It seems to me that we are addressing two audiences:
Group 1: MMD junkies, those who are heavily involved in collecting,
restoring and/or just enjoying mechanical music;
Group 2: The casual reader, including surfers, newbies and others
who are interested but not engrossed.
If we charge dues, we will lose the second group. This goes against
another common thread appearing here that goes, "What can we do to
encourage more people to share our joy and interest in mechanical
music". We then become a smaller group of insiders. Students and
others that might catch on to our love of this hobby will bypass us.
Thus, I conclude that we should not charge dues.
However, if we fall into group 1 (and we all know what group we are in)
then we should surely pay our "dues". I should think that most
everyone would agree to do so. I think that the issue is that we are
all forgetful. Maybe we send money in once and then forget about it.
I would urge Robbie and Jody to set up a group message tickler file to
remind us when our voluntary contributions are due, just like a dues
reminder. Assuming that we are still interested, I suspect we will
send off a check. If we have lost interest, then just say so and we
would join the casual group that still gets it but doesn't pay.
The annual reminder could be sent out on the same date to everyone to
ease the administrative hassle. If you've contributed in the past,
then you would automatically be on the list. And it should be sent to
the entire list but with an explanation that if you think you are in
group 2 then no worries -- just enjoy!
And, yes, as I've checked my records, I see that I have not sent
a check in for a while, so -- the check is in the mail !