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PDFs - an idea for compromise (Pro accounts)

I originally posted this on another thread, but I thought it was worth giving it a wider audience, rather than losing it midway down another long thread.

I've just had an idea that could make lots of people happy!

Give the PDF downloads back to the non-pro membership, but in a non-customisable, advertisement-heavy form.

Should the site then decide to move to a stage where projects generate revenue for members, then it would not be based on clicks, views or ratings, but on the number of times the PDF version of the project is downloaded.

(It takes no effort to click, but it takes effort to join, click and download. Presumably there will be a software tool that prevents multiple downloads by a single individual being counted towards the total - not preventing multiple downloads, since we all lose files occasionally, just making them all count as "1".)

That will stop dross being posted just to get a click, the site will be able to calculate exactly how much revenue has been generated by a project, and the poster can be rewarded appropriately.

There is also the potential to make the PDFs available to non-members for a small PayPal fee - I wouldn't like to fix a price, but something low enough to prevent it being worth re-selling on ebay (I have seen Instructables PDF files offered at 99c), so maybe 50c? 75c?

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Madrias3577 years ago
Don't mind the sound of that, actually. Members get PDF's, albeit Ad Loaded, non-members pay low fees, Pro's get PDF's with no/minimal ads. You know what, I like that.
Bartboy7 years ago
How about non-members get something like, 10 pdf downloads a month, but pros get unlimited? That would work. Except, people could make multiple accounts....
Kiteman (author)  Bartboy7 years ago
I think leave the idea as it stands until we get a response from The Management.
I agree with the non-customisable thing, but not the paying for PDF's, I'll end up resorting to converting HTML to PDF or something like that.
Kiteman (author)  imnotarealaccount7 years ago
The payment option was just an idea, restricted to non-members.

I believe (I have no evidence to back this up) that charging a small fee for PDFs could be a way of increasing membership - if you were a new visitor, faced with the choice of paying for a PDF or taking up a free membership to be able to download the PDF for free, what would you do?

I honestly believe that this idea would benefit the site as a whole, in the longer term. I don't know, yet, what Eric et al think about it.
lemonie7 years ago
On the basis that pdfs have value on Ebay, the site could try selling them there.... mmm maybe not. It's a good idea, but I'm not expecting it to be taken-up. When you're looking at the whole thing, buying it an a single document isn't quite the same to a person asking a simple question in Answers, who might think $0.99 Ebay is worth it for an easy fix. L
Plasmana7 years ago
I think that is a great idea, it would also give instructable less moaners about the advantage the pro have.