Ban HMF paying features

Once again I will go against consensus.

Up to now I allways apologised HMF achievement. And it is the second site I use most. Looking daily for new contributions.

Who is most often looking a rose lineages if not us the would be breeders that spend a lot for a mostly never profitable hobby.

That is why we have something to say about this.

Now that it is unbypassable after eliminating (free or not) concurence by being good and free and building a monopole; it will be better, bigger but as costly as any capitalistic venture.

It is not a coincidence that over the years access to lineages is about as costly as Modern Roses. MR you can consider eliminated. And considering that it is alone “necessary expenses” will go up.

The higher the revenues the higher the needed income. Insteed of frugal living and limiting its ambitions to the possible being free to users it will allways have higher goals and steedily want more income.

Next time paying feature will be looking at all but one photos with gratuity for the photos contributors. Here are the real earning possibilities and unavoidable intentions.

I could easily post there a few seedlings photos and get free lineages but it would be contributing to a bad evolution.

Clara’s dream is definitely spoiled unless a snell turn is taken.

To sum it up I totally disagree with acceptation of this evolution and advise to boycot lineage as well as any paying feature.

I don’t see that $24 a year is a big deal for the amount of information on HMF. Just hosting a web site costs money. The amount of time that has gone into building HMF must be worth $2 a month to those that use it most. I really don’t think that those that maintain HMF are turning it into a major capitalist venture that they are going to get rich from. They are providing a service and service costs somebody money down the line, whether it be the users or owners of that service.

The arguement that hybridizing is a mostly unprofitable hobby does not have justification for HMF remaining free. The term “hobby” implies some cost without monetary reward. I can think of hundreds of hobbies that cost more than rose breeding.


If you compare HMF the way it is today to the way it was 5 years ago, you know that it has been much improved, in appearance and in functionality. I think you criticize this change without understanding the true financial and personal costs of keeping HMF going–not only keeping it going but expanding it and adding new and useful features.

Those who have some comprehension of those costs know–and say–that the membership is a bargain. And it is.

And HMF is not plastered with advertisements. Do you appreciate that fact? Would you like to have a nursery’s name and URL pop up every time you click on a rose variety name?

Even if 500 people around the world were to pay for premium membership, HMF would not be rolling in money. You can translate that total income into your currency and decide for yourself whether that is good pay for a job that requires attention 7 days per week, and many hours per day (and not just from one person). With any luck, HMF will get enough money to pay what it’s charged for internet service every year.

Getting things for free is nice, but someone has to pay the bills. This is a fact of life.


Personally, I think it stinks.

Not having extra money is a fact of life as well. Falling back to the ‘Its only xxx dollars’ is one that I have heard one to many times. What am I going to cut? Drop my RHA membership? This practice of building something of value that people depend on and then saying, sorry chap, gonna have to pay for it now, bites. I am used to it now though and I will take the same actions now that I have done every other time a organization has done something like this. I will remove any content that I have contributed to thier site. Why in the heck would I give them things that are mine for free when they are going to charge me for access to certain content.

I do understand all the many reasons that can be used to justify switching to a pay-for and I am not saying that they dont have merit.

Advertisements can be worked into existing content without killing the user experience. I would rather deal with advertisements than pay the money. I am not talking about GardenWeb style garbage that is painful to deal with. There are other business models that can provide extra income and keep all services free as well.

I don’t know what you are talking about with free lineages. I have a seedling listed on there and did not have access to any of the lineages. I’ve since paid my membership because I go there every day and use it every day as I think of more things I want to know. To begin with I too was annoyed with this because I signed up as a free member and have been for years. As a member I would have liked to have had a newletter or even a friendly group email to say it was about to change because most people would understand and be sympathetic or at least have a chance to contemplate their course of action. I paid my subscription immediately because I am gaining momentum in focusing my thinking and understanding and did not want to skip a beat… I have grand plans and dreams. Now… I don’t begrudge paying for the service… I was amazed it was ever free to start with… but here’s the thing. I signed up for a free service and now it’s not. I want HMF to continue to grow and improve just like anyone else but I think this was a poor PR move. See… there are large and established companies who are listed as sponsors who have either a gold or a silver membership costing something like $384 and $168/year respectively. This is chicken feed for a large company when it comes to advertising but the amount of exposure they receive for this pittance would pay for itself many times over. I took an ad out in my local newspaper a little while ago that was about 3 lines long and cost me nearly $30. The print run would not be more than a few thousand and it was run for a single edition once only. To run this same ad every day for one year at these rates would cost me $10,950 assumng that different editions (like Christmas etc) would not be worth different rates. So my thinking is that HMF are seriously under-rating the true value of its sponsorship and that before turning to the membership for extra funds it might have been a good idea to review their sponsorship pricing policies. Anyway… I’m over it. My membership has been upgraded and I feel good about helping to support HMF and will continue to support it as I hope lots of people will. I still think it was not done as well as it could have been but hey… move on I reckon. I don’t think HMF is in it for the money (but really… why not… It’s a service that has substantial value)… and at $24/year for a membership I doubt that will go far towards paying for the running costs (and if they have a little left over I hope they go out and buy some nice coffee and enjoy it :slight_smile: ) but I do think they are targetting the wrong ‘type’ of member… maybe I speak prematurely and this is infact on the table as well.

I am not happy about this new feature, but I also understand that they need money to operate. And we are in an economic crisis. How many nurseries closed solely because of this crisis? Look at Uncommon Rose who had to close down because of economic situation. These past few years have been unkind to a lot of people.

I think that they’ve done many good things. And we can still see pictures for free and we still have the ability to click on the parentage.

But I still have a few problems. If I do become a premium member, then I also expect that EVERYTHING is as accurate as possible. Some entries are obviously wrong because of computer and clerical error.

I will continue to support Not immediately-- I am struggling right now, and becoming a premium member is a luxury for the moment.

I will say that I hope will not charge people to click on the pictures. If members upload them for free, then they should be viewed for free by other members. And in case they did something like this, I would definitely remove all my rose pictures from

Most infos on HMF are public or contributed for free.

Gathered here and there, i.e. MR or other books.

Why should we pay less for photos than for lineages.

Or in other words why should we pay for lineages more than for photos…

Do you pay people that spent money they did not dispose.

Is it moral to, being free, eliminate all concurence to become a paysite?

I look at it this way. I used to pay yearly to get reference materials and they cost more than 24 dollars a year. This is a bargain by comparison, much more detailed, up to date, less biased and very convenient.

Yes, it would have been nice had there been an announcement explaining the change. I think it would have been appropriate.

I’ve gotten to know the owner only slightly but I know he has overhead related to maintaining the site AND I think he deserves to make a profit. I hope he does make a profit. I hope he does very well. He deserves to do well.

We’re all very spoiled and now we’re contrite because someone has taken a piece of our toy away. We used the toy free for years.

No, I’m not thrilled with paying a fee but it’s my choice to pay it. There is still plenty of free information at HMF to be had OR we can choose to take our dollars or patronage elsewhere. We choose to contribute.

Few people are getting rich in the nursery industry, especially in the rose industry. There are not that many nurseries contributing to HMF and the ones that do are in danger of failing.

If someone was propagating my roses I would hope and expect to something in return for my effort in creating them. It’s no different with HMF.

As I’ve said before I’m amazed there wasn’t a fee long before this. No doubt the timing for instituting a fee could have been better. Most people are feeling an economic strain right now. That no doubt makes it worse for everyone all the way around.

In a perfect world everything would be free. I’d rather pay a bit and not have to deal with advertisers. If you feel differently you should let the owner know. Perhaps advertising is a better way to go? I’d rather keep things as they are.

It comes to this: Steve spends hours a day, 7 days a week to provide HMF’s services to you. It costs money to provide this service. You’ve had it free for years now, and that was bound to change eventually. There are bills to be paid and Steve DESERVES some compensation for his time. It is absurd to suggest that this is just the first step towards a goal of making a fortune on providing the service, because no matter who sponsors HMF or how many people pay the premium fee, it will NEVER amount to more than a fraction of its worth.

So, it boils down to the simple fact that we either accept HMF as an advertising sponsored service where you are assaulted with ads for pesticides and gazing balls and assorted gardening related paraphernalia or you put up the $24 annual fee and be glad to be able to support one of the single most valuable services available to you. You wouldn’t be griping about this if it weren’t REALLY important to you, so put a dollar price on that value and help support the service you value so highly.

PS: No, I don’t work for HMF and I am not one of its volunteers, I am just another user like you who believes anything worth having is worth supporting. If that means cash support, then I am all for it. I will gladly pay NOT to be advertised to.

“gazing balls”

  • The horror! lol

“gazing balls”

  • The horror! lol

Look at GardenWeb: thats exactly the kind of thing you are guaranteed to find, not to mention hypersugared breakfast cereals, pop tarts and the like. I doubt Steve will be selling ad space for “Sugar Blasters” anytime soon, but we have an opportunity to make sure that doesn’t happen by voting with our wallets. Maybe its more important to you that you get the service for free, and if that means accepting Ad supported content, then thats how you feel. Its not MY choice, but if it is yours, then I accept that as a valid choice. Plenty of ad supported sites out there, thats for sure. But as someone who once worked with advertising agencies (with, not for, I’ll point out) I can tell you that ad subsidizing = compromise, and its not a compromise I care to make.