Yeah but a lot of the forums are cross-posted from other SD sites. Would people have to pay to access the sister-site forums too? In addition, I bet there are people on these forums who come purely for the community itself and have little to do with the gallery side of things, and making people pay to access forums will go over like a lead balloon.
Ok let's liken it to somebody who needs an alams clock to get up in the morning, nothing more. He doesn't want a clock radio with an ipod dock and 5.1 surround sound and isn't going to pay for it... not just to get him up in the morning.
Same applies to the $5.95 sub... the user wants nothing more than ad free browsing/downloads and will pay no more foe the extas he doen't use or need.... so a $5.95 sub is all he needs and will buy, so is added to the $50k when it otherwise wouldn't be.
The 9.95 sub is for those who need that bit more, downloads, support and social interaction on the forums... a slimline version of the premium sub in that users who do not need or use a home page do not have to pay the extra for it.
The premiun sub for $14.95 includes the whole shebang that current subscribers already enjoy... meaning those who need and use it will continue to pay the higher subscription. However, they are losing nothing, nor are they paying extra.
In fact, nobody loses anything. The options are quite straight forward, and those who do not need forums or personal pages (just downloads) will choose option A. Those who use and need forums and downloads but not the personal page go for option B... and everyone else who needs the lot will select option C. Couldn't be simpler... and Stardock is seeing reveue it would not have otherwise gotten.
I am in complete agreement with Bebi on this. There are a lot of visitors using shareware versions of Stardock programs.Occasionally some have a problem or question on usage. If no "unofficial" support was to be had here,I don't think many of them would upgrade to paid versions. Just my opinion.
I see your point, and yes, unofficial support is important also.... that is why I suggested a 3 teired process, so that those who do not have a need of it (people who only come to download) can opt out of paying for services they don't use or need.
Again, the idea is NOT to take away or deny anyone, but to offer a reduced sub for those who have difficulty coming up with and/or justifying 20 bucks on something they use very little of. It's like that saying: "Less is more.".... offer slimline subs at a reduced rate for those who use less, and you increase the chances of getting more subscribers.
When I first came to WC to download I would have paid $5.95 (but not a lot more) for a sub to unlimited gallery access because I needed and used no more than that... but when I discovered the need for the forums and a personal page I was quite happy to pay the extra for those services/features. Meaning, had a $5.95 sub been available and I had paid it, I would have upgraded to the higher sub to acess those 'optional' extras.
In other words, lets cater to the wants and needs of those visitors who need less and have been sitting on the fence subscription-wise because the cost factor included stuff they'd never use, and thus saw it as not good value.... and if they decide they need more, then the upgrade option is there. Furthermore, if there are people helping to support WC with $5.95 subs, then the burden is eased on current subscribers and Stardock can offer the Premium Subscriptions at lesser price than is currently available.
Make better sense now?