Recently a number of participants of the PFRE flickr group have requested a discussion group that is more civil and controlled than the PFRE flickr group has become. Several of the popular mentors in the flickr group have left because they felt abused or disrespected by the group.
This is frustrating because the PFRE Flickr group administrators (Tyra Pacheco and myself), don't have all the tools required to fix the problems group members raise. Part of the problem is undoubtedly the fact that membership is free and open to anyone so members have nothing to loose if they are abusive to others.
The subject of a subscription discussion group was recently suggested in the PFRE flickr group. I've been working on an vision of the next level of a real estate photography online learning site and one of the components of that subscription site is a discussion group. The entire site is far from complete, but it would be possible to turn on the discussion group portion of it in the near future.
I want to get input and discussion on what readers think the concept of a subscription PFRE discussion group. Here's a list of features I'm thinking about:
- For beginning real estate photographers there would be a yearly subscription. Probably around $30 or $40 USD.
- This new subscription site probably would NOT replace the current PFRE flickr group. Flickr is very popular and could continue to perform a valuable function for many. Flickr is easy to use. Ease of use features like exporting directly to flickr from Lightroom, Aperture and iPhoto will be difficult or impossible to replace in an new discussion site.
- For what I will call mentors the site would be free. The general idea is that experienced real estate photographers perform a valuable role of answering questions and providing help, etc. In the current flickr group that all goes unrewarded. In this new model, mentors could be rewarded in several ways.
- In addition, to getting free membership mentors would also have an opportunity to get paid for their real estate photography content like videos or tutorials that they create for use on the site.
- The way the mentor payment could work is that there would eventually be several levels of subscriptions to the site. The lowest would be just the discussion group. Other levels of membership would cost more and subscribers would get access to some or all of the premium content provided by mentors. The mentors providing the content would get paid for it.
- There would have to be a limited number of mentors. I'm not sure at this point how to choose them. We'd have to see if anyone wanted the job.
- Banning from the discussion group would be an option in this new discussion group. My inclination would be to leave banning to the judgment of the subscribers. Any one could suggest a banning but it would take some percentage of the subscribers to vote for banning another member.
As you can see, I haven't got it all worked out yet but I'd like your help and ideas on this subject so we can learn from the short comings of the current discussion group and take it to the next level. Is this idea something that would be of value to people?