Author Topic: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)  (Read 14095 times)

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Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #105 on: July 14, 2018, 04:31:36 PM »

Offline colincb

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I'd recommend that someone figure out a quick and dirty annual cost budget sufficient to run CelticBlog forums on other software and/or hardware. Then determine if there are enough people interested in being subscribers at a reasonable price to sustain operations after SB Nation covers transition costs. Build in some cushion to upgrade as necessary or adjust for unmet subscriber expectations. It will give you a ballpark number to work with so you know whether it's viable proposition or wishful thinking before you get into doing the dirty work involved with a conversion.

I would certainly consider subscribing at a reasonable price.

I can understand some current members donating to a fund to get the new site up and running, but charging for a subscription will absolutely kill any chance of it surviving. Just look at things like iPhone apps - if something is free, the downloads are endless, but if something costs $.99, then people will find something else that similar, but free.

And while a number of hardcore members may stand by the new site with a cost, there will be almost no new members, and that is important in the sustainability of such a site. Also, how would you deal with lurkers? Is what we have to say that amazing that they will feel they absolutely need to pay to look at our comments? Many lurkers eventually become members.

tl;dr -  Advertising is the only real way for a new site's survival.

Hybrid models also potentially work (subscription for an ad-free version, or some sort of bonus features for subscribers).  But yes, being purely subscriber based is death to any site like this, and frankly most any site at all.

Attempting to get by on (monthly subscription) donations could also work. No cost to use, but an optional one-time donation (or monthly/annual donation) that you can chose to do when you sign up and change at any time from your profile could work, too (like Wikipedia). It depends on the cost to run, though

With 9 million page views last year, I think the operational costs would be too high for donations alone, which is probably why SB Nation wants to ditch it.

Why would page views be relevant to the cost structure?
This is all about money laundering.

Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #106 on: July 14, 2018, 05:22:09 PM »

Offline BitterJim

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I'd recommend that someone figure out a quick and dirty annual cost budget sufficient to run CelticBlog forums on other software and/or hardware. Then determine if there are enough people interested in being subscribers at a reasonable price to sustain operations after SB Nation covers transition costs. Build in some cushion to upgrade as necessary or adjust for unmet subscriber expectations. It will give you a ballpark number to work with so you know whether it's viable proposition or wishful thinking before you get into doing the dirty work involved with a conversion.

I would certainly consider subscribing at a reasonable price.

I can understand some current members donating to a fund to get the new site up and running, but charging for a subscription will absolutely kill any chance of it surviving. Just look at things like iPhone apps - if something is free, the downloads are endless, but if something costs $.99, then people will find something else that similar, but free.

And while a number of hardcore members may stand by the new site with a cost, there will be almost no new members, and that is important in the sustainability of such a site. Also, how would you deal with lurkers? Is what we have to say that amazing that they will feel they absolutely need to pay to look at our comments? Many lurkers eventually become members.

tl;dr -  Advertising is the only real way for a new site's survival.

Hybrid models also potentially work (subscription for an ad-free version, or some sort of bonus features for subscribers).  But yes, being purely subscriber based is death to any site like this, and frankly most any site at all.

Attempting to get by on (monthly subscription) donations could also work. No cost to use, but an optional one-time donation (or monthly/annual donation) that you can chose to do when you sign up and change at any time from your profile could work, too (like Wikipedia). It depends on the cost to run, though

With 9 million page views last year, I think the operational costs would be too high for donations alone, which is probably why SB Nation wants to ditch it.

Why would page views be relevant to the cost structure?

The volume of traffic will determine what we need for server bandwidth, memory, processing power, etc.
I'm bitter.

Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #107 on: July 14, 2018, 05:54:26 PM »

Offline colincb

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I'd recommend that someone figure out a quick and dirty annual cost budget sufficient to run CelticBlog forums on other software and/or hardware. Then determine if there are enough people interested in being subscribers at a reasonable price to sustain operations after SB Nation covers transition costs. Build in some cushion to upgrade as necessary or adjust for unmet subscriber expectations. It will give you a ballpark number to work with so you know whether it's viable proposition or wishful thinking before you get into doing the dirty work involved with a conversion.

I would certainly consider subscribing at a reasonable price.

I can understand some current members donating to a fund to get the new site up and running, but charging for a subscription will absolutely kill any chance of it surviving. Just look at things like iPhone apps - if something is free, the downloads are endless, but if something costs $.99, then people will find something else that similar, but free.

And while a number of hardcore members may stand by the new site with a cost, there will be almost no new members, and that is important in the sustainability of such a site. Also, how would you deal with lurkers? Is what we have to say that amazing that they will feel they absolutely need to pay to look at our comments? Many lurkers eventually become members.

tl;dr -  Advertising is the only real way for a new site's survival.

Hybrid models also potentially work (subscription for an ad-free version, or some sort of bonus features for subscribers).  But yes, being purely subscriber based is death to any site like this, and frankly most any site at all.

Attempting to get by on (monthly subscription) donations could also work. No cost to use, but an optional one-time donation (or monthly/annual donation) that you can chose to do when you sign up and change at any time from your profile could work, too (like Wikipedia). It depends on the cost to run, though

With 9 million page views last year, I think the operational costs would be too high for donations alone, which is probably why SB Nation wants to ditch it.

Why would page views be relevant to the cost structure?

The volume of traffic will determine what we need for server bandwidth, memory, processing power, etc.

Most sites don't use anywhere near the bandwidth allocations they get in a standard hosting package and hosting costs are pretty affordable. Why is this different?
This is all about money laundering.

Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #108 on: July 14, 2018, 06:40:13 PM »

Offline byennie

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I'd recommend that someone figure out a quick and dirty annual cost budget sufficient to run CelticBlog forums on other software and/or hardware. Then determine if there are enough people interested in being subscribers at a reasonable price to sustain operations after SB Nation covers transition costs. Build in some cushion to upgrade as necessary or adjust for unmet subscriber expectations. It will give you a ballpark number to work with so you know whether it's viable proposition or wishful thinking before you get into doing the dirty work involved with a conversion.

I would certainly consider subscribing at a reasonable price.

I can understand some current members donating to a fund to get the new site up and running, but charging for a subscription will absolutely kill any chance of it surviving. Just look at things like iPhone apps - if something is free, the downloads are endless, but if something costs $.99, then people will find something else that similar, but free.

And while a number of hardcore members may stand by the new site with a cost, there will be almost no new members, and that is important in the sustainability of such a site. Also, how would you deal with lurkers? Is what we have to say that amazing that they will feel they absolutely need to pay to look at our comments? Many lurkers eventually become members.

tl;dr -  Advertising is the only real way for a new site's survival.

Hybrid models also potentially work (subscription for an ad-free version, or some sort of bonus features for subscribers).  But yes, being purely subscriber based is death to any site like this, and frankly most any site at all.

Attempting to get by on (monthly subscription) donations could also work. No cost to use, but an optional one-time donation (or monthly/annual donation) that you can chose to do when you sign up and change at any time from your profile could work, too (like Wikipedia). It depends on the cost to run, though

With 9 million page views last year, I think the operational costs would be too high for donations alone, which is probably why SB Nation wants to ditch it.

Why would page views be relevant to the cost structure?

The volume of traffic will determine what we need for server bandwidth, memory, processing power, etc.

Most sites don't use anywhere near the bandwidth allocations they get in a standard hosting package and hosting costs are pretty affordable. Why is this different?
Almost 100MM page views last year. Not going to fit on a standard/ economy package. Based on the size of this page I'm posting from, that's 30-40TB of bandwidth.

I'll get it sorted, but we're definitely beyond the realm of throwing a standard hosting plan at it and getting good results.
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Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #109 on: July 16, 2018, 07:36:53 AM »

Offline Jeff

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this takes me back to the early days of the blog - many moons ago

every few months the blog would generate more traffic than the servers could handle and I'd have to upgrade to the next higher package (more expensive) - it was a financial risk I took on to keep the thing going early on, but it all worked out
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Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #110 on: July 16, 2018, 09:58:57 AM »

Offline gift

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I am not a tech guy, but, have been in business all of my life.

From what I've learned in business.

We have an asset here, The asset is all of us. We lend our time and eyeballs to this forum. A lot of well developed Celtic writers here...a lot. This is an asset that can be leveraged at the "new" location into advertising sales. SBNation is to be challenged for not having a notion of how to turn this asset into ad dollars.

Our writing and interaction is second to none and I am sure there will be plenty of clicks for whomever to monetize.

There must be an ad/click/monetizer firm out there somewhere who wants our fan demographic combined with our "moderated content". BTW dropping this bomb in July is tough as our numbers are thin now.

Has there been a traffic volume  stat analysis? I know our tech guys here can get this done.
Yes to all of this. Right now I'm working off of these stats, but I would agree there is more value here than just page views.

http://forums.celticsblog.com/index.php?action=stats

I agree with all the above, but I wanted to hop in and note that more than 1/3 of rollie massí posts have been new threads.

I agree that subscription is not the model. The Celtics have a solid national base. Our forum creates a "product" that we could call "moderated content". It features many elements as is true with any pro sports team forum.

A tweet comes out and we dice it.We cover the NBA quite well.

We have writers with "speciaities." Salt is a financial master. Rolli can wander throughout this reality and still be a fan without anybody knowing how. We have writers who know more about potential 52 draft picks than the kid's own parents do. If Ainge has lunch somewhere? We just might know what he ate.

Keep it simple, we are high quality Celtics content. We will have our own "brand." This brand will market the site through our content and attract casuals visitors and others to our entertaining discussions. Who, I ask you, has Rick Flair during important victories? No one.

The forum has never been "out on it's own" and will be an entertaining and attractive website once it is.

Finally, ladies and gentlemen? We have one of the best teams in the National Basketball Association thus, making us one of the best forums in the NBA.

Yes, and whatever the numbers are, it is important to recognize that those numbers represent motivated and dedicated interaction.

Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #111 on: July 16, 2018, 10:35:34 AM »

Offline greece666

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I'm afraid many here are not aware of the decline of internet forums.

Anyway, here is a post from 2014 claiming that a) forums have been declining since 2010 and b) it's mostly due to the rise of smart phones/tablets. (Mind you some of his links are dead)

Having said this, this place has a large number of dedicated users and something of a brand recognition, so hopefully there will be a solution.

It's just that we are something of internet dinosaurs  :-\

Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #112 on: July 16, 2018, 12:18:39 PM »

Offline action781

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Wow that is sad news, but I have a lot of confidence this will work out.  My tech knowledge is limited to mainly just statistical programming in R and some Python, but I'd like to join the team and maybe learn some new skills (so long as I don't get in the way).  Doing a quick google search, it looks like there are lots of affordable means to transfer this blog to another host, maybe even some with improved features.

I too would contribute financially.  I would think that donations mentioned in this thread alone could fund the new forums for 1-2 years without any ads or subscription fees.  An option is we could always do some kind of fundraising drive one day per year like how WBUR and wikipeda do.  I'd rather do that than ads or subscription fees.
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Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #113 on: July 16, 2018, 12:23:54 PM »

Offline boscel33

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That's OK with me, the only reason I go to the SBnation site is to get to the forums.  Once you'll relocate, I'll just follow you there and never need to come here again.
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Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #114 on: July 16, 2018, 12:59:14 PM »

Offline gift

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I'm afraid many here are not aware of the decline of internet forums.

Anyway, here is a post from 2014 claiming that a) forums have been declining since 2010 and b) it's mostly due to the rise of smart phones/tablets. (Mind you some of his links are dead)

Having said this, this place has a large number of dedicated users and something of a brand recognition, so hopefully there will be a solution.

It's just that we are something of internet dinosaurs  :-\

Yeah, I think forums used to be the only way for a group to have a structured online community interaction. Now there are more options. However, I have not yet found an alternative that provides exactly the type of interaction as a discussion forum. Others like reddit and facebook are useful and accessible in different ways. But the consistency of a discussion forum to provide things like an interested audience, depth and history of discussion, structured narrative and inclusiveness are not found easily via more accessible channels.

Discussion forums still have place. It's just that discussion forums now have their own niche, rather than being the default for everyone seeking to interact topically online.

Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #115 on: July 16, 2018, 01:01:47 PM »

Offline mef730

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I'm afraid many here are not aware of the decline of internet forums.

Anyway, here is a post from 2014 claiming that a) forums have been declining since 2010 and b) it's mostly due to the rise of smart phones/tablets. (Mind you some of his links are dead)

Having said this, this place has a large number of dedicated users and something of a brand recognition, so hopefully there will be a solution.

It's just that we are something of internet dinosaurs  :-\

Yeah, I think forums used to be the only way for a group to have a structured online community interaction. Now there are more options. However, I have not yet found an alternative that provides exactly the type of interaction as a discussion forum. Others like reddit and facebook are useful and accessible in different ways. But the consistency of a discussion forum to provide things like an interested audience, depth and history of discussion, structured narrative and inclusiveness are not found easily via more accessible channels.

Discussion forums still have place. It's just that discussion forums now have their own niche, rather than being the default for everyone seeking to interact topically online.

One of the other advantages of this forum is that it's not likely to get blocked by corporate firewalls. I can't access sites like Facebook during the day on a work computer.

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Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #116 on: July 16, 2018, 01:28:20 PM »

Offline Kaz

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I'm afraid many here are not aware of the decline of internet forums.

Anyway, here is a post from 2014 claiming that a) forums have been declining since 2010 and b) it's mostly due to the rise of smart phones/tablets. (Mind you some of his links are dead)

Having said this, this place has a large number of dedicated users and something of a brand recognition, so hopefully there will be a solution.

It's just that we are something of internet dinosaurs  :-\

Forums are still the best way to discuss niche interests in great detail though.  As great as Reddit is for being able to discuss about just about everything, its format is geared towards skimming through topics and not actually getting involved in deep conversation; ie. geared towards casual crowds.

Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #117 on: July 16, 2018, 06:31:28 PM »

Offline Beat LA

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I'm afraid many here are not aware of the decline of internet forums.

Anyway, here is a post from 2014 claiming that a) forums have been declining since 2010 and b) it's mostly due to the rise of smart phones/tablets. (Mind you some of his links are dead)

Having said this, this place has a large number of dedicated users and something of a brand recognition, so hopefully there will be a solution.

It's just that we are something of internet dinosaurs  :-\

Yeah, I think forums used to be the only way for a group to have a structured online community interaction. Now there are more options. However, I have not yet found an alternative that provides exactly the type of interaction as a discussion forum. Others like reddit and facebook are useful and accessible in different ways. But the consistency of a discussion forum to provide things like an interested audience, depth and history of discussion, structured narrative and inclusiveness are not found easily via more accessible channels.

Discussion forums still have place. It's just that discussion forums now have their own niche, rather than being the default for everyone seeking to interact topically online.

One of the other advantages of this forum is that it's not likely to get blocked by corporate firewalls. I can't access sites like Facebook during the day on a work computer.

Mike

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Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #118 on: July 16, 2018, 06:46:06 PM »

Offline byennie

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I realize the sample size in this thread is small, but how do people generally feel about accessing the forum on mobile?

Works well enough? Do you stick to desktop?

Would a native app excite you if it was easier to use? Worth $0.99?
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Re: Big Announcement: CelticsBlog forums phasing out (need your help)
« Reply #119 on: July 16, 2018, 06:49:31 PM »

Offline Csfan1984

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I realize the sample size in this thread is small, but how do people generally feel about accessing the forum on mobile?

Works well enough? Do you stick to desktop?

Would a native app excite you if it was easier to use? Worth $0.99?
I use mobile 99% of the time. Works fine
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