As outlined in our help article on Stitch memberships & pricing, Stitch members who have not yet taken out a membership subscription are known as Basic members.
Basic membership of Stitch is free, and provides access to a small subset of the Stitch Community for those people who aren't ready to fully join yet. You can stay a Basic member as long as you want.
This article outlines what new and Basic members can access in the Stitch Community.
All members start out as Basic when they first join, so let's take a look at what you can (and cannot) do in the community from the moment you first join.
Attend ANY 3 events in your first month
When a new member joins Stitch, they are allowed to attend any three events in their first month, even ones that are reserved for "Full members only".
Stitch lets them do this as a way to get introduced to what the community is all about.
Often the best Stitch activities are organized by long-time members who support the community by encouraging all attendees to take out a Full membership. Stitch allows new members to attend up to 3 of these events within their first month, to give them an opportunity to see what a members-only event is like and hear first-hand from existing Stitch members about what makes the community great.
During these first three events, Stitch enforces the following rules:
Basic members can only attend ONE event before being required to complete their Stitch profile.
Some new members feel uncomfortable posting a profile picture on a website they've only just joined, and only relax when they realize how safe Stitch is after they attend their first Stitch event and meet other members.
Stitch lets them attend one event in order to let existing members introduce them to Stitch -- and in some cases help them with their profile!
Basic members need to make sure they get themselves verified at one of their first THREE Stitch events.
Community Champions can verify you in person at a Stitch event, or you can get verified online. Stitch gives you three opportunities to ask a Champion to verify you at an event, after which you can't attend events unless you are verified.
Please note that while you can come to three events as an unverified member, you CANNOT communicate with any other members online. That includes sending messages to other event attendees & posting questions for the event organizer. So get yourself verified as quickly as you can!
After your first 3 events (or your 1st month)
After you've attended 3 Stitch events (or after your first month), you should have a good idea of what Stitch is all about.
We hope you'll decide to support the community by becoming a Full member at that point, but you may not be ready to do so yet. You might only be interested in joining in the activities of a single Stitch Group, and not in participating in what the rest of the community has to offer.
If you want to stay a Basic member, that's totally fine.
Basic members can join a single Stitch Group (as long as it's not one reserved for "Full members only"), and attend unlimited events and activities within that group. Basic members have total access to all the entitlements of the group: they can participate in group discussions, view member profiles, and send private messages to other members (provided they are verified). The only limitation you will face is that you are limited to one group only.
If you want to participate in the broader Stitch community, you will need to become a Full member.
Below are a few of the common questions members often have about Basic members on Stitch.
Can I leave one group and join another one?
Yes, you can leave one group and join another one. We don't want Basic members to feel "stuck" if they've joined a group they don't like.
We do impose some checks to prevent people from constantly switching groups in order to bypass Stitch's membership rules, but in general we trust most members to do the right thing by the community, and join as a Full member if they want to participate in multiple Stitch Groups.
What about browsing member profiles?
The article above describes how Basic members access the Community part of Stitch, which includes Stitch Groups, Activities and Discussions.
The one-on-one companionship part of Stitch, which includes the ability to browse member profiles, is limited to Full members only.
The reason for this is that Stitch's social mission supports enriching our members' lives through the activities, groups and discussions they can participate in on Stitch, and is why we provide limited access to the community to Basic members.
Experience has shown us that the one-on-one companionship part of Stitch is more likely to be abused by members who have not paid a membership fee, so we limit this to Full members only in order to protect our members.