Sure, I would.
How about a multi level system where "regulars" would pay $5, but you would still allow new peole the ability to ask questions and browse with limited ability?
That way new folks could still ask questions and such without being scared off by the charge?
I don't think it is a good idea. This would make this site seem (owned) by certain persons. I have seen enough of that recently and think it deters people from coming here. I also think people want to experience sites before they decide which ones to stay on and this would make that impossible. I can understand if you need funds to increase the post available but myself I would prefer you did it differently. Perhaps monthly asking for a small donation on a post. I'm not sure this is the way either but I personally think requiring it is not the way either. If you need $5 I would surely send it but I don't think it should be required. LL
$5 annual fee to access information at the forum is a minimal price to pay when compared to other subscription/membership fees.
Allowing a trial period for newbies or limited access might deter uneccessary and trivial questions. We see many unrelated questions posted here because they see a fee in the ask a doctor section and none here.
I still think promotional items like caps, mugs and such would be a nice way to say thank you to MH. The items would not be manufactured until enough orders were in. I still want that t-shirt...
Another question I had, if we are ever blessed with a hepatologist would there be a fee to ask him question as it now stands in the gastroenterology section or Would this $5 allow us access without further charges?
I know, I know, I am getting ahead of the cart.
$5 is fine with me
$5.00 is not too much to ask considering the wealth of information here. I especially like Cuteus' idea of mugs, hats and t-shirts! "I AM A SURVIVOR", "DRAGON KILLER", "DRAGON SLAYER", "ANYONE FOR BAR-B-QUED DRAGON?", or something to that effect...sounds like you're on to something there gal!
Hi Phil, I would be happy to pay a $5.00 membership fee - the information I have found here is priceless, not to mention the super nice and helpful people I've met here... I like the idea of giving newbies a free trial membership because I have met many on this board who struggle financially and I would hate to see them shut out because of an inability to pay?
BTW, my husband and I have recently updated our wills and included Medhelp in our charitable donation bequeaths; I hope to live a long and happy life, but one needs to be prepared:).
Good luck with your survey.
Is this question asked by a person who currently administers this site? If so, who and how is currently subsidizing this and all the other forums on medhelp.org? Are there funds appropriated or is this an entirely volunteer work? The problem is not the $ 5.00 but the introduction of the concept itself. Would patients in need be willing to pay $ 10.00? How about $ 25.00? To what extent such forum is based on humanitarian aid and to what extent is or will it become a venture? Given that the participants are asking the questions and providing the answers (to a very large extent)a fee based exchange of information is not right. Neverheless, members who want to contribute by donating time, web space, web programming, sounds like a much more humanitarian approach.
The Valuable info that I received from this site has been priceless, & in my heart, far out-weighs the Boolaah. To be quite honest 99% of the info I got, was mostly just from reading others experiences. So that part would still be free.
My particular TX came with alot of added stress factors, & the off-line, sincere, true friendships that I acquired from here have been assets that truly helped me thru some very difficult times throughout this incredibly long journey!
Seems to me it is worth that alone just for the extra maintenance this site sometimes requires, & it might help cut down on some of the BooLahh, & "A.K.A.'s"
This site has always been home to me regardless of weather I choose to post or not, & I'd would still be more than happy to send another donation, or pick up the tab for a few serious posters!
No Longer Befuddled... but still just stumblin around "for 8 more weeks anyways"
Take Care... & Thank-You for providing a site for such a worthy cause!
To substantiate what I just said above, in as much as I am no longer a frequent user of this site (I cleared the 1a virus some 2 1/2 years ago) I just made my DONATION to medhelp.org as the ONLY way I see a non profit organization as functioning. Needless to say that I share the common desire of all patients of freely exchanging information and support for the benefit of them all.
I am not sure a small membership fee would affect the non profit status, but if it does, then Phil and Cindy will deal with that aspect of the site. They are the founders of the site and can change it to fit their mission as needed.
Alrighty, then. I've been a member here for about 3 years so just let me know where to send my $15. Yes, everyone, I will make it retroactive because without this site I would never have made it through tx. The advice, friendship, support, humor, and general moaning and groaning kept me going when I couldn't take another minute of the downward spiral to hell that was my life. Today I am one year clear, feeling great, and have a future WITHOUT HCV. Thank you more than I can say, Phil and Cindy, for making it possible.
No problem at all as this site has offered me so much. I would like to know your thoughts on new people that venture here because I'm afraid in beginning,,,they wouldn't sign up for membership and go on to other free sites and then we would not be able to grow or benifit if the numbers weren't there. Afraid it might be just a selected group always posting.
I'm cool with the $5. Seems like a very small amount to contribute considering the info & support I've received here. I also like the ideal of some type of trial member ship and/or browsing capability for newbies.
Peace - Gulfcoast
I have been very blessed by the abundance of information i have received here in the past 1 1/2 yrs. I don't post alot, but, i have come here daily to read the info. I don't think $5.00 is too much to ask for membership, but, I do think a trial membership would be great......I mean who you pay for something you know nothing about, regardless of how little the fee is?
OR......a request for monthly donations as mentioned would be great too.......Whatever you decide will be fine with me...
Thank you "Medhelp" for all you have given us.........Debbie :)
Count me in. $5 is a small price for the help I've gotten here. I do like the idea of a free 30 day membership to allow newbies to check it out. On the wishlist would be some way to allow financially-strapped users a free membership, subsidized by the rest of us.
I can only echo what Lou has said. A drive would probably get the same, if not better results. I too would hate to see anyone not stop here and gain all the knowledge that is here because of a "fee" no matter how small it is. I would be more than willing to give $5.00 to be a member of this site, I don't think the price is the issue, I think when someone is just dx with hepc, the last thing they are looking for is knowledge they have to pay for. People, myself included, that just happen on to this site have no idea what a site it is. Most sites are all alike....not this one. And you have to have been here a while to fully understand that. People on other boards speak of MedHelp with great regard, actually referring to it as
I did go to make a donation when I finished treatment but I didn't see the little padlock in the corner indicating it was a secure site.
I think if at all possible, donations should be voluntary. Maybe you could clarify that about the secure site, and put a few buttons here and there to encourage users to make a donation. Thanks for the forum, it was a lifesaver for me back in 2002!
$5.00 is no problem for me, but I do agree that newbies should be able to have 30 days free before they pay a membership. Hopefully, there would not be too many administrative costs in providing a 30 day trial period to newbies. Thanks for providing us Heppers the opportunity to come to this site and learn so much about our disease. It's invaluable.
If there was an easy way to donate (like a Paypal button at the bottom of the forum page) then maybe a membership fee would be unnecessary. My guess is that people would see the value in this and contribute when they were able to which could easily be more than $5 a year. Of course, some wouldn't be able to donate (or wouldn't voluntarily) as well. JMHO.
Phil...Actually, now that I look at things, the link should be at the TOP of the page.
I did notice there is a way to donate in the front of Medhelp, but it asks for a bunch of information plus the credit card. The advantage to Paypal is that--if one has an account with them--the donee doesn't have to get up from the computer and find the information. With Paypal it's just a series of mouse clicks and the transaction has been made, plus the receipt is automaticcally sent and can be saved for tax purposes. Paypal takes a small chunk out of each transaction, but if by using them there are more transactions then it shouldn't be a big deal.
So many great comments here!!!!! You can see, we LOVE it here.......LVDBYGOD, Lou, Cuteous and others have voiced a very valied concern about Newbies being able to "check" the site out first...to "test the waters"...on a trial basis....I think that it will give them an opportunity to see what we are all about without the added stress of feeling like they have to pay first. I agree with LVDBYGOD about new people reading and searching for answers, looking for an hand to reach out to hold them....to guide them, to comfort them...to answer questions that they do not even know how to ask.....:::: the first time I ever saw this forum....I "lurked" for quite awhile before I submitted a post......and, I think, if I was asked to pay first, I may have skipped over and gone somewhere else...not because I would have been "turned off" by the fee, but because I was so emotionally distraught, and not thinking clearly.......ready to begin yet another tx......I was filled with apprehension, and fear, and needed to have a "security blanket" placed on me immediately...I sure would have missed out...I LOVE it here....I read other forums, but feel like this place is home....There is something SPECIAL about Medhelp...and to be sure, there is something SPECIAL about all of the members here too......I look forward to seeing what avenue MedHelp takes....I am more than happy to support this home......Love to all of you....
I don't mean to be disrespectful since the contrary is true. However, as a reply to your latest comment, I do have to say that you remind me of what Classmates.com did a few years back.
At first, if I recall correctly, the public was veered or lured into volunteering PURE INFO so that in due time Classmates.com could BAN that very same public to access his domain without a PAYMENT!
I for one, don't plan to fall prey to a similar plot. If you want to HELP than pls JUST HELP.......& if you want to CHARGE us for this HELP, come out & state your intentions & pls don't beat around the BUSH!
I truly hope that you make a CORRECT decision, for the HEALTH of MANY is at stake.
Thank you for your HELP,
Wishing you the BEST always,
It's a priceless forum. However, I would not pay anything to join or participate in any on-line activity. I would simply go to another site. I think sets the wrong precedent. Everyone pays x amount for internet service. I think eventually other sites would get wind of the pay-per-view policy and soon we would pay an extra fee to access Yahoo, Google, newspapers, sports, etc. It is a slippery slope. Gov't is already talking about taxing internet usage.
yahoo and others already charge a fee...to the advertisers we have to put up with in order to use their services...
"I truly hope that you make a CORRECT decision, for the HEALTH of MANY is at stake.
This is an important site for many...but raising it to a life or death level is a bit much...
since this is not a medical forum, no professional medical advice available...no one's health...physical or emotional should depend on it.
Is your message stating that anyone (newbies) could access the site and read all they want.......but in order to comment or ask questions, they would have to pay for membership? If that's the case, anyone coming across the site could read for awhile and judge whether or not they wanted to become a member. What about offering an address to mail donations for those of us who are hesitant to send credit card info over the internet? Or a Paypal link as suggested by greatbird is another secure option.
We appreciate your input. In reply to your posting comparing Med Help to Classmates.com. Just for clarification, Classmates.com charges $5/MONTH (or $39 a year). Med Help is talking about a membership fee of $5/YEAR.
A membership fee is one option we are considering. It would be really helpful if you could offer suggestions regarding how to financially support and expand the forum, rather than simply condemning us for not giving everything away for free.
Thank you for your reply, however I don't think that by stating that you have SAVED my LIFE I'm condemning you guys. Quite the contrary is true as I have made my position very clear in my comment.
I used the comparison to Classmates.com in an exemplary:
Main Entry: ex
I probably would not have entered (just a little time ago) if I had to pay, no matter how little the fee could have been. now that I know the place, it has become my point of reference for info and somehow relationship and I wouldn't care a memebership fee. so a double formula, for aficionados and newbies, could be wise.
I must add that my informatics savvy friends strongly recommend never to give my credit card # on-line, even if twice in my life I did it (once was to post a question to the medical Q & A's here at medhelp's).
so, that could represent a barrier for many and that would be a real pity, seen the value of this forum.
I'd be willing to pay a $5 yearly fee, as long as there's something that guarantees me that it's not going to keep on being raised. At the point that I'd have to start paying $25 a month or even a year, I'd have to drop out. I am not working and can't be doing things with the little bit of money that I have that are not practical. I can live without the internet. Also, I would want an address to mail a check to because I would not use my credit card.
Since you asked for input or opinions, heres mine.
I'd rather see this board stay free to users (even if it stays at a limited # of posts everyday, like it is now)
But, If you absolutly have to raise money, I'd suggest either
1. asking for donations
2. selling something (hats, mugs, t-shirts, whatever)
3. allowing so many posts per month for free.... and charging when a person exceeds their limit
While 5 dollars doesnt sound like alot--- its a bad trend to start
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