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Old 12-15-1999, 05:20 AM   #1
Edwin
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Cool How much is advice *worth*?

I'd be very interested in quantifying (very broadly, I know, since it's almost impossible to be specific) how much you feel the advice given on these forums is worth. For instance, if I replied to a post giving a detailed explanation or clear tip that you subsequently made use of, how much (if anything) would you have been willing to pay for similar information?

Does this sound like a bizarre question? Sorry if it does, but I am trying in a very roundabout way to find out what people's feelings are about *paying* to join a helpful community... call it future-oriented background research, if you like.

For the sake of the discussion, just assume that the level of information and debate (quality, speed of response etc.) is equal to or higher than the response offered by this site.

Thanks in advance for any and all replies.

Edwin

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Old 12-15-1999, 05:56 AM   #2
Arn
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Hmm.... it would be tough to say.

Basically, you'd have 2 things going against you.

1) How would a prospective user know that the information they would receive be worth paying for.

2) The existance of free forums such as this.

For #1, if you were to do it "per question" - then you could give the 1st one free.

If it is truly a community, it would be hard to work out.

Perhaps related, you should take a look at http://www.infoscoot.com

arn
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Old 12-15-1999, 12:52 PM   #3
Questy
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Edwin,

Quite an age old question. How much is a service worth???

If you may bear with me, it reminds me of an old joke. There's an old W.C. Fields skit that goes something like this..

W.C.F.: Madam, if I pay you a dollar, would you sleep with me?

Woman: Of course not!

W.C.F.: Would you sleep with me if I gave you a million dollars?

Woman: Well I don't know?

W.C.F.: I see, we've established what you are, it's only a matter of price....


No disrespect intented to your question, but it all comes down to a matter of price.

A technique we taught in sales was , "If I can ... Would you...."

Fill in the blanks:
"If I can..."
"Would you ..."

If I can provide a service that can do this...
Would you join in for $99 a year? maybe

Would you join in for $20 a year? possibly

Would you join in for $5 a year? probably

I've subscribed to Money Magazine for $20 a year, I've subscribed to financial newspapers for $100 a year, but I've never subscribed to a financial newsletter at $300 a year. There are many successful financial newsletters selling for $300+ a year, and their editors are making bucks.

Just another aside, from being in sales, if you had a monthly fee, say $9.95 a month, I believe you'd sell more subscriptions than if you charged $99 a year.

Call me crazy, (which I am, http://www.very-cool-stuff.com/ubb/wink.gif) but I spent much time studying the psychology of sales in my days. Smaller bites of cash over long periods of time are easier to sell. I've sold many things based on a monthly payment, without regard to a total price.

It would be hard for me to qualify and quantify how much a service is worth to me in terms of "total price." BUT, I'd be willing to try something without much thought if it only cost me $9.95 a month to try it....

FWIW



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Old 12-15-1999, 01:04 PM   #4
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Questy, if one of us made a joke like that I am sure we'd be banned in no time! - Could you please e-mail me privately on this comment and our policy about this as it pertains to this particular thread and the exact verbage in question. Thanks much

But on the subject of this thread.

I would be prepared to pay a small fee for the webdesign and banner forums simply because they aid one in making more money than what the subscription fee would actually be. If I am designing a website and I get stuck then I can just post for help in the webmaster section and get it fixed and my client need not know, and I get paid.

With the banner one that would be worth paying for because it avoids falling into the pitfalls of misleading companies which leads to loss of revenue which again will compensate for any subscription fee.

It all depends on what type of system the board would use. I think to make a profitable model it should be a community with lots of people just like this one but also giving the user the option for 1-on-1 advice with professionals.



[This message has been edited by Steve_S (edited 12-15-1999).]
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Old 12-15-1999, 01:07 PM   #5
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The advice is worth as much as its potential financial gain, either direct or indirect.

Here is the magic formula I just invented:

Advice Value=financial gain - wanted profit
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Old 12-15-1999, 01:30 PM   #6
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OT: Q: Are you it was W.C.Fields ? I thought it was Winston Churchill

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Old 12-15-1999, 11:07 PM   #7
Aaron Dragushan
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Edwin,

I assume you are talking about something like Internet Marketing Challenge or FatBrain (http://www.fatbrain.com)? I know you know about IMC... so you know that they seem to be doing well. Sites like fatbrain are up and coming in this industry, though their model is untried and I believe they are funded with VC money. (They sure throw it around a lot compared to how new they are)

Summary: Certainly a possible market, but lots of competition with big bucks.

- Aaron
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Old 12-15-1999, 11:23 PM   #8
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A very thought provoking question Edwin http://www.very-cool-stuff.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

I think your idea would work but it would have to be a site and structure similar to IMC. For the benifit of others, IMC costs lots of money to join ($300?) and your membership includes a site full of usefull articles, scripts, a Newsletter, tips, and a UBB. Some of the very best minds on the net created this site and answer questions on the Boards. A very high level of discussions, advice, tips, etc occur on the Board from numerous talented folks. That's where I go when I need advice. So IMC is selling a package.

I don't think I have ever mentioned this in public but a Moderator and or consultant on this BB is a "paid" position. How I define "Paid" and exactly what this means and all the juicy details is respectfully a question I will not answer.

I mention this because it segways into attracting folks who are willing to pay for answers to questions and surrounding yourself with folks who share your vision and talents. My sence is that Joe Surfer needs to see talented folks who are part of the package from day 1. Yes, you have all these talents and more Edwin but it's a team effort that requires numerous folks to make it work properly using a "package" concept.

I wish their were more Boards like mine. I really do. I encourage you to start one that is open and free. Assuming you have the "disposition" to police, time to manage and promote, and clearly realize that it's not going to be a slam dunk. Overstaff from day one and your other sites will give you a huge leap in the building process. Aaron could do the same thing and a few others whoes names I can't remember.

I'm guessing that the next question with an open free board is where is my revenue stream http://www.very-cool-stuff.com/ubb/biggrin.gif This assumes you don't decide to go the "package" route.

My sence of this issue from first hand experinece is that the demand from advertisers who wish to target Webmasters and or Site Owners and purchase impressions clearly exceeds the supply of available Boards.

For the benifit of others, please don't start your own high end BB for the money. In my view, that's clearly way down on the list of reasons. Start one because you enjoy helping others, love the "Community" aspect, and truly enjoy "learning" I call this the "P" factor. P is for "P A S S I O N"

Just my thoughts





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Old 12-15-1999, 11:32 PM   #9
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Remuneration for giving advice need not be financial IMHO. People can be motivated to help others for many reasons.

For example check out www.experts-exchange.com for a tech support forum with incentives for helping others, but basically free (ad supported).

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Old 12-16-1999, 02:27 AM   #10
Edwin
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Thanks for the comments. I guess I was just about as roundabout as I could make it, like describing just the tail of an elephant and expecting people to guess it's an elephant... but I'm really paranoid about this idea. In a few months (perhaps less) it will all be out in the open and either booming or busting, but until then I can only speak in semi-riddles.

Again, thanks for the comments.

Edwin

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