EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Community Discussions & Forum News › Ideas for Benefits of the new Partnership
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ideas for Benefits of the new Partnership - Page 2

post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Here is an example of the kind of coaching approach that we're looking at, this Complete Soccer Coach site is a product of Online Coaching, the new EpicSki partner.
Well I can't say that I'm at all impressed by that site. I just wanted to see what the deal was and can't even find a place that explains it. There's a sign up page and it says you can since up monthly for $9.99 or quarterly for $9.99. What the hecks the diff? I can pay $9.99 for one month or $9.99 for three months? Gee, I guess I'll take the three month.

For the most part, I avoid subscription web sites like the plague. You end up paying for something long term that's isn't of much use to you after a while.
post #32 of 56
Something that's occurred to me is that epicski contains a ton of good information, but who can take the time to sort the really good information from the sea of posts in which it finds itself? We have this tremendous information resource that suffers from the exact thing that makes it so precious: the sheer undifferentiated amount of it.

What if we employed knowledgable writers to create and or gather the Best Info on EpicSki on a given topic, and issued a periodical digest of the good stuff, thereby making access to trustworthy information more convenient for the membership. Would such an "e-zine" be of as much value to you as the current crop of ski magazines?
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems View Post
AThe way I see it is that is we can do this while honoring and enhancing the forums as they are, then we've got a real winner here. (If not, then we shouldn't even try. I believe we can.)

If you hold true to the above statement, then go ahead, knock yourselves out.
post #34 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
If you hold true to the above statement, then go ahead, knock yourselves out.
If we can't, we won't. That is non-negotiable.
post #35 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post
Well I can't say that I'm at all impressed by that site. I just wanted to see what the deal was and can't even find a place that explains it. There's a sign up page and it says you can since up monthly for $9.99 or quarterly for $9.99. What the hecks the diff? I can pay $9.99 for one month or $9.99 for three months? Gee, I guess I'll take the three month.

For the most part, I avoid subscription web sites like the plague. You end up paying for something long term that's isn't of much use to you after a while.
l2t, my intent in pointing to that site was to show the concepts, not the implementation. The EpicSki community will decide what is offered and how it's offered on an EpicSki version of a coaching site. However, that site shows the media, an approach to differentiation (in this case, by age group), and a general design that gives some insight to quality and approach, I think.

My intent wasn't to point at the financial model (EpicSki's will be different) or the specific workings of the site (EpicSki's will be different). I apologize that I wasn't clearer.

I understand your perspective of avoiding membership sites. However, they are the fastest growing segment of Internet sites right now, so we "old timer" Internet guys are a more and more rare breed.

(To give you an idea of how much things have changed, when I was first involved on the Internet, I had free logins on multiple systems around the Internet... all I had to do was drop a friend (or friend of a friend) an e-mail. How many free shell accounts can the average person get any more?)

BTW, hosting the site as it's growing is taking more and more real resources to pay for computing power, disk space, and bandwidth. We're getting to the point that we really need to move the server into a data center and probably make it redundant. I'd like to avoid outages and have a bit more insurance against localized problems. To do so, however, will take more income than we currently garner from Supporters.
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Something that's occurred to me is that epicski contains a ton of good information, but who can take the time to sort the really good information from the sea of posts in which it finds itself? We have this tremendous information resource that suffers from the exact thing that makes it so precious: the sheer undifferentiated amount of it.

What if we employed knowledgable writers to create and or gather the Best Info on EpicSki on a given topic, and issued a periodical digest of the good stuff, thereby making access to trustworthy information more convenient for the membership. Would such an "e-zine" be of as much value to you as the current crop of ski magazines?
I like this concept nolo. I have a shelf full of ski instruction books. I have learned a lot from books, and from reading on epic as well.

The big question of course is how and who would do the editing and with what criteria?

For example there could be an issue on a subject, such as "counter" or "transition" and posts on that subject.
post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
BTW, hosting the site as it's growing is taking more and more real resources to pay for computing power, disk space, and bandwidth. We're getting to the point that we really need to move the server into a data center and probably make it redundant. I'd like to avoid outages and have a bit more insurance against localized problems. To do so, however, will take more income than we currently garner from Supporters.
The thing I don't know is what is the financial model for EpicSki. Is it a business? Is it a 401c non-profit? Is it a labor-of-love for the owner that loses money? It is a labor-of-love for the owner that maybe provides a little beer money? Is it a secret cash-cow for the owner?

A couple forums I used to frequent left a bad taste as I gradually learned that, although they gave the appearance of a labor-of-love by the owner for a community of common interest, they really were a second job, and (big) money maker for the owner. They didn't intentionally hide that fact that they made money but by doing things like accepting donations, they gave the appearance of it being a charity that netted no income at all. So, here are all the members trading their advice and tips for free and there's some guy asking for donations that really raking in $$$.

I'm not saying that is true about EpicSki. But I don't know what the financial model of EpicSki is. Without knowing, I'm going to be leery of anything that requires more than a token donation.

Publishing a full disclosure of ownership and a financial statement would help.
post #38 of 56
I'm not sure how we can get it done, but we obviously have a vast resource of current information, expert opinion, and popular feedback that has potential value only if it is brought to our attention and saved. After a fantastic post enters the archives, it becomes equal in value to all the other files--it sinks to the bottom of the pool just like any other post unless we can filter it out and save it for posterity, whatever that means in Internet time. That's the only way the really great information can realize its true value, by my reckoning.

I think these posts could be brought together into "articles" on their topics that could be of great interest to our membership. They could also inspire assignments on topics that could include video and other imagery, making the e'zine a multimedia entity that takes full advantage of the medium.

We would need to employ (key word) an editorial staff including contributing editors to pull this off. We think it would be equitable to offset the cost through a subscription, making it an option and not a requirement to enjoy the site.

This is just one project we have in mind, but I think it should be our first priority. What do you think?
post #39 of 56
Click on the About Us tab at the top of the page to get information about the team that supports and runs the website. I just closed the year end books so I know as well as anybody what kind of money epicski makes. Right now, we are breaking even with the income from supporters and ESAs. Though we could be mistaken for a not-for-profit, we are in business to make money, and obviously our partnership with Online Sports Coaching and Dan Egan is in keeping with that goal.
post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
Something that's occurred to me is that epicski contains a ton of good information, but who can take the time to sort the really good information from the sea of posts in which it finds itself? We have this tremendous information resource that suffers from the exact thing that makes it so precious: the sheer undifferentiated amount of it.

What if we employed knowledgeable writers to create and or gather the Best Info on EpicSki on a given topic, and issued a periodical digest of the good stuff, thereby making access to trustworthy information more convenient for the membership. Would such an "e-zine" be of as much value to you as the current crop of ski magazines?
I see where you're going with this. In addition to my current writing assignment overload, I recently started writing for websites that only pay a nominal amount of money, but provide me with the opportunity to share my expertise on a given topic without having to post the same sort of info on the site. I have found the small muscles I use for typing fatigue much more rapidly than the large muscles I use for fitness and skiing.

When I've completed a 20,000 word assignment in two weeks, I may want to give a detailed answer to a question posed on Epic, but I have to consider the time and energy I might need to complete the next assignment.

This is not to say that I, or any of the other pros would give up on answering questions in the forum. However, content that is collected in a magazine format may eliminate "use the search function" response to any new skier that joins our group. As we all know, the search function is less than perfect.

Here's an example
post #41 of 56
Thread Starter 
I think it's important to note that we are breaking even with the currently very financially favorable hosting environment that we have thanks to dchan's generosity. However, the site is outgrowing what we can do there, so we'll have to step up to the plate and upgrade. That will entail new costs.

We are a corporation, so we are designed to turn some profit. The focus, however, is to provide exceptional value to all members, Supporters, and any other levels that are invented in this process so that the people who generate that value can receive some level of appropriate compensation.

One challenge is how we offer this compensation for everyone who contributes. We'd like to figure that one out. Suggestions welcome!
post #42 of 56
It's both a labor of love and an intention to profit.

It is also an intention to help many people get a little income.
--Top pros cost money. They don't make enough to be here often for free.
--If we want really great gear reviews of the kind mentioned above (can't remember who mentioned it) we can't do that for free.
--Nolo says that Epicski breaks even. BUT NOLO DOESN'T BREAK EVEN. Nor do the others who work long hours to make this go.

The model is to leave the forum as the center of gravity here--THAT is the labor of love--and entice people to subscribe to additional products that we think will be of high value--that is the business.

Is this fair?
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post
The thing I don't know is what is the financial model for EpicSki. Is it a business? Is it a 401c non-profit? Is it a labor-of-love for the owner that loses money? It is a labor-of-love for the owner that maybe provides a little beer money? Is it a secret cash-cow for the owner?

A couple forums I used to frequent left a bad taste as I gradually learned that, although they gave the appearance of a labor-of-love by the owner for a community of common interest, they really were a second job, and (big) money maker for the owner. They didn't intentionally hide that fact that they made money but by doing things like accepting donations, they gave the appearance of it being a charity that netted no income at all. So, here are all the members trading their advice and tips for free and there's some guy asking for donations that really raking in $$$.

I'm not saying that is true about EpicSki. But I don't know what the financial model of EpicSki is. Without knowing, I'm going to be leery of anything that requires more than a token donation.

Publishing a full disclosure of ownership and a financial statement would help.
post #43 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems View Post
It's both a labor of love and an intention to profit.

It is also an intention to help many people get a little income.
--Top pros cost money. They don't make enough to be here often for free.
--If we want really great gear reviews of the kind mentioned above (can't remember who mentioned it) we can't do that for free.
--Nolo says that Epicski breaks even. BUT NOLO DOESN'T BREAK EVEN. Nor do the others who work long hours to make this go.

The model is to leave the forum as the center of gravity here--THAT is the labor of love--and entice people to subscribe to additional products that we think will be of high value--that is the business.

Is this fair?
Assuming the forums will be left as is, it is fair given the fact that you all have been up front with your intentions.

As always, demand will determine the market for your EXTRA enterprise(s).
post #44 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach13 View Post
Assuming the forums will be left as is, it is fair given the fact that you all have been up front with your intentions.

As always, demand will determine the market for your EXTRA enterprise(s).
Exactly. The forums will be as they are.

...and we are endeavoring to understand those things that would be of interest to those of you who visit here now... and hopefully to the other folks who visit here in the future...
post #45 of 56
One question though that I think is fair, given learn2turn's post earlier.

For those who choose to pass on the "for profit" add-ons, yet still intend to be forum supporters, how are we to be certain that the donated funds will go to solely support the "non-profit" activities?
post #46 of 56
OK, you'll be paying people to compile the material. But,,, have you considered how much the technical contributors who actually composed the material you will be using in this new plan to generate revenue (and hopeful profits) will be compensated for THEIR work?

I'm sure most of the authors of the material you will be using had originally provided that information with no thought of profiting by it. But I wonder how they may feel about others taking that same information and using it to profit for themselves.

If you do this, might the pros on the site get a bad taste in their mouth over it, and think twice about offering more gratuitous content in the future? Something to consider.
post #47 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
OK, you'll be paying people to compile the material. But,,, have you considered how much the technical contributors who actually composed the material you will be using in this new plan to generate revenue (and hopeful profits) will be compensated for THEIR work?

I'm sure most of the authors of the material you will be using had originally provided that information with no thought of profiting by it. But I wonder how they may feel about others taking that same information and using it to profit for themselves.

If you do this, might the pros on the site get a bad taste in their mouth over it, and think twice about offering more gratuitous content in the future? Something to consider.
Our intent is to find ways to compensate these contributors, as well, much as would be done in a more traditional publication.
post #48 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach13 View Post
One question though that I think is fair, given learn2turn's post earlier.

For those who choose to pass on the "for profit" add-ons, yet still intend to be forum supporters, how are we to be certain that the donated funds will go to solely support the "non-profit" activities?
Since EpicSki isn't a "non-profit", there are officially no "non-profit" activities. The fact that we haven't been able to find a way to at least compensate people for the time and energy they expend on behalf of EpicSki members and Supporters is a nagging issue that we'd like to address. And, as mentioned in the post above, this includes those who participate by sharing their expertise.

That said, exactly how the finances are used within the organization needs to be the responsibility of the management team so that investments can be made when appropriate, ideas can be underwritten, etc. However and obviously, the goal is to maintain and grow, not to plunder. That would be, as Weems has pointed out earlier in this thread, stupid.
post #49 of 56
Coach, it seems to me that the bottom line is if what we get for our Supporter Status is worth the money. Trying to dictate how the funds are allocated doesn't seem to be in our realm. It's kind of like saying if you pay for coach class on an airline, does any of your money go to pay for the leather seats in First Class? It may, but as a consumer the only relevant issue is if the price of the coach seat is worth the service given for it.
post #50 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Since EpicSki isn't a "non-profit", there are officially no "non-profit" activities. The fact that we haven't been able to find a way to at least compensate people for the time and energy they expend on behalf of EpicSki members and Supporters is a nagging issue that we'd like to address. And, as mentioned in the post above, this includes those who participate by sharing their expertise.

That said, exactly how the finances are used within the organization needs to be the responsibility of the management team so that investments can be made when appropriate, ideas can be underwritten, etc. However and obviously, the goal is to maintain and grow, not to plunder. That would be, as Weems has pointed out earlier in this thread, stupid.
Again, that's fair since the profit motivation has been highlighted up front.
post #51 of 56
Thread Starter 
I guess it depends on what we mean by "profit", too. The goal isn't to put a lot of money into a mythical owners' treasure chest. It is rather to create a virtuous cycle of value production and compensation so that those producing the value can receive some compensation in return. Thus producing even more valuable content and building that value ever higher.
post #52 of 56
I have already ordered my private jet. Thanks everyone.
post #53 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems View Post
I have already ordered my private jet. Thanks everyone.
Come on weems. When you can walk on water you don't need no stinking jet.
post #54 of 56
Well, I've ordered a fleet of personal watercraft for that part as well.
post #55 of 56

some ideas from an ordinary punter...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Mojo,

Thank you. This is the type of information we are looking for. It is not what we want to sell that is important, it is what members like you want to buy. We have been racking our heads for months on the gear review topic, we have yet to find a software that suites our needs.
First off - I only read 2 or 3 posts before writing this. Then I read the whole thread so there is some overlap

Two things:

1.
I am an ordinary (for Epic) punter :

And what *I* would like is help and info.

About anything and everything ski related: technique (of course), instructors in a resort, accommodation suggestions (I'm in the UK - you guys *live* there - and heck, I don't even mind you getting a commission if the advice is good!) - same goes for buying/renting gear - and the perennial gear advice *for me*.

Skiing is expensive in both time and money - and I for one would like to maximise the return on my spending (note, not always minimise it!)

So how about giving me some questions - 2 or 3, maybe more. And try to get 2 or 3 'knowledgeable' people to answer them. Not essays. just a few moments of thought/typing. But trying to be extra helpful.

Maybe premium members warrant more questions, more considered answers? maybe even a 'videoed' answer (and I'm talking a webcam/mobile phone video, not an ESA DVD ) to highlight a point of technique or snap a piccy of a room or a slope or ... well, there could be a super-premium package : ?

I think Yahoo! answers has an interesting approach where it credits and rates repliers - maybe a thought?

I pay my subs to Epic - being honest, it's because the first ESA kinda 'gave' a subscription which I've then maintained (even though no ESA this year ). It's not much, I don't mind - I don't know how much more I'd pay. At the minute Epic is 'just forums' and IMO that's too messy and fuzzy to be very valuable.

It's certainly worth considering that you're talking about a 'service' approach here - the value of a pro's time to answer my question (never mind take a video!) is not going to come from my subscription. But it has the potential to engage me at a pretty deep level. What's that worth?

2.

As for the gear reviews - what could be better than a wiki?
I tried to get one going on Snowheads - but the focus there is less about providing information and more about chat. A wiki allows you to refine and present information rather than continally debating it and watching it slip away (look at this post from Jan 2005 - a long forgotten gem - now look here - I cut'n'pasted that in less than 1 minute.... and magically got a printable version? and it appears in the glossary. Better than 'use the search')

A wiki concentrates information. It would be *ideal* for gear reviews and editing a wiki is about as easy as replying to a post. You need to register on snowheads and then login to the wiki to edit the page and see how simple the text is

Sure there needs to be a (light, clear policy) editorial hand - but different areas of a wiki can have different controls. Weems you could publish a lot of expansion on your diamond and only allow links to/from it - not allowing others to edit your 'diamond' pages - wiki's do provide discussion and history pages which could allow you to engage and interact with people.

and I'd *love* to see Bob's Encyclopedia on a wiki - that would be awesome!!

(oh, and I got into this thread 'cos in the bottom picture here along with Dave Grogan and Stephanie that's me in the red jacket .
post #56 of 56
Great suggestions, lbt. Thank you for the time and thoughts that went into it.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Community Discussions & Forum News › Ideas for Benefits of the new Partnership