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(Post Link) post #1 of 71 Old 10-06-08 Thread Starter
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Wave AO Membership/Sponsorship

Hello all.
Here's a thought which may or may not have been mentioned before. I might get flamed but here goes:

Personally I am not keen to spend £25 pa to join AO for the benefits it offers, such as private messages, extra lounges, better photo hosting etc. Some of you obviously have done this and fair play to you.

However, I appreciate that running this excellent forum has a cost, both in equipment and software and in AO and moderator's time. In addition I am sure I am not alone in applauding Ian and the moderators for running a fantastic website free of adverts.

What I am suggesting, in a long-winded way, is a system whereby forum users (or even existing members) can show their support for AO, maybe by paying say, a fiver, and recieve a couple of AO stickers for their car. This could increase funds in the coffers and promote the forum to other road-users.

It in not my intention to undermine those who have, or want to, pay full membership for the increased website functions, it is just that I do not spend enought time on here to justify that myself, but I would still like to show support for AO.

What do you guys reckon?
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

This has been mentioned before and is a good idea IMHO. The Fiat forum for example, use it (donations) to good effect.

FYI, mods do it for free and for the greater good (albeit we get premio membership for nowt)
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

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Originally Posted by norbert View Post
Hello all.
Here's a thought which may or may not have been mentioned before. I might get flamed but here goes:

Personally I am not keen to spend £25 pa to join AO for the benefits it offers, such as private messages, extra lounges, better photo hosting etc. Some of you obviously have done this and fair play to you.

However, I appreciate that running this excellent forum has a cost, both in equipment and software and in AO and moderator's time. In addition I am sure I am not alone in applauding Ian and the moderators for running a fantastic website free of adverts.

What I am suggesting, in a long-winded way, is a system whereby forum users (or even existing members) can show their support for AO, maybe by paying say, a fiver, and recieve a couple of AO stickers for their car. This could increase funds in the coffers and promote the forum to other road-users.

It in not my intention to undermine those who have, or want to, pay full membership for the increased website functions, it is just that I do not spend enought time on here to justify that myself, but I would still like to show support for AO.

What do you guys reckon?
Norbert, I fully agree with you on this. I confess that I have guilt feelings on using this tremendous Forum for free and feel that I would like to offer some kind of financial support. As I'm not really a " club " type person have been reluctant to go for membership although I have been very close to pressing the " pay now " button for some time and in fact I may well yet do so.
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

I agree that it's a great idea. I don't think this community has reached 'club' status in the traditional sense, and is an online community more than anything else. The donate option would give people the opportunity to contribute, even if they don't wish to pay for premium membership. Who knows, some people would possibly donate more than once, and give a few quid as the fancy takes them.
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

I would agree - but don't forget there are other benefits to becoming a fully paid member not just the ones you have mentioned.

I do agree with what you are saying though and the only real reason I am a paid member is because I felt (like you) that I wanted to support the forum
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

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Originally Posted by JimmerUK View Post
I agree that it's a great idea. I don't think this community has reached 'club' status in the traditional sense, and is an online community more than anything else. The donate option would give people the opportunity to contribute, even if they don't wish to pay for premium membership. Who knows, some people would possibly donate more than once, and give a few quid as the fancy takes them.
Personally I would not mind a voluntary anuual fee of a few quid and become say " Forum Subscriber " or some such title if people wanted any sort of recoginition, I wouldn't be bothered about this myself.

I'm very happy with the Forum services that are provided to me as a Forum member and think it unlikely that I would make much, if any, use of the extra facilities that Club Members receive.

I suppose the easiest option for me and others like me is to just pay for the lowest Club Membership package. I feel that I have to do something soon as this a great Forum, I would hate to see it go and I don't like the idea of freeloading on other peoples efforts and cash.

Of course there is also an argument that people who post a lot of good and useful stuff, particularly in the Tech Rooms shouldn't have to contribute cash as they more than make up for it by giving advice. I can relate to this but do not feel that I fall into this category although I can think of quite a few Forum members who certainly do. How, if at all, could this be resolved ? Methinks not at all so the easiest course would be to leave things as they are and hope that the finances of running this Forum can keep it going. Would hate to wake up one morning and find that the Forum has had to close due to funding difficulties.

I know there have been other Threads on this subject before but as I have now been on here a little longer I think that my ideas are more formulated.

I look forward to other peoples views, particularly from people like myself that have a credible post count but are still " just " Forum members.
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

I am a paid member as I wanted to support the forum.

My recommendation would be that you pay £x for a set number of posts - this could be £5 for a 1000 posts.

You get 100 free then decide if you want to stump up the money - If you post a lot you pay the membership.

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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

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Originally Posted by Squadrone Rosso View Post
The Fiat forum for example, use it (donations) to good effect.
i use fiatforum more than any other forum and i must admit the donation system is great and does work. you can get member privledges without paying a fortune for things you dont want. there is nothing i want from AO other than the PMs and photos so i'm not willing to pay for membership. i'd happily donate.
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

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Originally Posted by SPPalfa View Post
My recommendation would be that you pay £x for a set number of posts - this could be £5 for a 1000 posts.

You get 100 free then decide if you want to stump up the money - If you post a lot you pay the membership.
Unfortunately, that would never work, ever.

I think a simple voluntary 'Donate Now' button is the way forward, and maybe have it appear everytime you log on.
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

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Originally Posted by SPPalfa View Post
My recommendation would be that you pay £x for a set number of posts - this could be £5 for a 1000 posts.

You get 100 free then decide if you want to stump up the money - If you post a lot you pay the membership.
I see the point in what you're saying, and I think I said something similar in one of the other threads. The problem is that it might backfire if people who have something worthwhile to post are put off because they don't have enough credits.

It's the people who post useful stuff that make the forum worth visiting, seems unfair to charge them for it while letting anyone in the world get the benefit of those posts for nothing.

It's a tricky balance to get right.
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

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It's the people who post useful stuff that make the forum worth visiting, seems unfair to charge them for it while letting anyone in the world get the benefit of those posts for nothing.
exactly!

donating your time and knowledge is valuable, its what brings people to the forum. try to charge me for my time and i'll go elsewhere.
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

Hi all,

If I read this right, you would like to donate to AO, to clarify, you want to offer us cash to support the site and want nothing extra in return?

Of course we wouldnt say no but the issue I have, is that donations are normally one off payments, what this means is that this time next year when you would normally need to renew so we can pay for the serve ragain etc, you should really be donating again, however, without us emailing to say "You should think about donating soon" it is unlikely you will, I also do not think as a stand alone revenue stream this site could function at the level we want to.

If members really want to donate, we can arrange this and we will put the money to work very quickly, however as a long term survival plan, donations are not the best way forward. (Any financial advisors on board?)

Thanks for posting though, I promise to drop back to this thread soon.

Ian

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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

It did seem like he was advocating both donations and membership running alongside each other, Ian



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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

I like the idea of a yearly sticker (or two) for a fiver. Could be useful for a) raising some money for the site and b) increasing awareness of the site. I'm always surprised at how many dealers don't know about the site (says something about them!). A sticker in the back window with a meaningful strapline "Alfaowner.com - striving for the perfect service" or "Alfaowner.com - the voice for Alfa Enthusiasts" might just make them look at the site and for fear of being adversely mentioned, improve their service. OK I might be living in cloud cuckoo land but who knows? I'd support it anyway.
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(Post Link) post #15 of 71 Old 11-06-08 Thread Starter
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

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Originally Posted by alfaowner View Post
Hi all,

If I read this right, you would like to donate to AO, to clarify, you want to offer us cash to support the site and want nothing extra in return?

Of course we wouldnt say no but the issue I have, is that donations are normally one off payments, what this means is that this time next year when you would normally need to renew so we can pay for the serve ragain etc, you should really be donating again, however, without us emailing to say "You should think about donating soon" it is unlikely you will, I also do not think as a stand alone revenue stream this site could function at the level we want to.

If members really want to donate, we can arrange this and we will put the money to work very quickly, however as a long term survival plan, donations are not the best way forward. (Any financial advisors on board?)

Thanks for posting though, I promise to drop back to this thread soon.

Ian
Hello Ian
Thanks for replying.
Indeed, what I am suggesting is that donations would run alongside the subscriptions, separately, for those who wish to support AO (maybe one-off or maybe regularly) but do not wish to subsribe yearly.

The AO Car stickers in exchange would be the key though, so that people would get something 'physical' in exchange for their fiver in addition to supporting the site. As I mentioned, more stickers in cars, more potential members or donations.

Worth thinking about perhaps

Cheers

Rob
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

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Originally Posted by norbert View Post
Hello Ian
Thanks for replying.
Indeed, what I am suggesting is that donations would run alongside the subscriptions, separately, for those who wish to support AO (maybe one-off or maybe regularly) but do not wish to subsribe yearly.
That is also what I advocated in the thread that got moved into the "club only" lounge.
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

worth remembering growing is a dangerous thing too - does AO need to add more to the great site we already have?

become too commercial or glitzy and people will walk away

we are here to be in an alfa community, if it became a mini-enterprise most would walk away
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(Post Link) post #18 of 71 Old 11-06-08 Thread Starter
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

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Originally Posted by belfast bob View Post
worth remembering growing is a dangerous thing too - does AO need to add more to the great site we already have?

become too commercial or glitzy and people will walk away

we are here to be in an alfa community, if it became a mini-enterprise most would walk away
Yeah but my plan would mean that AO could avoid comercial ads. Most forums these days are full of them and they annoy.

Contributions from existing members and stickers in their cars would mean a better sense of an AO community imo.
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

I just recently joined the AO community after reeling in my first Alfa, but for the last 6 months or more I have been a regularly visitor to the forums.

The two reasons this forum has such an appeal to me, is the great mix of regular users who give life to the threads and the huge number of "irregulars" that post on all the little odds in the technical threads. The collection of shared knowledge is massive because of this mix! (Pat your own shoulder here - you deserve it!)

For me, the membership was the means available to show appreciation for the help I found. If donations were available I would certainly have considered that... but given that I've caught a bad case of "the bug" now, I probably would have ended up coming back to membership regardless
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

£25 is hardly a lot to pay for a year's worth of invaluable help and advice though is it?
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

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£25 is hardly a lot to pay for a year's worth of invaluable help and advice though is it?
100% agree with that T
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

Assuming you can afford it



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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

I agree with T here - we all drive AR so one piece of decent advice will save you £25 which equates to about 20 minutes of dealers time

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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

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£25 is hardly a lot to pay for a year's worth of invaluable help and advice though is it?
Not if you are just taking it. The people who offer all that info that keeps the forum so valuable maybe don't feel they should pay to give it. I am in favour of items for sale, like a sticker that you could purchase from the shop. Support the forum and feel you are getting something back.
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Re: AO Membership/Sponsorship

It amuses me that people think they can, at a distance, calculate other peoples budgets for them



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