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GE13579

Should forum members be able to buy and sell services?  

71 members have voted

  1. 1. Should forum members be able to buy and sell services?

    • Under no circumstances
      42
    • It could work if handled properly
      20
    • There should be no restriction
      9


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Perhaps even a sister site, set up as a brokerage. CadTutor members wishing to do so could have a link in their signatures to a profile on this sister site.

 

I’m not sure if it would make the endeavor worthwhile but brokerage fees could help fund the site.

 

CadFacilitator?

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Agree completely with NBC here - if you have the option of getting paid for what you do, why will you then give the same information for free?

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- How do you do this?

- You do like this, and like this, and...

- Yes, so how do you finish it?

- Oh, pay me and I'll tell you.

 

I am not saying that it can't work, I am saying that if the forum is suppose to remain as it is, then it will take a lot of work to manage it.

 

I can however see that this can change this forum on a fundamental level - good or bad, I don't know.

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- How do you do this?

- You do like this, and like this, and...

- Yes, so how do you finish it?

- Oh, pay me and I'll tell you.

 

 

That is definitely a scenario no one wants to see.

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The reasons for the PayPal addition seem to be solely lisp related. As has been mentioned already, freeloaders are easily dealt with, there is no requirement for members to post answers. However, I feel that by having a link within the LISP section to a sister site (I believe there is a site called AfraLISP under development?), or even in the sigs of the LISP gurus linking to this site would be a worthwhile exercise to consider. These members could have duplicate profiles with an option to charge through the AfraLISP site?

 

This is just a suggestion. I'm still unsure as to possible implications- it has already become apparent within this thread that there is some confusion that the link is to donate to the site, not to individuals, so people may receive CADTutor donations unwittingly.

 

Could there be legal or tax implications for individuals who sell code on the site? I don't know the answer to the above but I guess there must be something along those lines. For self employed members this wouldn't be an issue but for all others..?

 

Lee- I would like to add that you shouldn't be concerned about joining the debate- you do provide a great service to the site as the most frequent poster, and your opinion would be very useful. My main concerns as discussed are to the possible impact this might have on the future of the site, not so much how it effects it in the meantime.

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David- I'm short on time right now, but would like to quickly respond. I agree with what you're saying- you did include Google ads which largely went unnoticed due to how well they blend in with the site. Personally, I would have no issue with you utilising the traffic numbers for adding company linked tutorials. I agree that the site needs to be maitained in one way or another and for that we are all very grateful to you for creating and running such a site. I do however feel that it's a rather separate issue to the PayPal one as it is for keeping the site running rather than paying direct to the individual.

 

I do like the ideas of the payment going through CT where a % could be skimmed off, but again I think it should be kept to another site. Advertising is one thing, but the ability for everyone to charge for information (I'm not saying everyone will!), is very different.

 

Further, the Tutorial area is one that will largely be bypassed by members like myself who just head straight to the forums when they login. I think that is worth starting a new thread for discussion?

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One way, and I think that someone mentioned this earlier, is to have the option to add a PayPal button not open to everyone - while I think the suggestion was that only members with a certain amount of posts can have it, I would rather have it on a petition-level, as in David and/or moderators can open the option for members that request it. I don't know what sort of requirements can be set on the member in question though.

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CADTutor
One way, and I think that someone mentioned this earlier, is to have the option to add a PayPal button not open to everyone - while I think the suggestion was that only members with a certain amount of posts can have it, I would rather have it on a petition-level, as in David and/or moderators can open the option for members that request it. I don't know what sort of requirements can be set on the member in question though.

 

Yes, a very good point. That can (and probably should) be done. We could have a new usergroup that worked like the FAQ usergroup. Only members in that usergroup can display the PayPal button. That would be a good way to control its use because membership of the group would be controlled by the site admin.

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I'm not sure where I stand with something like this. On one hand I know the programmers need to make ends meet, but then on the other hand places like this are all about sharing knowledge.

In the past (on a different forum) I had a programmer write a program that saved many hours of work for me. I offered the programmer some money, but they asked that I make a donation to the website where we both visited. I was more impressed by the programmers generosity than ever!

I cant say I like the idea of the paypal button to members (for the site owner, yes) but at the end of the day, I'm just a visitor here and I'll abide by the rules set by the owner :)

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CADTutor

 

Not really, we still don't have any sponsors and the idea of the PayPal button was to allow members to be paid for services agreed (obviously in the light of this discussion it may have been misguided) and not to support or sponsor the site. There was never any intention for CADTutor to take a %age of any earnings but recipients would be encouraged to donate content to the site. That was the original idea. I don't see how that changes anything.

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David Bethel

I derive about 40% of my income from programming in AutoLISP. I have in the past gotten work from members of other forums that I've been active in for specific projects. I've found that the true professionals will contact you directly and negotiate a contract for your services.

 

Paypal has always worked well for this as a accounting / banking system.

 

As to the donated snippets and programs posted here and else where, I've always thought of them as learning / teaching experinces on both sides and that I do it freely and expect no renumerations.

 

But if someone where to contact me directly again, I'd have no quams about doing the work.

 

So again if the PayPal link were not public, I'd have no issues. -David

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CADTutor
Maybe I am reading / interpreting it differently then (this is entirely possible); so shall refrain from mentioning it further.

 

Sorry if I sounded "testy", it wasn't intended.

 

To move the dabate on, perhaps we need to make a distinction between those who are here to learn/help and those who are looking for a solution and are preparred to pay for it. After all, no one would consider learning C# because they needed a word processor. Similarly, not all AutoCAD users are developers. Maybe what this debate is about is catering for a different user type?

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I can see that there are a few mixed opinions over this, and also a few good ideas regarding alternatives.

 

I understand that some people see that it is deterring from donations to the site itself, and rather focus on members as individuals, and, if this is causing problems, the button could be removed in an instant.

 

I think renumeration is in order for programs written on request - after all, this is what would happen in business. But I also understand that this is not the place for such "business". And so, I am quite happy to only offer advice here, and "clues" and keep the programs themselves separate.

 

This thread offers some food for thought:

http://www.cadtutor.net/forum/showthread.php?t=38867

 

Just my thoughts,

 

Lee

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I still say, if you want to get compensated for what you do, you should set up your own website and sell your routines and services there. You could put a message in your signature and link to your site, but should not conduct business here. I have picked up a few freelance jobs here and there because of my involvement with the forums, but I did it via my website, away from the forum, and using my own personal Paypal account.

 

Here's a perfectly good reason for not conducting business in the forum:

Let's say Lee is discussing the details of a potential routine with a possible customer, and just as he's just about to seal the deal, someone else pops into the thread and says "Hey, no need to pay for this routine. You can download it for free from Cadalyst". Now Lee has lost a sale. Will this now spark an argument that we will have to sort out? And will this start unnecessary competition wherein everyone will be competing for clients. Who can provide the answers for the lowest price and the quickest turn-around? Will this create more work for us, having to intervene and moderate business transactions?

 

I believe the CADTutor forums should remain free for anyone who needs help. Business should be conducted elsewhere.

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