As you know, membership in Composers’ Forum is free. The site is not free to keep going however. It costs $599 a year, which is paid to Ning, the company that provides the technology that powers the site. Our current license is paid through the end of October, at which time the fee for the coming year will need to be paid. Last year, the members stepped up during our annual fund raising drive, which will officially run in the month of September, and paid the fee. Since we are now approaching September, it’s time to put the question out there: do you want to continue using Composers’ Forum? Show it by contributing to the fundraiser when it starts (you can also donate before then and anything you contribute will count towards the annual fee). There are many competing sites out there, on FB and on free discussion boards, Reddit, 4Chan, and who knows where else. It will be up to the membership to decide if those services are where the future is, or whether we should continue. This thread is open to any comments or questions you may have about continuing Composers" Forum -
I personally think that there should be a membership fee of $5 to a month for anyone that is accepted as a composer in this site. Those composers who join and almost never post then their membership should be conditioned on payment this fee. I think that if we can get an active committed membership of at least 25 composers who will pay this fee it will cover the $599 annual cost and the extra money could be used to add some more features/ideas/projects/competitions/prizes to the site.
25x $5 = $125 x12 = $1,500
Anyone that interested please commit that you will pay $5 membership a month.
having just started back it would be a shame to it close now.
I agree with Saul about a membership fee particularly as it would discourage some of the “odd” characters.
Well, with this suggestion, at $5 a month, Gav would need over a hundred members to enlist in to meet amount due in October... But then of course, by the time next October comes around, perhaps $6000 would be accrued.
(And Who are these 'odd characters' anyway? I haven't noticed anything in the last months in that way).
I've contributed before, and am happy to again. The fundraiser worked last year.
Just my 2 cents, as it were.
I'm against a monthly subscription, simply because I refuse to hand out direct debit authorities but as much because a any subscription involves an exchange fee, so a monthly subscription would mean 12 fees p.a. They come with a minimum so that a $5 debit would come closer to $9. That'll affect most people outside the USA. I'm old fashioned in my views about banks: they have their place and that doesn't include taking control of the flow of my money. So I don't mind an annual payment. I also feel that some small changes in the rules are in order for new members to discourage drive-by posters.
I'm among the odd characters here. I have a sense of humour which is never appreciated in artistic circles. And my views on banks.
Most people will be discouraged to pay $60 in one shot, I wouldn't mind it but I think most would.
I don't get the 'taking control of the flow of your money' why would anyone be concerned about this give this is such a low amount?
Dane Aubrun said:
Just noticed this discussion. I was not aware that this site required Flash Player as I have it enabled by default. But if that's true, then I agree with Michael that it would be wise to find another platform.
I also agree with requiring action on the member's part to migrate to the new platform. All forums like this one eventually become bloated with inactive members. I'm not sure how much of a problem that is here as Gav has said that inactive accounts may be dropped. But this is certainly a good opportunity to "clean house".
Whatever platform we choose, I am willing to contribute my fair share, either in a lump sum or as a monthly fee.
Thanks to all who have participated in this conversation so far. Your points are appreciated. I thought I would address a couple of the points raised: 1) upgrade or platform change; 2) dues/payment by members. Regarding 1) I would not be interested in switching to a different technology, but I would be interested in upgrading to the latest version of Ning. We are currently on version 2, and the latest version is 3. In recent conversations I have had with Ning about this very issue, the sticking point is storage capacity. Long story short, we would have to shed some of our content, probably videos in particular, in order to be able to do this upgrade. As far as what the new version would actually cost, that is unclear to me, because there are multiple factors at play, but if the membership could pay for the first $599, I will be willing to pay the rest; 2) Payment. If we switch from our current model of voluntary payment to some sort of required dues, I can explore what payment models are available, whether it will be a one-time-per-year annual fee, or a pay-as-you-go/monthly thing. Other payment models may be available too, not sure. It is unclear to me if we have enough members who would be willing to pay any required fee. At any given point, there are probably about 20 active members, plus the fly-bys, and I suspect transitioning to a required payment model will be a make-or-break decision.
I was thinking back four years ago when a number of members left because of issues on site. I was being kind by “odd”. I meant those who hijacked discussions, started flame wars, joined but never contributed and so on.
gregorio X said:
Agree about the videos, can always post a link to YouTube etc.
michael diemer said:
Thanks again to all who continue to post. It would be nice to hear from someone who posts videos what they think?