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Support Dramabeans: Premium supporter program

The Dramabeans team has been working on different ways you can support the site and community, and we’re excited to announce the launch of our premium supporter program. We have tried very hard to keep the site going because Dramabeans is a special community for all of us. You’ve helped the site thrive over the past 13 years and we’re so grateful for every single one of you.

We want Dramabeans to be always be paywall-free and to accomplish that we launched the Beaniebox, but we could not get enough subscribers. We need your support now in order to be sustainable and paywall-free. For $2 a month, you can be a premium supporter and help keep Dramabeans growing while getting fantastic benefits.

Thank you for the love and time that you have given Dramabeans!
 
Your donation goes to support

    Dramabeans writers and staff
    Hosting and server fees
    Dramabeans tech team

 
Your donation will help keep online

    13 years of Dramabeans content
    Recaps and reviews from more than 600 dramas
    More than 17,000 posts
    More than 1,600,000 comments

 
What are the benefits of being a premium supporter?

    An ad-free Dramabeans experience
    A virtual badge for your profile image
    Two months of KOCOWA (only available in the U.S. / Canada / Brazil)

How can you support Dramabeans?

    Become a premium supporter. The benefits include an ad-free Dramabeans, a cool virtual supporter badge, and two months of KOCOWA! We’ve teamed up with KOCOWA (check out their Instagram and Twitter) so that premium supporters will be able to stream dramas, variety, and K-pop content 24/7!

    Subscribe to the BeanieBox, our monthly subscription snack box. It’s full of tasty Korean treats and other surprise goodies. We might argue over drama ratings and favorite actors, but we can all agree that K-dramas are fun AND the food PPL temptation is too real. We need a minimum of 5000 subscribers in order to support the current costs of the site.

    If you’re not located in one of the countries we ship to, help us spread the word about the BeanieBox by sharing on Twitter or Instagram to any foodies or snackers you know!

    Follow our official Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts and share our content directly from there. Our writers and editors put a lot of thought (and squee) and heart into our articles. Please don’t copy-paste them.

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While I think the timing of this announcement is a bit, well, not great, it is good to see that the DB team has listened to what the Beanies have been saying for months. The Beaniebox is an unsustainable expense for many if not most, while a support program that costs less than a fancy cup of coffee or much less than a Subway sandwich is more doable for the members of this community.

That said, when Javabeans and Girl Friday were the clear owners and overlords of this site, I would have pressed subscribe immediately. But now, as I've said before, I would appreciate more transparency on the current entity that owns and runs this ship before committing to a subscription.

My hedging isn't just because I don't want to finance a site that may be owned by a giant corporation, although that may be part of it. My main hesitation is that I am very careful to not support businesses that have systems and practices that exploit labor and resources. I do what I can to not buy from companies that use trafficked or child labor for instance. I try not to use the products of companies that pollute or over use natural resources. While I am imperfect in this, I am trying to do better. Therefore, before I subscribe (and I want to, I really really do because I love this community of beans), I kinda need to know who you are.

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Seconding this.
Also, the timing is a bit unfortunate. Probably after the chaos of covid-19 is over in my country (which hopefully soon), I'll consider joining as an exclusive supporter. For now, my country's struggle is the first priority.

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Also, if I do decide to support, can I opt out of the badge? To be honest, it makes me a bit uncomfortable.

Aren't I just the negative bean today.

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Your decaf.

Sorry I havent had my coffee yet.

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@bcampbell1662, I am not a decaf. I am a dark and bitter brew.

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LOL.

My favorite base to then put all the cream and sugar into.

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Seconding this partially. I know the badge isn't intended to imply a difference, but I think it would be a nice gesture to keep the cute bean without the "VIP bean" label.

Maybe some Beanies can't or choose not to give to the site financially, but they're no less worthy of VIP status with the support, empathy, and the voices they contribute to the community here.

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I'm seconding this... I don't really want the badge if I decide to support! I like the idea of just the little bean a lot better, though.

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I do what I can to not buy from companies that use trafficked or child labor for instance.

Great. Now you've got me imagining child labor recappers.

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Hey you and I have met - I may ACT childish but I promise I'm an adult!

No, really I am!

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The Wikipedia article on James Sun still says he owns dramabeans (along with beautytap)

The confirmation when you donate says your $2 goes to a guy named "James", (the rest of the email address indicates an IT services company which lists dramabeans as a client).

I takes those as clues that the owner of dramabeans may be... drumroll... him. And if it isn't him he should change is Wikipedia page.

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I googled James and not much info really..is there a bad vibe on him or I'm reading this wrong?

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I agree there should be more transparency, but on the other hand, I trust people like LollyPip and the other recapping minions wouldn't be working for them if they're evil.

I don't want a badge either, and they don't need my shipping address since I'm not actually getting anything, so I got around all that by creating a fake account with fake name and address (but real money, lol) to contribute.

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People stay with companies they love that are trash all the time. The number of recappers that don't provide any confidence that things haven't turned "evil." The fact that javabeans and girlfriday seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the site anymore--despite the prominence of their icons in the above collage--speaks volumes.

At one point, LollyPips recap load doesn't instill any sort of confidence in "management's" treatment of its staff. Seriously, it's like she's the only actual recapper. "Weecaps" while nice, are not the same.

Even the use of the word "donation" sounds scammy, especially in the context of a partnership with an international streaming service.

Now if LollyPip turns out to be the owner/management, well then. . . I probably donate, but I'd still want to know why she didn't say so.

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Oops I accidentally deleted! Anyway, no I don't own the site but I wish I did. And I've met James in person, he's a decent guy, not an evil corporation, I promise!

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Oh, and I recap as much as I do because I love it! Seriously, I'm always asking for more work. I begged to be a FT recapper for years before they finally let me, lol.

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hi @lollypip , thanks for responding and addressing some concerns here, it’s much clearer now after your clarification :) hope beanies’ support will be really helpful (and impactful) and DB will be around for long long time, thanks again, and all the best DB!

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Seriously, who is "DB Staff?"

Javabeans and Girlfriday's icons are up there, and I know they aren't staff. I remember when the changes first started and some guy named John or James was claiming to have started this site. Is that who my donations would go to? Cause . . . No. Just, no.

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"DB Staff" basically means all of us who work for the site as a group.

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I'm beginning to feel that I opened a can of worms with my comment. I never ever meant to insinuate that DB is trying to scam beanies or do a money grab and then close up shop and run away with our donations. I don't think that at all.

Hosting and running a site this size with this much engagement is a big endeavor that takes a lot of time and money.

Additionally, I would like to say that for site of this type, that they pay their recappers and writers is a huge positive for me. Dramabeans respects the time and effort, and frankly, the hard work, that goes into making this content, and I highly respect them for this commitment to the staff.

That said, all I need to know before I press donate is the larger entity that now owns and operates Dramabeans. That's it.

(Oh, and thanks for removing the VIP from the bean. While the fun levels that we all aspire to are just that, fun, real life hierarchies can cause friction and resentment, which are not what I expect from this community. So, wow, that was some quick action after hearing from the beanies)

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Agree with u. I love this site too much (altough nowdays i cant access this site too often busy with life) so i want to know what i can do to support this site to keep going on but with transparency.
Note: U mentioning javabean and girlfriday make me miss them and miss their banter

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Done and done! Thanks for giving us an affordable way to help support Dramabeans! Especially during this time of Coronavirus, I love feeling even more connected to you all.

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I dropped by today to squee about Hyena and saw the banner at the top. I love Dramabeans and would hate for it to disappear. I was waiting for y'all to open BeanieBox to my country, but receiving shipments is a bit difficult in my location right now... I'm glad I can still contribute a little bit, even if I can no longer help run the site. :(

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If @mary has signed on that is good enough for me.

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Aww... thank you for your trust!

It's almost 3 months since I was last privy to behind-the-scenes stuff, but unless the staff have landed on a huge pile of $$$, I can assure folks that your donations will go to paying the writers and server costs. The latter is huge. (Just saying this because I saw some guesses that hosting is almost free so the tech cost is only $10 for the domain. It's not! Huge databases don't scale arithmetically in costs.)

I'm not speaking up to pressure people to donate. I just want to assure folks that no one will run away or waste your contribution.

But I don't want to pressure folks to donate. I've been in situations where even $1 is impossible. I'm just lucky (especially with what's happening right now around the world) that I'm currently able to help.

If you can and you want to, thank you. :)))

If you want to but can't, still, thank you for even wishing it. :))) If you still love DB, please drop a comment or heart on your favorite recapper's posts. It means a lot right now.

And also, thank you to those who still care enough about DB to ask questions. That means you're not giving up on the site. ♥

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Hi @mary!! Great to see you. :-D

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You too! :))) I usually drop by past midnight in my timezone because I don't want my sis catching me giggling at the comments on the Hyena thread.

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LOL Laughing like a hyena ie doing the Hyena giggle! Hugs!

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There's a lot more rawrrrr-ing than giggling, to be honest... homegrrrrounds unite!

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I feel you. Too many rawrrrrring moment, that i cant wait to next rawwrring moment

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I'm already a Kocowa subscriber. Will they add on a couple months to my subscription? :-)

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Never mind, I see that information is already given in detail in the Q&A section of the premium subscription link.

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Can you do something about this Everlasting Errand Boys business too????? For real. Totally serious here.
(or not, but... :-( )

And yes, I understand the concerns of my fellow Beanies @egads , @gadis , @mindy and @bcampbell1662 . Is there anything Dramabeans in terms of its revamped corporate stance etc.?
I am glad to put my $2/month, but like these others, it would be nice to read more about Dramabeans as a corporation (now that the Original GirlFriday and Javabeans are gone).

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also, any chance for transparency on the # of subscribers as the #s ramp up to the minimum? this might encourage people to subscribe.

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I understand your doubts and critics, but still, I think it's a good idea to help!

I could do without the cringy VIP bean tag, but I understand that keeping all this stuff online has a cost and I prefer the money to come out of our pockets (and probably the selling of some kind of big data provided by our visits) than from popup ads... Or worse, the owners deciding that it's not worth the cost and putting it down.
Last time DB disappeared for some hours I felt like a digital homeless, didn't know where to go, I really love this community and don't want it to disappear.

And, honestly, if I spread out those 2 dollars for the amount of time I spend on DB every day... It would mean like 0.05 usd/hour (actually used my calculator and a very modest estimation of my DB time to figure this out).

Of course, this is only an opinion. I totally get it if it's expensive for some people, or if they simply don't agree with DB's transparency policy

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Possible glitches in recent site changes...

1: Sometimes the name of the poster/commenter lands on top of the date & time.

2: Upper left is getting crowded with "Support us", "Back to main page", search, notifications & avatar.

@db-staff

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Thank you -- on it!

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Please also let us opt out of this bean icon, or better yet, remove it from the site altogether.

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I’m so glad you finally listened to us Beanies about setting up a donation option that is outside of the Beanie Box. But let’s have a little discussion as the process is clunky and I have some issues. This might be an unpopular opinion but here it is…

I hate the badge and it’s what is stopping me from donating. I wish we could opt out or in. The reason I hate this badge is because it separates and pressures people. Look, I’m a VIP member, why aren’t you? I know this is the main reason to have the badge and I despise it. We already have issues with ‘they aren’t even a registered user’ now will we be saying things like ‘They aren’t even a VIP member?’. This is a tactic to force Beanies to donate, and I’m sure there are members who are too young or maybe don’t have much money to donate towards the site. I know $2 isn’t much but for some people out there it can mean a lot. But either way I hate the idea of having a very visible sign that you donated. I come to DB because for the most part it’s a very welcoming site where we can enjoy kdramas free of hate, and I know I might be blowing this out of proportion, but it really rubs me the wrong way. So can we please have the option to opt out of it?

Also, under the FAQ section this whole statement is kinda gross:

You can cancel before the next renewal day, but this is a support function that helps run the site so most of our premium supporters do not cancel.

First of all, you literally just set this up so you are lying with this statement. Are you basing this off of a few hours of data? And the whole statement in general is emotional blackmail.

I also strongly suggest you spellcheck and fix some grammar issues. You are trying to put yourself forward as a professional site, so I suggest you make your site also look professional. Especially your donation page.

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👏👏👏👏👏

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All of the above.
I'd also like to add that many of us have expressed concern that we don't know who owns the site now. Who is getting this money? What is it for? When this was a passion project it was a different thing. But if the site is now owned by a large corporation - and we don't know that it isn't, and frankly it probably is - then why would they need a donation to keep the site running?

Who are we donating to?

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You said it all, Trin.

👏👏👏👏

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I would be happy to donate, but please kindly remove the 'VIP bean' icon. Or give me an option in my profile to disable this. All Beanies are equal, just that some of us can afford this is not worth being called 'VIP'

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The vip bean icon is irrelevant to me, but as far as affording this, well it is about 6 cents per day. I'm pretty sure nearly everyone can afford that. That's way less than a purchased coffee. And we can cancel at any time. I just remember when we had an incredible service like Drama Fever and wish they had given us a chance to help save them before they folded. I know that was a completely different service, but we all knew it and missed it like crazy after it was gone. So DramaBeans is another service we use and they are asking for our help. I could not afford the Beanie Boxes but I can afford 6 cents a day.

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There are kids and teenagers here who also use dramabeans who don't have their own incomes or a means to pay.

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just because a person is a kid or a teen doesn't mean he/she has no money. But it would be harder to have a paypal account or other easy way to pay.

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This is exactly the kind of negativity that @trinpie said will start with the vip status in the previous post.

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I don't really think that is "negativity" at all, @midnight. It's just an expression of an opinion and is neither positive nor negative. Just a fact. I was trying to encourage people to support Dramabeans and was not being critical of people who don't want to or can't.

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Don't be that person. There's a global pandemic that has seen a significant number of people lose their livelihoods. An extra $2 when their last paycheck came a week ago might be a big deal to some people.

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Yes, the pandemic is definitely a game changer and before long we will see the devastation it has caused. In some areas we went from 0% unemployment to 20% unemployment (my town) in a matter of a week. 2020 is going to be a real challenge for many, many people. Right now I'm just hoping we all live through it. The reality of what lies beyond (economy) hasn't really hit me yet. Right now I have 6 cents a day to help support a web site that gives me information and pleasure and catches my my attention at least once a day. I hope down the road I still have 6 cents a day to chip in and I hope that other people who consider themselves beanies can also help. That way maybe Dramabeans will not disappear one day and leave us without a space to share our opinions and thoughts.

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Wow, everyone is attacking @zzthorn for her opinions, but all I see is, at least she put her money where her mouth is. Without much question and talk, she signed up and paid (like many others who rarely even posts here). End of story. Which is more than I can say for the lot of you who I see are here most often and the loudest in voicing their opinions on ALL matters and about ALL beanies' opinions but when it comes to things that truly matter, all you care about is whining about the badge and Mr. Big Bad James.

I for one am glad there is a bean to signify who are the ones who take action and who are the ones who keeps shifting their feet. First, it's, "I don't need a Beanie Box, I'd like a more direct way to contribute." Now that a more affordable and direct way has been introduced, it's "I NEED to know who I am donating to." And what next? It just sounds like excuses after excuses.

Look, everyone has their reasons, to donate or not to. Calling someone's opinions negative or saying that they are the reasons the site is so hierarchical is uncalled for, especially when that is not their intention at all.

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"6 cents per day. I'm pretty sure nearly everyone can afford that."

well, no, actually? There are those (unbelievably, they do exist) who can't afford that cup of coffee, for whom the 6 cents a day cannot be spared...I somewhat feel your post shames those financially insecure persons, although I think I understand from your other posts that that is not your aim.

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Would be possible to pay by year? Between the exchange rate and the Paypal fees, I would rather pay 24USD than 2 by month.

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Me too!!

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I'm not familiar with Paypal or how it works, will there be extra fees if you pay with credit card?

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Hum, I'm not a specialist neither. But the advantage of Paypal, it's you don't have to give your credit card details to Dramabeans. But Paypal has fees on the amounts.

Directly by credit card, I think it depends of your credit card compagny and its rules.

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Paypal doesn't charge you extra fees for using your credit card. It's usually the merchant, in this case, Dramabeans, who pays Paypal fee(s).

Other than foreign transaction fees, my credit card companies have not charged me any other fees for "purchases" in the past 30 years. Obviously I have no idea whether that is the case for all credit card companies around the world.

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It depends if you pay in your currency or not. A lot of people here are not American.

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ok thanks u two! maybe i'll check it out myself or wait for the yearly option.

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Yes! We're going to have a yearly support option, too, but it's a few weeks out right now. Stay tuned! And, of course, thank you :)

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Great! Thank You :)

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Thank you! :)

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I am going to use the yearly option when it becomes available.

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If I decide to support, I'd rather not have a badge either, and definitely no VIP bean.

Kocowa is sadly not available for me, so the only perk for me would be the lack of ads, but I am OK with that as the donation is of course to support the site.

However, as you are asking for donations to keep this site running, it would also be nice to know who we are donating to and what their stakes are in DB, other than just paying to keep our data around for an undefined period of time.

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Another vote to get rid of or at least have the ability to opt out of the VIP bean.

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I agree

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Agreed!

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Same.

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Be gone, ye olde bean! XD All jokes aside, we've forwarded this request to our tech team and they're going to look into an option to toggle the supporter bean on/off. We will keep you posted!

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Thank you.

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Hi DB team,
I have a few questions about this new subscription service.
1. Please let us know if there is a target you need to reach in terms of donations?
2. How long do we need to keep donating to support the site?

3. What does supporting the site mean? Is this running the fan wall, paying re-cappers? Where is this money going and what is it going to be used for? I mean the site has been running for 13 years without a subscription service, what has changed?

4. I'm worried about the site suddenly closing down after you have taken these donations. It would be a pretty easy scam to post a support us page and then get 100s to donate and then shut down.Everyone uses aliases on this website, who is accountable if things go wrong.

5. I would prefer not to set up a monthly subscription to support the website. Is there an option to donate in multiples of 5 as a one off payment? I do not have a credit card and am wary of using PayPal, is there another website you could use, like Patreon?

6. Please could you address some of the points raised in the previous Support Us post in November. I would really like more information about the security of this website. Is it possible to get an HTTPS protocol as the root address of the website.

7. A kocowa membership is not available in my region, is there a possibility of sharing this benefit with another db user, without my personal information being disclosed.

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For 3 - based off the article, it is paying for recappers (who do get paid by the article) and tech support, and running of the literal site (host fees, tech support, etc). Recapping isn't as profitable as it used to. The market is much more saturated than even a few years ago.

For 7 - they provide you a code and it's at your preusual after that, so you can give it to someone else or activate it at a later date.

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Thanks Jig! I figured that would be the case with the donation. Would be great to see how this money will be used in the future and some of the projects in the pipeline.

Ah that is good, I was worried it would be linked to the billing account!

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so, it has come to this..

dear DB staff (not *new* owner, ahem),
first and foremost, thanks for running this site, DB truly felt like a safe place for me in internet land,,so I don’t want it to be gone, especially when the reason could be just because it’s free, hence it is lacking of financial back-up (while there sure are some costs needed to run DB).
Considering some concerns from beanies above, I too feel some things need to be clarified, in order for me to start support this site by the $2 donation, so it would be nice if I can see responses to beanies’ voices in the comments sections, i.e transparency of who is the owner, the “guarantee” of the site would be kept running after the finance donation collected from beanies, and options of yearly support of $24 or one-time off yearly support (if I decide to be in this support program, I would prefer this options, honestly).

last thing, I know I can be a broken record if I voices this too, but I just want to say that I used to highly look-up to DB (not only the articles wrote by overlords) when it came to quality of an article/post, so it bugs me when I found DB post got several spelling/grammatical errors or typos (like in its ig post), and as a non-English speaker I might be wrong to say this but I would really appreciate it if DB could spend more time to do the quality check (QC) on its post, like a commenter said above, it helps to look more professional :)
I don’t want to make comparison, but I just felt JB and GF were working hard to ensure the quality and ‘closeness’ of post so I hope this new DB would put the same level of effort :),
like in that QA section, when you said something like premium supporter won’t cancel, that felt ‘threatening’, (I hillariously think that if it was the old DB, it would have ‘winking emoji’ there and me would be okay with that ‘threat’ ;)
I really hope that this would be one that you will take care of more closely in the future,,
I love DB, and it pains me to say something negative about it, but I hope I really could see some more positive responses from you DB.
ps: I see how the (future/potential) drama recaps are coming and I hope it has been one of a good signs of how DB is going to thrive :)

look fwd to the responses, and as a non-register user, i might have to finally register to be able to support DB (or supporting DB by donating under new *fake* account if the transparency thingy didn’t come out nicely ;) )

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Anytime the discussion involves money, particularly your own, you should feel free to speak freely and honestly.

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hi there, thanks :) yeah, I’m doing my best to feel free and honest when it discuss money, and I hope DB would take this gesture as beanies’ way to wish the best for DB too :)

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Javabeans might have re-activated her old blog.

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Thank you, James. By the way I second that VIP bean badge as an option, I hate badges, l'm not from Hilton family 😉. The 24 months or 2 year fee would work more for me because in France for security reasons have something like virtual card and I can't use that option that you'll take a certain amount of my card every month. It's safer than pay Pal. Lastly I got scammed by eBay fake sellers, they're Chinese unfortunately so I could pay like 20 years of donation for you instead...

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oooo could you share the link for this?

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Thanks for the option to donate to Dramabeans! I have come here almost daily for many years and am happy to have a very inexpensive way to support the site. I wish we could have helped Javabeans and Girl Friday in this way before they had to sell the site to keep it alive. I also vote for removing the bean icon. Thanks for keeping the site going for us :D

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I'm relieved and grateful that the recappers have answered some of our concerns in the comments above. I am overly cautious about making payments online and I don't want to put my billing information on the website. A one off donation or option to pay 24 pounds upfront would be easier at the moment than committing to a year. Would it be possible to set up a go fund me page? It sounds like there is a lot more protection in place for the recipient and donor.

It's great to see the VIP option has been removed and I hope we get a clearer idea of how many donations are needed to save the site.

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My PayPal account only has one credit card attached, no bank accounts. If there is any fraud, I can contact the credit card company and get reimbursed for it, no problem. I'm not sure how that works outside of the US?

As for DB, I didn't use any of my real information to sign up to subscribe to the donation. They don't need it.

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Thank you, I need to look into PayPal a bit more. I will remember to use a fake address for db though:)

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Having a yearly payment option is the only way I would support. I could use a different card for that. I've had really bad luck with PayPal.

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I wish this was available during the JB and GF era. The amount of work they did with this site is irreplaceable.

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While I have no desire to know who pays to support the site and who doesn't I'd be very interested to know how many registered users there are and in total how many supporters the site has.

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I want to do this. I don't want it to be visible. No red ring around the dp and no bean star/sticker...
It would also be more convenient for me to pay once a year...
I feel that @egads has raised very valid points. I would like to know who owns DB as well.
My love for DB is also for this community and this space.
I will wait for the changes (which are being worked on, if I read correctly) to be put in place.
I hope that the answer to our question, 'Owner, who are you?' will also be forthcoming.
Thank you for your consideration.

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seconding (thirding, fortieth-ing) what everyone else has said <3

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I view this as a very positive development.

In my avocation (as opposed to my profession) I pay a lot of attention to economics. It has been apparent to me for a long time that the funding model for Dramabeans was utterly inadequate. Servers or server space are expensive and those who edit and write for this site should be paid. I have actually been saddened to see adds disappearing from the site.

The pandemic and the sharp (but hopefully short) recession will in the longer run be positive in driving change, because it forces re-thinking.
This is such re-thinking.

The Beaniebox idea probably contributes relatively little to Dramabeans after the costs are deducted. It is economically much more efficient for us to make a donation (except those who cannot afford it- and those who temperamentally never give to anything). Those who donate are spending far less than the cost of a Beanie box yet with far more direct support going to the site. Think of it as a voluntary subscription to a valuable virtual news and commentary publication.

This site is not owned by a giant corporation standing ready to pull the rug out from underneath us (remember Dramafever?). If it was they would have gone straight to a paywall and charged us $10 per month or more. If you want to worry about giant corporations then worry about VIKI- which is owned by Rakuten, which IS a giant corporation. At least once per month I read a story in the ASAHI SHINBUN about Rakuten being in trouble with regulators or some other problem. And every time I read such a story I worry about the possibility of Viki being lost.

I do agree that the virtual 'badge' is unnecessary and perhaps even counterproductive.

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Just want to add my two cents and say that 1) I'm glad the team listened to some of the constructive criticism and have decided to offer an alternative way of supporting the site that isn't a subscription box. While I'm actually kind of interested in the current box theme, I'm not generally interested in a long-term subscription to a snack box. I definitely plan on doing the year long supporter option once I'm able. 2) I'm gonna be a little contrary and say that I actually like the little bean. I think a bean And a red circle are over-kill, but I think the little bean is cute, and I just like having a cute little icon next to my name, lol. So I vote giving us the option to toggle it on/off if we wish.

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