Photo Credit: “Connected” a self-portrait by Kasey McMahon. Photo by Kevin Rolly
We are deeply appreciative of the time you’ve given Femme Tales over the last three years. Every time you shared our work with your friends and family we did a snappy dance. Unfortunately, our stock holders (Melanie and I) are demanding higher capitalization. That’s why we are absolutely thrilled to launch our brand spankin’ new reading fee. Here’s how the program works:
First Minute on Site – $2
Every following Minute on Site – $1
Price Per Comment – $1.50
Price Per Share – FREE (Except Tuesdays-Mondays between the hours 6am-10pm EST in which you will be charged $2.00 per share. Price does not include sales tax in CA, TX, of AK. All overseas shares include an additional $3.75 electronic transfer fee. All shares originating from China include an additional $1.42 export tax.)
You can sign up now for the Femme Tales Monthly Membership – This amazing deal gets you ten hours of free literary enjoyment; including unlimited ah-ha moments. We’re also cutting our “share” price in half for our members. Yes, in half!! All of this for an astounding $19.95 per month.
Please note, as of this paragraph, our mutual communication shall no longer be free. We love our tribe and promise to love your financial support even more. To continue, just email us your full credit card information or pay with your PayPal account. ****HERE***** (Not!)
Would you do it?
It was only a few decades ago that we paid for written communication: newspapers, magazines, mail, books. Written thoughts had a dollar value. Then the Internet came along and overtook communication. Not only can we communicate at the speed of light but we get it for free.
Until now. In September Facebook started charging specific users for the ability to communicate with the majority of their friends. Unless you are managing a fan/business page you may still be unaware that Facebook is charging page owners if they want a status update to reach more than 13% of their followers. For example, if we’d like the majority of our Femme Tales followers on Facebook to hear that we’ve posted a new blog on the site, we have to pay $10 for it to show up in the newsfeed of our 1,000+ friends. Our fan page went from a fantastic communication tool between us and our readers to an expensive marketing endeavor. Needless to say, it’s a bit frustrating. As Ryan Holiday states in a recent Dangerous Minds article, “Instead of adding new features and charging you for that, Facebook TOOK reach AWAY and then tried to make everyone pay to get it back.”
Many fan page owners are extremely frustrated with this policy. The majority of them are like us; they don’t have a marketing budget so they’ve compensated for it with their time and energy. The biggest frustration for page owners is that we are now being charged for something we were originally sold as being free. Facebook may want to take the advice I received from Dr. Lissa Rankin: never start charging for something you’ve been giving for free. It ticks people off and turns them away.
Becoming Money Media
Of course, this new Facebook policy is directly connected to the fact that they are now a publically owned company. When Facebook began their focus was building a community, now their goal is money. When profit becomes the focus, policy is bound to alter. Wall Street wants to see profits. We are a nation who prides itself on its democratic, capitalistic practices after all. Everyone has the freedom to make a buck.
If Facebook changed their policy to include all personal pages would you pay $5 so all of your friends could see your wedding photos? Would you pay to share the message from your Syrian friend as she fights for freedom, or a pic of the dog that is one day away from being euthanized, or that your grandmother passed away? How much would you pay to keep your Facebook page, your Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest accounts? Would you pay if your favorite websites charged a fee? Are we becoming so dependant on social media that these corporations could start charging us and we’d have no choice but to pay? And is that okay?
My question to you is this: should the information highway remain free or are we ready for toll roads?