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How many people run QCA?

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Gini,

After looking at this, I have come to the conclusion that offering Quilters Club of America as a social forum is not the corporate mission of the owner of the QCA site.  They use QCA to collect e-mail and other data about us to create a pool of identified consumers to attract other corporations who are willing to spend big money advertising.  The QNN web TV and "how to" videos are the key to attracting members.  Very few people would pay $29.95 a year just for the QCA forums and Easy Quilts magazine.  Even the Joann's discount is available to all Joann's customers who are members of ANY sewing organization -- not just QCA members.  Fons and Porter/ New Track Media are not operating QCA to provide a service TO us or FOR us.  They are operating QCA to attract us so we can be a mass audience for their advertisers.

$29.95 -- Annual Membership for Quilters Club of America

- 24.00 -- Annual Membership for QNNTV.com

$  5.95 -- Difference for QCA after QNNTV.com costs

 

*****

Remember, you only receive the print copy of Easy Quilts magazine if you are a paid, premium QCA member.

http://www.fonsandporter.com/content_downloads/NTM-Rate-Guide-2013_7274.pdf -- page 1 lower 3rd column

90,000  Members of QCA  -- Print Readership of Easy Quilts Magazine  1.2 million page visits online per month!

x $5.95 per year gross income

$535,000 per year

They spend that amount on their magazine productions, their staff at New Track Media (including pension contributions), buildings and other operating expenses, and much more.  Their income need is far above $535,000 annually.  

So, the corporate mission is not to collect dues from QCA members in exchange for providing a social forum for members.  It is all about pooling our names and data for target marketing.  Their big money comes from advertising.  That's why they offer access to almost everything on the website -- to members who pay nothing. 

Voting with your dollars only works well when those dollars are the corporate mission.  For example, if you don't like a certain restaurant, you go elsewhere.  Their product, meals, are produc ed solely for the purpose of attracting diners.  In the case of QCA, the social forums are offered to collect us so they can collect money from advertisers.  It is like buying steel to make a car.  If one steel manufacturer goes away; they just shop for another supplier.  If one group of QCA members go away, the new ones coming in are a steady flow in far greater numbers than the number who left because problems signing in.  The turn-over of members is actually to their advantage.  Long time members have seen most of the advertising and settled on their choices for suppliers of fabric, kits, sewing notions and the like.  The beginners are the big consumers.  Most of their target media and advertising is directed towards the new sewing enthusiasts.  So, as long as they don't get too much bad publicity from a small number of regulars, the threat of voting with your dollars is not much of a threat at all.

There is nothing wrong or immoral about their business model.  It is just business.   I wouldn't expect any great capital infusion into new servers or anything else that makes the forum comfortable for long time members. 

That's just my perspective. 

 

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Jenia replied on Mon, Dec 9 2013 4:44 PM

Very insightful response, Kath.  Excellent accounting and intuition.

 

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Patti replied on Mon, Dec 9 2013 4:53 PM

Thanks Quiltless

Patti

Chiliwist Valley

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zoetc49 replied on Mon, Dec 9 2013 4:54 PM

Quiltless, 

That is the way most or all websites make money, but they will want to keep us happy as they need the numbers to show the advertisers that it is a worth while investment. I once got tired of a website that was really a hateful one, and I discovered how much they were making on the site, I posted it and of course the owners said no they did not make that kind of money, but someone else posted yes, they did.

I like this site fine, I hope that people don't go away and I hope that the admins fix everything quickly.

I would like to know what the reason is they are going to a new server and what the issues are on their end so that we can all be informed.

I do LOVE your post !!      

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That is the way newspapers, magazines and websites make most of their money -- advertising.   They don't make much from subscription fees.  It is nothing new to the business. 

Older newspapers had Ann Landers, Dear Abbey, comic strips and local social columnists.  Website forums are just a new version of that -- the candy that draws us in for the advertisers.

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I had major problems earlier this year. in May I think. I had written emails to the administrative offices and NEVER received any message after the first autoresponder that said something to the effect of ' we have received your inquiry for problems related to QCA we will respond within 48 hours" HUH that never happened, Plus I sent numerous more asking them to please help me get back on line here.
Well, in August I got a call and a letter on the same day, letting me know that my account was back working and did I want to renew my premium membership at that time? really ?? LOL I said NO.
I did renew in October for my swaps. Roxana had been keeping me informed.
 I haven't had any other sign in issues, BUT I agree with what everyone has said here, about the quilters TV and the easy quilt mag + a few of the other 'perks' and that is not a good enough reason to pay for what is not working when we want to get online.  being the premium price for doing business. Along with all the rest of you I am tired of getting three emails all stating the same thing from Fons & Porter, Keepsake Quilts and QNNtv, what a waste of time. Plus when was the last time QNntv had something worth watching? Oh well off my rocking horse today. I'll NOT renew next year. 

do we have a money back guarantee?  


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Kris replied on Mon, Dec 9 2013 9:01 PM

Quiltless:
Very few people would pay $29.95 a year just for the QCA forums and Easy Quilts magazine.  Even the Joann's discount is available to all Joann's customers who are members of ANY sewing organization -- not just QCA members.

I like your post Kath.

QCA's perks used to be quite generous at the beginning. We got fabric, thread and other treats. I got my first Inklingo CD in a QCA goodie box. The free patterns were designed exclusively for QCA members (not the generic ones offered now). There were also more shops offering discounts that there are now. The membership price has come way down, the goodies are gone and now we're lucky if we get our membership card mailed to us.

I realise we are just numbers to a large corporation but surely they can make some effort to keep us here.

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Kris:

... I realise we are just numbers to a large corporation but surely they can make some effort to keep us here.

 

Thanks, Kris.

The thing is, we're not just numbers to each other.  I know your face.  I know Nana's and MNNancy's and Gini's and Patti's and many more. 

It isn't just a consumer issue.  We are a community.  The quilting is a common thread among us, but we have become a social group.  That's why it is important to stay here and connected.

I don't think we can successfully migrate even the core of this community to another forum.  It is unique.  The "regulars" give this site personality, but the occasional posters are also part of what makes this group unique.  It is a here and now thing that took on its own life.  I think the website grew much faster than they expected.  I hope their "development team" and "tech team" do not change the style of the forum, because when it is working, it is the best quilters' forum website on the internet.

I'm going to stay and I will more than likely pay the premium too.    I too expect some improvement though.

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MNnancy replied on Mon, Dec 9 2013 9:16 PM

Thanks for the analysis, Kath.  I was feeling so good about not paying the renewal fee, but now I see that my little act of rebellion will have no effect at all.  What a shame that their own advertising of QCA is so successful, and so many new quilters keep getting suckered in as paying members.

I agree with you about the migration to a new site not going so well.  The live chat is fun but time consuming, and the discussion threads aren't getting much action.  I now bounce around to a lot of different quilt group sites, but I don't think close relationships will be developed at any of them.  


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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Thanks, Nancy.   I totally support making a strong consumer statement with your dollars when it will be effective.  I don't think that is the case here.

Leaving also isn't the answer because this forum construction is very good and the social connections are already made and growing.  We would basically have to build our own forum.  We don't have the management organization or the ability to do that.  I thought about forming a Yahoo group, but that's one thread.  Here we have hundreds.  Live chat is not a comparison.

QCA keeps saying they hear us about the issues.  But, who hears us?  I know Morgan does, but she doesn't have the power to fix it.  She can respond to us with what "someone" tells her, but there appears to be a break in their organizational communication chain.  Those who control the budget and expenditures have the power to fix it, but we don't even know if they know.  Some middle level supervisor of Morgan's is just repeating what that person's supervisor said and so on and so forth.  Money does talk.  Money can buy the talent and equipment to fix the problem, but I don't see it happening.   

The advertisers have the money and their actions could be effective.  But, I'm not going to and I advise others here not to contact the advertisers.   That would be a very slippery slope that could result in being sued for libel.  Any negative comments to an advertiser besmirching the business reputation of QCA or the sponsors could be libel per se -- a tricky thing in the law.  In other words, it would be very easy for them to prove a case against someone who spoke out to the advertisers -- so don't do that.  However, that leaves us caught in the middle. 

Gini has been trying to go up the chain, but she hasn't been getting any answers yet except more of the mantra that the intermediate supervisors are handing down.  We are missing the details.  Consumers don't normally get the details.  We don't know who has the power to move things and go beyond a tech team talking to a development team.  Who supervises and pays both teams? 

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I appreciate your information Kathy. You are absolutely right "we" are a community and QCA is a business. It appears that any protest from us will be useless. However, not renewing premium membership can be a little personal satisfaction. I have considered what I receive for my $30 and have decided I don't need it. I'll use it for a little fabric. QNNTV has gone downhill and I have lots of magazines so don't really need a subscription to either. Sam's carries some quilting magazines at a discount. I am not going to renew my membership but will continue to visit QCA. I am not going to complain about it anymore, it is what it is. The Serenity Prayer says to change what we can and accept what we can't so that is what I am going to do.

I have tried live chats on other forums and they just aren't for me. While Snickerdoodle is nice if we were to lose QCA, it is not a good replacement IMHO. It was not designed to be a QCA and we can't expect it to be. Perhaps I am too old for change, lol, 

I would rather talk quilting. When I am unable to get on site, I will just quilt.

Have a nice day everyone.

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Kris replied on Tue, Dec 10 2013 4:33 PM

Quiltless:
The thing is, we're not just numbers to each other.  I know your face.  I know Nana's and MNNancy's and Gini's and Patti's and many more. 

Very true and I love you all like family. Which is why I'm still here. I've cut back on participation but I still read what's going on.

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MNnancy replied on Tue, Dec 10 2013 5:00 PM

Kris:
I've cut back on participation but I still read what's going on

Unfortunately a lot of us have cut back.  The groups still seem to be doing pretty well, but the main discussion threads are almost all "Hi, I'm new."  I don't see much quilting discussion going on anymore.


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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Quiltless replied on Tue, Dec 10 2013 8:38 PM

MNnancy:

Kris:
I've cut back on participation but I still read what's going on

Unfortunately a lot of us have cut back.  The groups still seem to be doing pretty well, but the main discussion threads are almost all "Hi, I'm new."  I don't see much quilting discussion going on anymore.

I miss the regulars in the general discussions.  I'm not in a group because I don't have those skills developed yet.

But, you will be glad to know I am working on a couple of throws for a person in a wheelchair -- and it does involve a little bit of quilting.  I am using cuddle fabric -- the prices were spectacular -- and using a serger to put an overlock around the edge that looks like braid.  Using either crochet # 10 in the loopers or baby yarn # 3.  I haven't decided yet.  Each throw will have a corner patch that is a quilt block. 

I remember somebody made wheel chair throws for nursing homes that had things on them to touch.  I sure would like to see those again.

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Phyllis replied on Tue, Dec 10 2013 8:54 PM

Do we have to renew in order to take part in the swaps?  If so, I'll renew, the swaps are about my favorite part.  I do love the forums, though, I don't contribute much but I sure do learn a lot from you quilters.

Bonner Springs, Kansas

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