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hayfevered

new users can't join the slam for free

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i knew that change was coming. i think staff mentioned that 'certain parts' of the website would be pay-to-play but i assumed that just meant each issue as it came out digitally instead of print? and since cicada is such a good community ive been telling my friends to sign up because in the past everyone has always had access to the Slam.

the slam meaning fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, and maybe the added whatever, RP, and poll categories. i understand blocking off blogs, magazine issues, and stuff like that for paying customers, but the slam? ive been having so much fun with you guys, but this doesn't feel....right. it doesn't feel like the spirit of cicada's slam. i guess none of us really realized that this had happened because we all got cicada pro? and i tried to make a new account just to see but that 'sign up' button redirects to a page where you have to pay monthly or yearly or something like that.

you can view the slam, but you can't participate. i understand capitalism and all that, but this feels....excessive. i don't know how to feel about this.

thoughts, everyone?

Edited by drowntown
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holla holla get dolla

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Yes, the Slam has always been free before and Cicada used the money they got from magazines. Unless they've been having economic problems, I think they should keep things the way they were. They obviously need to make some things not free because the need money, and it makes sense that those things would be the magazines because magazines are generally something you pay for. Here on the Slam, though, I feel like we shouldn't shut people out based on whether they can pay because our community won't be as vibrant or as useful to us as writers. People who can't or don't want to pay for the magazine would still be able to get a full experience out of the Slam, I think. Writing is a commodity, but community shouldn't be.

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3 hours ago, Apollo's Lover said:

 Writing is a commodity, but community shouldn't be.

I totally agree. I think that having people pay for the Slam is excessive. I understand making people pay for an online subscription to a magazine, but making people pay for community is sorta ridiculous.

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Not quite sure where I'm going, but I'm going somewhere, that's for sure.

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5 hours ago, Apollo's Lover said:

Writing is a commodity, but community shouldn't be.

This. I agree 100%. I'm not sure if I can continue using Cicada for the Slam if the community stays an exclusive paid-only club.... like. i talked to my datemate about this and they had some super good points, like? the average readership is 14-20ish. My datemate and i both fall in that broad category, and if we don't hve the money to pay for a subscription, then what 14-16 year old without income will? I understand that reading the magazine is necessary for revenue to keep Cicada going, and that website redesign is expensive (im actually in the middle of trying to redesign the Belletrist site and our quote is over 2k) but this just...doesn't feel right. new users are the lifeblood of the slam and are what keeps it going after older users move on in life or age out. it really is a grey-area issue, but... i don't know. maybe only open up the three main categories to users who want to sign up, in the spirit of the old slam site? fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. i love this site and the community. i dont want it to be shut off to new writers looking for a safe place to share their work.

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I don't have a way to coherently say what I think about this in print, but I have a lot of feelings about all of this. I had a community, in reality, who loved and accepted me for whatever I was, and I still do. However, there are a lot of people who aren't as lucky as I was and am, and need another space to exist. And even if you're like me and have an existing community offline, this is still a great place to be and to express yourself. I have nobody offline who critiques my work, or is interested in sharing any of theirs with me. I had no idea that online RPing was a thing that people did, or even really how to do it (still working on that, btw). I think that unless Cicada is in Massive Financial Trouble (and if they are, I can accept their decision better, I will admit), they should keep at least a basic version of the Slam up to everyone, for free. I know that eventually, I might not be able to stay, and I don't want that to happen yet. Ideally, all of the Slam should be open to all of the people who want to use it, but I understand that stuff happens and money exist and not everything is ideal. Excluding people is the exact opposite of what the Slam tries to do. 

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yall get me. this is exactly how i feel on the matter. im kind of anxious to @ mention any of the staff to let them know abt this tho? (what are the odds they already saw this tho skdgjkdjfs)


holla holla get dolla

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Yeah, I agree with everything said before. I'm even gonna use proper capitalization and everything for this because I do really feel strongly about this- Especially with what Logan said about the problem with paying for a subscription. Even if kids can pay for a subscription,we don't have credit cards. (To the best of my knowledge, at least. I'm a kid, I should know, but I dunno what my peers are up to these days!) The Slam is purposefully made to be somewhere that it's comfortable to be totally and completely yourself, and that raises a lot of questions when it comes to getting parents or other adults with credit cards to pay for access to it. Keeping at least part of the site free gives kids a chance to express themselves without having to get permission from other people in their life to express themselves, just as making it pay only limits that chance for a lot of kids. I dunno, that's my major qualm with it, but I also get they need money to keep everything up, so it's all kind of an unfortunate moral gray, I think!

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current number of classic lit characters ive gone out of my way to project on and reason out why they might be gay: 8

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The staff is omnipotent and omniscient, I’m sure they’ve seen this. But I agree about @ ing them. It’s kinda... I don’t know. At least we all agree on this.

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@conradbirdie exactly. if my parents had even read some of the things published in cicada itself when i had some of the print issues, they would have stopped paying because of the 'agenda' behind it. i have a debit card linked to a bank account with money ive earned myself through working (and it's already been entirely emptied out once by my parents, which was devastating because i had a lot of savings in there... luckily i got it all back) but a monthly report comes in the mail and they'd spot the charge for the site, which is wildly dangerous for me. ive been here two-ish years now, and cicada's been a wonderful safe place when my home life got almost unbearable, and when i move out this august i have no clue what kind of money ill have for when my year's subscription times out.

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holla holla get dolla

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You know, I was thinking about this the other day and @drowntown you reminded me. The main page says "it’s a space where teens can see their truths explored and celebrated." The Slam is, by Cicada's own description, a safe space for LGBTQ+ and other marginalized teenagers, and such spaces are frighteningly lacking. I'm lucky in that my parents are supportive, but I looked at the now-you-have-to-pay announcement and I thought, "what about the kids who aren't so lucky? what about the kids who need that safe space because they don't receive it in their home? what about the kids who can't ask their unsupportive parents to pay for a website that calls itself 'an intersectional, LGBTQAI+ friendly publication' on its front page?" It's not fair for those kids to lose that. It's not fair for those of you who need this the most to be cut off because they can't pay. It's fine to put a price tag on a magazine, but on a forum for us to connect with each other? It's just not right.

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@thepensword Oh and see I have the opposite problem, my parents are accepting and whatnot but they are paranoid about anything where I talk to anyone online, so I have zero support when it comes to my LGBTQ+ness (due to living in a suuuper conservative area) I mean, I just need a way to convince my parents that this is a truly safe space and they'll keep paying for it, but idk if I can...

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I was wondering about the Pro stamp on the profile. This really sucks.

I don't like that new slam users have to pay. In my experience, the Slam has been a really open and accepting community, and to hear that in order to be a part of the community, one has to buy a subscription, is upsetting.

Membership in a vibrant, safe, and inclusive community of creative teens. 

I would like my Slam community to be vibrant, safe, and inclusive.

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-Hydralio

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It took me a long time to think of a reply to this thread—this is an important and difficult topic, so I think the best I can do is to be honest with you. (Also, please know that this is 100% the kind of feedback we need to hear, and you definitely don’t need to feel weird about being open with us.)

The print CICADA Magazine had a very devoted readership, but the fact is, it was just too small to keep us going. The old Slam had a larger and equally passionate constituency. Many Slammers also subscribed to CICADA, but the majority did not. Our subs just weren’t enough to pay the bills. It came down to a choice between making some very difficult changes and losing CICADA and the Slam entirely.

We had to find a way to be able to cover our costs for publishing CICADA while maintaining our community, so the decision was made to combine the magazine and the Slam, and add new features, new forums, and new capabilities. We want to provide an even better community than before, to justify a membership fee, and we are always thinking of new ways to do that and working on putting those plans in motion.

We understand that decision in itself excludes some Slammers, and we’re sad to lose a single one. We’re glad for the dialogue about these issues, and your honesty and commitment to inclusivity makes us proud to have you in our community. That said, we’d love to hear your ideas for solutions. (If you would be more comfortable reaching out directly instead of posting here, you’re also welcome to email us: cicada@cricketmedia.com).

Let’s keep this conversation going.

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Normal human editor-person with a normal four-chambered human heart (one owner since new). I love breathing Earth oxygen.

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Ok! Thanks for communicating with us; I understand your choice now. I haven't got any suggestions at the moment, but I will think about it, and I'm sure some more economically capable slammers will have ideas.

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Maybe there could be an option to pay a bit extra towards "Scholarships" where people who can't afford/access the Slam with these changes could apply to receive a membership, and the lovely CICADA staff wouldn't be forced to make cuts?

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14 hours ago, The Invincible Troodon said:

Maybe there could be an option to pay a bit extra towards "Scholarships" where people who can't afford/access the Slam with these changes could apply to receive a membership, and the lovely CICADA staff wouldn't be forced to make cuts?

That’s a great suggestion, and we’ve been thinking along similar lines. Thanks for engaging with this imaginatively—we really want to try to make this work for everyone.

 

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Normal human editor-person with a normal four-chambered human heart (one owner since new). I love breathing Earth oxygen.

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a 'pay it forward' system seems awesome! if even a couple people paid an extra $4 (is that the amount per month?) then maybe yall could take a page out of the book of toyhou.se, a site where it's join-code-holders-only and each member (depending on if they pay) gets two join codes per week. that's kind of a lot of join codes, but what if the pay it forward (scholarships) function would go to each member having a join code to give to a friend that would allow that friend access for a month to everything? like a free trial... and the free version could be ONLY having access to certain forums or something?

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On 3/2/2018 at 4:19 PM, drowntown said:

a 'pay it forward' system seems awesome! if even a couple people paid an extra $4 (is that the amount per month?) then maybe yall could take a page out of the book of toyhou.se, a site where it's join-code-holders-only and each member (depending on if they pay) gets two join codes per week. that's kind of a lot of join codes, but what if the pay it forward (scholarships) function would go to each member having a join code to give to a friend that would allow that friend access for a month to everything? like a free trial... and the free version could be ONLY having access to certain forums or something?

I didn't know something like that existed! On the other hand, plenty of people use this site who don't know anyone in real life with a subscription. I certainly didn't. Even if that helps, it operates off an elite(ish) "so-long-as-you-know-a-guy" system.

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I suppose if someone needed a "scholarship", they could apply for one, and if one was available they would get one. The people who could would have to pay though, so the people who couldn't wouldn't have to.

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I'ma stay out of this cause I have very bad solutions to this kind of thing. But, a scholarship system would be a very good idea. I hope a good solution is found, the lack of content posted is really sad. 


what is life without love?

what is love without pain?

what is pain without suffering?

but is love suffering?

-Connor

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if there were a free version of the site and people were donating to the scholarships/pay it forward fund then maybe each month there could be a raffle for the free users to get a chance at premium? and like...to avoid inactive accounts, each month staff could make a 'heart this post to enter the raffle' thing and then use a random number generator or something

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