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Would You Pay?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

LOVED yesterday's comments on the appropriateness of the Spark article on "Making Your Own Girl Scout Cookies."

Like all of us, I ignore a lot of what I see on Spark -- I just felt this was particularly egregious-- we are bombarded by unhealthy food EVERYWHERE in our culture, it is the cause of a rapidly-advancing obesity crisis, and ... I'd like to think that Sparkpeople was better than this.

AND, this was NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT -- this was an article by a Sparkpeople employee.

I liken it to seeing an article about brewing your own beer or making your own wine on a website promoting sobriety! Yes, all things in moderation, but that still doesn't mean it's an appropriate venue.

The whole brouhaha got got me thinking -- would you pay for an ad-free Sparkpeople? No more ads crawling over the post you are trying to read, or following you as you scroll down the more clicking on ads by "accident"....would you pay anything for it?

I think I would. Of course it would depend on the price, but a "premium" subscription that allowed a bit more functionality (as Letha pointed out) and eliminated ads? That allowed me to "turn off" certain features? For a few dollars a month, I think I'd go for it!

Hey! Maybe time to email Chris Downie!!! emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great question. I think I still like the original intent of Chris Downey to create a site where all people are able to access a healthful site for free. I have referred some friends who have no money for any extras in life. It is a blessing to them. I ignore the ads and the articles that don't fit my philosophy. I'm glad that all points of view are encouraged and that there is a priority on kind and thoughtful comments.

    Thank you for sharing thought provoking ideas. You are a blessing.
    1495 days ago
    Guess I've gotten so good at dismissing ads that I just don't find them distracting.

    I certainly find it easy to "forgive" SparkPeople for the few advertising and content discretions considering all the GREAT things it brings to us members for free!

    1495 days ago
    I wouldn't pay for it but I'm a bit of a cheapskate. It'd have to add some features that I just couldn't find elsewhere to make it pay worthy. And even then I'm not sure. But then again, I just don't find myself paying for any site now that I Think of it. I don't really pay attention to the ads myself but chuckle at some of the ones I do - fast food really?? And I laugh when it shows ads from pages I have visited recently.
    1495 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Those ads can be annoying..but I like the fact that it is free so anyone can get on ..and not deal with payments..I agree with you about the girl scout cookies not being needed on a healthy place like Spark.
    1495 days ago
    It seems logical to me that, if SP were going to charge, they'd need to poll their membership for suggestions. For example, it is more difficult than it should be for me to track my vegan lifestyle, and I might like to see that revised. But I suspect SP would get such a variety of personalized needs like mine that they'd be hard-pressed to meet everyone's standards.

    So who decides what to change and what to leave alone? Majority rule? But perhaps the majority doesn't mind the ads in the first place, so...

    I suppose for me the bottom line is that SP would have to make improvements other than than those that affect its ad policy before I'd pay for the service. And I doubt the feasibility of making the changes that will suit each of us individually.

    1495 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. emoticon
    1495 days ago
    No I wouldn't pay...

    but interesting blog! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I tend to ignore the ads. They fade into the background of my attention so I definitely wouldn't pay just to get rid of them. I like free as much as I can.
    1495 days ago
  • SUGAR0814
    The ads don't really bother me. But I would probably pay if additional benefits were available.
    1495 days ago
    Hmmm. My annoyance level fluctuates, but overall I'm grateful for this site and the great people (like you!) I get to meet here!!
    1495 days ago
    I don't know. I'd have to think hard about cost vs. benefits. There are other things I'd rather spend my money on, but some of those ads are so annoying.
    1496 days ago
    I would pay if my blogs stayed contained within the site and did not venture out onto the web for the world to see.
    For no ads and no questionable articles - probably not.
    1496 days ago
  • KATIE5668
    Sorry my first thought was ...why of all the things to MAKE..did they choose
    Girl Scout Cookies? Once a year the scouts have a huge fund buy the dern things & give them away..but to bypass them to replicate their product ..thas low!
    That is also just my opinion..but tis how I feel!

    Pay..probably not..there are too many other free sites out there. I would miss all my Spark Friends..but with all the ads & such oh I just ignore them. & indeed if the ads bother you that much then get ad blocker..if you do not want your info shared..then go to your profile & set up privacy levels that are what you wish. It is not up to the site to make decisions for us..but it is up to us to monitor & control what we can.
    Just like eating or exercising..tis our responsibility .
    1496 days ago
    I would pay for a membership NOW, but probably would not have before. The ads don't bother me that much (except the Bel Vita biscuit ad which plays out of nowhere and can't be turned off). As you say, the GS cookie thing wasn't even an ad.
    I would hate to see SP membership limited by a money factor for joining. I'd rather more people and ignore ads. A premium option where you can go ad free would be OK. Or maybe they could be a it more choosy about which ads to take.
    1496 days ago
    I think Spark actually considered a paid site as a business model at one point or even tried it for a bit, as I recall (although memory is not always a dependable thing!). It was back in '05 or '06 maybe? I stopped using it and went back to tracking calories in a little notebook as I did before Spark. I am not sure if I would pay, and my guess is a lot of people would quit. But a premium "no-ad" membership that would offer people a choice might be something for Spark to consider. Doesn't solve the Girl Scout cookie problem, though!
    1496 days ago
  • LETHA_
    I started using AdBlock after another Sparker shared that it would block ads here and it works great for me. I would pay for membership, especially if they would make some needed improvements.

    1496 days ago
    I too was surprised to see my fitness tracker posted. Spark ought to alert its members when they are going to make changes like that. emoticon
    1496 days ago
    You can block ads with ad blocker, so no I wouldn't pay for a free Spark People. I feel that what Spark is doing lately has crossed the line with me. I don't want my activities shared freely with every one on this site. Today I just discovered that my fitness minutes and activities are being put on my feed! I find that an invasion of privacy. I went to my friend feed and then to settings and put a stop to it by unchecking the box allowing my minutes and activities to be reported, but really, it should have been my choice to check that box, or not, in the first place.
    Further I feel that if I no longer had the Nutrition tracker (the only reason I'm still here...well, that and my Spark friends!) I might be able to go it alone now after more than 5 years tracking everything I've eaten.
    1496 days ago
    Thanks for sharing
    1496 days ago
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