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  #11  
Old 24th April 2009, 09:24 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Originally Posted by Sacredcello View Post
Yes, I think the membership idea is a good one. It is healthy to set boundaries on your time invested in this discussion group and it is also good to make people aware of the personal cost, in that you could be doing other things, rather than answering all of our questions.

Yes, I would like to pay the membership fee.

On a personal level, I honestly don't know how you are able to manage your website business and run Catholic Planet at the same time. I, too, am self-employed as a musician and, as you know, self-employment taxes are extraordinarily high. If it were not for my husband this year, I would have been rolling thousands of dollars of taxes into a payment plan to the IRS as I have done in previous years and am still paying on.

Yes, I know what you mean. The social security and related taxes are about 7.5%, unless you are self-employed, and then it is about 15%. Still waiting for either the Republicans or the Democrats to do something about that.

Thanks for the moral support. I haven't decided yet whether or not to go to a paid membership for financial support.
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  #12  
Old 24th April 2009, 09:30 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Originally Posted by daytonafreak View Post
Just some Questions Ron,

What is the reason for charging a monthly fee? (not that I cannot pay it, just curious)

Why now?

If you charged a monthly fee would you implement a password feature so that only members can look at the forum?

Would you accept payment in advance? like six months at a time?

The reason is to try to spend less time with website design and more time writing theology, so that I can support myself more from my work in theology.

No, I would not use a password feature. Non-members could still read the posts for free.

I'd prefer to take payment after the fact, so that the member is only paying for what they have already received. That way there is no question of whether or not a member received what they paid for. (This is more important with new members.)
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  #13  
Old 25th April 2009, 02:02 AM
Shane Shane is offline
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Ron,

Clearly a decision not to be taken lightly. Pray about it and see where God leads you. I will pray for your situation also.

It is a real pity that theological works often do not get the financial merit they deserve, take even Catholic books, for instance, which never sell as well as secular books. There is no question that you deserve remuneration for your many works, and helpfully answering questions. I did not realise you were earning so little from your theology writings. I suppose it would indeed be wonderful if you could support yourself from doing what you know and love best, writing theology. I wish you all the best in whatever decision you make and I hope that you are not in serious financial difficulty. Keep up the good work regardless. No one could set a value on the amount of info I have gained about the faith from this site


Shane
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  #14  
Old 25th April 2009, 12:51 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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I'm OK financially right now. I'm just considering the future.
At the present time, I'm not going to change the membership to a fee system.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this discussion.
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  #15  
Old 25th April 2009, 07:41 PM
js1975 js1975 is offline
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Ron,

It would be a good idea if you do use a membership fee to make it optional, so that some people can pay whatever amount they wish. Perhaps an annual fee, with a recommended amount. That provides the opportunity for people to pay more than $5-$10 per month if they choose to do so, while others could pay what they can afford.

-jay
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  #16  
Old 26th April 2009, 04:59 AM
garabandalg garabandalg is offline
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Default my opinion

In my opinion you should make such a fee optional, or you could institute two kinds of memberships, paying and non-paying. The paying one would entitle the person to unlimited posts, and the non-paying one would only entitle the person to read but only post once a week or once a month.
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  #17  
Old 26th April 2009, 05:30 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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At this point in time, my thinking is
that I will keep the required beliefs for membership as is,
and that I will have two types of membership:

member - free
supporting member - $12/month

Supporting members would have some additional benefits, perhaps including:
posting polls, uploading attachments, avatars (picture/image under name), starting threads, higher number of stored PMs, perhaps some forums would be for supporting members only.

members would be able to read, post, vote in polls, download attachments, and have a smaller number of PM (private messages).

I don't expect to institute this change until perhaps June, 2009. Over time, I hope and expect that the membership in this group will grow, and so I'll need to spend more and more time reading/posting. Having a supporting membership system in place allows for that transition to a larger group. I'm not sure what the maximum practical size of this group would be.

Payment will be by PayPal by a recurring monthly charge (sorry about the limited payment options, but I can't spend my time billing and collecting, etc.)
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  #18  
Old 26th April 2009, 07:07 PM
Mary's Child Mary's Child is offline
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Dear Ron,
Just an idea; why don't you make this site available as a freebie to those people who support you by buying your books? For example, anyone who makes a minimum purchase of $25.00-$50.00/year of your books or books you sell on your website, can have the benefit of using your website. This way, you can sell more books and profit from the sales of books you endorse. You could also have a flat fee rate for people who just want to read online without purchasing your books or books you endorse.

If you don't have time to handle this yourself,(shipping and paperwork) you might want to hire someone part time to handle it for you.

Just a thought. You are definitely providing something of worth here.

Mary's Child
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  #19  
Old 26th April 2009, 10:13 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary's Child View Post
Dear Ron,
Just an idea; why don't you make this site available as a freebie to those people who support you by buying your books? For example, anyone who makes a minimum purchase of $25.00-$50.00/year of your books or books you sell on your website, can have the benefit of using your website. This way, you can sell more books and profit from the sales of books you endorse. You could also have a flat fee rate for people who just want to read online without purchasing your books or books you endorse.

If you don't have time to handle this yourself,(shipping and paperwork) you might want to hire someone part time to handle it for you.

Just a thought. You are definitely providing something of worth here.

Mary's Child

I don't make enough money from one or two books to give each reader a free membership, or to hire an employee. Even if I sold many books, there would be so many new members that it would take up all my time.
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  #20  
Old 28th April 2009, 05:02 AM
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Sacredcello Sacredcello is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
Yes, I know what you mean. The social security and related taxes are about 7.5%, unless you are self-employed, and then it is about 15%. Still waiting for either the Republicans or the Democrats to do something about that.

Thanks for the moral support. I haven't decided yet whether or not to go to a paid membership for financial support.

I doubt there will be a reform of the tax code, partly because the convention is for self-employed people to take matters into their own hands. When an informal poll is taken of my colleagues who are musicians who receive income from many different sources, much of which is cash, they tell me that they range from reporting 20-70% of their incomes to the IRS. It makes me very angry, because I am paying back taxes for many past years. But, as I say, that is the convention. Of course, they all justify it by talking about the corruption in government, etc. I cheer myself up by reminding myself that that are other people out there who are honest and those are the ones whom I want to be like.

Anyway, I am happy to pay the membership fee whenever you set that up. I receive so much benefit from your forum.

Speaking of cheering up... has anyone seen the video of Susan Boyle singing on Britain's Got Talent? She is a Catholic; the youngest of nine children who suffered a brain injury at birth. It makes me cry every time I watch it. Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

Last edited by Sacredcello : 28th April 2009 at 05:13 AM.
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