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Debate on Wikivorce selling legal services

  • wikivorce team
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04 Jun 08 #24654 by wikivorce team
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Without wikivorce going to registered charity status, streams of revenue are required. I would be vehemently against membership fees. Advertising and tie-in services are more realisic ways of generating income.


That was exactly our thinking. And we received lots of similar feedback from the community when we proposed these changes on the home page over recent weeks.

So:

1) Membership Fees

Wikivorce will remain free.

2) Advertising

We will do some adverts, but we will be picky about which ones. Only if they are offering something of real value to the community. You won't find adverts for people who want to buy and rent back your home for example.

3) Tie-ins

We are still convinced that it is better to create a much improved legal service offering - rather than just make advertising commission marketing the same old solicitor services - because that doesnt improve things for anyone.
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  • maggie
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04 Jun 08 #24655 by maggie
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Above all wikivorce has to continue to be a source of good solid free information and experience and the above post is premised on whether further monetary gain is necessary to achieve that.

On the question of divorcers on very low incomes NFLP excludes legal aid cases?
Hourly rate £180 - how does that compare with other "virtual" legal service providers?
Has anyone experienced the NFLP services - are they good?
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  • wikivorce team
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04 Jun 08 #24676 by wikivorce team
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Maggie, i've corrected my last post where i attributed a quote from Topaz to you. Apologies for that.

To answer your latest questions:

On the question of divorcers on very low incomes NFLP excludes legal aid cases?

True - perhaps you can recommend a national service provider to me who shares the Wiki vision and would sign up to our charter.

Hourly rate £180 - how does that compare with other "virtual" legal service providers?

This is apples and pears. The online service providers do DIY and Managed Divorces. The Wiki prices for the equivalent products will be lower than the other providers.
The NFLP figure that you quote is a typical market price for full legal respresentation.

Maggie, if i understand right - you are happy with Wiki and what it delivers but are not so comfortable with it making money/being commercial.

The costs (time and money) of running the site are significant and increasing. It would be nice to at least cover some of these costs. I doubt that I will ever cover them all.

You don't seem to advocate membership fees and I wholeheartedly agree. Wikivorce will remain free.

If I put up a paypal donate button Maggie - how much would people donate? I kind of like this option but in practice it won't work.

If people want a totally FREE and constantly improving Wikivorce service then the small price to pay is to have a few adverts and featured partners for optional, take it or leave it, divorce services.

Finally to clear up a possible mis-understanding due to my use of the word 'partnership'. The agreement with NFLP is to partner together on a project to make available low cost divorce services to Wikivorce members.

The Wikivorce company/website ownership is just exactly as it has been all this time - with no plans whatsoever to change.
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04 Jun 08 #24682 by IKNOWNOW
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Maggie,

Sorry but I have to stand up and be counted as far as supporting wiki on the stance of offering legal services via the site.

If you knew anything about the Legal Aid Services, you will know that it is becoming increasingly difficult a) to find a firm that gives this service and b) for firms to maintain this service.

I actually received Legal Aid but am disatisfied with the service I received and am still faced with over £6k bill that has been added as a charge on my property with interest at the rate of 8% a year.

Although my case had added problems I may actually have looked at self-repping if I had the support of someone like Amanda (NFLP)or looked at financing my divorce some other way.

If you took the opportunity to venture into the chatroom, you would know that Divorcelawyer actually gives a lot of advice as anyone of us would with the added advantage of her being a legal eagle (not a wiki vulture).

If you took the time to see how many posts she has answered you might also see that she is a woman full of compassion and decency, a woman who cares about her fellow human beings.

I would much rather recommend someone to NFLP knowing the face behind the service and knowing their ethos first hand than picking someone from the Yellow Pages.

Wiki is a wonderful site. I would not have got through the last 10 months without it.

In wiki's defence, the opinion of the members was sought before setting up the legal services side of things.

Yes, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but let us remember that it is more credible if it is an informed opinion.

Nobody is telling you that you have to use wiki legal services at the end of the day.

xx Sarah xx
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  • Young again
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04 Jun 08 #24684 by Young again
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Wikiteam,

Welcome to the world of charity work!

Heareth the word according to Young Again:

The following is a VERY general comment and NOT about this site or any one on it:

I did a little bit of social/community work and found that not only could I not please everyone, but some people actually took a delight it either abusing the services or slagging off the charitable hard work of others - and that hurts like hell if one takes it to heart.

I don't do it any more, not because I lost faith in it, but because of other demands on my time.

It is hard and unappreciated work and one has to deal with warring factions over petty matters that waste resources which otherwise could have gone to improving the situation being dealt with.

Do not despair, ((((((((((Wikiteam))))))))))


Now, back to this thread:

I believe everyone has the right to an opinion and the leave to express it. That's all I would ask of Wikivorce.

Maggie and others have genuine reservations about a tie-in with NFLP. I'm sure other people don't have such concerns and others feel they have insufficient information upon which to express an informed opinion.

I will now express my opinion, like it or lump it everyone:

1 The divorce process in this country is an administrative process and is administered by an unemotional judicial system that specifically excludes dealing with the fundamental reason for marriage and its breakdown; ie emotion.

2 In the main, solicitors support this procedure, essentially stripping the divorce of what they see as emotional frippery and shoe-horning it into a number-crunching calculation of who gets how much. In dealing with contact and child residency the courts are failing and THEY DON'T WANT TO KNOW.

3 Ordinary people are so upset by their divorce that they battle on divided, bullied or led by the nose by solicitors.

4 Wikivorce is one lonely website and it has no power to provide a panacea for all the problems caused by a divorce, but as God is my witness, it is a much better help right now than an off-the-shelf solicitor and it has the potential with the proposed tie-in to NFLP to improve the lot of many ordinary people.

5 I am no visionary and I may be looking sideways instead of forwards in this matter, but having some small experience of puzzling over social change, I know that what Wikivorce is aiming for can only be achieved in small steps towards achievable targets. Great ambition results at best in failure, and at worst in great disaster

I support Wikiteam and Wikivorce and continue to say NO to cheese-mongering solicitors!

YA (to the tune of Tannenbaum)
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  • maggie
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04 Jun 08 #24685 by maggie
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Thanks Sarah - I appreciate how much help the site gives and the huge generosity of its founder.It is true that I don't use the chat rooms and haven't spoken with Amanda.
I just don't understand how this partnership with NFPL will work to secure Wikivorce's future - how will Wikivorce derive income from it?
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04 Jun 08 #24689 by D L
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You may not have spoken to me Maggie, but I help you wherever and when ever I can

Amanda
aka founder NFLP
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