I want to thank everyone for taking the time to post their opinions about the Membership Benefits program we are offering here at LawnSite.com. After giving this much thought, we have decided to eliminate the idea of the private or "exclusive" forums. There will still be a private forum for Benefit Members to access - but only one forum, instead of the same kinds of forums we have in the existing public forum. Also, several people have stated that they do not "gamble" or "play the lottery". The membership benefits program is not merely a lottery. You can read the announcement at the top of the forum to see what else is involved. Also, membership is going to include a lot more than currently listed. Therefore, those who have become members will certainly receive everything else we add. And those skeptical will see in time that what we are offering is worth every bit of $60.00. But I also need to address another issue. It has been stated by several people that this site should remain free and it is not right or proper for us to develop opportunities that cost something. It has also been stated that this site exists because of the members, and the exchange of information is not something that should be charged for. First, I must say that LawnSite.com, just like your company, is a business. We are offering a service. This service helps you improve and grow your service. This site would not exist without the members - true. However, this site is a gateway for communication and education. How else would you be able to communicate and share ideas with colleagues from Australia, Canada, Kansas, California, Texas, New York, and Nebraska? What would your phone bill look like? Yes, the sponsors do pay money to be seen at this site. However, the internet and the Green Industry are still getting accustomed to one another. Look in the magazines - how many sponsors do they have - hundreds. How many do we have - a dozen maybe. How much more useful is this site in regard to communicating with companies like eXmark and Great Dane versus a magazine? Considerably... Members at this very site many times have posted that they have learned more from LawnSite.com than 4 years in college. How much does a 4 year degree run these days? The point is, LawnSite.com does not just magically appear on the internet. It takes a lot of time and money to run, maintain, and grow this site. It isn't cheap to be found at the top of nearly every search engine on the internet. With nearly 11,000 members, our server fees are considerable. This doesn't even include the people working here at LawnSite.com. If the exchange of ideas is all that was needed, there would not be a need for many of the features we have at the site, that cost us money to include - such as avatars, signatures, private messaging, e-mail, weather, spell check, quizzes, polls, and most importantly - the search feature. How much is the search feature worth? I don't know how many times I myself went to the search to get information from professionals at the site. Don't get me wrong. I'm not pleading my case or trying to justify everyone sending us $60.00. I just want everyone to understand that we are offering benefits for the $60. If you aren't interested, that's not a problem. But please do not assume that there are green industry internet fairies floating around making LawnSite.com magically appear and operate. If anyone would understand that we are running a business, it should be the members at this site. I ask for your patience while we continue to develop our Membership Benefits Program. As I stated earlier, in time you will see that the value far outweighs the price tag. If anyone has any questions, as always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for taking the time to read this.