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Topic: Why is it ten bucks?  (Read 2288 times)

Lemon

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Why is it ten bucks?
« on: February 02, 2013, 03:53:28 am »
A lifetime ballp.it membership is ten bucks. Here's why...

The F Plus (that is, the podcast that we do, along with that other one sometimes) is and will continue to be free and open to a public so keenly interested in learning about dragon dildos. But as the community started to grow, I recognized that we were straining to hold all the conversation inside a single-threaded comments section. People wanted to discuss the specific issues mentioned in the episodes. People wanted to talk about unrelated crazy websites they found. People wanted to tangentally discuss things that were just barely related to something we mentioned in the bumpers. All of that is great, but none of that really makes sense in a comments section. We needed a forum.

The thing is, forums are difficult to maintain. In my professional life, I've had to admin a couple forums before and an open forum can be more trouble than its worth. A surprising number of people are excited at the prospect of registering for an account of a community they have never heard of before, just because they need a new place to call somebody a faggot. Plus there's the security concerns: I have literally deleted thousands of forum accounts of Russian spammers, and it's not a process I ever want to go through again. Throwing up a paywall on the outset lets us tighten our scope to people who actually want to be here, and that's not a bad place to start from.

On a financial level, while we control costs where we can, providing The F Plus isn't free. I've spent a couple hundred dollars on The F Plus over the years, and with the server costs, Boots Raingear has spent significantly more than me. The money we'll make from $10-A-Head accounts is going directly into deferring those costs, and it's a near certainty that we'll still be operating at a loss. Which is okay. We're willing to eat some of those costs, just so long as people don't start wringing their hands about being charged ten bucks for forum access.

As I'm writing this, ballp.it has yet to open to the public. My hope is that when it does, we'll see the beginnings of a fun community. A place where we can all delight in the content from crazy websites as though it were a fresh whale carcass. A place where we can talk about the specific kinds of people and communities we deride in our episodes in a more reasoned (or just more thorough) dialogue. A place where we can make snarky jokes, create running gags, and talk about the kind of bullshit that it's fun to talk about on a forum. My hope is we can do all of this, and this site will be a fun place to keep going back to, and a great website to develop features for. But it all starts with this. Ten bucks please.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 06:19:40 am by Lemon »