Are you a paying subscriber for any website online? How much are the annual fees?
August 19, 2004 8:03 PM   Subscribe

Are you a paying subscriber for any website online? How much are the annual fees? Is it worth it?

I'm subscribed to Atlas F1 at $48 per annum, and to me it's worth every penny. I get indept Formula 1 coverage fast and written by extremely smart and unbiased people. I got a reminder to renew my annual subscription with them next week, and that's what made me think about this question.
posted by riffola to Computers & Internet (37 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm subscribed to the Straight Dope Message Board. Five dollars this year, $7.50 per year after that; but that's just because I was an early subscriber. Now it's $15 a year, and yes it is worth it. The people there are very smart and very amusing, and it's home to some of the best debates on the Internet.
posted by punishinglemur at 8:17 PM on August 19, 2004

I'm a Goon as of a month or so ago, goaded on by a friend who's been at SomethingAwful for years. It's a pretty cool place, and the fact that you have to pay to go ($10 lifetime membership if memory serves, plus plenty of extras for more money, such as avatar changes, no ads, searching ability, etc, etc) weeds out the lower few levels of idiots and trolls and such which plague other, free communities.

However, a one-time $10 payment isn't a _ton_, so it's not like the place is an ivory tower full of rich snobs, either. Far from it. And while I rarely stray from the tech forum, there's discussions about every concievable topic at SA, from what I can tell.

Other than that, I shy away from paying for stuff online. Other than a $5 donation to queso's PIX firewall fund the other night :D
posted by cyrusdogstar at 8:19 PM on August 19, 2004

I subscribe to Salon. For us New Zealanders, it's $US30 pa. I'm very happy with them. I think they have a different rate for furriners and their funny money, so USians might have to pay more.

I also subscribe to Linux Weekly News ( It is narrow-interest, but the writing and research are superb. Currently I pay $US5 per month.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:22 PM on August 19, 2004

Not sure if this counts but I bought a Merriam-Webster's Dictionary just so I could get the free online membership to The book was only C$17 and included an annual membership and a CD-Rom with full dictionary whereas the membershp price is us$15-$30 per year (depending on level you chose). I use it a few times a week so it's worth it to me.
posted by dobbs at 8:25 PM on August 19, 2004

One of the good things about subscribing to Salon is that you get a bunch of other magazine subscriptions thrown in along with it. It's a better deal than just subscribing to those magazines on their own, usually.

What does membership at get you? I use it all the time to look up words with a little javascript popup thing, but haven't ever been asked to pay.
posted by bcwinters at 8:38 PM on August 19, 2004

Response by poster: Oh shoot I didn't count SA Forums, yeah, I'm on there too. Excellent responses thus far, thanks for sharing you all!
posted by riffola at 8:38 PM on August 19, 2004

I've got MLB Gameday Audio. For $15/year, you can listen to any and every baseball game of the season. Listening to day games at the office is nice.
posted by letitrain at 8:46 PM on August 19, 2004

so friggin worth it.


also, bcwinters: membership at m-w gets you a more complete dictionary -- if i recall correctly, the free one is only the collegiate, which I believe isn't as complete of a lexicon that one recieves with a full membership.
posted by fishfucker at 8:54 PM on August 19, 2004

I have Salon -- I signed up to get a free copy of the Joseph Wilson book (which languishes unread on the shelf, but whatever.) Plus I get the New York Review of Books, Granta, and I am supposed to get Wired and US News and World Report, but those haven't arrived yet. I'm a magazine and book junkie so it was worth it for me -- if the book wasn't part of the deal I would still be doing the daypass.

I paid $35, I think.
posted by sugarfish at 9:01 PM on August 19, 2004

Ah, I knew there was another reason why Salon subscriptions are cheaper for foreigners - no free mags, I presume because of postage costs. Although I get free access to TNR online, which I never use.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:01 PM on August 19, 2004

Sugarfish: did you pay $35 for all those sites? Isn't the NYRB alone more than that?
posted by kenko at 9:10 PM on August 19, 2004

bcwinters, yeah,'s pay sites have more complete dictionaries. The free site that you use is m-w online. Then they have m-w collegiate, which is more words, and then m-w unabridged. I basically found out about it when I was looking up words that weren't in the free version and it told me how to access them. The deal I got for the book/cd-rom/site is superb. The book has a cover price of $35 but I guess because of back to school all dictionaries at Indigo (Canadian book chain) were 40% off and if you have a membership at the store you get an extra 10 % off so I got the thing for $17.50.
posted by dobbs at 9:19 PM on August 19, 2004

I paid for Salon because it came with a Wired subscription, some other free magazine, and some sort of free piece of crap. I was going to pay $15 for Wired anyway, so I pitched in the extra $15 to get salon and wired.

and easynews is the greatest place on the web but don't tell anyone about it
posted by mathowie at 9:27 PM on August 19, 2004

WSJ online, just 'cuz. Cheap compared to a delivery subscription ($79/yr), helps keep me up to speed, and you actually get access to a bunch of Dow Jones content, beyond just the Journal.
posted by LairBob at 9:34 PM on August 19, 2004

I paid either five or ten USD to join the Steel Guitar Forum. I think the cost (paper check only!) is more of a mechanism to ensure people post under their real names than a revenue source.
posted by stet at 9:49 PM on August 19, 2004

i signed up for an wiki to organize our wedding. if i'd had the mental space, i would have installed my own, but i was a victim of bride brain. at $5 a month, it is/was well worth the cost as we could all access the info from home, work, etc. i also have a salon membership.
posted by heather at 9:52 PM on August 19, 2004

i buy salon for the articles! (and tabletalk)
posted by kv at 10:15 PM on August 19, 2004

Salon. Have given money to Sluggy Freelance in the past.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:23 AM on August 20, 2004

I'm disappointed no-one's mentioned any porn sites yet.
posted by wackybrit at 1:19 AM on August 20, 2004 [1 favorite]

I used to pay to download at premium speeds from AudioGalaxy, before they turned into what they currently are.
posted by ajbattrick at 4:10 AM on August 20, 2004

I have a subscription to O'Reilly's Safari Bookshelf. It's $99US per year. You get 5 slots for books from a good selection of tech publishers. When you put a book in a slot you have to leave it there for a month, and then you can pick a different book. It's great.
posted by cCranium at 5:06 AM on August 20, 2004

kenko: I pay for Salon only -- everything else came gratis with the subscription, and they are the real deal paper magazines.
posted by sugarfish at 5:37 AM on August 20, 2004

I was under the impression, too, that the Merriam-Webster dictionary which is free on the site is the 10th Edition of the Collegiate, while that you get when you pay is the 11th Edition. They add (and remove) thousands of words in each edition, so it's no small difference.
posted by Mo Nickels at 5:44 AM on August 20, 2004

I paid for in the past till the owner spewed political diarrhaea on one of my posts (when Al Gore become one of the board of directors, Scott's a huge neo-con and promptly responded with about 6 hate filled posts)

I've paid for Sluggy Freelance in the past, the only reason I didn't continue is because their sign in stuff never worked for me. I'd have to log in every time to avoid the ads.

I paid for the Wall Street Journal online but I'm dropping it.

I have a subscription at Live365.

I had a subscription at Audible but I dumped it, I just don't have enough free hours in a month to listen to an audio book and I only drive 10 minutes to get to work.

I used to subscribe to NetFlix but realized I never actually watched the movies I rented. Even if I have enough time I wouldn't consider returning. They had no online mechanism for unsubscribing, you had to call in. I find that offensive.

I subscribe to Suicide Girls but I only look at it for the pictures, honest!

I subscribe to about a dozen IEEE periodicals online.

The only one I will continue for sure is the IEEE and it's fairly expensive when you add it up. (I think I'm around 800/year there right now) though what I subscribe to fluctuates. I'll probably start reading up on nanotechnology next year.
posted by substrate at 6:16 AM on August 20, 2004 because it's a great community of book people, although they use the vile webcrossing.
posted by theora55 at 6:17 AM on August 20, 2004

I once donated $10 to SoulSeek for priority download privileges for a month. It was pretty amazing being able to click on almost any album and having it download immediately. I stopped when I learned that Nir, the Soulseek guy, lives pretty well in San Francisco just from the donations.
posted by zsazsa at 6:19 AM on August 20, 2004

I pay $20/year for Pyramid from Steve Jackson Games. You get the online magazine plus their newsfeed. Worth the price if you're a gamer but otherwise not.
posted by maurice at 6:36 AM on August 20, 2004

I subscribe to Salon, which is worth it to me solely for the single-page daily download, which I used to grab every day on my Sidekick for subway reading ('till I lost it...). I also pay for a few fantasy baseball services. Next season, I'll probably pony up a few bucks for Baseball Prospectus.
posted by mkultra at 6:40 AM on August 20, 2004

My annual subscription just came up for renewal. They offer handy scheduled database queries for subscribers, and that alone has been worth the $35 or so I paid. They also provide some kind of subscriber benefits for forum users, but the forum has proven to be truly worthless.
posted by majick at 6:48 AM on August 20, 2004

I joined, which is a fun site, but I haven't been active there for a while. I've also paid for optional extra stats and information in my fantasy baseball league at Yahoo (but I'm still in last place this year).

Oh, and I pay Matt $50 a year to come here. Don't you guys?
posted by Songdog at 8:17 AM on August 20, 2004

  • (something like $75/year for all the add-on packages they offer--censuses, newspaper archives, etc.)

  • (has some census indexes that doesn't offer, has other files)
  • the NY Times' paid archive (back to 1895)

  • the Wall Street Journal online (no newsprint on fingers)

  • National Review Digital version (so I don't have copies of the mag cluttering up the house)

  • Previously:
  • the UK census site which I only used like once and let my subscription lapse

  • used to pay for Blogspot Pro before they went free, but then I switched to MT

  • got grandfathered into Live365 when they went for-pay

  • used to subscribe to TotalFark but almost never read it

  • and a whole bunch of other sites I'm surely forgetting...

    And yes, donations to Matt too for Metafilter. It's only right.
    posted by Asparagirl at 9:42 AM on August 20, 2004

    NYTimes Crossword Puzzles.
    posted by grumblebee at 10:05 AM on August 20, 2004

    Ooooh, Atlas F1 looks keen; thanks alot! I've been getting my F1 news from, which is decent, but doesn't look anywhere near as nice as Atlas.

    I have a lifetime membership to PlasmaDesign, as I mentioned in the desktop thread. Aside from that, the only online service that I'm paying for is my Puzzle Pirates account.
    posted by jammer at 12:35 PM on August 20, 2004

    I have been known to pitch a couple of bucks at Obscure Store every couple of months. Given that it's the source of just about every "wacky news" item that gets widespread coverage in online and offline media, I'd say it's worth supporting.
    posted by majick at 2:12 PM on August 20, 2004

    Used to subscribe at Suicidegirls as well, years ago. Tha
    Tried this year - didn't end up going there often enough to make it worthwhile.
    Was a Dieselsweeties Clango Club member too for awhile.

    Nothing currently though.
    posted by Lizc at 2:22 PM on August 20, 2004

    Oh yeah, I forgot about O'Reilly's Safari. And a subscription to the Perl Journal, too.
    posted by Zed_Lopez at 3:12 PM on August 20, 2004

    Now I feel ashamed, Asparagirl. I was trying to make a joke. I guess I'd better break out the checkbook!
    posted by Songdog at 7:02 AM on August 23, 2004

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