Forum: Event Management System

Free vs Paid version

Giorgio Davanzo
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
  • National Race Officer
Let me start by thanking you again for all your efforts; furthermore, I fully understand the costs of running this web application and that it is appropriate for users to contribute to them.

Just a few things:
  1. Some features are now requiring to be Patreons. What does it mean? Is it enough that one of the editors is a Patreon? Should all the editors be Patreons? Or should all the officials members be Patreons?
  2. Can I suggest that you rename "Patreons" to "Paying users"? The term "Patreon" was fit when you had enthusiastic people supporting your efforts, but now that the features differ depending whether you have a subscription or not it would make sense to rebrand the whole thing to deliver a transparent message.
  3. If you become a Patreon (as an organizing authority, judge, etc.), who will issue the invoice for the payment? I am asking it because it is quite relevant, at least here in Italy.
  4. How come that the yearly upfront payment is more expensive than the monthly one?

Again, thanks!
Created: 21-Sep-14 17:17

Comments

P
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Umpire
  • International Judge
  • National Judge
0
Thanks for the kind words.  We are appreciative of the community and the effort so many people have put into this site.  And let me preface my response to your questions with the perspective that the site has evolved and grown from and with the contributions of the community which didn't necessarily include much long term strategy for the development.  That is not an excuse for what may be less than optimum features, but just an explanation for how we are where we are.

1. The simple answer is that you must be a Patron of the site to turn on the feature when you create an event.  It does not require that the user be a Patron to use the feature.  So all of the features of the event will work for all the officials designated, whether or not they contribute to the site.  Should all the officials be Patrons?  Yes!  But it is not required to use the features once enabled by a Patron of the site.  And honestly, if for whatever reason you can't justify becoming a Patron of the site, send me an email and I'll enable the features you need.

1. & 2. The site remains free and open to anyone (with the exception that we do block users for violation of our terms of service).  It now serves nearly half a million views per month with 40 thousand users a week.  That is a 500% increase from 2019 when we started voluntary contributions. It is not uncommon to see hosting resources scale up significantly to accommodate the load. We started accepting help with covering the cost of some of these resources through voluntary contributions and acknowledging those contributions with Patron status.  And as a reward, there were features which were limited to those who contributed.  For example, access to the links in the rules has been a reward from the beginning.  Then, because many of the telecoms raised their fee dramatically, we had to charge to cover the cost of SMS (which is surprisingly expensive now).  And we added WhatsApp, which charges by the message, so we have to charge for that service.  The general event management system is still free, but now we have extended the rewards for Patrons to various features of the event management system.  We have done this as we haven't seen a proportionate increase in contributions in relation to the use of the site.  It serves as a reminder and as encouragement for users that this is a community effort and we can spread the burden of the cost over the group that benefits from its development.  We still see it as a reward for those people who are patrons of the site.

3.  We will implement attaching the invoice to the email sent confirming your subscription.

4.  Good question.  It is how it evolved.  We should plan on restructuring the subscription scale.  I would love to hear suggestions.  Perhaps we make it equal: $10 and $120.  Or perhaps the amount is too high.  Would it help to reduce it to $6 and $72 such that the number of subscriptions would increase to offset the difference?  
Created: 21-Sep-14 17:58
P
Luigi Bertini
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • Regional Race Officer
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
  • International Umpire
1
Hi Paul
First of all many thanks for your continuous support and help.
Let me expose my point of view:
a) you said, ".. to turn on the feature when you create an event". Sorry but this is not true. I'm in the middle of an event (I wrote you directly also about) with offshore boats and suddenly I was kicked out from many features. I had dozen of emails and messages because the teams were not able to lodge crew and material substitutions.  Tomorrow they will start for a 600 miles leg....
So... not "when you CREATE an event" apparently. I agree with you: need support but can't be done while a race is on. Now I'm Patron but was not my choice. I was forced to be.
b) how to cut/stop the subscription? It is not clear and the "edit your subscription" link is not working, just bouncing to Paypal
c) Is any invoice available? 
d) why not to have 12€ per month with no renewal or 100€ per year? You know that many of the events are about 4-5 days and a month is already too much for a subscription. 

Regards
Luigi
Created: 21-Sep-15 04:56
P
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Umpire
  • International Judge
  • National Judge
0
Sorry to hear you're having problems Luigi, but I see you've subscribed under this email, but you have another email address not subscribed.  I suspect the issue you're having is with the other email account.  Try adding your Patron account to the event as editor, then log on to the account.  You should be able to edit the event as needed.
Created: 21-Sep-15 05:14
Giorgio Davanzo
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
  • National Race Officer
3
Hi Paul, 
  thanks for answering.

As for the pricing: in general, I think that if you pay upfront you should get a discount.

But to be clear: I don't think that the system is usable anymore for good without being patreons; I respect and understand your decision, but saying that this means patreoning is wrong.
It is fine if you start charging for using rrs.org, but then I would expect to find a contract detailing what will I get for the money I pay, SLA, policies on support, etc.

Furthermore, I would suggest adding an option to pay for a single event only - thus allowing clubs that are using the system only for a couple of events to pay only for that event.

To conclude: all of this would have worked better with a little bit more efforts on communicating it to the community, rather than suddenly changing the way the system works.

Giorgio
Created: 21-Sep-15 07:30
P
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Umpire
  • International Judge
  • National Judge
0
Thanks for your perspective Giorgio.  The base settings which don't require Patron membership are the most commonly used features.  But I hear you're relying on some of the more advanced features.  It makes me wonder why you're not a Patron?  

The purpose of the change is to remind users that there are overhead costs to running the site, and they should be shared by all that use it.  We're not offering to sell software or a service. We're asking the community to share in the cost of operations, especially officials using the more advanced features.

And finally, note that the change doesn't affect any event that has already been set up on the site.  Those events will function as set up, with or without Patron membership.  So the change is not retroactive and does not affect any of the events already on the site (except that they may not be able to add features unless they are a Patron).

So I agree, we could have communicated more effectively with the above information.
Created: 21-Sep-15 16:53
Giorgio Davanzo
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
  • National Race Officer
2
I am not a patron because I (like you and many others) am a volunteer.
Some people contribute one way, some in another way. Some people contribute more, some contribute less.

Now that the system is mostly behind a paywall, it will be up to the organizers to pay for it - but they will not be patreons, but rather customers.
Created: 21-Sep-15 16:59
[You must be signed in to add a comment]
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more