This is the page where we can discuss the administrative and technical aspects of the site: layout, formatting, colours, functionality, and so on.

Subscriptions or donations?

It has been suggested that the subscription model may discourage people from signing up to this site. The laudable intention of the subscription model is to try and reduce the number of people signing up just to troll or to be otherwise unpleasant. 

These constructive comments are from our newest member Mike Adams, who has experience in other discussion forums and internet groups. He has given his permission for me to share them here.

"Have just signed up. Was a bit surprised there is a monthly subscription of £5, which will deter lots of potential members, as most internet groups are free, although running your own website will have a small cost. I make donations to my two favourite free sites ( and Dialup, both of which are non commercial)".

"When we set up our local humanist group we decided to ask for donations rather than a membership fee and always managed to cover our costs, which included our room hire, speakers expenses and Meetup costs. When we had to switch to zoom two years ago, we still recieved enough donations to cover our zoom subscription. By asking for a monthly membership fee from the outset I think you will deter most and may not get off the ground. An orchestra I run had a zoom subscription for committee meetings but eventually we decided to take a tea break after 40 mins and then restarted for free instead".

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  • It's a good point. The question of a membership fee was covered, I think, in quite a bit of detail as we were thinking about setting this up, and there was something about it on the previous PBWorks site, but I have just discovered that it didn't get copied across to this site. Apologies for that! So there is a new page, with a summary of the reasons why we are currently applying a membership fee: Why a Membership Fee? (, which people can respond to and suggest alternatives. But I think the example of an orchestra which chose to restart its Zoom meetings after 40 minutes rather than pay for a Zoom subscription shows the difficulty of running an activity on the basis of voluntary contributions. I'm impressed by Mike's contributions to several free sites, but sadly, very few people do that.
    Why a Membership Fee?
    Many - probably most - online communities operate without a membership fee, so why are we asking our members to pay for the privilege of participatin…
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