moderated Re: Samuel's Paid User Proposal #suggestion


 

My group, as everyone (?) knows, is also to help sick cats. I don’t denigrate lurkers or feel that they’re in any way less deserving of membership. Many of them are following very closely and learning, which I often find out about years after they have joined even though they never post. I don’t feel they are less valuable for not contributing. In fact, I’d rather that members without a solid knowledge base *not* contribute, for the most part, except gif giving emotional support. There is too much of that going around.

I do, however, strictly limit membership to people with cats with a proven or near-proven diagnosis of the specific disease we deal with. It is a very small and focused group so even the lurkers are people with something at stake, not just people who have a casual interest in the disease and are what’s called “frequent fliers” (members of dozens of cat health groups, giving out mostly bad advice and with great authority, and generally pretending to be vets -msynd they should join Glenn’s Second Life instead..:-)

If members were charged, and if i weren’t already grandfathered in, I would not be willing to ask the vet, for example, to pay for the privilege of donating his valuable time and expertise. There seem to be many different kinds of members in many different kinds of groups - everyone from lurkers to hard-working “volunteers” to unpaid experts - and in my group, I would not want to force everyone to pay a yearly fee. Perhaps it makes sense for less focused groups with larger, unrestricted membership.

On Jan 8, 2021, at 2:32 PM, txercoupemuseum.org <ercoguru@txercoupemuseum.org> wrote:

As a long time “owner” of multiple cats people have thrown out (to their great loss), I thank you for your service to felines everywhere. That said I respectfully point out that by paying annually for a Premium group with your own funds is, quite literally, funding the lurkers who comprise the great majority of your present member.

Your group presently enjoys the prestige of numbers these many lurkers “bring to the party”, even though the great majority of them would quickly disappear were you to ever impose a “subscription fee”. It is fortunate that the value of your services rendered is both immediately apparent and tangible.

My groups are a single amalgamation of people owning or interested in a particular aircraft that is relatively unique in design, operation and maintenance. The “technical” discussions are kept separate from the “social”, which is really the only reason we maintain two groups.

Subscriber’s interests may be historical, operational or mechanical (maintenance). We have requested financial participation from them twice.

The first time was to help the Smithsonian restore the first example of our aircraft, then in restoration. By the time it was donated, it had period-inaccurate metal for the front cowling, and the “right” part had popped up on eBay. I requested donations, and about twenty people stepped forward, we bought the part and sent it to Washington.

The second time was our migration from Yahoo to Groups.io. My crystal ball was cloudy, so we didn’t make it in until there was a $220 charge mandatory for a year’s “Premium” membership, after which we could (and did) revert to “Basic” (free) status.

The exact same twenty (or so) were the ones who again stepped forward. So, of almost 900 subscribers, so some 2% “support” the rest.

The fact that information we discuss could frequently relate to “safety of flight” means it may be possible to reconfigure some minority of this bunch to pay nominally to belong. That might significantly increase the number that view what we do is of value, and get greater participation. That’s been a long term wish that has never “caught fire”.

So that’s the “good news”. The “bad news” is this would greatly increase my uncompensated administrative time “invested”, and I’m really not in a position to do that. Of course, delegation is certainly a possibility.

So again, it appears we confront, in common, human nature…everyone wants something for free; thus some things are possible for “free” that aren’t possible when a charge is involved. And then there is the matter of our own egos, finances, and desire to help others help themselves from accumulated wisdom.

One size definitely does not “fit all”.

Best!

WRB




On Jan 8, 2021, at 3:14 PM, Tanya's Feline CKD Website <helen@felineckd.com> wrote:

I utterly reject this idea that lurkers should get membership for free. They are contributing nothing to the group other than increased numbers (which clearly will soon be far less attractive than it once was), and would not pay a penny for the information they receive, whilst those who give freely of their time to help others (I fortunately have a small number of excellent hardworking selfless contributors) would have the dubious privilege of paying for doing so.

I have a large group that, if not grandfathered in, would cost almost US$4000 a year under the original proposal, which clearly I could not and would not pay. I also have zero interest in additional admin work regarding membership fees for my mods and me that would not benefit us in any way.

My group offers help to people with sick cats, often with an urgent need to consult others in the same boat. I would have no problem with people wishing to join my group being asked to pay US$5-10 a year (which pales into insignificance against their vet fees) directly to groups.io. Ideally they would have 15-30 days in which they could cancel, which those whose cats died or who didn't like the group could then do.

HTH

Helen (out of lurkdom since this is an important topic)








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J

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