What an excellent question. We'll try to get the visibility up for this discussion. I'd love to hear what others say about this.
I did survey before attempting any kind of paid access to my site. My original idea was to have paid access to certain features or pages that would benefit what we do on my network. When I made the post in regards to this, there was no opposition. In fact, there was no feedback at all.
Generally speaking, people don't discuss unless you have one of 2 things. A large amount of passion for what you are doing, or what would feel to them as being one with the decisions on the network. In other words, they feel the same way you do about your goals, missions, etc, for your site.
The other reason is that they now feel trapped into something. As in, you launched your idea and retaliation came forth.
The later is what happened to me. Nobody responded to my inquiry, but everyone retaliated when we made it happen.
The lesson: Don't just listen to what people say, listen to what they don't say.
Now, I learned my lesson from this in a big way. And I have a couple tips for you if you plan to get any feedback from your community. You must address the "what's in it for me" aspect. And you must speak to your most active members in a one on one bases so that they honestly feel connected to the system.
When I say one on one, don't just spam out inboxes. Customize it with the "what's in it for" the community and the person you are addressing. Respect their input either way they go, and make a conversation out of it.
Later, make another post about the type of feedback you received, and a soft decision of what is likely to happen. This will drive a lot more comments than you would have on just a dry post. You'll get a lot more from your community this way.
Thanks both of you. Looking forward to other responses.
hey, i am doing survey too, for the moment i am researching the markets and i found out that French market tend to be more submissive than UK market for example.
i have not yet installed payments on anywhere, but thinking to do it next month (when have 100 members) and looking to hear from those who installed and did this pay-off ?
also about the research : maybe NING should integrate more monitoring options, for example to know who is sending messages , how many, how people communicate between each other, how many logged in today,- so that would help in monetising strategy.
I did not survey my members, but rather based my fees on a "coffee per week" basis of $2.99 ($11.96 / month). In my space, lessons and camps cost hundreds of dollars. I figured that the way to justify my pricing was to have an annual investment that equals about one one-hour private lesson. Now, I've been bugging the heck out of Ning to hurry up with recurring billing so that my members can pay $11.96 automatically, rather than $34.95 every three months, but as of yet, I've heard no timeline for recurring billing.
Another thought I has was to collaborate with others in my space and get their agreement to offer 10-15% discounts for members of my network (Association) so that the fees weren't just for an online portal, but rather a membership that with discounts and value adds, pays for itself easily during the course of the year. Just something to think about....
Hope it helps. And Ning, PLEASE get a timeline out there for recurring billing, or open the platform so that we can use Authorize.net or someone to achieve our business goals more easily! Please!!!