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Subscription Renewal & New Members.
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Sampa
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Joined: May 29, 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:33 am    Post subject: Subscription Renewal & New Members. Reply with quote

I was intrigued by your Newsletter appeal today for more subscribers. It appears to me that a business model which weekly awards lifetime free membership to existing subscribers will, sooner or later, result in no fee paying members!
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M8TJT
The Other Tired Old Man
The Other Tired Old Man


Joined: Apr 04, 2006
Posts: 8813
Location: Bexhill, East Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Subscription Renewal & New Members. Reply with quote

Sampa wrote:
It appears to me that a business model which weekly awards lifetime free membership to existing subscribers will, sooner or later, result in no fee paying members!
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So let's pay everyone who submits a camera instead and pay the verifiers who go out of their way to ensure that the database is deadly accurate then Shocked Would that be a better business model?
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Sampa
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Joined: May 29, 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I obviously don't have a view of your finances but perhaps a free subscription for 1 or 2 years would be a sufficient incentive and I would guess it would be just as easy to administer. I certainly wouldn't want to process loads of individual payments to camera spotters and verifiers! Very Happy
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aj2052
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Joined: Jul 03, 2005
Posts: 1425
Location: Leics,UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M8TJT
Sarcism is the lowest form of wit
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M8TJT
The Other Tired Old Man
The Other Tired Old Man


Joined: Apr 04, 2006
Posts: 8813
Location: Bexhill, East Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No it's not. Trolling on Facebook is! (from what I hear)
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MaFt
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Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 13625
Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come on, let's keep this friendly.

If sarcasm is the lowest form of wit then please do tell me a higher form Wink


The reason we offer the free lifetime subscription is to get people to submit cameras. Going back about 7 years the database used to be completely free although released once a month and with hardly any non-uk cameras.

When we went 'full time' with the database as a business we started charging for it - there was a lot of discussion about how to reward the users who had already submitted lots of data to us and we decided it would be best to give those users free access for life. It was also decided that anyone submitting new cameras (i.e. helping us with the database) would also receive it free for life - the same as the others.

So that's the potted history of the free lifetime subs. It *is* something I've thought about myself - offering a 1yr free sub instead of lifetime sub. However the main issue we face is people's reactions. If we change the offer and make it a lesser value (i.e. 1 years worth) then you can guarantee that all hell will break lose and we will be accused of all sorts of wrong-doings.

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Darren
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sampa raises an interesting question. However it assumes that the mere act of reporting a camera would secure a lifetime sub but it doesn't. And there are many more subscribers than there are opportunities to secure a life membership.

But we do have to ensure that the balance is kept and that there are enough paying subscribers to keep the service viable else the lifetime offer becomes worthless.

To that end we are looking at other options and it may well be that we have to change the life membership to a limited time option. Nothing is set in stone, we're still looking at all the options.

But subscribers are vital to the continued availability of our service. We know many of you value it and so we're always open to suggestions both as to how to increase subscriber numbers and how to ensure that we reward those who take the time to file camera reports.
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Sampa
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject: A good response Reply with quote

I am pleased to see that there is now a considered & well argued response from Darren.

I would add that I have previously submitted cameras without any thought to gaining a free subscription. I am sure there are many who submit these data because they feel they are performing a worthwhile service. Very Happy
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DennisN
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:30 am    Post subject: Re: A good response Reply with quote

Sampa wrote:
I am pleased to see that there is now a considered & well argued response from Darren.

I would add that I have previously submitted cameras without any thought to gaining a free subscription. I am sure there are many who submit these data because they feel they are performing a worthwhile service. Very Happy
I have ALWAYS submitted them simply in order to update the database - I started back in 2005 when I first found this website and have continued ever since and the pleasure I gain from seeing my name on the list of "also submitted but already life members" is really quite childish! My basis for continuing to submit is perhaps self-interest as I drive over 50,000 miles a year and whilst I deliberately never speed, the camera warnings are a comforting presence - if I submit, others may do the same and submit cameras for my next destination.

My free lifetime membership isn't worth much (as the Newsletter says, less than 40p per week) - its real value to me is I don't have to either remember to renew, or remember to update my online bank account when it renews automatically (plus I haven't got a paypal account and hate the very idea of setting one up). Aside from those benefits, I would not miss the free membership if it were to be withdrawn and replaced by subscription for all. Rewards? Enter qualifiers (or maybe even ALL submitters) into a monthly draw for something really nice like a new PND or Smartphone maybe? And make sure I win one. Laughing Laughing

Following on from the newsletter appeal, it must be worthwhile providing and publicising on each newsletter a facility for making donations without the "hassle" of paypal. (And not one of those fancy sponsorship donation websites either! I did one once and almost stopped before completion because I disliked the way it went about it - a simple donation place where I can enter my debit card details, please, just like buying from Amazon).
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:55 pm    Post subject: Re: A good response Reply with quote

DennisN wrote:
My free lifetime membership isn't worth much (as the Newsletter says, less than 40p per week)

I'd dispute that statement. At £19.99/yr it adds up. Even assuming it was only of value to someone for 5yrs that's £100 saving, a substantial sum for many.

But it's a fact that only a small proportion of users report and the incentive is there to encourage people to do so. If you subscribe and don't report then fine, your fee supports the service. But we have to ensure that we continue to have sufficient subscribers to keep the service viable both financially and to ensure the data is kept current and uptodate.
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DennisN
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: A good response Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
DennisN wrote:
My free lifetime membership isn't worth much (as the Newsletter says, less than 40p per week)

I'd dispute that statement. At £19.99/yr it adds up. Even assuming it was only of value to someone for 5yrs that's £100 saving, a substantial sum for many.

Very unfortunate wording by me Darren and I apologise profusely for making it seem a small thing. It is, of course quite a decent sum of money - in my case over £120 to date.

I was trying to say that it wouldn't cost me (or anyone else) much at the rate of less than 40p per week - not even a pint a week in the pub, say? I would add that obviously all the individual subscriptions add up to financing the website, so all the small sums make a big difference.

I repeat my previous request for an easy to use donation method publicised each week in the newsletter.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure I read somewhere that PayPal took a dim view of donations where a non-Charity is concerned. I'll have to do some research. If it's permitted then it's something we could implement relatively easily.
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MaFt
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Joined: Aug 31, 2005
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Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
I'm sure I read somewhere that PayPal took a dim view of donations where a non-Charity is concerned. I'll have to do some research. If it's permitted then it's something we could implement relatively easily.


From here: https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?cmd=_donate-intro-outside

Quote:
Note: This button is intended for fundraising. If you are not raising money for a cause, please choose another option.



Instead, we could sell emails from us? I'll happily send an email to a lifer who wishes to donate an extra tenner. Not sure my status as database admin would be worth that amount though ;) Having said that, maybe it I *am* worth it as my claim to fame is one of my ancestors is Robert Stephenson (of Stephenson's Rocket fame) - he used to be on the £5 note. So, donate a fiver and you get an email from one of the £5 notes descendants Very Happy

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MaFt
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, Darren, that's the USA site. The UK site makes no mention of fundraising being a requirement:

https://www.paypal.com/uk/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_donate-intro-outside

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bmuskett
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Joined: May 12, 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Aldi / Medion Forum which I've supported has a paypal donation button which doesn't require a paypal account. I have a paypal account so I don't know what hoops a non account holder has to jump through.
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