You over-snipped two different concerns that I had. I would prefer not ANY members be forced a charge, but rather enable members an easy way to contribute/donate directly. But, if Groups.io does ultimately FORCE a member charge, I don't want some members charged and others not charged.
Here's what I said...
RE: Once the free member slots are filled up, someone wishing to be a new member of the group would have to pay a yearly fee to Groups.io.
- Having any mix of free slots versus paid slots will create a Group culture of have/havenot members, and a perception of some being freeloaders while others are forced to pay to remain a member of a group. Free members will sit on the free slots and not release them, preventing the most valuable members to the Group from being free. Resentment, etc.
- We create these groups to bring people together to discuss and support each other. The threat of forcing payment to simply join, or shortly thereafter, will kill the vast majority of the not-for-profit and hobby groups on Groups.io. No one will join any group if Groups.io develops a reputation of forcing a fee for membership! Even Free Grandfathered Groups will be dodged by the masses, because people will think they have to pay to use Groups.io in general. "Groups.io isn't free!" Impressions are everything!
If something must be done for Groups.io to survive, I'd prefer...
- A uniform price for ALL members of Groups.io;
- And the first YEAR is free, so members become very well established in a Group, and for them to develop a sense of value and belonging, before a time-is-up, pay-up or be forced-out scenario occurs.
As it is now, only owners are able to give Mark money. I still think a Wikipedia-style 'Groups.io depends on donations
' button needs to be added to help support the funding of individual groups and Groups.io as a whole. If donations alone don't generate enough income, Mark could figure out an accounting method to credit group owners for member donations, where the owner then would only be charge the remaining balance for a Group at the end of the billing cycle.