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Petition: I'd Like a Subscriber-Only Message Board (1 Viewer)

Hey Guys,Thanks for the feedback on this. Shick! is right, this comes up often and I'm pretty firm on where we are. Although I'm not a never say never guy so I don't mind you guys talking about it.My over riding goal with these boards is to foster community. With that said, I dislike anything that fractures community. Not havign a zillion topic specific boards is one way we do that. Another is by not excluding the people who don't pay for the subscription.These boards are probably more seperate from the Premium subscription than many people think. I really view them as very different things. Granted, they would die in this form without the subscribtion revenue as they are very expensive to host. But that's their only real connection.Some of our best contributors to the board don't subscribe to pay site. That's ok. A lot of our best contributors do subscribe. Would they spend less time posting in the free boards if there was a subscriber only board? Yes. Would that weaken these free boards? Absolutely. And weakening this forum is honestly something I'm very hesitant to do (even if might mean making another smaller forum strong)But I do see the argument and I appreciate the passion. Hey, it makes me feel great that you guys are into the subscription stuff enough that you want a place to discuss it. That's very cool. I'm just worried about taking you guys away from the Shark Pool. I know you will say it won't affect how much you post here, but the reality is it will. We all have only so much time. So bottom line is I'll continue to kick the idea around. We'll stick to our current format for this season but I promise you I'll take a look at this in the offseason. Not saying I'll change anything, but I'll take a look. Fair enough?J

 
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I've seen Joe's response to the petition, but I'll still add my vote in favor of a subscriber-only forum.I don't know if it's been mentioned already, but yesterday a great idea was suggested by Tremendous Upside...Have the subscriber board set up so that members can only reply to topics that are created by the mods. Each time a new subscriber article is created, it gets -1- corresponding thread on the subscriber board. I think if the board were handled this way, where subscribers could only debate certain articles in their own place, the Shark Pool would remain alive and well. There are only so many articles to discuss, and there are a myriad of unrelated topics which would still require discussion in the Shark Pool. My :2cents:

 
It doesn't take much effort to add a comments section to any web page. We're not talking about very complicated technology here.
I don't think you work in IT. It takes a lot of time to make a change to every single page of subscriber content, make sure that data is secured along with the rest of their subscriber content, give people the ability to add comments, give peope the ability to edit or delete comments, match subscriber usernames to message board screennames, create a capacity for those usernames to show up next to posts, find a place to store those comments, find a place to put them in a database, make sure you have enough disk space for the volume of comments you expect, posibly reindex the database so you can display them with good performance, test the thing, and roll it out.
I'd be very surprised if there weren't some off-the-shelf product that could be implemented in just a couple of person-hours.
 
Hey Guys,

Thanks for the feedback on this. Shick! is right, this comes up often and I'm pretty firm on where we are. Although I'm not a never say never guy so I don't mind you guys talking about it.

My over riding goal with these boards is to foster community. With that said, I dislike anything that fractures community. Not havign a zillion topic specific boards is one way we do that. Another is by not excluding the people who don't pay for the subscription.

These boards are probably more seperate from the Premium subscription than many people think. I really view them as very different things. Granted, they would die in this form without the subscribtion revenue as they are very expensive to host. But that's their only real connection.

Some of our best contributors to the board don't subscribe to pay site. That's ok. A lot of our best contributors do subscribe. Would they spend less time posting in the free boards if there was a subscriber only board? Yes. Would that weaken these free boards? Absolutely. And weakening this forum is honestly something I'm very hesitant to do (even if might mean making another smaller forum strong)

But I do see the argument and I appreciate the passion. Hey, it makes me feel great that you guys are into the subscription stuff enough that you want a place to discuss it. That's very cool. I'm just worried about taking you guys away from the Shark Pool. I know you will say it won't affect how much you post here, but the reality is it will. We all have only so much time.

So bottom line is I'll continue to kick the idea around. We'll stick to our current format for this season but I promise you I'll take a look at this in the offseason. Not saying I'll change anything, but I'll take a look.

Fair enough?

J
I respect this answer a lot. People may or may not be aware but this is the 1st time I spent the subscription money, mainly as a guide to help me think things through a bit. SOmetimes I completely disagree with the articles, sometimes it feels like they take the words out of my mouth/head.I do agree with what I highlighted earlier about a forum where we could discuss articles only...however I do understand the idea of not wanting to mess up these boards.

 
Im in for a subscriber only board. It wont affect any of the other boards, just simply an area we can freely talk about the "pay" content.

 
You have to keep the boards open to everyone. It is what makes this site what it is. Who knows what "insider" is a non-subscriber and would walk away from the site if the boards were subscriber-only.Once the hypothetical "insider" saw how good the board was and the content of the site, they would be much more inclined to stick around and eventually subscribe.To walk away from someone who could help me is cutting off my nose to spite my face!

 
On a separate note, I would petition that the FBGs give more of the regulars Mods rights to help police the boards. I think I waste more time reading through garbage replies in posts than I need to.Also, I think the Mods should lock some of the older posts so that we aren't regurgutating something from 2 years ago just so someone can make their point.Just my $0.02

 
i used to be a regular at thehuddle.com. there was a nice community there with great discussions. they went pay and many of us left (went to the sideline.com which subsequently disappeared) taking with us the good commentary and discussions. many of those people are here (i believe). keeping the board free is crucial to maintaining the quality of the board. if you limit access you will definitely lose quality. if you don't like some of the threads or discussions that are going on, just don't read them; it's really that simple.

 
Some of our best contributors to the board don't subscribe to pay site. That's ok. A lot of our best contributors do subscribe. Would they spend less time posting in the free boards if there was a subscriber only board? Yes. Would that weaken these free boards? Absolutely. And weakening this forum is honestly something I'm very hesitant to do (even if might mean making another smaller forum strong)

But I do see the argument and I appreciate the passion. Hey, it makes me feel great that you guys are into the subscription stuff enough that you want a place to discuss it. That's very cool. I'm just worried about taking you guys away from the Shark Pool. I know you will say it won't affect how much you post here, but the reality is it will. We all have only so much time.
These two paragraphs sum up why it is very unlikely a seperate forum for subscribers will come about. If all the subscribers began posting in a seperate forum it would weaken the Shark Pool.I'm not sure how many subscribe, but if the Shark Pool began losing most of it's meaningful posters, what would the Shark Pool turn into?

You could argue that as a subscriber, you really don't care what happens to the Shark Pool as long as the forum you post in has good content along with meaningful posts and worthwhile responses. That's a fair argument I supposse, but it doesn't amount to much.

The problem with it is that many subscribers start out as members of the forum. By keeping in touch with the site through the forums and getting good information, along with hearing the positive comments about the pay material (along with the negetive from time to time) forum members than become subscribers.

If you divided the forums into a subscriber section and non-subscriber section it would likely hurt FBGs business. It could be feasable, but in the long run it would likely hurt FBGs from a business perspective and wouldn't be worth it.

For as much as it may cost to keep this free forum running, the revenue that comes from it in the form of new subscribers likely makes the expense worthwhile.

To some extent, it's like an advertisement for FBGs pay material. Just check the staff members sigs if you don't think so. :yes:

 
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I think the best solution is to allow open and free discussion of paid content (short of cut-and-paste). If anything, it would just encourage more people to subscribe.
Short of cut-and-paste, as far as I'm concerned this is just fine. I haven't locked or deleted one thread so far this season because it has crossed the line.Someone else offered up the analogy of going to the upper floors, and then coming back down to the lobby to discuss the premium content. No problem. Sure there's a line that can't be crossed, but its hard to define.

We understand the issue with sharing premium content, but also the need to discuss it openly. We will continue to try and be flexible in dealing with this situation.

 

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