How would you prefer to support the SDMB?

  • I would only buy a Membership
  • I would only buy SD merchandise because I can’t afford both
  • I would only buy SD merchandise because I’m not interested in a membership
  • I would buy both
  • I wouldn’t support the SD financially

0 voters

See here: A modest proposal for the Straight Dope - #227 by Cecil_Adams

There is some debate about the best way to support the site. We could have paid membershipa and/or having merchandise like t-shirts, hats and mugs. All things being equal, merchandise would produce less revenue per item than a membership. Using Cafe Press, there are no upfront costs to selling merch. A membership would grant one the ability to post in a special forum (plus, of course, to help keep the place afloat).

Cecil is of the opinion that if merchandise is offered, fewer people will buy memberships. I think that there will roughly be the same number of memberships and merchandise will provide an extra revenue stream. This non-scientific poll may provide some clarity.

There is an additional option. I would basically give money to help support, for something like a custom title or the like.

No offence everyone but I don’t want to be wearing SDMB branded clothing.

Agreed. Let’s call that a perk of membership.

I’m with this option or other possible cosmetic microtransactions. I would also consider a paetron option for one time or smaller repeating donations as was brought up in the source thread.

I’d do both. I’ve never had a SD membership because I actually don’t mind the ads - I don’t use ad-blocker and the ads often amuse me. I consider seeing which ads I am served up to be an interesting look into the way internet algorithms work. But if there really was no other option, then sure, I’d kick in a few bucks.

But I’m also a big fan of mugs and t-shirts. I bet we could get some cool designs from people here, especially if we expanded the concept a little. Let people make interesting designs, and at the bottom put “Brought to you by” or something.

I voted both, but that’s not quite accurate. As worded I’m not sure if you are considering paid membership as a board requirement. I don’t like the idea of pay-to-post, never have, so I would want paid membership to remain optional. And while I said I might buy merch, I also might not. Maybe a mug. One mug. I’m not a big buyer of branded clothing anymore - with age I’ve gone from rock tees to solid, somber colors :wink: .

What I would prefer if it is question of maintaining the board is to just donate. Patreon or something similar. An optional membership fee is fine, but I’d prefer the luxury of paying more or less as the mood struck. In this case it would probably currently be more because I can afford it and I have some residual affection for this spot, but I don’t think anyone should sniff at a $5 donation.

My preference would be just donating to a SDMB Patreon. I don’t have any interest in a membership, title, swag, etc. I don’t want to link my financial details to my member name, so subscription options are out. I have enough pens, mugs, shirts, etc, so no interest in swag. But I would consider just donating to keep the lights on and keeping the site alive.

Except for the bit about somber colors that’s me.

I’ll pay my fair share of what it takes to keep the lights on. Ideally via an annual subscription. I’ll add one souvenir coffee cup to my collection one time. And then I’m done and happily so.

The last time this was tried we lost a good number of ‘quality’ members and the board still seems to be on life support from that decision and sometimes feels like a ghost town from its former state.

Adding barriers to membership runs the risk of losing more members and also discouraging new ones. While a private forum may work, a pay to play system to participate I feel would degrade the experience and make it less worth visiting.

I would buy a coffe cup once, then nothing more. I would subsribe at $30 every year. Which should be given priority?

I would like to have a mug that said Straight Dope Fighting Ignorance Since 1972, its taking longer than we thought with a picture of ignorance being slapped. Classic. Simple. Its who we are.

I am not concerned about people thinking it was about drugs. I could like explain it to them, get them to check it out. And young people know dope isn’t just about drugs and has younger more hip meanings now. The age of the group is showing there. Do we really think that gay means or is taboo like it was 60 years ago?

I’d buy the merch, but I agree the best option here is Patreon. Going pay to post would discourage new membership - though I would pay it.

I’d be willing to pay the board to disallow the term “merch”. :wink:

I’d buy merchandise, but wouldn’t want a paid membership.

As long as there aren’t any restrictions on non-members, then a paid membership is a fine idea, but if there are restrictions, I think we’d see a quick exodus of people just like Cracked. Cracked totally went into a death spiral once they locked their comment section and allowed only paid members to comment, for instance.

At any rate, the number of active members is far more important than the amount of money, IMHO, better to be poor but have a thriving and active user base than be rich but not have many folks left.

Cracked had a lot of problems, but their comment section of the past was SUPER toxic. I don’t think they picked the right option for it, but I won’t argue that something had to be done. Sadly, I remember in the past checking Cracked daily . . . then weekly . . . then “oh yeah, when was the last time I checked Cracked?” It was so full of rehashed material that it felt like a chore.

Whatever happens here, we want to be careful that the option we pick doesn’t become a chore. For example, I used to love the PBS fundraisers, and would enjoy a classic John Denver concert or three, and chip in $10-20 when I could. The ‘swag’ at higher levels was always a joke, and later on it seemed that the fundraisers became more and more frequent. Or there would be an ‘short term’ funding issue, or a local need that wasn’t planned for. Again, let’s not let this happen - and it’s one of the reasons I was more supportive of the sub option.

There is no suggestion of pay to post, this time around, so we do sometimes learn from our mistakes. The membership would have the perk of one extra forum. Everyone else could post everywhere else for free.

Throw in disallowing “sammy” or “sammich” for “sandwich” and I’ll forgo the M-word to join your crusade.

I voted “wouldn’t support” because my stance about not paying, until the moderation around bigotry improves, is unchanged.

Fix that, and my answer would change to “both, quite happily”

I’m fine with both.

I would pay a fair amount for the right to set someone else’s avatar.

(Insert appropriate emoji here.)