After two months of concerted effort and intense struggle to get things running with a new host for mygermanshepherd.org, with much relief we can now reveal: Our house has successfully moved, yes! Maybe it will have to move again soon, we'll see.
While the looks of this site have not (yet) changed, behind the scenes a LOT has changed already. For example, do you see the image to the right? An easily overlooked indicator that MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG has become a secured membership site! Secured with the software s2member (linked in the shield) - the name of which fits perfectly too: subscriber to member. Which is exactly what we needed here to survive. Read: to be able to continue to provide so much to you for free!
While in the past we've had heaps of (mostly unknown) subscribers who programmatically received the MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL, but who couldn't log in on the site and go beyond the one scheduled Periodical of that particular week, ...going forward we adapt a more modern approach: with more flexibility, more convenience, and more choice. For those who want that, and for those who demand that.
From today, 31 May 2014, we will clearly distinguish between Periodical SUBSCRIBERS and site MEMBERS.
If you have been a Periodical subscriber before March 2014, you will know from our subscriber-internal discussions that the prerequisite for continuing the site was to avoid having to rely on pennies of Amazon commissions to pay for hosting, webmaster, admin, email office, programming, permanent dog owner consulting, etc.
I (site founder Tim) cannot continue to uphold a site like this financially all by myself, and I don't like the subscriber-suggested idea of (maybe a couple of?) donations either - which typically come from those who have been more supportive anyway (they write book reviews, tell their friends, post in dog forums, raise discussions in their breed club, and so on).
Thus now, as internally discussed with the more interested subscribers since the start of 2014:
- Basic subscribers will continue to be able to receive the much-loved MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL through simple subscription on the subscribe page. And for now this remains free (oh!!) - because we adhere to the MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG mission statement (see the subscribe page), and because there are many GSD lovers in the world who may not have access to (or even know of?) modern conveniences like say a mobile phone, bank or credit card, paypal or authorize.net, amazon, ipad, leather dog leash, behavior training, etc.
- And those GSD lovers who want more (or who demanded more in the past!) now get the chance to better meet their needs, through choosing paid add-ons to their Periodical subscription. The first such add-on that paying members can choose is Tim's Dog Expert Interview Series that I have been working on since last year.
I will make sure that all add-ons provide the paying members with real benefits that are relevant to them to improve their life and relationship with their German Shepherd Dog. Also, only paying members will receive all Periodicals (about twice as many as the free subscribers receive over time). Further, paying members will be able to log in on mygermanshepherd.org, free subscribers not (like in the past, when no one could log in, which some subscribers even complained about, despite their free subscription, oh yes!).
The past has shown that pure freebie seekers feel little hesitation to complain easily and to SPAM excessively (with comments, emails, on third-party sites, and sometimes even in their fake book 'reviews')! While people who paid a bit typically have manners and at least send a personal email clarifying their point (if they got one).
If enough subscribers take up the first add-on offer and become a site member with Tim's Dog Expert Interview Series, then we can keep basic Periodical subscription free for everyone. If not, we will have to start charging everyone for accessing the MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL - and then without getting any add-on...
Personally I am meanwhile relaxed about possibly off-putting many, as I know that in terms of GSDs (or dogs in general?) there is nothing on the internet that can even come close! Continued tireless work over the years has set MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG apart, in every regard.
I myself like the route with voluntary paid add-ons much more though. How about you?
And, getting something of value extra is much better than donations anyway (where all you get is a "good feeling", hopefully). Here, I will personally make sure that every member gets something valuable that you can't get anywhere else! If you've read my books, you know you can rely on that.
Now, what do you think?
Want to see the first Periodical add-on that will give you membership rights as well? Please come back in a few days.