farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Release 10/9/2012 (subscribe-to-ur-dreams)
OpenStudy Feedback
katieb
  • katieb
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farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Sorry for the late posting here folks. Took us awhile to get some issues ironed out. UP ON DECK! - Add the ability for users to subscribe, receiving a special "Angel" designation (unless your a Moderator or Ambassador - as those take precedent) and some sweet avatar bling. Check out your account settings page for more info (Settings -> Account Settings). As you can see from my avatar we didn't quite get the moderator styling correct the first time around, but we'll roll out a hotfix to that real shortly. That doesn't affect most of you guys anyway. ;) - Change some analytics tracking behind the scenes - Fix some issues with the settings page - Some backend polish to hopefully make real time interactions a little snappier. As usual, let us know if something seems broken.
TranceNova
  • TranceNova
Hey, good timing - just as I went to lunch :P Hmm interesting, so does the subscription just add awesome prettiness or does it add any other features? Hmm snappier? I though I saw you guys stealing crocodiles...
lgbasallote
  • lgbasallote
what happens when you "subscribe" other than the special designs?

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Compassionate
  • Compassionate
Does it cost money to subscribe?
ash2326
  • ash2326
@farmdawgnation Would you elucidate " How subscription works" ?
myininaya
  • myininaya
If you got to Account Settings, you will see that it cost 10 dollars a month. I'm still not sure what the subscription includes....
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Myin is correct, the subscription is $10/mo. Subscription currently only provides you with the avatar bling, the title "Angel", and the pride of knowing you're helping support OpenStudy. We're going to be adding more things over time to make it more valuable, and potentially multiple tiers with added features. For now, the most immediate benefit is that if you're a question asker, that diamond on your avatar is going to communicate that you're a serious member of OpenStudy, which is always helpful in groups like Math where there are tons of questions rolling in.
lgbasallote
  • lgbasallote
that last paragraph is a seller...
myininaya
  • myininaya
I think the circle is prettier. What about a star?
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
We tried a star. That was our first choice. Our second was a heart. Both broke things with the outline around the shape. :/
myininaya
  • myininaya
Aww...That is sad. Ok, I guess diamonds are okay.
lgbasallote
  • lgbasallote
by the way...where's the angel part @farmdawgnation ?
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
It shows up after the pipe on the online list. Because I'm a Moderator, "Moderator" overrides that because we consider that the more important designation. It'll also show up in your profile tooltips.
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Ambassadors and Moderators will see their current designation override the "Angel", but will still get the diamond.
myininaya
  • myininaya
I want to see what it looks like for someone who doesn't have that override. Do you have an attachment you can share so we can see how it looks?
lgbasallote
  • lgbasallote
are there any other angels?
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
This is a screenshot from my testing environment.
myininaya
  • myininaya
Oh. Ok. I see now. Thanks.
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
And the tooltip...
lgbasallote
  • lgbasallote
seems kind of dull though (the designs i mean)...no offense....
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Aye, it's simple. We wanted to implement this without adding any additional images to the page. The idea is to be just different enough to indicate that your account is different, without distracting users from the content on the site.
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
That said, there has been some discussion of more bling in the future that will be a bit more fancy. ;)
myininaya
  • myininaya
Bling like blinking colors around your avatar?
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
No.
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
:P
lgbasallote
  • lgbasallote
by the way...is this the first graphic design since darthsid?
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Lol. Nah, we've deployed some other stuff that has had design tweaks since darthsid left. This is just the first one you're less than excited about. :P
lgbasallote
  • lgbasallote
okay...last question... suppose someone subscribes...when is it possible to "unsubscribe"
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Whenever you want from the account page, really. After subscribing the "Start Subscription" button changes to "Cancel Subscription".
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Although, if you want your subscription to continue for the entire month I believe you do need to wait until we actually bill your card. That happens within about five minutes of you completing the form, and we inform you on the account page of the date you were last billed.
andriod09
  • andriod09
But what if you are a serious member, but don't have money/job?
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
A subscription is only one way to indicate you're serious about OpenStudy. You're reputation in the community is another, and your SmartScore is another. If you can't afford it then no hard feelings, but we've heard people say before they would support OpenStudy if we gave them the option to - even if they can't be on the site all the time. We decided to do just that. :)
andriod09
  • andriod09
Well, yeah, I would if i could get a job, too young, and my parents don't get much... anyhoo, i would totally support if i had a chance, but can't there be a way for like a square to show that shows the rep you have for non-subscroptioned users?
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Sorry, the diamond is for subscribers only. We may provide the option to gift a subscription to another user in the future, and at that point someone could buy you a subscription, but for now that's what we've got.
andriod09
  • andriod09
no, im talking about a SQUARE that would show the REP you have, i.e. if you help people, then you could get a square and things like that. my OS currency would come in handy here i bet........
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
It's something worth considering, android09. Thanks for the suggestion.
andriod09
  • andriod09
No problem. I will bump my post so you can see it.
mathslover
  • mathslover
I will ask that why $ 10 / month ? I considered this as an open source site :( @farmdawgnation what is there in subscribing for angel , made you to make a fee for it?
mathslover
  • mathslover
Also, Ambassadors and moderators will NOT be able to get angel ... correct ? and also , can you explain the diamond shape to me please?
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
I don't know what you mean by "open source" site. We've never claimed that. We contribute to many open source projects, but OpenStudy itself has never been open source. You're correct, Ambassadors and Moderators won't get the Angel designation. The diamond is another indicator that you're a subscriber.
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Mine is the wrong color right now (it should be purple) because I goofed up. But I'm going to fix that today.
mathslover
  • mathslover
Oh OK I got it.... well sorry for that "open source" confusion ... though sorry , at present I am not going to subscribe for it but A GREAT IDEA ...
myininaya
  • myininaya
It seems like a way of donating. It would be cool to have an option in how much you donate.
mathslover
  • mathslover
not idea but A GREAT STEP :)
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
@myininaya We considered that. We might do that in a next iteration, but it all depends on how interested people are in such an option.
TuringTest
  • TuringTest
Is it saying "invalid server certificate" when I click to subscribe for some reason you have already explained, or...?
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
That's a new one. That sounds like an error on WePay's end. What browser are you using?
TuringTest
  • TuringTest
Chrome 21.0.1180.89
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Can you send me the exact URL you see in your address bar when you're presented with the "Invalid Server Certificate" error?
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Via DM please. :)
AravindG
  • AravindG
why didnt t os bring a "donate" button rather than "subscribe" button ?
AravindG
  • AravindG
i think the idea of donate button is better .no hard feelings :)
asnaseer
  • asnaseer
I saw the whole /essence/ of this site as somewhere where you could get free impartial help. From what is being said here, it sounds like you are proposing to split the OS community into two /classes/ of users - those who subscribe become the /privileged/ class and those who don't become /second class/ members. This does not feel right to me. I agree with @AravindG in that a donate option would be much better. And there is no eed to advertise the fact that you have donated (in my opinion). I think you will get more people willing to donate if you continued to offer the service as is.
asnaseer
  • asnaseer
I would even accept the /subscribe/ idea if the fact that you are a subscriber was not advertised. This would remove the idea that we would help those that are subscribers more than those who have not subscribed.
AravindG
  • AravindG
exactly !!
goformit100
  • goformit100
I WILL SEE TO IT . THANK YOU MODS...
chris
  • chris
Hi @asnaseer and @AravindG et al - good points. As far as the implementation of "donate" vs. "subscribe", and "show" vs. "hide", we'll definitely take your feedback into account for the next iterations. Our goal has always been to create a learning environment that's freely accessible for all learners. Ironically enough, a part of that process is figuring out what parts we can charge for without damaging "freely accessible" or the "open" in OpenStudy. This is one attempt to do that was suggested by some of you all, donations in the form of subscriptions for those that can afford to do so. The reward is light - the icon designation. It's not meant to create two classes of users, there's no on-site advantage, only to recognize those that can and do contribute to OpenStudy in that way. I understand that the "recognition" is part of your complaint. But this is just a first step, and certainly an imperfect one as almost all first steps are. We're going to keep working on it with your help =).
asnaseer
  • asnaseer
@chris - thanks for the response. I fully back your intentions, but I still feel very strongly that any kind of subscription and/or donation should be anonymous. Otherwise, even if you did not intend it, the site will start to split into two classes of users - it is human nature at work.
myininaya
  • myininaya
I was thinking if other people see other people have donated then that would encourage other people to donate.
asnaseer
  • asnaseer
@myininaya yes - but about the majority of users who I believe would not be able to contribute due to one reason or another? I think it is unfair on them.
asnaseer
  • asnaseer
From my own perspective - I am always willing to help a good cause - but I am strongly against any recognition for that as I believe it /takes away/ from the help you give.
anonymous
  • anonymous
Would you be able to give users a 'free day' of being subscribed? c: Just so they know what happens and whatever... I think its cool. I'll prolly be begging my mom for it now. :P
asnaseer
  • asnaseer
As an alternative idea, I think you could keep the subscriptions/donations anonymous and have some form of quarterly/yearly "donation bar" (nothing to do with drinking!) that shows how much has been donated to date as a percentage of how much the site wanted to raise in any particular quarter/year
asnaseer
  • asnaseer
and every time we hit a target we could hold a virtual party! :)
anonymous
  • anonymous
I think people who agree with a particular user's viewpoint should give him/her a medal. Btw, i totally agree with everything asnaseer said. :|
goformit100
  • goformit100
Namaste, Hello Everyone, I am from INDIA, ( http://openstudy.com/users/goformit100 ) i joint OS on 28th May, 2012 .... initially i never had such a studious, friendly and helpful experience ever earlier in my life.... At my chilhood many times i had read about The True Bond between Teacher and Student, the power of teaching, and much more about education.... I always used to think, is it possible that people help each other, and spread their facts and possibilities, in the KALYUGA.... Open Study made it possible.... OS made my life wao, i aim for good college in my country .... i feel happy to be a user of OS I always wished god that one day should come when it becomes possible for me to thank the people who helped me one or the other way, in my life for my success... I think the day came... the main purpose was to THANK You ALL to my respectful mods from bottom of my Heart.... and greatest thank to the founder of OPENSTUDY ... and the people on http://openstudy.com/about-us ...... Thank you all of you Yours faithfully, ( @goformit100)
chris
  • chris
@goformit100 - Ravi, that's awesome =). Really thanks for sharing with us. And by that I do mean "us" - a lot of the people responsible for such an environment are on this thread - including you adding to the experience of others. Kudos all =). @asnaseer @rajathsbhat @myininaya - points taken. We have a lot to think about. I'm happy to hear you understand our intentions. There are several good ideas floating around this thread, we'll unpack them, and do so with a lot more information now that the first version is released.
asnaseer
  • asnaseer
Thanks @chris - look forward to your thoughts!
chris
  • chris
And on @goformit100 note again - I hope everyone here realizes that the true value of OpenStudy is not the features we release (or charge for ack! :p), but rather you all - the community that embodies a willingness to help others and a shared pursuit of learning. That character is contagious, user-driven, and we believe very special.
asnaseer
  • asnaseer
Totally agree!
goformit100
  • goformit100
I too agree with you @chris :)
SWAG
  • SWAG
i defiantly will be subscribing to OS in the next few weeks, i would love to do anything that could help and i would LOVE to get the Angel symbol and the diamond
anonymous
  • anonymous
I can get a diamond instead of a circle for only 10 dollars? =D
Compassionate
  • Compassionate
Are there any other types of alternative payment options?
bahrom7893
  • bahrom7893
@SmoothMath not just a diamond, also a "|Angel" next to your name :D
swissgirl
  • swissgirl
I guess this subscription is geared for younger kids, between the ages of 10-15. Not for you kiddos, @SmoothMath and @bahrom7893
bahrom7893
  • bahrom7893
Yea, I'm kinda wary of seeing "bahrom7893|Angel"
bahrom7893
  • bahrom7893
Actually I'd probably pay them to remove it if everyone had "bahrom7893|Angel". Maybe add something like "|Active contributor" and offer certificates/letters of recommendation to useful contributors (as in not just donate or not just contribute, but do both)
bahrom7893
  • bahrom7893
I meant if everyone had "|Angel"
anonymous
  • anonymous
Maybe I'd pay them to stop deleting my posts.
swissgirl
  • swissgirl
Subscribing is a bad and incorrect term for "OPEN"STUDY
anonymous
  • anonymous
If you're going to charge people to get help, shouldn't you be paying people who provide help?
myininaya
  • myininaya
@Algebraic! , no one has to "subscribe" . OpenStudy is still free to use. In the past, some people had showed interest in donating so they put it in and this was the form they chose to put it in as. People can still get free help at OpenStudy. :)
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
Correct, subscription isn't required to interact on the site.
anonymous
  • anonymous
I think you're both splitting hairs here. Just because people can use it for free doesn't mean you're not going to have some people paying for the service: paying for what is, after all, volunteer help.
kymber
  • kymber
I'd subscribe if it said "Kymber | Unicorn"
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
@Algebraic! I would disagree with you, tbh. I don't see it as people paying for the help. I see it as people supporting the service that makes it possible for this help to happen, and in exchange getting some recognition.
anonymous
  • anonymous
I guess it's the dilemma many sites are facing these days: if the 'content' is user generated, should the site be the sole earner of any (and all) revenue the content generates.
asnaseer
  • asnaseer
@Algebraic! - I look at it in this way: I have a fulltime job and come here to help others and also to learn from others in my spare time. Where as for the people running the site, this is their fulltime job. So the question then arises - how do they get paid?
asnaseer
  • asnaseer
I think we as a community need to suport them. My only objection to the current scheme is that I do not think this /support/ should be made public.
anonymous
  • anonymous
They're federally funded.
asnaseer
  • asnaseer
Maybe the admins can clarify that point?
anonymous
  • anonymous
But even if they weren't...
farmdawgnation
  • farmdawgnation
We're not "federally funded" per se. We have received grants in the past from the National Science Foundation, and maybe a few other organizations, but we're not a line item on anyone's budget. While these organizations have expressed interest in our mission, and have provided some support achieving that mission, we are a for-profit, private corporation - and always have been. So, yes, we've taken some money that was authorized by the federal government towards educational technology. However, we can't rely on receiving any further support from them, and we're not planning on it. I'm sorry you don't believe our current solution is perfect. Figuring out how to balace the free aspects of a site like this and have it at least be self-sustaining (if not profitable) is uncharted territory. So, I thank you for your patience, and we're going to work on consolidating all of the feedback we're receiving into a solution that both allows OpenStudy to be profitable and still enables askers to get help from answerers who feel good about helping.
lgbasallote
  • lgbasallote
darn that diamond looks good on @farmdawgnation now...
anonymous
  • anonymous
Buy yourself a fancy new diamond, LGBA. I know you can't resist it. You're all about the bling.
lgbasallote
  • lgbasallote
if only i had such money. I live in a country where $10 can buy a car..
anonymous
  • anonymous
Lol, lgb, really!? XD
hartnn
  • hartnn
i want that car!

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