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Ethnio and The Money Situation

Posted on Jan 13th, 2009 by Nate Bolt

ethnio update

Ethnio Will Cost Money on February 1st

It’s been four years since we started Ethnio as the world’s first remote user research tool, and it’s been awesome to get all of the support and usage from everyone. Thanks! This is a friendly heads up that we’ll start charging for Ethnio on February 1st., 2009. It’s an unsurprising combination of the financial apocalypse and usage increasing to millions of views, hundreds of thousands of recruits, and more server load than we can really handle for free. You might have a few questions about the details, which are covered below in neat little sections.

Pricing Details

Here are the three basic packages starting in February. By default, you’ll remain in the free package until you need to recruit more than 20 people for your research using ethnio. The site has not been updated so this email is just early warning for your convenience and planning.

* 20 Recruits Free
* 200 Recruits $400
* 2,000 Recruits $800

Umm, What is a Recruit?

Anybody that answers all of your screener questions counts as one recruit. So essentially every response to an ethnio screener is a recruit, but we have some clever ways of only charging for people that are qualified research candidiates. The same kind you would pay a recruiting agency $100 a head for! The first way is that ethnio automatically marks any response with more than 3 blank fields as “bogus.” The second is that any recruits through your preview are not counted, so you can test away. The best is that you can manually mark any response as “bogus” so that it won’t count towards your monthly total. That is on the honor system, yo. We trust you to not mark all your recruits as bogus but our interns will check just in case. Login to ethnio, Go to the Recruits tab, and check out the Status column to try it out.

Can I Still Login for Free?

Yep. Your current ethnio login will continue to work until the end of time, so don’t worry about losing access to any recruits or screeners you have completed in the past. The new system will always let you login and create screeners, but will only let you receive 20 recruits for free per month. After that, it will ask you to upgrade. While you are using ethnio for free, we do ask that you take down the activation code if you are on a big ol’ web site (20,000+ uniques / day).

This is Way Too Expensive You Suck

Well that’s not really a question, but you can always purchase recruits for one study and not pay anything until you need another study. Like with flickr or vimeo but way more pricey and geared towards us qualitative researchers out there.

What the Crap is Ethnio?

There are two places you might want to check. The first is our outstanding blog on remote user testing, and the second is our upcoming book, “Remote Research,” with the fine folks at Rosenfeld Media. That’s all for now and feel free to reply back to this message or email us directly with questions. More information and site updates to come.


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