Eightball and Thundercloud's RANT

Our Little Rant by Eightball & Thundercloud
From InfoAve Premium Issue #81 - May 6, 2005
Updated on November 14, 2005
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The Price of Free

Last week we changed the format of Information Avenue free edition to make it smaller (Kilobyte-wise) and less expensive to send. Information Avenue Free edition has over 60,000 subscribers. Our email hosting service recently greatly increased their charges to us. But, the support we have received from the subscribers of the "free" edition has fallen to the point where we really had no choice but to either change the format and make it smaller and cheaper to send or discontinue Information Avenue Free completely. It is now costing us more to send Information Avenue Free Edition than the revenue it generates.

We don't like inconveniencing people and wouldn't have made the changes we did unless we felt it was absolutely necessary. But, we cannot go on providing a free newsletter to 60,000+ subscribers if it costs more to send than the revenue it produces. Some of the free subscribers have even insinuated that we are resorting to these tactics just to get get them to subscribe to our InfoAve Premium Edition. This is simply not true. Of course, we'd like them to subscribe to Premium but the change of format was not done as a goad to get them to subscribe. The way some of them talked you would have thought we're charging $10.00 an issue for Premium - we're actually changing less than 25 cents an issue. We don't feel that is out-of reach for most subscribers; and we believe the content of Premium is worth a lot more than 25 cents an issue. It not only helps us financially when you subscribe to InfoAve Premium but encourages us to do better and better with it. When Premium started out, each issue was about 40KB total. Now it has grown to 60 to 75KB per issue. That's a lot of infomation - usually 12 to 16 pages of tips, tricks, answers to questions and more. A bargain at less than $12.00 a year. Don't you think? We hope more of you will be interested in subscribing - the fate of the "free" edition is not certain. (If you want to help us and subscribe to Premium right now, please click here.)

Each week we invest a great deal of time preparing our weekly edition of InfoAve Premium. This time is spent not only writing the newsletter and putting it together but also reviewing questions, testing tips and tricks, researching and preparing articles and verifying all the information that goes into each Premium edition.  So the $11.95/year subscription price is a bargain in our opinion. We hope most of our Premium subscribers will agree with that. The Free Edition is just a very trimmed down version of Premium but its readers still benefit from the research and time we have invested.

So, what got the free subscribers up in arms? We make them click a link to read the answers to questions on the Web. We make them click a link to read the tips on the Web. So, they're being inconvenienced slightly, but we had no choice. We cannot continue to publish a newsletter unless that newsletter can pay for itself. We're not even talking here about being profitable, we just want it to pay for itself. If it doesn't it drains what little financial resources we have and allowed to continue would cause us a lot of financial problems. We didn't want to discontinue the free edition, but we don't want to lose money on it either.

We have tried less obtrusive advertisements in the free edition but those get very little results and the newsletter, unfortunately is not paying its own way. We're not complaining but we do have to face the reality that the continuing existence of Information Avenue free edition is really dependent now upon how well the subscribers support it and how well we can manages its costs. 

Those of you who have not yet read our "Stoopid Rant" will be surprised to learn how much money is out there for the taking if only one is unscrupulous enough to take the money and run. Well, as you know (or will learn if you read the "Stoopid Rant") we have always turned our back on spyware/adware schemes and will continue to do so, regardless of the outcome for us personally or as a company. If we bundled adware and/or spyware in our products and advertised for these nefarious types of program then. of course, we could provide them all free, make hundreds of thousands of dollars and the free subscribers wouldn't have to be inconvenienced by clicking a few links. But, that's not our style and probably that's why we're not rolling in money. We'd rather go broke that to use people for our own gain. That's just how we are...obviously many others have no qualms about bundling spyware/adware in their products or advertising for adware / spyware programs in their newsletters. We will never lower our standards just because one of our newsletters is struggling. I guess, in the end we believe in our subscribers. And time will tell if our faith is warranted or not. If not, then Information Avenue Free Edition will continue to struggle.

Those of you who have subscribed to our Premium edition have shown your support by doing so. And, we also notice that those who have subscribed to our Premium edition also support us in many other ways as well. We do appreciate it. So this rant is a big thank you to you!

To those who who subscribe to our "Free" Information Avenue newsletter, we're sorry that we've had to change the format so that you'll now have to click a link to read the answers to questions on the Web and to see the tips and tricks. We simply had to cut down on the size of the newsletter some way. The inconvenience is not that great and it only takes you a few more seconds to click a link and read the answers and tips/tricks on the Web. Of course, we'd like you all to subscribe to our Premium Edition but the reason why was made the changes in format we did was not to goad you into that decision. We need your support to help us keep Information Avenue Free Edition viable. A donation of a couple bucks, clicking on an advertisement on our site, supporting one of our sponsors, or ordering one of our products. There are other ways to show your support other than subscribing to Premium.

To those of you who do subscribe to Premium we will always continue to improve the Premium Newsletter. Just recently we've added a new feature which many of you seem to enjoy called "Software Review". When we have a program that enough of you ask us to review we'll review it and give you a no-hold-barred assessment of the program - good or bad.

Finally, we want to thank all of you, Premium and Free subscribers alike, for the support you have given us. We will continue to publish Information the Free Edition as long as we can - and we will do everything we can to ensure its survival. We apologize to any free subscribers who feel inconvenienced by our recent format changes but we assure you there was no other way we could think of to keep Information Avenue Free Edition alive.

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Opinions expressed herein are the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Cloudeight Internet LLC, its hosts, or sponsors. These Rants are editorials and are,  therefore, opinions. All content is copyright 2005 by Cloudeight Internet LLC (all rights reserved)