DSXchange: DataStage and IBM Websphere Data Integration Forum
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jshurak
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:14 am Reply with quote    Back to top    

People join this web because it is free and is an incredible resource. It has proven invaluable on a number of occasions. By that incredibly simple logic, I shouldn't complain about $50. But keep in mind that this is the cost for the first year. After the first year the price doubles. Who knows where newbies will be in a year. Who knows if they'll still be using Datastage in a year. They are the ones who will benefit the most from premium content, but they don't want to shell out the 50 bucks for something that they might not need a couple of months down the road.

The number of total registered users of DSXchange (as of aug 9th 2006) is 13281. If everyone was a premuim memeber this websites income would be $664,050 (not including costs) in the first year and $1,328,100 (not including costs) per year after that. Obviously not everyone will partake in this deal. Of course there are hardware, software and other assorted bills associated with maintaining this site, but can the costs be that high to warrant the high cost of membership? I know there are only a few people that have paid for the premium content, and right now they are the ones paying to maintain the site. I think cutting the cost of membership to one that would encourage the newbie to enroll would benefit this membership program.

As I stated earlier, most users are on here becasue they are not familiar with datastage and can get free help. Sure they can still get free assistance but it is limited. Occasionally (in technical topics) people will reference something that's blocked in an earlier post. And very often a premium content member will begin their post with a reason why the previous post won't work. When they do get to a suggestion or idea, it's blocked.

I personally think that yes we should help maintain a forum that has grown this large, BUT because it was started as a FREE forum, the cost of membership should just cover the cost of maintaining the site. I think cutting the cost of membership would help, in the short and long term, would help encourage people to pay up. In addition, The five "super" posters are the people that have helped me the most. Thank you. I think if we're going to have to pay for your help, you should get a cut of it.

So what would you pay for membership?
kduke

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Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:00 am Reply with quote    Back to top    

There are only a small percentage of users who have singed up. It still does not pay for the full time webmaster. So in no way are they getting rich off this site. If they lowered the cost I doubt if any more people will sign up. There are people willing to pay to advance their careers and others do not. The same people are willing to buy books but there are no books available on DataStage.

Most of the people on this site are not newbies. The newbies are just more visable because they ask the same questions over and over, post in the wrong forum and do not search before asking. After being corrected a few times they either quit asking or do it correctly.

You have voiced your opinion. Others stressed the same concerns but I disagree. I think in the future paying for valuable information on the web will be the norm. Advertizing on the web has proven to not work. We are paying for TV now when most said they would never pay for it. Radio has gone the same route with satelite radio.

I think I spend too much time on this site. I am still amazed at the amount of work Ray and Craig put into this site. They receive nothing. This site has cost a lot of money over the years to build it to this point. I think they have earned the right to get some of that money back or at least break even. They are a long way from breaking even.

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Krazykoolrohit


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:44 am Reply with quote    Back to top    

I totally agree with duke. Knowledge always has a price tag.

However price should not be a burden for anyone to join. and if i get a handsome salary by solving issues with help of this site then i think 50$ is way too less.
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ds1user1
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Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:09 am Reply with quote    Back to top    

Think about a person getting Rs.25000 per month. And guess how can he afford this. If you are getting money in dollars not only $50 but $500 is less and worth.
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jdmiceli



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Post Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:46 am Reply with quote    Back to top    

Hi all,

I'm still a newbie to DataStage and this site has been a Godsend as far as I'm concerned. My company acquired the product but didn't bother to get most of us any training, so I have had to do it the way I always do - read a book and remember what I read. Of course, as most of you already know, there are NO books on DataStage other than the documentation, training materials and web sites like this one. If you have ever tried to use the documentation, you already know it leaves much to be desired. For an example, try looking up a definition and usage for 'modulus' in the hashed file documentation Shocked

My point is this, there are no better sites than this one. I know (IMHO) because I've looked. I've spent hundreds of hours of my time looking at this site and others. I have found this one to be THE best and most well-rounded of them all.

Now, if you've read any of the other posts about the Premium Membership and the 'controversies' surrounding it, then you have seen where various people have broken it down to pennies per day. I would challenge you to consider the real cost from your own BUSINESS perspective. How much would it cost you to have a support contract with IBM/Ascential people to answer your questions at any time, even the basic ones?

I guarantee it is more than $50 or even $100 dollars.

How much would it cost you to telephone Ken Bland, Ray Wurlod, Craig Hullett, Kim Duke (sorry if I misspelled anyone's name) or any of the many other incredibly talented and experienced posters to this site to ask them to answer your questions, even the basic ones?


I guarantee it is more than $50 or even $100 dollars.


If any books were available on this product, they would cost a minimum of $50. If you are typing questions or responses to things on this site while you are at work, in under 3 hours you've cost your company (most likely) pretty close to the equivalent of what you would pay for the Premium Membership.

I paid for my own membership out of my pocket, not the company's budget. I had already, as a free member, gathered thousands (if not ten's of thousands) of dollars worth of consultant time and information - for free.

And guess what: you still can. There is nothing and no one forcing anyone to buy a membership. There is the same level of expertice in answering questions because the people that were trained up by the folks I mentioned earlier (knowing it was a list far from complete) are now experienced enough and fully capable of carrying on that high level of expertice we have come to know and love.

The Premium Membership is also allowing for expanded training tools such as the multimedia training that is now beginning to surface on the site, as well as attempting to cover some of the expenses of maintaining and operating everything.

Hopefully, this note didn't come across as a rant because it isn't meant to be one. I just don't think that people are stepping outside the box to look at the 'Big Picture' with regards to the value of the information on DSXchange.com.

You probably threw more money away on pop (or other drink of choice) this month than the cost of investing in this site's future. Drink water for a month (or a week if you're like my co-worker Very Happy ) and not only will you be healthier, you will have paid for your membership. Cool That's how I paid for mine and I've now lost an additional eight pounds, 33 pounds total. 33 more to go. Woohoo!!!

Bestest!

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Berkley Technology Services


"Good Morning. This is God. I will be handling all your problems today. I will not need your help. So have a great day!"
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kcbland

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:08 am Reply with quote    Back to top    

Premium Membership only buys you the "privilege" of viewing extended answers from 6 individuals. Other experts have no restriction on posting and sharing answers. All complaints center around 6 individuals' answers.

The future of the site will include video and audio. Who's paying for that development cost? How about the features Walter is adding?

The point is, if you don't want the 6 Premium Poster's answers, and don't need/care about video and audio, then you are not restricted in any manner. In fact, the burden of the site is still paid by the folks at DCS Strategies and the 6 Premium Posters, and slightly offset by the Premium membership cost.

Remember, the 6 Premium Posters are not compensated for their time. Please think about that prior to complaining about your burden.

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Kenneth Bland

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kcbland

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:32 am Reply with quote    Back to top    

Here's something to think about:

The constant answering of all "small issues" questions by the Premium Posters has actually harmed this site.

There are 100's of members who could have answered, but don't, because they know that the top posters will swarm on the question and answer it. This means that those members are cheated out of showing their expertise.

If the Premium Posters limited themselves to the "difficult issues" questions, the ones that call for years of expertise or certain arcane knowledge, then the forum would be even more interacting.

A person with 2 weeks DataStage experience should not feel that they need to have their questions answered by a 20 year IT veteran. Now if they have a paid membership, they may have a claim to that attention.

We've noticed since we've started the Premium Membership that a few "unknown" individuals have stepped forward and made a reputation for themselves.

One parting thought. Consider that in the last 3+ years I have not solicited a single customer for a project. My exposure on this site has allowed potential customers to know who I am and request my services because they have a body of evidence to inspect. Everything I do to support this site is because I get more out of it than I put into it. Think about that.

For those of you looking to break out and become a consultant road warrior, the best advice I can give is JUMP IN to this forum and start your REPUTATION AS AN EXPERT. Start answering questions ahead of Ray, get into it more. Allow us to take a breather and only answer the more difficult questions. Laughing

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Kenneth Bland

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Krazykoolrohit


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:58 pm Reply with quote    Back to top    

Kenneth,

In that respect, i feel that you 6 should start working on creating a second line of leaders and assign them the tasks to resolve the basic issues.

Also, they can be responsible for letting you guys know of unresolved issues (maybe a flag) if any so that you can work on them. I hope this will make your life a lot easier.

Just a suggetion...people dont kill me for this Twisted Evil
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kcbland

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:18 pm Reply with quote    Back to top    

If you haven't noticed, non-Premium Member questions are being left open for a little while before we jump on it. I've been trying to "promote" other folks by letting them try first, if I don't need to add to it or correct it - I don't.

But, if a Premium Member posts something, I'll jump right away, especially if it's a good question.

Also remember that Ray, Craig, Arnd, myself, etc, have set an unfair expectation of response time in minutes to fresh questions. We need to allow others time to answer, which then gives the forum a better turn-around because more folks are answering questions sooner.

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Last edited by kcbland on Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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kumar_s

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:38 am Reply with quote    Back to top    

Quote:
After the first year the price doubles.

No, We havent reached even 500 members yet, and if you enroll now, it is $50 forever. Atleast for next few years.

And lets assume for 500 members, 500*$50/12 (Each month) = $2084.
Though it is a huge amount when it is converted to some of the local currency, it may not be enough to pay the persons working behind for this site in US.

Not sure if you might have noticed, not all post have been marked as "Premium content" by premium posters for newbies.

Yes there are some sites, which allows free accsess for all corners, but you notice the overwhelmed adds.

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