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View Full Version : Revamp of NYOS Program


scottb
01-20-2004, 05:17 PM
As you know, the NYOS (Name-Your-Own-Subscription) program was designed to provide a way for members to support the site (and our efforts) financially.

The design of the original NYOS program was simple, and had these two key goals:


Subscription via NYOS would not be mandatory in order to participate at WC!. If you did not, or could not subscribe via NYOS, you would still be allowed to participate in the site. Lack of a subscription, in the end, meant zero-loss in functionality for the member.
I understand that not everyone is in a financial position to pay for a WC! subscription. There are also those who simply desire not to pay. I wanted the NYOS program to facilitate these situations as well, and we did this by allowing each member to "name" their subscription amount, rather than have a "set" subscription amount. This allowed those on a budget to subscribe, and also allowed those who could give more to do so.


However, the reality of the NYOS program is that it only works if subscriptions are "renewed", that is, members need to subscribe periodically, rather than once. Sadly, only a handful of people regularly subscribe (either yearly, bi-annually, etc.). The vast majority of people who subscribe, do so once, get the checkmark next to their name, and never renew.

In addition, the NYOS program has, up until now, been administrated manually, and that has begun to be a bit of a burden, especially given all of the other things that need to be done around here daily. I'd rather be spending our time working on new features, fixing issues, and keeping the systems running smoothly, than chasing lost paypal payments and rifling through 400 emails a day to find a NYOS payment that I overlooked. Automation is sorely needed. :)

Running under this old model was fine, for the most part, until the site started to grow out of control. Now, we are serving 5TB (terabytes) of data every month. That's 5,000 GB, or enough information to fill almost 1,600 CD Roms! Our databases serve an average of well over 100 queries per second (that's over 6,000 queries per minute, or over 250 million queries a month!). And its growing with each day. We're adding over 2,000 new members each month, and with each wave of new members, that total bandwidth grows. And thus, so do the complexity of the problems we have to solve each day.

Over the past few years, many large community sites have had to make difficult decisions with regard to offsetting costs. Many have switched to "members-only" models, whereby a paid membership is required for participation. We don't want to do this. We are adamant about keeping access to the site freely available to everyone, and will do everything possible to ensure this continues. However, it is also important to recognize the increasing complexity and costs of operating a site this large.

So, it is due to this, that we are "revamping" the NYOS program. The new program will work as follows:

1) First and foremost, participation in the program is still optional, and will not be required to continue using the site.

2) NYOS Membership will be broken into 3 tiers (Bronze, Silver, and Gold).

3) Each tier will have a set amount that constitutes a one-year subscription, ranging from the artist on a budget (Bronze level) to those that are in a position to, and have a desire to, pay more (Gold level). The subscription prices will be as follows: Bronze=$10/year, Silver=$25/year, Gold=$50/year

4) Subscription payments for each level can be made bi-annually (6 months) or annually (1 year).

5) The current "checkmark box" that NYOS'ers have next to their names will change. There will now be colored versions of the checkmark, representing the bronze, silver, and gold levels of subscription. These checkmarks will also now "disappear" when the subscription runs out.

6) Members will be able to manage their subscription via their MY WC! panel (automation!).

Now, I know some of you will instinctively have issues with this new program. Some of you will say that you don't like the colored checkboxes, because it "labels" you. Yes, you're correct. It does label you. And in reality, so did the old checkbox. It labels you as one who is supporting this site financially. It is meant to label you. However, we also recognize that some folks support the site in other ways, such as writing articles, serving as a moderator or guide, doing product reviews, etc. It would be remiss of any member to hold someone's "lack of a NYOS checkbox" against them - FWIW. If you come across such behavior, please report it to the moderators.

There will also be some of you who won't like the fact that the checkmark "disappears" when the subscription runs out. However, this should be expected. You don't continue getting a magazine when your subscription expires (even though, in reality, here, you would still be able to access and use the site).

Again, lack of a paying membership simply means you won't have a checkbox next to your name, however, you can still use the site as you always have. We are hoping that this "disappearing checkbox" will provide a more practical reminder to people to renew their subscription to WC!.

If you have some sort of issue with this program, consider the alternative. With a flick of a switch, we could implement required/mandatory subscriptions in order to participate in the site, or we could easily make certain functionality only available to paying members. However, again, this isn't something we want to do.

The key thing to keep in mind, is that in order for us to continue operating, adding new features, and to keep upgrading the systems to facilitate growth, we have a need for capital. Things such as the new chat system, CPU upgrades, storage space, etc., are not free. They cost money to purchase, money to install, and money to maintain.

Finally, before we roll this program out, we will be going back over our records (from the beginning) and giving complimentary one-year subscriptions for existing NYOS'ers. We'll be rolling it out over the next few days.

It is my hope that this community embraces this new program in the spirit in which it is intended. We have big plans for WC! in the coming year, and we
hope that this new NYOS program will play a pivotal role in helping to facilitate our continued growth.

Also, on a related note, several of you have subscribed over the past few weeks, and I've fallen behind in updating checkmarks and emailing you. I haven't forgotten you!

Cheers.
Scott

llis
01-19-2005, 06:51 AM
:wave: :wave: :wave:

Hi: Many of you have found one year subscription renewal notices in email this morning. Just bringing this note from Scott back up to the top for those that might need to review what was said a year ago. Bits of his note to us have changed, but the basic idea for all of us to help keep WC! on line still rings true.

The notice you recieved is just to tell you that it's been a year and it's time to renew if you can. I know that Scott appreciated your volunteer subscription to WetCanvas and Kerri will too as the costs to run WetCanvas climb higher each day.

:cat:

llis
01-24-2005, 07:36 PM
For those of you that would like to send in a check instead of using paypal, Kerri provides the following address:

WetCanvas!
Original LLC
P.O. Box 322
Pennington, NJ 08534

Your subscription donation is greatly appreciated! Mark the "for" portion of your check with your WetCanvas ID and the letters NYOS so proper credit can be given.

Thanks much! :wave: