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I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten

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FYI- Roam has released its pricing.  It's $15/month.  You can continue for free right now, but as at some point they will do away with the free plan (and their language is shaming people that don't want to pay that price), I'm done with Roam.  That's just way too much a month for me.  Emphasized the part below about the not free forever part...

Beloved Roamans:

Have a few major updates for you.

First - and most important - we shipped pricing yesterday for new users who wanted to get off the waitlist, but ROAM IS STILL FREE FOR YOU IF YOU AREN'T READY TO PAY.

Just scroll down past the pricing component that appears when you sign in. You'll see all the Roam "graphs" (databases - might change this term) you've created, and any shared ones that you've been added to.

Second - and I should have sent an update to all of y'all many weeks ago, but I've written a bit about the scaling problems we 5-7 weeks ago, and why we put the waitlist up in the first place.

For those of you who had days where you were locked out of your Roam with the dreaded infinite astrolabe, for those of you who had syncing problems and lost notes - I can't express my regret enough.

I do hope that our local backup system meant much less lost work than the first time we had scaling problems back in February - but my communication was way worse 6 weeks ago than it was the first time - and I'm very sorry you had to go through those problems without helpful communication from us.

Third - for you privacy oriented folks - and particularly for those of who want to roam with thoughts you can't trust to any 3rd party organization (state or trade secrets, info that could get you killed or thrown in prison) - we finally shipped local-only databases.

Right now this feature is only available for users on the Believer Plan - which might be a good incentive to upgrade - but we do plan to eventually make this available to everyone, even folks who got into the beta who aren't paying for any plan.

You can learn more about how local databases work here. tl;dr they work off the same local storage system we use that enables offline editing in normal Roam, we just don't send any data to our servers.

Now back to subject of pricing.

IF you are one of the people who have been wanting to give us money for ages (and thank you for reminding us of this so often!), you now can! When you sign in here, you'll see this pricing component and can pick a plan that works for you.

WARNING - if you change plans, our payment processor removes the free trial and you'll be charged right away.

IF that price is too much for you but you still want to pay - please fill out the ROAM SCHOLARS application form!

IF you do not want to pay - either because you aren't sure about Roam yet (what are you waiting for!) or you just want to milk the free plan as long as you can (shame on you for not supporting tool makers!) you do not need to worry, YOU CAN KEEP USING ROAM FOR FREE.

I know I've tweeted at points that we are keeping beta free for another month, but I've removed those tweets now, because honestly we aren't particularly thrilled to build a paywall anytime soon - and frankly have bigger features that we're more excited about (like full offline, a desktop app, the API, plugin support, and getting mobile apps).

Finally, if you haven't been relentlessly following us on social media, there have been a bunch of other huge updates in the past few weeks, and a ton of amazing things coming out of the community.

We shipped custom theming and CSS - and there have been some beautiful ones created by the community.

Here is a tweet thread with video instructions to set up themes, a link to where you can find the themes (and Paypal links to donate to the creators), and some screenshots of featured ones. has launched (thank you Francis Miller of It highlights public Roams with canonical texts - like the King James Bible, The Qur'an (in English and Arabic), the Mahabarata, and other great works - all formatted for easy import into your personal Roam.

As a warning, these texts are large, and will definitely slow down your database. To help deal with this, we also shipped an improvement to the ALL PAGES so that you can bulk delete pages, or export a subset of a graph - suggest you export only the sections of these public Roams you are most interested in, so that Roam is still reasonably quick for you to load on mobile, or with slow internet.

Have shipped a bunch of other small improvements and new features over the past few weeks. To learn more about those, check out our Change Log.

We also opened up a new forum and support site - since Slack was archiving all old messages.
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I can only get 14 day free trial.  :(
And it's a pretty steep price.
And the whole premise of this thread works with Obsidian and not Roam.
So I've still not tried it yet.

Equally I can understand where they are coming from. Online databases aren't cheap to run when they are as intensive as Roam, and their coding capacity seems overstretched given the descriptions of multiple bugs and variable performance. So they need to spend and will need proved income to avoid handing the business over to venture capital. And the 5 year subscription money will help tackle the financial needs during this pinch point.

And for the cultists using it intensively as a core part of their work,  even $15 is very cheap.
And if three people share with one database each, then that's only $5.

But all the accounts I've seen suggest it takes long time to learn how to use it to the max, and its hard to see how more casual users can get value from it at this price. afaics, there's the intention for a cheaper,  freemium offer to them, when they can work it out, but we'll see.

And seems they raised more money in the first two days of the five year subscription than they earned or raised in their first two years.

I guess if you get it, you really get it.  But from my use, I'm not one that sees the value of $180 a year for it.  Even at half that price I wouldn't see it.

I've decided not to bother with a trial after watching a few videos. I knew quite a bit before,  but that clinched it.

It's effectively an outliner on research steroids. I've never been a great user of workflowy type outliners- rather like my aversion to wikis. Just a personal bias. Also saw that access from a mobile browser is limited. I  like documents I can do anything with and I'm happy with them being short. Which brings me back to Obsidian again.

What I would say in Roam's favour is that I recognise how easy it makes it for people to just write whatever is in their minds. I'm not in a position to judge the value of that productivity, but can see why so many describe it as unlocking their ability to write. It removes the writer's block that afflicts so many.


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