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Would you support GID conversion to $20 annual fee paysite?

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8 hours ago, gonzoron said:

Haven't seen any.

Must be running an ad blocker in your browser, or the ad sites are being blocked at the ISP/network level.  

Has the GID technical staff re-enabled no ads for GID members that have donated here on the new site?

 

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My main question is, if the GID is converted to a paysite, will the $20 be simply for posters or for everyone? I'm not an administrator, but I've gathered over my years on this site that a large amount of this site's traffic comes from "guests" or non members, AKA players coaches, fans, parents etc who are checking out what the chatter is.

I'm not against charging a "poster" fee in principal. I believe though that the website will be low on content. If the website turns into pay only to view and post, the GID will fold and/or slip into irrevelency within a year.

Remember that TA didn't do this for profit. He wanted to share his love of football with everyone. If we make this website "for profit" it will become an abomination of the creator's original vision.

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I would be willing to pay $20 a year mandatory to have this place to share and argue... But I'd hope that most of us would be donating at least that amount each year to help offset the costs that will only continue to rise year by year...  I know TA's vision, and that there is loyalty to that idea... and it is cool that it's free and open to anyone to post at any time... even if that creates some drama sometimes.... but we all like a little drama!   I just hope that anyone who can...makes the donations every year that easily clear the costs so we can keep this going on and on... seems like some years it's 4th and 2 in terms of donations... we need to keep the chains moving!!

 

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I would break down the GID Forum membership into 3 groups :

1. Those who actively participate in conference and game threads.  This is the true hidden asset of the GID.  Loyal followers of The NIC, The NLC, The Hoosier Hills, The Hoosier Conference, The PAC, The SAC, etc , etc   This group is responsible for a massive amount of page views and thread posts.  The conference threads are extremely important to this group.  Faced with the possibility of permanent loss of this connection, I surmise that many would "pony up" and kick in the $20 annual fee in a heartbeat.  The vast majority of this group have been riding along free for 20 years. They will see the value in maintaining this connection, which they will not find anywhere else.

2. The Lurkers.  This group is read only.  They like to peruse the content and focus in on the topics that have particular interest to their school or their affiliation.   Conversion of this group will be a challenge.  Perhaps the GID could offer a tiered membership.  $25 for full posting privileges.  $10 for read only.  

3. The Topic Followers - this is the group that follows and participates in topic related discussion/conversation, led by forum drivers like DT, Muda69 and others.  Issues such as playoff formats, contraction, Success Factor, demographics and socio economics, participation, PP and Public issues, etc are discussed amongst this group.  Conversion rates should be strong as this is an active and aggressive-progressive-opinionated  group of forum members

Food for thought for the powers that be, provided Free of Charge by the one and only DT!   😀

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11 minutes ago, DT said:

I would break down the GID Forum membership into 3 groups :

1. Those who actively participate in conference and game threads.  This is the true hidden asset of the GID.  Loyal followers of The NIC, The NLC, The Hoosier Hills, The Hoosier Conference, The PAC, The SAC, etc , etc   This group is responsible for a massive amount of page views and thread posts.  The conference threads are extremely important to this group.  Faced with the possibility of permanent loss of this connection, I surmise that many would "pony up" and kick in the $20 annual fee in a heartbeat.  The vast majority of this group have been riding along free for 20 years. They will see the value in maintaining this connection, which they will not find anywhere else.

2. The Lurkers.  This group is read only.  They like to peruse the content and focus in on the topics that have particular interest to their school or their affiliation.   Conversion of this group will be a challenge.  Perhaps the GID could offer a tiered membership.  $25 for full posting privileges.  $10 for read only.  

3. The Topic Followers - this is the group that follows and participates in topic related discussion/conversation, led by forum drivers like DT, Muda69 and others.  Issues such as playoff formats, contraction, Success Factor, demographics and socio economics, participation, PP and Public issues, etc are discussed amongst this group.  Conversion rates should be strong as this is an active and aggressive-progressive-opinionated  group of forum members

Food for thought for the powers that be, provided Free of Charge by the one and only DT!   😀

I would think that #2, would end up being less tier and more $0/$25.  I doubt that may folks would continue to show up on GID and pay $10 "just to look."  I think that the site probably makes decent enough money off of the ads; however, probably not enough to sustain the site it total and certainly not enough for folks to get rich off of it.  I just did a quick check and there were 25 people logged on right now ... with 17 of them being Guest status.  If that's the way the site tends to go in general, then guest traffic is by far the highest level of traffic.  As such, I would doubt, as you say, the conversion rate is high.  Charging many of these folks $10 just to look would lose many of them ... not to mention, perhaps, some of those that lurk with an account name.  Assuming that decent enough money is made from ad traffic, you don't want to chase off lurkers which, IMO, a $10 read-only fee/price would do.  With that said, changing the advertising scheme from a click/click through to a more impressions-heavy structure might also be more advantageous as opposed to forcing a paysite fee.

Ultimately, I think the current admin are holding true to TA's original gameplan and, given that so much of his reasoning behind the site was tied to his love of the game and the community, I'd say it's only fair for those who bought into that idea, serving in the current admin, to be allowed to carry that forward.  There's a pretty organic feel to the site right now and much of that stems to its origins, including the freesite business model.  I think TA also realized that not everyone is a fanatic right out the gate and some need time to catch the fever or come out of their shells.  Some folks lurk for a season or more before even getting an id or making their first post.  I think I lurked for three months or so before getting an id and then probably another two to three months before making a post.  I think went to seasons before finally becoming a Booster and, even that first year was based on one of the GIDs prominent members actually buying me a membership.  Since that time, I've been a Booster regularly and even paid the generosity of the GID member forward by paying for a membership for another member that hadn't held Booster status.  I think that for lurkers who might be converted exposure/time are important to that conversion and a $10 read-only rate or a required fee for everyone would be like tossing water on a smoldering ember.

My thought on this would be to not have GID as a paysite.  I would, however, encourage folks who are lurkers to think about a donation to GID this way ... how many mediocre movies that you seen in the last year where you plopped down full ticket price, had some less than great popcorn, and a one gallon cup filled with 16 oz. of drink with more ice than a polar ice cap?  That's about the cost of Booster status and, unlike that movie experience, you get GID for the whole year.  Not a bad entertainment value ... even for the penny-pincher among us all.

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On 2/2/2019 at 6:21 AM, DT said:

I believe we were up for approx 6 months.  Peaked around 500 members.  Was unable to monetize the site relative to developing revenue streams so decided to shut it down.  I don't work for free.  

How much were you charging for a membership at that site?

 

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8 minutes ago, indycoach10 said:

If this site goes to a paysite. I'll just head over to John Harrell's board.

When was the last active football post on the Harrell site?

Any current ongoing discussions?

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9 hours ago, DT said:

When was the last active football post on the Harrell site?

Any current ongoing discussions?

Friday and about North Judson coaching hire. However, I imagine with the GID being a paysite it would drive more traffic and discussions there since it would be free.

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10 hours ago, indycoach10 said:

If this site goes to a paysite. I'll just head over to John Harrell's board.

That's what happened when Hickory Husker went pay-only. Everyone went to Harrell's board, which is a bit of a cesspool with no moderation, but that's what happened, and what would almost assuredly happen here. 

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2 hours ago, crimsonace1 said:

That's what happened when Hickory Husker went pay-only. Everyone went to Harrell's board, which is a bit of a cesspool with no moderation, but that's what happened, and what would almost assuredly happen here. 

In my view, the true lifeblood of The GID is the conference threads.  They are endless, have widespread participation, and are responsible for massive amounts of page views and thread posts.  I do not believe this could be replicated on the Harrell Site or any other site.  These are the most loyal and long term members of the Digest.  I believe many would gladly contribute to maintain their sub communities here.

 

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34 minutes ago, DT said:

In my view, the true lifeblood of The GID is the conference threads.  They are endless, have widespread participation, and are responsible for massive amounts of page views and thread posts.  I do not believe this could be replicated on the Harrell Site or any other site.  These are the most loyal and long term members of the Digest.  I believe many would gladly contribute to maintain their sub communities here.

 

I just presented evidence that going paywall would kill our membership citing another board that is paywall-only and down to just a scant few posters. Going paywall, we would lose 90-95% of our members. 

DK & Jimmie have a pretty good model carrying on what TA started and keeping the community together, which is our strength, but a big part of that community is people can access it for nothing. 

I understand media economics pretty well. If you can't get people to spend $10 a month for their local newspaper, they're not going to do so for a stand-alone paywalled forum would become a ghost town. There are too many free alternatives - the Harrell board being one. Even without the "conference" threads, there would be places for discussio. The system of voluntary contributions makes people feel like they're a part of something and wanting to contribute to something, rather than the paywall (which is creating a barrier). Most won't contribute. 

I know your repeated attempts to compete with the GID and try to take this place over have failed and you keep on trying (and appointing yourself and your buddy who went to your failed alternate site Muda "the content leaders" here), but our strength is our community. When Tim spoke of the "power of The Gridiron Digest," it wasn't him he was referring to, it was the community that was created here. 

TA knew what he was doing and worked hard to keep this forum free. DK & Jimmie know what they're doing and are carrying this on as a trust.  

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5 minutes ago, crimsonace1 said:

I just presented evidence that going paywall would kill our membership citing another board that is paywall-only and down to just a scant few posters. Going paywall, we would lose 90-95% of our members.   That is an opinion, not a given fact.  There are very few options anymore for GID Type conversation and participation.  Most sites have shut down due to declining usage.  The Region Sports Network message board is running on fumes.  

DK & Jimmie have a pretty good model carrying on what TA started and keeping the community together, which is our strength, but a big part of that community is people can access it for nothing.   I respect the history and the heritage.  I knew TA personally and enjoyed his friendship.  I can also understand the cost of doing business.  The vast majority of posters have never contributed a penny, and will never do so unless given an ultimatum.  

I understand media economics pretty well. If you can't get people to spend $10 a month for their local newspaper, they're not going to do so for a stand-alone paywalled forum would become a ghost town. There are too many free alternatives - the Harrell board being one. Even without the "conference" threads, there would be places for discussio. The system of voluntary contributions makes people feel like they're a part of something and wanting to contribute to something, rather than the paywall (which is creating a barrier). Most won't contribute.   Disagree on your statement that they are too many free alternatives.  I cant even read an online newspaper anymore due to paywals popping up everywhere.  This is the new norm.  For a news guy who supposedly understands the economics of the business, you are way off on this one.  Why shouldn't The GID convert to pay, like everyone else has or is in the process of doing?  

I know your repeated attempts to compete with the GID and try to take this place over have failed and you keep on trying (and appointing yourself and your buddy who went to your failed alternate site Muda "the content leaders" here), but our strength is our community. When Tim spoke of the "power of The Gridiron Digest," it wasn't him he was referring to, it was the community that was created here. 

I have no intentions of taking over the GID.  I have great confidence in the leadership here.  I had my shot at the throne.  I am however a potential investor.  

TA knew what he was doing and worked hard to keep this forum free. DK & Jimmie know what they're doing and are carrying this on as a trust.  

See above responses

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20 minutes ago, DT said:

See above responses

"Why shouldn't The GID convert to pay, like everyone else has or is in the process of doing?" What examples do you have of a forum going from free to pay site and succeeding? Another alternative to Harrell's board is starting a subreddit on reddit which is the worlds largest forum which also happens to be ... free.

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1 hour ago, indycoach10 said:

"Why shouldn't The GID convert to pay, like everyone else has or is in the process of doing?" What examples do you have of a forum going from free to pay site and succeeding? Another alternative to Harrell's board is starting a subreddit on reddit which is the worlds largest forum which also happens to be ... free.

I was referring to media sites in general.

I can no longer access news from the following media sources due to the presence of a paywall :

South Bend Tribune

Lafayette Journal Courier

Indy Star

Chicago tribune

Northwest Indiana Times

Daily Journal of Johnson County (The Center Grove Times)  LOL

I chose not to subscribe to any of these as they are too narrow in focus.  I want something with broader coverage.

 

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I paid 99 cents for 6 months of Journal Courier online  

Twitter is free

Facebook is free

Snapchat is free

Instagram is free

This is a form of Social Media, which is also free 

We are similar to a SB Nation site, BR site.   Aggregation of information to discuss. 

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6 minutes ago, DT said:

I was referring to media sites in general.

I can no longer access news from the following media sources due to the presence of a paywall :

South Bend Tribune

Lafayette Journal Courier

Indy Star

Chicago tribune

Northwest Indiana Times

Daily Journal of Johnson County (The Center Grove Times)  LOL

I chose not to subscribe to any of these as they are too narrow in focus.  I want something with broader coverage.

 

I am curious then as to what you believe to be the similarities between the IndyStar and the GID that would make their paywall decision applicable to the GID. 

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16 minutes ago, indycoach10 said:

I am curious then as to what you believe to be the similarities between the IndyStar and the GID that would make their paywall decision applicable to the GID. 

Long time, dedicated readers will support both sites.

I was a casual reader of The Indy Star, hence no interest in paying for occasional news.  I am a daily reader of The GID, a regular participant, and would be happy to pay the membership fee for that privilege.  Its a great value, in my estimation. 

 

Edited by DT

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I'm just an occasional poster, but peruse on here quite a bit. I've been a donator for several years, and if it takes going to a pay site for this site/forum to survive, for what I consider a small amount, I'm all for it.

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This thread is a great piece of free market research for the GID admin.  Im sure they're watching with keen interest.  😀

 

 

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7 hours ago, DT said:

This thread is a great piece of free market research for the GID admin.  Im sure they're watching with keen interest.  😀

 

A few message board posters doesn't reflect economic reality, and the admins do take donations from those who wish to chip in a few bucks to keep this thing running. There is a bit of a selection bias in who's posting and who isn't. The lurkers and occasional posters - who make up the majority of the people here - aren't chiming in and most aren't paying. 

Increase the price to the end user from zero to *anything* and you're going to lose a substantial amount of your traffic. Lose the traffic, and you lose your reason for existing. That's the Law of Demand in action, which you learn in the first month of any first-year econ course. 

Unlike the Indianapolis Star or other media that charge for content, we don't have a staff producing proprietary original content. It's not even close to an apples-to-apples comparison. This is a message board, it's a community, and if people can't get that here for free (which is well-moderated and has pretty good community guidelines), they'll get it somewhere else (like Harrell's board, like Facebook, Twitter, et al, which are much less moderated and can be unreadable). That's *exactly* what happened when Hickory Husker went pay-only. It also pretty much shuts down the possibility of new traffic, because as soon as the newbies see the paywall, they're gone. They haven't had the ability to develop the value in it. There are a lot of free online message boards and social media options that people will go to. 

The opportunity to make this a pay site was a dozen years ago. Tim refused to do so and refused to sell out to Rivals and 247 *because* he wanted to keep it free to use. 

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9 hours ago, Coach Nowlin said:

I paid 99 cents for 6 months of Journal Courier online  

Twitter is free

Facebook is free

Snapchat is free

Instagram is free

This is a form of Social Media, which is also free 

We are similar to a SB Nation site, BR site.   Aggregation of infornu use for those mation to discuss. 

Average age of GID members is likely mid 50s   They have no use for those formats

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19 minutes ago, DT said:

Average age of GID members is likely mid 50s   They have no use for those formats

LOL you are so wrong there

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6 hours ago, indycoach10 said:

LOL you are so wrong there

Interesting

If a millennial will pay to have McDonalds or Taco Bell delivered to his Moms basement, wont he pay $20 for an annual GID membership?

Just sayin'

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1 hour ago, DT said:

Interesting

If a millennial will pay to have McDonalds or Taco Bell delivered to his Moms basement, wont he pay $20 for an annual GID membership?

Just sayin'

 

Vacillating ...

 

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