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SPS Accounts Priced Too High?

Discussion in 'Sorcerous Sundries' started by Taluntain, May 14, 2013.

?

How do you feel about the site supporter account pricing?

  1. The prices are fine, no need to change anything

    3 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. The prices are fine, but you should run a reduced pricing special from time to time

    4 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. The prices are slightly too high

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  4. The prices are moderately too high

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  5. The prices are considerably too high

    1 vote(s)
    8.3%
  6. I would never donate no matter what the pricing was

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Vorona

    Vorona Shadow-Whisperer

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    I've thought about this some more. There are other donations that I give throughout the year. This is the main reason my standard level is $10 per year -- when I've finally paid off all my credit card debt (most of it originally from tuition costs, but like losing weight, it seems to take a lot more time to get rid of the debt than it did getting it in the first place), my plan is to donate to someone/something once a month, which ends up as a $120 donation split into various groups. As I make more money, I could see myself increasing that amount.

    Anyway, of the three other organizations I have supported or plan to support this year, here are their incentives and my reaction to them:

    Forward Motion (writing site): They do not have a specialty membership or thank-you gifts, but they make donating really obvious most of the time and have a few times a year where they really focus on reminding people to donate. Their suggested level is $12/year ($1/month). I feel pretty neutral about this and usually go ahead and do $12, since it's already so close to $10.

    NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month: I always donate $25 instead of $10 because I get cool stuff in the mail: stickers/bookmarks/bumper stickers/etc.

    The local public radio station: They have fund drives four times a year. Unfortunately, their thank-you gifts are always limited to $60 and above, which is too much for me, so I usually only donate $10. I will admit that their unwillingness to provide ANY incentive for lower amounts makes me think they are only interested in larger amounts, which makes me feel less willing to give them my small amount, since I think they probably won't really appreciate it anyway. That's probably not true, but it's how I feel.

    As for the thing about the avatar/title: when I said "advertise," I meant "advertise." I know you can find the information if you're looking for it, but if you're not, you probably won't know or think about it. And if you're already not really interested in donating for the sake of donating, you might not visit the Donation page. I know I always read the FAQs, but I didn't remember that information when I went to donate. On the other hand, information about SPS accounts is very visible in a lot of different areas. Adding a single line like "and remember, any donation amount entitles you to an avatar and custom title!" to the SPS advertisements might help quite a bit to lure in people who are interested in those things but who feel that SPS is too expensive at that time. Of course, I don't know that for certain.
     
  2. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    I also don't even turn off the ads. Do you know if many people use the functions bar adding the avatar? Would it save much to get rid of them?

    I'd say a huge % of actual posts would come from people with an avatar, baring in mind this is a free site with no obligation. If you post a lot and feel part of the community there's a good chance you'll donate. I love having a slow paced site with pretty much no trolls.

    Does the amazon link bring in much? I do use it when buying stuff, it makes no difference to click through. Maybe make this more obvious? The site mainly advertises a handful of games, many of which are probably best bought off GOG at this stage. Maybe encourage people to click through before buying anything on Amazon?
     
  3. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    There are so few SPS account holders right now that even if everyone used all the features, it wouldn't really "cost" much. I don't have any way to track how many turn off ads, but probably not more than a half, but we're talking about so few people that this is negligible overall. And some of the more advanced features are going virtually unused. Basically, it doesn't really cost anything to offer all these features to SPS account holders since most of them don't use them anyway.

    But the problem here is - if you don't care about most or all of these features, why would the lower price on them be any sort of incentive to donate?

    As for the affiliate links ala Amazon, people have complained that they're too in-your-face as it is, so I'm not sure how I could make them more obvious without being too intrusive... any suggestions? They do bring in some money, but not much.
     
  4. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    What I'm saying is that most people who donate are happy with the standard features of the website - most specifically the message boards and chat rooms. You don't need the SPS Account to access them. Like I said, up until yesterday, I had let me SPS subscription lapse, but the only tangible feature that changed for me was I had to deal with the ads.

    I don't think the issue is you have to offer more than what you're offering. Those that can will. I think the bigger issue is it's not like we've been adding a ton of new active members recently. Vorona is more the exception than the rule. How many relatively new members do we have on these boards? If there were some means available of drawing more people to the site in the first place, you'd get more ad revenue from simple page views, and presumably that would also translate into a greater number of SPS memberships over time as well.

    I know that's easier said than done. I discovered SP when I was really into BG2. And it seems like it was that series of games that also drew the largest number of people to the site. For whatever reason, subsequent games that have been released in the last decade haven't seen the same number of people join up to SP, especially recent ones. I didn't notice a spike in membership for more recent popular releases such as the Dragon Age titles or Skyrim. While I cannot identify the reason, whatever it was about BG2 that drew people to this site then is not drawing a corresponding number of people for newer RPGs.
    Like I've been saying, it's not the features that cause people to donate - it's the community itself. I don't have suggestions of how to grow the community, but it would seem like that's the key. I don't know how to sell who we are as a community as opposed to what kind of perks we offer.
     
  5. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I think we've had this discussion before. One big reason is that the recent trend for games is to start their own wiki's and game-specific forums, so people tend to go there rather than come to a place like SP that covers a whole wide range of games (and is probably associated more with the BG series than newer games, which only serves to reinforce the idea people have to go to the afore-mentioned sites for newer games.).
     
  6. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    It looks like the only people voting are those who have donated already... for the record, the poll is anonymous, so I'd really appreciate it if those of you who have never donated but are reading this thread would vote in the poll, even if you don't contribute to the discussion.

    One thing that I haven't mentioned is the fact that a large number of people are probably blocking all ads on the site, since the popularity of ad-blocking plugins has skyrocketed over the years. The site generates no income from such members, quite the opposite - all the server resources they use, someone else has to pay for.

    Such users are also less likely to donate by default, since one the main benefits of SPS they're already getting "for free". Maybe a cheaper SPS account that would be a bit more limited and primarily only aimed at removing the ads would be of more interest?
     
  7. Erod Gems: 14/31
    Latest gem: Chrysoberyl


    Veteran

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    $35 seems like a lot to me, maybe $20/year would be more appropriate as the lowest rate. However, personally I would not get a SPS account subscription even if it cost $1/year. The reason being that I will not pay (or donate) for a free service. The way to get SPS account subscribers up is to generate more traffic/visitors to the site and that, I think, would require a lot of work with the site.
     
  8. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    Just to play devil's advocate for a second, I would surmise that the average person's attitude toward ads is that they don't feel they're legitimate, and thus don't feel that being charged to avoid being subjected to them is legitimate either. (I think there's a fairly wide disconnect on the internet between the concept of paying for it - they already pay their provider bill after all - and it sort of existing spontaneously for free - they did nothing to cause it to come about, it was just sort of there, and to surf around on Google and everywhere else 'costs' nothing.) So confront them with an intrusive ad like you see on some pages (I hate video ads personally) and they react poorly and feel they're ill-used, because they didn't want to see the ad and normally everything on the net happens voluntarily. Consequently, to be told that you can skip that treatment by paying a fee smacks of a bit of a scam to the casual user, I would imagine.
     
    Bladezuez and Blades of Vanatar like this.
  9. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Ads are a nuisance to the casual observer. I NEVER use ads on the internet. You just can't be sure of where that click is going to take you. I certainly don't want to pay to not see them though. Seems kind of backwards to me. I use this site for a) game info and b)the occassional casual bantering in the boards with the solid personalities we have here. $35 bucks is a bit much per year.
     
  10. Arctic Daishi Gems: 6/31
    Latest gem: Jasper


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    I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree. I'd definitely consider upgrading if it were cheaper. I'd like to support the site.
     
  11. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I'm not sure what you mean. By definition it's not a free service if you are asked to pay for it... Do you mean a service that you feel should be free to you? If so, why do you (or anyone else with that perception) feel the service should be free?
     
  12. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    To me, it's more a question of whether I want to support a site that I enjoy in order to ensure that I can continue to enjoy it, rather than expecting others to pay so that I can piggyback on their support. And that's a function of (i) how much I use the site, and (ii) what I can afford.

    For the former, if you're only visiting a site a few times a month, I can certainly understand not wanting to pay anything; in my case, I've averaged over 12 posts per week since I joined, and visited a lot more than that, and while that's dropped off somewhat over the last few years, it's still high enough that I value it. As for what I can afford, I recognize that's different for everyone, but for me, $35/year won't break the bank. And after all, I can donate less - it just won't count towards an SPS account.
     
  13. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Sure it will... SPS accounts start at $15 currently, but that only lasts 3 months whereas $20 is 6 months already.
     
  14. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I am mostly just too lazy to donate. That is seriously all it is. I don't care about an SPS title, not having to see adds or any other perks. I hang around here mostly out of habit and I have tried to support the site when I haven't had to go out of my way to do so. I just think the same way I think many other people think, it is the internet. Things on the internet are free and if it isn't free I can find the same thing elsewhere. That is really the harsh truth.

    If I would donate it would be to keep the site running for mostly nostalgic reasons and to show my appreciation to you Tal for all the work you have put into it over the years not for any perks or benefit while using the site. I can already do everything I want to do without paying. I browse the forums a post once or twice a day, generally I would not be willing to pay a cent for that and the fact that I am even considering it is an expression of my nostalgic attachment to the place and my personal appreciation.

    Did not vote cause no option felt suitable.
     
  15. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    My bad. I meant $35/year to maintain an account; $20 only gets 6 months, and then you'd have to pay another $20 for another 6 months, which works out to $40/year. But yeah, I could hve been more specific.

    Wow. I know you've talked before about how lazy you are, but I didn't realize it was this bad. I mean seriously, you click on a a couple of links for Paypal, enter a credit card number, and you're done. It's no more difficult than buying something online.

    I'm amazed you can muster up the energy to drag your butt out of bed and over to the computer so that you can post on here about how lazy you are. :)
     
  16. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I have to get my credit card, it is in my wallet, which is in my trousers, which are several metres away. Not to mention I only use pay pal to do stuff here so I have to re-activate my pay pal account every time with all the fuss that entails. :p
     
  17. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    So there's the real reason, Tal - you make it too hard to donate. Is there some way you could automate the process of getting our credit cards in our hands? I'd pay extra for that. ;)
     
    Vorona likes this.
  18. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    You don't actually need a Paypal account to use Paypal - you can just do it as a one-time transaction. That's all I do - I've never had a Paypal account.

    So there. :p
     
  19. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    There are a few caveats with that... the account of the site you're donating to needs to support it (like SP - not all sites do) and you have to pay using a supported credit or debit card. However, you can still use PayPal if you have neither - you just have to link your bank and PayPal accounts (provided this is supported in your country).
     
  20. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I don't know whether or not the prices are too high. I donate because I like SP and I can. I use the 'no advertisements' thing because it's convenient but it really didn't bother me before I became a member (and the anti-popup stuff of IE works pretty well now).
     
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