Membership


#1

We don’t currently have a membership scheme. Because we are open (which is a fundamental aspect of the party), anyone can contribute to the manifesto, anyone can join the conversation here, and anyone can see all our planning. There isn’t anything concrete that would change if you became a member.

However, maybe that doesn’t matter. Maybe instead of asking for mailing list signups, volunteers, and donations, we bite the membership bullet and go for it.

So, forgetting the how we would support membership (which we can talk about on https://trello.com/c/3d9kVdWP/16-membership-system), my question is:

What does membership of Something New mean to you?

What would you want? What would you expect? What would you pay?


#2

How about: join as a member, and:

  • Pay £5 a month
  • Get listed on our public member list
  • Access to a restricted area of discourse?
  • Optionally pay extra for a membership card?

#3

Heh, my main reason for coming on tonight was to ask this very question :slight_smile: Mind meld! Although, I’ve been thinking about it mainly in the context of how we on-board new members to our tech.

I’m still a fan of no membership fee and doing campaign-specific funding drives instead. For example, I like the idea of combining open primaries for candidates with funding drives - then folks have an emotional as well as financial commitment to the candidate.

I’m not convinced there would be any benefit in having private members things either. Everything open by default :slight_smile:

Membership would literally just be a badge of honour… being part of the movement :wink:

We could literally do badges, of course… a badge for each campaign you helped fund, a badge for manifesto contributions (with levels), a badge for attending events, etc.


#4

Yeah, agree, we never had a membership fee to keep it open to everyone, but does that simply feel like you’re not part of anything? People value free things inherently less than things they paid for, even if they get the same thing.

Also, open by default is definitely the way, I’m nervous of anything that we feel we have to keep closed.


#5

At the ODI we’re doing pay-what-you-can membership now, and we could do the same. Start at a pound a month, and go up from there, perhaps.


#6

Oh that’s a good idea - maybe we just say “pay what you want - even nothing”?


#7

I’ve only just arrived here so still looking around to get my bearings but I think in truth there is a big difference between an open community and a membership… As the open community feels less focused and more like a social hang out to chat about point of views,membership feels move focused and a commitment to moving towards greater change and expanding and developing what you have created already. I think it comes down to what you want to achieve and the outcomes that are set. Membership Cost is always going to be a questionable area as it can be off putting but it’s amazing how invested people feel when they pay into something… At the end of the day I love the idea of using things like crowd funding for most things but you could have a very simple membership fee of £5 a year which would cover the cost of producing and sending the person a membership card… Fees can in time change but from small acons mighty oaks will grow…


#8

Also I would avoid a monthly amount as it can be difficult for some people


#9

Thanks @Plagueis, I really agree with the “feel” aspect. It’s a way of letting people really feel part of something. I guess if we frame things around membership then it encourages more mental buy-in, but doesn’t mean that we have to restrict access to anything.

Also, you reckon monthly is more difficult? I’d have though a larger annual chunk would be harder… but I don’t know.


#10

Having said that there’s no reason we can’t have monthly and annual options. Easily done.


#11

Love this idea! Using sites like Kickstarter and offering incentives would really attract a new audience… Would need to make sure it’s all open and transparent though…

Membership should be an email list and the payments should be optional. Don’t like the exclusive content thing but the badges for each campaign you’ve funded is a brilliant engaging idea…

A lot of parties (such as my old party) make members only feel like an income source


#12

The first thing I looked for was a “how to join”.

I feel that membership, even if it is just a simple list or a badge, makes you part of something. That is something I would definitively sign up for.


#13

Right! I’ve set up a simple membership scheme using Zoho. If you have a chance, can you give it a test and post feedback here? This is NOT LIVE, it’s just testing for now. Don’t spread it around :slight_smile:

Give it a try at: http://somethingnew.org.uk/join.html

You can click the “successful payment” link on the subscription form to get a fake credit card that will “work” for your subscription.

Any bits of strange wording, UX, flow, emails, report it back here and I’ll improve it over the next few days. Would be nice to launch in the next couple of weeks.


#14

Obvious first thing - I’ve not designed the invoice email at all, so the confirmation of membership email is very default business-like. I’ll adjust that to be more welcoming and party-like :slight_smile:


#15

My first suggestion would be to make it less wordy at the start, perhaps bullets instead like;

  • Membership is free!
  • We do everything in the open, and anyone can take part
  • Join today and pay what you like - even nothing!
  • We don’t mind if you’ve already joined another party. We welcome it!

Maybe not the first one, but you get the idea.


#16

On the Thanks page, perhaps we should replace this line:

Thank you for joining the party. Here are some next steps on how to get involved!

with something a bit bolder that says something like

Help us build a new kind of politics today!


#17

Will make those changes - the text was very hurried, so definitely needs works. The process looked like it worked, which is good - I got an email saying you’d signed up… Did it all make sense?


#18

Sorry, forgot to follow up. Yep it was easy to follow and quick which is perfect.


#19

OK, I’ve done some improvements to the text on those pages. See what you think. I’ll start converting over to live membership later on today I think, and launch tomorrow with luck!


#20

Got a couple of support tickets open with Zoho, but we’re nearly ready I think.