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Old 05-02-2004, 09:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
Please touch this.
 
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Extending the TFP into real life.

Now, this may sound crazy to the more conventional internet users out there, but I've been thinking like an entrepreneuer lately when it comes to the TFP. I'm not talking about shopping out the website or putting ads up.. or anything like that. Instead, I've been thinking of new things to do in the world, putting the TFP's influence into them.

I'm reluctant to go into much detail right now, but two ideas that are fairly fun and prevalent would be:

Tilted Cafe Project - Coffee House/Bar that would be *like* a Starbucks in that you buy your drink and sit down in comfy chairs. That's where the similarities stop. The premise of the TFP is that people have civil, mature conversation about various topics. Adding this element as a standard feature of the Project warps the concept into more of a Salon like they used to have back in the day. Now add a little modern computer technology - maybe double as an internet cafe. The appeal of this is.. nobody is doing it. Location is key, and you'd be surprised that I've thought this out fairly well. I just need motivation for these kinda things - I'm very ambitious.

Tilted Broadcast Project - I just watched UHF for like the 20th time. This is gonna be simple. If I can find that movie hilarious, then others can too. Unrefined, shamelessly degenerated television programs have a place in this society. Look at South Park - it didn't start out as much more than a cardboard cartoon about little kids in a silly adult world. Most of today's phenomenons are shameless and unsuspecting. Look at the guy selling his ex's wedding dress. Look at the TRON costume guy. Look at Star Wars Boy. I think that kinda mentality could translate well to TV. Everything nowadays is so refined and calculated. Lesbian Nazi Hookers; abducted by UFOs and forced into weight loss programs! All this week on Town Talk! - The TV station would have to be local of course, but the programming would be CHEAP and inspired by the same humor that fueled the cult classic UHF.

So... lofty ideas, I know. All it takes is a little investment from a rich guy with a sense of humor.

Any thoughts?

(All ideas are MINE!!!! This is documented and I have witnesses.)
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Old 05-02-2004, 09:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think the Titled Cafe Project is a great idea in principle but it would be differcult to find away to make profits if you encourage patrons to stop and talk. It is the capatalist in me talking but coffee houses need trafic in and out constantly due to the relitively low cost of a cup of coffe. If you can incorperate an internet cafe into it that is a good idea but I would frown on using them as gaming machines and keep it solely for browsing, basic computer (i.e. mid range pc's) Iv never started a buisness myself but if you can make a buisness plan thats works, I say go for it. Hell, I would drive down the coast to get a cup of coffee. But still, I would make an expense list of all the costs of your buisness (initial startup costs, wages, supplies, hardware) and how many customers you would need a day to break even (or better make money) and see if it is posssible. Maybe you can head to the closest coffee shop to where you might open up and spend a day counting how much traffic goes in and apox. what they are spending. If you can justify it, it would be a great place to go.
 
Old 05-03-2004, 01:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
Like John Goodman, but not.
 
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I'd totally buy rights to franchise a Tilted Barbershop.
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Old 05-03-2004, 01:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Tilted House.

Think MTV's Real World but with real people. Not people that are trying to break into the movie buisness. Fox would put it on the air in a heart beat.

It would be Halx, Me, BuDDaH, Hanxter, Artelevision, and a few random members chosen by Fox. It would kick ass. Put us all in a huge house with mad amounts of computers and webca,s everywhere. Throw it up live 24/7 on the net to watch the really "dirty" shit. We would make so much fuckin' cash it wouldn't be funny.
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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TCP:
A good idea.. I really like it. Not sure it would work in real life, though. TFP is made up of people from around the world, and while you may catch quite a few in a certain area (and others may drive to check it out), you won't collect enough TFP users in one area to make it successful. Part of the beauty of the messageboard (as a concept) is that people can log into it and converse with other people, even if those other people aren't online at the time. You find that the great conversations and debate that exists on this forum happens 24-hours a day, and that people are not doing it in 'real-time' (or as close to it as a messageboard can get). Now obviously, TCP could (and probably would) grow in popularity, and you'd have non-TFP people visiting TCP, but I'm not sure the number is enough.

Another issue is the topics of discussion. Having people from around the world lends a lot of different viewpoints on items, although I'm not saying everyone in a certain spot thinks the same. Just that I believe we see different views of some items because someone's from another culture. Anyways, the topics are varied and come from a lot of sources. I fear the limited amount of people that would be able to visit TCP would run out of things to say on topics after a while. Having a large variety of newspapers and magazines would probably help, though.

A real quick comment, what if you had a beer + coffee place? I'm not talking about a pub with everyone getting drunk and ruining the relaxed atmposphere, but I wouldn't mind visiting, having a beer, sitting back, and discussing stuff (I don't drink coffee ).

Most threads can translate over, although some (the picture-based ones primarily) might have some problems. Would you have a "titty board" room?

Anyways, just random thoughts spewed out from my head. Take with as big of grain of salt as you'd like.

TBP: Cool idea.. maybe start as a 10-min (15 min, half hour, whatever) long show that you post online, and then move on to local TV? Just so the non-local people can see the TFP show
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Old 05-03-2004, 03:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The success of TFP cafe, as you mentioned would be dependent on the location. As well as the "Name Brand", thus you would need to popularize TFP to the local Masses. Same goes for broadcast. If people know what it is....they will come, but we are all so spread out in this world it would be difficult to make either fly with our current poulation.
Gotta get the message out first.
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Old 05-03-2004, 05:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Maybe in the internet cafe deal, you want people to stay, but you also need a good turn over. If perhaps there was a "board" to post too, say several establishments, and maybe web broadcasts to get people in other locations to meet at certain times? Just a thought... Does anyone see where I'm going with this?
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Old 05-03-2004, 06:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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How about brazillian bikini waxes? You could post on TFP while getting one.
Seriously, the internet cafe would be a decent idea.
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Old 05-03-2004, 06:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
Getting it.
 
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Part of the chaotic joy of the TFP is that it pulls in people from all over the world on a regular basis... the other aspect is that it is anonymous (it is always easier to tell you secrets and passions to strangers than it is to aquantences that could look at you askance...)

It is for those two main reasons that I don't see a Tilted Cafe working as well as one would hope.

Believe me I love the concept and one of my dreams is to open my own coffee house - a place for good coffee, great conversation, art, performance, etc. There is a possibility that this could get off the ground. But it is all about location.

As for the Tilted TV... Television licenses are costly. If you were to set up streamed video on the Internet or Internet talk radio I think you might be able to pull this off...

...you can have contributions from around the world available from a central server. It would still be costly (bandwidth and production) but nowhere near as expensive as conventional TV but with the added bonus that it could be screened around the globe rather than limited to the broadcast range of your transmitter.
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Old 05-03-2004, 07:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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all it takes is a rich guy with a sense of humor...

only problem is, I don't know many rich guys that have a sense of humor about their money. :I

Broadcasting could work, maybe broadcast it through internet-pay-per-view thingy

Cafe: not that practical in reality. Besides, how are you gonna get rid of annoying customers? or just immature idiots? In real life it's not that easy.
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Old 05-03-2004, 08:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The Tilted Cafe could work, I think. Make it an Adult place like the Forum is, charge for bandwidth, have reasonably priced coffee, and sell toys in a back room. Yeah. Oh, and sell alcoholic drinks, but not the hard stuff. Beer and wine only.

Have it be associated with Matt's Models, where the models would walk around in skimpy-to-nothing clothing, too. Mmmmm...

Thing is, I suspect what I'm describing would get run out of most towns in the USA on a rail. Then again, you're in LA, and that's probably not one of the towns it'd get run out of.

Last edited by denim; 05-03-2004 at 08:12 AM..
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Old 05-03-2004, 08:36 AM   #12 (permalink)
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a cafe seems like the most conventional answer.
Quote:
Originally posted by The Original King
Tilted House.

Think MTV's Real World but with real people. Not people that are trying to break into the movie buisness.
right, just people who want to get drunk and laid.*not implying anything about anyone*. that just seems to be the trends on that show
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by denim
Have it be associated with Matt's Models, where the models would walk around in skimpy-to-nothing clothing, too. Mmmmm...
Oh, and one more thing: no dancers. Dancers would be bad for the atmosphere. Make this more literary/technical.
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The idea would be to keep the cafe as comfortable as possible. There would be a rotating custmer base, but they would be encouraged to stay for a while and give their opinions. The rule.. if you sit down, you will be pressed to speak up.
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:12 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I hadn't posted it before, but recently I realized that the TFP is the online equivalent of Callahan's Place, the pub from the Spider Robinson books. A TFP Cafe would be the natural extension of that.

For those of you unfamiliar with Callahan's Place, it is a bar where people end up if they have serious problems that need to be addressed. They are open to discussing anything, and all sorts of weirdness is accepted and encouraged. There are some hard-and-fast rules, break them and you end up blackjacked and out in the alley.

Oh, and lurkette and ratbastid are totally the perfect Spider Robinson couple.
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:16 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I only got one response from my Tilted House idea?

/me sad
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:36 AM   #17 (permalink)
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lemme guess, i am gonna have to fly to cali for a cup of coffee?
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Old 05-03-2004, 11:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by redlemon
I hadn't posted it before, but recently I realized that the TFP is the online equivalent of Callahan's Place, the pub from the Spider Robinson books. A TFP Cafe would be the natural extension of that.
So Ratbastid and Lurkette are from the future?
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Old 05-03-2004, 11:01 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally posted by The Original King
I only got one response from my Tilted House idea?
We don't need more "reality" shows, I guess.
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:09 PM   #20 (permalink)
Nothing
 
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The Salon Idea:

A French friend of mine has been extolling the virtues of a similar kindof thing he's experienced back in the Motherland.

Basically a bar, with a platform and a laid down topic for every day.

Speakers can speak to the gathered throng or you can just discuss the matter between yourselves.

Similar doodahs.

I'd be interested in attending an establishment of that ilk.

You know, there's one thing missing from the salon Idea...

The Titty Lounge?

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Old 05-04-2004, 12:57 AM   #21 (permalink)
Please touch this.
 
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There are endless possibilities for what we could do with the cafe.. it's just hard to name a couple..
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:43 AM   #22 (permalink)
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It sounds brilliant to me. God, if a place like that was near enough...I'd drive even two hours just to spend some time, have a Pepsi, converse with other crazies, and leaf through the latest Penthouse - courtesy of the house, of course.

I'd like to see this happen, even if it all came together so far away that I would not be able to stop by. I'd still like to see it happen, or any other ways of incorporating more of "the life outside" into the TFP experience. Someone mentioned that the beauty of the TFP is in the anonymity, and while I agree that it is an asset, I would not feel at all held back to show up and face fellow members. Au contraire.

When Tilted Magazine debuted, I started daydreaming about stuff like this. I feel that the Tilted Magazine has gotten perhaps less attention than it deserves, because let's face it, not only is it a great idea in itself, but it can also be a living proof of the fact that it is possible to extend the TFP into other mediums, without losing an ounce of what makes the fabric of it.

Hal's creative and executive control would have to be very strict though.

One thing - and this is kind of off the subject - I have pondered over, is the possibility of a big number of TFP members, who contribute to the poetry and literature section, putting together a collection of their writings. I mean, obviously I don't know how many members actively contribute there nor how many would be interested, nor am I aware of all the legal problems or etc etc etc that could stand in its way, but let's say that a 100 members contributed one or two of their chosen poems... And all of the individuals contributing a poem would chip in for the cost of publication... Obviously I am not aware of how much it would ultimately cost, but I doubt that a print of, say 500 or 1000 or so books would cost too much...especially if we happened to have someone in our ranks that works for or owns a publishing house... I dunno if this is doable at all, but just throwing ideas in the air.
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:22 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nisses
Cafe: not that practical in reality. Besides, how are you gonna get rid of annoying customers? or just immature idiots? In real life it's not that easy.
Have Sixate and me act as bouncers, with rubber stamps that say "BANNED" that we use on your forehead if you get too out of control. If we see a BANNED stamp, you can't come in, and the community will soon realize that you're a jerk, and you'll be forced to leave the country out of embarassment.
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:37 AM   #24 (permalink)
Nothing
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrSelfDestruct
Have Sixate and me act as bouncers, with rubber stamps that say "BANNED" that we use on your forehead if you get too out of control. If we see a BANNED stamp, you can't come in, and the community will soon realize that you're a jerk, and you'll be forced to leave the country out of embarassment.
Entrance via memberships/membership card.

Over 18's only.

Idiots removed through removing memberships/membership cards.

The tfp runs on a server, using code. I would assume a fellow technophile tfp-er could help russle up an inexpensive solution.

Oh, and a BIG bouncer.
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:37 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Charlatan
Part of the chaotic joy of the TFP is that it pulls in people from all over the world on a regular basis... the other aspect is that it is anonymous (it is always easier to tell you secrets and passions to strangers than it is to aquantences that could look at you askance...)
That's not necessarily true, another forum where I am extremely active, we have annual parties, where all the members, who are capable, come to this one central point for a party weekend. People have spilled their guys on that forum, and I honestly know more about them then I am comfortable knowing, however, doesn't make meeting them in person, and spending a weekend with a few hundred people any less enjoyable.

Fark also has regular meetups - anonymousness really doesn't exist anymore.
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:40 AM   #26 (permalink)
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TFP does have a way of extending itself into our real lives.
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:57 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by denim
So Ratbastid and Lurkette are from the future?
Buwaha!!!
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:57 AM   #28 (permalink)
My future is coming on
 
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I dono - given the way that Tilted Magazine petered out, I'm skeptical of further ventures into "real life."

/bitter
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:08 AM   #29 (permalink)
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How about sticking with the virtual world? Maybe extend TFP to something like there.com. An online community based mmorpg. Just not for the kids.
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Old 05-04-2004, 09:40 AM   #30 (permalink)
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These are some ideas for TCP.

The internet is an amazing thing; a first of its kind for the human race. The integration of the internet with real life would be a fascinating and wonderful thing for all to witness.

Infrastructure is a problem, I'll concede that my country has a relatively lethargic IT sector. I blame our luddite government. (but that's another story).

There are two things to consider.

Firstly you mention Starbucks and I think the idea you're currently hitting on has potential. Normally we merely talk about a war between the local coffee house and the monolithic profit based international franchise (eg, Starbucks).

What I see in your description is an 'ideas" based franchise that is neither a tiny community David nor a international bland and generic Goliath. It is instead a "middle ground" franchise - based on the memes and common interests that thread their way through the internet (itself becoming a kind of abstract community).

Secondly the practicalities of such an ideas franchise. Starbucks, being profit based, can wave its hand and instantly have an "outpost" in Sydney or Manila or Bangkok. An "ideas" franchise wouldn't have such a luxury. IT and the internet doesn't have a consistent community penetration internationally or (I suspect) within the US itself.

To circumvent this problem the ideas franchise has to, in all but the most "plugged in" IT areas, use a kind of viral marketing. It has to first start as a kind of community club meeting in a local coffee shop. From there it perhaps introduces the owner to the wonders of the internet and wireless access points/LAN, maybe even donating a few magazine subscriptions or even getting the regulars to subsidize the coffee shop's access to the TFP website itself.

From there you build a kind of critical mass of people within a specific area expanding outwards, and from there the sky is the limit.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:29 AM   #31 (permalink)
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King, I'm not so sure i'd want to watch a bunch of horny guys sitting on computers all day.
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Old 05-04-2004, 11:39 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Halx
The idea would be to keep the cafe as comfortable as possible. There would be a rotating custmer base, but they would be encouraged to stay for a while and give their opinions. The rule.. if you sit down, you will be pressed to speak up.
that works.... look at all the 'shy' people that bother to sing when they go to Karaeoke bars.

they tend to only sing if heavily pressed by friends, and usually will sing only when wasted.

As for people speaking in front of others... there are LOTS of people out there who aren't even comfortable to speak in front of their friends.

One of the reasons that people also like to discuss and discourse here is because they don't have to stand up in front of a crowd to let their voice be heard.
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Old 05-04-2004, 11:58 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Prince
One thing - and this is kind of off the subject - I have pondered over, is the possibility of a big number of TFP members, who contribute to the poetry and literature section, putting together a collection of their writings. I mean, obviously I don't know how many members actively contribute there nor how many would be interested, nor am I aware of all the legal problems or etc etc etc that could stand in its way, but let's say that a 100 members contributed one or two of their chosen poems... And all of the individuals contributing a poem would chip in for the cost of publication... Obviously I am not aware of how much it would ultimately cost, but I doubt that a print of, say 500 or 1000 or so books would cost too much...especially if we happened to have someone in our ranks that works for or owns a publishing house... I dunno if this is doable at all, but just throwing ideas in the air.
I think this sounds like a neat idea. I dont know if it would be pratical or not, but I would buy one.
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:04 PM   #34 (permalink)
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The cafe doubles as a place to meet new people... which is definately a big draw. This would be my personal haven if it existed.

I think the only issue, as noted by the first response, is turning a profit.

Sources of income:
Drinks
"Membership"
Computer use

...I think if we added another item to the list, we'd have something to work on.

As for location... my 3 top choices are New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:06 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I just shipped off the proofs for a cookbook that I did for another site to the printers. I did all the design work myself for this book, in Quark, with some other forum members doing the editing. I ended up with 200 pages (my choice) Full color laminated front and back cover, 6 x 9 pages, the rough cost was about 3500 dollars for 500 books (which is what we went with -- another 1000 dollars would have got us 1000 books.

We're selling the books for 12 dollars a piece - so that left us with a little over 5 dollars profit per book.
It was a really neat project, that got a lot of people involved, including some really quiet members that I didn't expect to do much -- was just a lot of fun -- and not a lot of real work.
Quote:
Originally posted by Prince
One thing - and this is kind of off the subject - I have pondered over, is the possibility of a big number of TFP members, who contribute to the poetry and literature section, putting together a collection of their writings. I mean, obviously I don't know how many members actively contribute there nor how many would be interested, nor am I aware of all the legal problems or etc etc etc that could stand in its way, but let's say that a 100 members contributed one or two of their chosen poems... And all of the individuals contributing a poem would chip in for the cost of publication... Obviously I am not aware of how much it would ultimately cost, but I doubt that a print of, say 500 or 1000 or so books would cost too much...especially if we happened to have someone in our ranks that works for or owns a publishing house... I dunno if this is doable at all, but just throwing ideas in the air.
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:26 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Halx
I think the only issue, as noted by the first response, is turning a profit.
...I think if we added another item to the list, we'd have something to work on.
Live music, not head banging (c)rap that's so loud you can't hear yourself think, but not my mother's Lite FM either.
SoapBoxes available, where people can use them for whatever they want, read poetry or their latest literary piece, talk about whatever topic has crawled up their butt.. whatever.. as long as they have the soapbox, they have the floor.
Member art on the walls

I am painfully shy, you'd think at my age I'd get over it by now, but meeting new people is hard, I know I am not the only one, buddies (for lack of a better term) that can babysit ( for lack of a better term) til you get acclimated.


Sources of income:
Wifi access
Drinks (liquor licenses are damn expensive) Coffee is probably better, would also create a more cerebral environment - but how much profit is there in a 4 dollar latte?
Food - not just munchies but not full fledged meals either - Tapas is what I would have in mind, you can eat with your fingers, and you can carry it around with you. (this is where a lot of profit will come from)
In NY, it could be an after hours hangout - the bars close, it's a place to go and beg for a while before heading home .
Sales of Merchandise (similar to Hard Rock Cafe)
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:15 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Halx
The cafe doubles as a place to meet new people... which is definately a big draw. This would be my personal haven if it existed.

I think the only issue, as noted by the first response, is turning a profit.

Sources of income:
Drinks
"Membership"
Computer use

...I think if we added another item to the list, we'd have something to work on.

As for location... my 3 top choices are New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Well, I like the idea of a cafe. However, just like the boards, you would need "moderators"; ie, people who worked there and tried to encourage discussion etc. Of course, the moderators could be voluntary. But simply having a cafe with some comfy couches will not engender mature debate and discussion on its own.

Also, you say that if you sit down you will have to speak up. Just lost 85% of your customers right there. If they have to talk, instead of "lurk" you'll see most people move on to somewhere they can get their coffee without being hassled.

This then also means that the ability to meet new people will be diminished, as you will effectively has a disincentive for a lot of potential customers to drop by.

Thirdly, if income is based upon membership, you also will reduce the number of people dropping in (by definition). This also mitigates against the goal of "meeting new people"; those new people are not new at all, but simply other members.


So, I think a nice comfortable coffee house (with GOOD coffee - try Illy or Schibelo and none of that Starbucks crap), with regular discussions would be interesting. Schedule particular subjects, invite "guest speakers", treat it kinda like the local public library with nightly/weekly debates.

Have moderators/facilitators to help things along. Make internet facilities available so people can use the net during their discusions and debates.

Have a gaming room available (to generate income if for nothing else), with a few networked Xbox/PS2/PCs

DON"T sell alchohol, as you immediately removed all 18-21 year olds from your potential customers and, let's be frank here, that age group makes up a large proportion of TFPers.


Just some random thoughts.


Mr Mephisto

Last edited by Mephisto2; 05-04-2004 at 02:18 PM..
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Old 05-04-2004, 03:14 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I think you're looking at it the wrong way, meph. Since we theoretically have no customers now, there is no customer base to lose, only customers to gain.

With that, I see no problem with requiring a little something of our customers. Also, membership is merely a value-added experience, not a requirement.

'Sitting down' is quite a literal thing. You're taking a spot on a couch, thus are obligated to participate. If you're just standing up or leaning against the wall, then you're free to just leans back and listen.

A lot of people here are envisioning customers as characters from games like Lemmings or The Sims. Like they don't have their own agendas, but they will if you give them one. I completely disagree. If you build a facility for a specific purpose, then it will attract people who mean to use it for it's intent. I take, for example, a local restaurant that is not 3 months old. It's a restaurant with live music. This place is suddenly packed nightly... in SIMI fuckin' VALLEY. People don't just show up to this place and then discover music, they hear about the music and then show up.

Please keep that in mind when you try to predict the potential customer base. Think about how YOU would use such a facility.
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Old 05-04-2004, 03:34 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Would you have designated nightly topics? Like Friday-Politics, Saturday-Social Issues, etc..?

What about starting off as just a coffee house that has discussions on the weekends (like some coffee shops have Poety nights, etc)? If there is enough of a turnout, then add other other nights as well.
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Old 05-04-2004, 04:01 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Location: Massachusetts, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Halx
I think you're looking at it the wrong way, meph. Since we theoretically have no customers now, there is no customer base to lose, only customers to gain.
I think he's right about the lurkers, Halx. Also, if people have nothing to say but are forced to speak, imagine the level of discourse. "Inane" would probably be a good word for it.

What we seem to be talking about here is part coffee house and part club house. Let's look at that.

Anyone can come into a coffee house, listen to the music, buy a drink, take off again. No biggie. Low investment by the house, some profit, yes?

The club house part comes in with the rest of it. Let the customers per se see and hear the things they can get involved in w/o participating at first. Make the club house invitation only, where those invited must pay dues. However, they've already proven themselves of interest from their participation in the coffee house, and they want to contribute. I've seen this kind of thing work.

You can even have higher levels of participation and contribution. Profit might be spread among the highest group, who would be effectively moderators of the rest. Even "garden variety" mods might not be in the profit group.

And there's got to be profit unless you're supporting this some other way.

The group I'm thinking of is in the Boston area, but there's a similar group in your area. NESFA is in the Boston area, LASFS is somewhere around LA. These are long-term science fiction clubs.

I'm a subscribing member of NESFA. This means I pay a little bit and get a newsletter. I don't participate at all, though I'm certainly welcome. I live too far from the clubhouse, a commercial building they own in Somerville MA, so participating is kinda difficult. But I used to participate more when I lived closer, and they know me.

They have two or three higher levels of membership, which you have to be invited to join. Invitations only happen after they've gotten to know you for a while from your participation and interest. Dues increase with the membership level. Top level membership comes with voting rights for the non-profit corporation they've formed to embody their club, which is what owns the building. Higher levels of membership also come with minimum participation levels, counted by the number of times you show up at the club house for meetings, versus the number you miss. You can be downgraded if you miss too many meetings. And your membership can go on hiatus if you move too far away, IIRC.

You'd go a somewhat different direction than they have, as your goals are different, I think. OTOH, you might do something similar. They run an annual science fiction convention, collect books for a private library for members, and publish books. You might do a periodic convention of TFP members similarly, publish your own magazine, and do other things as time goes by and things develop.

I suspect you might speak to Matt about the legal bits, since he's got to be familiar with at least some of them.
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