The future of Life After Mormonism hangs in the balance: Feedback Needed

Up until now, my expenses for running Life After Mormonism has been about $5 per month plus domain registration once per year at about $50, totaling about $110 per year.  Starting in July, Ning (networking host) will be raising the monthly cost to $19.95 per month ($199 per year if paid in a lump sum) which will increase my costs to about $250-$290 per year.  While $19.95 isn't that much of a monthly expense for web hosting, it does squeeze this single income family of 5's budget enough to raise the questions below.  So let's get to the feedback portion.

My question to you all is, does "Life After Mormonism" provide a unique enough experience to the Ex-Mormon online world to merit its continuance?  If you answer in the affirmative, is it unique enough that you would be willing to donate $0.50 to $5.00 to help share the load?

Here's an overview of features I believe to be unique to LAM in the Ex-Mormon online world(excluding some of the facebook groups perhaps):
  • Customizable Profiles 
  • Friends list
  • Private (except for the main page)
  • User privacy settings (hide your profile from all users except friends etc)
  • User Search by location, age, name, gender, relationship status (makes finding other exmos in your area easier)
  • Post/embed videos
  • Post photo albums/make slideshows
  • Events Calendar with RSVP
  • 24/7 Live Group and Private Chat
  • Threaded Forum Discussions
  • User Blogs
  • Twitter/Facebook friendly (post to twitter/facebook from LAM)
  • User managed Groups (Exmo & Single, PNW'ers, SLC Postmos etc)
  • Birthdays in Calendar
Aside from these uniquenesses, the increased costs will be beneficial in that the google ads will no longer appear and neither will the Ning branding at the top.  Further enhancements will also likely come about due to these changes at Ning.  You can review the new Ning pricing/plans for services here: http://about.ning.com/announcement/plans.php

Again, please post whether you think LAM fills a unique niche in the Ex-Mormon online world, maybe explain that answer, and whether you think it is unique and worthy of donations (even if you're not currently in a position to donate etc).  The pricing/plan changes don't become available or enforced until July so we have some time to think this through and then raise some money depending on what feedback this discussion results in.

Regardless of where this all ends, I want to thank each of you for your participation and for being a member of this community.

Sincerely,

Micah

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Their price change seems rather high. Couldn't you just setup a CMS/Social portal on another host ? I'm sure you can get around $5 a month somewhere.

There are hosts who are selling cloud space now too if you want a dedicated box - http://www.rackspacecloud.com/

Just my two cents.
Oh and I use hostmonster for my own hosting needs -

http://hostmonster.com
I would be happy to help with expenses. This is a powerful forum for many. I am not on here much, but when I am I really need to be.
I would be willing to chip in also, it is a great website.
Hi Micah, I have enjoyed this site and the info shared here. Count me in. I'm happy to contubute to the cause. Let me know when and where to send it.
Shane
A small fee is reasonable. I would have to find a way to send it. As the head of the home ( Ya Right ) according to the church we have agreed not to pay tithing. If I pay to support a non LDS organization it would cause a problem. The church was not going to give my wife a temple recommend until I stepped in and told them as the head of the house I told my wife she was not to pay tithing. As an ex bishop I knew the law. I asked them if they intended to punish her for my unrighteousness. She got her recommend.
The biggest problem I foresee with trying to move to a new host is losing all of the data we have accumulated so far. Unless they have a good migration tool to export all of the discussion threads, blogs, member data, and so forth, moving might mean starting basically from scratch. I won't know for sure until closer to July I think.
Sorry it's taken me so long to chime in and see this, but you have my support no matter what you choose. I am happy to donate or help in whatever way you need. You can always PM me here or Facebook and let me know you need me!
Okay. I hope to get that setup and announced this week so that we'll have at least a month to attract donations before the July deadline. Thanks Kate and everyone else!
Count me in as well.
Count me in! Friday chats are fun.
I have configured a donate button on the main page which should allow donations from many countries and card vendors as several from outside of North America have expressed interest in donating. If you feel so inclined, your donation is appreciated. Thanks for participation and generosity.

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