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-   -   Changes in subscription pricing here at The Straight Dope (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=860107)

TubaDiva 08-08-2018 02:13 PM

Changes in subscription pricing here at The Straight Dope
 
We have had the same rates for a very long time. After consultation with the moderators I have decided it's time for some changes.

Here's the new price structure:

Regular Membership: WAS $14.95 yr/$29/95 2 years NOW $20 1 yr/$35 2 years

Charter Membership: WAS $7.48yr/$14.95 2 years NOW $10 yr/$17.50 2 years

There's a new category called "Friend of Cecil." I had hoped to be able to set this up so people could contribute anything they liked, but the system doesn't work like that. So I came up with price points from $10-$50.

Right this minute Friends of Cecil don't get anything tangible for their donation except our everlasting thanks. (BUT as I get my hands on merchandise, yes, we would send you something for you contributions, so at most you'll just have a bit of a wait while supply catches up to demand.) And you also get the satisfaction of knowing you helped make things go better around here and who can put a price tag on that?

I hope you check our paid subscription offers and use them often! The "Friend of Cecil" option can be used once a day every day.

AND ... coming soon: The Great Charter Membership Resubscription drive. Stay tuned for this $30 option to regaining your lost Charter Membership.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

EDITED TO ADD: (copied over from another posting)

"Friend of Cecil" is a category on the Paid Subscriptions page.

Click on UserCP in the blue band at the top of every SDMB page.

Click on "Paid Subscriptions" in the list on the left. It's towards the bottom of the list.

You will then be presented with a page showing you the categories of paid subscriptions:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HH...WhensoFzxMIEHz

When you click on the drop down menu on "Friend of Cecil" you will be presented with an array of donation choices: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $30, $50. Make your selection and follow the prompts.

What do you get for being a Friend of Cecil? Our thanks. At some point some kind of gift, I don't have any merchandise yet but that's something else I'm working on.

We will also give you the title "Friend of Cecil" or another custom title if you prefer. That title is good for a while, I'm still figuring that part out.

Give early, give often, spread the joy around!

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

PS For those who really think big, yeah, we can have the "Generous Donor Memorial Forum." For rent, like the Jumbotron at the ball park. "Brought to you by ..." This could be you. Talk to me!

Czarcasm 08-08-2018 02:24 PM

Sounds reasonable.

Grrr! 08-08-2018 02:26 PM

I'll be donating.

That said, I think you price point is way too low for CM. Most people like their CM status and I think they would be willing to pay more for it.

Keep up the good work Tuba! :)

Gatopescado 08-08-2018 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TubaDiva (Post 21135464)
AND ... coming soon: The Great Charter Membership Resubscription drive. Stay tuned for this $30 option to regaining your lost Charter Membership.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

Now THAT is a good idea!

Dewey Finn 08-08-2018 02:27 PM

Perhaps there could be custom titles that note we're "Friends of Cecil"?

Shodan 08-08-2018 02:31 PM

How about a coffee mug that says "Junior Mod"?

Regards,
Shodan

TubaDiva 08-08-2018 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 21135497)
Perhaps there could be custom titles that note we're "Friends of Cecil"?

Absolutely. It'll be later on today but I'll work on that.

Lancia 08-08-2018 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 21135497)
Perhaps there could be custom titles that note we're "Friends of Cecil"?

This was my thought precisely. I'll be purchasing a membership and a custom title in the next week or two, and now that the "friend of Cecil" option is available I'll likely contribute to that as well. Having an extra / special FOC title would be way cool.

How about a special mortarboard moji that an FOC could put in front of or in lieu of their custom title?

Sunny Daze 08-08-2018 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TubaDiva (Post 21135464)
AND ... coming soon: The Great Charter Membership Resubscription drive. Stay tuned for this $30 option to regaining your lost Charter Membership.

Jenny
your humble TubaDiva
Administrator

What about a category for regular contributors? There's a group who post every day (or close enough) and drive most of the content. Friend of Cecil is taken and no - NOT junior mod. I don't have a brilliant idea at this moment, but something would be good.

PastTense 08-08-2018 02:43 PM

Why would there be a "Friends of Cecil" category when Cecil has left?

John Mace 08-08-2018 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TubaDiva (Post 21135464)
AND ... coming soon: The Great Charter Membership Resubscription drive. Stay tuned for this $30 option to regaining your lost Charter Membership.

Great idea. I get a chance to redeem myself for letting it lapse. And I'll bet there are a few others in the same boat.

Dewey Finn 08-08-2018 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TubaDiva (Post 21135521)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 21135497)
Perhaps there could be custom titles that note we're "Friends of Cecil"?

Absolutely. It'll be later on today but I'll work on that.

How will it work? If the "Friend of Cecil" thing is a one-day thing, does the custom title expire after 24 hours? If I contribute repeatedly, does the title reflect that? Is there a different title for the fifty-dollar contributor versus the ten-dollar contributor?

Grrr! 08-08-2018 02:59 PM

Do people really need recognition for being a contributer?

davidm 08-08-2018 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grrr! (Post 21135597)
Do people really need recognition for being a contributer?

It could add to the in-group elitist atmosphere that some here have complained about, but on the other hand it does give more incentive to contribute. Human nature makes people want to be part of the in-group.

One thing I suggested in the other thread would be to have thread posting limits for non-contributors. For example, non-contributors can only start X threads a week. I'm not sure how easy it would be to implement something like that with the current board software.

Dewey Finn 08-08-2018 03:20 PM

Absolutely recognition is a factor in how much people contribute. Look at how the universities and hospitals do it. There are usually tiers of memberships. So that if you're a member of the junior society while I'm a member of the senior society, it's understood that, for example, you contributed something between $1000-$10,000, while I contributed $100,000-$1,000,000. Certainly some are happy to have their gift listed as "Anonymous". But the recognition is a factor for many of us.

Thudlow Boink 08-08-2018 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 21135656)
Absolutely recognition is a factor in how much people contribute. Look at how the universities and hospitals do it.

So if somebody donates a huge chunk of change, could they get a forum named after them?

Musicat 08-08-2018 03:32 PM

I assume that anyone paid up for a few years already, at the old rate, won't have to pony up more just to retain status, at least until the current sub expires?

Dewey Finn 08-08-2018 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink (Post 21135679)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 21135656)
Absolutely recognition is a factor in how much people contribute. Look at how the universities and hospitals do it.

So if somebody donates a huge chunk of change, could they get a forum named after them?

I'm not in charge, so I can't say, but certainly that's how the schools and hospitals do things. (I was once bored enough to poke around the Yale University website where I found a public gift list. The following numbers are made up, as I can't remember the exact figures but it listed things like naming rights for a classroom at a million bucks. An endowed chair (named professorship) at five million. Your name on the main building of one of the new colleges they're building? A cool $150 million. It was hilarious.)

davidm 08-08-2018 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink (Post 21135679)
So if somebody donates a huge chunk of change, could they get a forum named after them?

Sure. Everyone will flock to post in the Thudlow Boink forum.

Dewey Finn 08-08-2018 03:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 21135712)
I'm not in charge, so I can't say, but certainly that's how the schools and hospitals do things. (I was once bored enough to poke around the Yale University website where I found a public gift list. The following numbers are made up, as I can't remember the exact figures but it listed things like naming rights for a classroom at a million bucks. An endowed chair (named professorship) at five million. Your name on the main building of one of the new colleges they're building? A cool $150 million. It was hilarious.)

FYI, here is that page listing gifts for various purposes and various prices.

Bear_Nenno 08-08-2018 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidm (Post 21135721)
Sure. Everyone will flock to post in the Thudlow Boink forum.

No, but we could have sponsors of current forums. So people would be flocking to "Thudlow Boink MPSIMS" or "Thudlow Boink's Great Debates" similar to a sponsored sports arena. There would be a bidding process.

Guinastasia 08-08-2018 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidm (Post 21135649)
It could add to the in-group elitist atmosphere that some here have complained about, but on the other hand it does give more incentive to contribute. Human nature makes people want to be part of the in-group.

One thing I suggested in the other thread would be to have thread posting limits for non-contributors. For example, non-contributors can only start X threads a week. I'm not sure how easy it would be to implement something like that with the current board software.

Maybe have it in a person's profile, rather than each time they post?

Fear Itself 08-08-2018 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 21135497)
Perhaps there could be custom titles that note we're "Friends of Cecil"?

There already is.

Broomstick 08-08-2018 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grrr! (Post 21135597)
Do people really need recognition for being a contributer?

I thought my awesome post-count was my recognition for being a regular contributor? Only 80 more to go and I hit 30,000!

Either awesome, or pathetically without a life...

mhendo 08-08-2018 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Broomstick (Post 21135844)
I thought my awesome post-count was my recognition for being a regular contributor? Only 80 more to go and I hit 30,000!

Either awesome, or pathetically without a life...

Or maybe just bad at math.

Check your post count, and do the addition again.

Drunky Smurf 08-08-2018 09:54 PM

The 'Member/Charter Member' distinction is backwards. It's obvious that the 'Charter Members' highly value the title as a Title that sets them apart from the 'Members'. What people value more, you charge more for. Not give them a discount.

TubaDiva 08-08-2018 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musicat (Post 21135687)
I assume that anyone paid up for a few years already, at the old rate, won't have to pony up more just to retain status, at least until the current sub expires?

Nope. Not required. Unless you really want to.

blob 08-08-2018 10:22 PM

Where is the information about paid subscriptions, i don't have any 'subscribe" button on my menus, is it only for Americans?

TubaDiva 08-08-2018 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blob (Post 21136392)
Where is the information about paid subscriptions, i don't have any 'subscribe" button on my menus, is it only for Americans?

Not at all; it's available to everyone.

To access, please click on the "UserCP" hyperlink in the blue band at the top of every SDMB page. Then click on "Paid Subscriptions" in the list on the left hand side.

Click on the subscription you like/qualify for. Only current Charter Members can renew their subscriptions at Charter Member rates. "Member" is the subscription category for everyone else.

Friend of Cecil is a one time donation device; I am currently working on ways to reward people for making such a donation, it's a work in progress.

Choose your category accordingly and follow the prompts.

You will be asked in big links if you want to use your PayPal account to pay for this transaction. You may do that if you like.

You will be asked in a tiny bit of hard to find text if you want to use your credit card to pay for this transaction. You can do that if you prefer.

Click on the link of your choice. Follow the prompts.

(NOTE: It may be confusing to some folks as the processing mechanism is through the PayPal network. But that does not mean you can't use your credit card if you prefer, though of course you will be encouraged to use a PayPal account.)

Hope this helps.

Rhiannon8404 08-09-2018 12:46 AM

Not sure if this is the right place to suggest this, but I always buy a two year membership. It would be nice if I could also pay for a custom title for two years.

kopek 08-09-2018 01:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TubaDiva (Post 21135464)
We have had the same rates for a very long time. After consultation with the moderators I have decided it's time for some changes.

I expect those of us who renewed lately (like last week maybe?) are still good?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Grrr! (Post 21135597)
Do people really need recognition for being a contributer?

If it includes a t-shirt that says "I contributed to the fight against ignorance and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" Yes ------- yes I do. ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rhiannon8404 (Post 21136531)
Not sure if this is the right place to suggest this, but I always buy a two year membership. It would be nice if I could also pay for a custom title for two years.

Same here.

Broomstick 08-09-2018 02:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhendo (Post 21135949)
Or maybe just bad at math.

Check your post count, and do the addition again.

Actually, I am really bad at math....

Serves me right for not using a calculator.

Broomstick 08-09-2018 02:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drunky Smurf (Post 21136347)
The 'Member/Charter Member' distinction is backwards. It's obvious that the 'Charter Members' highly value the title as a Title that sets them apart from the 'Members'. What people value more, you charge more for. Not give them a discount.

It's not a matter of "value", it's a matter of having been there at the time they started first charging to post. Keeping it long-term meant paying for the privilege even when it was no longer required. If you didn't sustain your subscription you lost the title.

Restoring the title is what should cost money (which is reflected in the given pricing).

blob 08-09-2018 03:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TubaDiva (Post 21136459)
Hope this helps.

Yes thanks.

Smapti 08-09-2018 04:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musicat (Post 21135687)
I assume that anyone paid up for a few years already, at the old rate, won't have to pony up more just to retain status, at least until the current sub expires?

So, Milhouse saw the elephant twice and rode it once, right?

Joey P 08-09-2018 06:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drunky Smurf (Post 21136347)
The 'Member/Charter Member' distinction is backwards. It's obvious that the 'Charter Members' highly value the title as a Title that sets them apart from the 'Members'. What people value more, you charge more for. Not give them a discount.

I think many people would let the title lapse if they charged more for it. I understand what you're saying, but in the end (at least as of right now) we're paying to get rid of the ads. The Charter title was given out to people that have been a paid member since this all started and it's cheaper as incentive to re-up each year, on time.

If this were, say, a yacht club, that might work better.

Shodan 08-09-2018 08:37 AM

How about a scholarship fund to buy memberships for others?

Set up a thread where you set the conditions. "Whoever posts the funniest pun wins a Membership - Guests only". Add a poll, whoever gets the most votes after a week wins the membership.

Or maybe, for $100, you get to change somebody else's Custom Title for a week. $200 if it has to be tasteful.

Regards,
Shodan

BigT 08-09-2018 08:47 AM

blob hints at an issue: It might be nice if the ability to pay were more out front, where people can see it. It would help with how humans work: out of sight, out of mind and all that. It would also let new people see it.

I also would like to recommend a smaller donation category--basically, the smallest you can get away with and still make money after fees and stuff. Allowing a small amount will make it more of an impulse purchase. You have some extra change, and you see that donation button, and so you figure "why not" and throw it in.

I know I always find it easier to throw in a dollar or two than to try and go through than to pay something like $10. I know that 10 $1 donations aren't as good as a single $10 donation, but I think the increase in uptake might make up for that.

And if I'm reminded by a simple but unobtrusive button or thin banner at the top of the page, I'd be more likely to remember and drop a couple bucks when I have it to spare. It's how every other site I contribute to has worked.

TubaDiva 08-09-2018 09:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rhiannon8404 (Post 21136531)
Not sure if this is the right place to suggest this, but I always buy a two year membership. It would be nice if I could also pay for a custom title for two years.

Ask and ye shall receive. Done.

TubaDiva 08-09-2018 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kopek (Post 21136562)
I expect those of us who renewed lately (like last week maybe?) are still good?

Yes. You can give more if you like (see "Friend of Cecil") but all paid memberships prior to the price change are in effect for the full length of the subscription at the old price.

TubaDiva 08-09-2018 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigT (Post 21136943)
blob hints at an issue: It might be nice if the ability to pay were more out front, where people can see it. It would help with how humans work: out of sight, out of mind and all that. It would also let new people see it.

I also would like to recommend a smaller donation category--basically, the smallest you can get away with and still make money after fees and stuff. Allowing a small amount will make it more of an impulse purchase. You have some extra change, and you see that donation button, and so you figure "why not" and throw it in.

I know I always find it easier to throw in a dollar or two than to try and go through than to pay something like $10. I know that 10 $1 donations aren't as good as a single $10 donation, but I think the increase in uptake might make up for that.

And if I'm reminded by a simple but unobtrusive button or thin banner at the top of the page, I'd be more likely to remember and drop a couple bucks when I have it to spare. It's how every other site I contribute to has worked.

I'm asking for a donation box/tip jar on the front page of the Straight Dope site, but this is a STM/WordPress deal and I don't have access to those controls. But I am asking.

I will add $1 and $5 categories to Friend of Cecil.

I DO have access to controls over the Paid Subscription function on the board and have made these changes myself. It's a wonky thing, the "Friend of Cecil," but it's the best I can come up with in the face of what I have to work with. I have no doubt the STM people can come up with a more elegant solution.

DrDeth 08-09-2018 01:51 PM

Altho the prices changes are reasonable, it seems like you are penalizing those that actually, you know- contribute, and letting the deadbeats get away with paying nothing.

engineer_comp_geek 08-09-2018 02:31 PM

Moderator Note

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21137632)
Altho the prices changes are reasonable, it seems like you are penalizing those that actually, you know- contribute, and letting the deadbeats get away with paying nothing.

Please do not refer to our guests as "deadbeats" in ATMB. It's a bit insulting.

We tried pay-to-post. It didn't work. Without our non-paying guests, the SDMB is not sustainable.

DrDeth 08-09-2018 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek (Post 21137723)
Moderator Note



Please do not refer to our guests as "deadbeats" in ATMB. It's a bit insulting.

We tried pay-to-post. It didn't work. Without our non-paying guests, the SDMB is not sustainable.

Yes, that's true. and of course newbies are guests. But we have a lot of very active posters, those who always complain, and who never pay. I think the term is right for them, but I understand your point.

I am not saying pay to post, just either some limits on NPs or some benefits to paid members.

Maybe NPers can only make so many posts a day. Or Paid members can get a old warning dismissed if no recent warning. Or something besides a meaningless title.

Johnny Bravo 08-09-2018 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TubaDiva (Post 21135464)
AND ... coming soon: The Great Charter Membership Resubscription drive. Stay tuned for this $30 option to regaining your lost Charter Membership.

Here is a newsletter I am interested in.

Helena330 08-09-2018 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21137734)
Yes, that's true. and of course newbies are guests. But we have a lot of very active posters, those who always complain, and who never pay. I think the term is right for them, but I understand your point.

I am not saying pay to post, just either some limits on NPs or some benefits to paid members.

Maybe NPers can only make so many posts a day. Or Paid members can get a old warning dismissed if no recent warning. Or something besides a meaningless title.

I'm totally against marginalizing guests. There are people for whom just $20 is unaffordable. It's also plain unwelcoming. I pay to support the board, not to gain some illusory moral high ground. I'd be fine with doing away with all the titles.

mhendo 08-09-2018 05:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21137734)
Maybe NPers can only make so many posts a day. Or Paid members can get a old warning dismissed if no recent warning. Or something besides a meaningless title.

But why do you care if all you get is just "a meaningless title"?

Your main point seems to be that paying is the right thing to do. If you really believe that's actually true, then surely you should do it for that reason alone?

Dr. Crap 08-09-2018 06:17 PM

In the interest of this boards viability, why not allow members who have been banned to restore their status by paying for membership? If they re-offend, they can be re-banned. That's a virtuous cycle.

blob 08-09-2018 06:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigT (Post 21136943)
blob hints at an issue: It might be nice if the ability to pay were more out front,

I looked for the information, couldn't find it. What I did find (before I gave up) didn't seem to be correct/comprehensive like the reply I got in this thread.

robby 08-09-2018 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. Crap (Post 21138130)
In the interest of this boards viability, why not allow members who have been banned to restore their status by paying for membership? If they re-offend, they can be re-banned. That's a virtuous cycle.

I would support this. On a related note, I've often wondered if the policy of permanent bans on the SDMB has had the effect of cutting off our collective nose to spite the face.


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