Re: Latest Site Thoughts....
Posted by: Jack ()
Date: July 15, 2001 07:15AM

Hey Andrew -

Sitting here in a makeshift computer while I get a new one. A few thoughts:

Making mr.com a pay site would be a mistake from several angles. Yes, the money would pour in, allowing you to handle the site full time, which would be a tremendous improvement. However, it's kinda like curing a headache with a bullet. First, you would lose a lot of people....I've seen it happen, whenever a site goes to pay-mode, at least 50% or more will grumpily complain and mumble about getting their musical fix elsewhere. Others simply won't be able to pay because of x reasons (someone has an expensive ecstasy addiction drying up their earnings as it is, someone else is an impoverished student, guys like Don have to fund their destructive habits first - renewed NRA memberships, new Kalashnikovs, explosive bullets for added gore, etc). One could argue these are cheap excuses or not - on the one hand, "Andrew's trying to rip me off, I can't believe he would stoop so low!!", on the other, "Hey, if you can buy 20 CDs a year and an entire arsenal to decimate Canadian wildlife with, why can't you give Andrew a few bucks in exchange for all the hard works he puts in and the immense pleasure you get from mr.com??". Either way, you can't win *sigh*. The argument will rage on and on and people will bitch about it till their wagging tongues fall off. I'd pay, because I'm hooked, but we'd lose a lot of good people and much of the interactivity.

But that's not the main issue for me - the main issue is that it closes the circle, closes off access to the community. It turns the site into a bit of a more exclusive deal, which means that while the old visitors will stay, there's a big stumbling block for new visitors. I think part of the purpose of this site is to introduce the music to many new people, it's always great when you meet someone gushing about how they just discovered this and that, and didn't know (insert band here) was still making records, or how they didn't know any melodic rock beyond Bon Jovi, etc. I know this because it happened to me. I guess almost everyone here has their "awakening" story, only a lucky few have followed the scene all along. So, if a potential AORster comes along and sees the ad for, "Get all your melodic rock needs: MP3s, reviews, interviews, hot news, etc etc for only 29.99 per year, etc" like the porn sites and pay databses do, he/she will get turned off. So it's a way of limiting the amount of people who might be into it if they just had a taste, but it all stays in potential form because the [pay thing turned them off. Because MR.com is a gateway, the opening for buying CDs, going to the few gigs there are like Gods, Z Rock, etc, spreading the word, etc. It leads to other things, so thje money comes out someplace. But still, new people enrich our little community here, new people will buy records, give us good tips & food for thought on the boards, etc etc. They tell a friend and the friend tells someone else and so on....I'm not talking about it helping spearhead some sort of comeback, we know a comeback as such is never going to happen, but some form of melodic rock, be it more modern or whatever, will one day be much more popular. So making it a pay site solves one problem but creates another, by creating conditions for access, it alienates some of the people now here and most of the people who are to come in the future.

Ok, so what about the exclusive e-mail deal? Sounds good, but the details have to be hammered out. Some people will inevitably feel excluded, but this is the way the world works - you pay, you get the bells & whistles. Personally, I would rather save Andrew the trouble of doing an e-mail thing and just send him 10 bucks in the mail with a thank you note and be over with it. If the guy's going to work extra on the site, I'd rather he do it for everyone that just me, telling myself in a self-righteous tone that, "I deserve it because I paid". If people just sent Andrew 10 bucks each at their leisure, maybe he'd have enough for starting out something cool. With an attitude of - just take the money and try to make the site better. Not so much tit-for-tat. But of course, that's very Frank Capra of me, maybe too idealistic. I think it might be worthwhile for Andrew to put up a poll asking how many people would be willing to pay X amount for the e-mail thing to see if it's even worth his time & effort.

The other thing you should bear in mind, Andrew is the relation between money and making demands. When people are paying you, they will start complaining and becoming self-righteous. Hell, they already do this, and it's FREE. If on top of this they're giving you money, Im afraid the attitude of many a regular will be, "Hey! I paid you, so you better update NOW!! I want to see my money working for me, I cant believe youre not giving me more value for my buck!!". Yes, people become this way. You'll have many folks breathing down your neck and may want to save yourself the aggravation of being treated like an employee. Yep, I gave you money, so now your ass is mine, I now officially have a Right to Complain. So watch it with the self-righteous factor.

About the bias thing, in case Andrew launches a PR career as well. People will be divided on this, but see, it has a sort of built-in mechanism that solves the problem. That being - say Andrew is the new PR man for Jim Peterik, right? People who are skeptical will read the review with...erm...skepticism, right? They think Andrew's taking money has affected his judgement, which means they will not entirely believe the review, maybe lowering the given score a few notches in their mind. Fair enough, people have a right to believe or disbelieve. So they have adjusted the review to their perception and everybody's happy. Since they are less inclined to believe what Andrew writes on the 2 or 3 bands he represents, they will go the extra mile to see if it's true or not and quench their skepticism - with sound samples, checking out what other sites say, etc. And so, everyobody's happy. Those who believe Andrew hasn't been compromised will be satisfied with the review, those who don't will adjust their mental gauges accordingly and everybody's happy.

Bottom line: the money's coming in and so, the site will be better.

At least we were consulted on the matter, Andrew couldve just said, "I'm doing this because the money will make the site better, and @!#$ it", and been within his rights to do so.

There must be more ways to make money, we just have to do some thinking.

Cheers,
Jack

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SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
Latest Site Thoughts.... 62 Andrew 07/14/2001 02:59PM
Re: Latest Site Thoughts....44Jack07/15/2001 07:15AM
Read carefully Jack...and anyone else.. 49 Andrew 07/15/2001 12:28PM


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