The vision that Desiring God has for its online ministry is simply outstanding. May I commend them here and thank them for what they’re doing and for even possibly being the needed pioneers for others with internet ministries. From the DG website:
…there are four things you need to do in order to maximize access to your content online and truly "make it free":
Post all of your content online
Don't charge for your online content
Don't make people register to access any of your content
Make your site very easy to use
Who can argue with these four premises? Let’s face it, whatever we’re doing on the net we want it to be easy. If we’re disappointed that the content we’re hunting for is no longer posted we’re going elsewhere and likely not comeback. If we’re charged for everything we want we’ll either not buy it or be disappointed that we have to and not come back. I do not like having to register to read or buy product. Its just another way of getting my address and then sending me emails, let’s face it – SPAM, I don’t want. Managing all these passwords for all these websites is just ridiculous. I recently went to a site to buy some music and decided not to when I had to register. These online businesses need to realize they’re losing money. Its just not worth the hassle to me. Lastly, if I can’t find my way around a website in a few seconds, I’m done. All of the above applies to any site we may visit but its troubling to me that many “outreach” websites operate in the same manner. Its just so inconsistent. Of course, I’m not saying a ministry site can’t charge for some items, they need funding to keep operating, authors need to be paid for their work. But money is not the goal here, reaching those in need of whatever services are provided is. Again, I commend DG for this and their ministry is now on my donation list.