oatnet wrote:And even though I was merely a member of the Peanut Gallery for this event, I'd vote vote for 8/8/11 as E:S Independance Day, partly because that is when the agreement was signed to make it official, and partly because I like the date - in asian cultures '8' is considered a lucky number.
That must be why Hachi is such a lucky dog.
dequinox wrote:1- A member initiate fee: The sphere allows people to lurk and register as members, post in general discussion areas and view all threads, faqs and wikis for free. IF they want to be allowed to post in the more technical threads (for ex. ebike technical or non-hub motor drives etc) they could pay a modest ($5 I'm thinking) one time to gain access to those areas. This system would provide two advantages that I see: It keeps morons, shillers (sp?), and trolls from clogging up the more "important" threads... and it provides funding for ES.
Negative. Even the "morons, shillers, and trolls" occasionally prod a good idea into existence.
Besides, we made this knowledge for free, and I'd like to keep it that way. Sure, they can still *read* them, but to pay just to participate? No.
If it were me just joining up, for instance, in protest I would post only in the other sections, and quote posts from those threads I wanted to reply to in new copies of those threads I'd create in the non-fee sections, either defeating the system or forcing the mods to delete my contributions. I'm not the only one that would do that, I'm sure.
I would still do it even if someone offered to pay the fee for me, as I'd refuse that and continue my own way, unless someone felt like kicking me out for doing it. (and if they didn't, they'd have to let anyone else that felt like it do that, too, which would eventually collapse the membership system)
This 1-time fee could be combined with a yearly membership fee of like a dollar...b/c that helps keep people who are invested and active around. Lazy trolls aren't usually going to pay a dollar let alone $5 just so they can stick around to torment people.
I fully agree that it would keep at least a tiny portion of the trolls/spammers/etc away from those sections requiring such fees, but the principle of the thing is that we just fought to keep this forum free, and it would also keep away some people from it just based on that principle.
2-Merchandising: Many of you have said it... start selling ES-themed stuff.
The online store with ES-related merchandise would be a fine way to help the site pay for itself.
3-CL the for sale ads. This is an idea Justin had in the "open letter" thread, and I think that vendors should really be paying to sell things on the 'sphere. Doesn't have to an astronomical %, esp. since they throw good deals our way quite often. Just a fair cost-and-then-some covering percentage. Only paid-fee users could post for sale ads (perhaps buy things also...though that should prob. be free), and vendors would have a slightly higher registering fee that would enable them to post in the for-sale new section.
I disagree about that, too because it again involves registering fees. Plus it still violates the spirit of agreeing not to generate ad revenue, by charging for the ability to post ads, even if not for the display of each ad.
As for vendors paying to sell things here, at all? Well, I think some might no longer post their deals here first, like they do now, before they make them public elsewhere. Some smaller vendors (one-man cottage industries) might not be able to afford it at all, if their margins are small enough (or negative, as they are in some cases I know of).
It might filter out people who sneer at paying a membership fee, but lets face it if they are that cheap then perhaps they wouldn't contribute much anyways... (we could even have a sliding fee scale for members who are not-so-well off on approval).
You never know about contributions, simply based on attitudes toward membership fees. I'll gladly contribute toward any place that freely allows discussions of what I'm interested in (meaning they dont' charge fees and they dont' censor and aren't ad-supported, etc), but if they do any of those things I'm not interested. It's not about the money, because if I was rich I'd do the same thing.
it's principle. I know from things said here on ES in the last week or two that I am not the only one.
Really, I seriously think the community here is selfless enough overall to donate to support ES, if not just giving money, then to buy merchandise that supports it.