Crowd Wise 9: On the dirty subject of money

"Dogs have no money. Isn't that amazing? 
They're broke their entire lives. 
But they get through. 
You know why dogs have no money?  
No Pockets." 
Jerry Seinfeld

I remember tweeting a while back that I pay to have the ads on my online platform (with students) removed and the response I got back was "I'd rather find something for free."

Now, I don't pay for the community where I work with other teacher-bloggers - I see it as a place where we're all in the same boat together, however, my student community is part of my job where naturally, I earn a salary therefore I'm actually quite happy to pay for it (it makes my work better).

I tend to think if the software developers and companies who produce these platforms never ever earn any money for their time, energy and creativity then eventually they'll be forced to shut up shop.

Yet... most people tend to agree with my co-tweeter, why?


This posting is part of a series, Crowd Wise, and is, in part, preparation for the swap-shop on web based communities at the IATEFL conference in Harrogate, April 8th, 2010.  Your answers, as brief or as in-depth as you'd like to be, is very much appreciated!  To subscribe to all the posts within this specific series, copy and paste this url:  into your reader.  

Note: if you would like to participate in this conversation anonymously, please do feel free to do so.  Alternatively, if you would like to specifically mention an online educational community when making reference to your experiences, adding your group's name and/or its URL, you are most welcome to!

2 Responses to “Crowd Wise 9: On the dirty subject of money”

  • Jason Renshaw says:
    April 05, 2010

    Hi Karenne,

    Interesting point - though to be honest when I saw the title of this post I thought it might be an exploration of a rather interesting can of worms dealing with a whole range of issues!

    When you are providing a pay-for service to students, I can't really understand why anyone would want to leave ads in their platform. For online learning, the less clutter or distractions the better, and ads are seriously cluttery!

    Also, the "everything I get/do on the Internet should be 100% free" mentality always baffles me. As you quite rightly point out, Karenne, if designers and providers of online platforms can't make income, then they will - inevitably - end up going the way of the dodo. If these programs and platforms bring you your students and facilitate your interaction with them, why on Earth would you insist on this being some sort of right or privilege?

    Counter-productive and even disingenuous if you asked me...

  • Mike Harrison says:
    April 05, 2010

    Really what Jason said. I wouldn't pay for my teacher blog at the moment - it's just starting and I have no real need for tons of extra space that paying brings. Yes you might see an ad, but for me at least it's just an edublogs ad.

    Were I to go online with my students and use a platform as a space to interact and even teach, I think I would pay. As Jason says, less clutter. Also I think if you as a teacher are gaining from it (earning) then you should pay.

    What I do think is a bit cheeky is how certain platforms advertise themselves as superduper (thinking of Voicethread here - can't upload an audio file without pro membership) and when you come to try and do something a little more intricate you are told that you have to pay $x per year/month/week.


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