A modest proposal for the Straight Dope

So what would happen to GD, CS, IMHO, MPSIMS, and the Pit? Would the SDMB would be reduced to just two forums? Or would payments to participate in those two support the operation of the rest? Would people have to pay to post in the others?

It sounded to me like GD and CCC would remain free, but you’d have to pay to post to the others. Correct me if I’m mistaken.

As I understand it, patrons and SDSAB are two different groups (although some people can be both). Everyone can read the special new forum but only patrons can join the discussion.

It’s kind of a ridiculous perk since anyone can start a thread about the exact same subject in a regular forum but I guess that Ed won’t talk to them. When will they learn after all of these many years? People want to help. Let them help. Keep it simple.

I stumbled upon your column online over 20 years ago. The tone of the articles was inspirational and, dare I say, rather formative of my younger, more malleable self.

In fear of sounding effusive, I’d be quite stoked to buying my way in to being part of advisory committee. I would put that on my resume. I am not kidding. (I would leave out the part where I bought my way in, though.)

I’d like to bring Defector Media to your attention. It’s a collective of the various writers who abandoned Deadspin in the midst of a kerfuffle with new management who didn’t understand how the site worked. The site is still around and the writers appear to be flourishing to some extent; the site runs on a subscription model and the revenue is shared between all the writers.

Perhaps there may be useful information to be gleaned from it for you, Mr. Adams.

See, this makes me think the SDSAB is morphing into this patrons structure, one and the same. That’s what is confusing me- is expertise no longer a requirement or part of selection criteria for helping to write columns?

Different approaches have their merits, but I’m still trying to suss this structure out.

I throw this out there at the risk of bringing the entire discussion to a halt, but the number that’s been tossed around is $30 a year. Yeah, it’s double what we used to charge, but we haven’t increased the amount in going on 20 years, and 30 bucks happens to be the minimum that the Substack subscription service charges. Subscribers wouldn’t see ads (yes, we need to get that fixed too), could post in TBR, and would see new columns a week in advance of everybody else. Should another SD book be published, we could probably work a deal there as well, but that’s speculative so no promises.

I took it as the entire SDMB except the new forum will remain free. Those two were mentioned specifically since they kind of would serve the same purpose as the new forum.

This whole thing is so poorly conceived. Just slap up a donation link and see what happens. Virtually no one really wants to pay to post in a special subforum. Many of us, me included, would love to donate to support the site.

There are a bunch of us that will donate - that’s really all a membership has always been, since Marketplace isn’t a perk many people use.

But there are others who will be motivated by something more, and being a contributor to the column is appealing. It’s not just the ability to post in a new forum, it’s the idea that their posts might help determine what question is selected or help shape the answer. Look how many people donate to get their name on a building or even just a plaque. Ego-feeding is a powerful motivator for some.

Could be. There were a few people who lost their shit when their Charter Member tag expired.

$30/year is very reasonable and I’d do that for sure. There needs to be a way for some to donate extra if they want.

The idea is attractive, the price too. The goal is a worthy one. I would like to help. Now, Mr. Adams, I believe you need an avatar. A good one.

The Straight Dope Financial Advisory Board

Leetspeak. Substack. It appears Cecil has used his retirement to remain hip with the youngsters. Gucci with the meme-ers? 'Kist with Gen Z? Whatever it is that the the cool kids are doing.

Sounds interesting. Getting the new articles noticed in the miasma of the internet may prove a daunting task, but I’m willing to help.

I would write the columns, as always. I’m asking the SDSAB to help select the questions - or rather, help identify questions that seem like Straight Dope material. This requires some insight, and knowledge of a given topic would obviously be useful. But I’m not expecting anyone to do independent research, act as an expert source, or anything like that.

That being said, things may evolve. I was assisted for many years by the legendary Una, who was a professional engineer. This provided numerous opportunities for epic kitchen science experiments. She also got paid, which at present is not within the realm of possibility. We’ll have to see what opportunities present themselves.

Have business to attend to but will return later. I appreciate the thoughtful comments.

Quite aside from the financial aspects, it’s going to be tough finding stuff to write about that’s not already well covered elsewhere. I know that I’ve thought of opening a topic about something but then found it covered in Wikipedia or one of the thousands of specialty sites indexed by Google.

But at their best, the columns were informative and fun to read. So I’d welcome their return.

Yes, this what I like. Look, today, nearly anyone can answer a question, but no one else with the style and panache of Cecil. Count me in.

Agreed, the suggested price is reasonable. I also like the idea of various levels of membership or additional donation opportunities.

Had you opened for membership again at that price, I would probably have jumped at it. Getting new columns and a new forum is great. $30 is 185 DKK or there abouts.
Even I can afford that once a year, and I am not rich.
I’m in, even though I’ll be lurking still.

If your first recommendation for a column is Cecil outing himself, I’m not sure you’re SDSAB material. :slight_smile:

Stuff is well-covered everywhere, but not covered well, ya know?

You didn’t read that as carefully as I wrote it. I asked if there was evidence. I did not ask him to reveal it.

Thanks for clarifying- look forward to hearing more.