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Now that I've got your attention, let me begin...
I do not get to write much. Sometimes, however, the planets correctly align, my moods meld together and I find just the right irritational essay to send me off on a rant. So, without further interruption...
This is my rant to those who think we don't
provide enough free services on Writing.Com.
When I first came to Writing.Com almost two years ago, I thought it was really neat. Because you could publish yourself and get feedback for free. But things have changed. For example, I wanted to enter the contest for Wired magazine. But I can't because I have to give money. Money that is not worth it. Maybe two years ago I would have because the site was great then. But now, YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING IN THIS "COMMUNITY" WITHOUT HAVING TO PAY MONEY. And that's wrong. It was my understanding when I first came to this community - it was to promote literature; now it's just like all the others - money traps that you get nothing back from. I'm pissed because I really liked Writing.Com... But now that you have to pay money for this gift points for that.... It's not worth it anymore.
And I would like to thank both of you for putting a price tag on the top of your list.
Thanks for absolutely nothing,
Name removed to spare embarassment.
You can't do anything? Really?
Looks like you posted this essay as an item on Writing.Com; FOR FREE.
And it looks like you have access to post up to 5 items in your portfolio: FOR FREE.
... and create interactive stories - free.
... and start a campfire creative - free.
... and make madlibs - free.
... and ask questions in polls - free.
... and review your favorite books - free.
... and stump others with word searches - FREE!
As for community; You have access to instant messaging for instant communications within the community - FOR FREE.
You have access to talk in forums; How much does that cost? No cost... it's FREE! And to participate in other members' Interactive Stories? FREE! You can participate in IN & OUTS - FREE. Vote in POLLS - FREE. Complete wordsearches, FREE! Join campfires, FREE! and even get involved with established groups - FREE!!!! *Whew*
You have access to promote your work freely on the Plug Page linked from "Item Jumps" - again, this is FREE. Requesting Reviews is free from the "Request Reviews" page, also found in the "Item Jumps" pull down.
You have access to over 50 FREE contests run by Writing.Com members; they are linked from the "Contests @ Writing.Com" link in the "Item Jumps" pull down, again, FREE! Not to mention the other contests not listed there that are promoted within forums and sponsored areas of the site.
You receive Gift Points for FREE each day you login to Writing.Com (accessing your account is always FREE of course).
You can receive free Gift Points for reviewing members you have not reviewed before as part of "The Review Mixer" . Review more than 3 items in a day and there's more free Gift Points headed your way from "Daily Review Rewards" . A little activity within our community can lead to enough Gift Points for a paid membership, for free.
You are even able to receive Gift Points from users who DO financially support this site (thereby making it possible for it to be FREE for someone like you - who obviously doesn't at all appreciate it) - and that ability is FREE; We don't charge a Gift Point transfer fee as a bank would... or as credit card companies do.
You can receive reviews (FREE) and ratings (FREE) and you can READ the works of others (FREE) and rate their work (FREE) and review their works too - and guess what? Right, it's ALL FREE!
You can spell check your work... for FREE, of course; But we should charge if you choose not to spell check it... don't ya think? You can edit your items any time you would like; day or night - FREE. Delete them at will - cause that is FREE too.
We copy and back up your work to separate hard drives every few hours and to digital tapes weekly so we keep your thoughts and ideas safe - FREE!
Well wait, what about email?
Send it; receive it... Free, FREE.
Delete it, read it, save it, forward it... reply to it... free, free, free, free... FREE!
You can keep track of all the items you like the most or visit often in your Favorites... Free.
You can keep track of the site's Authors you like... Use of "My Authors" is also FREE.
Preferred Authors get a BILLBOARD on the "Who's Online" page... that's FREE too.
All members have a PUBLIC PORTFOLIO free! They get a Bioblock, FREE, and can highlight their favorite items... for FREE!
You can search the site for FREE.
Stop by some of the "Review Forums" that are listed from the "Item Jumps" pull down. You will find plenty of Members willing to review your work and help you improve your writing; At no cost... Free.
What about the not so obviously FREE gifts from Writing.Com? Have you thought about how much one can improve their reading and writing skills just by spending time on the site? I hear from and about people who have increased their verbal SATs all the time... Parents who are so proud that their child raised their grade in English class by a full letter or even two... I've even heard from business professionals who can finish their jobs faster because their reading skills have increased so much.
But best of all...
You can meet people, have fun and enjoy a warm community atmosphere... FOR FREE.
Thanks for absolutely nothing,
It is clear that you haven't thought about your words in the least bit. I, however, did.
I take a lot of pride in the fact the Writing.Com is able to provide so many incredible features and opportunities for FREE. Many other sites have tried and failed while we are growing strong.
The desire to receive everything for free is understandable, but you must step back from that and realize it is a selfish desire. You must realize that Writing.Com is a business and it does need money to function.
The "it all has to be free or nothing" method of thought will get you nowhere. If you need it all to be free, then you need to leave Writing.Com. Some people don't understand why I say that; but it is simple: Because if Writing.Com did not have paid services, Writing.Com would not be able to exist... and then you wouldn't be able to use it anyway. Right?
~~ The StoryMaster
For the record:
- This was written in 2002 but has been updated from time to time as we add and improve our services and offerings.
- The person who wrote the original essay was of a young age. They had not thought their words through before posting. Since this feeling is, in some ways, shared by others, I am responding more to the general "accusation" that the site doesn't have enough Free things and to the "tone" in which said case is always presented than I am to this particular person.
- Free members may not enter an occassional Writing.Com site run contest because, in some cases, we need to limit the amount of entries that we could possibly receive. Our prizes are also very expensive. As such they are a benefit to those who financially support the site, the same people who give us the ability to offer the expensive prizes in the first place.