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View Poll Results: To pay or not to pay ...
Yes, anything to keep this place going... 31 83.78%
No way, I am not using it that often... 6 16.22%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 10-21-2003, 06:10 PM   #1
Nota Bene
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Membership Fee

Dear Members,

Our Generalissimus will probably demote me to a junior moderator , so I am posting this poll as a member, who uses this Forum very often.

As you can imagine running this site with all this traffic and huge number of attached files is not free, so my question is - would you be willing to pay a small yearly fee, say $20 to keep it alive and running?

Alexei
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Old 10-21-2003, 06:22 PM   #2
Dave
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Speaking from a non-moderator position...

I have learned enough from this board to make it well worth $20 per year. I'm for it.

--Dave
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Old 10-21-2003, 08:16 PM   #3
Dante688i
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Even as someone who has just recently become a member of the forum, I believe the great amount of information and conversation that takes place on this site is well worth our monetary support.

Just a thought from someone who enjoys this forum.

-Sean
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Old 10-21-2003, 08:50 PM   #4
j h beers
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I've been collecting Soviet and Imperial Russian "stuff" (read: flags, medals, badges, books, magazines, toy soldiers well - you get the idea!) for fifteen years now and this forum is the best source of info that I've found.

True, we sometimes have "dry spells" where for a few days the only articles are about the latest fakes we've just uncovered. In the main, however, I've learned a lot from reading the messages on this forum and I'd be happy to contribute something to keeping it going - if only because it might one day have a separate section for Imperial Russian "stuff" (now, if you wanna talk fakery, try collecting pre-WW I Russian regimental badges! )

Jim
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Old 10-22-2003, 01:16 AM   #5
Chuck In Oregon
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j h beers (and anyone else)

Can you recommend a good site or two for collectors of Imperial Russian items? I have a few things, not all that many, and I find it a quite interesting field, if a bit obscure. I'm not sure, but forum rules might limit you to PM or e-mail in response if you care to recommend a site or two.

To stay on topic, I value this forum very highly and if we need a fee to keep it going, I'm in and that's how I voted. One question to the board though. How will we attract new members if they can't read through the posts to discover how much there is here?

Nice to meet you. Thanks in advance.

Chuck In Oregon

bulls-i-books@msn.com
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Old 10-22-2003, 01:59 AM   #6
Christophe
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I don't want to be seen as the bad guy... but I'm quite perplexed about the idea of a membership fee...

Why ?

First, I have to say I value the content of this Forum at far more than 20$ a year !!
Secondly, if this membership fee is THE way to avoid this Forum to disappear because of budgetary reasons, so I don't hesitate one second and sign in !!

But, a few remarks :
* On the principle, why should this Forum become not free anymore, if the others (let's only talk about the Wehmacht one), using similar technologies and softwares, are still free... and open to everyone ?

* As rightly said by Chuck, there is a risk of limitating the access to potential new members. And we all need them !!
If they don't know what is inside, they won't subscribe... except if we put some advertising pages. But this is an additional cost for Art... and it would gives the Forum a commercial image (that I wouldn't see as so much positive...)
And, if they can have free access, why paying ?
The image of this Forum is also so positive because it is open to anyone, to any question...

* We are 400 members, but how many active and ready to financially contribute ? 100, 150 ?
In this hypothesis, with a 20$ annual membership, this means that the result will be around 2000 / 3000 $... I suspect quite a heavy administration to be put in place by Art to collect 2 or 3 K$ a year !! It looks like these governemental taxes that are more expensive to collect than their value... And, honestly, I prefer Art to spend his spare time in the content of this Forum than financial administration...

Finally, may be the solution could be to create an Association... But, in this case, we all have to think about the Services it could provide to its members (and not only sell mugs and T-Shirts...). An Association could be helpful in organising translation services, forums, trips in the SU.... But, one more time, this will have a cost... and create a lot of administration.

To conclude : I'm not against a membership fee, if it can help the Forum to develop (or maintaining it alive...), but I am just wondering what could be the consequences in terms of content and nature : today it functions very well because it is a lot of free will everywhere and it is open to everyone. I wouldn't like a fee to limit access to the Forum...

That's why I am perplexed. Just my thought. Your opinion ?

Cheers.

Ch.
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Old 10-22-2003, 02:04 AM   #7
Christophe
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Just to add that it would not seem unlogical to me - as already said by others in some of the discussions - to create a specific fee for the "commercial sections" of the Forum (exchange, buy, sell...). But I'm not sure this fee has to be extended to the entire Forum (Membership fee).

Ch.
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Old 10-22-2003, 02:50 AM   #8
otlichnik
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I am for a fee. But Chrisophe raises some good points.

So, here is what I would like to see for a fee.

1) Amount. I think the $20 estimate was based on the sad, but valid, theory that we would not get 100% of current members signed on but more like 25%. In that case the revenue estimate could be much lower than the $4000 per year.

I think there could be a way to have a changing scale. I don't know the figures but say you start at a set rate and if membership goes up to a good level then you halve the rate and give everyone who paid the previous higher amount membership for twice as long. So, in other words if we eventually get sufficient members to make a $10 membership fee viable then you say that everyone who paid $20 has now paid for two years and not one.

There is also the fact that Art is not a bank and it costs time and money to get this money to him. Amounts under $20 may not be economically viable even if we then have to say that it equals more than one years membership.

2) Free section. I think it is important to have some free section. It can be used to educate, and hopefully attract net surfers or those who have heard of us and are curious. It could have some (or all?) of the recent (day or two) messages and a few juicy archives.

3) Not free sections. The stuff for paid members only would include access to the full archives (which will soon represent the "encycolpeadia militaria sovietica"), ability to access and post more images, and the sale and wanted sections.

4) Expansion. Paying will give access to more space which allows more opportunities such as Jim Beers excellent Imperial Militaria section idea (volunteering to moderate are you Jim???), Warsaw Pact sections?, image galleries?, etc.

Shawn
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Old 10-22-2003, 04:32 AM   #9
sovvisor
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if it´s getteing better

I´m in on the fee.
Best
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Old 10-22-2003, 05:50 AM   #10
Mozzabloke
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I dont think $20 is an unreasonable amount.

I would pay it.


Mark
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