Club gCaptain Invitation (EXPIRES FIRDAY)


#1

Those who read the blog or subscribe to our facebook or twitter pages may have noticed that yesterday we announced a new feature called Club gCaptain and, for the first time every, we are charging for this service. Why are we doing this? Well here is part of the letter I posted on our blog:

We’ve grown a lot in eight years, and we want to keep making gCaptain the best independent blog in the maritime industry and we want it to remain free. This is why Club gCaptain is not a paywall for the site and it will not contain the most important and timely news articles, those will continue to appear free of charge on the homepage of our site.
So if the important and timely news (e.g. ship incidents, new regulations, large scale projects, etc) will remain free for all to read then what “extra” content will be sent only to subscribers? The first article I wrote for gCaptain, way back in May 2007, featured a new and innovative way to brew coffee aboard ship. Back then Keurig coffee machines where a new and exciting innovation that no one had ever heard of. Today, nearly every hotel room or lobby has a Keurig system installed… and we, at gCaptain, have moved onto some much better ways to make coffee. We want to share those new systems with you and bring back some other fun and interesting articles about our favorite tools and toys along with book and movie reviews and other stuff that was peripherally related to ships. In short we want Club gCaptain to be fun and interesting.
We also want to bring back our most popular feature from the early days, Maritime Monday (YES, we are bringing it back in limited form!); a list of links to interesting articles around the web.

Click HERE to continue reading…

That was the long answer, the short answer is that gCaptain is fully supported by advertising and this has been a rough year for our industry. We are surviving the downturn just fine and we have the resources to continue gCaptain as is but there are things we want to accomplish moving forward (e.g. an iPhone/Android app) that cost money. Club gCaptain is a way to give those willing to support gCaptain a way to give back financially and help invest in the future of this site. In exchange for your contributions we will be giving club members extra content each week.

Interested? The first bonus newsletter will be sent out to all club member this Friday. Click on the following link to find out more or scroll down to the bottom of the page to select a membership option. Here’s the link: [B][/B][B][I]https://club.gCaptain.com[/I][/B]

-John

P.S. Many of you already support gCaptain with something more valuable than money… your time on the forum writing posts and responding to others. For those forum members (the ones who write and reply to threads) only we want to say thank you with a special 25% off coupon. But, please note, this coupon [B][I]will expire Friday morning [/I][/B]when we send out the first club newsletter.

P.S.2. The coupon code has been pinned to this post as an attachment visible below, you will need to be logged into the forum to see it. (Not already a forum member? Then you don’t qualify for the discount… so please don’t contact me asking for the code.)

Coupon Code - Expires Friday @ Noon GMT, 18 March 2016[ATTACH]4393[/ATTACH]


#2

Two more quick notes:

  1. Both membership plans (yearly and monthly) offer a two week free trial so… if you don’t like the extra content we mail out to you this friday then you can cancel the subscription and your credit card won’t be charged).
  2. I’ll be checking this post all day so… If you have any questions about Club gCaptain then please post them below.

#3

[QUOTE=john;181209]Two more quick notes:

  1. Both membership plans (yearly and monthly) offer a two week free trial so… if you don’t like the extra content we mail out to you this friday then you can cancel the subscription and your credit card won’t be charged).
  2. I’ll be checking this post all day so… If you have any questions about Club gCaptain then please post them below.[/QUOTE]

10 bucks a month? That’s about 1/10 the amount my wife spends on fingernail polish each month. I’m in! And thank you John for not holding us all over the barrel, as we all know you could!


#4

You should think about setting the payment system up on PayPal. Some people are hesitant to give out credit card info due to potential hacking. PayPal offers that extra level of protection. Having said that I joined up but I don’t think the discount code was applied. When I updated the profile I noticed the charge after the trial period is for the full amount.


#5

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;181247]You should think about setting the payment system up on PayPal. Some people are hesitant to give out credit card info due to potential hacking. PayPal offers that extra level of protection. Having said that I joined up but I don’t think the discount code was applied. When I updated the profile I noticed the charge after the trial period is for the full amount.[/QUOTE]

You’re right the coupon wasn’t applied. I have applied the discount manually. I’ve contacted our support team to fix the problem asap but, in the meantime, if the coupon code section didn’t show up for anyone else please PM or email me and I’ll fix it directly: john@gcaptain.com

I’ve asked Memberful (our service provider for the subscriptions) about Paypal in the past and they say it’s only more secure if you have two-factor authentication (where they text you a code after you sign in) enabled, which the vast majority of users do not. They are using Stripe which is one of the most secure alternatives to paypal. You can read more about stripe’s security here: https://stripe.com/docs/security

And…thanks for subscribing… it means a lot to us!


#6

I’ve Subscribed!

I think you should offer some sort of gift basket with subscription. Maybe some tshirts, hats and stickers and stuff. Just an idea.


#7

[QUOTE=joepilot;181256]I’ve Subscribed!

I think you should offer some sort of gift basket with subscription. Maybe some tshirts, hats and stickers and stuff. Just an idea.[/QUOTE]

Love the idea and we discussed it internally but Mikey thought it would be best to offer a digital product so that we could keep costs down.


#8

I want the podcast back I really enjoyed listening to that on my way into work in the am.


#9

I mean no disrespect with this post as I thoroughly enjoy reading gCaptain, but will this gCaptain Club and its benefits have any significance to an entry-level mariner? Is the target audience only those whom are already a professional mariner, or were one in the past?

Out of curiosity, is this club a first step towards the professional mariner association that was brought up months ago?


#10

sorry but I can’t resist the opportunity


#11

[QUOTE=rshrew;181262]I want the podcast back I really enjoyed listening to that on my way into work in the am.[/QUOTE]

Yes, indeed, I miss the podcast too! And the podcast is one of the reasons we launched the club. gCaptain sometimes has the appearance of being a large and profitable company because we work hard and care deeply about quality and attention to detail. But… the truth is… we run the entire site with only 3 full time employees… myself, Mikey Schuler and Mike McDonald. As the site has grown so has our workload and the cost has been cutting the projects that cost us more than they brought in. The podcast was highly popular among our readers but we were unable to find an advertiser to sponsor it and, due to a personal change of circumstance, my cohost could no longer work for free. So we had to end it.

We hope that $10 a month is not a burden at the individual level but combined the added revenue could be huge for gCaptain. If just 10% of our 27,000 registered forum members (not to mention countless forum lurkers, 45,000 newsletter subscribers and 250,000 Facebook fans) subscribe then we’ll have $27,000 dollars a month in additional revenue… more than enough to restart the project and launch a number of other initiatives that have been on the back burner for too long.

Unfortunately, we are far from reaching that 10%. So far we have just over 100 subscribers… mostly the same dedicated readers who have been very supportive and involved for years. So, as it stands, I can’t promise that we reach our goal and relaunch the podcast… but I am open to ideas and suggestions as to why more people aren’t singing up. -John


#12

[QUOTE=PineappleOranges;181271]I mean no disrespect with this post as I thoroughly enjoy reading gCaptain, but will this gCaptain Club and its benefits have any significance to an entry-level mariner? Is the target audience only those whom are already a professional mariner, or were one in the past?

Out of curiosity, is this club a first step towards the professional mariner association that was brought up months ago?[/QUOTE]

No disrespect taken! What we value most is honesty so thank you for sharing your concerns!!

Yes the target audience includes entry level mariners. The club is not critical to you success in the industry but it will help you become better informed by providing book recommendations, links to articles outside of gCaptain, etc.

And regarding the professional mariners association the answer is yes. In the introductory letter I wrote “P.S. We are close to launching something much bigger. An idea that has me up late at night with anticipation. A chance to connect with some of you directly, on a level not previously possible. It will be BIG and FUN and IMPORTANT and will be an opportunity open, initially, only to gCaptain club members.”

That postscript was specifically in reference to the association.


#13

[QUOTE=c.captain;181276]sorry but I can’t resist the opportunity

[/QUOTE]

But you’re already a member of the forum, which is just a club by another name… and who said that we’ll let you be a member of the new club?? :wink:


#14

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;181247]You should think about setting the payment system up on PayPal. Some people are hesitant to give out credit card info due to potential hacking. PayPal offers that extra level of protection. Having said that I joined up but I don’t think the discount code was applied. When I updated the profile I noticed the charge after the trial period is for the full amount.[/QUOTE]

We have found the bug in the coupon system. It won’t show up immediately because of the 14 day free trial but if you entered the code when you signed up then the discount will be applied once your credit card is charged (in 14 days).

We have also learned that the box in which to enter the coupon code was not visible on all browsers… I’m told this has been corrected but, anyone runs into a problem then email club@gcaptain.com and we will apply the discount by hand (if you are an existing forum member).


#15

[QUOTE=PineappleOranges;181271]I mean no disrespect with this post as I thoroughly enjoy reading gCaptain, but will this gCaptain Club and its benefits have any significance to an entry-level mariner? Is the target audience only those whom are already a professional mariner, or were one in the past?

Out of curiosity, is this club a first step towards the professional mariner association that was brought up months ago?[/QUOTE]

Jump in and we promise not to beat you up and leave you on a street corner with your underwear pulled over your head. K?

      • Updated - - -

I’m in. MEBA will have to wait for their quarterly.


#16

[QUOTE=john;181280]and who said that we’ll let you be a member of the new club?? ;)[/QUOTE]

touche to you Monsieur


#17

I’m in for a year and I’m glad I can support gCaptain.


#18

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;181247]You should think about setting the payment system up on PayPal. Some people are hesitant to give out credit card info due to potential hacking. PayPal offers that extra level of protection. Having said that I joined up but I don’t think the discount code was applied. When I updated the profile I noticed the charge after the trial period is for the full amount.[/QUOTE]

To be fair, I have to say that my PayPal account was hacked a few years ago. They made it right. It was some gamer buying stuff. . . .


#19

In for a year.
Thanks for all you guys have done with this website!


#20

True enough nothing is unhackable these days.