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WEB/DIGITAL Pleben.com poll

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What would you be willing to pay to join Pleben.com?

  • What a dumb idea! I wouldn't join for anything.

    Votes: 5 35.7%
  • Nothing, but would join if it were free.

    Votes: 7 50.0%
  • Up to $10 annually

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • $10-25 annually

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • More than $25 annually

    Votes: 1 7.1%

  • Total voters
    14
  • Poll closed .

kidgas

Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
532
49
33
Indiana
Please vote on this poll and comment as well. Thanks.

For an ad-free social networking experience, with the opportunity to give to charity and the chance to win prizes I would be willing to pay:

1. What a dumb idea! Would not join for anything.
2. Nothing, but would join for free.
3. Up to $10 annually.
4. $10 to $25 annually.
5. More than $25 annually.
 

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kurtyordy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
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because kidgas is a regular contributer to this site, and he is attempting to flesh out the best way to launch his new venture. This is about gaining information, not gaining traffic.

If he just joined this month, and this was one of his first posts, then I would think it would be closer to spam, but in this case, if you read the rest of his posts, you will understand the spirit behind it and understand that it is not spam.
 

Cmbilt

New Contributor
Jan 25, 2008
32
2
9
So thats all it takes to not be considered spam. Having a spirit behind your idea. If your simply advertising a poll and driving traffic to your site from this site, I still think that is considered spam. This site is generated toward the exchange of ideas, not saying please vote in our poll on our own website. Now I may be in the wrong here, but this is just my opinion.

Regards,

Tyler Davis
www.cmbilt.com :coco:
 

kurtyordy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
2,375
279
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Again, read his other posts. He is going live later on, not now, he is still in the development phase and this is a work in progress which is why he is looking for feedback on how to best launch this.

Again, his goal was to gain info, not traffic. If that is not clear, then I do not know how to explain it better for you.
 

MJ DeMarco

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How is this not spam?
KidGas: Posts 161 and one of the first persons to join this forum. Most of his posts are contributory in nature, including a long thread about options in the Investing forum.

He is currently starting a new venture and trying to get feedback about it. He is a member of this community; not someone who joined for the sole purpose of spamming and self-promotion. There is a BIG difference. Had he joined yesterday and made two posts about Pleben.com, you can bet it would be taken differently.
 

kurtyordy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
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Kidgas,

In case I was not clear, even though I am not a moderator, I do not think this is spam. I would ignore cmbilt if I were you, and keep pressing on.
 

Jito

New Contributor
Dec 2, 2007
147
8
21
Bay Area
Something to consider is that a social network is only as valuable as the number of users. Read up on "the network effect"...
 

MJ DeMarco

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Ok, I'm gonna come clean here. Let me preface that this is my opinion and my opinion doesn't make or break a business model -- the internet community does this and will vote with their dollars.

SO here goes .... I voted #1 although I wouldn't use the words "Dumb idea" -- I just think a refinement is in order and here is my logic:

1) Your competition is FREE.
Its really hard to compete against a FREE price point and the enticement (A chance to win prizes w/some charity tossed in for good measure) simply isn't enough to encourage users to open up their wallet and drop their Facebook / MySpace account. In effect, you are holding a raffle that 99.9% of users will immediately understand that they have a slim-and-none chance of winning. This isn't a hook to action and won't propel internet users to open their wallet.

Retail web consumers are a different breed vs their business counterparts who are more loose with their money. (Which is why my first preference in web business is B2B.)

2) You can't launch a website and immediately start charging members. Who is going to join a site with 3 other people on it? No one. I made a post (in some other thread) about how this is a big mistake in trying to get new websites of the ground -- the expectation of revenue on launch is a dream, It never happens and the site never gets out of launch mode due to the owner's zeal to create revenue on day 1.

If you ever expect people to pay, you've gotta have content ... a fully flourishing network of people already engaged and locked-in.

3) No incentive to create engaging content. What incentive are there for users to create engaging content? There really isn't and the "Raffle" hook is an overestimation of consumer buying motives.

4) Your demographic doesn't have a lot of disposable income
and I doubt they will allocate their already sparse resources on something they already get for FREE and their friends get for free. Again, this goes back to your marketing hook: Win FREE prizes (assuming 1million others join as well) isn't strong enough.

These are just a few of the issues I see.

With that said, what retooling would I do?

  1. Your hook (USP: Unique Selling Proposition) needs to be stronger.
  2. Your price point needs to be reduced or eliminated.
  3. You need to create a motive for engagement. A snowballs chance in hell at winning some prize won't cut it.

Here is a model that I think will work.

1) Dump the raffle model and move to one that is incentive based.

  • -- Create your own currency. For example, "Plebens".
  • -- Pay your users "Plebens" for engaging in social networking activity.

Login: 1 pleben
Send to a Friend: 10 plebens
Use Pleben Mail System: 2 pleben
Post a picture: 1 pleben
Write a blog entry: 2 plebens​

2) Create a "Pleben Marketplace" where users can redeem their Pleben Dollars for merchandise: Free MP3's, Free T-Shirts, Ipods, Restuarant Gift Cards, you name it!

Examples: 100 plebens gets you 1 free MP3 download from Itunes!
5000 plebens: Free Ipod


3) Eliminate or reduce the membership fee. If you reduce, I suggest something that mentally is unobtrusive to someone who is 22 years old ... like 99 cents per month.

2,000,000 users at 99 a month is revenues of $2m/mo or 24M.year

4) Introduce a revenue model for B2B merchandising. Once you start acquiring a network of users and your marketplace starts hitting steam, you can start taking kickbacks and merchandising enticements from retailers looking to get their product out into the mainstream. For example, ITunes might pay you a 10 cent rebate for every Itunes download bought thru the Pleben Marketplace.

This is really were you can create a larger and more lucrative revenue stream.

The whole concept comes down to leverage and is a lesson in the fastlane -- you leverage your user base to be social and viral. Your users become a marketing army. Think about it: Your users redeem their plebens for a T-shirt that says "Pleben". That's how businesses grow exponential vs linear.

The above addresses the challenges I mentioned. It creates a viral incentive for users to make Pleben their #1 SN destination - it gives them a REAL reason to open up their wallets and actively use their Pleben account - day-in and day-out. To make my suggestion work, I'd do a financial analysis of the currency/marketplace relationship.

My consultation bill will be in the mail. :smxB:

~ MJ
 

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MJ DeMarco

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I like my idea so much I think I just may go do this. :blush::smx3::eusa_naughty:
 

phlgirl

Bronze Contributor
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WOW.....I am speechless. Remarkable talent, MJ. You might want to lock this one up in the speedway and throw away the key! ;)

I tried to give you speed but, alas, it appears I have to spread some elsewhere first.
 

rzach41

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Oct 23, 2007
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MJ you genius... honestly
 

MJ DeMarco

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Thanks for all the nice comments.

MJ's idea has kinda been done. Check out http://www.iilwy.com
It might be so, but the fact that I never heard of it (and most here haven't) means there is an opportunity to do it better.

I hit that link to inspect the site and I was prompted to install some sort of plugin. Close browser, next ...
 

irace7

New Contributor
Jul 26, 2007
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Thanks for all the nice comments.



It might be so, but the fact that I never heard of it (and most here haven't) means there is an opportunity to do it better.

I hit that link to inspect the site and I was prompted to install some sort of plugin. Close browser, next ...
ya they do have a lot of flash. It's kinda geared toward flirting and dating site. They give points for starting games and you get to bet with your points. You get points for logging in daily, answering questions, posting pictures, etc.

The site just came out of private invite only beta. "whatever that means?"
 

MJ DeMarco

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Haha...as I was reading it I thought, "Wow, why doesn't he do it?"
Ha Ha ... well I've gotta book that should have been finished 3 months ago and the website that promotes it 4 months overdue. Lets just say I'm already behind on the curve and I have little success diverting my efforts into multiple projects.

To follow up on the idea, a currency model has already been proven in Second Life - people live and die that app ... applying it to SN would seem to be the next logical step.
 

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6.0_bull

New Contributor
Nov 27, 2007
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I also voted on the first choice , however I wouldn't say it is a dumb idea in general ...

But If you cover some of the points that MJ has made witch i was going to make as well ....haha you read my mind MJ !!


The biggest problem I see with this business model is the fact that people will just not pay for somthing that they can get free else where regardless if there is prize money to be won ...I have seen quite a few business models that have under cut a paid service and done well ...but that is the opposite of what you are doing ....

anyways my two cents worth.
 

aptohosting

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I like my idea so much I think I just may go do this. :blush::smx3::eusa_naughty:

I will develop it!!! :)

Web Dev bill is in the mail!



On a serious note, MJ who is developing your books promo website???
 

Jorge

Bronze Contributor
Oct 5, 2007
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Holy crap! Now I understand why MJ is real fastlaner! :notworthy:

Hope some day to drink a coffee with you! :cheers:
 

Merkin Man

Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
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With innovative thinking like that, I am officially now on the MJ FOR PRESIDENT campaign!!!!
 

Jorge

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I think he's implementing MJ's ideas Lol...at least that's what I would be doing!
 

biophase

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If this is considered spam, then forgive me and please have one of the moderators delete it. I, in no way, want to violate the spirit of this forum. I have already gained valuable insight from other entrepreneurs and for that I am grateful.
Hey Kid,

I don't think many of us considered it spam at all. In fact, when I was reading posts by the person who mentioned it...I thought half of his posts were spam. So it's very comical that he accuses your post of spam.

I think MJ nailed it. No matter what you cannot charge right off the bat. Maybe you get people to sign up for it, then start the Pleben Dollars, get the hooks in them. Then maybe maybe you can hit them with a monthly fee.
 
OP
OP
K

kidgas

Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
532
49
33
Indiana
Merkin and Jorge,
Don't worry. I have not gone AWOL.

Tom,
Get back to work on Pleben.com. Haha -LOL

MJ,
1. Thanks for defending me.
2. I agree that it is hard to battle the free competition. But, if that were an absolute, we wouldn't have cable or satellite radio, water utilities, etc. The key will be finding what people are willing to pay for. I think the lack of advertising may help sell some people. The fact that there will be no commercialization or attempt to track their spending habits or try to market to their friends may help hook others.
3. I agree that some sort of incentive for creating engaging content would be useful. I have been trying to figure out what I could do for that. I didn't want to keep altering the site on Tom or I could never get anything out the door.

I know it will be an uphill climb. If I fall I will learn and maybe Pleben 2.0 will seem eerily familiar.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Fountain Hills, AZ

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