At 9/10/12 11:42 AM, TomFulp wrote:
There's a part of me that doesn't want to do perks because I've always disliked the idea of dedicating development time to features for a small number of people vs everyone. My position on that has been "evolving" in response current realities. We talked about an exclusive private forum but had mixed feedback on that. There are some other things we might try to jazz things up for supporters.
We (a company with lots of forums and other sites) run a premium service and something I've noticed is the completely meaningless perks (relative to the grand scheme of things) matter to users, an extra line of signature space or a bigger avatar, but what matters most is being a part of something. A private forum has encouraged thousands of people to pay for our premium service. The "best" way to implement it (from a business side and not necessarily what users will be most happy with) is to have the "private" forum visible to everyone; but if they're not paying then it links them to the account upgrade page. Basically turning the "support" thing into something people feel like they NEED to have, not something they do to support the site, something that they think they need to have so that they don't miss out. It's pretty lame but it works.
I think if you want to go more for a community thing (over "we need money!") you could pitch it in a similar way to kickstarter pitches "pledging", by "pledging" you get to support the project and get access to "exclusive backer updates", so if you had a private forum here for "supporters" it could be in a similar way, supporters get "exclusive information" (no dev time needed). You could post weekly updates about Newgrounds and things that are going on, or you have a weekly Q&A session, or you do a weekly competition, just something that makes people feel a part of something and something that other users feel they need to be a part of -- which encourages people to pay up.
the red star idea is clever, subtle but noticeable. it's perfect.