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RetouchPRO Sponsorship (trial balloon)

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  #1  
Old 06-06-2004, 10:12 AM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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RetouchPRO Sponsorship (trial balloon)

This is an idea I've been toying with for some time, but I've been hesitant to put in action (fear of backfiring, etc.).

Here's the idea:
Instead of donations, there would be an annual sponsorship fee. This would not be a donation (though it would still pay for the things donations do now), since you'd get something in return.

Some things I'm considering in return for sponsorship:
  • "Sponsor" would become a new user title
  • Higher upload limit in the Member Gallery
  • Participation in new monthly contests

This last item would be probably the biggest departure for RP. It would be a for-real monthly contest with an actual declared "Winner". This is less trivial than it might sound, since "Winner of the RetouchPRO February 2005 Restoration Contest" could go some way towards building a reputation. It could be used on your website or resume.

As yet undetermined:
  • How much per year this would cost (though it is already certain that there cannot be different "levels" of sponsorship)
  • How much additional Member Gallery space would be made available
  • Other features and/or priveledges

One thing that I have decided is (if this gets launched at all) that nothing (repeat, NOTHING) that is currently available would be changed for anyone, including non-sponsor members.

Please give your comments, feedback, suggestions, yea, nay, etc. I'd need to be confident of at least 20-30 sponsorships out of the gate to even consider this. How much would this be worth? How much Gallery space would be fair? What other items might be useful? Do you think "RetouchPRO Contest Winner" would help get you business?
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2004, 10:47 AM
Xaran Xaran is offline
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I like the idea of a fixed fee - with donations I am always left wondering if I gave enough. As for the gallery space - more is a definite vote getter 5Mb or even 10Mb would be about right in my opinion.

I'd be ok with whatever you decide for the fee, I'm sure you would fix a fair price.

Christine
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  #3  
Old 06-06-2004, 11:20 AM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Nelson
Some things I'm considering in return for sponsorship:
  • "Sponsor" would become a new user title
  • Higher upload limit in the Member Gallery
  • Participation in new monthly contests
Here's my two pennies:
None of the things listed would make me become a sponsor. Don't get me wrong....I've been a supporter of this site since it's earliest days, and I expect to continue to be. Surely this site has been a goldmine for many people. I wonder if it might be an option to give new people a free trial period of a week or two, then they must make a contribution if they want to continue using the site. I think you would probably pull in more $ if everyone gave a small amount rather than having 20 -30 sponsors at a higher per member donation. "Sponsorship" kind of scares me because some of us are more able (or willing) to give larger amounts, but required donations (any amount), at certain intervals might appear more appealing to many. I know part of my meager donations go to provide things for the "artistic side", which doesn't really interest me. But that's OK with me. If you do opt for sponsorship, would it still be appropriate to have periodic donation threads? I think the answer to this is yes, but you'll have to make that decision.

Ed
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Old 06-06-2004, 01:02 PM
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kiska kiska is offline
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Talking

A sponsorship type fee is reasonable, i think. It was stated that what is now available would continue to be so. NAPP charges $99/year, which includes a magazine every two months and various discounts. Hopefully, a fee would be something less than this.
However, this could lead to a 'class system' of sorts in some people's minds. Sponsors might feel a bit privileged and others perhaps a bit intimidated.
Lots to think about.
kiska
BTW, This 'Senior' member business kinda rubs me the wrong way. This ain't the AARP, is it???

Last edited by kiska; 06-06-2004 at 01:08 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-06-2004, 01:28 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiska
BTW, This 'Senior' member business kinda rubs me the wrong way. This ain't the AARP, is it???
In my case, it isn't far from that.

Doug,
I seem to remember something being said about the bills coming due again in June. Is this right? If so, maybe we should start another fund raising campaign to tide us over until you can make up your mind how the future will look. Let us know if we need to get one going now. This *is* June!

Ed
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  #6  
Old 06-06-2004, 02:57 PM
W. Rose W. Rose is offline
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Count Me In

Doug,
I am retired and have been using this site for some time now, and like someone else mentioned, it is a gold mine for me also. I feel badly that i have not contributed. But i do intend to start doing my share and whatever you deside will be fine with me. Because of all of the wonderful people here it has enriched my daily living. I would like to mention all of the names but they are to numerous. A few that have helped me directly, Flora and Vikky, thank you so very much and you Doug for giving us something that is so worthwhile to continued. I hope i haven't talked to much here.
You can expect my contribution in a couple of weeks when i get my retirement check and then each month thereafter.
And God Bless All of you members
Wayne
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  #7  
Old 06-06-2004, 08:36 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Kiska: Get over it. You're just having a "senior moment."

- - - - -

Doug:

While a little competition can be motivator to improve skills (and try a little harder), one limitation of a monthly event is only 12 winners/year. Good for the winners, potentially discouraging for other participants.

To supplement this activity consider developing/offering a RetouchPRO Certification of some sort, where sponsored members would be eligible to complete (at their own pace) a number of non-trivial exercises demonstrating mastery of various "pro" techniques. Perhaps the basis of the exercises could ones contained in the Restoration and Retouching book. If you think about it, if one masters all the skills in that book, that would be saying something.

Have exercise results critiqued by qualified/respected folks such as yourself, Flora, Jak, Vikki, etc. Not a rubberstamp approval type of thing. Be tough. If a submitted exercise is high quality, then onto the next one. If quality is insufficient, return it with some pointers and the member can try again until he gets it right.

Have a special thread that only Doug can update, where member names, dates of certification are posted as "proof" of completion.

I'm rambling again... What else is new?

~Danny~
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2004, 09:54 PM
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Keep rambling, Danny. Excellent idea!

Ed
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2004, 10:42 PM
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Jeff L Jeff L is offline
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I made a New Years resolution that I would not ever again donate to another internet photo site.

While reading this thread it came to me that this isn't your run of the mill photo site. I know....understatement of the year, but it is true. I have learned quite a bit from this site since I wandered in. That is more than I can say about any of the sites I donated to.

This site is a goldmine of information and in my opinion, one of the best. If there is anything I could do to help keep the site running smoothly I wouldn't hesitate.
The idea of going through the Retouch & Restoration book is a great idea! I just have to get off my butt and get the new edition

As far as extra gallery space goes. I have my own space for that and update it on a regular basis, so that doesn't affect me as a citizen. And when I really think about it...you really wouldn't have to add anything to entice me to help out.

This site is worth it.
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  #10  
Old 06-07-2004, 08:33 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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The server bill for next year is eminent, which is the reason I posted this now. I didn't want people to donate if this plan is launched.

The idea of the contests is not to improve skills, that is served well enough by the Challenges. The idea is to have something concrete to help those trying to earn money (remember, this isn't RetouchAM). And yes, to attract more highest-level users. And contests more frequent than monthly would be worthless, although there could be multiple types of contests, just as there are multiple Challenges. Again, it's for the professional members, and if winners are common there is no value to being a winner.

As for certification, that's been on my mind since before I started RP, but I detest bogus certifications, and have yet to figure a way where I personally could certify someone I've never seen in person. I'm not going to risk my own reputation vouching for the skills of someone that could be submitting someone else's work.

The primary reasoning behind the sponsorship is that it would be a way for those that make money off RP to pay the expenses of RP. So I'm fine with non-professionals not seeing any reason to sponsor.
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