Market info needed - please take our Poll (UPDATED Dec 1)

ArchiveOk folks, we're getting to the point where we'll shortly have cameras online. The Goldstream Park project was kind of put on hold due to the fact that the roads around the site were hip-deep in snow and flipped-over semis and cars - but the snow is melting and I hope to have the encoders and final bits and pieces in place in the next couple of days.

As usual, we're doing things completely backwards in terms of "how do you create and price a product" - i.e. Marketing 101.

We already know you out there are hot to trot on getting back to watching the eagles.

We know there are lots of you too.

We also know that we can't do what we want to do (show the world wonderful wildlife real-time video from many different locations via the Internet) without some funding. You've seen that we now have a Fundraising Committee (and they're working hard at a great many ideas) but we've long known that at least for many people, the idea of paying something to support the streaming video seems natural.

We will still be offering "free" streaming, don't get me wrong. It will be advertising supported mostly - but may be supported by some of the other things the fundraising people are working on too - but based on the costs from last season we know that this can't be the only thing we do.

So... we need some information from you. Please let us know a little bit about your viewing habits and the types of streaming products you would be willing to purchase.

The first of our polls is on our Discussion Forum site in the "Past and Future" area. Please answer it and try to get all your friends and aquaintences who might have watched the stream last season to answer it too. You'll have to register to answer (on the discussion forum site, not here).

How much did you really watch the nest-cams? Base your answer on the most active month you watched please.

We've also added a poll here on the Channel web site asking what you might pay for viewing the cams. Please answer it too - you'll find it in the right-sidebar.

Read on for more information on our up-coming cameras...
David has been running hard to organize various new sites for cameras for the upcoming season and to fill in the time between nesting seasons while we get other species up and running too.

I've been running behind him actually getting the hardware into the sites while the birds are off in the rivers getting fat on salmon.

The birds are now back.

David's taken a minor break, had his knees operated on, and is struggling to stay still around the house and office long enough for them to heal properly and stop hurting.

We've had record rain and snow storms this November - and now that December is upon us things are getting back to "normal" and we're getting the rest of the equipment staged and ready to actually bring cameras online.

I don't want to steal David's thunder, but I know that you all are asking questions about the background to our Polls such as: (thanks to gemini on our discussion forum for putting them all in one place by the way :) )

What is a nesting season?

For video viewing purposes on the eagle nests, we're setting the nesting season from when we first start the cameras up for a particular nest - usually during nest building, to shortly after the birds fledge and leave the nest to migrate to the salmon rivers. Last season this was from end of January to end of September, although we may turn on some of the cameras this month (December) this season. So generally for eagles, it is 8+ months.

For other species, we'll define the season prior to offering specific packages. If you purchase an annual package, you'll be given the opportunity to switch to something else for the balance of the year - but there are other things that the packages will offer that will also keep you occupied (see below in the "everything" area)

How many different nesting sites and cams will be running?

Most of the nests we have 2 cameras in now - one has two but we don't think one of them will work for long (heat problems) and one has only one at this time but may get another one farther away later.

In addition, we have the Goldstream Park site which is an estuary where the eagles and other species fish for salmon - which will be our first set of 2 cams up as soon as I can get over there with the encoders and get the signals to the distributor.

We have 6 nest sites with cameras in them now and one that is pending weather change and for which cameras are on site already but not installed (probably January). Note that it is possible that the birds won't return to at least one of the nests.

We have at least 2 other species' nests in process but with no cameras allocated yet. There are discussions about 2 additional ones if/when we get a bit of a breather.

What is meant by a "selection of sites"?

With all the sites we have, there are enough combinations that seem natural that showing the whole matrix was just too much. Things like: Goldstream + one or two nest sites, two or more nests of the same species, Goldstream plus a nest from each species, etc.

The point is that some people will want to concentrate on one site, some will want to browse, some will want everything. There are costs associated with each site, but there are some economies of scale in bringing many sites up - and there are only so many hours in the day that people can watch, so packaging or allowing personal selection of additional sites is something we can offer.

What is included in the "Everything" option?

Besides the camera sites listed above and any more we bring on during the coming period, we're also offering:

  • Advertising-free version of the websites and discussion forum. As a subscriber, you will not be subject to the general advertising. There may still be notes about corporate sponsors - those who have contributed in non-monitary ways to our cause - but the general advertising (Google Ads, etc.) will be gone.
  • Special video streams - short-term sites and lectures, etc. as and when available
  • Archival access to prior years (we're putting last year's season online as I write this) as well as digitized films (Some of David's work as well as others' as we get it put online)
  • Other facilities and services as we bring them online.
  • Discounts on items we create and sell: DVDs, pictures, souveniers, etc.

    That should keep you all occupied and enjoying supporting the Education, Research and Conservation efforts of Hancock Wildlife Foundation

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