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All,

I am currently in ponder mode and would like some feedback from you guys with this if possible.

As well as a feature packed forum (much much better than the one we have now) the new site has a lot of other cool stuff.

It is the paid up members who have collectively paid for this site in the past and for developments like the one happening now.

What I am thinking is....

Non paid members, are limited to x number of posts before being moved into a 'read only' or 'join' mode.

Why? because, I don't think its fair if the non paid members get to use something that has been paid for by others for free, and we need more paid members in order to continue to evolve it's as simple as that.

It's worth considering that a vast majority of the people who post are already paid members.

FEEDBACK PLEASE, it's twisting my mellon man. lol

SW :D

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Sounds more than fair, it gives a bit of a taster but then an opportunity to become part of it properly. I've always been very happy to pay to support the PMC site and it has been a good resource for pilots, especially beginners, but for what is going to be provided in the new site should be paid for in some way.

I appreciate the dilemma Si, but you're going to be providing something well worth the small subscription, so limiting it in a very small way isn't an issue.

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I'll stick my metaphorical neck out and say that I disagree.

As Simon points out, most posts are by paid members, so there is little to gain financially.

The present 'open to all' nature of the PMC site reflects well on the nature of foot launched flying and I believe it should remain so.

If it means raising the annual subscription by a few quid, I would be happy to pay it to keep the site open to all, just as I would happily help another pilot on the field, whether or not they are a member of my club.

This is the spirit that I found first among motorcyclists and more recently among pilots. There will always be a few who will abuse the generosity of others, but I will not allow those few to degrade that spirit.

My opinion.

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Hi Pete, thanks for the reply.

The PMC is a great place for new pilots who are interested in joining the sport and this won't change.

The forum would remain 'open to all' with a free membership option as always and full visibility to the browsing public :-) , it would just be a restricted membership in terms of number of posts.

Lot's of people join and never post they are 'lurkers' which is fine, they will not be effected at all. New members who are keen to learn about the sport would be given say for example 20 posts or so, before they are prompted to join fully or continue browsing.

My thinking was that if someone uses the site enough that they have posted X number of posts it's worth the membership to them. (57p per week)

I do think although a little gain, this would increase the paid membership numbers over time and that is fairly critical to the PMC's future success and development.

I am 100% set on keeping the PMC fly-ins free to paid members, so maybe putting the price of a free members ticket up to £30 from £20 would help........ It makes it a no brainer then to join and helps the fly-in pot for those that don't.

I am basically thinking out loud here.

SW :D

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I am with Ptwizz...

Keep it free...

Could you spell out the benefits of paying for your forum?

All I know about is a free fly in and being able to post for sale adds.

I would happily join if i knew the fly in's were not always the exact time as most of the comps... :lol:

I know of no other forum you HAVE to pay to post.... Fair enough you now have to be a member to place a for sale add but to post add photos etc Give advice to new pilots... NO WAY!!

I used to be a member a few years ago.. I am too far away to fly at membury and could never make the fly ins.. what about foreign pilots who use this site?? What benefits are there for joining??

I belong to the AAOC Ariel Atom owners club... I happily pay £35 for a yearly membership as I get 10% off of servicing and parts I also get discount from X or Y insurance company for being a member...

Not having a go...

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The member benefits.

3 free fly-ins this year (which cost £20 currently to attend if your not a full member) (likely to be £30 this year.)

Access to the PMC insurance

Uninhibited use of all the features of the new site

Allowed to advertise (both trade and private)

And the very fact that the site exists and continues to get better.

They are all genuine membership benefits and all things that could not happen without the current members, arranging a discount from suppliers is super simple and I will get all over that now you mention it!! :-) :-)

It takes time and money to keep the site here. We are not a charity and if we were I would ask you for donations.

You are someone who would of course be effected by the changes if made, so I am interested to know if only just to support the site being here' what's actually stopping you from paying the 57p a week? You mention the comps, you may notice the PMC sponsored it last year and on past occasions.

SW :D

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Keeping it super simple...

If you can't see the benefits, you don't have to join...

But if you don't see the benefits, why join and post at all?

As suggested above, new members would be allowed to use the forum for help. If they want to stay and enjoy a growing list of club benefits, they can by joining.

I guess this is what's confusing me.

Actual reasons for people NOT joining is what I am after I guess....

SW :D

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why would they join if they live too far away from membury and couldn't attend the fly in's.. what else is there on offer?? have i missed something?

If your going to limit people to only posting X amount before they HAVE to join.. I think you will loose more people than you will attract and you will loose some very knowledgable people,

There are loads of Free Facebook groups

Parafest started out as a Group of guys bitching on Facebook then to a few F*ck work fly in's to the second Parafest, this years is billed to be Huge!!!

Sussex Paramotors sponsored the PMC forum for a couple of years so I am a fan of your site.

Leave it optional thats just my 2p..

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Comparing to Parafest is perfect. :-)

I think you will find you have to pay for a ticket to go to that :-)

I get that your not bitching dude :-) But I think your missing the point of trying to grow a club. It's exactly the same as a business in that respect.

SW :D

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I am swaying towards putting the price of the fly-ins up for non paid members (to match everyone else's fly-in price) and removing the 'paid features' of the new site. :-)

So non paid members will get a very basic forum with minimal functionality which they can use, no advertising or links and pay £30 to come to 1 of our fly-ins.

Paid members will get an awesome forum (the one they are paying for) with all it's features, advertise, create articles and blogs, and access to the rest of the club site and it's array of features and pay nothing to come to all 3 of our fly-ins. :-)

This would then hopefully encourage people to join as full members?

SW :D

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I doubt that any prospective members think in terms of reasons NOT to join.

I use a number of engineering reference websites which offer limited free access, then ask me to subscribe. I have never subscribed to any of them. I am not put off by the (usually small) fee and I fully understand that they need to raise funds to maintain the site. It is simply an inconvenience. When I've used (e.g.) Efunda to run a few calculations and the site prompts me to subscribe, I just go to a different site.

I chose to subscribe to the PMC because Simon's efforts and those of other members gave me reason to want to support the club.

The default position is that people don't subscribe. They need positive reasons to do so. The argument that there is no reason not to won't convince anyone.

Morgy is a good example here, he has the experience, knowledge and contacts to offer useful advice, but sees little to gain by becoming a full member. I would argue that he is a nett asset to the PMC, but unlikely to be persuaded to subscribe by the proposed mechanism.

Again, my opinion. :)

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I don`t see it as a `club`..

I don`t go to the fly-ins, use Membury nor have i taken up the PMC insurance, so thirty quid a year is a bit rich to post/view on a forum a dozen or so times a year - especially as we`re used to the internet providing stuff for `free`.

If i see a forum that i`m interested in and have to pay to view guess what i do - find another one for free!

I would say that if folk are forced to pay up and join your forum activity would dwindle considerably, and PPG hasn`t got the volume of users like car/motorcycle forums have for example so you already have a limited market.

You need volume through the forum so that a proportion (the same proportion as now, probably) of those will sign up to the full membership.

Less traffic = less full members.

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I agree that it would be hard to see it as a club if you are not someone who attends the events but that's actually what it is. We have a club insurance for flying and have club events :-) :-)

Maybe this is highlighting something, I guess in my mind.. I don't want to run a 'forum' I want to run a 'club' where things happen in real life.

I get that this is a tender subject, and urge more people to reply. I need to get a feel for your thoughts.

SW :D

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I've been a paid up member for five years now and happy to continue and I feel at £30 that its great value for money flyin's or not.

I attended two Flyin's last year so what either way you look at it 2 X £20 or 2 X £30 (new proposed price) I've still saved money then you have the PMC insurance, the ability to sell gear (cheaper than paying Ebay fee's etc) some great dedicated PMC only flyin sights (ie not available to puplic). I would agree for oversea's members I can see the slight down side however there has been a number of occasions that foreign pilots have used the site for UK contacts so again money well spent, also I hear rumours of possible flyin's oversea's are being negotiated for PMC members.

So the move to a full blown Club status has to be good all round.

Neilzy

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I've been mainly a lurker here since 2008.

I've never joined but have been to 2 or 3 fly-ins. This year I hope to come to 2 fly-ins, so it will be simple economic prudence to join.

Living as I do in SW London, my biggest need is somewhere to fly.

As a member can you pitch up at Membury and fly?

For £50 per annum my free flying club gives me 8 hill flying sites, monthly meetings (should I wish to attend) and the oppurtunity to have away weekends flying other clubs sites as part of the BCC. (No charge.) There is also a club website & forum.

Paid PMC membership lets you advertise, Skyads is free, Ebay will cost 10%.

I have enjoyed the fly-ins I've attended and thought them value for money.

I'd hate to see this site suffer if people were put off, better a carrot than a stick perhaps.

I think that one of the obstacles you face is that it is a national rather than a regional club. It is nigh on immpossible to fly together on a regular basis at the same field and talk parabolox when your're on the ground building a camaraderie.

Hope this helps a bit.

Mark.

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Thanks for the replies guys!

I have had a lot to think about but have come to the conclusion that there won't be a limited amount of posts pre registration.

I will increase the price of the fly-in's to help :-) I will start with £25 as apposed to £20 for the no paid members. which will go up to £30 for the summer fly-in at Norfolk and then stay at the new price.

I will work on getting membership discounts in place from manufactures and suppliers as suggested by Morgy.

I will reduce the feature set available to free members as is the case now with this forum.

I think this will help and not rub anyone up the wrong way.

SW :D

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Not all forum users are users on balance, some are contributors.

Is it really fair to make these contributors pay?

I would say that it's a very quick way of reducing the # of members, and making it closed forum no one bothers with.

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Here's another thing for you Simon, I've just looked at the website without logging in and I can't see an easy way to join and become a full member.

I signed in and even as an associate, ie 'not full' member I still didn't see a way to easily & quickly join.

Perhaps it's me ( it's Friday and I'm outside of a bottle of wine or two) but if it was staring me in the face I may have done it sooner.

Hic!....

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No mate, it's not the wine you are 110% correct!!!

It's a no brainer! it needs attention for sure.

That's a proper 'muppet move' on my part I recon.

I am now all over that like a rash. :-)

Thanks, and enjoy the wine.

SW :D

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Here is the view from a 'foreign' member.

Being able to lurk and read all the wonderful info on tap is priceless for a newbie, long may it continue.

As I am in France I can't benefit from the UK fly-ins, though I'd love to.

I have contributed to the forum financially in the past as I appreciate the need for a certain amount of income for the PMC to survive.

Should I move to the UK in the future (probable) I would definitely subscribe annually to the PMC.

Being a bit of a techie and happy to share knowledge and advice to prospective and current pilots I see a posting cap as a retrograde step.

Some way of encouraging non paid up members to contribute even a small amount towards the continued existence of the forum is the way to go, but the obvious problem is how?

Safe flying, when we can given this sh1te weather (France too),

Alan

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Leaving aside all the other member benefits....

The more people post, the more useful the forums are. As other people have mentioned I have never paid to join a forum and I doubt most people would bother.

My suggestion would be that people can join the forums for free especially as they may well be based in Spain/USA/Canada where the PMC presence is limited.

Having said all that, I live 10 minutes from the Membury flying field so get very spoilt and great value for my membership.

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I think, keep it 100% free to use, at the same time though promote the fact that for £20 a year you get worth while benefits.

Free flyin's

Free Advertising

Access to insurance

and specify exactly what you get, what you could be saving etc.

Fee flyings which would cost £60 or £90 a year if you attended all of them. Then promote the flyin, so forum members feel they are missing out.

Free advertising on a website site which shows up on google and has x number of visitors a year.

Access to insurance which has x benefits at x cost.

Like what has been said before, people expect forums to be free.

Make the subscription a club subscription not forum subscription where you get club benefits, maybe a special members only event. or instead of paying £20 or £30 for a flyin they automatically join at the flyin. £20 to sign up or £30 to roll up and sign up on the day. now its a saving of £10 not an expense of £20 ;)

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