What's the deal with the Emporium?

Sully

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So we have to subscribe now to buy/sell stuff? If people can't see the ads without a paid subscription what's the point? -Sully
 
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FMFCB

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It looks like it's about money. Pay $20 a year to look at stuff that is for sale!!!
 
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Sparafucil3

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It looks like it's about money. Pay $20 a year to look at stuff that for sale!!!
Actually, I think anyone can look. Only subscribers can post. Doesn't seem like too bad a deal. -- jim
 

zgrose

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Well, that may (or may not) be the intent but I can't read either message in that sub-forum at the moment for lack of permissions. :D
 

Jeffhew

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Actually, I think anyone can look. Only subscribers can post. Doesn't seem like too bad a deal. -- jim
I'm not so sure about that. This is what I'm seeing when I click on the two threads that are in there...

Screenshot - 9_16_2016 , 2_40_12 PM.jpg

Frankly, while I understand the need to recoup some of the costs, I'm not thrilled with the methodology. I've seen this happen on numerous occasions on other forums where someone was footing the bill and went to a tiered subscription system to start making a buck. What inevitably happens is you end up with a forum where each member's value is measured in dollars, and not by their contribution to the community. At least think about getting rid of the paid subscriber badges. The only thing I've seen come of those is, over time, it creates the forum equivalent of class warfare. If, as has been mentioned, the cost was about $1200 a month to support the site, and figuring about 25,000 registered members of Gamesquad, that works out to about $0.58 per year, per member. So if it's about paying for the site, yeah I'd be happy to contribute even twice my fair share, FRU of course, so say $2 a year for every member. But $50 a year? C'mon. And what happens in another ten years when we do this again and lose another decade plus worth of files? Those paid members will be pretty pissed I think. In a world where everyone expects a subscription fee for something, fifty bucks, even $20 is a lot. I had a neighbor once who tried to sell subscriptions to his wife's blueberry muffins, Honest!! I'm waiting for the day I have to pay a subscription fee for the air I breathe. Honestly, I hope it works out. ASLr's have a home here and the latest outage had a lot of us jonesin' for our daily "fix." But the history portends a rocky future.
Regards,
Jeff
 

Gunner Scott

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Don is nice enough to run this site for all us freeloaders, so it is cool by me if he wants to charge a bit extra to people who want to sell on his site. Better then ebay costs that for sure.

Scott
 

Sparafucil3

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I'm not so sure about that. This is what I'm seeing when I click on the two threads that are in there...
Actually, after reading a post in the what's new section, I am not too sure about my post either. I think you have to be a subscriber to post there.

Frankly, while I understand the need to recoup some of the costs, I'm not thrilled with the methodology. I've seen this happen on numerous occasions on other forums where someone was footing the bill and went to a tiered subscription system to start making a buck. What inevitably happens is you end up with a forum where each member's value is measured in dollars, and not by their contribution to the community. At least think about getting rid of the paid subscriber badges. The only thing I've seen come of those is, over time, it creates the forum equivalent of class warfare. If, as has been mentioned, the cost was about $1200 a month to support the site, and figuring about 25,000 registered members of Gamesquad, that works out to about $0.58 per year, per member. So if it's about paying for the site, yeah I'd be happy to contribute even twice my fair share, FRU of course, so say $2 a year for every member. But $50 a year? C'mon. And what happens in another ten years when we do this again and lose another decade plus worth of files? Those paid members will be pretty pissed I think. In a world where everyone expects a subscription fee for something, fifty bucks, even $20 is a lot. I had a neighbor once who tried to sell subscriptions to his wife's blueberry muffins, Honest!! I'm waiting for the day I have to pay a subscription fee for the air I breathe. Honestly, I hope it works out. ASLr's have a home here and the latest outage had a lot of us jonesin' for our daily "fix." But the history portends a rocky future.
Regards,
Jeff
I don't know what the cost is, you would have to ask Don. I do know there was a "donate" option on the old site. I hit it a time or two to help. As you say, if everyone gave a small amount. Alas, I would bet most don't. If this is what it comes to, Ce' est la vie. -- jim
 

volgaG68

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Don is nice enough to run this site for all us freeloaders, so it is cool by me if he wants to charge a bit extra to people who want to sell on his site. Better then ebay costs that for sure.

Scott
Fully agreed. One is paying for access to ASL diehards (and newcomers) who will in most cases quickly snap up what you are offering for sale. No fees, no third party. Unlike CSW where your ad will be glossed over by many non-ASL players, here on the ASL forum and Emporium sub-forum you will have an instant beeline to the people who most want it.
 

Jeffhew

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Fully agreed. One is paying for access to ASL diehards (and newcomers) who will in most cases quickly snap up what you are offering for sale. No fees, no third party. Unlike CSW where your ad will be glossed over by many non-ASL players, here on the ASL forum and Emporium sub-forum you will have an instant beeline to the people who most want it.
And I don't have an issue with charging people to advertise things they are selling. If you're making money off of it, then sure, you should pay for the advertising, but charging buyers to look at those ads is rather counter productive. And what of the guys who are just posting wanted ads. How many of us have received a gift, from someone we've never before met, because of a posting on the Emporium forum. I know I have. And now I hear that non-paying members may not be able to download files from this site when the download section makes its reappearance. So essentially members post their files freely for others, but gamesquad collects the fee? No thanks. I'll pull my files off the server first. I fear this could turn into a "nickle and dime" operation, and that isn't good for any of us.
Regards,
Jeff
 

Honza

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If it is a case of raising funds to run this forum or not have it at all then I'm all for the management utilising methods to raise money. The point is that we have been taking this forum for granted while Don has been paying hundreds a month just to keep it going. If we want services from this forum then perhaps we ought to pay for them. If we don't pay then someone else will have to pay for us. I'm happy paying $20 a year to use this forum. It is a good deal.
 

volgaG68

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And I don't have an issue with charging people to advertise things they are selling. If you're making money off of it, then sure, you should pay for the advertising, but charging buyers to look at those ads is rather counter productive. And what of the guys who are just posting wanted ads. How many of us have received a gift, from someone we've never before met, because of a posting on the Emporium forum. I know I have. And now I hear that non-paying members may not be able to download files from this site when the download section makes its reappearance. So essentially members post their files freely for others, but gamesquad collects the fee? No thanks. I'll pull my files off the server first. I fear this could turn into a "nickle and dime" operation, and that isn't good for any of us.
Regards,
Jeff
Let me get this right. You think people who want to ask for a specialized gaming item should have free access to the 'belly of the beast' (GS/ASL/Emporium) where it is most likely to be found and where they will more likely than not get the best deal for it, as opposed to eBay? Don has had about 15 years to turn this into a 'nickel and dime' operation and for whatever reason never chose to do so until now. Yeah, sounds to me like he is a money-grubbing capitalist trying to fleece the gaming community. His 15 years of eating the cost of the site primarily by himself was just a well-laid plan to make money off everyone two decades later.

This reply is in good stead, Jeff, no animosity intended whatsoever. I just do not understand your point of view. Don posted today that he had been paying $800/mo. out of his own pocket to keep this site up and running. Would you or anyone else be willing, or able, to absorb that kind of cost for that many years? No matter how much I love the topic, I couldn't personally absorb $100/mo. to keep any sort of site up. As the kids say these days, I've got mad props for Don. I'll be waiting to see if any other disgruntled posters start their own ASL forum/site and eat all the costs themselves. [And yes, I have given away for free many items to ASLers who have posted here looking for something, so I am not a nickle and dimer either.]
 

volgaG68

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I just paid.

GS as a center for ASL players is unparalleled. GS as a database even more so.

I have much less need to buy anything apart from the new stuff now. So Emporium or not is not an issue.

But I paid anyways, this is a terrific service that I have been using for free.

Rgds Jack
I just paid as well, awaiting the upgrade to see what benefits there are. Also saw something on another post about subscribers having a much larger media/data storage capacity and the ability to send attachments with PMs, etc.
 

Jeffhew

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Let me get this right. You think people who want to ask for a specialized gaming item should have free access to the 'belly of the beast' (GS/ASL/Emporium) where it is most likely to be found and where they will more likely than not get the best deal for it, as opposed to eBay? Don has had about 15 years to turn this into a 'nickel and dime' operation and for whatever reason never chose to do so until now. Yeah, sounds to me like he is a money-grubbing capitalist trying to fleece the gaming community. His 15 years of eating the cost of the site primarily by himself was just a well-laid plan to make money off everyone two decades later.

This reply is in good stead, Jeff, no animosity intended whatsoever. I just do not understand your point of view. Don posted today that he had been paying $800/mo. out of his own pocket to keep this site up and running. Would you or anyone else be willing, or able, to absorb that kind of cost for that many years? No matter how much I love the topic, I couldn't personally absorb $100/mo. to keep any sort of site up. As the kids say these days, I've got mad props for Don. I'll be waiting to see if any other disgruntled posters start their own ASL forum/site and eat all the costs themselves. [And yes, I have given away for free many items to ASLers who have posted here looking for something, so I am not a nickle and dimer either.]
No offense taken. :) Let me be clear. Don has done the ASL community a GREAT service!! No question about it. Neither am I disparaging his desire to cover his costs. I'm simply disagreeing with the means toward that end. Were it my decision I would simply opt for a different way of doing it. I've seen other forums that I've been involved with go this route. One, far larger than Gamesquad, with worldwide membership in excess of 300,000. Not once has it resulted in a positive experience. I hope this is the exception. I really do. This is a great community of ASLr's that you cannot find anywhere else. If we learned nothing else over this past couple of weeks, I would think that point is the one that became clear. My experience, however, suggests that this path is a difficult road to navigate without disenfranchising the core. I don't object to Don recovering his costs, not in the least!! I simply object to the method.
All the best,
Jeff
 

Honza

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I don't object to Don recovering his costs, not in the least!! I simply object to the method.
I do see what you mean. But what other methods are there? Maybe Don has no choice.
 

Jeffhew

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Well without getting into a dissertation on the matter, let's just say that I would do it differently. And it's not all about the money as it is the "perception." The first thing I'd do is get rid of those "supporting member" badges. I guarantee that they will lead to a "I paid up and you didn't so your contribution is less valued than mine" mentality. It isn't a question of "if" that will happen, but "when" that will happen. After all, isn't anyone who contributes to the community a "supporting member"? If I upload files and teach people the game and participate in discussions, is my "Support" any less than the guy who pays $50 a year and doesn't contribute anything else substantive to the community? And if the costs are that much of an issue then I'd also seriously explore a registration fee for everyone that registers, rather than a voluntary contribution from those who choose to donate. Why? Well, from a business perspective, what would you rather get; $20 from 500 people, or $2 from 25,000? Understand, these are abstractions as I have no inside knowledge of how GS functions, other than the $800-$1200/mo cost that was posted on another thread. From a sociological standpoint, however, it's easy to see where the system as currently implemented can lead to dysfunction amongst the participants. Even in this thread there are already subtle hints of it brewing.
Look, these are just my observations from my own personal experience over a couple of decades participating, and in one case, administering forums. As with anything in life, half of the people will agree with you and the other half will think you're an idiot. I've made my peace with that. That's something I'm sure Don was aware of when he made his decisions, too. You can't please everyone. That's a fact!! As I said, I just hope it works out, but I'm not holding my breath.
Best Regards,
Jeff
 

Honza

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Jeff, I think you are making a valid point. We will see.
 

Robin Reeve

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I just paid.

GS as a center for ASL players is unparalleled. GS as a database even more so.

I have much less need to buy anything apart from the new stuff now. So Emporium or not is not an issue.

But I paid anyways, this is a terrific service that I have been using for free.

Rgds Jack
Same for me.
If fishing out 20 $ a year isn't a problem, bitching about the access to the Emporium makes no sense.
 

Robin Reeve

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The first thing I'd do is get rid of those "supporting member" badges. I guarantee that they will lead to a "I paid up and you didn't so your contribution is less valued than mine" mentality. It isn't a question of "if" that will happen, but "when" that will happen.
Even though I don't care about those badges (except that mine will remind me if I paid my subscription or not), BGG is having had them for years, and I never saw them used in an argument.
So your prediction could be not as guaranteed as you say
Well, from a business perspective, what would you rather get; $20 from 500 people, or $2 from 25,000?
The fact is that there are a maximum of two hundred really active forum members, including the silent lurkers (as what I see on the ASL forum, which is by far the most visited one - there were the names of connected people at the bottom of the previous forum, and the number of them hardly reached 100 at best - my memory is fuzzy and I may be wrong).
I don't think that we could rely on the 25'000 members to raise money, and even the members who are active here won't all pay a subscription (my experience as a pastor of several churches, by definition regrouping people with a strong commitment, speaks here)

As with anything in life, half of the people will agree with you and the other half will think you're an idiot. I've made my peace with that. That's something I'm sure Don was aware of when he made his decisions, too. You can't please everyone. That's a fact!! As I said, I just hope it works out, but I'm not holding my breath.
You are right.
Even creating a poll meets "you should have worded it otherwise" in a systematic way.
We shall see what works or not. It is not hard science, and I would believe that the result will be somewhere between 0 and 100% efficiency.
 
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