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Old 06-05-2001, 09:42 AM   #41
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Default Re: We all like to be paid for our labour

What you 'I won't come if it ain't free' guys ought to consider is this: If I came to your place of work and wanted to take your goods or services for free, would you think I was crazy? I reckon you might.

I'm just one of the many guys working hard for MO to keep you lot happy. Contrary to popular opinion I'm not a well paid playboy bike-hack, but an underpaid playboy bike hack! Like you, I want to be paid for my work.

ANd how come if you've all been digging into your pockets for magazines all these years (not just the cover price, but the added mark up on goods charged to pay the huge price of the product ads in the glossies) then how come suddenly you want it for free?

I'd love MO to sort their revenue model out and employ me full time, on a real salary and with an expense account that allows me to use the best photographers at the best locations. SOme cash to allow me to test more bikes, more products and to report on the WSB exclusively live for MO, concentrating on giving you the best and fullest coverage.

ANd I doubt many of you who have access to a phone line and a PC really couldn't trawl ten bucks a year or something out of your pockets to make this all work so much better.

Glenn Le Santo (glenn@lesanto.com)
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Old 06-05-2001, 10:07 AM   #42
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

First of all, good job guys. I like the way you opened up the discussion about paying and content. I don't like the idea of paying for content on the Internet because I feel I am already paying by being subjected to advertisements. I would pay for a banner-free site before I would pay for a advertisement-heavy site any day. MO is pretty good in terms of content-to-ad ratio - I don't have to wait for stupid ads to load when I just want to click through to an article.

As opposed to paying for content, I think a more palatable option (and one which should be easy to sell to advertisers) would be a guaranteed ad viewing and survey every couple of weeks - i.e., to access content, you would have to view a two-minute ad or complete a marketing survey or agree to submit your e-mail address to a specific advertiser for a one-time follow up. This addresses several problems: the concern that advertisers have that no-one looks at their ads, the general reluctance I have to give money to websites, and the need you guys have to make a profit. I don't know if it would work out financially, but it seems like it should.

You can tell your advertisers that I pay attention to their ads, but only if they aren't too big - I get annoyed with pop-ups and anything that takes longer than 15 seconds to load. For the record, I think it is definitely a more effective ad medium than television - with the exception of Nike freestyle ads and 'Tomb Raider' trailers, I NEVER watch TV commercials - it's too easy to flip over to a baseball game for 2 minutes instead of being subjected to annoying car ads. I also rarely read print ads in motorcycle magazines. Again, for the benefit of potential MO advertisers: I will see your ad if you advertise here, but not if you pay for an expensive TV commercial.

Anyway, I will donate soon, I promise. I mean, I pay for CW and Motorcyclist every month, and I think your content is as good as theirs - there's just not enough of it (and I can't read your stuff on the bus). Keep up the good work, and definitely hire those extra bodies to provide more content in the near future. (Hey, if you need an eastern Canadian vintage Japanese bike correspondent, I'd be happy to send in a resume.)

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Old 06-05-2001, 10:17 AM   #43
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

Problem 1 disappears:

Television is free. All I need to do is walk down to a store, buy a TV, plug it in, and viola: pictures and sound! Now I may have to pay for cable, should I want to see Skinimax or BlowTime.

I can buy a computer from the same store. Plug it in, pay (or get free from the computer company) for internet access. Viola: Pictures with the occassional sound.

Now ask yourself: What's the difference in these two media?


Problem 2 doesn't exist for me. I buy things all the time over the web, and I have for at least 5 years.

Over time, people will figure out how to separate people from their dollars. The ones that don't will not survive. Simple as that. As silly as the guy above was, he was right on the mark: Why do pornographic sites make money?
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Old 06-05-2001, 10:44 AM   #44
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Default Re: The 90 percent model doesn

The wsj.com costs are $59/year (web only) or $29 if you are also a print subscriber. The actual costs were not my point, but rather the fact that many of the wsj.com subscribers were expensing it instead of paying for it themselves. I think it includes Barrons.com too.

I think the best model for MO is probably the print magazine Motorcycle Consumer News. Nowhere near the circulation of Cycle World, but no ads and no retail sales, subscriptions only.

My point was that relying on a ten percent retention rate because wsj.com did may spell the end, and maybe they should consider the mixed free/paid content model like salon.com. But if I could predict the future of the internet, I'd go to the track and make some real money.

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Old 06-05-2001, 11:03 AM   #45
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Default nobody knows ... and thats the straight truth.

First, as being employed by another Motorcycle Website. I can easily empathize with your distress over at MO. Although at MCW we're not really generating professional review content as our mainstay. We are however in similar in respect. I dont have an answer as far as your pay-for-content question goes. And honestly at this point for all of us, maybe there really is no answer? For the most part, nobody seems to be really successful at this. Perhaps, for now at least, this is a labor of love and could be treated as just that.

Can you guys hang in there and tough it out as you are now? I know you gotta be able to eat and live though ya know. So I understand perfectly if you choose to try and go to private paying members only. But please keep the doors open!

Secondly, My favorite aspect of MO is being able to come here to your news/forum site and read the various discussions. You've got a good archive of content, but this forum is where all your diehards are. The news is great, but the conversations are getting stale. I would love to see more controversial topics pop up.

Excuse my ignorance if this functionality already exists, but it would help if there was a place for us to submit our own articles and submissions. You guys can pick out some good ones, touch it up and post it much like www.slashdot.org.

I believe that the best thing going on here is not necessarily what you guys write up on bikes and such, but the interaction that goes on in the forums. I believe thats why we come here everyday.

thank you for everything... and stick with it, many of us appreciate the work you do.



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Old 06-05-2001, 11:29 AM   #46
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...


Pay or no pay, just thought I'd take a moment to respond to your general opinions as to what exactly "first rate" is:

1) News is generally a low-traffic portion of our site, not worth spending too much time and resources on. However, to meet demand, we will be putting forth more effort in this area because you readers who DO traffic news.mo are so vocal.

2) Racing-wise, we have Glen LeSanto covering WSB, Colin Mac Kellar doing GP stuff and we JUST hired somebody who does the AMA's P.R. stuff to do AMA race coverage and some behind-the-scenes stuff for us.

3) As for reviews, we're gaining more and more acceptance with manufacturers of both motorcycles and of products. So look for more stuff. And, Editorially speaking, look for us to add some serious weight here soon. You'd be surprised at who wants to work at MO!

4) Similar as the above regarding tech stuff. With more staff and people to help out, generating more content, getting more readers and generating revenue (which we're starting to do) we'll be able to hire on people like Cycle World's Kevin Cameron or a Peter Egan-esque person to do tech/introspective things.

5) I've been pushing to clean up our Manufacturer's Row section. There's too much confusion in there. There may not be a test of the F4i under the Honda section, but it may be back in a Sneak Peek someplace. We need to have ALL bikes by manufacturer, plus the racing features section cleaned up and the New Products section beefed up. I'd like to see one New Product a week, for instance. Even if it's just a stock photo and manufacturer blather about what it is or does. Show y'all what's out there.

6) Well, there was no number six, but this all gets back to the fact that we're serious about this and we're going to do well, methinks. It's just a matter of time, and we're getting close. So stay tuned, keep checking back and letting us know your thoughts, and hopefully you'll like what you see.
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Old 06-05-2001, 12:15 PM   #47
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Default Re: Web Internet

Yes, we have thought of it... but as soon as we reviewed a single item that our retail section sold, we'd be accused of "journalism-by-money." Not a pretty thing. Needless to say, we have CycleSaver, but thats more of an affiliate program than a joint venture.

I can't say for sure why Cycleshark.com failed... This is just a guess, but trying to make big bucks without first having a solid customer base, especially in a niche market, doesn't look like it worked. They spent alot of money on secondary things and just assumed the content would come in.
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Old 06-05-2001, 12:40 PM   #48
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

I've donated but have yet to see any improvement in MO in terms of quality and quantity of articles. For example, a couple months have passed since the release of the new Kawasaki and Yamaha but there's still no sign of a Fazer vs. Bandit vs. ZRX shootout. Given the dearth of content and substance, a subscription at this point would simply be out of the question. Check out motorcyclenews.com to see how a great bike site is run. While you're there you can read about Muzzy's tasty ZX-12R!
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Old 06-05-2001, 01:11 PM   #49
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Default Re: We all like to be paid for our labour

Web content is 'free' for lots of sites. This is Economics 101. If you ask me to pay for something I can get free, I won't be visiting the pay site.

The point is that unless the site provides something that is sufficiently unique and/or interesting, it must remain 'free' to the user.

While the demand for such information may be high, the cost may be too high, which is to say, more than nothing. Supply is very high right now, and only through perserverance will some prevail.

ESPN.com tried this a long time ago (4 years?). I paid for it because I couldn't get that sort of information from any other source as quickly as I could from that site. Guess what happened? They stopped the subscriber service. Why? Not enough revenue. Many people were willing to wait for the 1800 Sportscenter. In addition, sites popped up that provided the <ul>same[/list]information on the same time scale.
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Old 06-05-2001, 01:58 PM   #50
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Default x y z problems...abc solutions

The idea of paying for an online site is not that far fetched to me. I donated to MO because it is fairly new and up and coming. I felt they needed the funds to feed their families and the electric company, as well as improve the site. You asked for ABC answers to your xyz problems. Here is what I see.

1) Better motorcycle reviews. The reviews I read from you guys are awfully thin. I know you arenÂ’t trying to taint them and want to be direct and to the point, but I like to hear about the little things. If you were riding and the bike coughed and sputtered, even just once, I want to know. My Gran Canyon does it under certain conditions. Only one motorcycle mag. said anything about it. Fast by Ferracci acknowledged it and offers an upgrade for the computer/exhaust that fixes it and improves power. If I had known I would have factored it into the price of the bike. Little things like this make a difference to the reader.

2) Keep it up with the news. I know itÂ’s not read much, but it is read. Kind of like a Hayabusa doing 180+. Not many have ever tried to do it, but I bet every Owner will be quick to tell you about it being able to. Even the links to other sites for interesting articles are fine with me. Shows that you are big enough and have high enough standards to want the best for your readers.

3) Photos. More photos. One reason I subscribe to Motorcyclist and Cycle World are photos. I like to see the different bikes from different angles. Not just the ones I can get from the manufacture. I know this requires more web space (I donated to help).

4) More reviews period. I know you guys have limited time and budget, also you are just now getting recognized by manufactures as a viable source, still I would like to know more about different products for bikers. Getting outsourced writers and testers in different parts of the country will cut your cost and expand immeasurably.

5) Online archiving is a great idea. With proper cataloguing, the online library would be well worth it.

6) Subscription fees. I donÂ’t mind a $1 a month fee. I donated $50 (for public record) because I was trying to help. BUT as soon as you start slacking I will regulate you to browsing only and will go back to reading other FREE sites. I give because I see potential and want performance from one source. I donÂ’t have to.

PERSONAL Note: I have disagreements with many other readers in open forums. That is what I see forums for, arguments and discussions, but I believe that all most all of us want a better website and a better motorcycling world. You give us chances to be heard and express our feelings, be judged by our peers, and give our opinions with out editorial interference. DonÂ’t ever stop doing that. That does make you guys truly unique.

"I Ride For Me."

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