Long Story Short
SGXcafe will continue to be free, but to cover for the high operating costs due to licensing, I would like to invite you to do one or more of the following if you would like to show your support for SGXcafe.
1) Help increase awareness of SGXcafe. You can do this via your blog, share SGXcafe’s articles on facebook, or simply via word of mouth to people whom you believe can benefit from SGXcafe.
2) Donate to SGXcafe. Any amount is greatly appreciated, but if you make a donation of at least SGD 30 (which is less than 10 cents a day), you will become a Friend of SGXcafe for a year, and that would allow you to participate in private surveys, discussions and more that would shape the future of SGXcafe.
I sincerely invite you to do one or more of the above if you feel that SGXcafe has been providing you value in your investment journey.
The Long Story
Recently, I contemplated charging a small monthly fee for the usage of SGXcafe due to licensing issues which has increased SGXcafe’s operating cost by several hundred times from just several tens of dollars to several tens of thousands of dollars yearly.
After further consideration and feedback, I have decided to keep SGXcafe free for a few reasons.
1) When I was contemplating how much to charge, what features should be in which tier, and how to convert users from non-paying to paying, it was all a big headache to me. More importantly, thinking about all these and then having to implement them takes up a good amount of time, which I could have otherwise used to actually make SGXcafe better.
I started SGXcafe partly because I wanted to have fun sharing knowledge and information, and I would much rather spend my time that way rather than constantly thinking about how I can gain that extra dollar from users.
2) I recently read a book where it talks about social exchange vs market exchange. Currently, SGXcafe is based on social exchange, where I am freely sharing knowledge and information and other users are also contributing by freely sharing their portfolios and patiently sharing their thoughts on how SGXcafe can be better. If it becomes a paid service, it would become a market exchange where users would have likely higher expectations and less patience, even if it is just a few dollars a month.
Therefore, on second thought, I feel that by making it a paid service would take the fun out of creating SGXcafe and might potentially create more problems than it actually solves.
However, there is still the very real problem of several tens of thousands dollars in licensing fees to pay yearly. In the long run, I hope that advertising revenue will be able to cover that. But currently, advertising revenue is able to cover only 10-15% of the licensing fees, which means that SGXcafe would have to grow by around ten times to achieve that goal. So in the short term, before SGXcafe can run solely on advertising revenue, I would like to ask for donations to SGXcafe. Any amount is greatly appreciated but any amount equal or higher than SGD 30 would make you a Friend of SGXcafe for a year and that would enable you to participate in private surveys and discussions mainly centered around the future of SGXcafe.
Why SGD 30? I chose this amount because (1) it is less than 10 cents a day, and (2) if every active user of SGXcafe donates that amount, it will be sufficient to fully cover the licensing fees.
Why Friend of SGXcafe? As I was mulling over the recent issues, I feel there are limitations to what a single person can do. Hence, I would like to invite more people to join me in making decisions for SGXcafe. If you are willing to support by donating, the act itself shows that you care about SGXcafe, and I value the opinions of people who care about SGXcafe.
How will donations be used? Donations will be used solely for licensing fees, and in the happy event where donations exceed licensing fees, I will ask Friends of SGXcafe on how we should use the extra cash; save for next year? License more in-depth data? License more exchanges’ data such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, or others?
Thank you for your support; Let’s work together to make SGXcafe better!