advertising I assume….

    So we come back to ST/STW the forum is pretty active there’s a fair few regular posters (meaning there must be a lot of “lurkers”), I reckon I’m in the ‘9’ category myself. I would say it’s simplicity is a benefit (IMO) looking at the two examples above.
    In fairness they’ve also recently changed the text input features on the forum as well and it seems to be better, I can bash the odd bracketed markup straight in and the quick markup buttons appear to work too now.

    I don’t care too much about the buy’n’sell, TBH its just a magnet for scammers, but that topic alone seems to animate some of the more critical on here with or without a ‘P’… Personally I think it should be a subscriber only feature, but that’s just me.

    I pay for my ‘P’ (I didn’t always) and I do think I get good value for that, but I understand it’s not just for an ad free forum, but the digital mag downloads (back issues too) and some online articles, I’ve given criticism about the forum in the past and I think it’s been addressed eventually.

    Looking at some of the competition both on and offline, ST is managing a fine balancing act quite well IMO, producing more interesting content on a range of bike related stuff without needing lots of brash, flashy crap to attract the kiddies, not over-reliant on advertising and maintaining a basic forum where users “of a certain age” (perhaps a bit better at critical thinking) don’t seem too overwhelmed by ADHD riddled tweenagers looking for an interweb fight…

    mefty
    Member

    Subscribed to the magazine for a number of years, but when it remained unread I stopped my subscription – it is pretty difficult to keep saying something new every issue.

    I don’t value the Forum sufficiently to want to pay for it and therefore don’t. The single most annoying time was when crap vidoes weren’t treated as advertisements for P users and used up computer resources and data allowances until I worked out how to stop them loading.

    Premier Icon teethgrinder
    Subscriber

    44 non-paid ads on classifieds front page.
    18 non-paid ads in the last 8 hours.
    10 of them spam in the last 8 hours.
    8 normal ads.

    That’s a bit shit, like.

    Premier Icon DavidB
    Subscriber

    I just resubcribed to get rid of the horror of this forum on mobile with ads. STW should not really take pride in gaining money begrudgingly. I salute the non-p mobile users for their resilience.

    Premier Icon slackalice
    Subscriber

    Okay, now I get it. Ad free. Nice, thank you. 👍 🙏

Viewing 39 posts - 81 through 119 (of 119 total)

The topic ‘Premier – other than ad removal – is it worth it?’ is closed to new replies.