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Why Does AJATT Plus Cost Money? What Happened To Love Of the People?

First off, I’d like to thank the many people who’ve been so supportive of AJATT throughout its existence, both in wallet and spirit. You’ve been very kind; you’ve made it both psychologically and economically possible for me to write. It is because of you that this website exists and continues to exist.

Why Does AJATT Plus Cost Money? What Happened To Love Of the People?

There is a small but vocal minority of people who hate everything that costs money, even though they benefit from it. Let me address this group briefly: you don’t “need” AJATT Plus, mmm kay? In fact, you don’t “need” most of the things you have. You don’t even need a computer to do spaced repetitions — you can make paper flashcards and run the calculations by hand. More fundamentally, you don’t “need” to know Japanese…or any foreign language, for that matter. You don’t “need” a college degree…you don’t “need” jeans…unless you’re on a life-support machine, you don’t “need” electricity…none of these things are necessary.

I didn’t have AJATT Plus when I was running the original Japanese experiment that produced this site. Nor did I have Surusu, nor Twitter, nor even a website like AJATT with advice on it. It follows, then, that since these things did not exist when I was doing it, one can do without them. And one can.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to.

AJATT Plus is for you if you:

  1. want it
  2. enough to pay for it.

Some people just don’t want it. No problem. Some people want it, but not enough to pay for it. Again, no problem. To some people, this site is valuable, but not valuable enough to actually pay money for. “And”, as my imaginary ditzy southern California girlfriends might say, “that’s okay”.

Because most Internet forums are free, large numbers of random people can randomly come in and say random crap. Because most Internet forums are free, no one has the time or incentive to keep them moderated and maintained to the extent necessary to compensate for the openness. It is a bitter irony.

So make no mistake: the AJATT Plus price is a barrier. It keeps a lot of people out, so that that the inside of AJATT Plus is a polite, productive and safe place for you to be — a place where you can trust people with your PayPal address and your feelings. Not a place for ironic trolls with MSN email accounts to use the word “Microsoft” as an insult. </amateur economics rant>.

The AJATT blog will still be here, for free. But for those of you who are more committed, who maybe want some more cool materials and support, and/or just want an easy way to support this blog — and the hookers & blow requirements of the little family behind it — AJATT Plus is here for you, too. It would be my pleasure to host you.

Many people have joined AJATT Plus already. We’re going to have a lot of fun together backstage. AJATT Plus is already a place where we respect, encourage and help each other. The AJATT Plus forum has been designed, right from the very start, to be that rarest of things — a forum with civility. A forum dominated by people who realize that there are individual human beings with hearts on the other side of that avatar. A language forum that actually gets people making contact with their language — not merely talking about being in contact with their language. I’m excited to have you all here; it’s a big Internet and you could be anywhere else. Thank you for joining. And welcome 😀 . いらっしゃいませ。

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The Amazing AJATT Fo’ Shizzle 100% Refund Guarantee

Your happiness matters to me. I think about you every day 😛 . You can cancel your AJATT Plus membership at any time, and get a full refund on your immediate previous subscription payment. One word: “refund”, will suffice. So try it for a month and see how you feel. If you don’t like it, you can always cancel your subscription and get a refund.

  20 comments for “Why Does AJATT Plus Cost Money? What Happened To Love Of the People?

  1. gurkenkralle
    April 13, 2010 at 02:12

    i’m so envious dude -,.-
    Cool article by the way. I do think that this AJATT plus thing will let the people grew together
    even closer and build up one strong community. Concerning the barrier you mentioned by paying for your account, I would agree. It’s a good way to keep people away from that, who have better things to do than learning japanese ( or other languages ).
    I would pay for it,too. Since it’s not possible, i wait here jumping on my chair and congratulate you Kathz. Really,… I mean see what you did? So many people get so much from this site. I hope this project will run well 🙂


  2. Raziken
    April 13, 2010 at 03:39

    I love the “Hookers and Blow” nod in your ad for AJATT Plus. I’ll be sure to grab a subscription, not because I need it, but because I want to continue support for what you’ve already shown me.

  3. Ex blog commentator
    April 13, 2010 at 05:52

    Disagreeing comments deleted in 3… 2… 1…

  4. Kay
    April 13, 2010 at 06:45

    Great post!!!!!!

    I joined AJATT Plus because of two main reasons:

    1.) SUPPORT this site and all the awesomeness that comes out or it (both what is written by you, Khatz, AND the people who Comment).

    2.) MEET others, like myself, who can help me in my Japanese learning journey, both in resources and advise/criticism.

    I had actually been looking for a forum dedicated to nothing but AJATT, so AJATT Plus came at the right time 🙂


  5. Saru Sponge
    April 13, 2010 at 09:08

    It costs money?????? I thought all that sweet cocaine I sent you would be enough. Good day to you, sir.

  6. Shea
    April 13, 2010 at 20:57

    Yeah I already had a comment deleted once. I mean, I fully support the method and all but just voicing a slightly different opinion gets it deleted. It is his comment section on his blog so I can’t complain, just a bit disappointed. Still gonna keep on reading and employing though.

  7. Saru Sponge
    April 13, 2010 at 22:55

    I’m not quite sure what there is to disagree with here. No one is forcing you to sign up. In fact, all the information required to get better results in language learning is contained on this very site which is still free. I’m not signing up, I can’t afford it, but please let us not cheapen the discourse here by implying Mr. Khatzumoto is somehow wrong to capitalize on his experience. Also, Khatz has always been upfront about his moderation on the site. My suggestion is: chillax and read a book.

  8. April 13, 2010 at 23:43

    Hey everyone.
    I have been reading and profiting from this website for some time now. I think we should not forget one thing: Khatz did not lure anyone on this free site and then (once people were addicted 😉 ) suddenly capitalized it (does this word exist??? anyway…). Instead this features you have to pay for are NEW extra features (you might almost say “plus” features…oh no, wait that is exactly what they are called 😉 ). Ok you could discuss about closing the comments…but besides that…
    Me, personally I won’t sign up at the moment, since I am not even studying Japanese, so for me the extravalue is not enough to justify the emptying of my poor student’s budget ;). But I think if I ever seriously start with Japanese I might just as seriously consider it :).

  9. April 14, 2010 at 00:58

    Man I am so getting in on this goodness once my visa arrives in the post.

  10. April 14, 2010 at 02:49

    Nice article here 🙂

  11. April 14, 2010 at 02:49

    Khatz, I’m glad you posted this. It really bothers me that people think everything should be free for them. What they’re saying is ¨gimme, gimme, gimme… but I don’t want to give you anything¨ and it reflects poorly on how they were raised. I think that after all the time, effort, and money you’ve spent to run this site people should really double check themselves before being so demanding and accusatory. When someone gives us something, it’s common to give something back; Such is the nature of not only capitalism but human relationships in general. I’d really hate to date one of these cheapskates who just wants you to give them everything and gets all upset the day you ask for something for yourself. That being said, no one is pushing people to sign up for this if they don’t want it and if they don’t like it they’ll get all their money back, so I’d say it’s fair.

    As for deleting comments, why would you go to someone’s own website and annoy them? Deleting comments is the equivalent of telling someone who’s being rude at your party to go home. If people have so much to share with the world they can start their own website and say everything they want.

  12. Katrin
    April 14, 2010 at 06:58

    I’m confused. Are the comments closed or not? I mean, it seems like I still can write one…
    And that’s the only thing I would complain about.
    I will try AJATT Plus for one month to see what it’s all about and then I’ll see if it’s worth it.

  13. Unholyburger
    April 14, 2010 at 09:23

    Im surprised this post exists really, since there were almost no complaints (when I looked) on the first AJATT plus launch page. But yeah, I like the whole barrier idea, and I really want to be in the barrier but I want to buy other stuff in japanese ;_; I feel like a dirty unwanted child (笑)

    The only thing im worried about is that there will be less free AJATT since more attention will be on the plus site. Hopefully that wont be the case

  14. people
    April 14, 2010 at 11:15

    Wow, reading all these comment makes it look like it’s such a great and supported move for AJATT.
    But if you take the time to read the non-biased comments:

  15. Infrequent commentator
    April 15, 2010 at 02:27

    Just putting this out there, cause there might be some other people like me thinking the same thing.

    I enjoy this site, I come and read the articles and occasionally stumble upon something interesting (although perhaps less frequently than from your tweeting). However, I do not really pay all that much attention to the comments section, as a good portion of it consists of replies like “nice article”.

    Which is great and all, everyone showing their support. And sometimes there are some really cool links in the comments.

    But personally, a forum on the site isn’t a very big draw for me. What is~ however, is your promised translated articles.
    I would really enjoy reading your articles in Japanese, as I’ve enjoyed the rare few you wrote in Japanese before.

    And this is where I get to my point, you might want to consider eventually releasing an e-book of those translated articles when you’ve amassed a sufficient quantity.

    Because while I probably won’t (although I’m still on the fence) subscribe to AJATT plus, I would definitely buy that book.

  16. UnholyBurger
    April 15, 2010 at 02:32

    No point in complaining about the price. If one wants to truly have a constructive place to talk about AJATT there is going to be a price, or else it will be full of spammers and trolls. I personally cant wait until I can get some of those delicious japanese (with audio!) AJATT articles!

  17. icamonkey
    April 15, 2010 at 05:29

    Premium site looks promising. You shouldn’t have ads on it though. Leave that for the plebs, just saying.

  18. April 15, 2010 at 22:54

    @ Steffen

    You just said everything I was about to 🙂 totally agree, it’s not like anything’s being taken away from anyone. The only thing is comments – but people have already have had a chance to have their say, and they’re not losing anything. It’d be no different than if the AJATT blog was never again updated (not that I want that at all!).

    Mega-kudos to Khatz for going out on a limb with this 😉

  19. Brianna
    April 15, 2010 at 23:55


  20. アメド
    April 16, 2010 at 00:03

    I see you’re using tkyosam’s well known phrase “Hookers and blow”.
    Interesting use of advertisement phrases

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