Chances are that by now, you have had a chance to browse the new design of the *related site that I published several weeks ago. I have been working for several months on this and I must admit that I am very happy with the results. This new design will serve as a base for many new exciting developments. I would love to hear your comments/suggestions if you have any, please use the comments system at the bottom of this page.
First on my list would be to build and launch a new forum system. What you currently see in the forums section is an interface to technical usenet groups (comp.dsp. comp.fpga, etc) and some old Yahoo Groups that are either obsolete or will most likely be in the near future.
One idea I have and I'd love to read your thoughts about this, would be to launch a "premium" forum with a yearly fee of let's say $20 per member.
My guess is that you are currently shaking you head in disbelief. How could charging money to participate to a forum on the internet be a good idea? Please hear me out.
What would make this premium forum potentially interesting is the full re-distribution of the entry fees to the most appreciated contributors through a simple voting system. In other words, the goal would not be to use the entry fees as a source of income for the *Related sites, but as a mecanism to reward on a monthly basis the forum participants who would be the most appreciated by the community, through a simple voting system attached to every thread.
So knowledgeable members who would contribute to the forum would most likely easily recover their entry fee over time and the other participants would benefit from a vibrant and high quality forum.
I think the idea has some potential but I am also conscious that the entry fee could discourage many to participate, until the forum has gained some serious momentum.
So my question to you today: would you be willing to pay $20 to participate to a "premium" forum as I just described? If the response is positive enough, I will seriously consider implementing it. Otherwise, I will do my homework and come up with alternatives.
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Google forums have a system in which the best contributors are rewarded with a "top contributor" status by the forum organizers; no money is involved, but the top contributors display a special "badge" and have additional forum rights.
Mr. Sachs wrote a little about this ... http://www.embeddedrelated.com/showarticle/741.php.
Many of the comp.dsp folks use stackexchange because you can include graphics, plots, graphics, equations, etc. whereas plain text can be limited (but there also is beauty in the simplicity of plain text).
First, congratulations for your great job. The website is now excellent.
Now, I don't think that a freemium site would be a good idea. As said by others, less visitors, less answerers, less traffic, etc.
Besides, I think that rewarding answerers would be a kind of childilizing (if this word exists?).
Sinon, votre patronyme me laisse à penser que vous êtes peut-être francophone ? (if the last sentance is chinese for you, please don't take care of the following, it is my mistake ;)"
Dans ce cas, que penseriez-vous d'ajouter une fonction de localisation ? C'est-à-dire en particulier un portail en français, identique au portail anglophone, y compris au niveau des contenus, mais traduits si nécessaire en Français (il existe des logiciels gratuit pour le faire de manière automatique). Et réciproquement la possibilité de poster en Français avec traduction automatique vers l'anglais pour les anglophones ?
Je rêve peut-être un peu, mais ça serait super !
Merci d'avance juste d'y penser,
I might consider paying but would be very concerned that the value of $20 differs significantly around the world.
It would be nice if my profile could link to my ORCID as well as commercial entities such as linkedin.
Thanks for the efforts,
I don't know about a premium service. In my case I am too used to the stackexchange way of things. Although I still can't figure out why only some members can do blogs and not everyone, will the premium feature enable everyone to create blogs?
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Registering will allow you to participate to the forums on ALL the related sites and give you access to all pdf downloads.