Paying for forum membership — I belong to several writing- and editing-related discussion lists and forums, and I’ve never paid for membership to any of them. That’s why I was so surprised to find that over at Ask Nick Usborne, the price for membership is $14.95/month.

There’s no doubt that Nick knows his stuff, and he can run his forum however he wants, but I’m just turned off by this idea. However, as of this writing, there are at least 72 people who didn’t have that reaction, because there are currently 72 members. (I can’t say how many of them are ones taking advantage of the 24-hour free trial, but I also don’t know whether free-trial folk are counted in the membership total.)

How do you feel about paying for forum membership?
Finalist in 2006 Writer’s Digest Best Writer’s Website Contest

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King

8 comments… add one
  • Aug 26, 2006

    Well, first, congrats on post no. 100!

    As for paid forums – I have been a member of one (I won’t name it here), which wasn’t a bad forum, but it had the same collection of folk you’ll find on an unpaid forum. When it came to the end of my free membership period, I just wasn’t prepared to fork out the money to keep it going.

    In short, I don’t think they offer more than the free forums I’ve found elsewhere.

  • Aug 26, 2006

    Thanks for commenting, Cath. That’s kind of what I was thinking…

  • Aug 26, 2006

    I would never pay to join a forum.

  • Aug 27, 2006

    I’ve never heard of this particular forum, but when you charge fees for that kind of thing I believe you’re making it less useful to subscribers rather than more useful.
    If the barrier is too high many people who might have been valuable contributors won’t be there to contribute. In fact, they’ll be contributing on some other free forum, of which there are dozens.
    I’m a frequent visitor to the AbsoluteWrite forums, and I made a donation some time back because I appreciated how useful it was. There are plenty of experts posting there, but payment is optional.

  • Aug 27, 2006

    I’m against it. I was just offered a free membership on a paid forum — I’ll check it out, but I’m against paying for forum memberships in principle, and I’ll probably gracefully exit before the end of the free term.

  • Aug 27, 2006

    Congrats on your 100th comment, Kristen. You go, girl!

    So far as paying for forums:
    There will always be people wanting to take your money from you; and, there will always be people willing to give it, under the assumption this makes them better than anyone else.

    Unless every statement offers incredible pearls of wisdom, unattainable from any other source, no forum is worth $14.95 a month, except for those seeking snob appeal.

    It’s a great way to keep one’s web site and blogs in front of folks, but the audience is too small to validate the charge, in my opinion.

    I look upon forums as a place to visit with others of my craft, ala water cooler, in addition to learning a thing or two — but, mostly, to share some time and thoughts, not always educational.

    Now, if every member of this guy’s forum is a highly-paid freelance writer, supporting self and family in a very nice lifestyle, maybe; but, if they’re in the same boat as those of us on the unpaid forums, then, I’m not willing to pay for their chatter.

  • Aug 28, 2006

    Amen to that. There’s no way in Hades I would pay any amount a month just to chat with fellow freelancers.

    Yes, I gain valuable info from those more experienced than I, but most of it is information that, while it’s nice to get from someone’s first-hand experience, I can take a little extra time and research myself.

    What next? Paid emal groups?

  • Sep 3, 2006

    Sounds like great minds think alike, folks. :] We’re all brilliant.


Leave a Comment