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Speed Camera Database to Turn Professional
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daveyonthemove
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 38
Location: Stafford

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't see what all the fuss is about?
Someone at this site is working hard to get every camera in the country logged, or identified and on a system for everyone to use, and you are all whinging about £2??
How much do halfords or other places charge for the GPS system alone? several hundred pound easily, and then before you can put it in your car and turn it on, you have to pay a subscription of around £100 for one whole year! Then you have to remove it, connect it up to your pc, and wait ages for a download.
This is a very cheap system at £2. work it out. once a month is £24!! how can anyone whinge at that?
Its convenient, and accurate and someone has worked very hard for nothing till now, so i think its only fair they get some reward for it.
The only alternative is to compile your own, but from what i've heard someone is trying this and not getting far. When they have completed this mamoth task, will they want some reward or praise? I would.
It's either £60 and 3 points for not paying attention to your speed, or £2 a month to help keep your licence safe.
think about it
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TheBoyGroucho
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Joined: 19/08/2002 15:39:36
Posts: 172
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Obviously being a reasonably long standing member and a contributor, I have to say that the fact that those members have not contributed over once does not suprise me at all, in fact in my area I find very few "new" cameras on my limited drive to work,


Certainly in my case the camera informations I sent were the product of several weeks trawling round my area (as I promised to do at the time) confirming the positions of cameras already in the database, looking for and noting the position of any new ones and checking out the mobile locations listed on the Counties speedaware website. Not the work of a moment.
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Paul-m
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Joined: Aug 25, 2004
Posts: 87
Location: Northampton

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As this thread continues i find myself more and more confused and undecided.

Th initial message linked paying for the camera database as a method of making the site more professional and allowing one of the amateur moderators to become full time.

That seemed a little simplistic. What i mean is what else would be provided to make the site more profesional? what other benefits would we see? From the post it seemed it would just be a better camera database. Well.... that isnt really much for a lot of people. As the previous post mentioned unless you are in the habit of driving to lots of unknown places then lets face it how many new cameras will you find. Also with the governments sudden realisation that these are Speed Trap cameras and not accident prevention systems there may not be many new cameras to worry about any way.
This doesnt seem like a very sound business case...

I guess a lot of people will also be dissapointed to have to pay for what many have freely contributed. Not to mention the availability of this data from other sources e.g. Tomtom Road angel etc.

I dont feel there is an easy answer to this. The sums mentioned arent extortionate but the principle leaves a nasty aftertaste. Perhaps if the site had a members only area with many more benefits it might be more attractive?
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chris_w
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Joined: Nov 09, 2004
Posts: 628
Location: West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul-m wrote:


I dont feel there is an easy answer to this. The sums mentioned arent extortionate but the principle leaves a nasty aftertaste. Perhaps if the site had a members only area with many more benefits it might be more attractive?



I agree with this - most sites that charge usually have a menbers area. If I'm going to stump up some cash this is what I would like.

What do others think? is it downoads only or a members area?
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Calligrapher
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Joined: Oct 01, 2004
Posts: 27
Location: South Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My point entirely, a lot of pages ago. Pay for a members area - yes. Pay for downloading this freely contributed-to database, compiled by a volunteer - NO.

Let's get down to marketing brass tacks. You can only sell to customer when you tell them what's in it for them - not what's in it for you the potential seller.

Sell us member benefits and we may buy them.
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chris_w
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Joined: Nov 09, 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Calligrapher wrote:


Sell us member benefits and we may buy them.



Could'nt agree more. The other site I do pay to be a member of provides a members forum, specialist publications for members and also loads of discounts from related retailers etc. (you can make your money back on the discounts alone - and let me assure you that is an attractive proposition).

All this for £10 a year.

I would like to see all this here plus some "hotlines" into some of the bigger suppliers such as TomTom, who take weeks to answer urgent support queries.

Keep the ideas coming as this will help PGPSW understand where we are coming from and what they can do to maximise support.
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Almahadeus
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Joined: Aug 06, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

daveyonthemove wrote:
I can't see what all the fuss is about?
Someone at this site is working hard to get every camera in the country logged, or identified and on a system for everyone to use, and you are all whinging about £2??

The fuss my dear is because of the fact that this "someone" who is working hard to get every camera in the country identified is actually the same poor people who are now being asked to pay for it. CAN YOU NOW SEE WHAT THE FUSS IS ABOUT ??????????????????????????????????????
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aardvark99uk
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Joined: Dec 10, 2003
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regardless of the debate on whether the database should be chargeable and if so according to what model (although for the record I favour by the download if the annual subscription is to be high), can I raise the issue of POI edit. If the charging model is by the download, spare a thought for those of us who use POI edit. I don't mind paying for a couple of updates a year but not each time I update via POI edit every couple of weeks or so. OK I can exclude cameras from the update and get these manually but doing so is beginning to smack of a two tier system - autoupdate for the free POIs and manual update for the chargeable ones. Not very smart me thinks!
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alix776
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

arrdvark this is something that the team are aware of and will be looked at
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Buffy Beagle
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Joined: 04/03/2003 21:22:30
Posts: 191
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[/quote]

I agree with this - most sites that charge usually have a members area. If I'm going to stump up some cash this is what I would like.

What do others think? Is it downloads only or a members area?[/quote]

......................................................................................................

We don't have any interest in using the safety camera download, so our only requirement is to be able to access any other areas of the web site that we want to get to. Whilst I don't mind paying because I have experience of this site, how would a potential member know that it is worth paying for?

It must be recognised that if this is to become a subscription website that it will be a very different place to the site it is now. I doubt it would ever have got to be so succcessful if it had always been subscription.

Incidentally, I haven't dropped the proviso that reading the forums should remain free :0)

It must be sensible to configure it so that dowloading the camera database is the other freely available part of the website for all the reasons discussed. (Whether you agree with the reasons or not is immaterial). It seems to me that the free database is a universally known perk of this website and to introduce charges was probably viewed as the easiest available money making option, but perhaps the managers didn't think through the consequences . . . not just losing the goodwill of some of the members, but loss of traffic on the site when members of the 'public' come to get their free dowload only to discover that they now have to pay for it. They will probably pay for it, but then return to the forum less often in future, and surely revenue on a site like this is dependent on frequent visits, so doing anything to discourage that seems unwise to me.

The most important thing must be for the site to retain independence from its advertisers . . . . . perhaps subs would do that? I had always assumed we put up with these horrible flashing ads to pay for the site and as a result I don't recall ever making a donation to this website.

Perhaps we could all promise to make a donation each year and things could get back to the way they were. Anyone that didn't make a donation could be drummed out of the club.

I have just been thinking aloud here . . . none of it is meant to be critical.


Buff :0)
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emjaiuk
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Joined: Dec 06, 2003
Posts: 335
Location: North Surrey (TW17) UK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Let's get down to marketing brass tacks. You can only sell to customer when you tell them what's in it for them - not what's in it for you the potential seller.


Exactly right! I really do think that the directors need to find some worthwhile marketing advice and try to look at the site as a whole before launching the proposed new thread, rather than appearing to be grabbing the most convinient 'cash cow'. The approach needed now is unfortuneatly a lot different from the approch which could have been taken at the beginning.

Malcolm
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tomtomgo
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Joined: Aug 18, 2004
Posts: 68
Location: Holland

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren have a good christmas, to be honest this is all getting boring. I am now safetly nestled back in Holland for the festive period but can't resist checking back for the latest goss. Yeah i know sad .
At the end of the day let them go with what ever they choose, we have tried to halp, but, hey, lets just go to gpsadware and put all our efforts into the new database being put together for everyone FREE of charge.
Have you noticed how all the "i dont mind paying" stalwarts are relative newcomers, and yet PGPSW still treat them as an inconsequence.
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Klanden
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Joined: Dec 21, 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I would like to say up front that I am a newbie to this site. I only bought my first GPS a couple of weeks ago, but have probably been viewing the forums for about a month. Consequently I have NOT contributed to the database, and if I had I may well feel aggrieved by the decision to charge. I sympathise with the point of view of contributors to the database, and Iím sure the anger expressed is genuine and no doubt made worse by the way the announcement has been handled. At the same time I do appreciate the site does take a lot of time to administer, and I think itís only fair that the people running it at least cover their costs. It is a difficult situation and I donít feel qualified to comment on the historic factors that have led to this situation, but do have a few thoughts as to the future Ö

I would be prepared to pay for the database but would much rather it was an annual membership fee. You would receive revenue to cover costs but would not lose the community feel (unless of course thatís been already been damaged irreparably due to the way the announcement has been handled).

Most clubs I have had involvement with have an annual subscription fee, but because itís a nominal fee to cover costs, there is still a club spirit whereby members contribute to the greater good of the club, or in this case the site.

To take sports clubs as an analogy if I attend a one day windsurfing lesson on a course provided by a commercial enterprise I pay my money, take the lesson, thank them and Iím gone. I donít give a second thought about the fact that they may need new equipment in the coming year Ė itís nothing to do with me, and I donít care Ė Iíve got my moneys worth and Iím gone!! On the other hand if my club required new equipment I would be aware of this and I would offer my time or skills for fund raising, etc., Ö.. Despite having paid a nominal fee for club membership.

By taking money per download you will fall completely into the first scenario Ė people will download and walk away. You will receive no extra thanks or commitment for a good product because that is what theyíve paid for, and on the other hand if the product is not up to scratch (and at the moment the majority of posts suggest it is accurate so Iím not knocking it) you will get a lot of negative press, etc, and little repeat downloads.

Taking the second scenario, if you take a nominal annual membership fee to cover costs, people will feel they are working together (as they do now) and hopefully you will continue to receive notifications of new cameras from members, and input on the forums. You would also keep your position as a user group and the benefits of exposure and site recommendations from Fifth Gear, other websites, members, etc, etc.

Content is King:

Your strengths are up to date and dynamic content, content, content, whether it be the accurate database or the busy forums. For websites content is king, and this is what you have, and lots of it Ė but it is, and always will be, dependant upon input from your membership. Without members your database is at risk of becoming inaccurate (you wonít receive the updates from ďcustomersĒ) and the up to date dynamic content in your forums may start to dry up too.

Your content dies, your site dies, your business dies.

Treat people as customers and they will patronise you only for what you can give them and as soon as the database becomes inaccurate (due to lack of camera locations from members) and the forums dry up (assuming any customers bother to read anything but the ďhelp meĒ threads) then your site will die.

Genuinely treat people as members of a community which you have done more successfully than most up to the recent announcement and you know the benefits, because you have (or had) all the benfits, with everyone working for the benefit of the community Ė everyone wins.

If the problem is covering costs, set a nominal annual membership fee, and I personally feel that £24.00 is too high. The site (assuming the bad feeling fades) should continue to grow and prosper.

I would therefore set a nominal membership of no more than £10.00, anything more would be perceived as more than nominal and possibly profiteering Ė look at friends-reunited £7.50 for full membership and they seem to do all right.

If itís not a matter of just covering costs, and you want to make a profit then you need to start from scratch with your business model. You main selling point will be on price. The only reason people will patronise you is that your database is cheaper than the competition, and competing on price is not a great place to be. If you think the eBay sellers are a problem now, with a free database, then what will the situation be when you are charging. Sellers on eBay are all ready stating that they will provide monthly updates by email, I doubt that this will change when you charge per download Ė surely it will get worse.

However the biggest problem when competing on price is that your competition can screw you up at any moment. What will happen if Tom Tom (or Navman, etc) decide that they can increase their sales by offering their camera database pre-installed with free updates (they could afford to as they have income from their hardware, you donít have any other revenue that isnít firmly dependant upon your content and community) Ė you risk being wiped out in an instant.

If they did this prior to your announcement your site would take a hit, but it would continue, and the forums would be set on fire with enthusiastic threads debating how this database is better than the competition, and how the community can make it better, etc. If they did this after the charge per download your ďcustomersĒ wouldnít give a damn, customers would just take the value for money option (in this case a free database from the supplier of its hardware) - and they would probably assume the branded database was better anyway.

If it canít continue free then:

1. Make a genuine effort to limit the damage already done within the community.

2. Charge an annual membership for a nominal fee, keeping the community spirit and site content alive, still covering your costs, retaining the goodwill and exposure from commercial sites, publications and advertisers, member recommendations AND keeping your greatest strength in the market Ė a community of like minded individuals all out to support and better its database, site and the community as a whole.

3. Keep the £2.00 download option for none members (some people will just want to take the database and run maybe to try it out Ė you still get the revenue so thatís fine), and allow them to read but not add to the forums (at the end of the day you want them to become members, and by reading the forums they will see the benefits of membership, and therefore subscribe).

Repair the damage and consider annual membership. Iíd pay membership, and update you with camera locations if I found any. However if there is no membership option Iíll download the odd database (I wonít need them all so I wonít pay for them all) but itís unlikely Iíll contribute Ė I donít offer feedback to or advice after purchasing a bottle of milk, and more to the point I donít care where I buy my next bottle either so repeat custom is not a "given".

Charge for download or membership and Iíll pay providing the database remains accurate (will it remain accurate if updates stop from the community?) and value for money. However I donít rate your chances of being around for the long term if you lose your greatest strength (the community) and rely on competing on cost only.

Again, I accept that previous contributors to the database have very real issues with any payment. I havenít gone into these as I donít feel I can add anything that hasnít already been said Ė but I do accept their arguments. However on the other hand I personally would not be prepared to spend hours and hours each and every week on the admin side either, so I can see both sides.

Someone did say that the admin could be delegated to other members that had got the time, and Iíve seen other posts offering solutions to bandwidth so in principal I suspect there is a workable solution there Ė but other than that it has to be a compromise.

Hope it all works out. Iíve read all the posts on this thread, and it would be shame for the site and community to die. Whatever happens Iíll be downloading in January 2006, itíll be interesting to see where people will be downloading from in January 2007.
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ccsnet
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Joined: May 01, 2005
Posts: 101
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tomtomgo wrote:
Have you noticed how all the "i dont mind paying" stalwarts are relative newcomers, and yet PGPSW still treat them as an inconsequence.
It may say 2005 in my ID but I have been a lurcker for many a year... and I supect a number of other 'newbies' are only voicing their opinion for that reason.... still you do have a point.

I have never seen a subject been so contrivershal on a site before... the pure number of postings show what a hot topic this is.

I susspect that the mod team now know are feelings and are been slow to respond because they need to find the right soltion and the right response so we need to give them that time now ( and I for one do want to know the answer ).

Going down this route does certainly bring more issues not just to us ( the soon to be consumer <--- which in its self brings certain rights and expectations ) but PGPSW them selves. Having been in simular postion of been asked to use my expertise in installing CarPC kit I decided not to take any work up due to the hassle - in fact I have other mediums I use now to give me knowllege way now.

That been said this was a personal decision and is the PGPSW team belive its right for them I can understand it

Darren - I think for the sake of every body here you should set some expectations as to when an offical anouncement will be put out rather than saying its been looked at... at the least may be a progress report to say how far along you are to get to that anouncement.

Right /ramble....

Terran
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ccsnet
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the bad spellings... can we have a edit button as well please Laughing Out Loud.

Terran
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