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View Full Version : Why Did You Close the VIP Thread?



70sSanO
04-25-2011, 05:10 PM
Here is my take...

In the 90's I ran a classic car club... newsletters, events, etc. After a few years of putting up with the reality that there will always be those who are not going to be happy, I just couln't take it. We even had dues so we could pay our bills... but I just didn't want to hear anohter person complain. I had had it and it wasn't fun anymore.

So here we have UU, it has grown by leaps and bonds. It has to be a nightmare to administer and it has to be thankless. I can see the demands will just continue to increase, along with the cost.

Before you guys burn out, doing this is a good thing. Get some cash, pay someone to do some of the tech stuff, and have a chance to breathe. Personally I do favor the term Supporter rather than VIP, but I think there is another step.

I'm not sure if you charge or not for vendors who make a living promoting their goods. If you don't you should. Lord knows that UU provides a captive audience and I imagine there are a number of vendors who would not be there if not for UU. This category is a Sponsor. Every organization has to have sponsors and UU should be no different.

I applaud what you guys are doing, and I applaud your genuine attempt at keeping the wheels on this monster.

John

experimentjon
04-25-2011, 05:56 PM
For the complainers, there's something that I think you guys/gals should know.

I know, personally, that UU has been running at a loss. Ryan, Aldrine, and Aaron may not come out and say it; and they definitely do not complain about it, but they have been losing money on the website. It costs money to run a large forum, produce KILLER quality content, and maintain a website. The advertising revenues and merchandise sales do not nearly cover it.

I know because back in the day, before the Kanilea sponsorship, Aldrine let me borrow his Kamaka tenor for half a day. I took it home, and played it like crazy. It was amazing. Inside his case, there were many trinkets (which I documented in a thread somewhere here.) Yes, I was nosy and looked at what the legend had inside his weapon chest. One of the pieces of paper inside the case was a cash flow statement for UU. I didn't make a copy, nor do I remember the exact numbers, but UU was operating with significant negative cash flows. In other words, it was bleeding money...it was running at a loss.

I never asked them why they kept doing this at a loss, or how they finally intentended to make back the money, but I knew they did it for the love of the instrument--they did it because they wanted to grow the next generation of ukulele players.

Keep that in mind when you complain about this new program. Think about what these guys have given us, and how little they have asked for in return.

-Jon

Teek
04-25-2011, 07:37 PM
There was a post in another thread about feeling bad if you put a $10 in the plate at church and the next guy puts in a $5. I go to two meetings a week, sometimes three for different things, and a plate is passed for space rent. I see people put in zip or 50 cents or a buck, and I see others, usually senior members or people with much better paying jobs than mine put in a $5 or even a $20. This has never made me feel bad, some people live in financial fear and I understand that, a lot of people are seriously struggling and I have been there too. I usually put in according to what I guess will make the rent, sometimes $2, sometimes $10 if we don't get enough the first time even though that's a lot for me. I do a lot of service too. I figure I make up for what others can't do, and it's ok, the community that benefits is what is important.

I don't go to Starbucks though I used to in a previous life and I always bought for others too. Those days are gone but it was nice back then to be able to treat friends I loved who couldn't maybe have it otherwise. I don't eat out unless it's the dollar menu and I get my new clothes at thrift stores. I have however bought a wealth of ukes in the last two weeks, almost accidentally because I was waiting for when both might pop up and they just happened to come close together; a custom spruce top soprano from MGM and kissing's Risa LP. So now I am culling my herd down to my keepers, figuring I will just be consolidating as I always intended, find what ukes worked. I don't need to keep what I'm not playing and will be selling at the best prices I can for other ukers, hopefully to people who will be loving what they get. I will sell whatever I need to to pay off the new ukes.

I have contributed to other people getting ukes here because I know how important they are for healing to many of us, and for having joy and staying sane. I feel that's what we all need to NOT lose sight of, the healing, the joy, the Aloha. For the same reason I will either sign up for the $5 a month ($60 a year) or buy a shirt or use the tip jar. I have no interest in contests, don't mind ads, don't like the VIP badge at all and would rather have a little tiny purple star that people barely notice or nothing at all, lol, but would like to take a UUU class too so maybe will just do that. But I am 100% behind the idea of supporting such great guys and a phenomenal resource.

If I was wealthy I'd buy every one of you a "VIP membership", but as a Buddhist I understand no one is a VIP and everyone is a VIP.

FreakyBob
04-25-2011, 07:42 PM
Perfect Teek.

MiaRosie
04-26-2011, 02:41 AM
Perhaps one answer would be to make it a paying forum where everyone has to sign up with a donation of whatever amount they wish to pay or can afford ? Or perhaps as an answer to an earlier issue make it so that only paid up members are able to vote for the Undies ? (Again that can be by whatever contribution format such as donation, subscription or online store purchase ) - it would certainly help prevent the repeat voters :)

This way, everyone will have paid something, no one needs to know how much .... just a thought.

Mim
04-26-2011, 03:11 AM
For the complainers, there's something that I think you guys/gals should know.

I know, personally, that UU has been running at a loss. Ryan, Aldrine, and Aaron may not come out and say it; and they definitely do not complain about it, but they have been losing money on the website. It costs money to run a large forum, produce KILLER quality content, and maintain a website. The advertising revenues and merchandise sales do not nearly cover it.

I know because back in the day, before the Kanilea sponsorship, Aldrine let me borrow his Kamaka tenor for half a day. I took it home, and played it like crazy. It was amazing. Inside his case, there were many trinkets (which I documented in a thread somewhere here.) Yes, I was nosy and looked at what the legend had inside his weapon chest. One of the pieces of paper inside the case was a cash flow statement for UU. I didn't make a copy, nor do I remember the exact numbers, but UU was operating with significant negative cash flows. In other words, it was bleeding money...it was running at a loss.

I never asked them why they kept doing this at a loss, or how they finally intentended to make back the money, but I knew they did it for the love of the instrument--they did it because they wanted to grow the next generation of ukulele players.

Keep that in mind when you complain about this new program. Think about what these guys have given us, and how little they have asked for in return.

-Jon

THIS! I wanted to say this earlier... but had no "proof" of generated or not generating income... just guessing! But I went to NAMM, had the privilage of having a dear friend to stay with, and was there for business reasons and it still cost me an arm and a leg. These guys travel, often teaching for free, host jams for free, work work work... sometimes paid... often-times for free. If you don't want to be a VIP. Then... Don't. Simple. They are taking nothing away for not being one... just adding for people who do. And honestly, I am the cheapest most penny-pinching person and when they came out with the $45 a year, I was like "Dang! That is affordable!" But if you can't right now or dont want to... don't. But, lets get back to uke talkin'!

Rzr
04-26-2011, 05:22 AM
THIS! I wanted to say this earlier... but had no "proof" of generated or not generating income... just guessing! But I went to NAMM, had the privilage of having a dear friend to stay with, and was there for business reasons and it still cost me an arm and a leg. These guys travel, often teaching for free, host jams for free, work work work... sometimes paid... often-times for free. If you don't want to be a VIP. Then... Don't. Simple. They are taking nothing away for not being one... just adding for people who do. And honestly, I am the cheapest most penny-pinching person and when they came out with the $45 a year, I was like "Dang! That is affordable!" But if you can't right now or dont want to... don't. But, lets get back to uke talkin'!

I don't think you are the cheapest.

UncleElvis
04-26-2011, 05:25 AM
I don't think you are the cheapest.

I want it noted that, as a sign of love for mi hermano, I didn't say a word! *grin*

70sSanO
04-26-2011, 05:33 AM
Jon, Mim,

Thanks for the replies. A few individuals should not have to foot the cost that benefits so many. And Teek, I understand your point as there are those who are saving up just to be able to buy a Dolphin while others can afford a custom ukulele of their dreams. Also I never really noticed the ads.

I feel thankful that I can support UU. I don't know how much support is given from some of the big ukulele manufacturers. Hopefully they are providing much more than the $5/$45. Last time I looked there were over 30,000 members and this doesn't even come close to the number of people who surf UU getting info to buy a ukulele.

The manufacturers really need to step it up and put in some serious dollars. What I would like to see is a Manufacturers section, like a mini online UU NAMM but for the public. Manufacturers who are really sponsoring UU could show off their lastest and greatest with pics, videos, or ???

Relatively few of the general public get to go to NAMM, but what could be better for the real buying population, and the manufacturers, than to introduce and get feedback from UU. Let's face it, UU posts updates from NAMM about the new Martins or the long scale Kamakas. How long do you think it would take the ukulele community to even know about these if there was no UU? And I'm not even going to talk about the ad hoc reviews of instruments that happen on a daily basis.

If manufacturers are not doing everything they can to keep UU running and it's administrators from financial burden, then shame on them. It is a disgrace that some companies are lining their pockets while the admins of UU are cleaning out theirs.

John

SailingUke
04-26-2011, 05:40 AM
While I am not a Buddhist like Teek I do believe in Karma.
I believe we get out of life what we put into it.
Music has always been a big/important part of my life. My best friends come from my music circle.
I have been blessed by so many fine musicans helping on my journey.
I know many of you have experienced the same, look at how many of us have bonded on this forum.
In many cases we have never met in person, but when a member is hurting we all jump in to wish them all the best.
Last year I started a foundation to help kids learn the joy of music. I feel blessed to be in the financial position to be able to help sponsor this site/forum.
I don't expect any special privaledges, spreading ukulele joy and having all forum members as friends is more than enough of a reward.

tainauke
04-26-2011, 05:52 AM
I don't get what problem UU users have with the VIP thing.

I think the main problem UU is having, is trying to figure out a way to raise some money while still giving back to UU users. So instead of pounting because your not a VIP (hey I'm about to quit my job to go back to college, so I won't be a VIP until a long time), why not figure out ways for UU to make some money and continue doing an outstanding job?

What could UU do for you, for which you would be willing to pay some money? Perhaps taking all the Uke Minutes arranging them in a specific order and make DVDs on demand? Perhaps an ebook? Make custom UU ukuleles?

I really don't know much... Just trying to think of other ways UU can keep up without suffocating because of all the expenses and work...

joep
04-26-2011, 06:33 AM
I don't have a problem with the vip's getting something extra. I think they should. I had a stroke last year, and am on disability. I've never been this broke in my life, so i'm not able to pay, but would if I could. One thing I do have is lot's of free time, so finding this site is one of the best things to happen in a long time. Turns out playing ukulele is both physical and mental therapy. I just hope we don't lose the free stuff. There's enough here to keep me busy for a long time. Tainuke suggested we think of ways to help UU, and I think that's a great idea. I don't know if it'll work but maybe have one of the big advertisers donate a n ukulele and instead of a give away (still keep those) maybe have a raffle. Anyway, thanks again for all you do and all you have done.

Mim
04-26-2011, 06:46 AM
Jon, Mim,

Thanks for the replies. A few individuals should not have to foot the cost that benefits so many. And Teek, I understand your point as there are those who are saving up just to be able to buy a Dolphin while others can afford a custom ukulele of their dreams. Also I never really noticed the ads.

I feel thankful that I can support UU. I don't know how much support is given from some of the big ukulele manufacturers. Hopefully they are providing much more than the $5/$45. Last time I looked there were over 30,000 members and this doesn't even come close to the number of people who surf UU getting info to buy a ukulele.

The manufacturers really need to step it up and put in some serious dollars. What I would like to see is a Manufacturers section, like a mini online UU NAMM but for the public. Manufacturers who are really sponsoring UU could show off their lastest and greatest with pics, videos, or ???

Relatively few of the general public get to go to NAMM, but what could be better for the real buying population, and the manufacturers, than to introduce and get feedback from UU. Let's face it, UU posts updates from NAMM about the new Martins or the long scale Kamakas. How long do you think it would take the ukulele community to even know about these if there was no UU? And I'm not even going to talk about the ad hoc reviews of instruments that happen on a daily basis.

If manufacturers are not doing everything they can to keep UU running and it's administrators from financial burden, then shame on them. It is a disgrace that some companies are lining their pockets while the admins of UU are cleaning out theirs.

John

You have to realize that having manufacturers sponsor a site like this... you breed biased reviews and it limits freedom of speech for members and creators. You can not ask manufacturers to sponsor a independently run site, or it will no longer be independently run.

Even me dealing in certain ukes limits what I will or will not say on this board. I do not think it is too much to offer extra optional services for members. These services carry extra time, $, and bandwidth obligations that you can purchase or not. But this is a ukulele player made for ukulele players site. Get manufacturers involved and it would lose it's soul.

Skitzic
04-26-2011, 06:48 AM
You have to realize that having manufacturers sponsor a site like this... you breed biased reviews and it limits freedom of speech for members and creators. You can not ask manufacturers to sponsor a independently run site, or it will no longer be independently run.

Even me dealing in certain ukes limits what I will or will not say on this board. I do not think it is too much to offer extra optional services for members. These services carry extra time, $, and bandwidth obligations that you can purchase or not. But this is a ukulele player made for ukulele players site. Get manufacturers involved and it would lose it's soul.

What she said.

Aldrine Guerrero
04-26-2011, 07:24 AM
*edit*
it's its own thing now

rayan
04-26-2011, 07:27 AM
Did you even bother to read through the thread, this one is a warm fuzzy one.

Aldrine Guerrero
04-26-2011, 07:31 AM
I did. But if people keep seeing threads like this, it'll encourage the other party to ruin it.

rayan
04-26-2011, 07:34 AM
You should at least edit your post, it sounds like you're scolding people for trying to shoe their support

Aldrine Guerrero
04-26-2011, 07:35 AM
You should at least edit your post, it sounds like you're scolding people for trying to shoe their support

I'll just delete this and post it on my own thread hahaha