Super SDMB subscription special!

Yes, it’s that time of year again. No, not spring – SDMB subscription sign-up season! We’ve got something for everybody: (1) Charter members, i.e., those joining on or before April 28, 2004 - if you resubscribe now, you’ll keep your low charter member rate in force. (2) Regular members, i.e., those joining after 4/28/2004 - you’ll be able to extend your subscription at a discount rate. (3) Guests and nonregistered lurkers - sign up now and you’ll get a discount rate, too.

As usual, a FAQ:

I’m a charter member. What do I need to do to resubscribe?

Click on “subscribe” on the menu bar on most SDMB pages and follow the EZ directions. As before, you can pay either by credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa) or PayPal.

How much?

We said you get half off the regular subscription price for as long as you keep your charter membership in force. The regular price is $14.95, and half price is $7.475, so we round up to 7.48. The .005 difference is our profit margin.


We wish. For the record, we’re still not making any money on the SDMB, although we’re losing less than we used to.

How soon do I need to do this?

For those who haven’t resubscribed yet, charter memberships expire on April 28, 2005 at noon.

What if I don’t resubscribe?

What’s supposed to happen is that your account returns to “guest” status and, since your 30-day trial has long since expired, you can’t post anymore. However, we didn’t write the software, and we’ve never done this before, so we’re going to hope for the best, just like on Y2K night. Whatever happens at the outset, if you let your charter membership lapse, sooner or later your posting privileges will go away.

If I don’t re-subscribe now, will I be able to do so later and get my old username and post count back?

Your name and posts are supposed to remain in the database, so yes, we think you’ll be able to get your username and post count back. However, this is another thing we’ve never tried before, so we’ll just have to see, huh?

If I don’t re-subscribe now and rejoin later, will I still be able to get the fabulously low charter member price?

Nope. Once you let your charter membership lapse, you’ll have to pay full retail to re-up.

I’m currently a guest but I want to subscribe. What’s this discount deal you’re talking about?

If you subscribe between now and noon on April 28, 2005, you’ll pay just $9.95 for a one-year subscription, $5.00 off the regular price.

Do I get the same deal for the rest of my life, like charter members do?

No. We may offer a similar deal next year; we may not. You’ll just have to see. However, if you want to lock in this low price now, you can subscribe for a second year for an additional $9.95.

I subscribed after April 28, 2004. What kind of deal do I get?

If you act before noon on April 28, 2005, you can pay $9.95 to extend your subscription for a year.

Can I subscribe for a third year at $9.95?

No. It’s not that we’re not optimistic about the future, but two years is a lifetime in the wonderful world of the Web.

I joined after April 28, 2004, but the user title under my screen name says “Charter Member.” Am I eligible for the charter member rate?

No. Your user title was supposed to say “Member,” but Jerry never got around to fixing the code. He’s supposed to do so by the time you read this. Regardless of the user title, you’re eligible for the $9.95 rate.

I paid $14.95 to subscribe two months ago. Do I get $5.00 back?

No, but let’s not dwell on the past. You get a good deal going forward.

I subscribed in November 2004. My subscription doesn’t expire till November 2005. Are you telling me I have to renew now?

No, you can wait till November - but if you do, renewal will cost you $14.95. If you re-up by April 28, your subscription will be extended till November 2006 for only $9.95, a savings of roughly a third. We think that’s a pretty good deal, but your choice.

The site was pretty fast for a while, but lately it’s slow again at times. Are you going to upgrade the server?

We make no promises. We made no promises last time. However, last September we did switch to an offsite vendor that provided us with a better server and more bandwidth. Our contract with them is up for renewal in August. If this subscription drive goes well, by then we’ll have a big pot of money. ’Nuff said.

Can you make it simpler to give gift subscriptions?

That’s on Jerry’s list of things to do, but he didn’t get it done in time for this renewal drive. However, the homebrew solutions people came up with last time will still work. Check in ATMB for further instructions.

Are you going to add the “cool stuff” you talked about last time but didn’t come through on?

Last time it turned out we had a choice between cool stuff and having the server run reasonably fast. We’ve got the same problem now. If we upgrade the server this summer maybe we’ll add some new capabilities. We may add one new thing sooner, though – we’re working on a way to let people pay a couple extra bucks and get a custom user title.

You mean I can be “Skeezix, Master of the Universe” or something like that?

Something like that. We get to approve all user titles. Needless to say there can be only one Perfect Master. We haven’t set a price or worked out the other details, and this is all contingent on Jerry getting the coding done, so don’t hold your breath.

Now that you’ve got some steady cash coming in, when is the Reader going to give the SDMB the respect it deserves and install some professional management and blah blah blah?

Hush now. The Reader loves the SDMB. We think of it as a charming hyperactive child whom, when not wrecking the house, we want to tousle the hair of and chuck under the chin. Besides, we like the idea of making this up as we go. We’re delighted and grateful that thousands of SDMB users over the past year had enough faith to hand over some cash, showing that the subscription model will work and not incidentally keeping this place going. We hope you’ll join us for another ignorance-fighting year.

kneels low before the majesty of Ed Zotti

How long before the re-subscription shows up in the user CP? I just handed over the $, but my subscription still runs out in a month.

Can I pay a couple extra bucks to give someone else a custom user title?

[straight face]
I promise to use this power only for good.
[/straight face]


Something went wrong half way through your transaction. The credit card transaction was captured but the SDMB subscription database was not updated. This occasionally happens. I’ll take a look at it more closely tomorrow and will extend your subscription then.



Holy Cripes! Custom user titles! The possibilities are endless!

Athena, Goddess of Wisdom
Athena, 99er and proud of it
Athena, pug herder
Athena, Ed Zotti’s… I mean, Cecil Adam’s secret mistress

How can I possibly choose?!?

Why do charter members get a better rate in-perpetuity? I can understand a big discount initially to ensure a critical mass of posters but are do we members use more bandwidth or anything? I know it’s chickenfeed but it’s the principle dammit!

Well I’m going to “re-enlist”.

Yes, I was hoping for faster speeds on this message board but I’ll have to wait and see. Even though it is not a slow site and it’s not a fast site, I’d have to say it’s a half-fast site !!! :smiley:

Oh I bet people are kicking themselves right now saying “I’m renewing to see posts by this guy ???” :smiley:

We were petrified that nobody would subscribe, so we offered a fabulous deal that no sane person could refuse in order to hang on to our existing user base. It worked; the only catch is they have to keep subscribing to keep the deal in force [insert evil grin here]. You have to pay $2.47 more per year, which is less than a nickel a week, so it’s not like this is one of the world’s great injustices.

Thank you: Chicago Reader, Ed, Jerry, Administrators, Moderators, SDSAB, Charter Members, Members and Guests

In that order

You mention that those who became Members (officially) at any time subsequent to 28 April 2004 need to pony up before noon on 28 April 2005 to take advantage of the $9.95 one-year subscription extension.

Could you confirm (since no one who comes into this category and hasn’t already re-subscribed - ie almost everybody except for the real Cecil-worshipppers who need no reasons for acting, being in a trance like state and all- will already have had the experience of clicking the relevant buttons) that the one-year extension will take effect from the date of joining (which is in turn, I assume, for those who first posted as a guest, the date when you first joined as a guest)?

Thus, if someone who joined, say, on 6 August 2004, resubscribes on 28 April 2005, will (s)he be paid up - and shown to be paid up - until 5 August 2006?

I think the distinction is divisive, and should not be implemented at this late stage. As you have already pronounced in your wisdom, “let’s not dwell on the past”. It will feel like an awful demotion for those of us who happened to join late. We already have to live with the eternal curse of not having any “9s” in our join date, and forever being reminded of it.

Too late, I see (must have been something that someone wanted doing badly). Even if only in Economy, at least we got to board the plane, I suppose.

At least I have some sort of title, unlike poor Domokun, consigned to the cargo hold.

[/reverse psychology]

Will there be an approval process in place before custom titles? Or do the users have to subscribe and hope their title will be approved?

  • two years is a lifetime in the wonderful world of the Web*

Scads, I must be ancient.

/em starts writing conspiracy theories :wink:

[sub]icky new icons :([/sub]

I’m confused. I joined in December so why do I have to re-up in April? Didn’t I pay for a year?

davmilasav, you don’t have to resubscribe until December 2005, but if you wish to extend your subscription now, you can do so at a discount price. This discount price will not be around in December.

Or you can wait until December 2005 and pay the full freight. It’s totally up to you.

Most of our members signed up in March and April of last year, so it’s an issue now.

Won’t know until we get there, but the thought is that you will pay your money and indicate your choice and we (administrators) will vet the title and change it, probably manually.

The rules for custom titles would be the same as for names; management must approve before use.

your humble TubaDiva

There will be an approval process, but we haven’t figured out what it is yet. We will probably want to have some sort of pre-approval option; I’m guessing this will involve a combination of an ATMB thread and e-mail. In the end, though, you’ll have to pay the money and submit your proposed title, at which point it’ll go into an approval queue that eventually will get spit out onto the ping-pong table in the Mod Rec Room, where, surrounded by pizza boxes and Fruit2O bottles, we’ll decide whether we like it. You’re thinking: Dadgummit, I paid my money and I want to be whatever I want! Fine, whatever, but we need to enforce some minimum standards. Don’t get paranoid, the main considerations are (1) ixnay on gross, obscene, etc.; (2) don’t crowd the Master. Anyway, it all depends on Jerry getting around to it, so keep your shirt on.

Thats what I was going to ask. I see its now answered. I will wait til December, the extra price is worth it.

I’m more than willing to recognize that this is an interesting and unique online community and pay for the privilege to participate in that community.

But you’re usiing vBulletin. Lots and lots of other websites also use vBulletin. They have avatars and user titles and private messaging. They are free. Do not try to nickle and dime us to toggle built-in features of the software or to activate the SMDB re-invention of the wheel.

You should consider banner ads before you start gouging the userbase for eye candy.

But my understanding is that you don’t need to pay any extra price if you pay before 28 April. And you’ll get your membership extended until December 2006 at the same time.

Right, you save $5, or roughly a third, off the eventual renewal price by renewing now. I’ll amend the FAQ to reflect this.