So I’ve chosen the name of the forum and I hope you detect the double entendre.
The developers are now working to install and configure. I’ll be using the bbPress platform for its clean and streamlined pizzaz. One of the big reasons I hardly use forums is for all the clutter bullshit.
I also have designers coming up with a cool banner & logo. I’ll keep the concept for that under wraps until it’s done.
Now this is going to disappoint some, perhaps a lot…and some will accuse me of scandalous behavior for having the audacity to actually charge money for anything I spend hours upon hours on…but this is going to be a premium service. It’s not going to hurt the blog, which will always be completely free and open; but in fact, will actually improve the blog—as that will be the chief means of attracting new paid subscribers to the forum in measured doses.
First of all, feedback for the idea was almost unanimously positive. At the time I popped off the post with the idea, it was off the cuff and I hadn’t even considered making it a premium service. When feedback seemed positive, I went out checking around, getting advice. And then I kept running into the same realization: the true quality forums are paid subscriptions. It’s a place where the truly serious can go to commune and communicate free of spam, marketing innuendo, trolls, aggressive harassment and the list goes on.
What’ll it cost? $50.01 per year. Not $49.95, $49.99, or any silly bullshit like that. $50.01. And yes, though I haven’t worked out details, there will be opportunities for free trials, a refund policy, et cetera, et cetera. And I’ll be giving away memberships for the price of jumping through a hoop or two.
Rather than thinking of it as a forum, I prefer to think of it as a club, a pub, or what have you. Serious on the one hand, fun and lively on the other. I plan to choose the top level forum topics wisely and I welcome all suggestions as such. Needless to say, there will be zero moderation.
…So now to drop the other shoe.
For some time I have wanted to host a weekly live video broadcast using VOKLE. The problem is, frankly, it’s too much work to do for free, at least for me. The other problem is that it’s a bit like the blog comments in that they are primarily directed at me, author of 99.9% of the posts. I wasn’t convinced enough people would pay for it. But forums are different as I’ve come to realize. You create the topics, and then replies are directed primarily at you. You get to be a “blogger” on my blog.
But as part of The Animal Club, having a live video show with only club members fielding questions, having co-hosts and special guests…perhaps it becomes workable and viable. We’ll see.
While this is geared toward the role of the host or producer, it’s a good short demo of how this works to take both live video questions and live text questions from the viewing audience. It’s 34 seconds so everyone has to watch it. That’s the rule: under a minute and everyone has to watch.
Here’s a description of the various features.
So, yea, I plan to have co-hosts from the membership—maybe even members as exclusive hosts, sometimes. And I plan to bring in special guests, perhaps 1/3 to 1/2 of the shows. It’ll have some sort of format, like a monologue in the beginning, otherwise known as BULLSHIT!.
To gear up for this aspect of the Club, I’m going to do a minimum of two shows open to all. The first one will stream live next week, and another the week after. I’ll try to have a co-host for one, and a special guest for the other. You all know how forums work, but do you know live video shows?
So there you have it. More info as it develops and I’ll try to do some real blogging as well.
And BTW, book sales are going very well. Thank you all so much. Feedback has been almost uniformly positive. Amazon Reviews are solid 5-star, so far, and I would love to have more reviews—even if that’s not the rating you would give it. For the many of yooz still waiting for it to show up on the non-US Amazon sites, all the settings have been verified as correct, so it’s only a matter of time. I apologize for the delay.
Onward. To Bigger and Better.