New MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG Membership Model

 

[Note: This page has been successfully moved to the normal page template, as it didn't belong on the Periodical template. It was originally posted 11 April 2014 - 10:36, as follows]

If you haven't seen the Finished! post and the later Update post, this third one won't be understandable, hence why I linked the other two for you to read them first.

New MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG Membership Model

This shall be the third and last post wrongly associated to the Periodical template. But as I've always kept mygermanshepherd.org a rather democratic institution for all members, let's also keep the discussion of the new membership model among the interested members only. Ordinary visitors (surfers) aren't interested anyway - if they were they would subscribe!

If you've read both the Finished! post and the later Update post, you'll notice how hard I've tried to incorporate into the New MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG Membership Model all suggestions and tips from members, in particular:

Gordon, Jean, Kristy, Stuart, Lisa, Pat, Penny, June, Bill, Kandice, Marissa, Maureen, Launa, Lara, and John - and the many members who didn't post their comment on the two linked pages but who in the past had communicated certain wishes on other pages and in emails.

Indeed it is clear that we all could have had a much better experience had we have had enough site income to pay for further development of the site! This is another problem of the "all for free" model, in addition to not being able to pay the bills and wrecked nerves: We can't invest in the site to make it better (eg chat, forum, and social networking amongst members, more multimedia like video and audio, and yes, a better site experience too).

In short, I hope the new membership model shown below can make both groups happy:

  • Those who want or need "all for free" (let's not forget that mygermanshepherd.org also has members from countries where online payment systems don't even exist, and others are outright poor)
  • And those who prefer a "better-than-free" service (which obviously is then chargeable).

If you are interested to share your opinion, kindly leave your suggestions or comments below.

New Membership Model

Visitor level

Can only see public pages, cannot post questions/problems/comments/spam anywhere. - Meaning, going forward, visitors will effectively be blocked from Periodicals (historically we gave free access to anyone, which is why we have the anti-spam time interval on the "social share-me" box at the top of most Periodicals).

 

Guest level

Free ordinary subscription to the MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL continues for now (I hear some people becoming very cheerful now). Obviously, if the new membership model still doesn't make this site sustainable, all charity must end and everyone will have to pay to get anything. But for now, free subscription continues. - Earn 50 credits for correctly filling in all relevant dog details on the subscribe page (more on credits see below).

 

Puppy level

For $19.50 per quarter subscribe to TIM's DOG EXPERT INTERVIEW SERIES1 and get one Audio Interview per billing period - and support a good cause that benefits your GSD! Gain new insights from Tim's elaborate interrogation of the top canine experts in the world.

 

Adolescent level

For $24.50 per quarter subscribe to TIM's DOG EXPERT INTERVIEW SERIES1 and get one Audio Interview Plus Transcript per billing period - and support a good cause that benefits your GSD! Gain new insights from Tim's elaborate interrogation of the top canine experts in the world, and enjoy the added benefit of having the audio interview transcript together with the audio.

 

Adult level

For $29.50 per quarter subscribe to TIM's DOG EXPERT INTERVIEW SERIES1 and get one Audio Interview Plus Tim's Expert Interview Discussion Of The Interviewee's Key Arguments Plus Transcripts Of Both per billing period - and support a good cause that benefits your GSD! Gain new insights from Tim's elaborate interrogation of the top canine experts in the world, and a deeper understanding thanks to Tim's interview review, and enjoy the added benefit of having transcripts of both the audio interview and Tim's audio interview review.

 

Senior level

For $39.50 per quarter subscribe to TIM's DOG EXPERT INTERVIEW SERIES1 and get one Audio Interview Plus Tim's Expert Interview Discussion Of The Interviewee's Key Arguments Plus Transcripts Of Both per billing period - and support a good cause that benefits your GSD! Gain new insights from Tim's elaborate interrogation of the top canine experts in the world, and a deeper understanding thanks to Tim's interview review, and enjoy the added benefit of having transcripts of both the audio interview and Tim's audio interview review.

At Senior level you also acquire that someone will attend to your questions or dog problems or comments that you post online on a relevant page (public or Periodical) on mygermanshepherd.org during the billing period.

To be very clear: Going forward, those who don't post on a relevant page will not get a reply - and their own post may not get published either, because they are not paying anyone to move their question or comment to a relevant page, and because by posting on an irrelevant page they disadvantage everyone else!

Conversely, if at Senior level you post on a relevant page, someone will attend to your question or dog problem or comment in writing on that same page.2

 

Expert level

For $59.50 per quarter subscribe to TIM's DOG EXPERT INTERVIEW SERIES1 and get one Audio Interview Plus Tim's Expert Interview Discussion Of The Interviewee's Key Arguments Plus Transcripts Of Both per billing period - and support a good cause that benefits your GSD! Gain new insights from Tim's elaborate interrogation of the top canine experts in the world, and a deeper understanding thanks to Tim's interview review, and enjoy the added benefit of having transcripts of both the audio interview and Tim's audio interview review.

At Expert level you also acquire the right to send Tim your individual or confidential questions or dog problems per email during the billing period. You are still encouraged to post online on a relevant page (public or Periodical) on mygermanshepherd.org any question or dog problem that is not confidential and could benefit other dog owners too.

In addition, only at Expert level Tim will attend to your questions or dog problems during the billing period whichever way you prefer: in writing or via skype calls. Note that a skype video call may even allow you to show your dog problem, which may often allow a better assessment or give you greater value in other regards.2

 

1 Note that Tim interviews the genuine experts in the dog business, not the experts in the show business. When you subscribe to TIM's DOG EXPERT INTERVIEW SERIES, you will receive the interviews in a certain order to further benefit your learning experience. The interviewees and the order of the interviews you receive are meant to be a surprise. You may cancel your subscription at any time.

Obviously, when you cancel you miss out on all further interviews (and effectively you stop supporting MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG). Nonetheless, canceling your subscription does not cancel your ordinary free membership. To also stop to receive the MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL you need to properly unsubscribe at the bottom left of any email you receive.

2 Note that like with any other consultation there is no guarantee to solve your dog problem. Tim is neither God nor Vet nor Certified Dog Psychologist or Behavior Consultant nor Dog Whisperer or similar bullshit producer. In fact, Tim is not even a professional dog trainer - that's why on mygermanshepherd.org and in Tim's books you always find links to other experts like Ian Dunbar, Brenda Aloff, Sophia Yin, Pat Miller, Stanley Coren etc, and of course to Doggy Dan Abdelnoor with his fantastic video dog training site - who all do professional dog training for a living.

Tim will do nothing but apply experience, education and common sense (but to all areas: dog training, dog care and dog health). That's it! Alternatively, a lot of the experience, education and common sense you can find in Tim Carter's books.

Also note that at Senior level someone will attend to your question or dog problem that you posted on a relevant page (currently this is Tim but going forward this may well be a contracted assistant).

For individual or confidential questions or dog problems that you wish to have addressed personally by Tim and even per email (or skype), choose the Expert level.

Going forward, effectively non Expert level emails will automatically be blocked. This will successfully prevent spam because spammers don't pay, and because those who pay don't spam. Brilliant!

Thus this will also prevent that Tim is further inundated with personal HELP! requests of professional freebie seekers, who in the past stole his time to earn an income for himself(!), and who also deprived all members from getting a much better experience because there wasn't any income to pay for site development.

 

Note that with all memberships other than Guest (ie from Puppy level onwards), you not only get a fantastic DOG EXPERT INTERVIEW per billing period, you also support the continuing existence of mygermanshepherd.org to benefit yourself and your GSD!3

3 Further you support our continuing research of the GSD population globally and you help to improve the standard of the German Shepherd Dog breed through us educating all stakeholders. In short: You help to save this breed.

Some members have always been eager to support these goals. Now you can. And what could be better than that you get a direct consideration: a fantastic DOG EXPERT INTERVIEW per billing period!

 

Upcoming Further Membership Plans

Similar to what airlines etc have, I'd like to implement a 'credits' or 'points' or 'rewards' system on mygermanshepherd.org, and combine it with the above membership model:

Receiving Credits

Subscribed members can EARN and BUY credits which you can redeem in multiple ways. Visitors can only BUY credits, because there is no way to allot credits without registration (but I bet no visitor will buy anything anyway).

EARN Credits

  • EARN 3 credits per social share to gplus, twitter, facebook, linkedin or similar social media sites - even for your referrals.4
  • EARN 3 credits per uploaded GSD close-up pic ('macro' photograph) - even for your referrals.4 Thus we should finally be able to get the GSD calendar page working! :-)
  • EARN 50 credits for filling in all relevant dog details on the subscribe page (or afterwards by clicking the link 'update subscription preferences' at the bottom center of any email), and keeping the dog's details up to date - even for your referrals.4
  • EARN 50 credits per Periodical subscriber referral (you cannot refer yourself).
  • EARN 50 credits per book review on any Amazon site, Smashwords, Apple, B&N or other bookstore site, or shelfari, goodreads or similar 'social' book site - even for your referrals.4 Note that the existence of your review will be automatically confirmed but there is no qualitative assessment of your review, because Tim wants HONEST reviews only!
  • EARN double credits: Both filled-in dog details and book reviews existent at the official inception day of the new membership model earn you DOUBLE the amount of credits as a "special welcome and thank-you" for acknowledging the good work and good cause: helping dog owners the best way possible.

More ways to EARN credits may be introduced later. Suggestions welcome now.

4 "even for your referrals": The entire referral system is subject to technical feasability.

BUY Credits

You may prefer to EARN credits, because it's so easy and fun. If you wish to BUY credits, the smallest allotment is 100 credits for $10 (ie 1 credit = $0.10).5 Of course, if you choose to BUY credits, you help to support a good cause that benefits your GSD, and thus yourself too.

5 Note that under no circumstances EARNED or BOUGHT credits can be redeemed for money, neither at the time you unsubscribe nor before. When you unsubscribe, any credits you EARNED or BOUGHT are lost, because unsubscribing deletes your record and thus lapses your credits too.

 

Redeeming Credits

To receive ALL Periodicals over time, to advance an individual Periodical or request a new Periodical, to use member's chat or forum and socially interact with fellow members or arrange to meet locally or online, and more things in future, you need to redeem credits.

  • Advance an individual Periodical or request new: 50 credits
  • Use member's chat and forum to interact and meet with fellow members: 50 credits
  • Receive ALL Periodicals: 150 credits
  • All subscribed members can post questions, dog problems, comments etc on a relevant page. But to get a reply you must have and redeem: 395 credits. For a guaranteed personal reply from Tim: 595 credits (compare Senior and Expert level above). Redemption is valid for three months each.
  • Get Tim's books for free: Credits in the amount of TWICE the book's price may be redeemed for a book voucher.6

More ways to RECEIVE and REDEEM credits may be introduced later. Suggestions welcome now.

6 Examples: Puppy Development Guide - Puppy 101: 178 credits. Dog Training Toolkit: 178 credits. House Training Dogs To Behave Well: 138 credits. Dogs Unleashed: 80 credits.

Note that some members in some countries may truly struggle to buy Tim's bigger books (while most just pretend: they can afford a GSD!?). To give all members (even in the poorest countries) a chance to get Tim's top-rated books, members can redeem credits for a book voucher that can be used on Smashwords to obtain the ebook (not the print edition) in any format they like, incl. for free eReaders, iPad etc. This is another HUGE benefit of MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG for any dog owner in the world, incl. the poorest freebie seekers.

 


If you consider the suggested new MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG Membership Model in detail, you'll notice that even the credit values are in harmony: Eg while those who continue to demand to get "all for free" don't have to pay anything to get ALL Periodicals, they will have to contribute a non-monetary value that matches what other members pay.

Also note that non-paying members will always remain Guest, they cannot move up the ranks and thus they cannot get my attention for their questions or dog problems either. But they can even redeem credits for my books (for the reasons mentioned above).

Thus while "professional freebie seekers" can still get ALL Periodicals(!) and even my books(!) for free, they will have to EARN their privileges first - the privileges for which others are willing to pay. Anything else wouldn't be fair to the members who are more committed anyway! My desire for fairness was the reason why I wouldn't like that members are asked to "donate", like suggested from Rob, Lisa, Steve, and several others.

That always ends up in taking money from those who are more committed anyway: who leave reviews, make helpful suggestions, employ word-of-mouth, make comments, etc. And frankly, that also always results in more complaints and SPAM from those who aren't committed at all (neither financially nor in terms of their actions for the benefit of their dog!). Like you have seen earlier:

Unfortunately, FREE stuff attracts nutty people to a larger degree. Who pays, typically has manners.

I believe, if everyone is "charged" the way you want, it results in fairness and harmony for all members. And I feel more comfortable with that too. We can still make a donation button (okay Lisa!) as has often been suggested by members over the past years. But that would be an extra for those who want that. The extremely rare use of a donation button on other sites proves that it alone doesn't allow to pay bills and invest in development.

Now, what do you think of the new membership model, first part and second part? Please leave your feedback or improvement suggestions below.

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  1.  

    This is a lot to digest, so I need to take a little time to read this slowly and figure it all out. I read it over quickly and it all seems very workable. What I need to know at the moment (I am sure there will be more questions once I really take the time),is what ages you conside puppy, adolescent, and adult. My girl is now 10 months old. I consider that adolsecent, since their minds are growing up to age three, but I am not sure what you think of that. So far, though, I think you are truly on the right track, and you will see who is really interested in keeping this site going. I've got a good feeling about this.
    Maureen

    •  

      Oh Maureen, misunderstanding! Not whether your dog is a puppy - a dog can't be at "expert level" either, right? It's just my NAMING of the different membership levels. I found that cooler than say, "bronze, silver, gold". You know I am sort of funny ;-)

      •  

        Ha Ha---Boy do I feel dumb!!!! But I will probrably be an "Expert" before long. Maybe a senior, we'll see. Anyway, have you figured out how the payments will be made, and how you will keep up with all those credits? I am still laughing at myself!

  2.  

    I like the guest option! I appreciate that option! As always I appreciate everything from Tim and thus site!

    •  

      Well, considering the email questions you send in, you'll need the Expert level Amanda, you may want to read it again ;-)

  3.  

    I think this is a very reasonable way to continue your projects. We did subscribe to Doggy Dan's site for a few months and can't even describe how helpful it was for our German Shepherd mix.
    I don't know yet which kind of member we will be but please be assured we are appreciative of your work.

    •  

      Yes David, Dan's video dog training site is awesome, I myself too learned more than I could put in words! I really feel, learning never stops (unless we put our head in the beach sand for too long)...

      And yes, I have made another change to the suggested model now (probably not the last one).

  4.  

    Very fair and workable solution, Tim. I will have to be at the guest level by necessity, but will upgrade when circumstances permit.

  5.  

    You will get a lot more traction if you do yearly and bi-yearly rates... starting at the magic $9.99 level. Add/upgrade to next level for added features at... $19.99/year.
    Most people can add up the yearly cost!!

    •  

      Sorry Brian, I don't understand. Can you explain what you mean?

      Edit: I think I understand now. No, there will be nothing for 9.99/year. Funny. Then I can close the site right now.

  6.  

    If your having trouble w/money i understand. Personally i think it's a good idea. If your doing research on your own for yourself & feel like sharing it is one thing, if your doing research for other people & not yourself, that's another, because your spending your hard-earned time & should be paid for it.

    •  

      Yes. And to make it clear for everyone here: My paying the bills for the hardcore freebie seekers is not even the point. The point is: As shown above, hardcore freebie seekers HARM every member here.

      And yet I decided with the above model: They will (for now) CONTINUE to be able to get ALL Periodicals(!!) AND EVEN MY BOOKS(!!!) for free. No one else in the world gives you that. No one. Nooo one.

      I could just have posted (or indeed posted nothing at all!):
      "Those who desire EVEN MORE obviously have to pay. And those who want ALL for free obviously have to give a non-monetary consideration instead: redeeming EARNED credits." - That's the new membership model in a nutshell.

      • When you wish to lie down comfortably during a flight, you have to pay extra for business or first class. - Actually, speaking of it: You have to pay even for economy class!!!
      • When you die and you requested a premium view over the hills, your relatives have to pay extra. - Actually, speaking of it: They have to pay even if you wished to be dumped in the sea!!!
      • When you want a delicious meal instead of canned food, you have to pay extra. - Actually, speaking of it: You have to pay even for canned food!!!

      Everywhere the EXTRA costs EXTRA. In fact, if you are able to consider taxes and such: Everywhere even the most BASIC service costs you money.* And that's obvious: Someone has to work for you! Do you wanna be that someone?

      * except on mygermanshepherd.org - where not only the basics are free, but the best of the best to find on any dog site! (and I pretty much know them all, after years of research)
      So, show some gratitude, will ya?

      ---
      Frankly, if I ever get ONE more complaint of freebie seekers (who HARM everyone else here!, see above), THEY will not get a single Periodical for free, and no books, and no questions answered, and no problems solved. Nada.
      Poor dog. But it proves: Not everyone is a worthy dog owner. But everyone knows the looks of the "back" button in their browser:
      back button

  7.  

    Dear Tim, I am very glad that you have come up with an idea to keep MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG alive. I am also grateful for the guest option. It will allow me to be able to still be a member. Although I do not expect to get something for nothing, I am a single dog parent and am on a tight budget. I like the credit system. It is my understanding that you get some sort of compensation when we order products from amazon through the periodicals....is that correct? If that is the case, I would like to suggest maybe adding a credit for that. I shop a lot on amazon and I simply enter the amazon site through one of the periodicals I have saved in a folder on my computer. No matter what I am shopping for be it for my dogs or not. I have a monthly budgeted amount that I can spend on my dogs and unfortunately, at this time I will have to be at the guest level If I want to be able to feed them well and provide the other care they require. I am more than willing to pay for your books and write reviews, buy products needed for my dogs and myself through the periodicals. When my own personal financial situation improves I should be able to upgrade. Believe me, I understand that times are tough. Thank you for trying to come up with a solution rather than throwing in the towel. I am ever so willing to do what I can to help keep this site alive. Wish it could be more. Good Luck Tim!

    Estella

    •  

      "I am more than willing to pay for your books and write reviews, buy products needed for my dogs and myself through the periodicals."
      Estella, with all that you write and what I know from you, you are one of those supportive, helpful members anyway, so no need to worry! ;-)

      "when we order products from amazon I would like to suggest maybe adding a credit for that"
      I fear I can't follow your suggestion here: Like I wrote everywhere, please use the links only when you wish to buy sth anyway. It would be against my ethics to reward users for buying any items, whether on Amazon or elsewhere. And Amazon (rightfully) don't allow either any "gratification" for clicking their links (I think; for Google I'm sure). In any case, I don't allow it.

      This is a dog site, so I can't often let my personality shine through, but I thought I often enough made clear that I myself am VERY economical in my purchases (hence why I love Amazon's cheap prices!), and I would never encourage anyone to go on a shopping spree by rewarding them with points/credits.

      I know you mean it well Estella, still, I can't fulfil this wish of yours, sorry.

  8.  

    P.S. The donation button would allow me to make a donation as a guest member on the months I have money left over. :)

    Estella

  9.  

    Can you please explain the audio interview and what it entails?

  10.  

    Congrats Tim on coming up with a solution :)

  11.  

    I saw this and finally got the time to sit down and go through it. I like the tiered structure and am waiting to "pick one".

    Then after reading the other comments, I also realized I may have been missing out by ignoring Doggy Dan!

    Apologies. I realize you endorse him but I dont take endorsements too seriously these days.
    But now I will just have to delve into his stuff more, just not too much. ; )

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