I skipped the whole AOL, Compuserve, and other experiences. What came of that was that I saved a lot of money, learned a lot of things and found things those other people didnt and couldn't because they were inhibited due to another person or group's acceptance of what was reasonable or acceptable.
I'm glad to hear InkTips might be a good organization from others now that I have expended a few bucks on them to see who is calling for screenplays. :) I've been using their free newsletter for a few years now. The other day I found something that sounded interesting to submit to, which motivated me to pay up, as of course, it was one of those on the pay side of things. But even their free newsletter has good stuff on it. Anyway, now I have access to more studios on there and I'm feeling good about it. But I do not pay to have my scripts on their site. For me, it just doesn't make good money sense. Maybe for some, it would. But you have to balance that kind of thing and not just do it.
Sometimes, you should pay up. But it is so easy to waste money, you have to be careful, vet your sources, check things out. Be sure you are getting something. Even if it's free elsewhere, it may save you money to pay to get it in a certain form. How much is an hour of your life worth? Now, realistically, how much?
Allow me to qualify all this as it may have seemed like I was rambling.
I listened to a Chris Soth interview the other day, actor, producer, writer. Chris is a great guy. I get along well with him. After the phone conference interviewee signed off, he took questions. At the last question, a guy said that he had his scripts on Chris' site for a long time now (or may have been Inktips, I don't remember), with no one contacting him, though he saw it was getting hits.
This meant the guy was paying money and not getting what he thought he was paying for. And that is my point.
I have seen and heard of people pouring money into getting their scripts "out there" in the hopes of getting them picked up, and all they got in the end was an empty wallet. In my endeavors, I just want to be sure I wasn't just a hopeful who was spending all my money on going nowhere.
I think talent tends to win out and if he was't getting contacted, perhaps he was in the wrong field. Chris fielded the questions well, but I felt sorry for him being put on the spot in a way that either he shouldn't have been, or would have led him to say either, "perhaps they didn't see a well written script", or that "it fit no one at the time" (which probably wasn't the case), or simply, "I can read your scripts and tell you what I think" (which he shouldn't have to do), where in the end he would most likely have to tell the guy he needs more practice before spending more money, or that he simply needs to give up.
After all if you're not good, get better, but if you can't get better (aren't willing to put the work into it, cannot find the right information to mimic, or you simply aren't capable for whatever reason), then you should find something else to do. Maybe, you'd be a great producer instead for instance.
My point is, run down all the free ways to get somewhere, before simply dumping money into a problem, thinking that will bring the desired resolution. It can, but it typically won't.You can't just do in life, you also have to think.