The "title" of the INGO site

Snapdragon

know-it-all tart
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
28   0   0
Nov 5, 2013
35,100
77
NW Indiana
When you open up the INGO site, in the tab at the top, you see the title of the page. (You may have to hover over the tab to read the whole thing.) It says Indiana Gun Owners - Gun Classifieds and Discussions .

Every time a noob makes a run for the classifieds, we lecture him on how this is a discussion forum first, classifieds second, and how the classifieds are merely a perk for participating members. Aren't we contradicting ourselves?

1626526495454.png
 

marvin02

Don't Panic
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
22   0   0
Jun 20, 2019
2,509
77
Calumet Twp.
This has been pointed out before. One example:


IMO, the bottom line is that it is a business and it has to be run as a business or it won't exist (at least not in the size and scope it does now). INGO is the store where a community of people hang out due to mutual interests, or maybe it's the local tavern (tavern might work better, because we get some folks who have been over-served). The store/tavern sells stuff, but there are rocking chairs on the front porch (it has to be big porch) and a stove in the back (wood burner) to hang around and be a community. If you squint you can see the historic firearms on the walls next to the latest AR-15s and compact carry pistols. The business exists and it is first because if the business closes then the place for the community goes away. I'm not sure why we all hang around since they lost the bathroom key a long time ago.

You don't have to buy something every time you show up on INGO, but it's still a business. You can hang out and exchange ideas, insults, and nonsense. That makes it a community, but it's a community that meets at a business.

The cost of operating a forum this size means that it will always be more of a business than a community. The members can work to make it a community, but anything that members do to make the forum more attractive, friendlier, or easy to use adds value to the site as a business. When your ad in the classifieds attracts someone who wants your shiny and they pony up for site supporter status so they can send you a message you just helped the bottom line. If you start a discussion that others find searching the net and they join to participte in that discussion you are building the customer base. Just like the crowd at the front of a local business attracts others to the business, everything you do to a make INGO more attractive to others aids the business side.

For those who think you could build this and make it available for free, there are many free forum software packages to be had and anyone can rent server space. There is a lot more to it than that.

I've stopped telling new folks that it is a community. If you can't see that then you're not going to hang around long. The business side is not going away no matter how many times members post that it is a community first. Point new members at the rules and hope they stick around long enough to see that there is more than a business here.
 

radar8756

Plinker
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
5   0   1
Sep 21, 2010
217
12
Westville, IN
I would suggest a analogy closer to a Health Club / Gun Range ... you pay a FEE $$$ (Monthly or Yearly) and get to use the Facilities ... some come every day - some 4 times a year ... for extra income the business offers Perks -- Food / Drinks / Clothing / etc
 

Snapdragon

know-it-all tart
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
28   0   0
Nov 5, 2013
35,100
77
NW Indiana
This has been pointed out before. One example:


IMO, the bottom line is that it is a business and it has to be run as a business or it won't exist (at least not in the size and scope it does now). INGO is the store where a community of people hang out due to mutual interests, or maybe it's the local tavern (tavern might work better, because we get some folks who have been over-served). The store/tavern sells stuff, but there are rocking chairs on the front porch (it has to be big porch) and a stove in the back (wood burner) to hang around and be a community. If you squint you can see the historic firearms on the walls next to the latest AR-15s and compact carry pistols. The business exists and it is first because if the business closes then the place for the community goes away. I'm not sure why we all hang around since they lost the bathroom key a long time ago.

You don't have to buy something every time you show up on INGO, but it's still a business. You can hang out and exchange ideas, insults, and nonsense. That makes it a community, but it's a community that meets at a business.

The cost of operating a forum this size means that it will always be more of a business than a community. The members can work to make it a community, but anything that members do to make the forum more attractive, friendlier, or easy to use adds value to the site as a business. When your ad in the classifieds attracts someone who wants your shiny and they pony up for site supporter status so they can send you a message you just helped the bottom line. If you start a discussion that others find searching the net and they join to participte in that discussion you are building the customer base. Just like the crowd at the front of a local business attracts others to the business, everything you do to a make INGO more attractive to others aids the business side.

For those who think you could build this and make it available for free, there are many free forum software packages to be had and anyone can rent server space. There is a lot more to it than that.

I've stopped telling new folks that it is a community. If you can't see that then you're not going to hang around long. The business side is not going away no matter how many times members post that it is a community first. Point new members at the rules and hope they stick around long enough to see that there is more than a business here.
Do the classifieds supply that much extra income to the forum? Not talking about the sponsored ads. Just the member posts.
 

Bigtanker

Semi-Moderator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
18   0   0
Aug 21, 2012
17,538
101
Mishawaka
Marvin basically hit it on the head.

This was brought up on the staff side when the software swap was taking place too.

INGO is a business. The classifieds are a huge draw.

As to runners, they have really decreased. Seems like one every few weeks or so. About two years ago, is was almost a daily thing. From my point of view, new members are becoming site supporters to gain access to the classifieds at a higher rate than before. I don't have the numbers to back that up but that's my observation.

And a side note. With the new software, it seems to be much easier to follow the rules in the classifieds. The number of infractions that are being handed out are down a good amount. I'm all for that!
 

Snapdragon

know-it-all tart
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
28   0   0
Nov 5, 2013
35,100
77
NW Indiana
Call me naive, but in my mind, the Site Supporter fee was to help make the site self-sustaining. I didn't realize it was to make it a profitable business. Does it make a difference? I suppose not, but it will make me rethink the decision to renew my site supporter status next time it comes up.
 
Last edited:

marvin02

Don't Panic
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
22   0   0
Jun 20, 2019
2,509
77
Calumet Twp.
Do the classifieds supply that much extra income to the forum? Not talking about the sponsored ads. Just the member posts.
I believe the classifieds drive new members to become site supporters. The traffic the classifieds generate to the site also generates ad revenues. A lot of ad payments are based on views.

From what I have seen the classifieds are definitely a big attraction for people to visit here. They are also well run with few complaints about scams, etc.

Having the title worded the way it is certainly helps with search engine hits. The move to new software was driven, in part, to getting better search engine results and increasing ad revenues.

This is my outsider opinion.
 

KLB

Grandmaster
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Sep 12, 2011
15,135
77
Porter County
Every time a noob makes a run for the classifieds, we lecture him on how this is a discussion forum first, classifieds second, and how the classifieds are merely a perk for participating members. Aren't we contradicting ourselves?
Your point is valid. People need to remember what the site actually is before they get on their high horses and start lecturing people about how the site is not about the classifieds.
 

KLB

Grandmaster
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Sep 12, 2011
15,135
77
Porter County
Call me naive, but in my mind, the Site Supporter fee was to help make the site self-sustaining. I didn't realize it was to make it a profitable business. Does it make a difference? I suppose not, but it will make me rethink the decision to renew my site supporter status next time it comes up.
There was a reason someone was willing to pay money to take ownership of the website.
 

marvin02

Don't Panic
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
22   0   0
Jun 20, 2019
2,509
77
Calumet Twp.
Call me naive, but in my mind, the Site Supporter fee was to help make the site self-sustaining. I didn't realize it was to make it a profitable business. Does it make a difference? I suppose not in the long run, but I somehow feel a little less valued for my social contributions and a little more valued for my financial contributions. Not sure if I am crazy about that.
My guess is that there are not enough site supporters to pay the hosting costs for the site.

Who do you want to feel valued by? Ignore the wizard behind the curtain, and just keep doing what you do. You are respected and valued by many other members here, as seen by your interactions.

The business side is there, but what we do on the front porch and around the stove is what many are here for. I admit that I like to browse the shelves also.
 

Snapdragon

know-it-all tart
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
28   0   0
Nov 5, 2013
35,100
77
NW Indiana
I would suggest a analogy closer to a Health Club / Gun Range ... you pay a FEE $$$ (Monthly or Yearly) and get to use the Facilities ... some come every day - some 4 times a year ... for extra income the business offers Perks -- Food / Drinks / Clothing / etc
And that would be a good analogy if everyone had to pay. But it's a moot point when the site supporter fee is optional.
 

Snapdragon

know-it-all tart
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
28   0   0
Nov 5, 2013
35,100
77
NW Indiana
My guess is that there are not enough site supporters to pay the hosting costs for the site.

Who do you want to feel valued by? Ignore the wizard behind the curtain, and just keep doing what you do. You are respected and valued by many other members here, as seen by your interactions.

The business side is there, but what we do on the front porch and around the stove is what many are here for. I admit that I like to browse the shelves also.
Yeah, I edited out the line about being valued before you hit Reply, because it made me sound needy and butthurt. It's not really about that. It's just been drilled into us so much about how we are a community first and classifieds second, seeing that caught me off guard. I get it. Carry on, nothing to see here. :)
 

1775usmarine

Grandmaster
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
76   0   0
Feb 15, 2013
10,772
83
IN
If the site is taking in more than it has in the past some new shirt designs and goodies would be nice to buy for the GP.
 

radar8756

Plinker
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
5   0   1
Sep 21, 2010
217
12
Westville, IN
And that would be a good analogy if everyone had to pay. But it's a moot point when the site supporter fee is optional.

The FREE membership would be akin to people who just walk around the outside of the Health Club / Gun Range but cannot access the Perks inside ... eventually if they want the PERKS ... they pay the FEE
 

marvin02

Don't Panic
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
22   0   0
Jun 20, 2019
2,509
77
Calumet Twp.
If the site is taking in more than it has in the past some new shirt designs and goodies would be nice to buy for the GP.
You want shirts and goodies so you can advertise for INGO? My policy with ad shirts is that I must be paid by the hour to wear them.

Edit: at a minimum get them for free. Example, when my BIL owned an Indian Motorcycle franchise I got a free t-shirt which I was willing to wear.
 

IndyDave1776

Grandmaster
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
12   0   0
Jan 12, 2012
27,288
113
Call me naive, but in my mind, the Site Supporter fee was to help make the site self-sustaining. I didn't realize it was to make it a profitable business. Does it make a difference? I suppose not, but it will make me rethink the decision to renew my site supporter status next time it comes up.
It necessarily has to be that way. If you build your business model around breaking even you are one bump in the road away from folding.

I look at the cost of being a site supporter in the context of my entertainment budget. Compared with the cost of going to a movie or a magazine subscription, it seems like a bargain.
 

Site Supporter

INGO Supporter

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
487,093
Messages
8,741,729
Members
47,682
Latest member
Crash
Top Bottom