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View Full Version : Registration Fee - CGTalk revenue problem solved


AIPh Pretzel
04-14-2005, 01:14 PM
Instead of pleading with people to buy books, I suggest a one-time $10 fee for registration. It's something all professionals would be able to afford, and it's enough to keep troublemakers (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=228948)out. I'm not about to write an essay on why it would work better than asking members to buy Ballistic-published books. It is pretty self-explanatory.

StephanD
04-14-2005, 01:40 PM
Great idea,although I don't see why you think someone that can afford a 10$ registration is necessarily not a troublemaker and the other way around?

I understand it may keep people from using duplicate accounts in order to drop it on other but that's about all I see.

AIPh Pretzel
04-14-2005, 02:16 PM
Great idea,although I don't see why you think someone that can afford a 10$ registration is necessarily not a troublemaker and the other way around?

I understand it may keep people from using duplicate accounts in order to drop it on other but that's about all I see.

It's fair to assume it will not eliminate the troublemaker problem, but I think it will have a profound effect on the professionalism of the forum. If registered users break forum rules, they risk banning, and possibly another $10 fee if they want to re-register.

StephanD
04-14-2005, 02:45 PM
Quite true.

SpeccySteve
04-14-2005, 06:07 PM
I think a one-time charge would be reasonable.

The only thing that worries me slightly is the method of getting the ten bucks to cgnetworks - not everyone has a credit card and some of us paranoid types distrust paypal etc.

AIPh Pretzel
04-14-2005, 06:21 PM
I think a one-time charge would be reasonable.

The only thing that worries me slightly is the method of getting the ten bucks to cgnetworks - not everyone has a credit card and some of us paranoid types distrust paypal etc.

I can totally see your concern. There've been stories about fraud jackings of accounts and whatnot. I for one have been a longtime Paypal user and have never had any problems with their service in the 6 years I've used them. I've heard that some Power Sellers on ebay are targets of hack attempt on their accounts though. Otherwise, I think Paypal or another variation of online fund transaction would be the best method for registration payment.

-Vormav-
04-15-2005, 02:35 AM
I'll agree that it could potentially add to the professionalism of the forum. I somehow doubt that people that are pirating their software would be very likely to pay a fee to post on a forum.

But on the other hand, I think there would be far too much risk involved. For a few reasons:
-I would guess that many professionals simply wouldn't bother, because they don't really *need* this place. For that matter, most people won't bother. It's not so much the money, but the hassle. A couple hundred people would probably pay, while everyone else would find another site to post at, professionals included.
-I believe that one of the main things that draws people to this site is the image galleries. The quality of the work viewable there leaves an impression on people. Right now, new work is almost constantly flowing in. And a lot of the work in the finished 3d gallery forum is coming in from new members, less than 15 posts, who just joined up to show their stuff off. Regardless of how reasonable a $10 registration fee may be, not a lot of new people are going to sign up when they have to pay for it. Hell, the registration process is usually enough of a nuissance. So you would be cutting off the flow of new work to these galleries signficantly. And as less work shows up in these galleries, you'll have fewer people wanting to register, and show off here.
-No matter how willing the community sounds when asked about how they'd feel if changes like this were implemented, there's always going to be a backlash. People usually bitch (and some people are ludicrously pashionate in their bitching) when you try to add a few ads to the forums. I can't imagine the kind of reactions you'd get from a registration fee.
-Expectations. People get mad enough over the critiques as is. Can you imagine how they'd be reacting when they PAID to be able to have their work critiqued? You can't tell people that it's just an open public forum, where people take time out of their busy schedules to help others for nothing, and that they should be thankful to be receiving any responses when there's those extra expectations that come with paying a fee.
-Incentives. Honestly, for someone that hasn't been around this place, and doesn't know how they can benefit from it, how are you going to get them to sign up?

But above all, it's being an open, public forum, and all the exposure that comes with that, that has made CGTalk as great as it is. Any registration fee keeps the forum from being as open, and completely takes that aspect of CGTalk away.


Hey, I'd pay it, gladly. But I believe that a registration fee would do this place far more harm than good. Hopefully adding a donation page will be enough to keep this place going as is. Beyond that though, what kind of exposure are the Ballistic Publishing books even getting? They have a few listed resellers - Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Motion Media, BreakPoint Books, Dosch Design, etc. That's hardly any real mainstream exposure. It seems to me that in order for Ballistic Publishing to help keep this place alive (and really, they're pretty much dead without CGTalk, since that's where the majority of their material comes from) while still serving as a profitable venture for the people behind it, they'd need quite a bit more exposure. Imagine how the sales would improve if the books started showing up in Barnes and Noble, or something of the sort. (Nothing against the Ballistic Publishing guys; I'm sure that it's a very complicated process to secure publishing deals with resellers) It's hard to base your sales largely off such a small niche.

scrimski
04-15-2005, 08:23 AM
CGtalk is more worth then ten bucks, so I would pay it.
I'm not sure about it, but I think stuff like books, training DVDs or as on 3dtotal texture CDs and so on need some kind of investment before you can distribute/sell this stuff, not to mention the risk of not selling your products.
Donation or a once-a-year fee is the easiest and fastest way to get this problem solved.

peachstapler
04-15-2005, 12:10 PM
stuff

I don't think you'll have any of those problems if you allow non-members to browse the forums and sample the talent here, and charge a registration fee for members so they can post threads/replies.

Not sure if you've been a part of an online community where they implement this sort of system, but it works.

Erikoinen
04-16-2005, 03:10 PM
Even tho this would help alot the CG community to get funds to keep the place rolling, I'm against this. I think I'm one of the many members in here that has no way of paying this fee for a few or many reasons. Someone might just not afford it even if they'd like to. This would cut all the young members off instantly, and I don't think it's good to leave only the aged family around here.. Sorry to say this, but I'm against this.

Samo
04-16-2005, 05:00 PM
Hi, my 0.02



I would like to share with you my little experience:

One-time fee for registration seems to work if the fee is little. For example:
http://www.airliners.net/

IMO it helps to clean the forums a bit, but on the other hand the web activity would drop a bit.

Donations don't work anywhere, even in the free sotfware communities. Don't have many expectations about donations. This is not a dot org web page.

Selling educational stuff is one of the best options, but there should be more alternatives, like selling extra professional services to those who are willing to pay.

elnady
04-16-2005, 09:43 PM
I do not think it's a good idea

Cgtalk worth more than 10$ but it's not the right way to do it
alot of artist will not be able to pay that not because its too much because they do not have a credit card!

JDex
04-16-2005, 10:16 PM
I posted this in the GD Sticky, but wanted to bring it up for discussion here and clarify it.

<<PROPOSAL>>
CGTalk remains free at a basic level.

What gets removed from the current "free" service level is Avatars, Attachments, permission to view the Studios Hiring forum, and permission to post in the Artists Seeking Employment Forum.

Individuals/Studios could post in the Hiring forum, and view their own post, but not view anything else in it.

Individuals/Studios could read the Seeking Employment forum, but not post/respond in it.

$5 Annual Membership - The first tier of service adds back in the Avatar and ability to have 1 Meg of attachment storage, managed as the user wishes and this includes gallery and misc attachment storage.

$10 Annual Membership - The second tier doubles the attachment space to 2 Meg, returns full permission to the Job boards and provides a reduced advertisement layout.

$20 Annual Membership - The third tier again doubles the attachment space (4 Meg), removes all not-CGProShop/Ballistic adverts and adds the option for a restricted size image in the signature.

$35 Annual Membership - The top tier membership adds another 2 Meg of attachment storage and a TBD high-level perk, such as a Monthly Magazine (online, maybe printed?)... other thoughts for perks at this level would be:

Yearly raffle (ballistic, proshop, sponser donated prizes?)
Occasional CGProShop coupons good for top level members
Exclusive invites to CGNetworks/Ballistic parties at conventions/events
Lot's of stuff possible

I think this model provides the best possible solution.

It provides a continuous income stream and allows everyone to be as much a part of the community as they choose to pay for, without excluding a single voice.

Your thoughts?

furo
04-16-2005, 10:40 PM
i don't agree with you JDex.. it looks like "quid pro quo" and i think,that ability to be a member here is reward.. so i agree about (don't know who suggest it) some donation icon aside from name for example.. hm? not to separate members here about 5$ or 35$ membership.. who wants to donate, he/she will.. and we'll see who is willing to help and who is not:shrug:

Samo
04-16-2005, 11:12 PM
gets removed permission to view the Studios Hiring forum, and permission to post in the Artists Seeking Employment Forum

I don't agree. Free entrance everywhere. In Europe many people wouldn't understand something like that.
Job offers and job/career search are public things by nature.
Otherwise, only the wealthy people could get a job.

who wants to donate, he/she will.. and we'll see who is willing to help and who is not:shrug:

I'm a bit against donations since CGtalk is a dot com.
Donations should be left for non-profit organizations.

erikals
04-17-2005, 07:47 PM
I would pay it, but a problem could be that new people think it's too much hazzle to pay to register, so they would go to other forums.
It would go unoticed for a time, but I'm afraid that later on new tallented artists would avoid CGtalk. I know CGtalk is great, but it's easier for newcomers to go to another forum without having to pay to register.

Maybe.

JDex
04-17-2005, 08:45 PM
I would pay it, but a problem could be that new people think it's too much hazzle to pay to register, so they would go to other forums.
It would go unoticed for a time, but I'm afraid that later on new tallented artists would avoid CGtalk. I know CGtalk is great, but it's easier for newcomers to go to another forum without having to pay to register.

Maybe.

In my proposal they don't have to pay to register... they don't have to pay at all, they just start opening up options by paying an extremely low cost... $0.10 per day for the highest service level.

pushav
04-17-2005, 10:42 PM
All cgtalk has to do is open up donations by paypal and other services. If I would have to pay I would just leave and go on one of the other many art forums or start my own.

westiemad
04-18-2005, 02:37 PM
How about if you could buy peoples artwork through CGtalk, like prints etc, or cgtalk could host demo reels?

How about the old, if we don't get $15000 by the end of the year, the cute puppy gets it?

gardocki
04-18-2005, 04:06 PM
How about if you could buy peoples artwork through CGtalk, like prints etc, or cgtalk could host demo reels?I like this line of thinking much better. The great thing about CGTalk is that it is free--nothing on the entire site (except the store, obviously) costs anything. That's really refreshing, and I think that, despite the fact that many people would pay a small fee, there would end up being a core group of members and basically no one else joining.

The average time people spend on a webpage when browsing the net is something like 5-8 seconds. You put a paid registration (even if it's only for some features) and that time cuts in half. I think way too many people would lose out on the richness of the resources on this site if there were fees, and the industry would suffer as well.

I think the first and best idea to start with would be a donations page or "tip jar" linked to a credit card/paypal account. So many websites (blogs, especially) generate huge amounts of revenue this way. I read an article about the Instapundit blog that talked about how the person running that actually lives entirely off of the revenue generated from tips.

How about the old, if we don't get $15000 by the end of the year, the cute puppy gets it?Wouldn't work on me, I'm a cat person myself. Of course, if Fluffy were about to get the axe...

Ilikesoup
04-19-2005, 08:59 PM
My vote's for a donation button/page, too. :buttrock:

If CGTalk is having a cash flow problem I want to help, but there must be a cheaper way than buying a $50 book that I don't really need right now. Besides, a $10 donation is pure profit, baby!

Membership fees don't sound like a great idea since there's a goodly number of 14-18 year olds, not to mention the grownups, who frequent this site and may not have access to a credit card.

peachstapler
04-20-2005, 01:31 AM
Someone mentioned in another thread that they're 34 years old and have never had a credit card and never plan to get one. I sorta peed myself when I read that, but then again, I suppose it's reasonable to assume a lot of CG artists are still living in their parents' places. With no credit history, that's about the only place you can go.

jscheel
04-20-2005, 05:24 AM
CGTalk has 163,206 members. If each paid $10, that would come out to over $1.6 million. I don't think it costs that much to host this site. Especially not with all these great new things like books, store, and training classes.

-Vormav-
04-20-2005, 08:02 AM
CGTalk has 163,206 members. If each paid $10, that would come out to over $1.6 million. I don't think it costs that much to host this site. Especially not with all these great new things like books, store, and training classes.
If even 10% of those people paid the registration fee, it would be an amazing accomplishment. Many of the members being counted in that amount have never even made a single post, so how likely do you think it is that they'd pay a registration fee?

-w-
04-23-2005, 04:34 PM
How about a donation page that has a indicator showing how much money is needed each month to keep the site going? This way users are given the resposibilty of making ends meet. Awarding badges to donaters would also be a plus.

Another angle of attack could be to make available more advertising slots, like http://www.evermotion.org (http://www.evermotion.org/), or sell something other than books. Maybe even pdf tutorials from different featured artist from different disciplines, pretty much like http://www.computerarts.co.uk/. That should get the revenues up.

westiemad
04-23-2005, 11:16 PM
*Beer Head*

Is it possible to kind of franchise (sp) cgtalk, people put money into it, and host the pages on their server, (or cgtalk own the severs and people lease them), then in return people get money if they get more advertising or sell more artwork etc, kinda like an e-Burger King or something, I know what I mean but can't explain. It might be a crap idea anyway.

AnDy

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