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News: This BB is intended for the sole purpose of sharing conversion and bus related information among visitors to our web site. These rules must be followed in order for us to continue this free exchange of info. No bad mouthing of any business or individual is permitted. Absolutely no items for sale are to be posted, except in the Spare Tire board. Interested in placing a classified or web ad, please contact our advertising dept. at 714-903-1784 or e-mail to: info@busconversions.com.

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Poll
Question: How much would you be willing to pay to subscribe to this forum?
Nothing - 29 (67.4%)
$1.00/month - 1 (2.3%)
$2.00/month - 3 (7%)
$3.00/month - 4 (9.3%)
$5.00/month - 6 (14%)
$10.00/month - 0 (0%)
$15.00/month - 0 (0%)
More - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 38

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Author Topic: Subscription to Board  (Read 4242 times)
Len Silva
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« on: August 12, 2008, 05:55:18 AM »

Since MAK has announced that the magazine is for sale, I fear for the future of this forum.  It is, in my opinion, the best on the web by a considerable margin.

So, I wonder if, in the event it is not maintained by the magazine, could it be made self sustaining by subscription.  I have no idea what it costs to provide this service and perhaps pay a small stipend to the moderators.

We now have more than 1800 members, I would guess that 60% or more are serious busnuts and appreciate the value of this group.

The technical expertise, friendship and fellowship, arguments and debates, self policing and excellent moderators, make it a very special place.

I, for one, would be more than willing to pay to support it.

Len
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 06:34:00 AM by Len Silva » Logged


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JackConrad
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2008, 06:32:13 AM »

    Might be better to add a choice of $2 or $3 per month. This would be inline with the cost of a subscription to Bus Conversions Magazine.  Jack
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Len Silva
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2008, 06:46:14 AM »

    Might be better to add a choice of $2 or $3 per month. This would be inline with the cost of a subscription to Bus Conversions Magazine.  Jack
Jack,

Can you do that for me?  I can't find where it will let me modify the poll.  I guess I didn't think it through before I posted (never done that before  Cheesy).

I guess I was just trying to find out if folks would be willing to support the board if the current support goes away.

Not having any idea what it costs for the servers, software, maintenance etc. plus paying someone to manage it, I don't know what numbers are realistic.

Anyone else, please chime in with suggestions and sentiments.

BTW, this board is far more valuable to me than the magazine.
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2008, 07:10:20 AM »

I added a $2 and $3 choice. I cleared all votes, so everyone now has a chance to choose from all the options.  Jack
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H3Jim
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2008, 07:21:40 AM »

While I might be interested in supporting it, I dont think its a good idea to bring this up here.  Anyone in the ownership position will see this and jump right on it.   I don't want to pay if it can be free.  We are  long way from any actions being taken, lets just see how it goes.

In the long run, the diehards would support, but it would probably stop new memebers, especially casual ones (that later turn into full nuts) from enjoying this.  I  suspect that fees would stop its growth, also a key to its ownership.  Greater number of readers (hits) equals greater revenue from the ads you see here.  So paying for it might acually be a bad idea.....
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 07:23:38 AM by H3Jim » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2008, 07:31:06 AM »

Jim is right. Google is free because the ads support it. Not saying this board could rival Google but the principle applies. The potential for ad revenue with more members should outpace the potential for subscription fees.

TOM
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luvrbus
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2008, 07:41:01 AM »

I don't know how much a server cost but it couldn't be much to many boards that don't have any action on them around I was told that the software for this board any one can download it for free.I am not in favor of paying anything like Jim said this is the wrong time to bring this up starts wheel turning.And as for the magazine leaving there will be someone that will start a new one like the Myers
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 07:55:33 AM by luvrbus » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2008, 07:57:16 AM »

I don't think there is any harm in asking the question as Len did, it's not something that any potential owner wouldn't have thought of.  Especially if a publishing house bought it.  And it actually opens the discussion so that any such potential owner would be informed of the issues that scenario would face. 

But I agree with the others on it not being a viable long term approach.  I personally would pay a small monthly subscription fee if the quality and diverse membership held up.  But I believe a lot of people would object and the majority of the community would migrate to other boards and something great would be lost. Then even those who had been willing to pay would leave.

Non offensive advertising can support a forum like this.

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H3Jim
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2008, 08:04:47 AM »

While asking questions is generally harmless and it good to get answers, in this case I believe that asking that question take us down a path we don't want to go.    I believe asking questions can many times lead people in different directions.

More importantly, if the answer to that question is yes, we'd all be happy to spend $5 a month, now that is information that the new or old owners could not have surmised.  And will not take us in a direction that any of us wants.
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2008, 08:09:18 AM »

They guys like Phil,Nick,Richard, Dallas,Jack and the members made this board if someone didn't put a idea out to Mike we would still have the rag tag board of old
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2008, 08:10:02 AM »

I think the key is that the point has been made and will no doubt be echoed by others, that while some might be willing to pay a small amount, the majority of the community would migrate elsewhere and the forum would die out.  Then the paying ones would leave because it was no longer worth it.  All this would likely happen in the first few months.  Investment lost.
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« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2008, 08:15:20 AM »

Yes, there shouldn't be any need to charge for the forum - the software is free and can be operated easily by amateurs (I run a Simple Machines forum myself). Whilst ad-supported server space can also be had for nothing, more to the point is the fact that there must be dozens of people on the board who have spare server space from their business websites etc.

I think if you tried to make people pay to use the board it would immediately die - sure, some people would be happy to pay, but not enough to maintain the quality and diversity of the board - and other free boards would very quickly step in and take over anyway.

Jeremy
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2008, 08:34:10 AM »

Yes, there shouldn't be any need to charge for the forum - the software is free and can be operated easily by amateurs (I run a Simple Machines forum myself). Whilst ad-supported server space can also be had for nothing, more to the point is the fact that there must be dozens of people on the board who have spare server space from their business websites etc.

Ad supported free hosting is definitely not workable, 500 sites on a single sever and page loads that take forever.  A MySQL based forum of this activity takes a pretty fair amount of server resources.  More resources than $10/mos. shared hosting plans provide.  This forum spent time on a Virtual Dedicated server (the next step up) and even that was overloaded periodically.  Managing a website in shared hosting is something many individuals can do themselves.  Administrating a dedicated server (or even a virtual dedicated) takes more specialized skills or has to be hired out. (A lot of people think there isn't a big difference and try anyway.  That is why there are so many compromised servers out there dishing out spam, viruses and warez.)

What I mean by ad supported is the way it is now.  Banners and google adsense ads. And potentially other non intrusive ad revenue streams.  As I said before, this business model does work on a sufficiently active forum.
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2008, 08:37:49 AM »

I voted nothing.  In its present form this forum is probably worth $20-30 annually to me.  I pay that for access to a very few other forums.  The reason this forum is worth that to me though is because of the activity here and I think that would quickly dry up if there was a membership fee.  In other words, I didn't think most people would pay that much for access and the results once I voted confirmed what I suspected. 
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2008, 09:48:01 AM »

I'd be more in favor of donations - sort of like PBS - the more you donate, the more perks you get (like free classifieds?)

I think that charging a fee or subscription will have a huge detrimental effect on the board.

I do hope the magazine stays around in printed form . . . . All too easy to lose info otherwise.
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« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2008, 04:19:16 PM »

In my humble opinion I really don't think it should cost anything to any of us.

I still stand by my original thought that all of this talk of Mike selling out and now the demise ofThe Board, is not a sound business decision.

Although I value the use of this board and have received much help, if this board dies there will another one to take its place.

This board was built by all of us and maintained by the moderators. It should stay that way.  Wink

I'll probably get flamed, just how I feel.

FWIW,

Paul
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2008, 05:27:52 PM »

Quote
if this board dies there will another one to take its place.

That is exactly why a subscription would cause failure. The classifieds are a good example. Everyone posts on the other site that is free or will use Craigslist. Craigslist, by the way, is killing the local newspaperís classifieds.

Quote
This board was built by all of us and maintained by the moderators.

I agree; itís a labor of love and that is why it works.
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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2008, 05:37:03 PM »

it's not the software or the hardware that is expensive.  i've got a server to run it easily.  problem is bandwidth.  a good hosting site that is protected from hackers, spammers and provides reasonable performance, as this board does. costs more than a few pennies a month.
this is a helpful board with good performance, no spam, solid moderators (brownie points here) and a good group.

i'd be willing to pay, but i think some of them are correct in that if there was a fee, it would soon become a yahoo group. 

(i've been to yahoo groups.  they suck.  i'm willing to pay to avoid spammers and bots.)
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Tom
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« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2008, 08:45:30 PM »

oh dear....

happy coaching!
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2008, 05:21:56 AM »

I'll probably get flamed, just how I feel.
Paul

Paul,
   No reason to be flamed, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Reading all the post gives me more insight and someone else's opinion may point out something I never thought about.  Jack
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2008, 09:43:24 AM »

  I'll Pay If you guy's come over and fix my engine,(tee hee hee)I'll ty any thing once.
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2008, 07:07:26 PM »

Ahem,

Dreamscape... FLAME!   Grin

I can't see this bbs, as the motherlode of all bulletin boards for bus nuts, ever coming to an end. Matter of fact, if it's about to, please, someone, let me know - we simply can't let it happen... for an encyclopedia of reasons why. If the mag sells (and I think I'd rather hear that from MAK, thank you) this bbs and all its members and moderators will be welcome to use my 16 gig of available space and 24 gig of bandwidth per month, expandable to infinitum... uh, for free. And please, don't anyone make this about me. I could care less about traffic and revenue and anything else you can come up with. This has only to do with what's right. I vote for a free board.

MAK Bulletin Board forever! Everybody chant with me...

|@n


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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2008, 07:17:42 PM »

Hi Ian and folks,

This bbs is Not going anywhere.. Don't worry. If Mike sells, this bbs is nothing without the members that run it!

Mike has very little influnce when it comes to the bbs. He mainly stays on the side lines, and that is what let us members build the base

to grow to what it has. The bus conversion community is on hard times "fuel prices" but, we are all here and not going anywhere soon..

Ian, thanks for the warm bed if it shall ever come to that!

Free is the only way to go... Roll Eyes

Nick-
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« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2008, 07:19:17 PM »

Ahem,

Dreamscape... FLAME!   Grin

I can't see this bbs, as the motherlode of all bulletin boards for bus nuts, ever coming to an end. Matter of fact, if it's about to, please, someone, let me know - we simply can't let it happen... for an encyclopedia of reasons why. If the mag sells (and I think I'd rather hear that from MAK, thank you) this bbs and all its members and moderators will be welcome to use my 16 gig of available space and 24 gig of bandwidth per month, expandable to infinitum... uh, for free. And please, don't anyone make this about me. I could care less about traffic and revenue and anything else you can come up with. This has only to do with what's right. I vote for a free board.

MAK Bulletin Board forever! Everybody chant with me...

|@n

There ya have it folks! If that ain't tell'n it like it is, I don't know what IT is! Thank you I@n for putting it so eloquently! Trust me folks if there was ever a stand up guy, it would be I@n!!!!

I too vote for a free board, not that the board isn't very valuable to us. It's just once ya put a price on it, it seems to lessen the "need" or "value" of it to me! Of course this is my & only my opinion. Which is worth about a gallon of diesel if ya add $5 to it!  Grin  BK  Grin

Hi Ian and folks,

This bbs is Not going anywhere.. Don't worry. If Mike sells, this bbs is nothing without the members that run it!

Mike has very little influnce when it comes to the bbs. He mainly stays on the side lines, and that is what let us members build the base

to grow to what it has. The bus conversion community is on hard times "fuel prices" but, we are all here and not going anywhere soon..

Ian, thanks for the warm bed if it shall ever come to that!

Free is the only way to go... Roll Eyes

Nick-

Nick posted while I was try'n too. Again there ya have it folks from the 2 men who DO have a say so when it comes to busnut boards! Thanks Ian & Nick! And MAK too! Opps lets not forget Phil, Jack, Richard, Dallas, Mike & whoever else who work very hard behind the scenes to help us keep the best tool a busnut could ever have! Grin  BK  Grin
« Last Edit: August 13, 2008, 07:24:30 PM by Busted Knuckle » Logged

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Dreamscape
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« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2008, 07:29:56 PM »

Ahem,

Dreamscape... FLAME!   Grin

I can't see this bbs, as the motherlode of all bulletin boards for bus nuts, ever coming to an end. Matter of fact, if it's about to, please, someone, let me know - we simply can't let it happen... for an encyclopedia of reasons why. If the mag sells (and I think I'd rather hear that from MAK, thank you) this bbs and all its members and moderators will be welcome to use my 16 gig of available space and 24 gig of bandwidth per month, expandable to infinitum... uh, for free. And please, don't anyone make this about me. I could care less about traffic and revenue and anything else you can come up with. This has only to do with what's right. I vote for a free board.

MAK Bulletin Board forever! Everybody chant with me...

|@n




I guess that about says it all!

I@n, you are one heck of a guy!

Paul
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« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2008, 07:32:47 PM »

Ahem,

Dreamscape... FLAME!   Grin

I can't see this bbs, as the motherlode of all bulletin boards for bus nuts, ever coming to an end. Matter of fact, if it's about to, please, someone, let me know - we simply can't let it happen... for an encyclopedia of reasons why. If the mag sells (and I think I'd rather hear that from MAK, thank you) this bbs and all its members and moderators will be welcome to use my 16 gig of available space and 24 gig of bandwidth per month, expandable to infinitum... uh, for free. And please, don't anyone make this about me. I could care less about traffic and revenue and anything else you can come up with. This has only to do with what's right. I vote for a free board.
MAK Bulletin Board forever! Everybody chant with me...

|@n

Thanks I@N. As usual I agree with you 100%.

Richard
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« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2008, 09:53:38 PM »

I cannot adequately express my admiration for I@n and what he does out of sincere love for this hobby. I have been secretly wondering where the bbs might go if it was no longer supported by MAK. I feel better thanks to I@N and Nick. Now I can start to wonder about my fairly new three year subscription to the magazine.

Thank you all,

Laryn
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Len Silva
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« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2008, 05:30:48 AM »

My original post was mostly out of fear that this board might go away.  You guys and especially I@N have most certainly put that fear to rest.  Cheesy (Couldn't find a smiley for "Ahhh, I can relax now")
« Last Edit: August 14, 2008, 09:47:41 AM by Len Silva » Logged


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« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2008, 06:41:39 AM »

Some of us like to talk too much to let this board go away.   Shocked   Grin   Roll Eyes

Busnuts may be tightwads when it comes to $$$, but we seem to share our time freely to help each other out.

When times get tough, busnuts aren't left standing alone. (We may be broke, but we still have friends we can count on.)  Cool


This is the best hobby I've ever had!  Grin  Grin  Grin  Grin  Grin
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luvrbus
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« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2008, 06:50:40 AM »

Len, the thing that bothers me is my renewal for the magazine is due in Nov and I have the online and hard copy I know Mike said he was going to keep  publishing till a buyer was found but I don't think I will take chance on a 3 year subscription again
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