View Poll Results: Should PL be converted to have *some* Paid-Members-Only Sections to fund PL / Admin?

Voters
52. You may not vote on this poll
  • NO! I'd leave PL and never-return if I *had* to pay, even a small-amount of $$ for Info!

    0 0%
  • No! None of this talk! Free Everything!! Just gimme a 'Donate button' and leave me alone

    10 19.23%
  • I don't *like* the idea of Payed-Membership for 'Full-Access', but, I'd do-it to support PL / Admin

    5 9.62%
  • Sure! But, only if there's a 'reasonable minimum', like $1.00 a Mo. / $12. a yr, or less

    11 21.15%
  • Yes! I'd not only gladly pay a 'minimum' to help-fund PL, but I'd pay *more* on a mo / yrly basis!

    18 34.62%
  • I prefer the idea of having Banner Advertisers or an Advertiser'Corral' But..Death to Spamerrorists!

    8 15.38%
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Thread: Topic for Discussion / Micro-Poll...

  1. #1
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    Question Topic for Discussion / Micro-Poll...

    (..Cut/Paste continuum from the 'users online thread...)

    ..so, I'll prolly get slapped with a dead mackerel later for this but...

    MicroPoll
    : How many *registered* users do you think we'd 'lose', if, say, the *ahem* Forum Owner were to 'divide' the Forum into a 'Free' section - where there was 'general info' / chit-chat / the 'Lounge' - and of course, any/all Safety / Regs info - but, then, a 'Paid-Members Only' section, where most of the 'meat and potatoes' was.. and, by 'Paid' I'm talking, like $10.00 / month, something very, very reasonable...

    ..I mean, yes, I know there are a few generous 'Corporate Subscribers', here, and many others (..like, Yours, Truly.. that do stuff like, 'give-back', ie: 10% or more on PL-listed sales, and/or 'random donations' etc...

    ..But, say, we had even only-150 of those '300', as 'Paid-Only Members', @ a paltry $10. a Mo - only $120 bux per-annum....that's $18K a year, and - all due respect - correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think Herr Janitor is seeing that many scooby-snax from this site - - and he *should be*.

    ..If we could get 200, or, even 250 in the 'Paid-Only Members'-section, well, now, that's something, But, even $30K / yr. is a *very modest* amount for the founder of this Amazing Resource to be 'getting back'.. (..since, don't forget, there *are* hard-cost monthly expenses, to keep PL running, not just 'admin-time'...)

    Yeah, 'charging' might squelch many's desire to come-in / join, and, yeah, there are some / Students, etc, for-whom, maybe even $10. a Month might be too-much... Ok, fine - have a 'Student Membership'-level: $5.00 / Mo. - and - come-on - even a Student spends more than $5.00 a month on chewing gum / cigs / pot / booze, soda, etc 'Standard Member'-level: $10.00 / Month; 'Pro / Sho Co. Member': I dunno, $15.00 / mo.? Whatever, but it *should be* more... I'll be first in line, ok?

    ..And - no - those that 'pay more' have absolutely no more 'weight', or, 'rights' in here, than a 'basic member' - someone, even, say, paying $100. a month, could just as easily get Clü x 4'd, as the '1MW / pulse LaZor Pist0l' guy.. if they up and start trying to top the record for @$$hattery...

    Too, I do-subscribe to the 'information should-be free' philosophy, and, Yes - there are those Members, here, that do *not* commercially-gain off of PL, in any-way - they're purely-here for the 'interest' in the science /craft, etc - But, I say: "..So what??" I mean, we're not talking about putting the Admin in a Lamborghini, ok? ....This post is purely about what is *fair* for what we - as the entire PL-community - all currently registered members - are getting from PL, vs giving back to it's Creator - apart-from - what we 'give back', informationally / help-wise, etc...

    Thoughts? Refinements? Counter-points? Those that are behind this, I think we should start a 'petition'. I mean, there are those that are making some pretty-healthy incomes off-PL, either directly, or, 'indirectly', thru networking and such, and while there are some, that - sure - prolly give $100. / mo. - or more -
    I'd still be willing to bet that, overall, the Founder of this site is not seeing anything remotely-close to $18K / yr. let-alone, more.. which, IMHO, He *should be*...

    MicroPoll Topic 2: I also have some specific-ideas for how we could 'smartly-integrate' a few, select, non-conflicting Advertisers, which, I know, is 'fundamentally stinky' to the Founder - and I concur, on most-points - but, what, really, would be the 'harm' in asking mega-bux Co's, like: Edmund Optics, Thorlabs, Newport, McMaster-Carr, one of the 'big catalog electronics-houses', ie: Mouser or equiv. etc.. from being 'Corp Sponsors' at a $G or more, a year? They're not likely to start 'spamming threads' - they're much too 'big' to spend time mucking with spam...

    ..Conversely, imo - as-advertisers: NO Chinese Laser Co's, NO Show-Co's, here within PL, SORRY Pango, et al - no ads for u, either - ..this is to avoid 'conflicts of interest' / spam-wars / info-wrestling, etc - And - what-if, ie: some well-paying advertiser, *fails to deliver* or becomes crooked?? Does that advertiser not get 'called-out' for their failures to the community, because they're paying-in big-bux to PL?? ..You see the 'conundrum', here, with allowing advertising, *at all*, yes?

    ..But, again, I'd submit - a few, select, non-conflicted advertisers: Edmund Optics, Thorlabs, Newport, McMaster-Carr, Digikey / Mouser, etc - that's *it*... Thoughts?

    Discuss...
    ciao
    j


    PS - I wanna *stress* - I intend for this to be a discussion, *not* a 'community-slam' / criticism of anybody, K? - Just, some 'food for thought', in my usual-overpunctuated style...
    ....and armed only with his trusty 21 Zorgawatt KTiOPO4...

  2. #2
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    Default

    Why would you have to subscribe? Can't you make a donation every now and then and get into this "limited area" anyway?
    My situation is this. I'm a student, and I don't have that much money ATM (just bought some hard&software) and I foresee to continue to be broke for at least a few months. $10 a month will be hard as that is $120 a year after all (and that number is in the order of magnitude of my annual laser budget). I don't receive that much pocket money of which half I have to spend on food and the other half on the obligatory parties and stuff. The only money I can really invest in lasers are the surplus money I get from birthdays and Christmas and stuff, and the occasional gig I get (about one each two or three months if I'm lucky of which half aren't even paid). No time to go to work as well: those two or three weeks of real holiday I get I want to blow off steam.
    I'm not saying I'm poor, I just don't have that much money :-) I wouldn't call $10 a month "very, very reasonable" (or $5 for what it matters) for something that has always been free. But I guess I can send the Admin some spare money I have lying around from time to time.

    As for advertisements: I don't really care. I use Firefox.

  3. #3
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    Default

    thought i hit copy before deleting my post... will post later
    leading in trailing technology

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    The Woods, CA, USA
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    Default

    i'd stop going if I had to go to a paid section for content. Cost to run a site like thing is so little its rude to want to make any living from it. google ads should easy cover the cost to host. If those cost of hosting is so bad Id be happy to offer hosting up to 1mb sec free. I even have spare servers sitting around if that was needed. just pay for power use because I am in CA and pay .38 cent a kw.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Cool

    Hey CMB -

    Quote Originally Posted by colouredmirrorball View Post
    Why would you have to subscribe? Can't you make a donation every now and then and get into this "limited area" anyway?
    The whole idea is to 'boost' support for PL / its' Admin, -overall- since a) there have been-times, when it was 'close to the wire' on just paying to keep it all 'lit', and b) Herr Janitor, at times, spends 20, 30 - maybe even more - hrs a week, 'dealing' with PL.. There are people making a -near-living- off PL.. and he's not anywhere near able to do that, currently... that - again, without pointing any fingers or launching any criticisms - to me, just does not 'seem right' / fair, for what we -all- get out of PL...

    ..Heck, even those that are not making any $$, are getting a pretty-darn good 'near industry-wise education' / 'free tech-support', even-if it's not our 'own' ask-for-help thread.. that's worth *something*, imo...

    RE: the $$ 'levels' - Totally understand / hear ya.. So, again - this is a discussion.. Perhaps, then, a '$1.00 / month' level? ...Point-is - if everybody - or nearly-everybody - did that, every-month, the 'community-wide contribution' would be elevated / more-consistent, and our Admin would benefit...and wouldn't we all like that?

    Again - I don't propose that a) we all *slave* / hurt ourselves / families, to try and fit the guy for Armani Pajamas, ok? and b) - just in case someone might think this - this is IN NO WAY, tied to myself / DSLI - If the guy starts raking in $50,000. a month from PL, he *still* won't be charged a dime for 'rent', etc, so... just to put that to death, before it might even remotely-be thought...

    Lastly, this is *NOT* a 'call for donations' / guilt-trip thread or something - just a call for opinions / discussion... Cool?

    thx..
    j
    ....and armed only with his trusty 21 Zorgawatt KTiOPO4...

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Picasso View Post
    ...its rude to want to make any living from it.
    ...As it is rude to project any-such motive onto the Admin, when this is all my suggestion / posting, for the reasons I've outlined, above, dig?

    ciao
    j
    ....and armed only with his trusty 21 Zorgawatt KTiOPO4...

  7. #7
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    ..Heck, even those that are not making any $$, are getting a pretty-darn good 'near industry-wise education' / 'free tech-support', even-if it's not our 'own' ask-for-help thread.. that's worth *something*, imo...
    The problem with that line of thinking is that neither is it Admin giving the tech support, its other members, giving it freely. Admin just provides the platform.
    Starting to insist on money may well drive the users elsewhere. A forum is only as good as it's content, and its content is the users.

    I will say one thing though (although it's been raised before). Add an option for people to make a single donation, and you may find people more willing to do so when they do have the money. As it stands, there is no way I'm signing up for a recurring $10 monthly payment. The last thing many people need is another steady drip from their accounts (imho). I actually feel like I'm prevented from making a donation, because I'm not given the option I would prefer. Perhaps something to address.

    I do pay £10 a year to a car forum, for which I get access to technical documents from a members area (there is no Haynes manual for my car), and I also become eligible for discounts the forum has arranged with tyre suppliers, etc
    Frikkin Lasers
    http://www.frikkinlasers.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

  8. #8
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    I guess $1/month would be a reasonable amount xD
    But PL deserves more than that, right now I'm enjoying my blue self-built laser watching the shows the people on here have made. I can't imagine where I would be without PL. Probably still crying over my dead 40 mW greenie, thinking blue diodes are something from another world. Maybe I even wouldn't be studying physics...
    Considering this I wouldn't mind sending some money to the Janitor (like $5 a month if I found a way to get some more money into my hands).

    Agreed that a lot of people saved a bunch of money with PL (think of all those people who we adviced against buying that cheap crap ebay projector in favor of building a decent one). But is a paid subscription really the solution? Aren't there any other options? Like a 1 % "tax" on the stuff that is being sold on here. Not compulsory, but strongly recommended. If we can get some sellers doing this (and some of them are already doing this), wouldn't that generate more revenue, while not splitting this forum apart?

  9. #9
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    I agree the admin should make some $ for his efforts. The info on this board is immense. I have learned so much from it. However, hierarchy in any form usually creates dissent at some point. I think a community thrives from input of all members weather they can give money or not. Maybe corporate sponsors is the way to go? Maybe banner adds for non-paying members only? Maybe fund raisers?

  10. #10
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    All great points, Gents... this is what I hoped for.. And I didn't setup an actual poll, cuz that's too 'narrow-a bandwidth'...

    @ Norty - great comments - Admin raises the 'same objections'.. '..I just press buttons', he says.. But, the point is - he created this 'house' / maintains it, for all of us... Again - not suggesting we 'buy him a Ferrari', just think if we can all do a little - well, *have-to* I guess is my concept... at-least for *some* sections - (again, Lounge / Safety-info, etc all Free, etc..) - I opin he 'earns' it...

    @ CMB... excellent point - many have 'saved much' by reading reviews / seeing pix, etc - all here in PL...

    @ L2.. good chat-seeds... RE: 'sponsors', Yep, but it is a bit of a 'two-edged sword', even potentially with the 'limited-structure' I proposed.. why I introduced 'topic Poll 2', to pick-apart / discuss / brainstorm...

    Thanks... I gotta jet... carry on!
    j
    ....and armed only with his trusty 21 Zorgawatt KTiOPO4...

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