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Exactly what you are doing, John. You have created and maintain IMO the best and most informative Kamado cooking site on the net. I am on the BGE sponsored Egghead forum and can tell you it does not have the level of interaction and cooking information available here. It is a pleasure to contribute to the continuance and growth of this site both through my subscription and my work as a moderator. I think the way you have approached this is creative and enclusive of all who use the site. Everyone is welcome, Everyone has a choice.  Great Job IMO. 

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Do you have site sponsors? Ask them to donate something and do a raffle, $5 or even $10 donation gets you a ticket. Hold the raffle for a couple of weeks or even a month to generate donations and then raffle it off. Or just lower the amount of the membership, if it was $10 I would have done it already when I joined. Since I'm new here $25 seems like a lot for a forum that I check every so often. 

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If you were me, what would you do to provide incentive to make financial contributions to this forum?

Classfieds: Buy, Sell, Trade sections. $1 USD per an Ad

Vendor Showcase: Vendors could pay $10 a month or $99 USD a year to host vendor showcases. Example: Ribolator could host his cooking blog showcasing all to the great meals, techniques, tutorials. This extremely beneficial to vendors looking for high value back links to improve the their SEO rankings.

KG Retail Store: People can make one click puchase of their favorite Kamado accessories right from KG site. Amazon is very expensive for a lot of BBQ vendors. As long commission % per a transaction is low enough to be fair. KG is a good site for vendors to sell their wares.

Selling KG gear: T-Shirts, Mugs, personalized BBQ accessories for KG supporters.

Audio Chats with paid members to improve the user experience for live chats. It would require CometChat. IPS chat doesn't support audio.

Selling banner ad space. Your rates were too high when you last offered advertising packages. $99 a year for banner ad's is perfectly fair.

Raffles and 50/50 draws.

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I've only been a member here for a few months and honestly didn't even know there was a pay for access format in any way.  Now I do, and I can live with it.  BTW, under 50, married with 2 kids that I like to cook good food for and this forum helps.  I'll be adding it to my expenses in the near future as the community and sharing of passions by itself is worth it.

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If you were me, what would you do to provide incentive to make financial contributions to this forum?

Classfieds: Buy, Sell, Trade sections. $1 USD per an Ad

Vendor Showcase: Vendors could pay $10 a month or $99 USD a year to host vendor showcases. Example: Ribolator could host his cooking blog showcasing all to the great meals, techniques, tutorials. This extremely beneficial to vendors looking for high value back links to improve the their SEO rankings.

KG Retail Store: People can make one click puchase of their favorite Kamado accessories right from KG site. Amazon is very expensive for a lot of BBQ vendors. As long commission % per a transaction is low enough to be fair. KG is a good site for vendors to sell their wares.

Selling KG gear: T-Shirts, Mugs, personalized BBQ accessories for KG supporters.

Audio Chats with paid members to improve the user experience for live chats. It would require CometChat. IPS chat doesn't support audio.

Selling banner ad space. Your rates were too high when you last offered advertising packages. $99 a year for banner ad's is perfectly fair.

Raffles and 50/50 draws.

 

 

 

Vendor Showcase:  I am dropping that idea altogether.  That has created nothing but problems for me.  It would also create a lot of time overhead on my part to go out and solicit vendors to come participate in it.  Not interested.

 

KG Retail Store:  My current software doesn't support that and I'm not sure if the updated version does either.  I'd have to look into that but that also creates a tax nightmare for me that I'd rather not deal with.  

 

KG Gear:  Kamado Guru Tshirts is something I have considered for quite a long time.  It's an expensive outlay for me in the beginning to have a decent sized batch of shirts made and then I'd have to try to sell and ship them for a profit.  This could still happen.  I just haven't decided if I pay for silk screening or if I buy my own iron-on transfer press and make the shirts myself.  Either of these will cost me $600-$800 just to get started.  I do not care much for the one-off digitally printed Tshirts.  I have seen them, bought several samples, and the quality is very poor. I have researched this in depth.  Good idea though so I'll bring it back to my front burner...

 

Audio Chats:  Not gonna happen... I have a chat room here now that costs me extra and it gets used very little.  I'd not spend another dollar to add audio chat.

 

Add Banner Space:  I make more than that with the google adsense program so I just decided to stick with that.  

 

Raffles and 50/50 draws:  I might consider a raffle.  I'm not sure if I would come out ahead or behind if I raffled something like a Joe Jr.  I'd have to sell at least $500 worth of chances at it just to break even. 

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Do you have site sponsors? Ask them to donate something and do a raffle, $5 or even $10 donation gets you a ticket.

Great idea except PayPal will never allow it. We did this on an r/c forum a couple of times and hiding the fact that you are in anyway accepting 'donations' for a chance to win a prize is near impossible and they will shut it right down.

  

......Are some who make the decision to support the forum supposed to do so for the those who don't, with out any real incentive to do so? ......

This is the category that I fell into, started as a yearly donator and then grabbed the lifetime later on. I've never cared that 'I did and others didnt' , I just wanted to contribute and compared the fee for forum support to my subscription to popular mechanics magazine.

On top of that, I see folks here fork over thousands of dollars on grills, hundred on a Thermapen, not to mention more thousands on gimicky junk that will probably get used once or twice and forgotten in a drawer.

I think it's nice to be offered a few extra perks to supporters as a bit of a reward for helping shoulder some of the administrative costs here, other forums seem to do the same ((shrug)). I've paid to BBQ brethren and homebrew forum also but seldom post there.

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I have no problem paying for a subscription... but why not make it a bit more flexible for the masses.

 

For example:

 

I pay $3.99/mo for Pandora One

I pay $7.99/mo for my online computer backup service

I pay $11.99/mo for Netflix

 

Personally, I would much rather have a small monthly expenditure vs one bigger lump sum.

 

How about you offer a monthly plan?  Maybe $2.99/month.  Bet lots would sign up for that!

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If you were me, what would you do to provide incentive to make financial contributions to this forum?

 

John, I respect what you've done here for the past several years.  

 

I/you would/should make your payment address/method public and unlimited so I can send $5/10 every 6/12 months on my schedule, because I believe your service is good, and everything is not free (as in beer).  And I don't mind an occasional donation drive (like 6-9-12 months interval).  I don't want a subscription.  If the few forums I view, went to pay-only, then I'd make a judgement call.   (Hint: I'VE GOT AN AKORN).

 

FYI I like to visit KG occasionally to see if anything is new (that's how I learned about TTT and maybe Amazen for cold smokin' ), and I like this place for Akorn stuff.  But at my current participation level and the occasional news, if Akorn went pay-only then I'd opt out, probably to read Amazon reviews or blindly Google-search.  

 

Looking over the list of forums affected so far:

** Accessories & Product Reviews

** The Cooler (Non cooking related discussions)

** Sales, Bargains, and Giveaways (just that... and buy/sell/trade among members)

** Possibly others in the future

 

I rarely looked at Accessories and Sales, but when I'm looking for equipment (ready to spend money), then if those forums are closed to me then by default that money would go to Amazon, or my local Ames (a distant second).

 

But I don't buy much equipment (Hint: I'VE GOT AN AKORN).

 

I do wish you well, whatever the outcome.

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I have no problem paying for a subscription... but why not make it a bit more flexible for the masses.

 

For example:

 

I pay $3.99/mo for Pandora One

I pay $7.99/mo for my online computer backup service

I pay $11.99/mo for Netflix

 

Personally, I would much rather have a small monthly expenditure vs one bigger lump sum.

 

How about you offer a monthly plan?  Maybe $2.99/month.  Bet lots would sign up for that!

 

I added a 1 month / $5 subscription option.

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I have no problem paying for a subscription... but why not make it a bit more flexible for the masses.

For example:

I pay $3.99/mo for Pandora One

I pay $7.99/mo for my online computer backup service

I pay $11.99/mo for Netflix

Personally, I would much rather have a small monthly expenditure vs one bigger lump sum.

How about you offer a monthly plan? Maybe $2.99/month. Bet lots would sign up for that!

I added a 1 month / $5 subscription option.

can that be set up by a member to automatically hit their card every month for that $5 charge?
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Folks, there are 41 forums on kg. There was 1 that was site supporters only. Leaving 40 for free viewing. Now there are 3 forums that are supporter only. 38 are still public. Its not a huge change.

I hope we can all put this minor change in perspective here. 38/3 ratio vs 40/1 .i would hate to lose kg friends over 2 additional supporter forums.

And i am not trying to get peeps to cough up dough. I was on here a long time before donating. But it did make me feel good when i donated.

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I have no problem paying for a subscription... but why not make it a bit more flexible for the masses.

For example:

I pay $3.99/mo for Pandora One

I pay $7.99/mo for my online computer backup service

I pay $11.99/mo for Netflix

Personally, I would much rather have a small monthly expenditure vs one bigger lump sum.

How about you offer a monthly plan? Maybe $2.99/month. Bet lots would sign up for that!

I added a 1 month / $5 subscription option.

can that be set up by a member to automatically hit their card every month for that $5 charge?

 

 

I think it might be possible.

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I have no problem paying for a subscription... but why not make it a bit more flexible for the masses.

For example:

I pay $3.99/mo for Pandora One

I pay $7.99/mo for my online computer backup service

I pay $11.99/mo for Netflix

Personally, I would much rather have a small monthly expenditure vs one bigger lump sum.

How about you offer a monthly plan? Maybe $2.99/month. Bet lots would sign up for that!

I added a 1 month / $5 subscription option.
can that be set up by a member to automatically hit their card every month for that $5 charge?

I think it might be possible.
Thinking $5/mo is doable for just about anybody. Thanks John!
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Look in the mirror and at other members. The vast majority of you are over 50 years old, male, and single; after the summer is over this place will be a grave yard and bickering will (even more so) take hold. A stagnant message board always fails.

Well, you got one part correct...I'm 51 years old. The rest of it, not so much. I've got 5 kids, the oldest of which begins college soon, a wife I'm celebrating 20 years of marriage with in August, a mortgage, 529 contributions, the associated costs of a seven person family, and one income. Needless to say, we do not have a huge discretionary spending budget!

That said, I paid for a lifetime supporter membership because I felt what I received from this site far exceeded the amount I paid...so much so that I've made subsequent contributions since then. If someone doesn't see the value in a membership, that's fine, they can continue enjoying what is available or search for alternate sources of information.

What I doubt, however, is your premise that the site will become a "graveyard" or "stagnant" after the summer ends because of the new policies. My belief is that this site will maintain its' vibrancy regardless, due to the passion for kamado cooking, sharing of knowledge and fellowship exhibited by the majority of the KG members.

Best of luck on your decision whether to remain a contributing (content, not money) KG member; but if you do decide to stay and contribute (paid membership or not) please use some discretion before making blanket and stereotypical comments about the rest of us.

39, happily married, 2 kids and a mortgage. I have learned a ton here, and I cook year round!

I realized I am on the forum between 5-60 minutes a day. Over a year, how much is that entertainment worth to you?

$25 for 2 hr movie...

 

45, Married 20 years, 5 kids, mortgage, single income, cook year round.  This is the only social media I use, cooking is my hobby (in fact I feel obligated to cook for my family) and Kamado Guru fits the bill.  I have learned more from this place in the past 4 years than the previous 20 cooking on my own and trolling google for ideas.  Easily worth a little cash.  The entertainment and educational value far exceed taking my family out for 1 movie or eating out 3-4 times a month and that's about the same cost of a lifetime membership!

I took my daughter out to eat at Mellow Mushroom for her birthday yesterday.  The bill was $50.46.  5 of us went.  That's for one meal, the average American eats out 4 times a week.  I guess you could say that using Kamado Guru to learn to cook pizza means it pays for itself!!! 

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