I think we have created a lovely community here. As part of that, in an attempt to pay the bills, we are doing our level best to not be tempted by conventional advertising. Over the years we have dabbled and experimented with many things. And made a lot of hard choices on what flavor of community we want to be. While simultaneously trying to seek out our greater mission of infecting more brains with permaculture.
For this next bit I need to add some vocabulary:
A closed account cannot post, but users can open and close their account over and over. A closed account will receive no emails from us. A person could, if they wanted to, open their account, write a post, and then close their account again. I have heard that there are a few people that do exactly this.
A locked account gets no email from us and cannot post. But the user cannot unlock their account.
About six years ago, I sent an email out to everybody that had an account on permies.com. It had been a couple of years since I had done that - and I felt like it was overdue. While I got a lot of positive responses, I also received three hostile responses demanding to never get an email like that again. I closed their accounts to make sure that they never received an e-mail again. One of those 3 People then wrote to me again demanding that I reopen their account. Apparently that person insisted on having the ability to post to my forums and did not want to hear any of my drivel emails.
So that meant that this person wanted to be able to post to my forums but did not want to receive an email from me every year or two... An email from me to the people that are signed up for my forums. I locked the account. I feel like this person is not part of the community I created, but rather, just wants to use my community for his own purposes. Not a fit.
I thought about it even more... what if I sent emails out more often... Where might I draw the line at saying if somebody were upset that I would not like to publish their stuff. I could understand if I send something once a week and they felt that was too much. How about once a month? I felt that once a month was just right. If somebody got upset that I was sending them an email once a month then I don't want to publish their stuff. I think that there are lots of people that would be perfectly comfortable receiving an email from me once a month or even more often. These are my peeps. These are the people where I am comfortable publishing their stuff.
It was a long and winding road to get here, but I'm feeling pretty comfortable about this decision.
If you agree with this decision, please put a thumbs up on this post.