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View Full Version : New Membership Fee


gary
18-04-2007, 12:35 PM
as discussed in the email sent to all members, I have started to charge a small membership fee of 16 p.a. for access to this website.

The reasons are essentially to ensure that it flourishes and develops. At the moment it is becoming muddled, and there are a lot of half-hearted attempts at new developments that need resources to get off the ground.

I enjoy administering the site, but I have to admit that my skills do need some backup from a small office team and an occassional software development input.

comments please and please enter your answers on the poll

raineshoe
18-04-2007, 12:56 PM
I have sent an email to you regarding this, but I would not be able to continue on the forum if it was asked to pay a fee. Thanks.

pinkboxerdogz
18-04-2007, 01:44 PM
I'm all for improving such sites, times change along with the NHS and the hoops that we have to jump through. So if it means we get more support from this site i'd be more than happy to pay it works out less than 2.00 per month - bargin

pruritus
18-04-2007, 03:10 PM
This is but one of the many free fora that are around. DN-UK suits me most of the time and this forum can be helpful for admin stuff from time to time. Is there a "third way" of sponsorship that does not involve money otherwise scrub me I am afraid. Best wishes whichever.

DOLINA
18-04-2007, 03:44 PM
I agree that the fee is a bargain but i hope it does not push too many away from the forum:rolleyes:

wilko
18-04-2007, 07:44 PM
I think the charge is reasonable when you consider that the other website -first practice management charges 145 plus vat to also provide policies ,
a discussion forum and has advertising on the site.
My gp won't pay that cost but will proboably pay this one.
So come on so it's not free-approx 2 per month -if you have used any of the protocols etc on this site like I have- how long would it have took?
You got to admit as well that some are excellent and you also have the extra benefit of a doctor who also shares his with you.
Don't be negative - give it a try first - it is worth it and if my gp won't pay then I would be quite happy to pay myself for the benefits

johnb
19-04-2007, 09:59 AM
Agree that the cost is minimal and value for money - just concerned that the charge will dissuade some from joining and hence weaken the community.
The potential strength of this site is that it is a community - not a business. As such, I do feel a tad guilty that I have not contributed to it, but that guilt would be fully assuaged if I was paying - indeed I would then feel I could expect more and even better content!!!

Personally I have no problem with some adverts - e.g. the Google Adsense programme could generate some income, and as long as it is clear where the ads are and that the content is not sponsored by any commercial concern then I would be happy to see that.
Query - would it be possible to have a split - i.e free discussion but payment for access to resources. I've found the protocols, policies etc are really useful, but I have also found it very helpful to just "tune in" to the chatter, concerns and ideas.
The other option would be to just ask for donations to support the site's management - but do not over-manage, over-professionalise the thing, or it will loose its greatest strength, which is that it is for Gp practices by GP practices.

gary
19-04-2007, 12:19 PM
just a few comments...
funding via adverts is always going to be problem as the website isnt available to the general public, therefore its visitation activity is always going to be compromised, and the first thing an advertiser asks is " what are your page imprint stats?". Resourcing advertisers is actually a full-time job and does require lots of admin time and website development ( redesign to accommodate banner ads, rotating ads, ad placement in different forums, compiling stats, finding advertisers and liaising with them etc ). I haven't the stomach for all of that!

DN-UK is a free service but it has taken some 5Million plus pound in priming venture capital input! it is a massive undertaking and has extensive staff levels, it's business plan depends upon loads of member interaction in the form of online surveys etc.

I did try to provide a free membership option for a few weeks ( full access to the forums but without the ability to download files), but all the new registrants opted for it. This isn't the way to go as the forum depends for its strength on the ability to exchange files between members, and if there isn't that capability then the website will become much less useful.

First practice management charge 150/yr, which is surprising as a lot of its files are donated by PMs in the first place, and it charges that just for redistributing them, and for acting as a frontend for its consultancy business.

This website has set a precedent on cost- which is low. It is low-key and a bit idiosyncratic and I hope - it is friendly too and all-inclusive. We all want to do a good job, and in respect of this website that holds true with myself, - applying a small membership fee means that I can secure the website's development as an asset that PMs will want to use. After all, with QOF and the DESs bringing in roughly 70K per partner it makes good sense to have a good file-sharing and forum resource.

Carabine
23-04-2007, 05:39 PM
Cannot believe i am reading any mail from members not wanting to pay for the use of the site! i agree with Wilko....more than happy to pay subscription myself if partners dont want to.
Just to share ideas with like minded informed people is worth the money!
THANK YOU Gary for all your hard work!