Ideas for Respect Beer Society Membership Perks

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by HopsAreDaMan, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. johnInLA

    johnInLA Champion (807) Jun 12, 2005 California

    Some of us support both :wink:
    beertunes and nc41 like this.
  2. Bruinsfan87

    Bruinsfan87 Initiate (103) Aug 25, 2014 New Hampshire
    Society Trader

    I would love to get a members only glass and/or t-shirt. I would gladly pay a little more to receive either.
    HopsAreDaMan likes this.
  3. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    I appreciate your providing details here. Yet, as far as I'm concerned, there is no need to explain why you are currently not a financial supporter. As you mentioned, there are many wonderful causes to give to, and the reality is, no one can give to every 'great' cause. I know some may not like my saying this, but I am very much a believer in doing what you want to do, and not what you or others think you should do; afterall, at the end of the day, and at the very end itself, there is no one you need answer to but yourself. :sunglasses:
  4. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    LOL. I love it! I want, 'Joe Rex'. My first name is Joe, and well, Rex means, King. :sunglasses:
    bbtkd likes this.
  5. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,333) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I used to listen to Bob & Tom a lot and it is in reference to their El Conquistador bit. At work, when I would subscribe to trade journals, I listed my job title as El Conquistador, and it would show up on the mailing label. Even when they would call to verify my information annually they wouldn't question it.
    PapaGoose03 and HopsAreDaMan like this.
  6. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    That's hilarious!

    When I was a camp counselor, back in the day, on the first day I choose my camp name to be 'Mighty Thor'. A few days later I decided the 'mighty' was a bit much, and I told them I wanted to be called simply, 'Thor'; but some of the the kids had already gotten used to the title, so from then on I was Mighty Thor. *Shrugs* Someone has to be mighty. :stuck_out_tongue:
    bbtkd likes this.
  7. johnInLA

    johnInLA Champion (807) Jun 12, 2005 California

    So I'm going to throw this out there.

    I don't think physical gives are the way to go, as in, contribute this you get a glass or whatever. Putting aside that some people will have no interest or don't want what ever physical "gift" that could be offered. Here are a few things to consider.

    1. The most passionate supporters are signing up because we want a place that the industry listens to and respects, and for good reason, we have standing. People listen to us. You disagree? Look at places, beers, etc, that point out BA ratings.

    2. Not being industry owned is key. By industry, I don't mean just big beer. I mean every segment of the industry. When craft brewers can filter what we say we are doomed. Independence is everything.

    3. Gifts deduct from the membership fee contribution. Things like web site features, swag for sale, services like meet organizational support, event benefits etc, seem much more like an internal business expense. Not my business, not my call, but generally speaking I would rather give my best customers my services rather having to outsource a direct expense, like an included "whatever" and as a supporter I would rather see my dollars supporting the cause, then the contractor.
    #87 johnInLA, Apr 13, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  8. kuhndog

    kuhndog Disciple (302) Sep 6, 2011 New York

    How about image hosting of some sort, a way to directly upload pictures. At least just for WBAYDN. (Its a pain in the ass to go to another site just to post a pic). Or give each member a little storage space (30mb?) that they can manage?? I would pay extra for that!
  9. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,665) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    Hmm I wouldn't say that is the consensus. @johnInLA has a good point about the overhead in issuing and dealing with physical perks. Not saying it is bad, but depending on how many go for that level, you can get stuck with merch, not have enough, just a general all around thing that has to be dealt with. I am going to go back to privileges...not powers, but access to additional content. I know the magazine flamed out, but wondering if that was due to lack of interest in printed periodical, or lack of interest in content. Perhaps a poll would be in order to determine if people are willing to pay more for content online. Man not sure just throwing things out there. I don't think the Beer raffles and giveaways will cut it across the 50 states and overseas, the festivals discounts and things would benefit those who do that and are willing to travel to them. Also as Jason and Todd sit back and take this all in. What do they see the future looking like, and where do they want to go with this site, and what would it take to get them there? That would be an interesting take I would like to hear. I have to think they are sitting on a goldmine of information here on this site. Having access to the backend of this system would keep be up for a week solid mining out what is trending, not trending etc.
  10. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,668) Aug 23, 1996 California

    Thanks for the ideas so far!

    As mentioned in this thread, we'll be staying away from physical items as the costs involved (the items, shipping/handling, storage, customer service, etc.) can often cut deep into the revenue. Plus there's a risk of sitting on merch that doesn't sell.
  11. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    Thank you Todd for responding. :slight_smile: Your response helps streamline the conversation in terms of what is realistic to discuss, and what is not.
    Todd likes this.
  12. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    I quick response, then I'm out the door. Yeah, you make a good point. When I worded my previous post, I realized I possibly wasn't as clear as I wanted to be. There are a number of different perspectives to consider here, and I'm glad that you are willing to jump in and help clarify things. I was thinking more along the lines of consumables (i.e. virtual or material) vs. status (i.e. labels on someone's account that states they are a premium member as opposed to a regular member). Many seemed to state they don't like status symbols that separate members into a kind of elitist tiered system. I was attempting to address this perspective in my response. I plan to post more about this later.
    donspublic likes this.
  13. seakayak

    seakayak Defender (633) May 20, 2007 Massachusetts

    You could offer Society member-only access to the Top Raters reviews. That would be a huge pay incentive.

    Although, it would greatly disappoint non-members to take away their Top Rater access, and would have website functionality implications (e.g., following members and click-to-view anyone's reviews). It would change the entire nature of the site, but it would be a money-maker.
    HopsAreDaMan likes this.
  14. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,665) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    I don't know about that. Take the case where you may have someone considered a top rater that doesn't have the $$ to pay up. If they have achieved Top Rater status then that means they have added a lot of content to this site. Content that potentially will bring others to the site. So I don't think restricting that would go across well with others, and might have negative affects.
    johnInLA and seakayak like this.
  15. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    My second, or in-depth, response.

    I think in a previous post I also mentioned the problem with the overhead in regards to maintaining physical inventory. And, with Todd's recent reply, I personally see the idea of using physical items as a perk now being off the table. It's a bummer, as that seemed to be one of the most popular ideas.

    Yeah, it's sad about the magazine. I never subscribed to the printed version, but I enjoyed some of the articles they provided online (assuming the few articles I read online were the same as in the printed magazine). If you wanted to start a poll to get a handle on any enthusiasm about whether or not "people are willing to pay more for content online," then go for it! It's sounds like it's worth trying.

    I hear you, and I am personally not willing to give up on this general idea just yet. I agree with some of your criticisms, yet there may be ways to provide enough options that all can benefit. For example, there are already a number of things this site offers that I don't take advantage of, yet that doesn't bother me: choosing to be a member is not about making everything available to everyone--and I'm not saying you said that exactly, that is just what came up for me in this moment as a devil's advocate.

    I see the ideas generated here from a perspective of, how can we provide as many perks for as many members as possible with a minimal amount of effort on the part of the BA staff. So, to go back to the general idea of raffles, giveaways, discounts, and things offered at fests, I think there may be simple ways to provide value for members with a some creativity--i.e. brainstorming ideas in this thread--and a minimum amount of effort.

    For example, provide a benefit that those that can travel to locations in the US can take advantage of, and then allow for those that live overseas to take advantage of some discount online with breweries that are available overseas. Again, IMJ most limitations--i.e. the inability to travel to an event--are not insurmountable roadblocks.

    Based on Todd's previous recent response in this thread, it looks like they are listening, and perhaps also doing a bit of prodding in terms of liking some of the ideas that are brought up.

    Thank you for your ideas, and keep sharing them. IMJ any great idea that comes up here will very likely be due to the efforts of more than one person. I know the ideas of others have sparked ideas of my own, many of which are still percolating ...
  16. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,745) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Ok I’m not a member. But... if you like the site why do you need any compensation above and beyond the sites capability anyway? Just sayin, you donate to help nothing more required imo.
    Tilley4 likes this.
  17. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    I hear you.

    I personally believe, the more Society members, the better, as it adds to the stability and viability of this site because it brings in more money. If I remember correctly, there has been at least one person that has stated that they would join if a certain benefit were available to them. Now, perhaps what they want is not very realistic, but then again there may be some other benefit that is similar and is realistic. Also, there are members that stated they would be willing to pay more, if there was added value to paying more. So, I see no harm in brainstorming ideas here. :grin:

    And, btw, I am not in favor or restricting benefits that are already available to non-members, as has been mentioned previously. I am in the process of responding to that post.

    Based on what you posted previously, I realize you can't currently become a Society member, yet is there something that would truly add value to you if you considered being a member sometime in the future, hypothetically speaking? :wink:
    kemoarps and nc41 like this.
  18. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (2,297) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Discounts on Cicerone prep stuff
    Specials at participating breweries
    Member-only trading forum
    Access to early beer releases at participating breweries

    Just tossing Hail Marys here, and it would take some serious coordinate from BA to facilitate, but these would be pretty sweet.
  19. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,745) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    No, I will become I member in the near future, this site is terrific. I can’t think of anything I’d want other than just to just support the site.
    Squire and HopsAreDaMan like this.
  20. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    I think your idea has merit, @seakayak, and yet I also agree with @donspublic that the idea is problematic. I personally do not support restricting access to anything that non-paying members already have access to. However, there may be a way to modify your idea. For example, to my knowledge, there currently is no 'Top Rater' status on this website. Perhaps creating a designation like that, and then using that as a 'perk' to non-paying members, such that BOTH they AND payings member can, for example, access some newly created data views--like the data view regarding breweries in each state that was recently created (I may be wrong about the details there, as I can't remember the exact data view they created recently).

    So, to address your point, @donspublic, they could perhaps create access of new content to two different sets of members--i.e. top raters and paying members--so both are included, and both are rewarded appropriately. What I don't like about that is the added layer of complexity. Yet, the reality is that ideas will contain both pros and cons. If we steer away from 'physical' perks, it may mean having to take a more complex look at the 'virtual' possibilities.
  21. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    Thanks for those ideas.

    I am personally in favor of tossing out Hail Marys. Long ago an organization I was a part of taught me the value in expressing my 100%. I understand that context matters, so it's not always appropriate to give our 100%; but in the context of brainstorming, I judge it is.

    The third and fourth ideas are fairly simple. Did you have any details pertaining to the first and second ideas? What kind of specials are you thinking of?
  22. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Meyvn (1,336) Oct 4, 2017 Germany

    This was actually my idea originally, from the "Excessive Ads from BA?!" thread. No big deal, just wanted to mention it.

    HopsAreDaMan likes this.
  23. Gajo74

    Gajo74 Poo-Bah (2,006) Sep 14, 2014 New York
    Society Trader

    This is a long thread of which I haven’t read every single post. Not sure if it’s been said yet, but, how about FREE beer?
  24. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    Got it. Yeah, there are lots of ideas floating around, and it's hard to chase down whose idea was the original one. I also like to take credit for starting things. Yet, I hope you will agree that it's really the idea itself that matters. After all, IMHO there really are no 'original ideas'; as at least in my experience there was always someone else who somehow influenced an idea I had, and were it not for them, my idea never would have existed. It's humbling, I know, but I think it is true. :smiley:

    Thank you for your input, and please keep sharing them! Perhaps you could share an idea about how to include those of you who are overseas? Or if you have and I missed it, then please share it again. :slight_smile:
    Snowcrash000 likes this.
  25. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,346) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Someone touched on uploading photos above but I don't recall if it was this exactly -- right now a photo inserted into a thread must come from a 3rd party site. I don't know the logic of why this procedure exists, but I can guess that the cost of storage space within the BA site is the reason. I wonder if there is at least enough storage space available for pics right now within the BA site so that direct uploading by Society members only could be a perk. Hopefully this would mean that the Bros won't have to incur extra costs to expand the storage space (right now at least).
  26. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    I realize this post is just a wee bit long. :wink::grimacing:

    This, in a sense, is the second half of my attempt to summarise the ideas presented here so far; I went through and reread each post in this thread, and I listed them in the order they were posted. Some I copied word for word, some I summarised for brevity. If I missed an idea, or if I misinterpreted your idea, please feel free to respond to this post and add to the list or correct my summary. I did not add ideas that involved 'physical' perks, and for some ideas I added a note as to a potential solution that does NOT involve shipping. I consolidated a few ideas of others that were very similar.

    In case you missed the post, Todd posted earlier (the bolding is mine):

    Generally speaking, I enjoy the comical ideas, including those that are intentionally unrealistic, but please forgive me if I did not include those posts here. :grin: Further, I added NOTEs here and there as suggestions to (hopefully) make the ideas more realistic: i.e. to avoid shipping of items or to help minimize any travel necessary for an event. If you disagree with any of my NOTEs, or have different suggestions, please speak up!

    The last idea in my previous post was labeled as #7) so I'm starting here at #8) in the hopes that we can perhaps more easily refer back to them later:

    8) A software tool that allows you to automatically extract all your reviews to an external file.

    9) Streamline the process of adding pictures and notes to new beers, breweries, and places.

    10) More mod transparency.

    11) Instead of a glass, send out some kind of adhesive sticker that BA designs to put on the glass of our choice; NOTE: To avoid any shipping, perhaps create an electronic version of the design to send to members that could be printed using a standard printer onto a clear, self-adhesive sticker to be placed on any glass.

    12) Raffle for limited release beers from sponsoring breweries. NOTE: To avoid any shipping, this would have to be something picked up at the sponsoring brewery--ideally have one sponsoring brewery per region, or better, one per state.

    13) First access to BA Beer Fest VIP tickets and special glasses at the fest.

    14) The ability to automatically have all posts above 300 or 400 words blocked from view.

    15) Create an award based on contributions to the site so that a top Society member would get a unique title like, King Gambrinus.

    16) Allow Society members get in 15 mins. early at fests or perhaps have their own check in area.

    17) Design and distribute some kind of physical item--like a patch--that indicates membership in the BA Society, with some kind of addition for every subsequent year--like a chevron. NOTE: Perhaps an annual modification/addition or 'upgrade' to our avatar.

    18) Provide discounted tickets to the next BA fest of your choice.

    19) Create a raffle for Society members such that the winner would be able to access an electronic toolkit that allows them to add 'bells and whistles' to their posts: i.e. interesting/unusual fonts, and/or animation and/or sound effects.

    20) Host a live event with a "significant beer person" structured as a Q&A where Society members can participate. NOTE: it could be formatted as a kind of virtual beer tasting with a sponsoring celebrity or brewer, either presented in a podcast, a video, on in a live online tasting via posting to a thread.

    21) Provide a Beer Tasting blog such that members put their long form reviews in more of a blog format.

    22) Design and implement some kind of thread upgrade: 1) Private threads - similar to group PM, but with the "like" functionality, 2)Public read / invite only write - subject to BA moderation, 3) Maybe some moderation ability for created threads - again subject to BA oversight.

    23) A “The Basics of Craft Beer” article or something for new members so they have a reason to join and feel more comfortable with the basics.

    24) Offer brewery/taproom discounts, either by showing a physical membership card--could be printed off via a home printer--or (even better) by having a virtual card within the app.

    25) Offer an exclusive event, i.e. something like a well-respected brewer/owner leading a tasting of the beers that influenced them paired with something they're brewing in the same style. NOTE: Something like this could be available at a fest or several could be scheduled in events spread across the country, each with a brewer in their region.

    26) Create local "chapters" and recruit volunteers for local events so that the people in charge of these events be a bit more solidified.

    27) Raffle off Karma to generate money for BA. NOTE: I'm not certain what exactly @donspublic meant by this.

    28) Create a perk for getting new members to join.

    29) Classify BA as a nonprofit so that membership could be tax deductible.

    30) Support image hosting of some sort as a way to directly upload pictures, at least just for WBAYDN. (Its a pain in the ass to go to another site just to post a pic). Or give each member a little storage space (30mb?) that they can manage.

    31) Create an online version of the previously printed magazine.

    32) Create Society member-only access to the Top Raters reviews. NOTE: I believe there are ways to do this w/o currently limiting access to current non members by for example creating some kind of Society member-only access to a *newly created organized view* of the top rated reviews.

    33) Create discounts on Cicerone prep stuff. NOTE: I'm not exactly certain what this entails.

    34) Create a Society member-only trading forum.

    I personally do not support each and every one of these ideas; still, I put this list together with the intent of being as unbiased as possible so we ALL can decide what is best.

    I believe we are making great progress with the brainstorming of our ideas here. Sometimes your or my idea may not be very realistic, but our idea may help spark another idea from someone else.

    Although ideas involves physical perks are not realistic at this point, there is still lots of room for creativity, and I believe with your continued support of providing ideas--no matter how outrageous, convoluted, harebrained or whatever--we will come up with something the Bros will use.

    #106 HopsAreDaMan, Apr 14, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    seakayak likes this.
  27. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    I included this idea in my recent summary post, but feel free to add any additional ideas.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  28. biermark

    biermark Initiate (71) Sep 9, 2008 South Carolina

    I'm not sure what we don't get now. The site doesn't have ads that membership would block. We all prob have more glassware than we need. The fests are always so far away for me I don't go.

    If there was a tangible benefit sure - discount card for big breweries maybe. Long time site people should get the chance to buy lifetime.

    Again, what don't we get other than a place to talk about beer and share tips and experiences?
    Jacobier10 and PapaGoose03 like this.
  29. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,745) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Free anything costs money, and it offsets the reason for the membership drive. Somewhere along the line I’d suspect with additional resources they will be better situated to add features to the site making it a better site. A better site should be reason enough.
  30. StoutSnob40

    StoutSnob40 Poo-Bah (2,297) Jan 4, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    For the Cicerone info, those classes and prep material are expensive. Maybe there is an opportunity to co-promote with them, really leveraging Beer Advocate as a resource to help prepare. As a BA member, you can get 10-15% off their books and exams. Maybe you can even host virtual prep classes for members on BA?

    And for the breweries, we could show our BA Member cars (if there was one), and get 5%-10% discount at the tap room or something.
    HopsAreDaMan likes this.
  31. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,668) Aug 23, 1996 California

    A few weeks ago I suggested that we make trading a perk, but it was quickly shot down. If everyone who traded became a Society member it would be an immediate game changer. We'd also be able to consider new features for traders.
  32. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    I do not currently trade, but I may choose to in the future, and so society membership would become even more valuable for me then.

    I don't have any experience with online trading, but I would think having online access to people you know and trust based on their participation on the forums and their reputation from past trades would be of considerable value. Is there some kind of middle ground between becoming a full member and not paying anything at all? Perhaps some way to take into account that person's contributions out here, like karma? You could introduce a reduced membership fee for those that have and/or maintain a certain level karma. You could for example create a karma earned per year designation to encourage members to continue earning karma, and then give them a reduced fee for being a member? Just tossing out ideas.
  33. HopsAreDaMan

    HopsAreDaMan Defender (659) Jul 28, 2015 Missouri

    There are a lot of ideas that have been shared in this thread that have nothing to do with glassware or fests. If you do not want to look through all of the ideas in this thread that comprises over 100 posts, I invite you to at least look at my recent post #106 where I summarize the many ideas that have been put forward.

    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  34. scream

    scream Crusader (767) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    @Todd has said there will be no physical perks and that is fine. I believe most if not all of us love the site. Forget about perks and let them go about their business. Just enjoy and support how you deem reasonable.
  35. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,665) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    27) was in jest, but seriously I think you would be amazed at the people who would jump on this. Just think one day you are at 200 and then the next day you are at 2500 and putting that shit all over your resume.
    If implemented, it would lead to multiple meltdowns in the community, so no not a good idea.
    HopsAreDaMan and FBarber like this.
  36. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (3,355) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    Long time reader....first time poster...on this thread anyway.
    I like the group sourcing of ideas and wont rehash a lot, but the members only trading forum seems like a cool not difficult to implement perk. There seems to be a good increase in trust etc if someone pays for a membership IMO. Would feel better about deals within the membership.
    I also thought the idea of personalized karma ranks would be fun...within reason of course....Beerinator seems a good rank to me.

    Glad this thread exists and cool that things seem to be garnering support and feedback from founders
  37. tasterschoice62

    tasterschoice62 Meyvn (1,406) May 14, 2014 Rhode Island
    Society Trader

    This would be a wish for me.
    kuhndog likes this.
  38. tasterschoice62

    tasterschoice62 Meyvn (1,406) May 14, 2014 Rhode Island
    Society Trader

    Definitely dont mind paying the extra to support the site. I spend probably too much time here, but Im not a big FB fan. Ive met (not in person) many friends from across the country and look forward to NBS every Sunday and its BIF game.
    Lots of great ideas but I would be happy with just some stickers: "BA Contributor" or "Member BA Society."
    Glasses sound great but I think that with the number they would have to send out thats not happening.
    HopsAreDaMan likes this.
  39. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (574) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I don't trade* but given what it traders appear to routinely spend on shipping alone, it really seems like a $1.99 a month would be an absolutely trivial amount of money to spend for the privilege. Worst case you could add a 99 cent a month 'trader only' tier and hopefully people would be embarassed to complain too much about that :slight_smile:

    * despite my tag - I only have that because you need it to read the entertaining bad trader forum.
    kuhndog and HopsAreDaMan like this.
  40. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,146) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    I believe this is a good idea. I've met some members here who have traded quite a bit but don't see them often on other forums. Some trading perks or features might persuade them to become Society members as well. I know I spend the equivalent of a year's membership in shipping costs alone with virtually each box I send.
    nc41, HopsAreDaMan and FBarber like this.