It's got everything to do with what I said, this site has adverts, they are paid for, that's how the site is funded.
The more we visits the site the higher the rate for advertising. If the site is not making a profit then it's down to the owner to do something about it.
If my business was not making a profit I would not expect my customers to join together and start paying me extra money. On the other hand, if the owner of this site made a million pound a year profit off this site I would not expect a payout for being a member either
like you say Gaynor - nuff said
There are a few ways to help LJN that do not cost anything, apart from
a bit of time and effort, the forum is not just to gain information,
it can be used to share information, just add anything useful that you
stumble apon. We all benefit from this, as well as Phil.
I have donated twice in the past and have advertised on the site and I
am now employing Phil to work on my new website to improve everything
and to get the SEO sorted. http://www.torbaygardenservices.co.uk/
He has been able to place the photo box from my profile page on LJN onto
the projects page, which I think looks great.
I don't think facebook should come into the arguement at all, as LJN is dealing
with a limited number of members specialsing in one type of work.
I would like to think that one day it will be the first port of call for potential
clients, as this would certainly help all of us. In the meantime I am happy to
happy to help out, and also be helped by other members
I have been thinking about this again today at work, and running through
all the various possibilities, and argueing with an employee of mine about
the merits of funding LJN in one way or another.
In the end we came to the conclusion that a yearly members fee is not practical,
because the site has to be kept open to all, in order to keep its hits high for advertising
revenue, so why should a few people pay a membership fee when everyone else can
view the information freely.
To cut a long story short, it was decided during our lunchbreak, that the only way of encouraging
everyone to pay a small membership fee would be to remove their business details from the site by
removing their profile page details.
They would still be able to post discussions and reply to posts. The new members would be able to
pm each other to share additional information, and would perhaps be the only ones with access to
the private groups and the forum chat facility.
After speaking to Phil when he came to Jockland, he is dead set against charging a membership fee, and after he explained all the pros and cons to me, I have to admit he was right in his thinking. So........................... I am thinking along these lines........... for the people that really do want to support LJN, myself included, advertise on the site ?!?!!?, and this will serve all interested party's. Phil gets the revenue to fund LJN and himself an income from the site which he owns and operates, and the members get without doubt exposure to one of the most publicly viewed landscape websites in the UK.
I know we all get our profiles up and out there but an advert on the most veiwed pages of LJN would also benefit all concerned. Everybody wins, or am I missing something ??. Im sure Phil could put together a advertising package for members to choose from
I am sure if there were sponsors people would be happy to use them. Only have to look at the 'discounts' given in mags like Gardeners World. Access to wholesale prices would be very beneficial. I have found that as a small business it is difficult to gain a wholesale discount form the majority of sellers; horticultural in particular who have such a tight margin. Perhaps a negotiated LJN discount for the smaller operator might be feasable? I am sure that most people would find it hard to say no to a small fee to LJN for negotiating such a deal. This might be in a separate section of the site?
Phil Voice said:
Thanks for starting the ball rolling Graeme - it's never an easy subject (money) to tackle. This is another USP for LJN, discussing as many aspects of the site as possible and letting members decide in a true democracy.
Can I ask, if a trade supplier, say a turf or heavy landscape material company, offered a substantial sponsorship, would members be happy to support those companies?
Thanks for the suggestion Tim.
LJN has a couple of challenges.
1. One of LJN's aims is to highlight what's wrong rather than provide a sycophantic platform (we can leave that to others) to talk up products and suppliers, regardless of their usefulness. This means that some product suppliers steer clear.
2. Tracking - I have entered into agreements with companies in the past whereby I give them free advertising in return for a commission on any sales. This process is based on trust and I have to rely on that company reporting to me that they've made sales through.
We discussed a buying group during the LJN tour recently and one further challenge we encountered was the regional variance of any scheme. Making it workable would take time and money.