2009-03-19 06:40 pm (UTC)
My answers are a bit misleading since several of the reasons didn't apply at the time I bought my first paid account; so if I were starting out on LiveJournal right now, my reasons would surely be different.
For starters, there were no ads back then, and nobody could edit comments, but both of those are probably reasons that would make me buy a Paid Account. And back then, I also wanted a subdomain of my own (pne.livejournal.com) - something which every user has now - and wanted to have my journals on the fast servers - something which was discontinued, though Express Lane is a little similar.
And since I bought my Permanent Account a couple of years(?) ago, it's been a no-brainer in the sense that having a Paid Account is now no longer a conscious decision.
I would suggest that rather than "top reason" (the one I chose was the reason I paid in the first place, but not necessarily why I continue to pay), you perhaps have "top 5 reasons" (I want to continue to support a service I use - hoping the money I pay goes toward new features/improving existing features/keeping the site running, which is in the top five, but wasn't the top reason I paid to begin with - I really hate the ads).
As many others have said, my reasons for having a paid account NOW are different than when I first started my journal (back in 2004, although I think I first paid in early 2005.) Back then, I wanted to support a service that I loved.
Now, I just want to keep my userpics and keep the ads away. Although, the last couple paid subscriptions have been paid for by friends. I'm still on the fence about renewing in September.
Quite a few of the reasons listed weren't available yet when I first got a paid account. I got a paid account so I could search interests freely. Is that still a paid only thing?
I got one about 2 years ago because I enjoyed the "bonuses" that come with paid accounts. I now continue using it because I can't imagine not having the community mind that comes with LJ, and I doubt that any other service can provide me with a user-base of as varied of personalities as on LJ.
I continue paying for my account because I hate ads, and will do next to anything to get rid of ads in something that I use as frequently as LJ.
That said, I am a fan of open-source and improving what is there and have yet to see any major improvements to LJ over the past year and a half. Yes, there are some small perks (editting comments, more userpics, a few new layouts, and new servers) but overall I haven't seen any major changes to the service.
Edited at 2009-03-19 07:25 pm (UTC)
I paid for my account long before ads existed - we got, iirc, a faster processor, and an easier URL. Maybe more usericons - I forget. Oh, and more invite codes. Those were fun. I bought a permanent account at that point, too.
I've had about three or four accounts on LJ - mainly because of lost email addresses and passwords, and my on-and-off usage of LJ over the years. But the Christmas before last, I decided that in spite of how Livejournal had changed throughout the years, it was still essentially what I wanted... so I got a paid account because I genuinely appreciate LJ and because I wanted more Userpics but didn't want my page overloaded with ads. I continue to pay for my Paid account mainly for the same reasons, but I appreciate some of the little perks that come with it.
When it comes to Christmas, I may be on the fence as to whether to renew my Paid account or not. I want LJ to stop trying to fix things that aren't broken, and actually fix things that ARE broken. I'd like LJ to listen to what users want, and act on them.
I love having a Paid account but by the end of this year I might stop using it all together, never mind paying for it...
Certainly not because of ads. Anyone with any internet savvy already has pretty much every form of advertisement blocked. I know almost no ads get through on my browser.
There are sites around that detect (for example) AdBlock Plus and refuse to work unless you disable it. Okay, so you can block ads in other ways (with hosts files even, if you can be bothered) but not having to do it in the first place is worth something.
No ads, no ads, no ads and no ads. Add to that no ads and no ads, and now I come to think about it no ads as well. Oh, and no ads. I'm in what's probably a minority in that userpics really don't matter much to me (to me they're a gimmick. A fun gimmick, but still a gimmick) but ads are another matter. If paid users ever have to see ads whilst logged in then LJ can consider my subscription to lapse for ever. It's that important.
Scrapbook I use a lot too, though it's not as important as no ads. Comment editing has been much more useful than I thought it would be when it first came in, and I'd certainly miss that too. Since I have my settings set to always view everyone's journals in my own style (isn't that a paid feature too?) as otherwise many of them hurt my eyes, a lot of the customisation passes me by.
PS: No ads.
A good question may also have been: "What feature would you like to receive as a paid member that you currently are not?"
Personally, I have absolutely no use for the voice-post feature, and I would love to be able to exchange it for more userpics.
Also, having the option of receiving comments in my LJ Inbox anytime someone anywhere replies to one of my comments would be a great feature as well.
I agree - exchange of features would be an excellent option to have.
The title of the poll and the question in the poll are slightly different:
Poll #1368228 What motivated you to have a Paid Account?
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All
Please select the three to five biggest reasons you have a Paid Account
And that matters to me. The reason I *got* my permanent account isn't the same as my motivation would be today.
When I got my permanent account, it was a limited sale thing a few years ago. I had used LJ so much at the time and LJ was a much smaller organization back then. I felt like the staff had spent so much time on it, and I had gotten so much out of it that I was happy to contribute $100 to their project to spread the joy to others.
LJ has evolved a lot since then, and it's not the same group of people working on it. I don't think if it were today that I'd contribute $100 for that reason.
That said, a permanent account has many benefits, many of which I like. More user icons, comment editing, polls, all those things I appreciate having available to me. But they weren't the reasons I paid when I first got my permanent account.
A lot of those were standard (or nonexistant) when I got my paid account, but I clicked them as reasons I still love my paid account.
IIRC, the MAIN reason I originally got a paid account was the icons, but with all the added bonuses, it's easy to want to keep it.
I really like not seeing ads myself, but I appreciate even more the fact that I don't subject other people to ads on my journal.
I appreciate some of the little perks that come with a paid journal, like comment editing.
Still, the real reason why I pay for my journal even when I'm unemployed and can't afford it, is because I like supporting the Ideal of LJ. I want to support a service that I use, and I choose to use this service because it is less greedy and commercial than others are.... or at least, it used to be.
I bought mine mostly for the no ads - not only for me, but for other members visiting my page, so I can design it without worrying.
At the time I didn't care about the number of userpics, but now I have the extra I couldn't live without them, so thats another reason why I keep renewing.
I bet the reason behind the "wondering" is that they are getting ready to take away features, raise prices (I'm still astounded at the cost of a permanent account), or look into other ways to make the paid members squirm.
Edited at 2009-03-19 07:10 pm (UTC)
If you take the (forced) donation of $25 to charity out of the price, it was still $150, which is what I paid for mine in 2006.
That said, I would have bought perm accounts for friends, but I hated being forced to donate money. If I want to donate, I'll send my money directly to the charity I support.