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PSA: Provider Tag Fee Implementation - Page 7
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PSA: Provider Tag Fee Implementation

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Comments

  • ErisaErisa Member

    @jbiloh said:

    @Erisa said: Whenever this has happened, it always reminds me of this thread somehow. More fuel for the people who reckon this place will become WHT, I suppose.

    Not the same thing.

    When I visited WHT to discuss in the thread I was very careful to be courteous to WHT and not post links. I only answered the questions directed to me.

    I'm completely aware it's not the same thing.

    I just mentioned that it reminded me of it, and that the people who enjoy talking about this place becoming WHT may be amused by it. I even said I was "somehow" reminded, which implies there isn't a direct connection.

    I'm not sure why linking to other forums is some great taboo (As others raised, is it mentioned in the rules?) but I'm certainly not foolish enough to do it myself.

    What I think needs to be done here, is to have it addressed. Silently modifying peoples posts makes everyone uneasy (not just the one having it modified, but the people around too). Especially when the posts are left making little sense.

    Even just "Hey guys, let's try and keep this on-topic, I've removed some off-topic content/advertising" would go a long way towards accountability and trust.

    I don't hold any particular grudge against you like others, I have tried my best to approach these things independantly and logically, occasionally with a bit of humour thrown in.

    Thanked by 1yoursunny
  • NekkiNekki Member

    @jbiloh said:

    @Nekki said: Bad idea. The only 'good' thing about the 'pay-to-offer' idea is it potentially weeds out a lot of the little scammy cunts. This just leaves the door open for them.

    So you do not support the idea of host reps (who have gone through the application process and been approved) to be able to sell services in request threads?

    If you’re persisting with this ‘pay-to-offer’ approach for LET, then the only community benefit that approach brings (IMO) is a greater degree of protection from dubious sellers. Much of that protection is removed if folks without a provider tag have a back door to make offers.

  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    @Erisa said: What I think needs to be done here, is to have it addressed. Silently modifying peoples posts makes everyone uneasy (not just the one having it modified, but the people around too). Especially when the posts are left making little sense.

    Even just "Hey guys, let's try and keep this on-topic, I've removed some off-topic content/advertising" would go a long way towards accountability and trust.

    Yeah that is a fair point. Will keep that in mind. Thank you.

    @Nekki said: If you’re persisting with this ‘pay-to-offer’ approach for LET, then the only community benefit that approach brings (IMO) is a greater degree of protection from dubious sellers. Much of that protection is removed if folks without a provider tag have a back door to make offers.

    Understood. Thanks for clarifying.

    Thanked by 1Erisa
  • umzakumzak Member

    a monthly subscription of $10-$15 per 30 days maybe a good idea, I as a consumer also benefit, because the provider can offer lower prices if the "provider tag" fee is affordable, also means you get more providers who subscribe

    Thanked by 1JasonM
  • SGrafSGraf Member, Patron Provider

    @umzak said:
    a monthly subscription of $10-$15 per 30 days maybe a good idea, I as a consumer also benefit, because the provider can offer lower prices if the "provider tag" fee is affordable, also means you get more providers who subscribe

    I disagree.

    ..this approach be super confusing if people get/loose provider-tags every month.
    ..this way you just get all of the downsides of a "provider fee" without any of the upsides.

    Plus i assume at the current stage there is no automation. so this means he probably will have to do it by hand :smiley:

  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    @SGraf said:

    @umzak said:
    a monthly subscription of $10-$15 per 30 days maybe a good idea, I as a consumer also benefit, because the provider can offer lower prices if the "provider tag" fee is affordable, also means you get more providers who subscribe

    I disagree.

    ..this approach be super confusing if people get/loose provider-tags every month.
    ..this way you just get all of the downsides of a "provider fee" without any of the upsides.

    Plus i assume at the current stage there is no automation. so this means he probably will have to do it by hand :smiley:

    All by hand indeed.

  • NeoonNeoon Member, Community Contributor

    @SGraf said:

    @umzak said:
    a monthly subscription of $10-$15 per 30 days maybe a good idea, I as a consumer also benefit, because the provider can offer lower prices if the "provider tag" fee is affordable, also means you get more providers who subscribe

    I disagree.

    ..this approach be super confusing if people get/loose provider-tags every month.
    ..this way you just get all of the downsides of a "provider fee" without any of the upsides.

    Plus i assume at the current stage there is no automation. so this means he probably will have to do it by hand :smiley:

    This idea is like 1 year or older, when people first spoke about.
    Plenty of time to automate it, if you ask me, sounds like an excuse.

    Thanked by 1yoursunny
  • Thank you all for posting here.

    We'll keep that in mind - or not.

  • SGrafSGraf Member, Patron Provider

    @jbiloh said:

    @SGraf said:

    @umzak said:
    a monthly subscription of $10-$15 per 30 days maybe a good idea, I as a consumer also benefit, because the provider can offer lower prices if the "provider tag" fee is affordable, also means you get more providers who subscribe

    I disagree.

    ..this approach be super confusing if people get/loose provider-tags every month.
    ..this way you just get all of the downsides of a "provider fee" without any of the upsides.

    Plus i assume at the current stage there is no automation. so this means he probably will have to do it by hand :smiley:

    All by hand indeed.

    I don't understand. Why would you attempt such a major change without any preparation, community consent,...in such a rushed way. The word "undercooked" comes to mind. It almost feels like there is an immediate need for cash, that somehow cannot be met. - If thats the case, what went wrong?

  • Something that may be lost after multiple pages, the Host Reps who are actually non-paying providers will be subject to all the current screening/registration that Providers had been subject to before ( Company name: Public company registration: Company number: Website: (WHMCS/billing panel link) Public WHOIS:) right? They'll be as "fly by night" as the current Provider tag is.

    I guess if the tag management and billing reconciliation is manual, monthly payments does sound pretty tedious. Maybe instead of monthly offer a $25 for 3 month billing options for new providers registered for under 5 years? I'm just stuck on a registration process and up-front payment making the barrier higher with no real respect for the likely size of the company. Mega threads will mean mega-competition (good for users, sure, but also difficult to have a cohesive discussion about the offer/host rep's offer) and creating specialized plans to respond to request posts sounds like it's likely to quickly amplify the work and frustration on both sides via plans not being clearly laid out/understood by both parties.

    I also have a small concern that adding a provider fee is also going to result in more pressure to be like that other forum where the deals seem to be auto-posted like clockwork and the providers rarely respond to questions in the offer threads.

  • ErisaErisa Member

    @ChefJoe said: Something that may be lost after multiple pages, the Host Reps who are actually non-paying providers will be subject to all the current screening/registration that Providers had been subject to before ( Company name: Public company registration: Company number: Website: (WHMCS/billing panel link) Public WHOIS:) right? They'll be as "fly by night" as the current Provider tag is.

    That assessment is correct, as mentioned briefly when jbiloh was talking to Nekki:

    @jbiloh said: host reps (who have gone through the application process and been approved)

    I don't believe anything is changing on the verification front, just that Host Reps will become the role for Providers that don't pay.

  • niknar1900niknar1900 Member
    edited March 2022

    I would like to preface what I'm about to say with the following: I'm not a provider, nor will I ever be, so I will not make assumptions about how your industry works, because I don't really know. But I appreciate all of you for making LET the goto place all these years. So thank you, it's been fun, I know some of you will probably leave because of what's going on and I understand, so good luck to you.

    But here's my 2 cents.... Has LET thought about splitting up the monthly fee? For example, some providers only offer shared/reseller while others specialized in dedicated. Why not charge $3-4 per category?

    Shared/Reseller - $4
    VPS - $4
    Dedicated - $4
    Services (email, etc.) - $4

    Or get it all for $16 (or a discounted combo deal). I think this is more agreeable. The prices are obviously up to @jbiloh but I feel like smaller providers won't get pushed out I think. I would hate to see this community fall apart.

  • HostSlickHostSlick Member, Patron Provider

    @niknar1900 said:
    I would like to preface what I'm about to say with the following: I'm not a provider, nor will I ever be, so I will not make assumptions about how your industry works, because I don't really know. But I appreciate all of you for making LET to goto place all these years. So thank you, it's been fun, I know some of you will probably leave because of what's going on and I understand, so good luck to you.

    But here's my 2 cents.... Has LET thought about splitting up the monthly fee? For example, some providers only offer shared/reseller while others specialized in dedicated. Why not charge $3-4 per category?

    Shared/Reseller - $4
    VPS - $4
    Dedicated - $4
    Services (email, etc.) - $4

    Or get it all for $16 (or a discounted combo deal). I think this is more agreeable. The prices are obviously up to @jbiloh but I feel like smaller providers won't get pushed out I think. I would hate to see this community fall apart.

    Well, my 2cents are, if you run a business and have doubts about $16, then we should ask you how you or your business even survive.

    We are not talking about $50 or a fee WHT charges - this we can not compare alltogether.
    Its a 16USD-

    I mean... as a provider... You could also invest that 16USD/100 per 6 Months also in other kind of adverts but for that amount of money, you wont get as much as audience you get from LET. If you dont want to advertise or rarely/1-2 threads whatsover per year you can still have the Host Rep tag - which is almost like the Provider tag. So i dont see the problem.

    Also funny how some people talk, to give back to the community but then 16USD is too much.

    Thanked by 1niknar1900
  • HostSlickHostSlick Member, Patron Provider
    edited March 2022

    @KermEd said: How many $5/yr servers some provider needs to sell to cover that fee is crazy, considering their profit is probably 0.25/user. So they need to sell what, 2,000 servers to pay for the privilege of posting an ad thread on LET?

    Cross and Upselling. A provider can turn the $5/yr into much more money. Advertising is about gaining new customers. Like i have alot of customers purchased my $7 Lifetime Shared Hosting BF deal who later spend more cash right?

  • HostSlickHostSlick Member, Patron Provider

    @dustinc said:

    @jbiloh said:
    Since the concept of the "Provider Tag" fee was officially rolled out we have made two adjustments based on community and provider feedback:

    1. A reduction for existing providers on their initial fee of 20% from $100 per six months to $80 per six months
    2. Modifying the "Host Rep" permissions to include the ability to directly market their services in the unified "Mega Deals" threads we run for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, New Year's, etc.

    In addition to the above, and in acknowledgement that LowEndTalk has a very special appreciation for micro providers who are getting their start, what does the community think about the following modification below:

    Proposed Change: "Host Rep" tag holders will be eligible to directly market their services to LowEndTalk forum users in the REQUESTS (https://lowendtalk.com/categories/requests) category.

    By making this change Host Reps would have a clear opportunity to immediately, and organically, grow their business through the userbase of LowEndTalk and it provides a pathway to moving to provider tag status and thus being able to create individual offer threads.

    Thoughts?

    Great idea -- more flexibility for the providers who are unwilling to pay for advertisements. This provides balance for those who remain active within the community to learn, and perhaps catch an opportunity while they're at it along with the many other benefits in engaging with existing clients.

    I agree

  • KermEdKermEd Member
    edited March 2022

    I'm just waiting for @jbiloh to announce a price increase so he can generate some NFTs :disappointed:

    @yabs said:
    Why not just moving to and you don't need to pay any tags?

    Looks like you got edited for saying LowEndSpirit.

  • HostSlickHostSlick Member, Patron Provider
    edited March 2022

    @jbiloh said: A reduction for existing providers on their initial fee of 20% from $100 per six months to $80 per six months

    I also received the discount when requesting password reset. Thanks for this!

    @DP said: I think this should be discussed at length, months even, to lay out the plan, to share the mission, vision and goals for the platform, gather opinions, and then set a target or a tentative date in future for the actual rollout/implementation.

    There was a thread before this one in the provider section where it was discussed prior this one :)

    @SGraf said: Having had the opportunity to potentially buy out some businesses that also advertise on various forums including this one - the actual numbers in terms of client counts rarely match up with the claims on the website. The same is true for all sorts of things such as owned hardware/datacenters/eqipment.... or references for companies they claim to provide services to/reviews left by clients. The marketing/perception often does not match up with reality.

    I had the opportunities as well and buying others. You are right though. The numbers are worse then you expect on them.
    Thats why i always think twice: "Why would someone sell a cash-cow?"
    They can name whatever reason. "leaving the market" for example its just bs. You can manage Hosting companies easily as side business.
    And - by cash-cow is meant something that MAKES you money.

    Then you have the answer - your said above

  • @SGraf said:

    @jbiloh said:
    All by hand indeed.

    I don't understand. Why would you attempt such a major change without any preparation, community consent,...in such a rushed way. The word "undercooked" comes to mind. It almost feels like there is an immediate need for cash, that somehow cannot be met. - If thats the case, what went wrong?

    Greed, and narcissism.

  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    @HostSlick said: I mean... as a provider... You could also invest that 16USD/100 per 6 Months also in other kind of adverts but for that amount of money, you wont get as much as audience you get from LET. If you dont want to advertise or rarely/1-2 threads whatsover per year you can still have the Host Rep tag - which is almost like the Provider tag. So i dont see the problem.

    Also funny how some people talk, to give back to the community but then 16USD is too much.

    Thank you for your support @HostSlick

    @HostSlick said: Cross and Upselling. A provider can turn the $5/yr into much more money. Advertising is about gaining new customers. Like i have alot of customers purchased my $7 Lifetime Shared Hosting BF deal who later spend more cash right?

    At the hosting company I used to own our largest customer came from a single dedicated server sale initially that was $49/month. Ten years later they were a multi million dollar client per year. True story.

    @KermEd said: I'm just waiting for @jbiloh to announce a price increase so he can generate some NFTs

    NFTs and Crypto are two things I don't really understand. Confusing world we live in.

  • lentrolentro Member, Host Rep

    Some insight on the $22k:
    https://talk.lowendspirit.com/discussion/comment/81878/#Comment_81878

    Seems like most of it goes to labor, probably to Not_Oles and Raindog for content creation. So before everyone attacks jbiloh by saying he's profiting, he has an actual payroll to meet. I'd guess that labor, not server hosting, is the largest cost. Given he wants to get a video editor, I think this provider billing change was going to go to pay for that.

    Of course, pure speculation here, but I think labor costs might be a pretty significant factor in this decision to charge providers, and it's reasonable for jbiloh to need to generate additional revenue to pay for that.

    Thanked by 1KermEd
  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    Good evening everyone.

    The last 48 hours have been quite busy. I have been keenly focused on listening to the feedback regarding our new Provider Tag fee model.

    One of the most prominent elements of feedback received is how this new fee will negatively impact startup and micro providers -- a group of users who LowEndTalk has always valued, appreciated and respected. So we have just announced an update to the new rule providing for an enhancement to the abilities of Host Reps.

    Initially, Host Reps were restricted to general discussion and addressing questions pertaining to their company only when directly asked through common discourse. We've made a number of enhancements for Host Reps, outlined below, in rules number 4, 5, and 6.

    Host Rep Rules:

    1. Participate in all general conversation, just like all other members
    2. Reply to comments and threads that specifically reference their company
    3. Represent their company professionally
    4. Participate in the unified LowEndTalk sponsored “Mega Deal” thread(s), such as our Black Friday, Cyber Monday, New Year’s, etc, event threads. Host Rep users will be able to post their offers inside the Mega Deal thread, but not their own individual advertising threads. Individual advertising threads are limited to "Provider Tag" holders.
    5. Reply, with service offers, to user created service request threads within the "requests" category - https://lowendtalk.com/categories/requests
    6. Host Rep tag holders may advertise their company in their signature

    We will continue to closely monitor and listen to community feedback and make tweaks to our new roll out.

    Thank you to everyone who has voiced an opinion and helped us establish a better path forward.

    Also a big thank you to the dozens and dozens of companies that have stepped up and offered their support, intellectually, financially and through payment of their Provider Tag fees.

    Thank you everyone. More soon! :)

  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator
    edited March 2022

    @lentro said: Seems like most of it goes to labor, probably to Not_Oles and Raindog for content creation. So before everyone attacks jbiloh by saying he's profiting, he has an actual payroll to meet. I'd guess that labor, not server hosting, is the largest cost. Given he wants to get a video editor, I think this provider billing change was going to go to pay for that.

    Of course, pure speculation here, but I think labor costs might be a pretty significant factor in this decision to charge providers, and it's reasonable for jbiloh to need to generate additional revenue to pay for that.

    I outlined how the funds would be allocated in the private provider thread posted a week ago talking about this concept plus also publicly a few times (though I think that's been lost among all the posting). The TLDR is that we are investing everything right back into the platform.

    Just trying to build the best community possible here. We need to create reasons for people to come to LEB and LET and content is king. The more people that come to LET, the more money providers make from their ads, it's all symbiotic.

    :)

  • ErisaErisa Member

    So when you add it all together, the only thing a Host Rep can't do compared to a Provider is open an Offer thread? I think that is a lot better than the original hardline approach, so thank you for that much.

    Thanked by 2lentro niknar1900
  • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

    @Erisa said: So when you add it all together, the only thing a Host Rep can't do compared to a Provider is open an Offer thread? I think that is a lot better than the original hardline approach, so thank you for that much.

    Pretty close, yep.

    I feel good about where we are at.

    Thanked by 2Erisa niknar1900
  • yoursunnyyoursunny Member, IPv6 Advocate

    @Erisa said:
    So when you add it all together, the only thing a Host Rep can't do compared to a Provider is open an Offer thread? I think that is a lot better than the original hardline approach, so thank you for that much.

    "Host Rep tag holders may advertise their company in their signature"

    This actually applies to everyone.
    I had yoursunny summer host in my signature from time to time and nobody said anything.

  • Mahfuz_SS_EHLMahfuz_SS_EHL Member, Host Rep

    WHT is still giving chance to create Offer post for free, while the premium membership is available at $49/Yr. I'm not hurt, just my two cents !

    Please, remove My Provider Tag, I would rather spend My $200 in more effective manner for My company. There is something very wrong in your pricing here.

  • AdvinAdvin Member, Patron Provider

    @yoursunny said:

    @Erisa said:
    So when you add it all together, the only thing a Host Rep can't do compared to a Provider is open an Offer thread? I think that is a lot better than the original hardline approach, so thank you for that much.

    "Host Rep tag holders may advertise their company in their signature"

    This actually applies to everyone.
    I had yoursunny summer host in my signature from time to time and nobody said anything.

    yoursunny summer host was just too premium

    Thanked by 2yoursunny Ganonk
  • @jbiloh said:

    @Erisa said: So when you add it all together, the only thing a Host Rep can't do compared to a Provider is open an Offer thread? I think that is a lot better than the original hardline approach, so thank you for that much.

    Pretty close, yep.

    I feel good about where we are at.

    I’m not sure why people think this is a good stance. Gating offer posts to those with provider tags will reduce their visibility and make new community members think twice from buying from those hosts.

    The only way to salvage this is to settle for a fee much lower than $200/year, maybe $20/year, permanently, and not just a one time discount.

    And again, no one actually cares about your LEB posts, and I think if you check your site analytics this would be confirmed.

  • yoursunnyyoursunny Member, IPv6 Advocate

    @stevewatson301 said:

    And again, no one actually cares about your LEB posts, and I think if you check your site analytics this would be confirmed.

    LEB and LET serve different audiences.
    There are some overlapping, but some readers only use one site not the other.
    This doesn't mean LEB has no traffic.

    I discovered LEB around 2012 and only read LEB until 2017.
    I came to LET afterwards because all the offers there at the time were from the same small set of providers, and never looked back.

    Now, Provider Tag is an LET thing, so it should only be used to fund LET.
    Whatever being spent on LEB should be funded from there, such as pay-per-post offers on LEB.

  • edited March 2022

    @yoursunny said: There are some overlapping, but some readers only use one site not the other. This doesn't mean LEB has no traffic.

    Of course, but it shows people don't care about LEB as much as jbiloh or raindog thinks.

    As per Alexa (which I've found to be a good proxy to in-site analytics), their rank has gone from ~55,000 to ~98,000 in recent times. For reference, I run a low-touch site that ranks higher than 98,000. Giveaways seem to be the only thing driving traffic there.

    Thanked by 1NobodyInteresting
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