moderated Re: Make Basic level accounts paid

Sharon Villines

On Apr 24, 2018, at 10:49 AM, J_Catlady <@J_Catlady> wrote:

in being skeptical of signing up and giving their payment info to a still-unknown quantity like So I think that even a $3/month fee for basic service would be a very bad idea, at least at this point in time. On top of that, and generally speaking, as has been said, with volunteer groups you run into the politics of "which one of us will pay for this," even if it's a trivial amount.
One of the issues for paid lists is who pays? Many lists are community of interest groups, not organizations. They don’t have a system for collecting and paying fees. No mechanism for taking money and transferring it.

Better I think would be an obvious but unobtrusive method for donating a small amount. Click here to donate $1, $3, $5. Don’t become PBS or even Wikipedia — I have an automatic monthly contribution to Wikipedia set up on Paypal and I resent visiting the site and getting another plea for donations — but allow people to pay voluntarily. I think it’s worth a try.

One of my lists is a community list of neighbors, city officials, etc., in NW DC. I am the owner and there are 3 moderators, but that is as close as we come to an organization. I do call the shots in terms of off-topic messages, posts that are derogatory, moderating members who are repeatedly off-color, etc. People welcome a well-moderated list so there are no complaints (well, few).

I try to stay invisible as the “owner.” Communities like to think the list is theirs. For me to collect even donations would change the nature of the list. But a donation would work, I think, if it went to People could click a button. Like iTunes' 99 cent price point, it might work.

The free brings people in to both test your service to find out how useful it is to them and to grow a business that they might not be sure of yet. If the services allows a group to grow and become an enterprise, it is worth its weight, maybe not gold but its cost balanced with the income of the group. Consultants often now function completely online with webinars, email lists, resource files, etc. has the features that would allow this person to get started with collecting members and building resources and then move to enterprise when they have income themselves.

A special resource for teaching people how to use for small businesses might be a real asset — even an income source.

I have a lot of Wordpress sites. I almost never pay for a plug-in unless I have used the free version to see if I really need it, if it works, and I can understand how to use it.

Time Banks USA has now instituted a fee to use their online banks to keep track of hours exchanged. That means setting up and monitoring membership fees, a bank account, and double signatures on checks to maintain transparency. Ugh. It isn’t that people wouldn’t pay in this case but how is the larger issue. I suggested to National that they have an individual fee for members — $10 a year to join as many time banks as many time banks as desired. Once people start using timebanks, they continue. A thousands of people at $10 a year adds up.

A national membership relieves time banks that are not connected to institutions from the whole financial records and membership tracking systems. But National considers timebanks to be their clients, not the individual members, and they didn’t go for it.

Since is centered on the needs of users, not marketing or selling data, there are many options available. Educating people about the use of features and solutions for their own enterprises is something a market-based site doesn’t do very well.

Sharon Villines

Join to automatically receive all group messages.