The BOI will be coming to an end on 02-02-2020 - 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 01-21-2019, 03:44 AM   #1
WebSlave
Exclamation The BOI will be coming to an end on 02-02-2020

Been reading the tea leaves lately, and it doesn't look good.

Here is a statistic that likely none of you may find interesting. In July of 2009 we had 57,000 registered members on FaunaClassifieds. Today, we have 139,000. That is a 143% increase in registered members. In 2009 we had 300 contributor level members and at that time things seemed a bit grim. So much so that I had determined that I was going to be shutting down the Board of Inquiry effective the following January (2010) unless things picked up. But things changed at the last minute, at least as pertaining to my attitude, and here we are, right back *there* again. Something similar also happened in 2005. So this deju vu thing is getting a bit tiresome.

Today we have 255 contributor level members out of 139,000 registered members. A 15 percent DECREASE in contributing members compared to that 143% increase in overall registered membership. That means that only .18% of the total registered membership are currently helping out supporting this site with paid memberships.

I was recently reading threads that I posted in 2009 and 2005 that I could just as well be writing today. So this is a lot like the Groundhog Day movie, in that I feel like I keep waking up and here I am in the same situation, in the same frame of mind. How many more times do I want to keep on waking up like this?

One point in those earlier posts I read that I am now paying closer attention to are some claims people made that a lot of people didn't even know about the Board of Inquiry. Even those frequenting other areas of this site apparently knew nothing about it. Interestingly enough when I check who is online here and what forums they are visiting, nearly all of them are in the classifieds sections. True today as well? A lot of members don't frequent the BOI, and perhaps don't even know about it? So that is telling me that if the BOI were to go away today, perhaps many people would not even notice, much less care. And possibly any negative impact to this site would be minimal in scope when taken in the long view. Another thing obvious is that a lot of people who used to be regulars back in 2009 haven't been back here in years. Again, it happens. Peoples' interests change, and this site no longer fits in their viewing habits.

I presume that most other sites (Facebook included) now have their own rendition of the BOI these days. More power to them. Hopefully they are accomplishing something in a positive manner, and perhaps they have now become more useful than the Board of Inquiry here to a majority of people. As such, I have to conclude that the Board of Inquiry here does not hold the value and interest it used to. So is what I have been trying to do here for years even needed in it's original form any longer? Especially when the potential liabilities now exceed the likely future positives of running the BOI? Perhaps it is time to begin heading in the direction of allowing the burden to transfer to those others and start taking this weight off of my own shoulders finally.

I have been batting around ideas for a while, and taking into consideration what seems to be prudent now for either a reduction of liability, or a transition towards phasing out the BOI completely. The goal being to limit liability but not actually kill off the BOI suddenly and totally. At least not quite yet, if it can be helped. Some people in those earlier mentioned threads indicated that they felt restricting access to the Board of Inquiry to Contributor level members and above would be a reasonable alternative to just pulling the plug on it entirely. So perhaps that is a reasonable path to take at this point. From there, just take it day by day and see how things go. If it is still being utilized, even on a minimal basis, then no problem, it can percolate in the background and still be a resource for those interested enough. No way to know without actually trying it, I suppose. There is a risk it will just die from lack of use, but since a lot of people who no longer come here are showing me that this is the intended future, then who am I to argue?

So I guess the best way to look at this is that I am not out and out killing the Board of Inquiry, at least not immediately, merely restructuring the access to it to see whether it is still worthwhile keeping around. It is not actually going away right now, just access to it will be limited to contributing members only. After all, since they are the ones who are now actually supporting the survival of that forum in particular, and this site in general, so it just seems fair to me to give this a shot. Perhaps things will pick up again before I decide that the BOI is just not worth retaining any longer. It has always been a liability to me, but I used to think it had broad enough support from the community to be worth the headaches. That support has obviously evaporated. So in like kind, so must mine. Perhaps FaunaClassifieds really doesn't need the Board of Inquiry any longer.

With the above in mind, as of February 02, 2019 (Groundhog Day, which seems appropriate) the Board of Inquiry will only be accessible to contributing level members and above on this site. That will include the paid membership levels and the forum sponsors. No one else will be able to see the content of the BOI threads, nor the topic lines describing such threads in that forum any longer after that date.

Sorry, but the lack of support I now see just doesn't make it reasonable for my planning to continue sticking my neck out for the BOI in the future.

Anyone who feels they want to capture some information from the BOI and not inclined to help support it by becoming a contributing member, please do so before 02-02-2019.
 
Old 01-21-2019, 11:04 AM   #2
Robert Walker
Sounds good and well worded. The BOI is a huge asset to those that value their money and want to research others before engaging in transactions. Makes sense to me that the free lunch is over with.
 
Old 01-21-2019, 11:32 AM   #3
Insomniac101
Quote:
Originally Posted by WebSlave View Post
With the above in mind, as of February 02, 2019 (Groundhog Day, which seems appropriate) the Board of Inquiry will only be accessible to contributing level members and above on this site. That will include the paid membership levels and the forum sponsors. No one else will be able to see the content of the BOI threads, nor the topic lines describing such threads in that forum any longer after that date.

Sorry, but the lack of support I now see just doesn't make it reasonable for my planning to continue sticking my neck out for the BOI in the future.
No apology is necessary, at least the way I look at it!

I've always felt that everyone should contribute to the site; not only the BOI portion, but the classifieds as well. (As I quickly check to see if my own subscription is still in effect )

I remember when you with removed the requirement where someone had to be a contributing member, to place classified ads. I still think there should be a small fee; maybe $5 or something.

As Lucille (I think!) said on the other thread, people are used to paying a fee for everything these days, and I don't think you'll get a lot of flack for implementing something for the classifieds section.

You had mentioned that you had complaints from people when their credit cards were charged for membership renewals. Won't the system allow someone to make a payment without giving auto-billing permission?

Anyway, just some thoughts on the matter. I will continue to contribute as long as the site stays up and running.

Kathy
 
Old 01-21-2019, 12:41 PM   #4
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Insomniac101 View Post
No apology is necessary, at least the way I look at it!

I've always felt that everyone should contribute to the site; not only the BOI portion, but the classifieds as well. (As I quickly check to see if my own subscription is still in effect )

I remember when you with removed the requirement where someone had to be a contributing member, to place classified ads. I still think there should be a small fee; maybe $5 or something.

As Lucille (I think!) said on the other thread, people are used to paying a fee for everything these days, and I don't think you'll get a lot of flack for implementing something for the classifieds section.

You had mentioned that you had complaints from people when their credit cards were charged for membership renewals. Won't the system allow someone to make a payment without giving auto-billing permission?

Anyway, just some thoughts on the matter. I will continue to contribute as long as the site stays up and running.

Kathy
The classifieds don't cause the headaches that the BOI does. I don't see any reason to try to generate revenue by charging people to post them. But of course, if everyone also abandons the classifieds in favor of Facebook or elsewhere, then this site will have lost any reason to continue. I'm sure that with a complete loss of traffic, there would be no reason for paid advertising to continue. Which means the site goes in the red, and I pull the plug.

Automated subscriptions for memberships turned out to be a real hassle, and had people filing claims with PayPal because they either didn't realize they had opted for the automated payments, or else just forgot. So their lapses were putting black marks on my record with PayPal. I am not interested in going through that again. It really had nothing specifically to do with credit cards unless the purchaser was using that method through PayPal. And yes, that was OPTIONAL for the automated choice.
 
Old 01-21-2019, 12:53 PM   #5
Lucille
I suggest trying out a contributor membership of $5/month as well as a choice for annual memberships of various kinds like we have now.
 
Old 01-21-2019, 12:58 PM   #6
Lucille
I also suggest that you put a sticky note or something similar on the BOI itself linking to this thread.
 
Old 01-21-2019, 04:07 PM   #7
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucille View Post
I also suggest that you put a sticky note or something similar on the BOI itself linking to this thread.
In due time.
 
Old 01-21-2019, 08:17 PM   #8
Helenthereef
I think Lucille's idea of a BOI membership at a lower cost has merit - you would certainly find out whether people did value the BOI if there was a nominal membership fee specifically to utilise it.

Also if you called it, "BOI" rather than "Contributing" Membership it would make it clearer what the main benefit was.

Otherwise I'm with you all the way.
 
Old 01-21-2019, 08:37 PM   #9
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucille View Post
I suggest trying out a contributor membership of $5/month as well as a choice for annual memberships of various kinds like we have now.
Actually, I tried to do something similar to that back in 2005 -> http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/foru...ad.php?t=63362

At the time, the purpose behind that was to try to more firmly establish ID of people posting in the BOI, as we were having severe problems with bogus registrations to post there. And it was also to generate a revenue stream that wasn't dependent solely on the goodwill of contributions. In other words, the value of the BOI to the readership was tested, and failed.

My thinking now is that simply attaching it to the paid memberships, as well as the sponsorships, would be considered as just an additional perk for those people already inclined to contribute in that manner. As mentioned earlier, THEY really are paying the way for everyone else here.
 
Old 01-21-2019, 08:58 PM   #10
Helenthereef
Quote:
Originally Posted by WebSlave View Post
My thinking now is that simply attaching it to the paid memberships, as well as the sponsorships, would be considered as just an additional perk for those people already inclined to contribute in that manner. As mentioned earlier, THEY really are paying the way for everyone else here.
I agree with that in part - could it be set up so that although only contributing members could post, it would still be visible to all to view (even if only via the BOI link on classified ads)?

If not, it seems a shame that newer members, who may be more vulnerable to the scammers, might not see the warnings.
 

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