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Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
How has the change been? on 01/10/2012 21:51:02 MST Print View

Been a little while now since the policy change in Gearswap. Has it had it's intended result, freeing up space? Going to continue? I know I pushed for this change for some time. I have heard compelling arguments on both sides of the fence. Just wondering what BPL is thinking.

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Change on 01/11/2012 13:09:39 MST Print View

Hi Ken!
So far, the most strenuous protestors have been non-members, who, despite their volume and/or numbers, don't actually have an oar in this. I'm not sure what has changed in terms of growth, but any loss of members hasn't been statistically significantly different than our usual attrition rate. The latest verdict: no change to current set-up.
Thanks!
Addie

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Change on 01/14/2012 20:04:14 MST Print View

"non-members, who, despite their volume and/or numbers, don't actually have an oar in this."

Which is why the way that non-members are treated in threads about the site result in non-members who will STAY non-members.

If members and mods treated non-members and POTENTIAL members then perhaps there would actually be some growth in this place.

So, the result of the failed experiment has resulted in a net loss of potential gear for sale to everyone and potential membership sales from people sticking around and joining.

well done. well done.

:slow clap:

Charles Henry
(Chuckie_Cheese)

Locale: Arizona and British Columbia
Re: Change on 01/19/2012 17:39:10 MST Print View

I'm not sure what has changed in terms of growth, but any loss of members hasn't been statistically significantly different than our usual attrition rate. The latest verdict: no change to current set-up.

Please note the following statement is as neutral as possible and does not reveal any opinions about the policy:

I have to point out that the absence of a LOSS of members is not good evidence that this policy is successful. The explicit goal of this change was to gain revenue by increasing signups. What you would expect from this change is an increase in signups so people can sell. It would be very surprising that subscribing registered members would leave the site due to this change, especially considering many of them are "M-life" members and subscriptions are yearly.

What would address the question is:

1. How large has the increase in signups been
2. How has the guest viewership changed
3. How has activity in the gear swap forum changed.

Most of this information is easily available to the admins.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: How has the change been? on 01/19/2012 18:24:39 MST Print View

I've only been on BPL for 39 days and a member for 38 days, but I'm more likely to use Gearswap to buy or sell since it is within a more cloistered group. That's not to say that 98% of non-members aren't on the up and up, and we recently saw that gear going between members can go awry as well, but, for me, I'm more likely to use Gearswap with the new policy in place.

I wonder if the BPL owners have some blindspots for being in the thick of it:

People like me, who have a paycheck and diposable income are MORE likely to join/donate just because it seems like the right thing to do but feel LESS need to use Gearswap because a few bucks is just a few bucks. While college students and wage slaves are LESS likely to join in part because of their perceived poverty but also because of a generational experience of bytes and pixels being free while being MORE in need of Gearswap to save a few bucks. There's also the idealism of the young, a certain feeling of entitlement to anything that once was free, and IMO a cluelessness about the downsides of the alternatives: higher prices and higher transaction costs on eBay, lots of flakes on Craigslist, a poorly targeted market anywhere else, etc. If eBay let you sell unlimited stuff with no transaction cost to vetted customers for only $20/year, that would be a huge bargain and would reduce their income so much, they'd go under.

Who's your market for memberships? People who pony up for something they see as valuable? Or people who whine that everything in the world isn't free for them?

I think you probably haven't and won't bring in much membership money with this change, but it makes Gearswap more attractive to me as a member.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: How has the change been? on 01/20/2012 09:01:45 MST Print View

I don't believe non-members are less trustworthy than members in the GearSwap

If you do things correctly then there should be no issues. Don't ship until you are paid and pay with paypal so you are protected.

also not sure why it's more attractive. There are less things being sold with the same audience to buy.

You can't compare BPL to ebay.. the same way people couldn't compare Kooka bay to Amazon the other day. Ebay serves MILLIONS of people per HOUR 24/7 365. Ebay does more business in 5 minutes than BPL will ever do in it's lifetime.

From the way things have been lately i forsee this becoming Ryan Jordan's blog and wilderness school sign up area. he's biting the people who have fed him and could care less about new memberships. He says that BPL is not a revenue stream for him so what is his motivation to give a crap about improving it?

They stated that they wanted to increase membership sales. they have not.

Keep calling people whiners David. you keep looking like an pompous jerk.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
David on 01/20/2012 09:15:49 MST Print View

Can you give me your definition of Wage slaves? I am not familiar with the term. Thanks.

a b
(Ice-axe)
Wage Slave on 01/20/2012 09:42:27 MST Print View

Hi Kat, I think David is referring to those of us living Paycheck to Paycheck.
I believe i fit into that category.
However I am a member of BPL even though I am a wage slave.
Actually i am not really offended by the term and actually have referred to myself as such. Everyone makes their own way in this world.
As for the assumption that wage slaves want everything for free, I believe that is incorrect.
I re-joined BPL and a few other hiking related sites because I want to see them continue. I think they are valuable places for development and sharing of information.
Twenty bucks is food for three days for me. Twenty bucks gets me to work and back each day.
Even though I am a wage slave I think it was worth the sacrifice to help keep the BPL community going.
But that is my opinion. If a non-member sees it differently; who am I to judge?
Maybe they have not seen the value in BPL yet.
Maybe in time they will, so long as we don't totally alienate them.

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
wage slave: perceived poverty on 01/20/2012 09:56:43 MST Print View

“Actually i am not really offended by the term (i.e., wage slave) and actually have referred to myself as such.”

Sounded offensive to me

Edited by Gabe on 01/20/2012 10:01:04 MST.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: wage slave: perceived poverty on 01/20/2012 10:06:10 MST Print View

I looked for a definition and nothing I have found would apply to anyone on this forum, that I can think of, so I am wondering who David is referring to with that term.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: wage slave: perceived poverty on 01/20/2012 10:15:41 MST Print View

From the Urban Dictionary:

1. wage slave: regular worker/employee. someone with no autonomy who must work to survive.
I am a wage slave at McDonalds

2. wage slave
Someone who earns only enough at their job to pay basic expenses. Sometimes refered to as 'working poor'.
"Retirement savings?! I'm a wage slave. I make $5 an hour."

From some of the posts I've seen in the forums, I think the term would apply to some folks here. I also think it's a pretty common slang term these days. I've certainly heard in many times before in many places from many different mouths.

Also, IMO, neither of these two definitions is necessarily derogatory, just factual. While I do think some words can be offensive by themselves, I'm one of those who believe that intent is an important factor for most words being offensive. From the sum of David's posts on this site, I feel quite comfortable believing that he simply used a fairly well-known slang term with no ill intent.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re: wage slave: perceived poverty on 01/20/2012 10:19:32 MST Print View

Thanks Doug.
I am not with you on the intent at this point, given what the post was like, but I have been wrong before. At the very least it came off snobbish, which isn't necessarily wrong; I have my own snobbish behavior.

Edited:
"fairly well known slang term". Apparently it is. English is not my first or second or third or even fourth language...how is that for a snob ;)

Edited by Kat_P on 01/20/2012 10:26:22 MST.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: wage slave: perceived poverty on 01/20/2012 10:21:53 MST Print View

+1 on what Doug wrote

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: How has the change been? on 01/20/2012 10:33:01 MST Print View

the only ones offend by "wage slave" are the ones paying out the wages. The only ones who call them whiners for fighting for something that was once a privilege are people who can easily afford it.
Thats modern America.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: How has the change been? on 01/20/2012 10:34:46 MST Print View

"They stated that they wanted to increase membership sales. they have not."

Jake, you have no way of knowing this, any more than the rest of us. I do know, factual but anecdotal, that I've seen a few gear swap posts since the new policy from people who were not members before the policy was put in place - and they weren't doing anything more than selling gear (not contributing to other forums). So, anecdotally, they have increased membership sales with the new policy. What none of us know is if they lost memberships (which would be people who didn't renew because of the new policy). I haven't seen any traffic in the forums saying so.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: wage slave: perceived poverty on 01/20/2012 10:37:30 MST Print View

We have to remember that often when posting most don't spend a lot of time to review, edit and ensure the post is clear and concise. It is just a post.

I have been very impressed with Dave's contributions over his 30+ days as a member.

I have used gear swap twice, so I could care less about it. However, I would only enter into a transaction with a long-term member (paying or not). Someone who has been on BPL for a length of time, and who I could assemble a feeling for their "trustworthyness."

As to "wage slave," that would describe me when I was young. I had no salable skills, so my wage earning potential was limited. I did something about it, and others do not. The term does not bother me... actually I am proud of what I did to get out of that situation.

He also makes a comment about some who have a feeling of entitlement. I agree with this. Things have changed over the decades. I spend a lot of time teaching organizations on how to deal with the X, Y and Z generations.

The bottom line is that subscription based model is probably not going to pay the BPL bills, and whether or not the other income producing endeavors are successful is iffy from my perspective. Time will tell.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Not offensive on 01/20/2012 10:39:06 MST Print View

I don't think anyone is offended by the term, but the assumption that low income posters ( that is what we are talking about, I am being told everyone knows that..) are less likely to pay the membership and more likely to feel entitled, is just that, an assumption. That is what I am addressing.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: How has the change been? on 01/20/2012 10:40:33 MST Print View

"the only ones offend by "wage slave" are the ones paying out the wages. The only ones who call them whiners for fighting for something that was once a privilege are people who can easily afford it.
Thats modern America."

C'mon Brian, that's not only a very simplistic view, it's incorrect. Warren Buffet constantly talks about the unfairness of the tax code, Bill Gates Sr. lobbies to keep the inheritance tax, etc. There are many very, very wealthy people who lobby for economic fairness, and have for decades.

There is a real problem with economic inequality in the country, on that we agree wholeheartedly. And there are many powerful, wealthy people who want to ensure it stays that way, on that we agree as well.

But there are also many, many economically disadvantaged people who, for whatever reason, vote for those who will ensure it pretty much stays that way.

There's nothing simple about the issue, and there are no simple answers to it.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Wage slave on 01/20/2012 10:41:02 MST Print View

In this time of high unemployment, i'm glad to be a wage slave.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Wage slave on 01/20/2012 10:42:03 MST Print View

We are all very proud of you Nick.