Paid forum membership

Thoughts on paid membership?

  • I would not choose a paid membership (no mater what was included)

    Votes: 8 28.6%
  • I would consider a paid membership (depending on what is included & cost)

    Votes: 16 57.1%
  • I would definitely subscribe to a paid membership here

    Votes: 4 14.3%

  • Total voters
    28

Salome

Administrator
Hi all,

A couple of my moderators brought up some points that made me think about possibly setting up a paid membership subscription OPTION. For a reasonable sum: a paid member would get features that the free access does not

Advertisement free (no links, no google ad’s etc.)
Possibly have some edit functions: move own threads, edit title box etc.
Larger avatar
Could make own custom user title, change color etc
Significant PM space
Able to access some area’s that are visible to moderators only right now
A private member only forum
Maybe qualify for a monthly drawing for paid subscribers
And I don’t know what all else, just brain storming at the moment.

Is this something anybody is interested in? What do you feel would be a reasonable sum to you? Is there a privilege or something in particular (besides NO ad’s) that you would want in a paid version?
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
I would be in favor of all but possibly one of the suggestions listed above, depending. If the moderator-only accessed areas means what i think it means, then I don't like this one idea, because it defeats the whole purpose of having such an area.

As for fees, well, I'm an awful businesswoman, but how much a year would it cost to run and maintain a special, ad-free forum? That would be the only way I could mathematically figure what a fair subscription would be, or even if it would be worth offering such a thing. :think: That is, if I were smart enough to do the math! :(

OH! More picture space would be nice, too! :D
 
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Bast

New member
I am in support of paid membership. How much would depend on the perks available though ;)

I used to pay $14 a quarter (I think) for last fm and that allowed me a bunch of functionality (listening to other people's libraries, making and exporting playlists etc) that made it worthwhile. That was before last fm went a bit down the tube.

I don't use this forum in quite the same way but I would be more likely to share and upload photos in a section of the forum that I know only paid members can access.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I'd like to be able to donate to the running costs of the forum when/where I had the funds to do so. I'd certainly be on board with the more pm space thing and even moreso with the whole no ads thing.

There's other stuff I'm not so certain about and I'm also worried about needing to commit to a regular payment, because that's something that is right off the cards right now and for I don't know how long. But in principle I'm in support of the idea.
 

~Diana~

AFK Moderator
I like those ideas and I am up for a membership on the forum for extra benefits. I don't agree though that paid members should be able to see the moderators forum since there is a good reason that is is closed to non mod/admins viewing. However I do like the members only seeing thread maybe.

As for costs, maybe have a membership tier? This would let people help out the cost of the site in a way that they can afford. Say for a range from $-$ they would get these benefits, from the next tier up they would get those and a few more benefits. I am not sure if the webmaster could set something up automatically like this or if it would all have to be done by hand though. If done by hand this will take a lot of time for someone to do.
 

Sirène

New member
Is this something anybody is interested in? What do you feel would be a reasonable sum to you? Is there a privilege or something in particular (besides NO ad’s) that you would want in a paid version?
What do you feel would be a reasonable sum to you?
$1-$2 a month. I know it's not a lot but many of the forums I frequent are in a financial crunch and asking members to contribute, and let's face it—$5 here, $10 there starts to add up quickly. It doesn't make sense for me to spend more on forums than I do on classes. Besides which, the extra features… (see below)

Is there a privilege or something in particular (besides NO ad’s) that you would want in a paid version?
Not me. The perks are nice but they're not anything I need. I don't even mind the ads (not even those obnoxious asian singles dating ads, because "belly dance" translates to "looking for a mail order bride" in the advertising algorithm :mad:) as I know they're a revenue stream. My issue now is that they're actively interfering with posts (squishing or covering) and I understand that if they're done away with then the revenue to keep the site running must come from somewhere else (i.e. members).
 

Ariadne

New member
I will be blunt. I can't afford a paid membership so I avoid boards that have them even if they are for extra stuff. I also know I am not the only one who does so so you could potentially lose future members by adding this function.

Now no one thinks anything however of donations for "perks".

If say you had a specific monetary value attached to each perk with perhaps a year time-limit (for the forum based items) then I can see it working without anyone feeling left out. It's a great way that people who want to donate to the site can do so without you feeling like you're begging. Just be careful that the perks aren't something that will become more of a burden then they're worth.

Advertisement free (no links, no google ad’s etc.)
This is a good idea. A lot of people use some kind of Ad-blocker but a lot don't and I can see people giving a yearly donation to block them. My only concern is that it might make it harder for you to get paid ads if you need them.

Possibly have some edit functions: move own threads, edit title box etc.
As someone who has been a moderator I would not offer this. I can easily imagine the confusion it could cause.

Larger avatar
Good idea. Some people really like those. As long as your server can handle it go for it. Allowing (limited/max size) images in signatures for a donation could work with that as well.

Could make own custom user title, change color etc
Also could be a lot of fun.

Significant PM space
Could be a bonus to those who use PM's a lot.

Able to access some area’s that are visible to moderators only right now
Again something I would never do.

A private member only forum
Bad idea unless you want to create "us" and "them" cliches on the forum. I've been there and seen it happen.

Maybe qualify for a monthly drawing for paid subscribers
I'm torn on this. It could cause the same resentment as the above. A raffle model could possibly work better but then there is the issue of being an international forum, etc. So while I like the idea of occasional drawings, maybe used as a way to encourage involvement on the forum, I think using it as a paid perk is a bad idea.


The most popular offerings for paid donations I have seen has been things like wallpapers or windows themes. If you know someone who is willing to make some BD themed walls that you can then offer to download for a small price per wall I think you could do quite well with them.
 

Aniseteph

New member
Advertisement free - LIKE
Possibly have some edit functions: move own threads, edit title box etc. It's never ocurred to me that I might want to do this. Thread moving is best left to responsible mods IMO. ;)
Larger avatar not bothered, I'm quite shy
Could make own custom user title, change color etc That might be fun if I can play with fonts etc. I <3 fonts.
Significant PM space I've never felt limited by what's there now
Able to access some area’s that are visible to moderators only right now Is this the area with Shanazel's flying monkey army? ooooohhhh....
A private member only forum If the barrier is subscribing, then I don't think this would change how I post. You still don't know who is out there.
Maybe qualify for a monthly drawing for paid subscribers That might be fun.

I wouldn't have a problem with a couple of dollars a month, but for me it's more about supporting something I enjoy and find useful than buying functionality. (except for the ad-blocking, which would be awesome).
 

Jane

New member
An astounding amount of people access the forum without ever logging in. Would only paid members be able to log in? Would the people who don't pay to log in still be able to access the forum? How would that work? It's the posters that create the content on forums that people want, so it would be a good idea to encourage posting somehow. Mods should not pay, they do enough already :)

My husband is on a Red Sox baseball fan forum that is $20 a year and you have to have someone already on the forum vouch for you. They also have a trial forum where posts by perspective members are evaluated by the mods for admittance to the serious forum. I don't advocate all that, just pointing out that there are forums who aren't as laid back and open as this one.

"There are currently 161 users online. 3 members and 158 guests" See what I'm talking about?!?!
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
An astounding amount of people access the forum without ever logging in. Would only paid members be able to log in? Would the people who don't pay to log in still be able to access the forum? How would that work? It's the posters that create the content on forums that people want, so it would be a good idea to encourage posting somehow. Mods should not pay, they do enough already :)

My husband is on a Red Sox baseball fan forum that is $20 a year and you have to have someone already on the forum vouch for you. They also have a trial forum where posts by perspective members are evaluated by the mods for admittance to the serious forum. I don't advocate all that, just pointing out that there are forums who aren't as laid back and open as this one.

"There are currently 161 users online. 3 members and 158 guests" See what I'm talking about?!?!
Since the new look was activated, several forums are "private" which means Guests can't access those forums, and have to register to have access, Lyrics & Sauna are 2 of those. We've had a few more people register than we usually do since that was implemented:D
~Mosaic
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
I for one am glad that the Sauna is now private---I didn't know that. Remember how many newbies in the past judged us prematurely because of some of the controversies there? *shudders*

Having Lyrics private is a very good idea, too. We have those who work/have worked hard on song translations; let people join the forum and contribute something in whatever subforums where they can share knowledge, too! :D
 

~Diana~

AFK Moderator
Being a mod I would still support the forum anyway I can. I know that paying for and running a forum-with all the update costs, hosting costs, bandwidth costs, support care, etc- can run into the high hundreds if not thousands of dollars every year. So many people don't understand how much running a forum actually costs and it is not free. Adding advertisements helps a little bit but you can't use it to fully fund it because then people start complaining about the ads. Right now that price is all paid for by Salome and be we all get the benefits for free.

The suggestion of benefits for certain amount of donation levels could work but then again that is still membership. Donations are usually just given for free with no benefits. However if we wanted to attach certain benefits to certain ranges of money that could work. I think the benefits should be a lot of smaller things that would not take away from people being able to access the basics of the forum if they can't afford to donate but will be things that will nice and enticing for those who can.

I like to suggest maybe a little tag or badge that goes under or over our avatar that says forum supporter or something. That way even if someone can only though a couple of bucks in they still get a nice little badge to let others know they have helped keep this wonderful place running.
 
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khanjar

New member
I happen to think that what supports oneself one should invest in, not to exact a return in a monetary sense, but websites that one finds comfortable and indeed useful need to be supported as why should another bear all the costs, yeah sure advertising, but websites can do without those, I am a member of a few that do without where paid subscribers enable that fact.

And so although I am not in a position to pay for luxuries at the present through being unemployed, if it came to a subscription to support what I find useful, I have no qualms at all in my sense of helping out and this website indeed has been very useful to me, for bringing together such fine people that have helped me over the years and so, it is the only BD forum I am a member of.

When my fortunes change, if there is an option for subscription to this website I will duly subscribe through what I have said to support the good work this website does. I have two other forums where I feel the same.
 

Aziyade

New member
I'd be happy to pay an annual fee just to help keep the board going. I like the idea of the drawing and pretty much agree with everybody else on the other items.
 

Munniko

New member
yeah, some of the ads block the entire posts or at least on my cellphone. I'm not sure I'm in the financial situation to contribute for a monthly fee. I gave up on the online lessons because I felt through a cost benefit analysis wasn't worth the money. So it would just discourage me from coming on the board more often or just turn the ad blocker on for this site.

It would definitely be interesting if we could come up with unique gifts that would encourage people to donate without making others displeased that they don't get them due to financial situations.
 

Salome

Administrator
yeah, some of the ads block the entire posts or at least on my cellphone.
You can use the mobile version "default mobile style". It is in the same place where you choose styles of the main site. Ad's will not interfere with the viewing.
 

Salome

Administrator
An astounding amount of people access the forum without ever logging in. Would only paid members be able to log in? Would the people who don't pay to log in still be able to access the forum? How would that work?
I will probably not lock the forum, entirely, from guest viewing. This has to do with google visibility and ranking. I have started to limit the things that guests have access to. I locked several forums from guests and will do more with other permissions in the event we do paid permissions.
 

mahsati_janan

New member
I responded that I would consider it, but I would have to weigh the benefits/drawbacks carefully first. I have budgets for my advertising, continuing education, costuming, classes, and research, so it would have to be more valuable to me than something already in my budget in order to fit my needs. I wouldn't be opposed to an annual donation drive or something like that either as it is often easier to have a one-time by-choice payment each year for me.
 
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