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Discussion Starter #1
I just posted a new survey about how you think Ford-Diesel.Com should finance itself. Product sales don't seem to be going over as well as it used to (I guess everyone has all the hats and t-shirts they need now). Donations went pretty well back in the Spring, but is a lop-sided way to pay for the
site since everyone gets the benefit of a few that pay. We're beginning to lean towards a paid membership for certain areas of the site. Let your preference be known .. however, don't select one if you know you won't actually support it in that way.

Jason

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Ford-Diesel.Com Webmaster
1997 F-250 PSD 5-speed Banks Stinger-Plus
 

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Jason,
I voted for membership, but I really do not care how you get your money. Just let me know what you decide and I WILL support you.
Ernest
 

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I for one think you should put on some banner adds. I am only on here to help out when I can and won't be paying to do so.
I go to a lot of sites and never one I pay to use.
I know you shouldn't foot the bill by yourself but I would guess you could do like all the other sites and sell a few adds.
Maybe I am off base but that's how I see it. Mark Thomas
P.S. You have built a great site. I hope to get down your way some day and meet you. To bad the round up fell threw.
 

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Jason:
I'm just curious, about how much does it cost per month to operate this site? I don't care if you make some money for your efforts (it's the American way), but this whole Interner economy thing intrigues me. If you have 3000 members at $10.00 each that would be $30,000.00 per year. It would seem to me that should cover your costs even if you update hardware every year. But I don't know, that's why am asking. Maybe a combination of things like a few banner ads, a couple of items for sale and a minimal membership of 5-10 bucks per year. Or would the hassle of doing all three just be not worth it.
Patrick

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99 F350 XL SD PS 4R100 3.73 DRW 2WD 84" Chassis Cab
Woodland Green Clearcoat Metalic



[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 09-23-1999).]
 

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Do the ads, sell stuff, solicit donations, but please do not charge a fee to use this site.
The beauty of this site is that it is free, that is why there are over 3000 members today, and thousands and thousands of informative posts.
The lack of a fee is what brought me and my friends to this site, and I am sure it is what brings the casual junior members, as well as the more dedicated members to this site.
With over 3000 members actively using this site, you ought to be able to get some big bucks from some sponsers. Maybe DIS, Blackwell, Warn, Rancho, Shell, etc... We PSD folks spend a lot of money with these businesses, and there good name is spread around a lot here.
If it weren't for this site, i might not have done a Blackwell oil analisis. I may not be putting Racor in my fuel. I might not be using Shell Rotella-T, etc, etc, etc...
Time for the big boys to help you out!!

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Ken
95 F250SC PSD, XLT, LWB, 4x4, 4.10, E4OD, Superlift Add-A-Leaf, Rancho RS 9000s, RK truck box.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I also don't much like the idea of a paid site, but it does look like the best option right now.

The new survey right now shows that 35 people think we should finance by selling stuff. That's all well and good but if we don't get any orders it doesn't work.

As for banner ads, I've never been a big fan of them. I also don't see how they could possibly bring in enough revenue.

The donations and last sales made enough to buy the server, all the software, and Internet service for a year. We'll run out of that money by about March of 2000. That doesn't cover any of my time involved in upkeep. To be honest, I haven't done many updates lately since I've been so busy and because my time is worth more doing other things.

We need enough cashflow to keep the Internet service going each month (and possibly an upgrade soon since traffic is getting higher every day), buy software updates, and make it worthwhile to keep the site updated.

If anyone has other suggestions, post them here. However, think about how feasible they really are first.

Jason


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Ford-Diesel.Com Webmaster
1997 F-250 PSD 5-speed Banks Stinger-Plus
 

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I still think donation is the best, lopsided or not. I would never have come to the site if I had to pay. I might be willing to pay to stay however. But we won't pull in near the volume of people on here as a pay site. And new members bring new info/ideas. Last time you asked for donations, didn't you get much more than expected? If so, what leads you to believe that would not be the case again? Correct me if I'm wrong, I came to the site right after the last round of donations.... I'm more than willing to donate now. Because of this site I now have factory cruise on my truck and located a Dana 60.

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'94 F250 4x4 PowerStroke, 5-speed, 4.10 gears, regular cab, XL 206,500 miles



[This message has been edited by Diesel_Aggie (edited 09-24-1999).]
 

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You could always ask for donations and then if that craps out then force the donations.

I would hate to see banner adds on everything. One of the big benefits of this site is that it is clean.

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Keith
1994,F-250,5 Speed, SuperCab, LB, 4x4, 4.10's, Stock,
Durabak Coated Fuel Tank & Shield
 

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I would not have come here if it was a pay site, However it is a great site, and I love it. However if its a pay type I think you'll will lose 75% of the people here, to bad, pay 30k+ and miss all the info $10.00. Try to keep it free!!

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99.5 F-250SD SC PSD 4x4 LWB Lariat, ESOF, ABS, Auto 3.73 Black/Tan, Rhino Liner, Rallylid, C/D,TT Mirrors, Loaded
 

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A pay site will weed out the trouble makers but at the same time lose alot of info I'm sure. I remember when this site had a hundred people and I never went for lack of an answer to a question.
Donations worked once but its to inconsistant a plan. I've got two hats from you still but I don't wear hats so I don't need anymore.
Charge 20.00, thats what I voted for. All three thousand won't pay so 10.00 probably won't do it. You need to make some money. No matter how much you like diesels all the work will get old with no reward, if it hasn't already.

Diesel_Aggie, e-mail me about the cruise you have. I also have a XL and want cruise.
 

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I would hate to see you add banners to the site. I use some sites that have them and they are nothing but a nuisance. I would donate or pay membership fees to use the site. I think all the info on here is certainly worth something as I have picked up a lot of good information on my diesels during the time I've been here.Thanks for all the hard work Jason.
 

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The Beauty of the 'FREE" web sight is that you have total control, shure there are the off hand remarks, and folks that just have to stir the pot. But, you said it your self Jason, you can run off who ever you see fit at any time, try doing that with a paid member, now you arnt dealing with 'your tree house' its now a business and you just can't run off people because they cause a little problem or two.

At least with donations, you will know who you can count on, who it here for the good times of shareing information, and for those who are looking into a PS and dont have a clue can still come and look.

Yes I know I am a 'junior member' but I have been watching and looking at all that has happened here for a year now, and to be honest if it wasnt free then I probably would'nt care if this site went under like so many other sights in the past... to my count there were 5 that delt with the PS special, now with you and the PSR really the only ones that actually have a decent member base and an ever changing subject posting, the others just cant cut the mustard.

Go look at the diesel mans page... it takes weeks if not months to have the postings you get in one or two days!

In closing, if it takes a donation from me to keep you in the black I can do that ( and I am shure a few others) but a membership/sellingout changes the whole game. (I use Rotella now, not because you advertise, but because I can see so many are happy with it)



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Da' Colorado Cajun
 

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Please do not change it to a membership site.

Can you give us an indication of what the costs are? Many people, myself included, do not have a clue!

My merch. order is in the mail, along with a bit extra for the site.
 

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I have to admit if this were a pay site I would probably have skipped over it initially, but with what I know now about it, I would pay to keep my access. This site is VERY helpful and interesting.
BTW my order went in the mail yesterday, I would have included a donation if I knew it was needed. Hope this helps... and thanks for the site.
Todd
 

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"If anyone has other suggestions, post them here. However, think about how feasible they really are first."

I say try donations first - but the "try" should be a little more effective. I have been a regular since April, and I have seen two "sales" of stuff I don't want, but I have not seen any request for donations. I would have donated long ago if I knew that was the policy and had any idea about the suggested amount.

Keep it absolutely free for those just surfing the web, as it is now, but they can't post until they become a member.

1. Add info to the sign-up-to-be-a-member screens that explain that this is a free site supported mostly by voluntary donations of the members, with a suggested annual donation of X American dollars for members in the United States and Canada, and free for anyone in any other countries.

2. Get the membership database finished, and include the first date of membership, the date and amount of donation, the date of last sign-on, the number of sign-on in the last 90 days, etc. (Require an e-mail address). Programatically send an e-mail to any new (and active) member who hasn't donated by 90 days after joining (and yearly thereafter), gently reminding them of the donation policy. Send the e-mail to any paid member who is still active and hasn't donated within the last year. (This will require that the database be posted with donations on an almost-daily basis, and programatically updated for every member sign-in "hit" on the site.)

3. With a little programming and a good database, you could even add reminder nuisance screens for all members that haven't donated within the last year. Maybe a screen that tells the donation policy - with a footnote that that screen goes away a few days after a donation is received by the Webmaster. Paid members wouldn't see that screen. (I know that would damn sure get my donation in the mail toot-sweet!)

4. Added on edit. Best idea yet- but still requires a little programming: Change the Junior Member - Member criteria to be driven by donation status. Junior Members would be those who haven't donated at least so much within the last year. Members would be only those that have donated a minimum amount within the last year. That will do it! Then you could forget the other steps above.


Almost makes me want to get back in the systems development business.----------Nah -- Retirement is WONDERFUL!


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Smokey Wren in Midland County, Texas, with Sierra Blanca - the white mountain of a '99.5 F250 diesel-powered CrewCab



[This message has been edited by SmokeyWren (edited 09-24-1999).]
 

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I really like Smokey's suggestions, and a combination of #2 & #4 would be perfect. I have not donated yet, but plan to put one in the mail today. Anything decided will be OK with me.
 

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Smokey has some great ideas & I pretty much agree with his analysis. I feel like a I owe you a donation already just from the info I've already read, have not ever seen anything about procedure for making a donation, which is good, I know you don't want to sound like some televangelist, but every now & then would be expected. I don't presume to know how much business gets thrown to some of the more popular sites linked up here, nor is it my business if & how much they have contributed in the past. There is no doubt that they have certainly been exposed to a large number of potential customers, past that point its up to them if they convert them/us to customers. I just sent PDR 35.00 based just on what I read here, I already know you (this site is worth that much), just don't know procedure for proving it.

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99.5,F250XLT,PSD,SC,4x2,4R100,3.73LS.
 

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I agree with Smokey. A combination of limited access for prospective members along with full access for a nominal amount. This would get the prospective member interested, and the current members already know what a gem of a site this is. Whatever you decide, Jason, I will agree to.

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Patrick 97 c.c. 4x2, 5 speed, short box
 

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I thought the Diesel fairy secretly financed this sight! Seriously I (and probably many others) never put any thought into how this sight operated. Now that I understand the problem I will put a check in the mail. If this was a pay sight I would never have come, although I am willing to pay to stay. Make the financial concerns more visible. I normally do not "look" at the home page because it rarely changes. I also agree with some of SmokeyWren ideas.

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'99.5 F-250, PSD, Off-Road Pkg, 4x4, XLT, 6-Speed, SC, Tan, Pushbar, Winch, Fender Flares
 

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Keep it simple - donation or a subscribtion gives access to the forums.

You spend $30-40K. for a truck and you can't spend $10-30 per year for all this neat stuff. It would even less than a tankful of gas.


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2000 F350 Lariat PSD 4x4 CC SB White
Everything except plow and cab lights
Ordered 8/23/99. Build 10/11/99 ETA 11/1/99
 
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