Author Topic: The future of SG  (Read 44310 times)

Offline Judith

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2017, 10:41:04 PM »
Please consider accepting EFTs (electronic funds transfer) if credit card payments are a problem. All you need to accept an eft is an email address and a bank account.

I think that once people know the cost, the response will be positive.

Judith
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Offline Linda75142

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2017, 11:38:39 PM »
Sounds to me that the subscription option is the only one that will work to keep this site up and going.  I'm game depending on a ballpark figure for the cost.  Can you throw an amount out there for us?  For example, $100 per year probably will not work for me; $50 might.

Offline DragonLady

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2017, 11:46:46 PM »
Sounds to me that the subscription option is the only one that will work to keep this site up and going.  I'm game depending on a ballpark figure for the cost.  Can you throw an amount out there for us?  For example, $100 per year probably will not work for me; $50 might.

Not yet.  I'm not trying to be coy; I'm just waiting for a tally of what we actually took in last year, versus how much I needed to take in to make this work.  When I have a better understanding of the overall situation, I'll be able to make some reasonable "guesstimates".  But even then, some tweaking may be needed before the final amounts are set.

The road to our success is always under construction.
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Offline Cheriecz

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2017, 12:11:28 AM »
Dragonlady, i am another reader-lurker on this site; I have contributed in the past also. I would certainly pay a subscription fee for all the knowledge I receive from all the those who add their advice, show photos, even the humorous events that happen to them.  I am not one of those who likes to "cheap it out". I believe we should play fair. 

And a shout out to all the work you have done to get this site this far!!
Cherie

Sewing in the Arizona desert

Offline Elephun

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2017, 12:13:38 AM »
Have you thought of doing a 'Go fund me' or a Paetron fundraiser to help with changes?  Because we are willing to support this site.  We are still here and we care enough to comment and be here.

Something like this could offer transparency into which features and upgrades donations will fund. This could give people the opportunity to support the site above and beyond a small subscription fee that goes into effect to pay for the day-to-day running of the forums.

Everyone here has had the opportunity to support the site for years.  There's been an ongoing thread here in "Site News" that I've bumped on a regular basis.  There's been a running tally of the number of contributions received each year in my signature.

This was all discussed at length three years ago.  A good deal of the reason for charging a subscription fee is because I need to be paid for the work I do here, or I need to stop doing it. 

Lots of people voluntarily do things for a while.  But very few people can do that forever, and I'm not one of them.  I must either start making a living wage, or let this go. 

It's YOUR community, as much as mine.  It's up to YOU to decide if you're willing to help pay to maintain it, or not.

I was simply pointing out that additional transparency about specific projects might bring you more funds. If more specifics were available, it might be easier for people to open up their pocketbooks more often.

I respect you and believe that you should be paid for your work, as we all should. I hope you get it worked out.

I helped to pay to maintain the community this year, and I had been planning to do so in 2018. I look forward to hearing the subscription price.

Offline DragonLady

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2017, 12:23:54 AM »
Quote
I was simply pointing out that additional transparency about specific projects might bring you more funds. If more specifics were available, it might be easier for people to open up their pocketbooks more often.

Yes; I understand, and I do appreciate the input. :)

I just don't usually work that way very well, to be honest.

For me, a new project is usually a half-a-thought that hits me at 3am, and it may be weeks or months before I know enough about it or have the components to make it work.  So it's not easy for me to say "This year we will____________".  All to many times I've said such a thing, only to have it fall through, so now I just try to roll out changes once I have them mostly ready to go.

Further: nothing is ever "set in stone" as I don't believe in permanence on the 'net (unless it's your personal information -that never goes away), so what works one week is always subject to revision next week.  Otherwise, we'd all still be using DR-DOS!  :o ;D
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Offline DragonLady

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2017, 12:45:08 AM »
Please consider accepting EFTs (electronic funds transfer) if credit card payments are a problem. All you need to accept an eft is an email address and a bank account.

I think that once people know the cost, the response will be positive.

Judith

It's not a matter of what I consider accepting.  It's a matter of what the board is capable of doing, and what can be done securely and safely.
The road to our success is always under construction.
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Offline mudcat

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2017, 01:14:04 AM »
I am not opposed to a yearly subscription as long as it's reasonable.  Textillia is planning on charging $20/year when they get out of beta early next year and Friends of PR is $30/year so that is what you're up against price-wise.  I'm also afraid that not enough people will pay and the site will end up defunct anyway.  Additionally, I would like an electronic option to pay that doesn't involve PayPal.

It's unfortunate that this is so sudden as it puts a bit of a damper on SWAP.



Offline dagmaro

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2017, 02:50:18 AM »
I love some of the ideas that boppingBeth had such as the free for one page feature but subscription or membership for making comments or reading beyond page one or into the archives.  I believe PR does this.  I also think that paying a small contest fee is an interesting idea although I wonder if this would be enough to dissuade some from participating. 
It is interesting that peoples' experiences with Paypal are so varied. As a Canadian, I have a US funds credit card which I used for my Paypal and other online purchases but suddenly being told to get their credit card or to provide my banking information to them just didn't sit right with me or my husband who works in banking.  EFT is an obvious solution but it does require some administration at SG's end.  On the other hand, accepting cheques sounds good but what do you do about different currencies?  That might also create a real headache for DL.
Overall, I think the sooner speculation and worry is put to rest with a solid plan and a fee that covers costs, the better.  I am not as pessimistic as some as I think many find a unique value to this community that is not available in the same way on PR or other sites.  Even when I was not sewing (as I wasn't for several years due to other obligations), I still valued being able to browse and learn on the site, dreaming about what I could be sewing given the opportunity. Nothing in this world is free and I will be pleased to see an even playing field for all and an administrator who can concentrate on administration instead of financial woes.
Dagmar

Offline DragonLady

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2017, 03:09:37 AM »
I hope, when reading through this topic, that everyone remembers that one of my main goals for this site is: keep the membership.

I guess that's so fundamental to me I feel it goes without saying, but it is a very important "prize" I always strive to keep an eye on.  We've had a bumpy 2017; and no one can deny that -certainly not I! 

But, for me, I hope this is the means to get the show back on the road in a healthier way.  We need a new hosting company that understands who we are, what we're doing, what kind of resources we require, and is able to provide stable, reliable hosting.

We need our members to be able to register without fail, to be able to post without "forbidden" errors, to be able to navigate the topics & find information they want, and be able to form bonds with the other members (or not, as each prefers).

These things are the essence of what this community is, and it's always foremost in my mind. 

I do want to be able to see SG through another decade or so, and to do that does require having all the resources needed to care for her.

The road to our success is always under construction.
If you should have any trouble with any aspect of the forums, just email me: dl@artisanssquare.com

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Offline Melinda_B

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2017, 05:39:45 AM »
Please consider accepting EFTs (electronic funds transfer) if credit card payments are a problem. All you need to accept an eft is an email address and a bank account. 
And to be in the US.....
Melinda

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Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Celia

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #46 on: December 20, 2017, 08:44:43 AM »
I am in the UK and would have happily paid a donation if there had been an easier way, I do use Paypal and have not had problems when buying things on a site but transferring money as opposed to paying for an item seems to have caused a problem for me.
Maybe Apple Pay is another route worth thinking about.

I would be sad to loose access to Sewers guild but am not sure I will join if the figure is too high as I do not sew as often as I would like and do have to think about ongoing costs, one off payments I can consider but I am reluctant to take on too many reoccurring costs.

Online Lisanne

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #47 on: December 20, 2017, 10:22:31 AM »
As my previous message showed, the cost per week of most subscription sewing services is very small.
Perhaps some people would be happier to pay a monthly subscription than a single yearly lump sum, which can look quite large.
Though Celia has come to the opposite conclusion !

And many sewing services charge more for monthly rather than yearly payments, as the payment servicing charges are larger.
Not at all a simple decision for DL to make !

Charges from subscription sewing services, converted to approximate cost per week (including the ones I listed before, which are now on the previous page) :
Pattern Review (for full services) - 50 cents a week (but they have more than 1/4 million subscribers so get a huge income from a small subscription)
Creative Bug on-line video classes - $1.25 a week
Seamwork pdf magazine from Colette patterns (I stopped subscribing because I was not interested in the patterns) - $2 a week, includes 1 pdf pattern per issue
Mimi G Sew Sew Def on-line magazine (not my style) - $2 a week, includes 2 pdf patterns per issue
Sew Confident pdf tutorials from Sewing Workshop patterns  - $2.50 a week without patterns, $5 a week with tissue patterns
eSewing Workshop on-line video classes - $2 a week paid annually, $4 a week paid monthly
Sewing Guru on-line video classes - $2 a week paid annually, $5 a week paid monthly
Craftsy on-line video classes - $4 a week (that is too much for me as I already have the classes I’m interested in)
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 04:57:00 PM by Lisanne »
Does this bring you joy, calm, confidence  :D  if not, try something else.

https://sewingplums.com - comments on wardrobes, patterns, style, fit
https://uk.pinterest.com/sewingplums/ - style images
https://aimforquality.wordpress.com - good basic sewing techniques
https://easyjackets.wordpress.com - no need for tailoring, unless you want to
https://helpwithsewingpatterninstructions.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/first-blog-post/ - Peggy Sagers sew-alongs

Online Lisanne

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2017, 11:09:46 AM »
I'm another who doesn't live in the US.

I prefer using PayPal, as my credit card makes a huge charge for foreign currency payments.

Another decision for DL that is not at all straightforward.
Does this bring you joy, calm, confidence  :D  if not, try something else.

https://sewingplums.com - comments on wardrobes, patterns, style, fit
https://uk.pinterest.com/sewingplums/ - style images
https://aimforquality.wordpress.com - good basic sewing techniques
https://easyjackets.wordpress.com - no need for tailoring, unless you want to
https://helpwithsewingpatterninstructions.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/first-blog-post/ - Peggy Sagers sew-alongs

Offline Debbie S

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #49 on: December 20, 2017, 12:29:17 PM »
Lisanne, I tried to search for Sewing Review, but what came up was Pattern Review. Is that the site you meant?

Offline Lee K

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #50 on: December 20, 2017, 01:39:58 PM »

If the boards disappeared, I would miss them.  So, depending on the amount, I'd be willing to pay a subscription to keep reading.  I've been on SG since Sewing World disappeared in 2006(?) but rarely posted on the old board (maybe 100 posts).  Like dagmaro, I've thought about donating, but was reluctant to choose the "wrong" amount, so did nothing.

Online Lisanne

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #51 on: December 20, 2017, 01:48:42 PM »
Thanks Debbie, yes I did mean Pattern Review so I've changed that message.
Does this bring you joy, calm, confidence  :D  if not, try something else.

https://sewingplums.com - comments on wardrobes, patterns, style, fit
https://uk.pinterest.com/sewingplums/ - style images
https://aimforquality.wordpress.com - good basic sewing techniques
https://easyjackets.wordpress.com - no need for tailoring, unless you want to
https://helpwithsewingpatterninstructions.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/first-blog-post/ - Peggy Sagers sew-alongs

Online Lisanne

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #52 on: December 20, 2017, 05:02:53 PM »
I consider books, DVDs etc. very good value if they cost me $1 per hour of entertainment.
By that criterion I should probably be paying SG $5-10 a week !
Does this bring you joy, calm, confidence  :D  if not, try something else.

https://sewingplums.com - comments on wardrobes, patterns, style, fit
https://uk.pinterest.com/sewingplums/ - style images
https://aimforquality.wordpress.com - good basic sewing techniques
https://easyjackets.wordpress.com - no need for tailoring, unless you want to
https://helpwithsewingpatterninstructions.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/first-blog-post/ - Peggy Sagers sew-alongs

Offline DragonLady

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #53 on: December 20, 2017, 05:06:58 PM »
One of the things I'm always seeing said on Etsy is "Never mind what other businesses are doing; you do what you have to do to take care of your business." I think it's an important point here because ultimately it doesn't matter what Pattern Review or any other sewing related site charges or how they make the ends meet.  What matters here is what needs to be done to make SG work, and that may cost more or may depend on factors those sites aren't affected by.

That said, after going over the numbers I have in hand, my back of the envelope "guesstimate" works out to about $35.00 per year, per person.  That's less per week than the cost of a single spool of thread, so I feel pretty good about it. 

As I said, it may need tweaking a bit, when the real costs of doing it start becoming apparent.  Payment processing fees, secured gateway, installation & maintenance fees, etc. may have to be taken into account.

But, for now, I think $35.00 per year is a reasonable sum.  I think SG is very well worth it, and I'm confident that every one of our members is able to afford it if she's important to them.
The road to our success is always under construction.
If you should have any trouble with any aspect of the forums, just email me: dl@artisanssquare.com

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Offline KayoticSewing

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #54 on: December 20, 2017, 05:34:31 PM »
Even when we move to subscription model, what if there aren't enough members to carry the weight of the forum. I'm curious if other options such as making the site self sustainable been explored?
- Affiliations to pattern companies (both indies & big 4)when people click on that link and buy from those sites
- Affiliations to fabric stores
- Affiliations to Amazon (sewing books, DVDs etc.)
- Set up Cafepress shop to Sell "sewing art" on aprons, tshirts, mugs, prints  (All you need is to set up a store and come up with one suitable one liners - hardly any initial investment)

I love some of the ideas that boppingBeth had such as the free for one page feature but subscription or membership for making comments or reading beyond page one or into the archives.  I believe PR does this. 

PR allows reading all pages and searching into the forum archives when a member is signed in - both for free members & paid members.

Offline DragonLady

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #55 on: December 20, 2017, 05:45:58 PM »
Even when we move to subscription model, what if there aren't enough members to carry the weight of the forum. I'm curious if other options such as making the site self sustainable been explored?
- Affiliations to pattern companies (both indies & big 4)when people click on that link and buy from those sites
- Affiliations to fabric stores
- Affiliations to Amazon (sewing books, DVDs etc.)
- Set up Cafepress shop to Sell "sewing art" on aprons, tshirts, mugs, prints  (All you need is to set up a store and come up with one suitable one liners - hardly any initial investment)

I love some of the ideas that boppingBeth had such as the free for one page feature but subscription or membership for making comments or reading beyond page one or into the archives.  I believe PR does this. 

PR allows reading all pages and searching into the forum archives when a member is signed in - both for free members & paid members.

There have been ads on SG's footer for years.  A company that advertises here must see a percentage of sales large enough to cover the costs; some of them have been successful, others have not.

Waaay back when, my son was selling coffee mugs he designed for SG.  I think he sold a few, but not enough to even get paid by Café Press.  I, personally, feel I have enough on my plate without spending my time doing product design.  Maybe, if the financial worries are lifted and the constant quest for funding can be abandoned, I'd have time and interest in such a thing as a hobby; but at this moment I can't say it appeals much. 
The road to our success is always under construction.
If you should have any trouble with any aspect of the forums, just email me: dl@artisanssquare.com

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Offline Judith

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #56 on: December 20, 2017, 05:46:35 PM »
I think $35/year is more than reasonable.

Judith
People are generally as happy as they allow themselves to be. Abraham Lincoln

Offline Debbie S

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #57 on: December 20, 2017, 06:05:31 PM »
I will certainly subscribe at that cost.   To me, this site is very different from PR, it feels more comfortable, friendly, and like family......and would sadly miss it. And with a new hosting site it will even be better!

Offline DragonLady

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #58 on: December 20, 2017, 06:09:10 PM »
Thank-you, Debbie S and Judith. I'm very happy to hear that. :)
The road to our success is always under construction.
If you should have any trouble with any aspect of the forums, just email me: dl@artisanssquare.com

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Offline sliderule

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #59 on: December 20, 2017, 06:52:36 PM »
I agree totally with Debbie.

Offline Susan in Saint John

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #60 on: December 20, 2017, 07:08:01 PM »
I'll certainly subscribe at $35 US.  I'm OK with PayPal or directly with a credit card.  I do have a USD bank account so I could also mail a cheque.


Offline KayoticSewing

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #61 on: December 20, 2017, 07:10:34 PM »
Even when we move to subscription model, what if there aren't enough members to carry the weight of the forum. I'm curious if other options such as making the site self sustainable been explored?
- Affiliations to pattern companies (both indies & big 4)when people click on that link and buy from those sites
- Affiliations to fabric stores
- Affiliations to Amazon (sewing books, DVDs etc.)
- Set up Cafepress shop to Sell "sewing art" on aprons, tshirts, mugs, prints  (All you need is to set up a store and come up with one suitable one liners - hardly any initial investment)


There have been ads on SG's footer for years.  A company that advertises here must see a percentage of sales large enough to cover the costs; some of them have been successful, others have not.

Waaay back when, my son was selling coffee mugs he designed for SG.  I think he sold a few, but not enough to even get paid by Café Press.  I, personally, feel I have enough on my plate without spending my time doing product design.  Maybe, if the financial worries are lifted and the constant quest for funding can be abandoned, I'd have time and interest in such a thing as a hobby; but at this moment I can't say it appeals much.

Dragonlady, what you are talking is advertisement. Affiliation is different - for every sale, you’d get a percentage.

Cafepress store by itself wouldn’t get you any money - but if you put a prominent image at SG and let people be aware of this option, then you would see some profit.

Subscription model alone wouldn’t amount to much so you’d neeed to explore other options as well. These are some options that I could think of, you should be able to find more on the internet.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 07:13:02 PM by KayoticSewing »

Offline Lyn-J

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #62 on: December 20, 2017, 07:17:42 PM »
I'm not a subscriber,I did look into making a payment but found it to difficult from the UK.

I'm just wondering if you would get more subscribers were it enforced?

If it comes to it I would be inclined to subscribe to a UK site rather than a US (more local knowledge)

Offline DragonLady

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #63 on: December 20, 2017, 07:26:27 PM »
Even when we move to subscription model, what if there aren't enough members to carry the weight of the forum. I'm curious if other options such as making the site self sustainable been explored?
- Affiliations to pattern companies (both indies & big 4)when people click on that link and buy from those sites
- Affiliations to fabric stores
- Affiliations to Amazon (sewing books, DVDs etc.)
- Set up Cafepress shop to Sell "sewing art" on aprons, tshirts, mugs, prints  (All you need is to set up a store and come up with one suitable one liners - hardly any initial investment)


There have been ads on SG's footer for years.  A company that advertises here must see a percentage of sales large enough to cover the costs; some of them have been successful, others have not.

Waaay back when, my son was selling coffee mugs he designed for SG.  I think he sold a few, but not enough to even get paid by Café Press.  I, personally, feel I have enough on my plate without spending my time doing product design.  Maybe, if the financial worries are lifted and the constant quest for funding can be abandoned, I'd have time and interest in such a thing as a hobby; but at this moment I can't say it appeals much.

Dragonlady, what you are talking is advertisement. Affiliation is different - for every sale, you’d get a percentage.

Cafepress store by itself wouldn’t get you any money - but if you put a prominent image at SG and let people be aware of this option, then you would see some profit.

KaoticSewing, I appreciate the input.  However, both ideas are more involved than it might seem.  Affiliation programs can make money, for sure.  However, most people who do it profitably literally cover their pages with ads.  They use animated ads, interstitial ads ("Your page will load after this note from our sponsor") and other tactics that are either incompatible with our board, a real mess to navigate, and rely on actual completed sales.  If people aren't buying enough from the ads we have to keep the advertisers we have, then I don't believe there will be enough sales through affiliate programs to work for us, either.  They're really just the same performer in different makeup.

Finally: people who design products for café press often spend hundreds of hours learning to do it.  Product design is another entire career path, with a lot of specialized knowledge, software investment (What does Photoshop cost now?), a terra byte or more of filters, fonts, and clipart, and a full time job to work on it every day.

Please, don't think -any of you- that I'm dismissing your ideas without thought.  I do appreciate the input, some of the advice I've gotten over the years has been invaluable, and I am open to alternative ideas.  I'm not trying to shut anyone down, or turn a deaf ear.

I do have to decide what job I'm doing.  Am I running a sewing forum? Am I in the fundraising field? Am I an advertising specialist? Am I a product designer? These things all require a commitment, and I'm only one person.  I have to choose ONE and then be the best at it I can be; rather than always trying to spread myself over so many other projects.
The road to our success is always under construction.
If you should have any trouble with any aspect of the forums, just email me: dl@artisanssquare.com

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Offline sdBev

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #64 on: December 20, 2017, 09:37:53 PM »
I think $35/year is more than reasonable.

Judith
Hmm thats about what I pay for upgrades to my embroidery software. Not bad.
sdBev
sdBev.wordpress.com

Offline Elephun

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #65 on: December 20, 2017, 10:04:43 PM »
Something like Cafepress is another site called Custom Ink. Custom Ink has easy to use tools that allow a user to design right on their website, without using any external programs, needing to import artwork, or needing any particularly special skills. They even offer some help for free.

Here is information on their fundraising functionality

Look what can be done in a couple of minutes using only the simple tools and graphics on their site: click for larger image

At any rate, Custom Ink could be an easier option than Cafe Press if you wanted to pursue it as a fundraiser sometime.

fixed typo
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 10:09:28 PM by Elephun »

Offline AnnetteB

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #66 on: December 20, 2017, 10:09:06 PM »
DL,
I would be happy to pay $US35 per year. My Threads renewal is due $AU75 (postage costs to Australia have skyrocketed!).

I get far more enjoyment and advice from Stitches Guild than Threads magazine so it's an easy decision for me to cancel my subscription to the magazine and subscribe to SG.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 10:11:50 PM by ambro0 »
Annette
Queensland Australia

Offline Debby

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #67 on: December 20, 2017, 10:50:36 PM »
DL, I agree with several of the others that $35/year is very reasonable.

Offline dagmaro

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #68 on: December 20, 2017, 10:57:35 PM »
I feel 35$ or an amount near this number is affordable for me and I will definitely subscribe.  Thank you for working this out  in a timely manner, DL.

I am troubled by some of the commentary I am reading in various locations about whether SG has merit for members from countries other than the US if there is a subscription fee.  In my case, I feel one of the strengths of SG is to bring together a very international group of people with a similar interest to share their views and knowledge.  I am fascinated to learn what is going on in the UK, Australia, Europe and many other distant lands.  I also enjoy seeing how ideas of fashion and technique vary from country to country.  I urge international members to keep this in mind when thinking that they may be better served by a more local group. 

Although I was a silent follower/reader for several years, I was also impacted by the tech problems of last year, the upheaval in our global politics and how they played out on the boards.  Yes, there seem to be fewer active posters but let's look forward to a better functioning and more effective site while not forgetting the tremendous value of what is already there.  A modest subscription should be be welcomed if it makes the site more secure and inviting for all who share a common interest.
Dagmar

Offline Linda75142

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Re: The future of SG
« Reply #69 on: December 20, 2017, 11:05:16 PM »
I'm good with $35.  Count me in.