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David Heller
David Heller
Editorial and site information posted from the ShareCG Team

The Subscription Model – (Follow-up to “Letter from the Founder”)

 
October 1st, 2007 by David Heller

I just want to give you an update to my ‘Letter from the Founder’ post regarding the site’s subscription model.

Since we posted and sent email to users we’ve received more than 150 responses, which you can read by going to the site’s blog at http://tinyurl.com/8zfvy5n .  I’ve read every one of them and have been answering those that require an answer. If you were one of those who responded on the blog or sent email, THANK YOU!!

More than 90% of the respondents were up for the subscription model.  The remaining members have concerns that range from whether or not to include a social network, to opening an e-store, and more.

Since we don’t want to alienate anyone I had a meeting with Engineering to see if we could allow users to opt-in to an ad free experience.  We are able to do this, and here’s how the opt-in will work.

  1. If you opt-in to the subscription model your presence on the site (all your pages) will appear with no ads regardless of whether or not the visitor is logged in to the site.   Also, when you are logged in, you will experience an entirely ad free site.  Also as a subscriber:
    1.  Your presence on the site will be enhanced with new features as they are released. (The ability to present different types of related media in your View page is the first one you’ll get, as shown in these two examples: http://tinyurl.com/9futa62  – http://tinyurl.com/9td7x83 .  We’re also adding additional reporting functionality that will allow you to know who has downloaded your work.  We’ve got many more enhancements that we’re working on and that you will automatically receive.)
    2. By default you will be included in an upcoming site social network.  But, you will be able to uncheck one box and opt-out of this capability at any time.
    3. You will be authorized to sell your items in an upcoming e-store.

These new site capabilities including the subscription model will take time to engineer and deploy.  Here’s our roadmap:

November 15, 2012 – The site will accept subscriptions.  If you subscribe between November 15th and December 31, 2012 you will be considered a Charter Member, and as such your annual membership fee will never increase and will always remain at $9.99/Year—forever!  Members who subscribe after December 31, 2012 will be subject to potential increased subscription fees moving forward.

Between November 15 and December 31, 2012 the site will be engineered to offer:

  1.  An e-store with the same basic structure as ShareCG that will be a separate, but inter-connected, web site.
  2. A social media component that will allow members to communicate with selected friends, share assets, collaborate, instruct, learn and more.  You can opt-out of the social network at any time.

Both of these capabilities will only be available to subscribers.

Between now and November 15th the site will remain exactly as it is today.  After November 15th you will have the option of doing nothing and continuing to experience the site as it is now, or subscribing and taking advantage of a better experience for you and your visitors.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your support.  Our job is to make SCG the best for you, so if you have any thoughts or ideas that can help, please let us know!

Enjoy the site!

 

The ShareCG Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

An open letter from the founder of ShareCG

 
September 23rd, 2007 by David Heller

Dear ShareCG Member:

ShareCG was conceived in 2007 at my son Jacob’s insistence. Jake’s now a lawyer, but even then his debate skills and logical thinking convinced us that there was a need to  develop an open sharing site to bring together worldwide artists and animators of all levels of expertise.  Our goal was to provide a friendly and graphical platform that would be easy to use and perfect for presenting art, animation, 3D models and for delivering tutorials and other educational materials to help the site’s users display their creative achievements and become more proficient in their craft.

We believed that if we provided a great platform ‘they would come,’ and you did.  But, we also had to find a way to fund our efforts so that we could continue to build out the site to meet the needs of a growing audience.  We succumbed to the idea of funding our efforts with banner advertising even though we would have preferred to have a site that was free of advertisements.    I have personally heard from hundreds of users complaining about the site’s flashing and distracting banners and I agree with them 100% but felt that we didn’t have a choice.

Now, after five years of experiencing the banner ad model we have yet to generate the revenue needed to pay for this site.  In fact, ShareCG has been running in the red and only kept alive and supported by re-directing funds from our other properties.  But, just chugging along without being able to provide timely new innovations to our audience is not a solution for either us or for you.

We are considering changing the ShareCG business model from banner ads to a subscription model.  I am proposing that members subscribe at just $9.99 a year for a banner free ShareCG that will have the resources to add services that will make the site a better place to visit and that will bring the community closer together.  We have a number of projects planned and ready to go that will:

  • Add ‘Friends’ to bring true social media and collaboration to the site
  • Provide expanded statistics for each user so you’ll know when and who viewed your video or downloaded any of your uploads
  • Re-design and expand the home page to include the latest uploads and blog entries, ‘user speak’ editorial, trial software, challenges, industry and educational newsletters,  SCG social buzz, news, reviews, jobs and more.
  • Add the ability for you to sell your creations like 3D Models and Poser and DAZ assets directly from ShareCG.

Most importantly we will encourage and facilitate on-going open discussions so that we can continually be even more responsive to your ideas and suggestions.  As a subscriber you will become a stake holder and part owner of ShareCG with a vested interest and a voice in making the site a better place for you.

This is a critical make or break moment for ShareCG and I need to know that whatever we decide to do is in your interest and in the interest of making ShareCG the best it can be.  So, please leave your comments here!

Thank you very much for being a ShareCG member and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

David Heller
President
Internet Business Systems, Inc. (ShareCG)

PS:  Mechspot.com is a new AD FREE site that we’ve been working on in our spare time.  It’s got some very cool new functions, like allowing users to tie related assets together.  This link shows how this capability is used to take the user through 9 video lessons:  (http://tinyurl.com).   And, this link shows how a video and two pdf brochures are linked: (http://tinyurl.com)  Think about some applications for ShareCG 🙂

Mechspot looks like SCG will look as a subscription model.  Of course SCG by its very nature will be much cooler.  [Mechspot is in Beta testing and login is disabled, so although you can get a feel for the site, you won’t be able to watch movies or do anything that requires login.]

 



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