Money is always a delicate question. Especially in the UK where we can
be a little squeamish about these things. Here are my thoughts.
What am I paying to other enthusiast groups and journals such as Player
Piano Group and British Amateur Television Club? These are run on a
purely voluntary basis with the subscription just covering actual costs.
The answer is around USD20. This typically pays for 4 issues of the
printed journal and associated postage.
What are the actual costs of running the MMD? I assume the Foxtail
computers exist for other purposes besides MMD and the incremental cost
of hosting MMDs archive etc is relatively small. For example if the
direct costs of the MMD are USD5000 per annum and there are 500 members
then the subscription should be about USD10 for a non profit making
operation. If a sub is requested, whether voluntary or compulsory, then
the MMD accounts should be published.
I am not clear whether Jody and Robbie want payment for their time spent
editing MMD. This would turn it from an enthusiast group into a
business. I have every admiration for their efforts and certainly do not
expect them to finance MMD out of their own pockets. If 500 people
subscribe USD50 and the operating expenses are USD5000 then the editors
are each being paid USD10000 per annum for their efforts. I am sure that
they deserve this and more but it seems a little alien here in the UK. I
have no objection to the MMD becoming a business venture provided that
is openly stated as the objective.
If the editing workload is excessive I have some ideas. I am not sure
that a few thousand dollars is the right answer. Widen the editorship.
Perhaps other knowledgeable members could assist on a regular basis. I
am sure that a number of us could do basic copy editing though the
amusing commentary should be left to the experts. Reduce the frequency.
Whilst the daily digest is appreciated a weekly publication would be
almost as useful. Perhaps have two versions of the digest; a daily
automatic LISTSERV and a weekly human edition.
I support John Tuttle in his recommendation for a fixed subscription.
Robbie and Jody are, and will continue to be, utterly honest and
incorruptible. Lead them not into temptation.
There are 2 sorts of member. The many who are merely(?) enthusiasts and
the few who take enthusiasm to the point of madness and make a business
out of mechanical music. Just a thought. Joyce Brite, John Tuttle etc
not only run MM businesses but offer advice most generously.
I also like the idea of advertising revenue. The commission system,
based on honesty, is very attractive but obviously at the mercy the
Apologies for rambling on a bit.