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Monday, 18 December 2017

Stitchers Guild planning to go subscription only

I read a topic today about Stitchers Guild/Artisans Square forum moving to a Subscription only format from 1st January.
here's a link to the topic for those who would like to read it.


I am undecided at the moment whether SG is enough part of my life that I would be willing to pay for it, or if it is now time to move on to other formats and forums (which I have already started to do).

Whether I stay or not, I am sure its a tricky question for many who are currently planning to do SWAP. I could afford it but may choose not to, other members of the board have much tighter finances.

So you may find me posting here more about my plans, thoughts and challenges for myself if I am on SG less/not at all.

I'm interested in what you think about this, and if I decide not to what other options do exist.

Thanks Ruth
Apparently it will be $35 USD per person per year, not currently any plans for monthly or quarterly payments. Also Paypal, bank transfer or check (US spelling) but no credit card payments.
This would cover moving the board to a new hosting platform with ability to upload pictures, but not any other new extras as far as I could see.
I was thinking as I fell asleep about the topics I participate in the most and they were SWAP and Six-piece seasonal collections. Much of the SWAP history is lost as it was on the old SG which crashed and the photos of the final collections were on two other locations which are no longer available either. However the Six-piece seasonal collections were the brain child of Elizabeth / Dr E / ejvc and can be found on her blog.


She has helpfully done a summary of the posts she has written about this topic so I may well use these guidelines and sew my next little grouping as before.

The other thing I do lots of sewing for is the charity craft stall, which doesn't feature much on SG, but I might change the blog a bit so other people can see the ideas I use there, as its about using existing resources well, and making a little money for charity.



Boppingbeth (aka Beth or Elizabeth) said...

Curiosity compels me to ask what other forums you have been exploring!

Audrey said...

I read about the move to subscription only this morning. Unfortunately I don't feel SG has enough content to justify a subscription. It is mostly discussions. I visit the site intermittently and very rarely post. The cost for website/ discussion board hosting is readily available, but I would like more info on the goal to "provide myself with a salary for the work I do here". Especially when I know much of the moderation is done by volunteers. Based on the number of active members, which seems rather low, what will the subscription need to be to support the site? I love SWAPing and have done it through SG and other sewing web sites. I will probably continue with this SWAP on my own and discuss it on my blog.

Debbie Cook said...

I feel the same as Audrey here and what Boppingbeth posted on that SG thread. I used to visit SG a lot more and post from time to time. Then the site kept crashing and ... well ... I became disillusioned. Plus, I've never felt entirely comfortable with DL not being up-front with the money aspect. I don't want to be guilted into contributing to something, especially if that something is a mystery. I guess it boils down to this: I need a lot more information before I would decide to subscribe.

Jane M said...

And I am so far out of it that I haven't been reading my blog list with any regularity much less blogging on my own site. The little of SG that I do read seems to be so very limited. Yes, I do like reading the SWAP but never participated, just wing it like I do in so many other areas of my life. With Facebook groups and Craftsy I can get generic and personal help. PR seems strong although even there I let my membership drop when I became harder to keep up with the photo hosting issues.

SewRuthie said...

Boppingbeth, I am a free member of PR, I am on several sewing related FB groups and if I can find it again I was briefly part of a UK Sewing Forum which was bulletin board style.

Unknown said...

Ruthie, the old UK sewing forum went away early this year. The Sewing Place was created a little while later by some of the former members. Here's the URL: http://thesewingplace.org.uk/

SewRuthie said...

Great thanks Elizabeth K.

Elle said...

I quit back on the politics thing about February, and haven't been back. When I complained I got told basically that people will leave if not allowed to talk about what they want to talk about.

To me, it amounted to the money.

I know I won't be paying a subscription, and money I would have sent SG went to other interests this year.

If it's the SWAP that's the big issue, why don't one of us just open a forum JUST for SWAPS?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that blog post Ruthie, I had no idea... good to see you at The Sewing Place.I left SG in summer for similar reasons as SewDucky, I'd add personal attacks to that as well.. I tried to reason with DL, also in hindsight that the members who were leaving were contributing not only content, but also finances via their donations - I most certainly did. All I got was a flippant reply. Nowadays I'm a subscriber at The Sewing Place and PatternReview, and given that I won't have time for sewing until June next year, that'll be it. While I admire all the work the mods are doing at SG, I never understood DL's modus operandi.

Joyce P said...

Hi to Ruthie and other SG names that I recognize ;-)

I decided to send in my $35 for 2018 despite the 'known unknowns'. The site instability has really affected a bunch of us, and I hope that a bit of funding will help out with a move to a more stable platform. I don't feel that I'm owed a financial overview of how DL runs the site, as it's her personal thing. But she can't afford to keep self-funding it, so...

At the present time, it seems that SWAP and the 6-Pac topics would be kept as free access, fwiw.

I miss seeing the user bunch that I'd gotten familiar with before the big crash, but understand that you have your reasons for leaving and I respect that. But still... darn it ;-) I really hope SG can continue. I feel that I've gotten so much out of it!

Elle said...

Joyce, I'm not technically arguing with you on the financials. I don't think the cost of a site is really anyone's business. However, when one is repeatedly being begged for money and part of that is this "salary" and ignoring those that donate that ask if the volunteers will also be paid if there's a surplus, there's a bit of a disconnect and lack of transparency that is troubling. And no, she can't afford to keep self funding, which no one says that she should, but until this year when the site failed spectacularly and the money grab got obvious to a few people that were not happy with the bullying and tone of the place (as in she allowed it to go on rather then risk her pennies), then the site wasn't doing that bad either, because there wasn't the constant fundraising in the years before.

I am a Pateron supporter of a historical cooking channel, and while the guy doesn't owe me what my money goes to, he still told us that it was to be spent on new equipment and to produce more videos and broke down his costs to achieve it. As a PBS supporter, I get a letter annually showing where my contributions went. And sorry, when you turn into something like PBS with drives, then you don't get to say "It's private". You either are a privately owned and funded entity or your not. And with fundraising comes responsibilities...to those that donate, to the business and to the workers.

Moving to a subscription plan changes this from a public fundraising to a business, and the financials have nothing to do with the rest of us at this point. But it was never ran as a business but as a peer funded enterprise, well, then the rules were different.

On the SWAP, I read that it would be open, yes. But the wording was for something along the line of this time, or this round. I'd have to wonder if it is just for this time before being hidden behind a pay wall, and at the time I made the suggestion there was no such plan. And for those that do the SWAP, then a backup plan might not be such a bad thing which is where my suggestion came from.