How much would you pay?

Discussion in 'Community' started by iBook, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. iBook macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    On a tugboat
    I'm looking at setting up an online study group that would, I hope, be used nationwide by law school students. Is it reasonable to start with a nominal membership fee -- say, U.S. $5 to $10 -- or is it maybe more realistic to "pass the hat" with a link to PayPal, where they can make donations?

    The idea would be to create an online forum where students can go -- in a noncompetitive situation since you're not face-to-face with your classmates -- for information, conversation and advice.

    Appreciate the advice.
  2. acceber macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Sounds interesting! Um....I would go for the donations. Charging a fee to join would probably deter people in joining, at least in the early stages.
  3. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Sounds like a good idea where student could interact according to the subject they are studying. It would be a non threatening type of interaction, allow for more open discussions. Might even attract some teachers. A minimal $1 - 5 to start might be more affordable, but allow for increased voluntary contributions also.
  4. Daveway macrumors 68040


    Jul 10, 2004
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    If you charge a fee you're gonna have to have a beefy service. Seeing as this will be a small group effort I would just pass the hat.
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    You might also use something like EZBoard (, so that you don't have to put any money in to begin with yourself. I'd agree with the others that if you charged a fee, I'd have relatively high expectations of your site that I'm guessing would be hard to fulfill and just not worth it to fulfill.

    Do you want to charge a fee to offset costs, or do you want to charge a fee to engage in this as a business? Do you have planned costs that fall outside of running the board system itself?
  6. iBook thread starter macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    On a tugboat
    Thanks for the feedback

    The reason for the fee is a two-fold, really....

    1. Cover expenses. I'll need a fairly robust hosting package to offer this on a national level.

    2. Value. People value what they pay for. Even if it's the $5 or $10 I've suggested -- and that would be for 3 years, not per year (law school is 3 years) -- I think it would encourage use, contributions, etc.

    To make $$$ from the site, I'd be looking for advertising from the obvious suspects... LSAT test preparation book publishers/services, law schools looking for transfer students, law firms looking for top candidates.

    Straightforward stuff.

    Thanks for the input. Personally, I think it's fun to provide perspective on someone else's problems -- they always seem easier than my own, so I appreciate your thoughts, comments and suggestions.
  7. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    Tacoma, WA
    If you do it on a basis of donations to try to pay back for the site you might get somewhere. Unless your selling a real good, it's hard to be profitable without selling advertising space (and for that you need lots of traffic). Lots of traffic doesn't come to a pay-only site usually.


  8. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    problem with a pay site

    One problem for you is going to be the fact that not all law schools/students are competitve. for the most part, the atmosphere at Maryland is if you have a question, ask somebody. you'll more often than not get a straight answer, including "i don't know" if they really don't know. You might even get referred to somebody who would know. i mean, we have an outline bank, and old finals bank, etc. IF it was free, it might be useful to discuss material with somebody from an outside perspective, but even that is tough to control. Columbia is currently teaching property first sem for the 2Ls while I had it first sem of 1L. That's definately two different capability sets. But....for the risks that exist, I think you could be successful.

    While I was rambling, I had a thought that that could earn you some money. Merchant links. Link to the E&E series and other books through your site to amazon or some other company. Maybe iTunes for study music (although it might be tough to fight Lexis). just a thought. good luck.

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