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Old 06-04-2001, 01:49 PM   #1
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

This type of article has been written before.

I don't think as many users are going to be "hooked" as many of these companies are hoping. I pay for a service only if I feel I'm getting something out of it. I would pay for Ebay, I payed for this site (though I kinda hoped for more content with the incoming donations and not just reporting the same news everyone else is), I would not pay for Yahoo or a search engine I use once a week nor would I pay for access news or things like WebMD.

Personally I see a wave a companies testing the waters in regard to public response to fee based services. In the end I see much of it returning to how it is now. The internet grew so big so fast because it was free. I think it will largely stay that way.

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Old 06-04-2001, 02:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

I enjoy the web and appreciate the access it gives me to information not otherwise easily obtained but if I had to pay for this info in addition to my DSL subscription, well.....the price couldn't be justified in my mind. MO is just one site among many others I visit and if they all wanted a donation to drop in and browse around I would be broke in no time flat. I say 'NO' to the fee based web sites, the day I cant find the info I need for free is the day I renew my library card.
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Old 06-04-2001, 02:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

S h o w m e t h e m o n e y .

If you make the site grow profitably as a fee-based site, I'll believe it. I bet that you can't offer information that's valuable enough that readers will pay for it. As long as subscribers don't see value for the transaction, they're not going to bother. Advertisers, however, should definitely see value if the site gets traffic.

MO does not by any means dominates internet motojournalism. It's hard to imagine it competing against free sources as a fee-based site.

If it offered information that had transactional value, it might be different. For example, if I could log in to a subscription service and access online factory service manuals, parts lists, and parts 'microfiche' for virtually any make or model, that would be valuable -- to shops, dealers and service departments. Compete against what they pay for this information already, and you have a viable fee-based site.

Just don't expect to get money for your opinions. I already have some.
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Old 06-04-2001, 02:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

I have to agree with the former posts. Unless content that is worth paying for is posted, many people will just balk at the idea, and all that does is create another dead .com. I do enjoy this site, don't get me wrong, but I don't see the quality that a fee requres. Besides, I already pay for the mags that I get in the mail...
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Old 06-04-2001, 02:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

I'm curious as to how many people actually read

MO. In looking at the "reads" attribute that

is on the header of all the news articles it seems

rare for one to get more than 2000.

Sure, some of the bike review pointers ( like

the 600 comparo ) have more, but I wonder

how many people actually read MO, and if

MO expects to only convert 10% of them, how

profitable MO could be on a subscription based


-- Michael

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Old 06-04-2001, 02:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

Real services will get people to pay. When Internet phone calls began, the quality was so bad, no one would have paid for it but by being free it became popular and may mature to a real service that deserves money, as long as it beats using a real phone either in quality, ease or price.

But information only sites? If the cost factor gets too high, people will go back to hosting fan sites on 3-10 meg personal sites, or maybe even fall back to newsgroups and/or email groups. Right now I can go to Delphi http://forums.delphi.com/ab-motorcycles/start

and get loads of information for free. Granted Delphi is thinking of charging as well, but the amount of info may make it worth it.

What may happen is info sites like this one will band together creating "Mega Sites" that can generate content to bring in a variety of users.

Or who knows, maybe the 90% rule will work with online only magazines. But I think the print/online magazine (or newspaper) have the edge because they are already paying for most (all) of their content on the print side.
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Old 06-04-2001, 03:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

I still think you guys are crazy... But it has nothing to do with the donation thing.
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Old 06-04-2001, 03:56 PM   #8
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Default "Free" internet has never existed

I'm no webmaster, but I don't think the internet has ever been free in the strictest definition of the word. Most people pay service provider fees in order to get access to the various websites. Judging by the spam I get, websites are finding out information about me, which is an extremely valuable resource to advertisers. I don't want to disable my javascript either because lots of the cool websites I visit won't work. I look at the internet like I look at television. It's free as long as advertisers know how to use it. I don't think advertisers have found out how to best use the internet to target their audiences, but I think it is only a matter of time. There is too much money at stake for companies not to continue to target consumers via the internet. For that reason alone, I don't think there will ever be a time when we have to pay for every website we visit. However, the bad websites will be the first to bite it. The "bad" websites will be the ones to fold because they haven't been able to keep their reader's interest and/or they weren't able to succesfully obtain advertiser support. Just my two cents, which is of course a "free" opinion.
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Old 06-04-2001, 04:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...

I have an idea for the MO staff. Recently, another motorcycle site sent out an email asking for donations(but promising to remain free), and actually listed their costs for running the site. Amazingly enough, they run a site on about $385 a month. Granted, MO is the largest site of its kind(or so you say), so the cost should be more. But even if it were 3 times the cost, you'd only be looking at $1,155 to run the site per month. Something the readership(especially those who've already paid) might want to know.

Just to clear it up before it might happen, don't go quoting us figures and leave out ad revenue or anything(if you indeed have the stones to post or distribute to the membership any kind of disclosure), give us the ammount you project you will need to run the site, month by month, until the end of the year. Break it down for us, and let us see it. I think some of these people who've gone and donated $50 or more might be quite upset to see what the cash situation really is.

Finally, don't try to weasel out of this, at least not for those that have paid. It seems to me by "donating" they have become a shareholder of sorts and would therefore be entitled to some sort of financial responsibility report from you(i.e.- what you're spending our $$$ on). The gauntlet has been laid down MO... how will you respond???
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Old 06-04-2001, 04:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: People said MO was crazy, but...


As for the number of people who read news, and trying to decipher total MO readership based on the number of reads a news post receives, you simply cannot, and here's why:

MO's most recent audit was in August of last year. It was done by BPA (I think their web site is www.bpai.com) and those are the same people who audited Motorcyclist, Cycle World and many other print magazines (though now I believe they have their stats checked by ABC). Anyway, the results were right under 700,000 Unique Visitors for that month. If memory serves it was about 200,000 Page Views/day and about 800,000 hits/day. If these numbers seem high, just ask any of the advertisers about the high numbers we're able to return.

Anyway, back to your original question about how many people read news: less than 10 percent on a good day, actually.

So, as to whether or not we could survive on just 10 percent of our total readerhip from news.mo then the answer is, of course, no. But 10 percent of our total monthly readership (which has swelled and is over 1 million as of this last month) at 12 bucks or so a year, that'd be able to get us by. Still, we prefer to hold off on that for now. We're starting to deliver some good ad numbers and it look like things might (cross your fingers here) be on the upswing.
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