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Old 06-04-2001, 05:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

Tits and Ass!!! If you show it, they will come. They will come of all ages and from all places. They will bring money, more money then you can ever imagine. Just show it, splash it, or flash it. I'll even think about paying if it happens. Sports Illustrated does it, why not MO? Didn't a famous actor once say about it that, "It's what's for dinner." Oh, I'm sorry, that was relating to another topic. Besides, what else exists in this world that is as equally captivating as motorcycling?......Sex!!!
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Old 06-04-2001, 05:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

I applaud the folks @ MO for trying to find a business model that works for them and their readers. The advertising revenue model (as used in radio and television) has not worked online because there are fundamental differences in the media. Even the subscription based model (as used in magazines) has proven difficult because nearly everyone has underestimated the money and effort required to maintain a site such as this. This is not just the servers and the software and the bandwidth (which themselves are probably $500+/month), but the staff required to maintain all of it, and the staff required to write and maintain the code that allows us to interact like this, the staff required to ride and write the reviews, and the staff required to solicit new readers and new advertisers (because they don't just come a knockin').

I'm not sure if the donation model (like public radio and public television) works either but it is worth a shot. Alternately, the New York Times charges small fees for archived articles yet offers the daily stuff free. I don't know if they are profitable though. Or perhaps the micropayment model (perhaps utilizing some Paypal type technology)?

If I knew the answer I'd bottle it. But I don't, yet. In the meantime, keep the shiny side up, and I hope that your readership has the patience to stick with you until this dotcom mess is sorted out.
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Old 06-04-2001, 06:07 PM   #13
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Default The 90 percent model doesn't apply...

...because MO is not the Wall Street Journal. WSJ only has one real competitor, Investors Business Daily. MO has several competitors for basic motorcycle information (although MO is usually more enjoyable). More importantly, WSJ is often paid for on a company expense account, probably over half. I can't imagine expensing MO at my current job, and that's true of many readers.

Five percent is probably a better number. Could you survive with five percent of your current visitors?

Did you ever read "Burn Rate"? How's it look?
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Old 06-04-2001, 07:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

Right at the top of the article is the following quote:

"Paul Anderson became a big fan of Yahoo's free Internet phone calls not long after moving to Memphis, but he has learned to live without the service since the portal began charging for it."

I will do the same. You guys are terrific for FREE. I will live without you for any more than that.

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Old 06-04-2001, 07:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

For those of you who own a business or have a substantial financial/emotional/personal stake in one will understand that we, as a private corporate entity, have absolutely no obligation to reply to this request in a public forum. However, I can say this. Our monthly expenditure (not including logistical and support expenses) runs well over the $1,155 figure you quoted. We are a regular business, with an office, staff, taxes, payroll, electric/water/gas bills, air conditioning maintenance, insurance/registration costs for corporate vehicles and the rest. Can you run a site on $385 a month? Heck yes. In fact, you can run a site for free! But you get what you pay for. With all the infrastructure thats currently in place at MO, it makes it really easy for us to expand (which we need to do so very desperately). If we don't expand, we stand to loose are only true asset, the reader. It sounds corny, but all you business owners know exactly what I'm talking about. Granted, I don't own MO, but I've invested alot of my time into seeing things take off. I remember coming to work here before all the php, MySQL, fault-tolerant junkie-stuffie was in vogue.

As for your analogy that the "gauntlet has been laid down..." I disagree with that. I believe that the only gauntlet there is, exists in the office. You have told us what you wanted. So far, reading the reader feedback and emails, it seems alot of people have ideas on how to improve MO. Some have been tried, some have not. Some have worked, others have not. However, you must believe me when I say that whenever any ideas come through the door (or in this case, the inbox) they are all discussed, argued about, and eventually some sort of action is taken.

Soon we will be courting more freelancers to write for us as staff writers. We will also be looking to be hiring one or two "gophers." This won't happen overnight, but it will happen. And when it does, rest assured the quality and quantity of content will go up exponentially (or at the very least, 34.6% better). I'm pretty sure Blip, Minime and I have the same goals that you do when you fire up the ol' browser and take a ride through this digital mag. However, when we get feedback like, "you guys are suck" we get mad. When we get feedback like, "you guys suck because you did x, y and z. please try and do a, b and c to remedy." we listen. When we get feedback like, "bleeka bleeka ooga booga." we wonder what our readership smokes.

Sorry for turning this into a rant. But I'm at home right now and have nothing better to do. I suppose if I was a die-hard enough, I'd take a picture of the Futuras really trick dash-board lighting... in fact I'll do that right now... check it out guys!

Anyway, my point is, motorcycles are freakin awesome... so let us do our job better by being our customers. Continue to let us know when and why we're being stupid, and we'll let you know when we can or can not accomplish an objective. There is no reason to be adversarial as its not, nor was it ever, an "us versus them" scenario. We're here because you want us here. As such, tell us what you want!

One last note. The staff here are under the impression that motorcycles are fun. As such, we do things that are fun and fun related. Thats the only way we can approach it. If we're not smiling when we do it, we don't do it.

Well, unless its required by law or something...
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Old 06-04-2001, 08:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

Some of you guys just amaze me with all this b!tchin, you log on this site, read what they have to say, then complain that "MO sucks" come on! IF they suck so bad, why do you come hear? I have to admit that I have not donated yet as I dont have a credit card(never wanted one) and most of the content is for sport bikes, and there not relly my bag. However, it is a great site, the guys do a good job of trying to keep up with the bike market, and if I have to go get a card just to hang out hear I will. It would almost be worth it just so I dont have to listen to the sniviling and crying on all the forums. Some of you compair MO to print mags saying how much better they are, but I havent seen a print mag that I can talk to others about any topic that is printed!

I just think that some of you should think about what you are saying, and ask yourself why you read MO in the first place.

oh, ya, more tits and ass!!!!!!!
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Old 06-04-2001, 09:36 PM   #17
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

ERUPTION's post is right on the, er, money. Well, in my opinion, "terrific" is stretching it. I mostly check here just in case something hasn't been covered elsewhere. It is unfortunate that M.O. does not have the budget to put together more frequent motorcycle tests, comparisons, product reviews, and "feature" ariticles (travel, how-to's, interviews, etc.).

However, it's posts like springerman's (below) that won't make me miss M.O. at all. So much for minime's request for "informed and insightful" comments...

If there ever come's a time when ALL motorcycling web content is pay per use, and there is none I feel is valuable, there will still be the print magazines I get (including the FREE and always timely CityBike) and I could always breakdown and pay for satellite television and get SpeedVision for all the motorcycle racing and news I need.
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Old 06-04-2001, 11:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

I read this article earlier today and thought of MO.

Did you ever see the movie Field of Dreams? Remember, "If you build it, they will come"?

But, all along, you guys are saying, "Give us the money and we will build it". That's usually not the way successful businesses are built. While I'm not yet convinced of the financial viability of any non-porno related web business models, yours seems weaker than most.

How about incorporating many of the excellent suggestions for unique content into your site (user reviews, specs + price guides for all makes / years, micro fiche, ect.) and then see if "they will come" and bring their wallets. I've made a corny analogy here, but have you ever heard of a brick and mortar business that asked customers to pay for items or services before they were prepared to actually offer the items or services. One of the main points of the article you are basing this discussion on is that the idea that internet businesses don't have to follow normal business practices to be successful is false.

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Old 06-05-2001, 12:11 AM   #19
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

It seems to me that all the rats on this sinking ship

are stow aways . Whats wrong with paying per read or donating to an on line magazine . It seems in light of all that is transpiring at the moment that self financing by any means is the way to preceed,

In the end the old adage "if you want it you'll pay rings true more than ever Take a Look at any free Journal and then a $10.00 dollar glossy mag and you see the bright shining path .Is the reason people whine on about this site so much because it resembles a freeby ? Get off your wallet and put up

some money "if you build it they will come"
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Old 06-05-2001, 12:27 AM   #20
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

Ok. First of all, lay off MO for once guys/ gals. MO, like any other business, is trying to SURVIVE. Sure, they love motorcycles as much as we do, but, in the end, a mere passion for motorcycles doesnÂ’t put bread on the table (well, unless, of course, your name is something like Rossi, Edwards, Bostrom, Corser, Bayliss, etcÂ…). As such, I think MO should be commended for providing free content for the past several years. I for one enjoy reading MOÂ’s articles and their insights as well as witty banterÂ…

Now, the following is directed more to MOÂ…

The term ‘business model’ is often misunderstood and has a plethora of definitions by all kinds of ‘professionals’… In general, a business model is how the company makes money so as to stay afloat. Plain and simple. The idea of ‘subscription’ based or ‘advertising’ based ‘models’ is misleading; they are but several ways to generate cash flow/ revenue… that does not necessarily show how a business actually creates a PROFIT. A company can only stay afloat if you have a PROFIT. Though people with a finance background will swear by cash flow, what good does cash flow do if you can’t hang on to? Obviously, there are tremendous expenses that are incurred with running any kind of business; as one poster said, just trying to keep the site up and running costs MO thousands of dollars. Never mind the office, servers, bandwidth, etc., etc., etc. somebody’s gotta’ pay the bills… subscription/ advertising revenue is but one way to solve that problem; what that doesn’t address is how you turn a profit…

To that end, what you guys really need to do is figure out what your strategy is. What is the purpose of your existence? Are you a content provider? Retailer? Portal site? Etc., etc., etc. You need to ask yourselves, "What BUSINESS are we in?" Your answer to that question will make it quite clear what direction you need to take.

Furthermore, you need to address key issues that MUST be dealt with. Competition is one; you have numerous print magazines, not only from the U.S., but, globally. Then there are the hundreds of online e-zines that provide what most consumers perceive to be the same thingÂ… information. How are you going to deal with them? What sets you apart from them? What can you do to set yourselves apart from them?

What about technology? From hackfuÂ’s post, IÂ’m assuming you guys are running a SQL backend to this site with numerous other web-technologies that in and of themselves are difficult (and expensive) to implement and upkeep. Is there anything that MO can take advantage of and use to create a competitive advantage over your competitors? And for the record, the siteÂ’s design is LONG overdue for a change. Your competitor, MCN, has changed the look of their site something like 3 times over 2 years or so (very generous approximationsÂ…). Your site, however, looks EXACTLY the same as it did in 1997! From there, your adoring readership may sense a lack of valueÂ… almost if they are getting second rate stuff when they really arenÂ’t. Presentation counts for something nowadays on the Web ya' knowÂ…

Your ‘hits’ are tremendous. Can you attract INVESTORS, not advertisers, with that? By addressing some of the above mentioned issues, MAYBE you can attract venture capital and infuse it into your company.

No, I am not the CEO of MO and by no means am a pro at solving business problemsÂ… IÂ’m just another dude who happens to like motorcycles who doesnÂ’t what to see MO go down the tubeÂ…

Whatever the case, IÂ’m hoping MO can figure out what they want to do and begin to make improvements as a company. And no, you canÂ’t hold me responsible if you try out what I said and nothing works out! =) As hackfu said, you guys read all the posts and IÂ’m just trying to help outÂ… but, hey, what do I know about running a businessÂ…

Flame away if ya’ll want, nit-pick if you must; but remember, minime wanted ‘informed’ posts…. I’m not arguing with anyone here nor do I intend to. But, perhaps at this critical juncture, MO really needs to refocus instead of just trying out the ‘latest’ because everyone else is doing it…

Oh, btw, the person who demanded to know MOÂ’s financial information should be caned. A donation is just that; A DONATION. Once you give it, thatÂ’s it. That does NOT make you a shareholder in the company with vested interest and MO doesnÂ’t have any social responsibility to divulge company information like that to anyone especially so in a public forum. Shame on you.
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