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Would you pay a small fee to eliminate ads?


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#1 echeng

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 12:22 AM

Hey guys. I'm trying to get an idea of whether there is interest for ad elimination for a small, monthly fee. The results of this poll will determine whether we institute such a program.

NOTE: Wetpixel will ALWAYS REMAIN FREE. This program would be an optional membership to support the site and to reduce bandwidth on your end. More money coming in means more resources to improve the site!

An example of what you I'm thinking:

1. Elimination of ads: save screen clutter and bandwidth (although proper browsers will cache the ad images anyway).

2. More PM space

3. Early notification for Wetpixel expeditions, some of which tend to fill up before they are announced to the general Wetpixel readership.
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#2 james

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 12:34 AM

Hi Eric,

When I'm offshore on a slow satellite connection, an ad free wetpixel would be a definite plus for me.

Cheers
James
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#3 markhardy

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 01:57 AM

Hi Eric,

James has a very valid point which I suppose carries a lot of weight given that many major contributors to Wetpixel are so often in the field or otherwise only have access to slow internet connections.

I suspect that most members nowadays access the site almost exclusively from a pretty fast broadband connection. Luckily I do (or maybe unluckily since I'd rather be on a dive trip in the boonies than at my desk!), and so my web pages pop up pretty quickly despite the ads which are in any case relatively small and unobtrusive. In fact, I find the links to various manufacturers and retailers pretty useful as I like to research equipment specs and prices.

I've been lurking around these pages pretty regularly since 2004 so, whilst I would be delighted not to have to pay a fee, I would certainly be willing to if that's the way you're gonna go.

One worry is that there may be a lot of interested people out there (newbies and advanced u/w photographers slow to cotton on) who read these pages for some days/weeks before deciding they actually want to register (hell, it took me 2 years to make my first post!). If they are forced to register just to have a browse, they may choose to move on to the next forum never to come back to Wetpixels again. I suppose you could offer a one month free trial membership.

'my two cents worth.

ciao,
Mark
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#4 bartusderidder

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:03 AM

Hello Eric,

At this moment in time I'd have to think about whether I'd be willing to pay a monthly fee.

I understand the faster loading times without ads. On the other hand I don't find the ads in here "disturbing", it's not like on other sites where you're bombarded with ads that have nothing to do with the subject. I find them often useful to see what's on the market.

So, at the moment I'd go for "keep it a free forum"...

Regards,

Bartus

#5 wagsy

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:20 AM

Hey Eric keep it free as you will loose people that's for sure.

Hey its me again.......just thought I would edit this abit as I did not realiize it still will be for free. :)
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#6 james

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:31 AM

Hi Guys,

I bet Eric's sleeping, so I'll jump back in. If you re-read what he posted you'll see that he said he's considering: "ad elimination for a small, monthly fee."

Wetpixel will still remain free to view, but if you want to pay a small fee, you can eliminate the ads.

Cheers
James
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#7 MikeVeitch

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:35 AM

yep, if everyone heads over to Scubaboard you can see what Eric means. There are members there who are RED, this means they pay a small fee to help out and eliminate ads, plus get a few perks etc.

The forum is still open to everyone free of charge. This is just a volunteer thing eric is talking about, not a "pay or you don't get to participate" idea...

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#8 photovan

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:59 AM

thank goodness I waited to vote 'til after the plan was clarified!

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#9 wagsy

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 03:58 AM

O I see..... then that would be okay.

Me, I'm a married man now and Kelly wants a dishwasher so looks like adverts for me for some time :)
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#10 DeanB

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 04:17 AM

Oh no..I wa just thinking about purchasing my next new camcorder, housing, lights, monitor, P.C, editing software, screens etc, etc.. :)

And now we might have to pay :D

I love adverts, now I have broadband its soooo easy, please don't make me miss out on all those beautiful stylish ad's..

Deany loves ad's... :)

Dive safe

Dean(paying more and more)B
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#11 Paul Kay

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 04:51 AM

Wouldn't this be counter productive - have you asked advertisers or potential advertisers what they think?

If everything can be kept free I'd say that this is the way to go, although I can appreciate that running wetpixel has a cost. I'd suggest requesting that anyone buying from a ad on wetpixel is asked to mention that the ad was on wetpixel and see if this boosts advertising revenue - personally speaking I've used wetpixel to find websites from the ads so I find thejm useful.
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#12 Rattus

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 06:09 AM

I'd probably pay the $3 for Items #2 and #3, but the ads are quite useful. The type of ads I don't like are the ones that some BBS systems put between posts. Those suck, but these are just part of the useful community and I'd probably keep them turned on even if Iwere paying for the other perks.

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#13 John Bantin

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 06:13 AM

Our experience from running www.divernet.com is that people expect the internet to be free. It seems that the only thing willingly paid for is porn. I think that you will find that anything less than free will substantially reduce traffic. Divernet has (free) subscribers who willingly give their real names and details in return for a regular divernetxtra newsletter but I believe that is simply an information gathering exercise. Advertising is the only way to go.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#14 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 07:30 AM

I like the way the adds are displayed on wetpixel. They never get in your way but if you need to find one of the vendors then you always know where to look. Having the no-adds option for those with slow connections is however definately worth considering if there is significant demand and existing advertisers don't get upset.

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#15 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 09:24 AM

In common with many here, I don't find the ads obtrusive or offensive. And I do click through on one or two occasionally. I'm not averse to paying a small fee to assist in keeping the site running, but extra PM space is not compelling to me, I don't use PM's on here at all frequently. Thus I voted for the $3/month option (that's about what I pay annually to places like naturephotographers.net for subscription, as just one example).

I'd probably pay that even without the enticements, 2/3 of these being things that I don't really value.
Why would I take a perfectly good camera underwater??
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#16 echeng

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 11:33 AM

Hey guys. I appreciate your thoughts, but this isn't a discussion about whether for-pay sites cause users to flee.

Wetpixel will always remain free, but some folks don't like to see ads or are on slow-bandwidth connections. Offering a paid, ad-less version is what I'm discussing here, and the income we generate from that would offset potential loss in advertising.

It's also a way to support the site. As I mentioned before, there is a considerable amount of maintenance and feature development that goes on behind the scenes. Sometimes, to get those tasks accomplished it takes the services of people who aren't volunteering their time for moderation. For example, I (happily) donate more than a full-time job's worth of time to this site and get very little income in return. Aside from considerable hosting and support costs, every new feature has involved thousands of dollars of actual money and has never covered the time required to get something up and running.
eric cheng
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#17 davidrodkeller

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:35 PM

Advertising is the only way to go.

If Eric was to concurrently run two versions of wetpixel (which is my understanding of his proposal): one with ads and one without, I would opt for the one without and would willingly pay for that choice. I load from a T1 and wetpixel remains one of the slowest websites, if not the slowest, I regularly read. This seems like a viable consideration, one version always free to everyone and the other skinnier/faster version for those who wish to pay a moderate fee B)

I have no gripe with a guy reaping a few bucks for his substantial efforts, would enjoy wetpixel more if I spent less time here and in my view the right ad column really crowds the page anyway.

John, this is me, beating on your "Advertising" with the bottom of my sandal.....wap, wap, wap, and.....wap, wap, wap, wap :)
Thanks,
DRK

#18 markhardy

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 09:00 PM

Wetpixel will always remain free, but some folks don't like to see ads or are on slow-bandwidth connections. Offering a paid, ad-less version is what I'm discussing here


Sorry Eric, I didn't pick up on this initially. As an option, what you are contemplating sounds like a great thing from the members' perspective.

Mark
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#19 John Bantin

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 12:14 AM

John, this is me, beating on your "Advertising" with the bottom of my sandal.....wap, wap, wap, and.....wap, wap, wap, wap :)


I was only offering advice based on ten year's experience of divernet. I was trying to be practical. The last time I saw someone beating on something with the bottom of a sandal was when Iraq was liberated from the tyranny of Sadam. We all know how that has ended up!

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#20 MikeVeitch

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 05:56 AM

John, i specifically remember Seb beating you about the head with a fish carcass to get the sharks in closer...

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