After reading Brad's post, ActiveRain's NEW Membership Plan, I began to write my comment. It grew and grew until I decided to post it here instead.
"BTW - Any new member can still sign up for free, no one is forcing them to pay, I hope I didn't miss covering that in this post. :-)" (Brad Andersohn)
I just got through reading all the comments. Yes, I know I need to get a life. However, one big observation I made is, if everyone would read the entire post many, many questions would not have to be asked, and answered over and over again.
I have not, to my knowledge, earned one penny from Active Rain, YET. There have been a couple of referrals I received which did not even materialize into an appointment. My market is not a big sought after market. Very few people around the country are thinking of moving to Lake Anna, VA. In fact, many people in Virginia don't even know the lake exists. As they learn about it, more and more people do think about Lake Anna. Active Rain is helping me to get the word out. What more can I ask for?
Why do I remain on Active Rain? Because I have gotten so much more out of it than $29.00 a month could ever buy me. Information is here in overload, friendships are here for the taking, ideas are plentiful, feedback is forthcoming if you need it, and that's just scratching the surface.
Yes, I will be able to continue on Active Rain without paying the $29.00 a month because I joined some time ago. However, I do contribute to the solvency of AR. I'm a community sponsor (several communities) and purchased an outside blog soon after we were offered the chance. One reason I did these things was because I am hoping they will increase my business. The other reason is, I want Active Rain to not only survive but to become stronger. I considered it an investment in my business and in a social network that means much to me.
Everyone has to determine how to spend their own money. Make the choice that is right for you. Do not be shortsighted just because you did not see this coming down the pike. Be sure you have thought through your decision thoroughly. Perhaps you will realize this is one expense that is well worth investing in. The rewards are more than meet the eye.
Active Rain is not Facebook or My Space nor Twitter or Linkedin. I am a member of those other sites and my opinion is, Active Rain is much, much more. If the others went away I would never even miss them. I cannot say the same for the Rain.