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Deep End

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 11/23/13 09:48 AM Views: 1405 Replies: 24
Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 9:48 AM

So I am going off a little on the deep end. We are about 3/4 the way thru uploading 28,000 pictures. Our goal is to scan all yearbooks from 1925-2013. Then upload pictures. After this we want to have a site just for the yearbooks. The idear is to only let paying member see the yearbooks. Our site is free to Alumni. We are getting closer to finding a site for our Yearbooks. Is it possible for CC to do this? We know there will be a cost for this but it sure would save us a lot of screen time. So, is CC up for another little challenge?

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Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 12:56 PM - Response #1

Here's a free-notfree site made just for that http://issuu.com/

Sample just like what you want LINK

There is option that makes them 'unlisted' so that might work in your case too. There is a cost for this though

"However, if you prefer to keep your publications unlisted, you’ll need to cover basic hosting costs once you surpass 25 uploaded publications."

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Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM - Response #2

Jack,

Thanks for the link. We do have the free version of this. I thought that this would not work for us but after seeing your site I will have to revisit. The biggest problem I had with them is they did not respond to questions that I had. All I wanted to know is if we go to the paying site what is the biggest document we can load? The free site only allows us like 15 MB (I think). I will check this out again.

Take care.

ray

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Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 5:47 PM - Response #3

Issue has been very popular around here.

It's an interesting question in general that you raise. Should we create a way to allow admins to allow members to become paying members? Those who wanted to do that could then turn on various paid features and/or paid member only pages. Anyone else want to weigh in here? Do you want the option to create a paid subscription plan for your members, and if so, what types of features would you like to see available under such an option? If there's a need for this or more ideas let's start a list. I'll start it with Ray's idea above:

PAYING MEMBER OPTIONS

1) Create yearbooks and offer to paying members only

Any more?


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Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 6:48 PM - Response #4

Brad Switzer wrote:

Issue has been very popular around here.

It's an interesting question in general that you raise. Should we create a way to allow admins to allow members to become paying members? Those who wanted to do that could then turn on various paid features and/or paid member only pages. Anyone else want to weigh in here? Do you want the option to create a paid subscription plan for your members, and if so, what types of features would you like to see available under such an option? If there's a need for this or more ideas let's start a list. I'll start it with Ray's idea above:


NO Evil or Very Mad

PAYING MEMBER OPTIONS

1) Create yearbooks and offer to paying members only

Any more?

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Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 7:39 PM - Response #5

We distinguish between website, which there's never a charge for (vs. sites like AlumniClass.com and features of Classmates.com) and being dues-paying members of the SPHS Alumni Association. Association members receive our annual 96 page member's magazine in addition to the freebie 12 page newsletter that is mailed to all our alumni. We have links to all the old newsletters on the website. We've never digitized the big magazine because (1) it's too large a file and (2) there was no way to control access to Alumni Association members only.

We've been waiting for the custom icons to be able to signify which people on our class lists are Association members ($15/year) & Life Members ($500). We also have no way to target emails to that group. An ever-changing list of 2400+ isn't practical for the CC's "My Mailing Lists."

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Edited 11/23/13 7:42 PM
Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 7:54 PM - Response #6

This was called "another little challenge". "Another" is the key word. When a newer idea is brought up, printed Class Creator forum evidence shows that older ideas have been placed on wish lists and then the tendency has been to discuss them less and less until people stop discussing them all together. It would be greatly appreciated to have the older "challenges" re addressed and discussed again from time to time too.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 8:35 PM - Response #7

I can see where Alumni sites would love having some sort of dues system. Makes good business sense.

So that gets down to what the future status of Alumni sites will be. There was some discussion about how good a deal they are getting. I forget the possible changes though.

Probably any sort of organization with dues can benefit here. Meaning a broader market for CC.

The concept is anathema for the basic CC class concept though. That's probably why some will revolt hereConfused

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Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 9:00 PM - Response #8

We are a one class site and don't see that changing, so we don't have a need for the options discussed here. However, I do see where they might be useful/desirable to the multi-year sites.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 10:08 PM - Response #9

We are a multi-year site!!! We have no use for that type of thing. We have no use for that type of thing.
It's free to join our site...we run the site with donations and ask for donations.
I did scan some parts of each yrs yearbook except for '67..just got a hold of one. And uploaded all the pages to the Gallery.

I say NO!! for HS Reunion site.

Maybe other alumni site would like it. Maybe just offer it to them.

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Edited 11/23/13 10:09 PM
Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 10:33 PM - Response #10

So true Jack and well stated!
And yes, Vicki, I am in same situation (single class sites). And I too see there could be some instances where the multi-year / alumni sites / specialty group sites could have a need for certain pages to be 'paid member accessible'.
So this is definitely an optional situation, at least from what I gathered. I'm with Brad on this train of thought, lets HEAR the ideas where such OPTIONAL ideas apply to those that might need a paid feature option so CC can analyze and see if the costs to provide such is feasible. Please, don't panic, and think your free for members site will change... that was not implied. CC and all of us know that is the ONE thing that really sets CC apart from all the rest of the competition. This is an optional item for sites that might need it and simply asking for list of ideas where such would merit a paid member feature. All new challenges / ideas need their own place of discussion, so lets focus on this one and see where it leads, as I know when I was talking to my school this last summer about an alumni site with CC, the fact that there needed to be a way to give the paying alums something extra was lingering. Thanks!

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Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 11:07 PM - Response #11

Right. Paying members would be optional for those who wanted to turn it on. It's just a discussion of ideas. Smile


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Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 11:25 PM - Response #12

Brad Switzer wrote:

Right. Paying members would be optional for those who wanted to turn it on. It's just a discussion of ideas. Smile

Brad I think it will turn classmates off in a big way.

Just a question to the, multi-year sites, How many classmates use the site that go back say 25 years or more years from your current year of your site Question

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Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 12:26 AM - Response #13

I'm assuming paid extras would be above and beyond regular Class Creator offerings and fulfilling a specific purpose. I guess it depends on whether the classmates are supportive of the purpose or not. Many membership sites have collection of fees, dues modules, etc., I just wondered if there was a valid need here in some cases.


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Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 3:09 AM - Response #14

To answer Bill: I've had three members of the Class of 1954 join this past week and one from 1953 last week. I'd have to go look at the how many from each year going back for more info.

There are other types of sites with paid membership. I cannot recall if they are alumni associations or other types of associations. This would certainly work for them.

For alumni associations who have membership levels, this would be a plus.

Though I do not see this as something we need to see on single year sites but I do believe this could be a module available for a fee (Ray was willing to pay, right Ray? Wink ) , it would not have to be seen on sites unless the Root requested and paid for it.


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Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 3:09 AM - Response #15

Ray, you have a unique situation. Kudos for your vision in making all these yearbooks available. I sympathize with your trying to arrange financing. I think, though, you are among just a handful of admins who are engaged in such an ambitious project, requiring significant additional funds beyond the subscription and domain registration fees to finance your site.

Our site has no need for a paid subscription option as explained by Brad. I feel the PayPal donation module is sufficient for us, if we ever need to use it. Unless there are more calls beyond Ray's for a paid subscription option, I am opposed to it at this time.

Ray, may I suggest if you don't want to expand the purpose of your PayPal module to include proceeds for your yearbook initiative, that you solicit the funds for this undertaking via a mass email, with the goal being to have the yearbooks freely available to all alumni. I bet you'll find sufficient members who will happily step up to the plate and donate the necessary money.

I'm glad we're having this discussion. It goes to the core of the spirit of classcreator which, for me, is to give site members the opportunity to see everything on the site without having to pay for that privilege. Surely, there are enough members of each site who will voluntarily finance it out of the joy they receive in giving members a chance to reconnect and celebrate their time together, now and in the past.

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Edited 11/24/13 7:54 AM
Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 7:48 PM - Response #16

Right. If there are ever any paid options they would be optional and up to each admin.


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Monday, November 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM - Response #17

Since we are scanning every yearbook since 1925 and adding every picture of Alumni and Teachers on our site we feel as though the Yearbooks are the product of our hard work. Besides the fact that if we put all Yearbooks on the Internet there are some people that would copy them and then sell to unsuspecting Grads. I have already seen this. What I would really love to see is some kind of module much like the Reunion module that we could have a record of who paid dues and donations. If we have this then we could just send "certain" emails to this group and also allow them to see certain parts. I love the fact that we can allow everyone to see our site for free. But let's face it things cost money. We give out $9,000 a year (soon to be $11,000) in scholarships. If people do not contribute we will not be able to do this. If we cannot provide something "extra" to a paying member why should people join? I really think it is about "value". In other words when someone is sending us a donation or dues that look at it as "what I am getting for this". That can be as simple as a good feeling for donating or can be as important as being part of the "in crowd". Whatever, it is it comes down to value. The more value the more money.

IMHO

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Monday, November 25, 2013 at 2:38 PM - Response #18

I'm so happy classcreator has a different philosophy from other sites such as classmates.com, alumniclass.com, etc. which make individual classmates pay to join.

Think about how the 17,100 sites classcreator hosts are funded --- 100% by donations. Someone in each class, or a few individuals, with a big heart, has stepped up to the plate to pay for the subscription and domain registration fees, and in a few cases, third party applications such as yearbook scanning programs.

In classcreator's Frequently Asked Questions, general questions section, question 4 and its answer speak volumes:

Q: Do classmates have to pay anything to use the site?
A: No. Charging classmates a fee to use the site is the best way to ensure the failure of your site. It's that simple.

Ray --- my hope is you'll reconsider a pay-for-view scheme and find a way to make the yearbooks freely available to everyone who's a member of your site. I'll bet you have enough bighearted donors to make that happen. Best wishes for success.

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Monday, November 25, 2013 at 3:14 PM - Response #19

Just a couple of thoughts here. The philosophy of Class Creator is never going to change. I'm personally not opposed to paid things if it makes sense for a specific class or specific circumstance. Nobody would be required to make classmates pay anything. It would be optional for those who have a valid need for it. One of the purposes of this thread is to determine what valid needs might exist.

Everything has to be paid for somehow. Although what you just said above is absolutely true in many cases, there's also cases where people simply aren't able to participate because in this economy they don't have an extra $14 per month. Or people have turned off their entire site, and thus shut down all of their classmates, all because they don't have the funds to continue. So I'm just pointing out there is a very real down side as well.

Another thing to consider is advertising on the site. That can pay for extras like this too. Or even allow those to participate who don't at all right now. Or allow somebody to keep participating who's thinking about stopping due to funds. Again anything like this is 100% optional. Let's say we got an ad model going for those who wanted or literally needed it. It wouldn't affect any other sites here. We'll never up and start billing classmates to participate or put ads on sites, or anything else along those lines. It's against our Terms & Conditions by the way. But if specific sites wanted to opt for such things in order to meet a certain goal or participate at all, I'd certainly have no problem with that.


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Monday, November 25, 2013 at 4:11 PM - Response #20

Brad --- many thanks for your meaningful insights and suggestions and sensitizing me that some sites have gone dark due to not having funds to continue. Funding is surely a topic worthy of continuing attention.

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Monday, November 25, 2013 at 8:36 PM - Response #21

Brad,

I really like the idear of ads on the site. I never really thought of that. For us this would help us earn more money to give out for scholarships. We could combine this with our Annual Golf Outing too. When we have an ad for golf it could be on site for a year. More value for money.

I hope we always keep this site free for Alumni. Sort of like they can walk into their old school and say hello to everyone even see their pictures. What they will not be able to do is get into the Auditorium to see the show unless they have a hall pass.

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Monday, November 25, 2013 at 8:57 PM - Response #22

In my "spare time" I'll take a look at this. We'd need to find an ad provider. A provider could potentially be used to allow Class Administrators to run the site without cost. If I can find an ad partner we'd need to test this to see how that actually pans out. If revenue is equal to or close to what we currently get from subscription it could certainly work. While I'm the last fan of ads, I'm a fan of that vs. somebody not being able to participate at all.

In your case, where ads would be used to monetize a special member feature, we'd need some way of allow you to run your own ads. My guess is such a setup will be difficult and time consuming. Would have to be done on a case-by-case basis. Maybe there's some way where Class Creator could offer some type of master ad system where revenue is split, covering any costs and time associated here, while providing you the other half of the ad revenue to monetize your special features.

Note I'm just brainstorming. I have no idea what if anything is possible here. I'd be quite happy to find out, although given the season I'm not likely to have an answer on this until after Christmas. Maybe I can spend some Christmas down time looking at advertiser possibilities.

Again, even if we can and do offer such a solution, this would be 100% voluntary and would have no impact whatsoever on anybody's class web site -- unless they wanted to opt in. Such a system would clearly have to be intelligently planned so ad monetization doesn't negativley impact the usability of the system.


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Edited 11/25/13 9:01 PM
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 12:43 PM - Response #23

I really like the idear of "monetizing" anything. I am usually on the "de-monetizing" side.

I can see how some people would put up with a few -hundreds- of ads so that they could have the site for free. I sure most of us have been in a situation that we either paid for something or put up with some ads choose to go the free route.

As for monetizing a special feature I would suggest if it is too much to the site do on this then have the special feature part of another site. This way no conflict.

That's my barnstorming anyway.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 2:07 PM - Response #24

Ok. Thanks. I'll check into this during the Holidays. I know there's monetizers like Google who can help us with this, again, for those wishing to opt into it. Thanks Ray.


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