I can't see any situation where I would want to charge people for reading or posting to the forums. It would be counter productive, and damage the amazing community that has been built up here over the last few years.
I put in quite a lot of time to try to ensure that things run smoothly, and occasionally I lay down the law about what may nor may not be acceptable, but I'm just providing a framework -- the real value is down to everyone that posts here.
The subscriptions work "backwards". If you feel you've had value for money from RIBnet, then I'm very happy to get something back. No pressure, no obligation.
There are a couple of exceptions:
- advertising items for sale, which requires a Silver membership or better
- and anyone using RIBnet to further their business activities
Posting adverts uses a straight forward, automated system. Unless you have a Silver or better membership you can't post in that section. Simple.
Trade members have a bit more slack, and unless I feel that they are taking undue advantage I tend not to hassle them (although individual members do from time to time!). I reckon that for just about any business related to RIBs and ribbing, £100 a year is an very modest contribution for the amount of exposure that can be achieved here. The feedback from trade members is generally good, and I hope that forum members are supporting them in return.
Interesting to see that the much requested cheaper subscription hasn't been a runaway success so far!