moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion


Hi Mark,

Truth be told, I'm not a fan of that Jan-2021 group membership cap plan, that's why I didn't participate in that topic then, I'm more in the additional pricing tiers vs features camp (as far as generating income out of groups themselves).  Similarly as far as this idea is concerned, I'm also not a fan of it, even if it does have merit and I can see it work in some ecosystems/scenarios, I'm not convinced is one of them.  There's quite the complexity (cost) involved; here's another complicating scenario not already mentioned as of me writing this: When someone gets unsubscribed due to spam, if they are a free-slot member, the code must maintain that slot available, for a while at least, because we wouldn't want that member to click on the resubscribe link only to be told, "sorry, you now have to pay".  But then, how long do we keep that slot reserved??  Glenn alluded to it, complexity introduces costs in both the short and long runs, and we know complex business rules, even if properly understood, designed, and implemented, still always make for complex code to write and especially maintain.  I'm not crazy about these per-user group pricing schemes because they invariably become a complex rules migraine.

I prefer simpler/less complex approaches if at all possible, and maybe I should start a new topic, but IMO, since you want to also tap the income-generating potential of the GIO membership itself due to their large number, maybe trying to do that using the groups as the "middleman" may not be the best way, I don't know; I get this image in my mind of a large lot of firefighters trying to enter through a single door to fight the fire inside, and none of them uses their axe to break down that second padlocked door nearby and allow twice the firefighters to enter simultaneously.  In the same vein, there is only some much that can be squeezed out of groups as it is without resorting to complex schemes, if the Jan-2021 plan (or this) doesn't work as hoped-for, what then?  Why keep using the group "entrance" exclusively as a way to generate income when you could start another account-based pricing-tier vs feature concurrent "entrance" and offer it to the members directly?

You may want to explore pursuing your account-based pay-for-bonus-features idea but offer it directly to the members and leave groups out of it; you still are getting to your end goal of generating income from the membership count itself, no extra work for group owners, try-before-you-buy would be very easy to implement on such a system and overall, implementing a account-based single or tiered pricing structure that gives extra value/user experience in exchange for a yearly account-based [$/donation/sponsorship/"VIP"/Enhanced membership/subscription/callitwhatever] in the form of goodies like you mentioned, should be simpler to design and implement than the aforementioned per-user group schemes I'd think.

If that extra value/experience you have in mind is stuff that people really would love to be able to do/use in their everyday interaction, and/or it's something (user-experience related) that has been requested a lot in the past but hasn't been implement, this could be a good opportunity to roll these into a user account-based "account+" feature upgrade pricing tier structure.  Some research on beta may reveal some suggested user-experience features that if implemented could be offered to the users using this feature; a quick example, and I may catch flak for this, but the translation/foreign language display/similar requests for example may fall under this plan and are offered to users for a yearly $.  Or similar user-experience/convenience/value enhancing abilities to the ones you mention.

Maybe start at $2.50, then have $5, $7.5 and $10 tiers and arrange & offer features accordingly.  I suspect that if the value of the features is such that they create a very enhanced user experience in every day use/interaction, some percentage of people would gladly pay even $10 a year for the convenience and features, and because the membership is pretty-large, even if only a small percentage of users opt for this, it could still generate some respectable numbers; a simple example, ~ 1,300,000 users, if only 1% of them get just the cheapest $2.50 yearly feature upgrade, that comes to 32,500$ yearly; I have no clue whatsoever of your costs and 32K is most likely a tiny amount in the bucket, but change that 1% to 5% and it now becomes 162K yearly income, a respectable contribution from just this plan, hopefully it can be a larger % and income in actual use.


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