Author Topic: Supporting the Forum  (Read 1711 times)

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Offline Furo

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Supporting the Forum
« on: October 01, 2007, 02:26:39 PM »
While off work today with a strained back I decided to poke around in one of my favorite forums. Being curious as to the number of members (5402 at this time) compared to supporting members (less than 100), seems like quite an imbalance for  a site that provides so much of an opportunity to share information, ideas, and occasionally humor. I admit that for a long time I skulked in the shadows and only rarely added my opinion, then my dear wife pointed out that someone has to pay to keep this site going and since I enjoy it so much the least I could do is help with a donation. So for the cost of a large pizza and a couple of pitchers I added my self to the few. I know Steve has stated in the past that he wants to keep it as free and open as possible and I applaud this and the efforts all who work with him to keep this forum such a great place. 
Just like a good oven is built brick by brick with just enough mortar to hold it all together, so too is this forum, we are the bricks and what we contribute is the mortar, either by donation, information, or both.
Just something to ponder while we enjoy our pizza.
Woody.
Being crazy isn't a necessity but it sure is FUN!


Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Supporting the Forum
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007, 03:01:43 PM »
Woody,
I completely agree.  When I have a job again, I am going to donate to this wonderful site!  Wish I could do it right now, but that's impossible because the great State of Washington is working very hard to make sure that I remain insolvent!  Long story short, I was injured on the job while working as an Asst Store Manager at Bartell drug stores (our local equivalent of Walgreens, where I was previously employed).  Labor and Industries, who says I'm injured severely enough that I can never return to my old job, cut off my disability payments, saying that I can be a cashier in a parking lot... in downtown Seattle... 38 miles from my house, with some of the nation's crappiest traffic to deal with!!  Holding a college degree and LOTS of management experience, I refuse to take this job!  So, I applied for unemployment, which was DENIED because when I moved from Walgreens to Bartells, I had the AUDACITY to take a week's paid vacation!  Obviously, I'm protesting that decision... but it all takes time and the State moves at a snail's pace!

So, in my spare time (!) I'm studying MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint so that I can apply for office management jobs (a light-to-sedentary job allowable by the State).... AND I'm spending a lot of time on this site, trying to perfect my pizza and sourdough skills, as you are well aware!

Sorry for venting, but I actually feel guilty for not donating!  But I certainly will when I have extra $$ not earmarked for mortgage and groceries!

~sd
Never trust a skinny cook!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Supporting the Forum
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2007, 03:05:05 PM »
Woody,

Actually the number of Supporting Members you quoted is a bit deceiving. There are many on the list who have not visited the forum in a long time (and, hence, aren't likely to make additional donations), there are many on the list who have made only a single donation over the course of a few years (as opposed to annually), and there are some "grandfathered" members on the list. So, the donations are less than the numbers indicate.

Everything that members and guests see on this forum is the result of people working for free--because they love pizza making and are willing to freely share what they know with others of like mind. And, unlike the PMQ Think Tank, the Pizza Today Bulletin Boards, and the Chowhound forum, all of which cover the subject of pizza, there are no corporate deep pockets to subsidize the forum's operations or to influence the content of the forum.

Peter

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Supporting the Forum
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 03:30:55 PM »
OK, you got me.  I have been meaning to do this for a while.  Think of it this way 2 pizzas delivered: 25 bucks.  2 homemade pizzas made with info and feedback from pizzamaking.com: priceless!  I just now put in a subscription via PayPal.
Patrick

Offline Furo

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Re: Supporting the Forum
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 04:26:22 PM »
Peter,
The only information was from looking at the list of members. True that a lot of them may have registered in the past and drifted away, some visit only occasionally. There does seem to be a large number of regulars who's contribute vastly to the core knowledge. Thankfully we have folks such as yourself and Steve  who work to keep the inner-workings of the forum running smoothly. I see it as a small debt to us to help to subsidize the efforts. I have seen what corporate sponsorship and advertising can do to ruin the free exchange of ideas. A very good thing has been created here, I hope it stays.
By the way are we notified when a year has passed on our support?
Woody.
Being crazy isn't a necessity but it sure is FUN!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Supporting the Forum
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2007, 06:41:01 PM »
Woody,

There is a fairly strong correlation between Supporting Members and those members who post the most. In other words, it is rare to see a member who has not posted, or posted only a few times, to become a Supporting Member. I think Supporting Members are supporting members because they like the camaraderie of the forum and the information available to them, and they want to be sure that the bills of the forum are paid for. Chowhound almost shut down because of money problems, but was bailed out by CNET, which is now the parent. My sense is that there are a lot of people who think that all information on the internet should be for free. Google and its counterparts in the search arena have made that possible to a large extent, but they have been able to monetize the process by connecting advertisers with the results of searches. My understanding is that the advertising revenues on this forum are quite small. Google is for profit. To the best of my knowledge, the forum is a nonprofit entity.

I will check to see whether any notices are given by the system that a "subscription" has expired. I believe one can tell by going to the profile of the member. 

Peter

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Supporting the Forum
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2007, 01:04:04 AM »
It would be nice to have an area on this site where one could shop for pizza related goods. This could be a separate area so it would be a choice to shop or just browse the great information here.

A lot of other sites use the same technique, build an informational site and also have an on-line store. The site would make money off the purchases and there would be no need for supporting contributions. There would be no advertising and all the merchandise could be drop shipped so there would be no hands on effort required by the site management. Essentially the site would be paid for referring buyers to actual web stores. That can be as high as 10% on purchases.

There is a lot of low effort money to be made here. 8)

If you build it, they will come.....Villa Roma
« Last Edit: October 02, 2007, 01:24:28 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline Jack

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Re: Supporting the Forum
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2007, 02:36:43 PM »
By the way are we notified when a year has passed on our support?
Woody.

I suspect the desgnator under our name would change. . ..

Jack

Offline Barry

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Re: Supporting the Forum
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2007, 09:04:04 AM »
OK, you got me too.

I have been meaning to "show some gratitude" to this awesome forum for some time, and this thread was the perfect prompt. The $ 25 donation is a fraction of the value I have received from this forum  - not to mention enjoyment for me and all those who have eaten my much improved pizzas.

Thank you to all the contributors.

Kind regards.

Barry in Cape Town, South Africa