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USA LadyInque VIP (subscribed member)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:50 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


OK, clearly, I said something funny, or snark-worthy, or posted a dumb question, or I'm missing something completely. Re-reading the past three posts, I can't decide.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:36 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


I didn't look at it like that at all LadyInque. I just wanted the opportunity to address the reason why the donation meter went back up. Not enough VIP's is one reason, but there are so many others. I just don't want to overstep my bounds and speak out of turn (for once)!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:40 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Lady: I didn't meant to imply any of the things you got out of my post. I simply meant to say "Yes" as in "Yes, all the things you said (VIPs, donations, etc.) are reasons for the donation meters return.

My apologies for my poor communication skills.

jeff
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:17 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Thanks, BQ and j2. It can be so hard to communicate in forums: no facial expressions, tone of voice, etc. But thank you for addressing my concerns. I can be a little paranoid at times.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:09 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


I must say I'm glad that the donation meter is back up, since it replaced that poll question! Wink
And I'm sure it will help at least a little bit, because some people (like me) need reminders to do stuff like donating. Otherwise it's just "Out of sight, out of mind..." Embarassed
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:02 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


I agree completely. I think bringing the donation meter back was a good idea because now people can see the donation meter and it makes the process of donating that much easier. In addition, it provides another method to support SST. Like you said alien_avatar if it is not there then it is kinda "out of sight, out of mind." I
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:44 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Ok folks, I want to address some things, and this forum seems like the most logical place to do it.

First of all, if JERIC decides to make VIP's a seperate color in the chat and that hurts your feelings, that is very sad to me. In what other entertainment part of your life would you ever complain about such things? Do you go to a free concert and complain because you don't like your seats? Probably not. And I'm pretty positive you don't go up to the concert's promotional director and tell him so.

And while I try to be sensitive to the community, it makes me cringe to hear things like this. This is a business. A real life try to make it work and get if off the ground so JERIC can spend his life doing what makes him happy business. We do not, I repeat, do NOT "make" money. We are barely breaking even. I'm not sure if people think we are rich, but we aren't. Our kids go to public school, we drive an 8 year old Honda, and we have bills just like everyone else. That is why different ideas such as VIP are being implemented. Everyone can see what JERIC has made out of his sites by it being a "hobby". Can you imagine if this was his full time job? All the wonderful things that would be added, all the extra features that he would have time to work on and make the station and the site even better?

The donation meter went back up because we had less than 50 people sign up for VIP. In a community with over 16,500 registered users, that almost makes me cry. I say "almost" because I'm a realist and don't expect people to do much.

I also find it strange that while some people don't have $5 per month or $50 per year to become a VIP, that they have a computer and pay for their ISP every month. Along with other things that TwoPop mentioned, like Starbucks or McDonalds.

I also wanted to address the fact that some of you think I'm a newbie. Which slays me! While I haven't been around the past couple of years due to job constraints, I am back now. And I have always been in the background. Almost a silent partner, if you will. I can promise you that I will be silent no more.

I love SST, the station, the community and most of all JERIC. I am here for anyone who needs help or has questions. I will be here as long as SST stays around, which I hope is forever. But I can promise you if we don't break even and start becoming successful in a financial way things are going to change. More advertisements will have to go up, and most likely ads will be coming in the stream. If we can't get the financial support from the community, then we have to go elsewhere. JERIC has always tried his hardest to not have a lot of advertisements on the site and no ads in the stream, but times they are a changin'. So please keep in mind when those changes do take place that it's because we HAVE to, not because we WANT to.

Hopefully this clears up some questions and if it creates new ones, great! Communication is one of the main ingredients for success.

BQ
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Netherlands molossus VIP (subscribed member)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:18 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Hello BQ!

First of all, I want to say that JERIC, You, Admins and Mods are doing fantastic job here. This is probably the best place in internet I've ever found! And it is also thanks to You! I'm not sure if I'm not mistaken, but I find echoes of dissapointment and anxiety in your post. That's why I want to tell you: I feel that SST has good chance to do better and better every day! Smile

I'm not behind the scenes of course, and you know much much more about SST reality for sure, but don't you think that SST is currently in kinda "interim period" and it can create a little worse impression of SST status, than it really is?

We currently are saying goodbye to L365 and starting new period of SST history. Therefore I think we should give SSTers some more time before we judge their acting in new circumstances (under new VIP rules etc.). And I will say it again - I'm rather sure that SST will prosper. Not only because JERIC is great webmaster but also because community here is outstanding.

I've been here for only a little more than a year so I probably don't have enough experience to make general judgments, but it seems for me, that SST has made big step forward in period I'm enjoying here (new admins, a lot of new features, new servers, new streams, increase of playlist, LoudCity thing etc.). Most of it happened thanks to great work of JERIC and SSTCrew of course, but SSTers also took some part in all these changes.

The donation meter always was good idea for me and I'm happy it is back. I think it can help us - SSTers - to remember that SST even if looks and runs better than many professional radiostations - it is just fantastic JERIC's hobby after all. And our support on daily basis is welcomed.

You say that less than 50 people sign up for VIP. And you are right, that one can't expect people to do much, but I believe that we should wait a little more to decide if VIPs number is big or small. And I also believe that it will be bigger in the future (correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect that some group of VIPs still profits from their L365 status - and I hope they will become new system VIPs soon). I also understand that some SSTers are not interested in becoming VIPs at all. In my opinion, as long as this radiostation is practising awesome policy of free music and free access to most of the features - the number of non-VIPs will be highly bigger than number of VIPs.

And to make it clear I want to say that free acces to the stream (without advertising), free access to big playlist and to nearly every feature of this website is (together with its community) the greatest value of SST.

These values and JERIC's great, impressing philosophy of perfectly run radiostation for nearly everybody, are main reasons why I respect JERIC much. And at the same time that is why I believe SST will be here for a long time with unique community.
I don't know if I can put it more simply and straight, but I love making donations for SST, not only because I listen to fantastic music here, but, first of all, because JERIC gives me (and other SSTers I think) sooo much. Being a VIP or non-VIP, being this or that colour, being newbie or oldtimer is not that important, I think.

Maybe I'm a little naive, but I also believe that SST has number of supporters big enough to let JERIC keep this place the best internet radio in the world. Without ads in the stream etc, etc. Smile
I think that sometimes it just takes a little time and communication to get people involved in new ideas. I completely trust SST Crew and I'm sure they can count on SSTers in nearly every undertaking. Let me remind again that a lot has been done in 2005 and 2006 and I have an impression that SSTers have always been quite helpful.

Well... forgive me lenght of this post. Embarassed
I also hope that I didn't misunderstand your point BQ. Just wanted to say few words of support and it turned out to be sooo long.
Maybe too long Wink

Wish you all the best BQ!
Thank you for supporting JERIC and SST!
(and your support really means a lot for me since I suspect that your potential in affecting, influencing SST's fate is really big Wink)
Take care... Thanks again.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:18 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Molossus - Thank you so much for your response to my post. Let me address a few things:

You do detect disappointment and anxiety in my post. I was not trying to hide that at all. I'm trying to get people to realize that it's not all sunshine and roses at SST. I get very frustrated when I see how many people LOVE everything about the station, but don't support it financially. I cannot think of one business that has operated for 5 years without making a profit. If someone can give me an example, I would love to have it so I don't feel so alone. I'm not sure how long an "interim" period is supposed to be...6 months? 1 year? Certainly not 3, 4, or 5 years.

The number of supporters is very small in the scheme of things. If 600 people can listen at a time and of those 600 only 30-50 contribute each month, that's less than 10%. Would a grocery store still remain open if only 10% of their customers paid for their groceries? Would a concert venue still operate if they only old 10% of their tickets to each show?

And I TRULY and DEEPLY appreciate you and all of those who have shown their support by donating to the station, but it is not fair the same people always have to. If HALF the registered users donate $2 per YEAR, this wouldn't even be an issue.

And it makes me unbelievably, jump and down, shout for joy happy when people appreciate what JERIC does. We love hearing how much people love the site, the station and community, but like in any relationship, LOVE cannot be the only factor. There has to be support.

BQ
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:53 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


I was going to just keep quiet, but since I don't come around any more, I figure I've got nothing to lose.

Honestly, I am insulted. To everyone who has used the "well, you can afford $5 at Starbucks each month, but not for SST" argument. Sit on it. I mean that in the nicest way possible. I understand the intent, but it makes me feel like crap when I hear it. That $5 is the lunch my daughter and I have each month. I'm getting tired of that argument, and it doesn't wash with me anyways. It's a stupid argument. It makes it sound like EVERYONE is spending all this money at Starbucks, when none of you know jack about my situation or anyone else's.

I appreciate the fact that this is hobby, and that it doesn't make a lot of money.... Rather that complain about it, offer up some solutions. There's no incentive to get SST VIP. So I get to request more often. Big deal. I should be working, not counting down until my next request. Get it where it hurts. Limit how long people can listen (3 hrs for non-VIPs, endless for VIPs). Limit the streams available (make the 64k & 128k only avail to VIPs) add the ability to have a favorites list... There isn't any incentive other than a warm fuzzy... pffft! We can get that with a simple donation. So 50 people have signed up? And we've been on this new format for how long? 3 weeks? Give it some time.... as people's L365 membership drops off, you might see things pick up. I feel like the pols have just closed, there's 2% precincts reporting and we've declared a winner.... or a loser, what ever way you want to look at it.

I guess it's a good thing I don't really come around anymore. I won't have to worry about feeling guilty over $5.


by j2brown for content, and a few typos.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:03 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


AK-Mal_Owner, thanks so much for your view. And I realize that some people are in your same situation. I do not truly believe that the over 16,500 registered worldwide users are.

And I don't go to starbucks either, and that's not the only example I used. I appreciate that you have a budget and certainly I am not saying skip your one dinner a month with your daughter for SST. That would be very insensitive. I'm not trying to make people feel guilty. What I'm trying to do is raise awareness. And lots of options other than VIP have been given throughout the site. You can check the contribute page for that information. VIP is not the only way to go at all.

And I'm sorry that you feel the VIP isn't a good deal with more requests, a VIP forum and favorite's list, to some people it is.

I'm not really addressing the people who casually listen when they can. I'm addressing the people who come every day, who listen all the time, who request as much as possible and participate in the chat and the forums daily.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:22 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


I don't think that AK_Mal was implying that VIP wasn't a good deal. I think he meant that non-VIP is already a good deal and therefore folks didn't have incentive to step up to VIP.

jeff
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:28 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Maybe there needs to be a subscription fee for simple requesting in the first place. Or to register, because you can listen to the stream without registering. I don't know what impact this would have on the non-profit status of the station, but I think requesting really gets the butts in the seats, so to speak, and maybe that should go away for a while. It could be a tiered structure - $5/year gets you the basic level of requesting, what we now have for free, and $50/year gets you VIP with the attendant perks.

I haven't been listening as much since I finished my PhD. However, this station was my daily companion throughout that time, and I do spend a lot of time on the forums (when I really should be concentrating on the job search). I have also supported the station financially in the past, so I don't feel too guilty. But I feel BQ's frustration. What we have here is a typical tragedy of the commons. Maybe that can be alleviated with a tiered donation structure, like in the middle pages of a local theater's playbill.

Update: I just became a VIP. The process was really smooth; I am impressed. I thought I'd pay my money, be email a special link, have to sign in again, nope! You pays your money and you're there — boom!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:56 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


j2, I think that can be spun any way you want.

AK, I do appreciate your feedback on the value or lack thereof of subscribing to VIP. I agree with you there and along with the 2% vote count. It is still early in the game and we are going to continue to work hard as we have to past 5 1/2 years to find a fair balance between VIP and non-VIP features.

I don't appreciate you telling my wife to sit on it and using family-unfriendly language (thanks for the edit j2). You can say that you mean that in the nicest way possible but to me it's like Simon Cowell saying "I'm not being rude, but..." umm, yes you are! I find it ironic that you can articulate yourself enough to be one of the StationID contest winners but not when replying to this topic.

What I think triggered this was my discussion with BQ about when VIPs were a different color in the chat and that some people may have the impression that we're sitting on a big nest egg ready for retirement. Her intent was to set the record straight and if you feel guilty, then that is your guilt, you have control of that.

I'm not sure why you are not going to be around anymore but if it is something we did then you should let us know. Like BQ said, communication is a primary ingredient to any successful relationship.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:03 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


LadyInque wrote:
Maybe there needs to be a subscription fee for simple requesting in the first place. Or to register, because you can listen to the stream without registering. I don't know what impact this would have on the non-profit status of the station, but I think requesting really gets the butts in the seats, so to speak, and maybe that should go away for a while. It could be a tiered structure - $5/year gets you the basic level of requesting, what we now have for free, and $50/year gets you VIP with the attendant perks.

I haven't been listening as much since I finished my PhD. However, this station was my daily companion throughout that time, and I do spend a lot of time on the forums (when I really should be concentrating on the job search). I have also supported the station financially in the past, so I don't feel too guilty. But I feel BQ's frustration. What we have here is a typical tragedy of the commons. Maybe that can be alleviated with a tiered donation structure, like in the middle pages of a local theater's playbill.

Update: I just became a VIP. The process was really smooth; I am impressed. I thought I'd pay my money, be email a special link, have to sign in again, nope! You pays your money and you're there — boom!


Thank you for becoming VIP LadyInque and for the feedback on the process! We are not a non-profit organization even though we're an organization that doesn't make a profit. Wink Your ideas are insightful but I think keeping requests free, and not as many, entices people to subscribe. As more people do subscribe we will have to keep increasing the wait time for non-VIPs.
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