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  #1  
Old 03-08-2013, 03:05 PM
John John is offline
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GreekChat Advertising & Optional Paid Subscriptions...

It's been a long while since I've posted in the forums. Lately I've been thinking a lot about GC & the site's future. There are so many possibilities and so much potential with GC. For the most part I've operated GC on a shoestring budget, which hasn't made things easier. Mostly my fault, because I tend to not want to see so many ads on the web... so I keep the advertising very light on GC (even had zero ads for the first 5 years or so of running the site). Result is less revenue & that means less gets done.

Almost hard to believe that this coming July will be the 15 year anniversary of when I typed in "greekchat.com" to register the domain name then launched the first version of the website. GC is long past the point in time when I was first amazed at how the site has grown into such a large & vibrant online community. Things have stagnated a bit development wise, though, which is disappointing. It's just how things turned out. I envision so many possibilities for GC, have so many ideas, but things need to be working in certain ways for any of that to ever happen.

Maybe this is the year that things start happening again on GC in a big way. Or, as the saying goes, this is the year we take it to the next level.

GC should have avatars, significantly increased message storage, threaded PMs, photo albums, video albums, mobile apps, a mobile version of the site, forums for each college & university that have Greeks on campus, forums for each chapter that wants one, other services for chapters, a member & alumni directory (for those who want to be listed), improved hosting infrastructure and other ideas that I do not want to mention publicly.

But none of it happens unless I'm able to turn GC's shoestring budget into a reasonable budget.

So I have a few ideas in mind:

- More advertising on GC

- Optional paid subscriptions with the ability to turn off the ads for an ad-free experience on GC. Pricing I think would be $5/month, $29/year or $99/5 years, which works out to $2.42/month for the 1 year and $1.65/month for the 5 year. (Not sure who might be interested in what, so probably best to have a few options.) (Should there be a lifetime paid subscription level?) Subscriber accounts would have some extra features not available to free membership accounts and maybe also first access to general site new features.

- Business paid subscriptions. Not sure on price. This would include a variety of site features which are useful to businesses that provide products or services to Greeks.

Please let me know what you think about all this by posting your comments here. You can also send me a private message or use the website contact form.
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Everyone who chips in towards this GreekChat fundraiser will have a GC premium membership added to their account (or extended, for those who already have GC premium memberships). [discuss]

  #2  
Old 03-08-2013, 03:27 PM
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Kevin Kevin is offline
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If you gave us the opportunity to financially support the site for a reasonable price, lots of us wouldn't hesitate. Perhaps more customization for users in terms of avatars, signatures, etc. (so long as at least supermods have the ability to step in where needed because there would undoubtedly be some abuse).

PayPal has some pretty decent tools for that. Another site I frequent has been able to do some of those things pretty effectively.

Thanks for doing what you do.
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2013, 03:32 PM
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MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
If you gave us the opportunity to financially support the site for a reasonable price, lots of us wouldn't hesitate. . . .

Thanks for doing what you do.
Ditto!
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  #4  
Old 03-08-2013, 03:42 PM
AZTheta AZTheta is offline
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  #5  
Old 03-08-2013, 03:47 PM
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thetalady thetalady is offline
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I would opt for "pay to play" rather than adding more advertising to the site. The fees you describe are very reasonable to me.
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  #6  
Old 03-08-2013, 03:49 PM
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SWTXBelle SWTXBelle is offline
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I'm number four! I'm number four!
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2013, 04:06 PM
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Kevin Kevin is offline
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I disagree on pay to play. One of the things which makes this site relevant is the ability of PNMs to get information or be directed in the right direction. I wouldn't want to lose that.
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  #8  
Old 03-08-2013, 04:14 PM
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thetalady thetalady is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Optional paid subscriptions with the ability to turn off the ads for an ad-free experience on GC. Pricing I think would be $5/month, $29/year or $99/5 years, which works out to $2.42/month for the 1 year and $1.65/month for the 5 year. (Not sure who might be interested in what, so probably best to have a few options.) (Should there be a lifetime paid subscription level?) Subscriber accounts would have some extra features not available to free membership accounts and maybe also first access to general site new features.
This is the option that I was supporting. I do agree that it is important to retain some level of free access to GC for PNMs.
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  #9  
Old 03-08-2013, 04:26 PM
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AZ-AlphaXi AZ-AlphaXi is offline
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Agree to allowing the best of both worlds. I'd be glad to pay to play because I know the value of the site both to myself and to helping others. But I also know that those who are researching membership in what ever form or group would need a free access option especially considering the shortage of funds many college students have.

I'd pay for a 5 year subscription and/or a lifetime subscription.
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  #10  
Old 03-08-2013, 05:37 PM
John John is offline
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Originally Posted by AZ-AlphaXi View Post
But I also know that those who are researching membership in what ever form or group would need a free access option especially considering the shortage of funds many college students have.
There will always be a free access option. I don't plan on ever changing that.

The paid subscriptions will simply be an option for anyone who wants to help support GC along with additional account features & the ability to turn off most or all of the advertising.
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  #11  
Old 03-08-2013, 05:50 PM
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AnchorAlumna AnchorAlumna is offline
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I'm with Kevin. I'd rather put up with some more ads that see a payment required. Lots of college students especially would not participate if there's a subscription payment required.
I'd hate to lose them to reddit.
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  #12  
Old 03-08-2013, 06:01 PM
John John is offline
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Originally Posted by AnchorAlumna View Post
I'm with Kevin. I'd rather put up with some more ads that see a payment required. Lots of college students especially would not participate if there's a subscription payment required.
I'd hate to lose them to reddit.
Payment would not be required.

It would be optional. GC would continue to have free access available just as it is now.

Essentially, nothing would change. Everything available now would pretty much continue to be available for free. Paid subscribers would simply receive bonus account functionality.
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  #13  
Old 03-08-2013, 06:41 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Would there be the possibility of capturing spammers before they release their hounds(start spamming)? Several of us can pick out new members that we know are spammers, but until we can get rid of them before they start posting, they are going to continue to reek havoc. Many of the spammer names have distinct configurations.

BTW, I think that your prices are very reasonable and would definitely be willing to buy a subscription.
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Last edited by FSUZeta; 03-08-2013 at 06:47 PM.
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  #14  
Old 03-08-2013, 06:58 PM
John John is offline
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Originally Posted by FSUZeta View Post
Would there be the possibility of capturing spammers before they release their hounds(start spamming)?
Upgrading the anti-bot-forum-spammer setup is near the top of my to do list for GC. I have a solution which I believe will make a very big difference.
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  #15  
Old 03-08-2013, 07:01 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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That is super. Thank you, John!
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