The Future of the Forum....A must read

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Bradley, Sep 24, 2002.

  1. Bradley

    Bradley Guest

    Hi,

    Well there are a lot of changes coming soon to the Laser website, some by me and some by the company that created teamvangaurd.com.

    I will still maintain the site and be in charge of the forums.

    The forum is about to be upgraded to vBulletin 2.8.2 which will have many more features and easier managment.

    I have just talked with James about this, and since the forum is costing the class money, it is going to be for class members only. So if you are not a member of the class yet, I encourage you to go to http://www.laser.org/join.html which has several payment options. The Username and password will be in the Laser Sailor and other places so it will not be to hard to find. I hate to limit the forum, but this is a decision the class has made, so everyone join the class and keep checking out the forum! There is going to be a period of time where the forum will be closed (very brief you probably won't even notice) so that post are not lost when we move to the new forum.

    I hope you are enjoying this feature brought to you by Winsite.com, Laser Class, and myself.

    EDIT: Just so you will know, this has all changed. The forum WILL remail free to all as long as I am in charge of it. If you like what you see here please register, and possibly place a link to our site on your Laser related site.

    Bradley Green
     
  2. Kent

    Kent New Member

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    As a class-paying member, I do not agree with this.

    This website should be a primary tool for bringing new sailors into racing Lasers. Do not underestimate the power of somebody going to google.com and typing in "Laser sailing".

    A sailor casually surfing the net who finds an open site full of information will probably stay awhile to read everything. He may even decide that a Laser is the boat for him, buy one, and join the class. If he finds everything blocked, he'll just move on to the next site.

    Granted there will be free-loaders taking advantage of an open site. However, I think it would mean more dues-paying class members in the long run.

    Kent Leverich
    #167267
     
  3. Bradley

    Bradley Guest

    I agree Kent. and from the look of the stats more people's http referer was google or yahoo than any other source. There where hundreds of google search hits to our site just yesterday. As I said before, it is out of my control, but it is your class so if you don't agree with it say something, but do it in a respectful way, and I didn't tell you to ;) (don't get me in trouble please haha)
     
  4. kwilson

    kwilson New Member

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    There are Pros and Cons.

    As a fairly new member of the laser class, that has not officially joined, I believe that some donation based system may be needed to offset the technical costs. It is very true that a forum like this is a great attractor to potential new members and should be kept available as a recriuting tool however I have been involved in forums that were free and grown to the point where a fee was iniciated only to kill the forum. If a fee is going to be associated it is better to apply it now while it is young instead of later when it will potentially damage the effectiveness of what may have taken a long time to biuld.

    On the other hand I could be completly wrong. :? The forum process could be irreversably damaged in its infancy. As a draw to the class the forum is not mature enough to act as a benefit.....yet. It is a much stronger recriuting tool.

    [b:8969dd7fe7]I will be joining the class today[/b:8969dd7fe7] so I can help support my choosen love....lasering. :)
     
  5. Bradley

    Bradley Guest

    I am upset about this to but after talking with Ryan they are pretty firm about this. I hate to loose one of the first members, but they are unwilling to change their minds.
    Best,
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    just an idea--- is there anyway a part of the forum could be free adn then you'd pay more to get more? like in dr laser-- you can access a certain amount of the articles, but to get the rest you'd have to subscribe. this would prob. call for a restructuring of some of the forum titles, and im not quite sure how, but it seems to have worked for the dr laser site (and yes, i know thats a completely diff kind of site)
    kendall
     
  7. pleon5045

    pleon5045 New Member

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    dunno why it didn't ask me to login on that last post.. just thought that id say who i was :wink:
     
  8. sailorgirl

    sailorgirl New Member

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    I hope that the classifieds section is still free. How else are prospective sailors going to find a boat to buy? :?
     
  9. Bradley

    Bradley Guest

    [quote:f8ad7f2df1="sailorgirl"]I hope that the classifieds section is still free. How else are prospective sailors going to find a boat to buy? :?[/quote:f8ad7f2df1]

    Very good point. haha
     
  10. kwilson

    kwilson New Member

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    I think that we already see room for compromise, unconditionaly. A discussion with Ryan about the true future impact of the forum needs to take place. There are way to many resources out there that are free or close to it to start restricting access and potentialy damaging exposure to what could end up being its, the class, white horse. I think that we have a very good example in drlaser.org in how the forum can be offered. 8)
     
  11. Nora

    Nora New Member

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    Don't like that at all

    OK, so my opinion is a little late, but if I have to join, I won't be coming to the board. Maybe I'll change my mind, but I don't know. I don't race, so at this moment, joining doesn't seem worth it. I really like forums for the information I get from people who share my interest. I'm just getting back into sailing my Laser, and I could use some help. I understand the business decision, but count me out if you decide to hinge this board on joining.
     
  12. Goonie

    Goonie Guest

    Tell the stupid class ppl THIS! It is so easy to set up a forum these days and that any idiot can do it. So if you charge for it no one will come and someone else will set one up. If you do charge I will set one up for the rest of us who literally cant afford to pay for forums. Tell the CLASS PPL that they would be the only ppl on the net to charge FOR A FORUM. Tell them that they could easily pay for this forum by putting some advertisements on the site. Sure it might not be the most plesant to have pop up ads, but you will have more ppl here that way. Make the computer illiterate JERKS!! understand!
     
  13. Bradley

    Bradley Guest

    Please send your comments to James@laser.org or Ryan or someone else. As I have no more pull in this issue than I have already tried.
     
  14. Goonie

    Goonie Guest

  15. sailordave

    sailordave New Member

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    $$$$$

    Well I like the forum, BUT I won't be paying to stay. I only ever informally race w/ a few others that get together and NEVER at a formal regatta.. I just like to keep up on the news/ads/etc. I only belong to one forum on the web that you have to pay to belong and that is only to allow you access to certain areas of that forum; guests can still access 75% of that site! I have to agree w/ the others that if you lock everyone out, someone else will just set up another FREE site and you won't have furthered the interests of LASER... But what do I know.
     
  16. macwas16

    macwas16 New Member

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    ummm...k

    why doesn't one of us startn our owne forum...and it'll be [b:52abcdf03d]FREE!![/b:52abcdf03d]
     
  17. Bradley

    Bradley Guest

    [quote:d3f73b8e8b]
    Delivered-To: fastlaneweb@mail2.powweb.com
    Reply-To: <appel@attglobal.net>
    From: "James Appel" <appel@attglobal.net>
    To: "'Bradley Green'" <Bradley@FastLaneWeb.com>
    Subject: RE: An Idea to pay for the forum instead of members only:
    Date: Sun, 6 Oct 2002 09:49:22 -0400
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.2627
    Importance: Normal


    Getting advertising on the web and forum is something we should look at. I would bundling it with Laser Sailor advertising.

    I think you are correct in leaving the forum open for the time being.

    [/quote:d3f73b8e8b]
     
  18. Bradley

    Bradley Guest

    Thanks everyone!
     
  19. Goonie

    Goonie Guest

    I dont get it. Is it going to stay free? Well if not tell me guys and I will set up a FREE forum ;). Are you guys taking my advice on the ads?
     
  20. Bradley

    Bradley Guest

    Yes we are taking your advice about the ads. It may not be immediate though. However the forum is going to remain free for all. The for now part will most likely go away when he realizes how much traffic the site is getting and how much people will be willing to be on the Laser Class website. NO need to setup another forum, I actually ask you don't as it will take away from this one. In the next 2 weeks we are going to be upgrading the forum to vbulletin forum software which is much more powerful and feature filled. This software is a nice little investment for the class though. Pass the word around, the forum is here to stay!
     

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