Fetlocks: you made a good point...and made me realize I'm pretty much in the same boat...I often skip it if it's a link to a photo album.
FWIW, not all photo storage come in the "album" set up. I have a GeoCities account that allows me to store one pic per page, so when someone clicks on the link, all they'd see is the one pic, and NO pop ups.... it's a paid account BTW, so no advertisements/pop-ups.
I think it's an excellent idea, along with other perks for paid membership such as the chat room and the personalized titles (as a previous poster mentioned.)
I also agree that the free photo hosting websites can be really slow (Photo Island, for one, I can NEVER see those pages, and I have a super duper new computer and am on cablemodem). BUT there are tons of them out there, one good one is www.cartogra.com
I think it's a great idea to pay if you want to upload pics. If it's taking up 30% of the flat fee bandwidth, why not make the pic posters pay for it? I'd be happy to pay. And I do not agree that it is elitist, since there are several options for those not wishing to pay.
Really, when you think about it, 90% of the pics we post are BS fluff pics anyhow. Fun and cute and nice to look at, but BS all the same. So if it's like Hollywood and we have a pay or play, that's fine by me.
Guess I'm in the minority, but I would *not* like to see the BB stratified that way. Instead I would endorse not allowing *any* pics to be uploaded to COTH's server at all. If people want to post pics, they should find and use their own web space, not COTH's. I have no issue w/ clicking on a link to another server.
"It's a thin line between a smart TB and a smart-@$$ TB."
"The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief
This may win me a flame or two, but I'm with Robby...I would support defraying the cost by imposing a pay-to-play subscription.
I truly consider this BB one of the best on the internet, largely due to the moderation of content. (Odd coming from me, eh Erin? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif If a fee as low as $10 annually would help to keep it alive, who on earth could object to paying it?
A higher subscription rate might well "change the dynamics" of the board, but anyone who has access to the internet should be able and willing to support this valuable resource at such a price.
Also wanted to add, that most all the photos I have posted are well under 40KB, cropped, sized, etc. but I have notice a lot of photos are HUGE not cropped (like the whole scanner bed is included, etc) is there anyway to LIMIT the size of uploads? that could help.
I also think that the classifieds could MAKE the COTH mucho $$$ and I also think banner ads on the header and footer of the forums could make $$$ and pay the excess costs. I would LOVE to have a banner here! Check out the way Ultimate Dressage forum does it, the banners do not distract from the site at all and I bet even the big wigs like Purina would want to advertise this way. You all have the contacts, so it should be easy. The one on-line venture that the COTH did/does? offer that I think was NOT very successful are the on-line stallion ads--too pricey and to off the beaten path. But banners, yes, I really like that idea!
I very rarely open pics anymore, takes too long on my connection. I never post any either, so I'll keep my opinion on that to myself.
I vote for a paid classified secion. I also was thrilled when someone posted a thread that said "Don't respond, just read". Seems to me a lot of space is wasted by everyone saying the same thing on the sympathy threads. Not that I am not sympathetic! But pages of I'm sorry or Jingles seem like a waste. How about we look at the views to see how many cared instead of how many posted?
A paid premium prescription sounds good to me.
OLD FRIENDS FARM-Equine Retirement-We LOVE Seniors!!
I,personally like the idea! I always post a link to my photo album at a different site. I find it much easier when wanting to post multiple photos. There are some great free photo hosting sites out there that we can take advantage of. That way we can still see those cute critters!!!
** Proud member of the Klutz Klique and the Appaloosa Clique**
If riding were all blue ribbons and bright lights, I would have quit long ago.
Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2014
This is the classic marketing question of price vs volume.
Anyone selling widgets wants to maximize their profit. If you price your widget at $$$Max then volume-->>zero. If you price widget at $$$MIN then volume --->>>infinity. This seems to be the case for the BB as the "price" is $$$0000, therefore the volume approaches "infinity"....
The "art" of pricing is to determine the optimal mix of price vs volume to maximize profit. There is also a concept of "bundling" products. PM me if you would like more on this.
To answer your specific questions, my preference is to keep general access free, then require a paid subscription for "special privileges." This subscription could allow you to post pictures or access to classifieds.
I have found the BB quite useful and would hate to see it shut down.
Northern VA, USA - where farm land is being lost to McMansions
OK I did a little web math;
I took one of the threads with a photo theme and added up the file size. The thread I choose had 33 photos attached they ranged in size from 14KB-to a whooping 231KB. 23 of the photos where over 50KBs those 23 photos = 2.5MEGS ! of space quite a lot for ONE THREAD (And again that's only counting the ones over 50KB) Now if a file size limit was in place of 50KB that would reduce that tread by over half by 1.5MEGS. So as a first step (and I am all for paid privileges) I'd see if you can limit upload size via infopop, this in itself would greatly help and help right away.