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Poll: Would you pay a fee to use these message boards? (123 member(s) have cast votes)

Would you pay a fee to use these message boards?

  1. Yes, I love talking with others about my hobby. (38 votes [36.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.89%

  2. No, There are better resources out there for free. (17 votes [16.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.50%

  3. Maybe, Depending on the costs. (48 votes [46.60%])

    Percentage of vote: 46.60%

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#21 fred


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Posted 29 January 2004 - 09:56 AM

Nothing is free. However, some good points were made in that the "free" aspect of the board gets newbies involved (no newbies, no new blood, no hobby eventually). Cutting out the fluff (smileys, etc.) to drop the costs would help. Maybe items can be sold (books, shirts, etc.) via donations and this would determine your "status" on the board. Buy nothing and you are a novice, free looking and information. Buy $25/year and you are a "member". Buy $50/year and you are "advanced" and can have smileys or your own font. This way, the free exchange is still there and the board stays as THE Thompson resource, accessable from other MG sites. Those who want to come and go quickly can do so. Those who want a member status of sorts buy books, shirts, videos, etc. and get their club membership status.

I like the fact that it is free. I would not mind paying, but I also want others who do not wish to pay to be able to share some information. Who knows what a newbie will bring? Purchasing suggestions could be any of Frank's books (at a higher club price to generate profit, obviously), golf shirts, T-shirts, maybe some Thompson mugs or whatever can make a buck.

Just my opinion.
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#22 John in IN

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Posted 29 January 2004 - 11:18 AM

I think if you charge money you will chase away a lot of new people. If you really are getting a lot of traffic, then selling sponserships to gun related companies would generate money to support the boards, AND generate business for the companies that pay to sponsor the boards. Set up properly, it's not spam or pop-ups, but a banner across the top of the page or down the side with the sponsering companies logo. Click on the logo to go to the companies web site.

My company does this in the automotive side of things and it works out quite well. I pay to have my logo on the site, I help people with their questions and problems, the site moderators encourage patronizing the sponsering companies, and everyone is happy.

I think this approach would be a much better solution than charging someone to come here and learn about Thompsons. Let the people come here and learn so that the hobby spreads, and let the gun companies pay for the board while increasing their exposure.

Speartech Fuel Injection Systems, Inc.
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#23 JimFromFL


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Posted 29 January 2004 - 01:36 PM

My .02 (please keep the flames to a minimum.... remember, you asked) cool.gif tongue.gif

I think $30 is too much and would limit the number of users. It appears there are a number of people who seldom post, but scan the Forums and those who post on a daily basis. A $30 fee may just limit the members to those who do most of the posting which in turn may limit the number of threads and interesting topics.

Keep in mind there are stilll a number of Thompson questions being asked on SubGuns and I also notice a number of people who post there are the same ones who post here. So, with the option of having two boards and a $30 fee, it may bring this board to a slow death.

It appears that more and more people are starting to charge money for the sites and if I have to pay for all the ones I visit then I will have to get a second job.

Granted, someone has to pay for this, but I think there could be a better way.
I wonder how the other sites are managing.
I would pay the $30 a year if the subscription included a link to some free porn. ph34r.gif
I am sure there are a few ideas but unfortunately they will in some way require extra work from Nick.
Could we limit the board size by not keeping all the messages, but instead, build a library of the more common questions and technical threads?

More ideas may come but for now this is it.
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#24 Norm


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Posted 29 January 2004 - 01:57 PM

Maybe donations on an "as needed" basis would be the way to go. People would give as needed.

I still think that it is worth $30 a year.

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#25 Nick Iannamico

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Posted 29 January 2004 - 02:12 PM

i just set those prices out there.... it would be more realisticaly a few dollars for per year. If people would rather not pay that is completely understandable.. I would then use the text only style boards again.
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Posted 29 January 2004 - 02:20 PM

I like Bob's idea, and PK had made several valued points as well. I think for new members the first month should be free, and different price catergories for those who want a standard membership, and for those who want it known for their larger contributions, like "Gold Contributer". Just my .02.
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#27 The1930sRust


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Posted 29 January 2004 - 07:13 PM

I'VE GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nick giveth, Nick taketh away. We could be looking at a Buddy style board. Nick, I suggest we do either yearly, or biannual, fund raisers. Just like the incrediably liberal NPR does. What does it cost per year? Divide it into halfs or quarters and have a goal. Every quarter, we do a fund raiser. Could even have different levels. Also, post a link at the very top asking for donations. "If you like the board, please consider a donation". I have been to lots of other boards and freeware sites that do just that. What do you all think?

Also, if you all think the personal attacks should go, I have no problem zapping them. No questions asked. I realize there have been a lot of hot headed posting lately, and I have let it go in favor of open communication. I agree, however, that much pf it has little to do with the topic. I can move that stuff to the non forum, or just indescriminantly kill it.
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#28 Bisley45


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Posted 29 January 2004 - 07:50 PM

I have to say there are people like me that use the boards but if they became costly we would probably spend our income on ammo instead. I say this when it's -2deg and the snow is too deep to let me drive down the lane at the farm to go shooting but if the fee was kept SMALL and the avitars were cut.
I'd like to see the reinstatement of the easy posting as it's easyer to show a pic of something odd than describe it. But I would not be opposed to a fluff fee for anyone who felt like clogging the bandwith with non thompson related pics.

just my .02

here's a thought, keep the board free but sell the avitars Nick, say $10 yearly; just a thought.
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#29 Theopolis


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Posted 29 January 2004 - 11:38 PM

I remember when I first visited this site about a year and a half ago, when I got interested in Thompsons and searched the web for any and all information that I could find. I was amazed at the knowledge that flowed freely on the old board. Many of you put up with my dumb questions, and helped me learn the answers that had previously escaped me. I must have visited a hundred times before I signed up to join. I still don't post often, because I just don't think that I have much to contribute yet.

I haven't ever had much money, and just sold my prized "C" drum to help pay for the $20,000 gunsmithing school that I am in. I can surely tell you that I would have never been able to pay to read these boards, and can't, even now. I hope to be a contributor here one day, as I aspire to be a 07 FFL and Class 2 SOT. Coming here freely and reading what everyone has to say, motivates me to get there. I am not full auto yet, but coming here freely keeps pulling me in that direction.

To make this a pay per view board would shut me and others like me down. Please at least keep the viewing free. I am not trying to play on heartsrings, here, but am just trying to represent the other side of the tracks. Where we dream of having the money to go Class 3.

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#30 Murray


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Posted 29 January 2004 - 11:51 PM

I am not averse to a fee for the site as I feel it might help improve the quality of some of the postings in a funny sort of way.
$30 a year is $60 for me when one consideres the exchange rate. Why dont we try
it at say $15.00 for the first year and see how it goes, after all, some bucks are better than no bucks at all.
Another suggestion would be to ask members if they would like to make a donation annually, and have an acknowledgement along side thier name as "Sponser" or something like that.
(smiles and faces withheld on this post in the interest of cost saving)

Edited by Murray, 29 January 2004 - 11:56 PM.

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#31 Sgt


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Posted 30 January 2004 - 12:08 AM

I don't mind paying a fee, but I would hate that the board could only be seen by paying members. Part of the excitement is hearing from new people. I doubt a passer-by would pay, unless he could sample the wares. I probably wouldn't be here now if that were not the case. It takes a little interaction before you fully get sucked in. Is it possible to allow a free trial membership and if you like it your can then join? I think that would keep us viable for many years.
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#32 Whiskey Brother

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Posted 30 January 2004 - 12:34 AM

I'd be willing to make a small contribution if you give me an address. I'd like to see it remain a "pass the hat" option so that there will be as many people as possible contributing to the board. Putting a fee on it would only make it a small forum of die hards, instead of a wide open forum with many individuals.

I don't have pay pal, credit cards, or checking accounts, but I'd be willing to send you a small money order "contribution"...
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#33 John Jr

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Posted 30 January 2004 - 01:02 AM

There are a lot of solutions out there I guess. This site costs Nick money. We all know that.

We all (or most of the users that voted) would be happy to pay a little bit to help keep the site open. This is obvious when the picture posting problem happened. I am guilty of posting a couple of pictures that I probably should not have. It was in fun, and I didn't think about the bandwith at the time. 75 people have taken this poll to date.

About 3.7 out of 10 said they would be happy to pay to talk about the hobby
About 5 out of 10 said they would pay depending on the cost
About 1.3 out of 10 said they would not pay

Since the majority of the poll takers said they would pay depending upon the cost, I suggest the following:

I think $10 per year would be fair based on the number of users and the cost of the bandwith. This should provide the paying user with an avitar, the ability to post on every forum, the ability to post multiple pictures, and so on.
I think that guests should be able to view the topic threads of each forum and a limitied FAQ, basically covering the facts about legal MG ownership and the semi-autos, thats it, and that only after registering a username and password first. No PK, Merle, Doug R info etc...
These guests should not be able to view the actual threads, just the topic info only.
Add a Thompson For Sale Board for paying users only.

Should we stay free? Probably. I think the board is great. Paying for it may become a have to. I would be happy to pay $10 per year, but more than that and I guess I could do without it. That seems to be the bottom line. I don't think our board will die with paya or get out ultimatum, but it will shrink like your weenie on a -30 day in the artic.

I bet none of this makes any sense, I am ill so forgive me. I am taking a lot of meds.

I guess what I am trying to say is this... If we are going to pay for something that has been free for 3 years, add some value to it. If we cant keep the board the way it is without paying, make the user cost the actual cost of the board expense per member and provide pictures, avitars, members only stuff.

John Jr
(I am sick, so bear with me)

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#34 gijive


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Posted 30 January 2004 - 08:57 AM


I think there has been some good ideas (fund raisers, etc.) here for a solution to the fee question. Just for the record, I am not adverse to paying a fee to keep the board open if that's what it takes.
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#35 Balder


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Posted 30 January 2004 - 09:52 AM


Since I joined this site in November last year I have learned a lot about Thompsons and I have thoroughly enjoyed some of the discussions. I may even have been able to contribute a little.

Although I have no problem contributing to the site, I have to agree with what many have said before; making this a pay-site would probably scare off a great deal of newcomers.

I am fairly active on several message boards, gun-related and others. On those boards I have not encountered the same level of personal drittkasting (Norwegian saying, translates into "shit-throwing") as I have here. I come here to discuss Thompsons primarily, secondarily gun related issues. It should be possible to so without getting personal. Having made my contribution to the hat that was recently passed around, I think I am entitled to encourage the moderators to keep a stricter policy regarding personal insults and worse. Difference in opinions is a great thing - attacking people is a different matter. We do not need that.

Nick, thanks for taking the trouble of keeping this site going!



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#36 Fencer


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Posted 30 January 2004 - 10:01 AM

I too am willing to pay for this site. A membership fee works for me, as does a "fundraiser".

Sitting here thinking about this, I wonder if I would have paid to get into the site at first.
I don't think so. My imput would not have been missed, yet I would not have found PK,
deerslayer, and Tommygunner, contacts which have/will provide me with the necessary things to
make the purchase of the Kahr 27a1 I have now worthwile. Having read the site (everyday
sometimes twice a day, sorry Nick biggrin.gif ) for over a year or better I quickly found that it is worth
money to me.

I guess what I am getting at is, that we will loose some of the diversity/growth of the board
if we goto a straight pay4view setup. By diversity I mean those that know -v- those that don't.
The unknowning are the starters of the majority of the threads, IMHO. Without the questions, there can
be no answers, and no discussion.

What about sponsers? Possibly Kahr, Sarco, Numrich, Northridge, etc.. might be willing to put some cash
for banner displays? Course there is the added cost of the banner.

Also, how about making each page of messages, smaller. When they get to be 10-15 messages, you must
open the page to view the newest. Thereby downloading the pictures attached yet again. Maybe pages
of 5-8 messages would cut down on the repeat downloading of pictures.


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#37 Hawkeye_Joe


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Posted 30 January 2004 - 10:35 AM

I don't mind ponying up some money to post and participate on the board. I have gotten a lot and I mean a lot of good useful info off this board in the past months since I found it and I'd like to keep getting that info for when I finally get that Thompson of my dreams and some help in the getting too. But if you make it a pay only board you will lose the newbies like me and it will turn into an "Ol' Thompson Folks Home" where the old members just rehash and fuss. If I had found this board and I'd had to pay to get to read posts or participate I wouldn't have joined. I think the "Pass the Hat" idea at certain times of the year as possibly the best, with a request at Registration to donate to the site by means of a Paypal Payment.
Just my .02
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#38 Nick Iannamico

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Posted 31 January 2004 - 11:53 AM

Things are still up in the air, if there were a charge it would be about $5 - $6 a year.. hopefully it won't even have to come to that small amount.... working hard, so you don't have to biggrin.gif
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#39 96lt1ss


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Posted 31 January 2004 - 05:06 PM

I made a donation without hesitation, but after over a year on the board I can appreciate the value of the information available. No onlikes pop up ads, but non obnoxious banner ads might help as well as links to various companies. I believe Cheaper Than Dirt and others offer kick backs for purchases made through the links, it's not meant to turn the site into a commercial but if it generates revenue it may be worth considering.

In my opinion zapping the topics that get too far from the subject without warning will reduce the potential for them to continue. It also reduces the bandwith useage that's burned up wastefully on bs.

For what it's worth that's my 2 cents
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#40 RonW


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Posted 01 February 2004 - 11:43 AM

In considering the best coarse of action in this matter, a "FREE" board, I'm sure, would be the first choice by the majority of board members. However, we all know "Nothing Is Free" and the expense of maintaining this board should not be born by Nick alone, since everyone benefits from it. I would, therefore, not be opposed to a member fee. I think this should be a yearly fee and not a monthly fee to keep down the paper work.

Two questions araise with regard to the fee:

1. How much to charge so as not to run anyone off and to attract new members? If you base the fee on the number of "Sponsors", I feel the fee will be too high. If you base the fee on the number of registered "Members", the fee would be low, but then not all of the people registered will pay the fee. I would assume all of the Sponsors would pay the fee and then assume half of the remaining registered members would pay. This could be a base number divided into the yearly cost.

2. How to get potential members to consider joining the board knowing there is a fee? To me this is simple. All potential members would have to register, as we do now, with all log-in information provided. In return, they would have a (3) month grace period before they would have to decide to pay the fee. Of course, the length of the grace period would have to be determined, but long enough to get them "Hooked". The only drawback would be those people who would re-register under another name to avoid the fee. I don't feel this would be a problem and by requiring all log-in information each time, this would be more difficult to do.

So, there are my thoughts. Let's get some decisions made as to how to sustain this great board and move on into the future.

Ron Wiseley

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