Reply To: The Prize Draw – Thoughts Please…

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    I am a relative newcomer here (~6 months) and not a “paying” member, so I’m not sure if my comments will carry any weight. I’ll post anyway since it might provide an alternative point of view…

    I considered paying for a membership but ultimately decided against it. My impression is that the membership provides three things: 1) Entry in the prize draw, 2) Access to the manual scans, and 3) a “rank moniker” by my user information. I’ll address these in reverse order…

    3) Titles don’t mean much to me so this wasn’t a consideration.

    2) Access to the manuals was my primary consideration. However, it is not clear what is in the Beoworld manual library and if it any different than what is available (for free) elsewhere. I considered paying for a membership just to see what is there, but decided not to, mostly because I prefer original paper manuals. The library would provide some benefit even if I plan to purchase a paper copy. It would show what is included in the manual (i.e. full adjustment procedures versus just a schematic) before purchasing. The other use I have for the manual library is to be able to reference a manual (for equipment/manuls that I don’t own) in an attempt to help other members debug their equipment. Perhaps as part of the “membership sales pitch webpage” there could be listing of the available manuals and an example of the scan quality.

    3) The prize draw was actually detrimental to my decision to buy a membership. When I researched the prize draw it seemed suspicious. It seemed to be “too good to be true”. The prizes were too nice and too numerous. It also seemed that “the regulars” were winning a disproportionate percentage of the prizes. There seemed to be a “good ‘ol boy club” vibe to it.  I wondered if the silver member’s fees were being used to subsidize the gold member’s prizes. Lee’s post at the start of this thread did a lot to explain my misguided observations. The quantity and quality of the prizes were due to Lee’s generosity in heavily subsidizing the draw. The familiarity of the winner’s names was due to the decrease in the number of gold members (i.e. most of remaining gold members are active, long term members). Regardless of this epiphany, I hope that there remains an option (preferably anonymous) to support the core operation of the site independent of the prize draw.

    I want to thank Lee, Ken, and any others that keep the site running. I know that it is a grueling, thankless job. I hope that I’m able to do my part by “paying back” those that helped me by helping others. My goal is to be able to “pay forward” with advice in case I need help sometime in the future.

    I hope that people don’t lose sight of the idea that the site’s most valuable assets are the information in the posts and the camaraderie of the interaction with the other members.