drfish wrote:I agree with you 100%. I'm also trying to be realistic about what is immediately feasible and, from my perspective, any kind of site reboot is unlikely under the current regime. To date, my understanding is that the subscription option has been a nice bit of supplemental income, but it's still significantly less than the constantly shrinking pool of advertising and referral revenue. My intention with speaking openly here (and remember helping TR costs me money, I have nothing to gain other than hopefully preserving the community that I love) is to let people know that subs will need to be a lot more than just a little bit of extra income to make a difference. I figure that hasn't been spelled out in black in white so far and that maybe now that it is, people will consider them more seriously instead of thinking "well, one sub can't matter that much." It absolutely does. That's the transformation I'm looking for and the one that I don't think has been advertised clearly enough until now. Previously, the motivation for subbing was just to get a few perks. Going forward, in my opinion, the "reward" is the survival of the site, period. That's as clear as I can make it.
I know this is a tough sell without a full-time reviewer currently in house, and I know that we've waited too long to spell this out for everyone. I just got let off the leash though, so, I'm putting it out there for everyone to read as soon as I was allowed to. It's tough, I can't make any promises about anything. I'm also trying hard to make sure this isn't coming across as begging for cash. That's not the point. The point is only to share the reality of the situation with everyone and then see what happens when people are fully informed.
As for brainstorming, I'm all for it. We're short on manpower and time, though. Makes it tricky. That's why I'm leading with the facts I know. Adam's cooking up some plans of his own, I want to buy him more time to work them out or maybe alleviate the need for his plans altogether.
We do thank you for speaking openly about it. You're in for a lot of tough love though that isn't necessarily directed at you. I am unwilling to be so cordial as Leor about this though.
It's a tough sell, but it has nothing to do with having a full-time reviewer in house. It has to do with what you first said, that the current regime is resisting a site reboot. It's a tough sell because TR is making an obvious mistake of thinking a failed model can work with a few small tweaks, or even just with the right person at the helm. Why in the world would anyone be willing to see past that logic error for any appreciable amount of time and support these plans? TR has a proven track record of not making the necessary changes to survive and from what I'm hearing, there's still some heads stuck in the sand.
TR literally wants to win the lottery so someone can pay reviewers to keep doing what TR has always done, all because the business model isn't self sustainable anymore. You will find a devout few who will keep tossing their money at you, but it won't last forever because you'll never produce the quality that can be found elsewhere on the budget you'll have. It's never going to be self sustainable. Strictly writing out long winded (I say that lovingly) reviews is dead. Dead. But having them along side what will actually allow the employees to prosper is a perfectly fine idea and one that the readership would back. The only way the site has survived this long is because it was set up as a meat grinder. Some people got paid a pittance in exchange for all of their waking hours and sometimes a good chunk of their non-waking hours. Other parts of the business were basically kept going as a volunteer basis. That's all well and good to get off the ground, but it was selfish to not make the jump to the next means of sustainable income back when you had the chance.
In order to execute, the old approach takes the backseat. It's the last thing you spend your time on. It's the last thing to get the money.