I'm a bit late to the party, but I just saw Kombat's excellent response to Dave Snider's tweet requesting ideas for a premium Whiskey Media. I have a number of ideas I presented the last time this came up, but I would like to reiterate those as I would love to pay money for them.
This is a particularly timely question for me as I just paid another of my favorite web communities, reddit.com. I now have reddit gold membership which includes a "trophy" on my user page in addition to a few features and the promise of more features down the line. The gold membership is really little more than a donation drive right now. I paid $30 for a year, and I really don't care if I get anything else for it. In fact, I didn't pay to get the things they gave me in the first place. For me, it was a simple decision. Here's a site I love that is struggling. If I can pay the $30, and all I get is that the site survives, that is worth $30 per year to me. Maybe Whiskey Media needs to do something as simple as a donation drive like this even if only to get the ball rolling. Start out at a low price for charter members, give us some idea of what features you want to implement in the future, and hit "go."
As far as the specific features I would enjoy, I definitely agree that existing features need to stay free. I believe the staff itself has stated none of the existing features will be taken away from users. The features I would most love are related to blogging. The Whiskey Media blogging platform is excellent and robust but needs a few more features to be complete. It would be really nice to be able to save drafts. There are many times I would like to start on a post and finish it later. Taxonomy features would also be helpful like tagging and categories. Here's a list of some other ideas for premium features not related to blogging:
- user video hosting
- a VIP forum (This wouldn't eliminate all trolls, but, in general, people willing to pay are less likely to be trolls.)
- user blacklisting (with which I could never see content from my blacklisted users again)
- priority access to beta codes and giveaways
The Whiskey Media family of sites have some of the best community features around. It's difficult to charge for content on the Internet, but I would gladly pay for these existing features to be expanded upon.
For those of you who would be willing to pay, what is the highest fee you could see yourself paying if all your desired features were implemented? I would top out at about $30 but $20 per year for those features would be really nice!