Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Change is inevitable...

A world that stayed the same would be boring and lifeless but non the less, change is often feared and abhorred.

Lately there are a lot of major changes going on which affect me either directly or indirectly but are not in my control. One example of this is the recent sale of a favorite web forum site. It is Dave's Garden and I stumbled into it several years ago and watched it grow from a few hundred members when I joined to the huge membership it has today.

Google for a plant identification and the chances are more than good that one of the top links will be to Dave's or DG as we have come to refer to it. But the site is much more than just gardening info (though with gardening being the number one hobby that is reason enough for it's popularity) it is a diversified forum with separate areas for everything from A to Z. The limitations are few and to be expected on such a site. No vulgarity, no political discussion and no religious discussions.

When they decided to start charging a subscription rate of $15.00 a year I had never been tempted to use a credit card on line for any purpose and had never paid to use any site since there are so many free ones out there. But the young man who built this site had created something special. The lay out was user friendly and the people who joined were for the most part great to "hang around with". So without any hesitation I paid the fee and was happy to be a small part of that community.

BUT...along with the notice the site has been sold, (and Dave's assurances that he will remain in charge and nothing really is changing), they announced the subscription rate is going up 60% to $25.00 a year.
That is a huge increase and I just can't bring myself to believe it is still such a great bargain. Oddly enough, part of the reason it seems too high is because the site has grown so much and become so successful, that it has lost that close family of friends feeling. There are many wonderful and interesting people involved in this site but there are a lot of interesting people in the blogs and other forums also.

There are now 206 forums and 271,082 members as of today's count making it impossible to get to know individuals or even keep up with the posts of those you already have gotten to know.

So, I have to make a decision. Do I pay the fee or just visit the few forums open to non subscribers? I have until November to decide....but a 60% increase seems excessive....