Minimum length of memberships that are beneficial for you?

At Collective Agency, sometimes people sign up who only plan on being in Portland for a month or six weeks. They sign up and pay first and last month. Then they leave on schedule. While they’re here, they form friendships. When they leave, the relationship ties they have formed, pull at the other people who are members, and get them more likely to leave, because one of their new friends has left. I’ve talked with someone who does economics for a major roleplaying game and she says this happens in their universe too; players are more likely to leave after their friends leave.

One solution is to have members form many friendships and not be as fazed out when one of their friends leaves. But recently we saw a cluster of people form tight friendships, including a crafting circle, and then when one person left, another person was more likely to leave, and so on, creating more of a cascade effect than usual.

My question is: do you set minimum expectations on whether someone is wanted to join for a month if they are definitely leaving after that? Currently we don’t. Anyone staying less than 6 months seems to not be worth it for revenue and community here, since long-term friendships are highly valued by members, and most people stay much more than that, but I’m hesitant to enforce or tell people a minimum length of membership before they sign up.


Alex Linsker, Collective Agency