+VisionQuest220 Posted December 16, 2004 Share Posted December 16, 2004 Like many others, I have been reading the "Texas Thread" and I seen the point that a business (Groundspeak) should listen to it's "customers". That got me thinking about just what a Groundspeak customer really is. As far as I can tell, Groundspeak has created the website Geocaching.com and has made the process of having caches listed/reviewed and being able to read cache listings a free service to anyone who cares to point a browser to their URL. There are many, like me, who have utilized both the listing/review process and the cache listings without paying a single penny. Call this a Basic Membership. The option exists of buying a Premium Membership, which I decided to do last week, which makes a number of convenient additional services available to the member which will allow him/her to spend less time manipulating data and printing out cache pages and more time enjoying the hunt. This is just a guess on my part but I'd be willing to make a small wager that there are a lot more Basic Members using this site than there are Premium Members. Assuming that this is true, it would mean that the Premium Members are actually subsidizing the entire operation of this site. (I'm not including the Groundspeak shopping site in this because they are selling a more tangible product, like TBs, clothing, etc., and the profit margins in that kind of business are not exactly huge.) How would people feel if they couldn't read cache listings, have a cache reviewed and listed or participate in the forums at Geocaching.com unless they were Premium Members? I think it would hurt the hobby a great deal and make it very hard for new people to get involved. The point of all this is that, in my opinion, Groundspeak has two kinds of customers, paying customers called "Premium Members" and potential paying customers called "Basic Members". It also seems to me that Groundspeak probably pays more attention to the paying members than they do to the potential paying members. I know that I pay more attention to the people that are actually "doing business" with me than those who don't. Consider the fact that you, the Great Global Geocacher, are offered the opportunity to use this site and it's services at no charge and that you get a great activity to do alone and/or with family and friends. Remember, it could very easily be different because server space, programming and bandwidth are neither free nor cheap. If you're gonna enjoy the hobby then consider paying for your membership at any and all of the sites whose services you use. Quote Link to comment
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