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Comments and Suggestions Thread, Replies to my blog post in EduGeek Stuff; well i think that it boils down to the impending doom point of: edugeek needs to cover costs (paraphrasing) To ...
  1. #31
    amfony's Avatar
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    well i think that it boils down to the impending doom point of:

    edugeek needs to cover costs (paraphrasing)

    To accomplish this i say this: subscription to all new members of a nominal amount, hell to make it "fair" i would subscribe aswell. But to really be fair there have been guys and girls on this forum since day dot, i know i wasnt around then but i have been around for quite a while now and have been recommending to other techs in that time.

    Is subscription that dirty of an idea?

    edit: i couldnt put my point together in my head, ill try tomorrow haha
    Last edited by amfony; 16th February 2009 at 08:55 AM. Reason: just a point for internationals

  2. #32

    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Is subscription that dirty of an idea?
    Making EduGeek a subscription service has been discussed in depth quite a few times, and TBH wouldn't bring in a fraction of the funds required to run us. I have to make something clear here first. We are not in financial trouble (unlike when out govt says things like this I really mean it!). What I'm trying to do is get a feel for what you would liek to see. If you would like to have a manufacturers forum where you can talk to companies directly (believe me they WANT these) then fine. I had been a little resistant to the idea of puttign them directly into the forum space as this is YOUR area, but a can see both sides of the coin. The way I view EduGeek is like a successful US pioneer town in the late 19th century. I founded the place, stuck a little flag into the landscape of the internet and invited anyone who cared to to join me here. Quite a few of you did, and thanks you very much for doing so. Now we are in the middle of the 20th century, you've built your homes, laid roads and for the most part get on well with your neighbours. I now have more of a mayoral role, seeing things get repaired, planning etc. It is not for me to go into your homes and tell you how to live or force you to move homes\streets etc. That is why we ask you first, unless we have a surprise that is

  3. #33

    witch's Avatar
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    Definitely like the dedicated areas for companies to use as support - as long as they are charged a goodly amount for it - after all they would be getting a HUGE resource that they couldn't access any other way that I can think of.

  4. #34

    sparkeh's Avatar
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    On one hand I really like the idea of direct access to manufactures. It can sometimes be hard to get to the right person in a company or get your point across to a higher level in the company. If a company took their involvement in this community seriously then this could happen more and perhaps our collective voice could actually effect some changes which would be awesome. My optimistic view is that this could be a great thing to do.

    Of course this could also have some negative effects. Although I truly believe that the Admin team would never enter into anything unsuitable for the community the cynical part of me worries that companies would purely want to tap into a ready made advertising demographic which this whole thing isnt about.

    Part of me also worries about complaints and grievances against companies getting out of hand. My first thought (and just as an example), looking at some of the previous debates on the subject, is what would a Sophos forum turn out like? People have very strong views on this subject that haven't always remained civilised. If that were directed at a company directly it wouldn't look too professional.

  5. #35

    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    That is why we ask you first, unless we have a surprise that is
    Name a recent thing where you (or ZH ) asked us first?

    regards
    Simon

  6. #36
    contink's Avatar
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    I don't know if my concerns are stemmed from having run a community project similar to this one and seen what "progress" can do... BUT... one thing springs to mind.

    The more you grow the more problems can come along... I for one would nix any idea of Medigeek or Bizigeek or whatever. Whilst there are folks here who fit that mould they do so as outliers with common issues that dovetail to the educational focus. Trying to expand that IMHO creates a mess.

    If I had any wishes in all of this it would be the further development of projects such as video guides for users, best practice information (how to for a network setup), and the like.

    I would steer clear of the "money making" ideas because if that becomes a focus then the rational for the community loses it's prime focus, which is the end-user (ie: Us!) and more about sponsors, etc.. I don't think that'll happen and I feel comfortable that the balance has been struck in that regard here.

    As for the company forum spaces, I share Sparkeh's concerns that they could be used for less pleasant purposes. I'd welcome greater links with companies so that support could be more dovetailed to more experienced and knowledgeable users but at the same time there's always that risk of it being used as a marketing platform or for anti-competitor purposes.

    Anyway, to sum up... I think we have a good mix and balance already. I'd hate to see that topple over if too much change was forced because it was felt we should rather than a more organic growth where change happens more naturally.

    Just my ten penneth.

  7. Thanks to contink from:

    dalsoth (16th February 2009)

  8. #37
    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Definitely like the dedicated areas for companies to use as support - as long as they are charged a goodly amount for it - after all they would be getting a HUGE resource that they couldn't access any other way that I can think of.
    In this regard I respectfully disagree...

    Granted a company would benefit from having a support area as a flag flier but IMHO the best investment for us and them would be actual knowledgeable support, prompt replies, issues dealt with and appropriate helpful content that helps the end users.

    Seems like a win-win that way...

    If a company gets a space and treats it like a redirect (ie: all problems? email us) then the space is deleted.

  9. #38

    teejay's Avatar
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    I like the idea of manufacturer specific technical forums, would be a really usefull tool.
    The main things I come on here for are to offer/receive advice and for the general banter and chat.
    I would not be happy with a supscription model for the forums, as I feel they would lose their character. I was browsing for a couple of months beofre joining which wouldn't have been possible with a subscription model.
    However, I would be more than happy to pay a subscription for 'premium' services. Some of the things I would pay for would be:
    A much more developed, in depth wiki with howto's and a solution database.
    Some of the projects.
    Graphics suited to the education market.

    Conferences - haven't been to one yet so really can't comment. I would say that if a supplier wants to peddle their wares at a conference thay should be paying for the priveledge!

    Just another thought, have you looked at getting grants from say BECTA or the EU?
    Last edited by teejay; 16th February 2009 at 11:58 AM.

  10. #39
    dalsoth's Avatar
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    Let me be slightly negative about this for a moment and post a few of my thoughts that came up when reading this... no really... hopefully replies will alleviate any fears that some members may have with all of these changes proposed.

    Love what Edugeek is about here so please take these comments without offense intended. Just trying to work out what all the focus on money is about.

    I "thought" Edugeek was an online forum/community where like minded individuals working in education could meet up, chat and help each other out with problems.

    All of this focus on cash cash cash seems to be about conferences and pushing Edugeek's reputation with big business. The vast majority of users i would expect do not attend these conferences and see Edugeek as a website community and resource.

    Some of the comments on here almost appear to be "selling" the technical support skills of the members here to the highest bidder. Just because you have some fantastic members who help solve others problems on the forum is not really a valid reason to sub contract those skills out to the highest commercial bidder. Are the members going to be paid for solutions to problems? After all they are the ones pulling in all the cash and for many of them they only use the forum and don't see the goodies that are on offer other than the forums themselves.

    Those last few statements may be exaggeration but with ACER man and other outlets suggested, along with "buy through our amazon link so we can get cash" being more or less posted it almost looks as though someone has had a lightbulb moment and realised the cash potential of the site.

    I suppose regulars and mods will see what i have said as heresy and try to put me up on a stake but i don't mean to offend i am just saying what things kind of look like at the moment from another stand point. Perhaps it is something to bear in mind when investigating new ideas. After all, a community is just that. Push them too far and they go elsewhere. Perhaps with schools being taken over by the BSF process many of the regulars here will slowly fade away as they are shifted into corporate helpdesks. Maybe that is why the focus is now to branch out to ensure Edugeek lives on. Fair play.

    I think some of the suggestions on here are great though. Including the stuff about a book or article about how to set up and run a schools IT system from scratch. Other ideas i have seen that i think are great are the Edugeek magazine idea and things such as video tutorials for training of staff in education. Think CBT nuggets by forum members on how to do stuff such as add new intakes to the school using batch files etc...

    Anyhoo, hope i have not enraged anyone as it was not the intention. Keep up the good work.

  11. #40

    Domino's Avatar
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    I think you've read the bit about possible areas of where we're going but missed some of the other bits.

    There is going to be a need for more revnue to keep hosting the site - thats something thats never going to get smaller.

    a quick alexa search of the site edugeek.net - Traffic Details from Alexa puts us at 97,171 in the traffic ranking..which is huge!

    that costs. a lot.

    As for the conferences etc, thats something that the people who go find useful, interesting and normally a damn good laugh - and they've been going on since I joined (ish)

    I also don't think there's any talk of selling our expertise - think of it like offering a specialised forum space for a product, people can talk about it, share tips and tricks, etc

    that way its nice for the company (easy access to an existing group) and good for customers/prospectives as they can talk to existing users.

    I don't think anyones suggesting we start providing support for anything

  12. #41

    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    I would steer clear of the "money making" ideas because if that becomes a focus then the rational for the community loses it's prime focus, which is the end-user (ie: Us!) and more about sponsors, etc.. I don't think that'll happen and I feel comfortable that the balance has been struck in that regard here.
    The money making thing is actually to provide better EG services such as a dedicated server in the Australia\NZ locale as their page rendering times are quite bad. The same goes for the continental US. Again, this is several k per annum. I'm not going 'Money, money, money', all the time just to rake in a huge pile of cash, those that know or have met me will vouch for the fact I'm not blowing it all on single malt, champagne and gewgaws then laughing all the way to the bank. We are doing this because there is more to this than just you (the collective 'you' that is) and we need to ensure we reach the people who need us. We have plans, and those plans require pennies to implement for the greater good.

  13. #42

    Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    I'm not going 'Money, money, money', all the time just to rake in a huge pile of cash, those that know or have met me will vouch for the fact I'm not blowing it all on single malt, champagne and gewgaws then laughing all the way to the bank.

    HAHA
    I just spat coke all over my keyboard.....

  14. #43
    dalsoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    I'm not going 'Money, money, money', all the time just to rake in a huge pile of cash, those that know or have met me will vouch for the fact I'm not blowing it all on single malt, champagne and gewgaws then laughing all the way to the bank.
    Not sure what gewgaws is but that made me laugh too It made me picture the guy from Inspector Gadget with his cat on the chair and his clawed hand supping champagne and laughing evilly.

    I think there are some great ideas on here. Not sure about the advertising or the companies on here all the time as i think there are a lot of members who see this place as respite from the gnashing of sales peoples teeth. I very much doubt that the forums will end up full of sales people though but it is something to watch out for.

    There seem to be a few nice guys on the forums who are sponsors who are always on hand to help with quotes but too many and it will put some off.

    Perhaps if the site needs cash and i am assuming that things are fine at the moment from reading above, some of the ideas about premium services should be looked at. I know that if this place had policies and video guides and scripts which were something that were available to those that subscribed i would consider it.

    I know you have many of these things on the wiki now but if someone really put in the time and effort to polish and improve these with training guides and videos i think you would be on to a winner.

    Policies are such a problem in all schools and to have everything organised in one place guaranteed up to date with the latest legislation it would make lives easier.

    Anyroad, back to the studies. Don't take my earlier comments as complaints or accusations they were not intended that way. As i said, great job, hope things work out for the better.

  15. #44

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    the cynical part of me worries that companies would purely want to tap into a ready made advertising demographic which this whole thing isnt about. Part of me also worries about complaints and grievances against companies getting out of hand.
    But that's the idea of having a nice, professionally-moderated forum environment that companies would be glad to pay to make use of - someone goes and checks over posts regularly to make sure there's no unsubstantiated rants.

    On the other hand, us end-users get the same advantage - someone checks posts to make sure there's no cut-and-paste style adverts, all posts are discussion-style, and posts that point out, with no bad language, a product's failings, backed with proved examples, are allowed to stay and can expect a decent reply. A "decent" reply means no dear-x-we-are-sorry-etc-etc waffle from a sales drone, but technically competant replies from someone who knows what they're talking about - a developer or product manager.

    --
    David Hicks

  16. #45
    browolf's Avatar
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    random thoughts:
    the blog thing isnt wildly popular atm, how about twitter-esq functionality? or niche social networking. aka GeekBook. companies should feel able to blog new tech/products. or how <insert company name> does offer of the day. an offer of the day system for advertisers. a pay for opt-in mailing list of exclusive articles, like the one windowssecrets.com does (im really tempted to pay for that myself). a business directory sorted by company & product type. a bigger job site. not just edu jobs. a directory of education-related freeware. listings maintained by providers.

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