The BOI will be coming to an end on 02-02-2020 - Page 21 - FaunaClassifieds
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FaunaClassifieds Site HELP & Feedback Forum Anything of a nature concerning this website, moderators, admin, or anything having to do with how it is being run, should go here. Criticism is welcome, but abusive antagonism is not. THIS IS NOT THE FORUM FOR FEEDBACK CONCERNING BUYERS AND SELLERS! THE BOI IS SOLELY FOR THAT PURPOSE.

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Old 05-19-2019, 09:21 PM   #201
WebSlave
As long as dropping the BOI doesn't sink this site, it will be around for awhile. As long as it continues operating in the black, of course, and the headaches don't outweigh keeping this site running.

Back at the beginning this all ran in the red for the longest time, but I was using funds from my own reptile breeding business to keep it running. Heck, I was having to upgrade my hosting and server resources about every other month back then, and honestly it was really a pain in the butt doing all those server changes, even outside of the expenses involved. Not to mention that this all was quite the learning curve for me. And not one I would call a "pleasant" learning curve at all. I'm still not sure why I kept at it for so long back then when I was busy as hell with all the reptile stuff Connie and I had to do. I suppose I had the illusion that I was doing something worthwhile, I guess.

But now that I retired that business, that sort of financial drain for any altruistic purposes can no longer be realistically considered.
 
Old 05-19-2019, 09:22 PM   #202
Boondockreptiles
Finally, now that I actually know what Trader Ratings are - I've been going back and giving positive ratings to as many people as I can remember that I have done business with on this site. I'm kind of wondering, also, if the BOI is even necessary given that the trader rating system exists. I wonder if a solution to this problem wouldn't be to make a few modifications to the trader rating system that provided folks with a little more flexibility in how they use it (not sure what those modifications would be - just thinking out loud) and conducting a strong campaign to raise awareness about the trader ratings system on the site.

In the past, I have emailed a link to my BOI thread to customers asking them to add positive feedback for me. From now, I'll just send folks a link to my user profile and ask them to give me a positive rating.
 
Old 05-20-2019, 12:56 AM   #203
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondockreptiles View Post
So, here are a couple thoughts that I have. I'm trying to say this as tactfully as possible and so I will preface it by stating that these things are ultimately my fault for not doing as much research as I should have done. However, these things are true none-the-less.

I've been using this site since 2012. I have made over 30 posts - most of them classifieds. I have bought and sold nearly $10,000 worth of animals during that time. I have a boi thread about me. I have contributed to boi threads about others. And...

1.) I never knew (until just now) that being a contributing member was only $25.00
2.) I never knew, and honestly, still don't know what all the benefits are to being a contributing member. Now that I am one. I'd like to know.
3.) I never knew what Trader Ratings were or Reputation level and how to use those.

Is it possible that some of this stuff could be better advertised across the site? Have you ever done membership drives or fund drives on the site? For example, have you ever done something similar to how public radio occasionally makes a concentrated effort to increase contributing members and donators? I'm not meaning for this to sound accusatory, as if I'm blaming any of the problems on you, Rich or whoever else is involved in hosting the site. I hope it doesn't come off that way and if it does I'd like to apologize in advance. I've just been rolling all of this around in my head the last day or so and I've been asking myself about how my own experience with this site has been over the last several years.

I know that spamming people with messages begging them for money is a turn off to virtually everyone. However, I'm wondering if I would have become a contributor earlier if I had received an email or message or something once a year and even when I first signed up on the site saying how much it costs for each contributing membership level and what the benefits are for each one.

Once again, I'm not trying to blame anyone who is in charge of hosting the site. I'm just thinking about my own experience. For example, I didn't know it was only $50 per year to advertise on a forum until just today (because I looked for the first time - yes, obviously, that is my fault). That is such a low price.
Yeah, from the start, I never set my sights on trying to get rich off of this place. So I never set high prices on anything. As long as the bills get paid and I have some positive income making it worth dealing with the headaches and aggravation (gee, just like a JOB), I have always been OK with that as a modest goal.

I guess my philosophy has been to expect people to look for and find what they need to know. Not only do I not like spoon feeding people, I also do not like at all jumping around and waving flags at them and trying to drag them to information that could be important to them. I've had a text link posted at the top of every page saying "Want to help support this site? Click here." And pretty much all of the information needed to find out about various functions and opportunities to help keep this site afloat have been posted in this very same forum that this thread is located. I've never really been much inclined to chase down people for money. Yeah, perhaps most people do think that websites grow on trees, or everyone will make every effort to provide what they want for free. Who am I to rub their nose in reality? Any time I have ever tried to do that it did not end well for me.

As for a mass mailer, heck I tried that once or twice a long time ago. Back maybe when there were only 2,000 or so registered members here. And I got at least 1,000 bounced back emails because of invalid email addresses. Took me days to clear them out of my mail reader. How do you think that would turn out for me now with 141,000 registered members? Many MANY people seem to create email addresses merely to register on this site, and then quickly abandon them. I still get notices every day of bounced email notices because of invalid or non-existent email addresses. I'm sure the number of them in accounts right now over the history of this site is some enormous number. I would probably have to just throw my laptop in the trash and kill that email account used rather than have to field all those incoming bounced emails.

And then invariably I would get hate mail as replies from a bunch of people. People who are incensed over the intrusive email as well as those just looking at this as an opportunity to tell me what is wrong with my site and how I am running it. And what is wrong with me too, of course. Because, well heck, everyone knows they are innocent of the charges someone claimed about them in the BOI! If I would only just BELIEVE them! Yeah, like I want to waste my time going through that sort of garbage.

Anyway, no, enough people know of the BOI and this site. Enough people are already registered here. I don't need to see 3,000,000 people registered only to still have just 2,000 people logging in every day. If only half of the registered members were even checking in here every day and making a post, and/or just one 100th of the membership were contributing members or sponsors, then we wouldn't be where we are right now concerning the BOI. There is no longer the strength in numbers that I feel is vital for the BOI to do what it was designed to do. The peer pressure it could exert in order to make a positive difference is gone. So with that in mind, there is no reason for it to still exist.

Sorry, but no, I am not about to go begging to people asking them to help save the BOI. And then be called a MGA (money grubbing asshole), and other less kind derogatory labels, by a lot of people for my efforts. I feel I have done all I reasonably could and all I want to in order to keep the BOI alive.

You see, I really don't need the Board of Inquiry in my life any longer. I was only willing to keep it running through thick and thin, even after I retired, because I thought the majority of people in this industry were supporting it. Now that I know better, then doing away with it is perfectly OK with me. I don't need to worry about "bad guys" in this industry any longer. Perhaps most of YOU all do. After 02-02-2020, YOU all will just have to go somewhere else for help with them.

Sorry.....

Oh, and for the record, no, I am not interested in expanding the Trader's Ratings into becoming a "BOI Alternate". If it exposes me to the same liability for frivolous lawsuits that the BOI has been doing, then what the heck would I want to do that for? I would be right back in the same boat again with too much liability and too little member support. Matter of fact, if I were to see it heading in that direction, it too will have it's plug pulled.
 
Old 05-22-2019, 06:39 AM   #204
sgtstinky
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Adder View Post
As far as FB being a good source to find reputable reptile breeders and to educate oneself about sellers I would have to disagree strongly.
I abandoned FB years ago even though I was heavily involved in numerous specialty herp groups and even a moderator on one.
Just the notion that with the swipe of a few keys any and all "bad guy" comments could disappear instantly never to be seen again is crazy reason to trust FB for picking out the "good guys".
Do not miss Farcebook whatsoever but the BOI will be sorely missed imho!
I refuse to use Facebook, and will never get back on it for any reason.
 
Old 05-22-2019, 01:47 PM   #205
yeloowtang
I know it's too late now, your decision is made and I understand the why.
I'll still go back to what I said in the past messages even if I know the answer..
It's just the way things are, the 25$ is not a huge price to pay for the information we get here and totally worth it BUT I think , in the end it's too much !!!! facebook sure as hell didn't help and many realize now how that platform s##ks.. but people won't send 25$ for what they can get for free, except the BOI everything else can be found elsewhere.. That's not where I'm going, where I'm going is..... I am a member on over 60 forums, from reptiles, salt water reefs, fresh water aquariums, model planes, radio control helicopters/planes, Halloween, wooden ship building etc etc etc.... all of which I visit on and off.. most of them ask for donations too..
Manny forums have lots of advertising, PAID advertising.. with the members here and visits per day.. for free non supporting members, posts should be plastered with them. The members who don't wish to see them pay a membership.. should be the same for posting in the for sale adds, posting there should require a member to be a paying member, BUT make it 10$ instead.. I know , I know how you feel about the 10$ versus 25$.
with over 141k members and only a handful of them supporting members, by making the for sale section and participating section in the BOI part of the advantages with no pop up adds for members.. getting a lot of 10$ members would probably be way more of an advantage financially .. I've seen places take a % from sales too, but just making the users selling here pay 10$ per year for that visibility and sales is a low price to pay, and THAT I think could make the difference you would need to make it worth it..
It's surely too late now, but I think anything is possible .. the last I mentioned the price, I knew it wouldn't work at 25$, to most sending 25$ for something they only use for entertainment is a lot, but 10$ many wouldn't even think about it and do it..seen it way too often, tried explaining it in a way to suggest a dif. way of approaching it.. your mind was set on the 25$ and again I agree it's a small price to pay just not when people are members in countless other sites, if I were to send 25$ to all of the forums I follow !!!! starts getting expensive. All of my other forums are just as worthy of donations, this site has a potential of getting many hits for advertisers, for sale / buy section paying members only . leave everything else free/read only but only paying members get to post in the BOI and for sale sections.. this could work !!!!!
if not, wishing all the best and a huge thank you for the years you have invested in making this a wonderful place to meet and talk about a passion that we all share.
 
Old 05-22-2019, 04:44 PM   #206
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloowtang View Post
I know it's too late now, your decision is made and I understand the why.
I'll still go back to what I said in the past messages even if I know the answer..
It's just the way things are, the 25$ is not a huge price to pay for the information we get here and totally worth it BUT I think , in the end it's too much !!!! facebook sure as hell didn't help and many realize now how that platform s##ks.. but people won't send 25$ for what they can get for free, except the BOI everything else can be found elsewhere.. That's not where I'm going, where I'm going is..... I am a member on over 60 forums, from reptiles, salt water reefs, fresh water aquariums, model planes, radio control helicopters/planes, Halloween, wooden ship building etc etc etc.... all of which I visit on and off.. most of them ask for donations too..
Manny forums have lots of advertising, PAID advertising.. with the members here and visits per day.. for free non supporting members, posts should be plastered with them. The members who don't wish to see them pay a membership.. should be the same for posting in the for sale adds, posting there should require a member to be a paying member, BUT make it 10$ instead.. I know , I know how you feel about the 10$ versus 25$.
with over 141k members and only a handful of them supporting members, by making the for sale section and participating section in the BOI part of the advantages with no pop up adds for members.. getting a lot of 10$ members would probably be way more of an advantage financially .. I've seen places take a % from sales too, but just making the users selling here pay 10$ per year for that visibility and sales is a low price to pay, and THAT I think could make the difference you would need to make it worth it..
It's surely too late now, but I think anything is possible .. the last I mentioned the price, I knew it wouldn't work at 25$, to most sending 25$ for something they only use for entertainment is a lot, but 10$ many wouldn't even think about it and do it..seen it way too often, tried explaining it in a way to suggest a dif. way of approaching it.. your mind was set on the 25$ and again I agree it's a small price to pay just not when people are members in countless other sites, if I were to send 25$ to all of the forums I follow !!!! starts getting expensive. All of my other forums are just as worthy of donations, this site has a potential of getting many hits for advertisers, for sale / buy section paying members only . leave everything else free/read only but only paying members get to post in the BOI and for sale sections.. this could work !!!!!
if not, wishing all the best and a huge thank you for the years you have invested in making this a wonderful place to meet and talk about a passion that we all share.
Well, I tried making the classifieds available only to paying members a while back, and it failed miserably. Almost resulted in the demise of this site. I can't see anything that has changed that would make the results any different if tried again. Matter of fact, I think the sinking of this entire site would just happen much more quickly today than it was headed for before. People just like *free*. Well, actually people demand *free*, for the most part. And it is usually a case of "*free* or else", with the "else" being they go "else"where. Most people are not going to just give their money away. They want to get at least something for their money. Apparently most people didn't realize that the BOI won't be here if in the future you found you needed it without that support today.

I have tried to keep the advertising on this site down to what I consider the bare minimum in order to keep the site relatively viewer friendly, yet have some advertising that will help with an income stream. Google Adsense ads are way down from what they were a few years ago, and honestly they barely bring in what even one Contributor level membership per day would bring in. Yeah, I could put in more ad zones or even make some intrusive popups (which I HATE when I go to other sites, btw), but going overboard with such things would likely trigger a diminishing returns effect, I suspect. A viewer's choice might really be nothing more than, (1) put up with the aggravating ads, (2) pay the membership fee, or (3) just leave and go elsewhere. Personally, I have usually chosen #3 myself when placed in such a position, so I suspect a lot of others do the same thing. I suspect most people don't like to be forced to take out their wallet, and even if they might have felt what they were getting was worthwhile, would resent being FORCED to make that sort of decision.

As for the ads I have running through my FaunaAds.com front end for paying advertisers, I hope that they aren't all that intrusive. Honestly, allowing paid memberships to avoid seeing such ads would likely create another case of diminishing returns, as I would suspect that paying members are actually the people such advertisers most want to reach with their advertising. In my opinion, they are the people who seem to know something worth paying for, and likely would be the ones best reached to offer animals, goods or services for sale. They would be the people most likely to have disposable income to spend, I would think. Let's face it, very few, if any, people really NEED to buy animals and the supporting merchandise. Every expenditure they make is usually optional and subject to being prioritized.

I have tried to strike a balance with all aspects of running this site. And there are always compromises to be made. I actually set up the $10 membership group back when I was trying to make the BOI pay for itself with membership requirements, and provide some verifiable ID credibility at the same time. But again, that failed to fly too. I can't recall why I actually discontinued that membership level, however. I probably just figured that the $10 membership was just more headaches than it was worth, figuring the tax stuff through PayPal and such. There is such a thing as not getting enough money for something to make it not worth while even doing.

Heck, I looked at inflation figures recently and figured that the $25 membership level was really only worth $17 in 2002 dollars. Truth be known, if I raised the cost of the $25 Contributor level membership to account for inflation, I should be asking $35 right now for it. So the conundrum here is that even though what I am asking now for the $25 memberships has actually become more affordable for people because of inflation, but the fact of the matter is even less are paying for it. So again, we apparently are bumping our heads against that desired *free* zone that people prefer for everything.

So with those inflation figures in mind, even if I did resume the $10 membership levels, we are really talking about just $7.00 (in 2002 $) even before PayPal takes it's cut. Man, I dunno. Maybe thinking about things in this manner just makes it seem worse to me. Even with the paid membership numbers remaining the same, and my expenses certainly not getting cheaper every year, simply standing still means I am losing ground hand over fist. At what point is it reached that the time and effort spent is just not worth what you are getting for it? Well, obviously, the point here is that it has already been reached whereby running the BOI is no longer worth it to me.

Honestly, my gut feeling is that if I did resume the $10 membership level, a substantial number of people now paying for the $25 level would switch over to the $10 level come renewal time. And I'm not really convinced all that many people who feel they cannot afford $25 would find affording $10 any easier to do.

Heck, I am seeing people who could do nothing more than just log in and visit this site, much less make posts here, on a notable downturn. So I really think that the paid membership issue is not as indicative of the direction this site is headed as just the raw visits statistics are to me. Websites like this always have been, and likely always will be, completely dependent on raw traffic numbers. Advertisers will follow the larger numbers of viewers, and abandon the sites with smaller numbers, as they know what their business needs concerning eyeballs seeing the ads they are paying for. They just want to get the most for their advertising dollars, and I certainly cannot blame them one bit for trying to spend wisely.

Sites that don't make the numbers feasible, simply die. Some will be missed, others won't even be noticed that they are gone.
 
Old 05-23-2019, 10:42 AM   #207
yeloowtang
thanks for taking the time explaining all the past efforts and a good rundown of what has been happening over the years.
My taught were, that if even just 5% of members would pay the 10% it would be worth wild !! 1-% would be awesome.more so for sellers if requested to be a paid service, you are correct about the fact people want free, unless it's worth it for them to pay..
not sure how much $$ would be needed to keep it up, which brings me back to the best have many paying less than fewer paying more solution.
looks as if you still have good numbers per day and the for sale page is always full, this site is still one of the best known, that has to count for something when adds are considered ??
as for the adds, they are for sure non intrusive, not enough to be honest because you can barely notice them.. for non members, having a line of adds in between each post could be a way to bump up adds and maybe make more %% off them to help out.
All said and done, there is the fact you have been doing this for many years now, it's also ok to move on to greater things, less stressful things in life .
wish that an easy solution would, maybe times have changed and now with the reputation this site has, people would be willing to spend 10$ a year for the opportunity to sell here where you get 1000s of views daily .?? maybe worth a try.. if as you say people hate being forced, maybe give a one add free trial with a donation if sold option, that way they feel as if they have a choice, if they sell we both know that some won't bother donating but seeing that their add worked, might be inclined to pay up for a year subscription..
thanks again for the time replying, well explained .wish there was a easy way to fix this.

Steph
 
Old 05-31-2019, 07:58 PM   #208
WebSlave
Well, I just took a look at the entries for that BOI Good Guy Certification program I had been running for years. Hah! Do I need to say any more?

http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/foru...play.php?f=813
 
Old 06-01-2019, 01:14 AM   #209
Helenthereef
Quote:
Originally Posted by WebSlave View Post
Well, I just took a look at the entries for that BOI Good Guy Certification program I had been running for years. Hah! Do I need to say any more?

http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/foru...play.php?f=813
Nope, I think no replies at all to threads since 2005 is pretty conclusive...
 
Old 06-01-2019, 01:26 AM   #210
RGMinc
This doesn’t make us very happy we use the BOI we are always sure to report on good guys and use it to watch out for bad operators. This is disappointing
 

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