If the SDMB was a Pay site, would you Pay to Post?

A while ago a rumor passed around that the Chicago Reader may make the SDMB a pay site. Nothing ever came to frution but, What if? If you logged in one morning and noticed a sticky in every forum saying: "…Due to [some administrative financial nomenclature] the Straight Dope Message Board will now become a subscription site, meaning all members must pay a monthy fee of $25 to continue posting here. Lurking will still be free, but member privilages will be pay only.

What would you do? Would you pay for the right to post?

I would be able to pay something like $5 a month to post, but I don’t think I could afford $25.

$25/month is a bit high. However, I’d gladly pay $5/month, or $25/year, or something like that.

$25/month would put me off. $50/$60 for a year seems cheap though.

Personally, I’d rather just have banner ads. But if I had to pay, I’d be willing to go as high as $6.95 per month.

Actually, scratch that. I wouldn’t pay more than a coupla bucks. Maybe $2 per month. Can’t justify it for any more. So yeah, count me in for the $25 per year.

How much money do you really need to maintain it? A grand a month? That’s only 500 posters. (There’s probably more than 500 posters logged in right now.)

$25 a year is probably about the most I’d pay too. Even though I’m on this thing all the time, I have a sense (ok, maybe I don’t, but anyway) of how expensive it is to run such a thing, and $25 a month is WAY more than that.

I would go in for getting avatars (or some other low cost nonsense) for your money, rather than have straight pay for post. I think a lot of people would pay a few bucks to support this site, if it stayed as lively and interesting as it is today.

I wouldn’t pay. No matter how low the price got, I ain’t paying. For a start, I don’t have a credit card. But more importantly, charging people reduces the diversity of the board. It might cut down on the amount of socks and trolls, but it also means we may not get such entertaining sagas as the pyjama pants wearing girl - high school kids aren’t as likely to have the facilities to pay. Poorer folks are less likely to be able to pay. People who don’t consistently use the board are less likely to be able to pay.

A less diverse board is a less useful board. Why would I pay for a lesser board?

I wouldn’t. I’d use it as an excuse to go and do something else not on the internet.

$10 a year sounds great to me. Even if only 1000 people did it, that’d be $10,000 a year income. Seems fair to me.

I wouldn’t pay.

If the SDMB became a pay only site I wouldn’t pay it. The best things about this board are the number of people and the variety of knowledge. If the board became pay only we would lose those things and it wouldn’t be worth it anymore.

I would pay to keep the board running though as a free site though. I would pay for “perks”, donate money or buy expensive “donation” merchandise.

It’s interesting that several posters with decently high post counts would not pay. Not that post counts mean much anyway, but I just find that odd. I like the boards and would be happy to pay a monthly or yearly fee. 20 bucks a year does not seem unreasonable to me.

Why do you find it odd? Perhaps we post so much here because it’s free.

Dan - Well thats something I did not think of. Quite true I am sure. It’s just that some that post constantly, say 7k plus, seems paying would impact them quite a bit. They obviously like to post here, and often. I just wonder if the disruption would make them more inclined to pay if need be. I know the rationale is weak but possibly warrant’s some thought.

Well, as you said, the post count itself doesn’t matter too much - what matters is the individual’s budget. Rich and poor alike post here, and rich and poor alike have high post counts, so the two aren’t connected.

Since a monthly amount was suggested, that would impact people according to how much money they could spend. However, if a per-post rate were imposed, then those with higher post counts might be affected more than those with lower post counts.

Certainly not $25 a month. If that was per year though, I’d pay up in a flash.

I would probably be willing to pay something to use the SDMB, even if it were voluntary - say, by the existence of a PayPal “donate” button on the main page. Several other sites I use rely on volunteer contributions to keep going and the response to that is pretty favorable.

If a site provides me with content I can’t find anywhere else, and is useful, I have no problem with paying. I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal site as well, at $39/year. I think the SDMB boards would be worth at least that.

I’d pay. But not if it was exorbitant.

I admit (speaking as a marketer and publishing guy) I think the ‘pay for enhancements’ is a better option.

Not a chance.

I don’t pay to play video games over the internet, either.

I’d hope they try ads again before charging users. I have no problem with ads. Banner ads don’t bother me, and I can block popups.