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Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/28/2013 19:19:25 MDT Print View

Got this today.

Dear BPL Lifetime Member,

I'd like to invite you to participate in a strategic planning survey that is specifically targeted to identify if MLIFE's are either supportive or opposed to seeing third-party advertising when they are logged in at backpackinglight.com with their MLIFE user account.

There is a brief introduction, followed by two questions. Thank you for participating - your feedback is incredibly valuable to me.

Please take the survey online here:

******I did not include the link as it is meant for MLifers only.************

Best Regards,
Ryan Jordan
Founder / CEO
Backpacking Light


It's a 90 day test period. We'll see.

Curtis B.
(rutilate) - MLife

Locale: New England
Re:Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/29/2013 05:12:55 MDT Print View

I too received the survey invitation, and this was my response:

I'm sorry, but as a lifetime member, I paid my dues and have received no real return on this investment. You (Ryan) have been utterly and completely absent from the site. Content has been lame to say the least. Complaints, suggestions, and even willing volunteers have been ignored and snubbed. Adding this advertising to MLifers is adding insult to injury. I understand your desire to monetize the site, but first you must rebuild the trust that you've systemically destroyed during the past 3 years that I've been a lifetime member.

---
A far better approach would be to engage customers and visitors in a meaningful dialog about how to share the burden of managing the site, generating new content, welcoming visitors, and generating activity that makes people DESPERATE to join rather than wondering WHY they joined.

There are an huge number of people here who would love to help out, love to participate in many ways, if only their contribution was allowed, valued, and recognized. Find ways to recognize and thank those who've contributed the most, assisted others, generated the most content. Make people feel welcome and valued.

Giffgaff in the UK is a mobile phone company that generated 400k subscribers in 3 years-with a staff of only 25. They key to their success? They let their customers design the company. They have no customer support function--it is all done via their online customer support community. There is a tier-II support for billing and other privacy-related issues, but the customers support each other and do a far better job than US industry call centers. Customers recruit new members, create advertisements, set pricing, create apps, and generate content. All because they care about the product and community.

People here are passionate about the community. Let them loose and enable them to work miracles.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re:Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/29/2013 06:16:33 MDT Print View

Thanks Curtis! +1

Did anyone notice that no mention of the survey has been made by Ryan here on BPL in the MLife forum?

I like this last post by him...

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=66311&skip_to_post=570076#570076

Edit: Doh. Let me include it so all can read it. Thanks Jason

Re: Re: Ryan's Email on 08/01/2012 15:49:11 MDT Reply Report Post Print View
MLIFE's have earned the privilege of getting an insiders view into how BPL works. I think it's important for me to start by reinforcing this relationship first.


OK so in the interest of fairness he never states when that would begin. I just didn't think it would be so long.


I'm sure more links to follow.

Edited by kthompson on 10/29/2013 17:17:03 MDT.

Peter S
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Re: Re: Re:Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/29/2013 06:35:29 MDT Print View

+2

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re:Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/29/2013 08:41:48 MDT Print View

"Did anyone notice that no mention of the survey has been made by Ryan here on BPL in the MLife forum?"

Ryan sent an email link to Survey Monkey. This way he knows who responded and might take comments into consideration based on who made them.

Maybe he will engage members to assist as Curtis suggested. Maybe he won't.

Lets give him some slack. He is doing something. We need to keep in mind that he has a family to support and investing time in supporting BPL has not worked for him, as it apparently does not generate enough income to free him up from his other income producing activities.

Yes, paying members may not have received what has been promised, but it appears Ryan is trying.

Perhaps we should sit back and let him fix things. Ultimately what BPL becomes or does not become is up to Ryan. It is his website.

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
MLife on 10/29/2013 09:26:27 MDT Print View

I am an MLifer and received no such survey invitation. Come to think of it, I never receive any newsletter or other communication from BPL (other than watched thread notifications).

Checked my account preferences and indeed I am signed up for email and newsletters.

Edited by BER on 10/29/2013 09:30:25 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: MLife on 10/29/2013 09:29:57 MDT Print View

"I am an MLifer and received no such survey invitation. Come to think of it, I never receive any newsletter or other communication from BPL (other than watched thread notifications)."

Not sure why you didn't get the email (did you check your junk mail folder?), but the newsletter is an option in My Account. You have to 'turn it on.'

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Doug on 10/29/2013 09:42:06 MDT Print View

Not in the junk folder and my account preference for the newsletter is (and has been) on.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Doug on 10/29/2013 09:53:12 MDT Print View

"Not in the junk folder and my account preference for the newsletter is (and has been) on."

Have you considered the possibility that you don't exist?

:)

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Doug on 10/29/2013 09:56:35 MDT Print View

LOL

Nick is on a roll!

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/29/2013 10:14:35 MDT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/29/2013 10:47:03 MDT Print View

Unhappy?

complaints

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Doug on 10/29/2013 10:52:39 MDT Print View

"Not in the junk folder and my account preference for the newsletter is (and has been) on."

I'm out of ideas.....

I've had my newsletter turned off for a long time, I assumed others might as well. Perhaps something to submit to the new support system?

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/29/2013 10:54:51 MDT Print View

+1 zero return on investment.

Ryan has been coasting on reputation for years, while establishing a new reputation as someone that can't follow through. It is time to put BPL up for sale. It really needs someone with more time, less family, and more passion to reinvigorate the BPL brand. The Gossamer gear newsletter is more exciting and fresher than the content here.

I am not convinced that closing the store has led to the generation of better content. Also, the focus on WTS, has brought little to no benefit to the BPL community at large.

MLifers funding a leveraged buyout to put BPL under Ryan control has not led to any noticeable improvements in the last 5 years.

Instead of engaging the people who wanted to volunteer to make the site better, Ryan snubbed the MLIFE strategic planning and brought in a "pro". So far, the pro has introduced ads in various ways.

I think the idea at this point is to suck as much ad revenue as the site can generate, coasting on old content driving visitors through search engines.

Edited by redmonk on 10/29/2013 11:12:26 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/29/2013 11:01:31 MDT Print View

It is one of the reasons that I am only an F now. A really annoying F, but an F all the same.

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
DO I exist? on 10/29/2013 11:24:08 MDT Print View

"Have you considered the possibility that you don't exist?"

This is certainly a possibility. I guess that any complaints I might have in regards to BPL are equally nonexistent. I will go back and crawl under my imaginary rock. At least I can amuse myself with the nonexistent improvements at BPL.

:)

Edited by BER on 10/29/2013 11:25:52 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/29/2013 11:34:48 MDT Print View

"It is time to put BPL up for sale"

Or maybe member owned

Sort of like the Green Bay Packers

But that's up to Ryan...

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Locale: www.hikelighter.com
Re: Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/29/2013 11:53:44 MDT Print View

I voted yes to both questions, and left the following message in one of the textfields, in the rare chance RJ is actually going to read any of this.


I have answered yes to both of these, however I would like to share on my thoughts.

I make my living from subscription based internet services. While I am in support of BMG generating revenue via third party advertisements, I personally believe that *all* paying members of a web-based service should have the *option* to turn off advertisements.

IF somebody is willing to come forward and say "yep, here are a few bucks a month/year/whatever" they should have the right to turn off advertisement - and we as Service Providers (because that is what you and I are, in owning website like this) should be respectful of those individuals willing to support us, by giving them all the ability to turn off advertisements.

This whole MLIFE only gets to turn off advertisements I am just not a fan of. I am a MLIFE member, but I still think all financially supporting members of BMG/BPL should have the option to turn off advertisements. Turn them on by default, but let *all* those who pay have the option to turn them off.


+John Abela

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/29/2013 12:40:18 MDT Print View

Nick says "Lets give him some slack"

I think we've paid out enough rope already. Who's going to cut him down? He's left us swinging.


Some are tired of my comments. I appreciate the opportunity to leave comments on the survey. I'm willing to discuss any comments I have made now, in the past and in the future with anyone.

I just cannot stand anyone behaving as Ryan has. Sorry.

Edited by kthompson on 10/29/2013 13:50:35 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/29/2013 13:51:24 MDT Print View

"I think we've paid out enough rope already. Who's going to cut him down? He's left us swinging."

Has he? I have posted repeatedly that I purchased a M-Life with the obvious fact that BPL was strapped for cash.

My motivation for shelling out the money was my enjoyment of the forums and an occasional article.

I also weighed the realistic probability that BPL could fold, and was willing to lose my investment. I don't feel I was left swinging, because there wasn't a lot of value in BPL other than the forums.

Caveat emptor if anyone feels they did not get what they paid for.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Survey for advertising to be seen by MLifers on 10/29/2013 14:33:22 MDT Print View

"My motivation for shelling out the money was my enjoyment of the forums and an occasional article."

This is kind of where I am at with BPL. I'm up for renewal next month and plan on renewing as a life member. Articles have been hit and miss but I enjoy these forums and realize that it costs money and time to run them.