For the past few months I have been researching how to set up a separate area for paid members which will include member only videos and ebooks and a private forum where members can talk about things they don't necessarily want on the main site or at least a feature like mingle so they can swap private messages. Right now they get to know each other on the blog and send me their email addresses to swap and sometimes it's a lot of emails getting exchanged. Plus I'd like them to stay on the site and talk. Either private messaging or chat.
There are many plugins both free and paid but I've been reluctant to start playing with them (for fear of driving my members crazy). Any suggestions or sites that have implemented this would be helpful. Thank you.