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Author Topic: ADMIN: Should we have a Subscribers Only Area?  (Read 14992 times)
Tana
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« Reply #30: June 23, 2011, 04:10:01 am »

The other possible problems I can see with this are, complaints and demands for refunds. What if the spell doesn't work, or not in the way they'd hoped. You might have people wanting their money back. Or someone wants a certain kind of spell that no one wants to create for ethical reasons. I can see the potential for people to feel like they should get what they're "paying for". It could cause some headaches.

*nods*

I've been thinking along the same lines.
It can't be a 'real' customer-service thing. That involves too much trouble for the hosts.
(If it's considered a business tax won't be far away too I guess.)

That's what I meant with we need to discuss this and think about it.

OTOH the subscriber board needs to offer something. And that needs to be something more than 'subscribe and get the chance to win a book/spell/reading.'

So it's a bit a catch 22.  Huh
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« Reply #31: June 23, 2011, 10:00:57 am »

OTOH the subscriber board needs to offer something. And that needs to be something more than 'subscribe and get the chance to win a book/spell/reading.'

So it's a bit a catch 22.  Huh

One classic option is graphic features - perhaps people willing to do avatar creature (or sig image creation)? Or some styles for the board only available for subscribers? (I don't know if that one's easy to allow in the software...)

On a fair number of sites, the point of benefits for subscribing isn't entirely an exchange for money - it's more about people feeling good about donating and getting a little extra something nice/fun/whatever.
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« Reply #32: June 23, 2011, 12:19:11 pm »

One classic option is graphic features - perhaps people willing to do avatar creature (or sig image creation)? Or some styles for the board only available for subscribers? (I don't know if that one's easy to allow in the software...)

I could probably mark some of our collection of avatars for donors only, but that would not be much benefit when everyone can upload an avatar on the new board. And I'd hate to limit using your own avatar to donors only as a lot of regulars who have their own avatar on this board would then loose it on the new board.  I might be able to limit images in sigs to donors but I'm not sure. I would be easy to allow donors to have animated images in avatars (as that is a per usergroup option in vBulletin) but animation annoys a lot of people including several staff members -- I'm afraid this would drive some people off.

Styles are a pain in the butt. I have a collection of css-only styles on the new board because they will work with all mods. However, they are simple and only change colors not layout. Anything more complex becomes a major pain-in-the-ass to get working with every mod -- as attempts to use them on the test board showed. Things did not work on some styles no matter how hard I tried to figure out their issues.

Here's what I know donors should get on the new board:

* Far fewer ads -- probably very close to none (just like here). I will not promise "none" as some ads might be impossible to control per user group. But it will be as close to none as I can get it.

* More PM Storage. I higher your donor group, the more PM storage you will have.  Donors will also get the ability to request "PM read receipts". Gold Donors may also get the ability to send a PM to someone even if that person is out of PM storage.

* Able to start more Social Groups. Regular members will be limited to 1 or 2, probably one to start with to prevent a flood of social group creation at the start.  It might also be possible to limit things like only the owner can start new threads social groups to donors, but I'm not sure how good an idea this would be.

* Donors may get the ability to set themselves "invisible" on the list of users online.

* Some type of badge for their postbit (the user description that appears in every post) just like here -- once I figure out how to do it.

There may be other stuff as well, but these things I am pretty sure of.
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« Reply #33: June 23, 2011, 06:05:11 pm »


The point of my post (and I do have one) is I don't see that any of the forums here are subscriber only.
Would that be an option? Can you/we think of anything here now or that could be added that would encourage members to willingly help shoulder the load for a stronger faster forum?


Honestly I don't think  there is a reason to  have  subscriber only  forums,  on ANY  board. Personally it  reminds  me  of a pay as you go  cell phone,  kind of useless,  if you have money  for  the  pay as you go  cards you can  use the  phone, if you have money to pay  for a month/6 months/year  subscription you can use  the  website or certain  parts of  the  website? Again it's a matter  of  this  being  my own personal  opinion. So far TC has  been able to stay afloat with  donations, and donor's  get some  certain  extra's that  non  donor's  don't get while  keeping the entire  forum open to all members to  contribute to. This  system isn't  unusual  I've seen it on other sites and  it does seem to work  well. Having  a  special section  for  people  who  pay  is  kinda well tacky  if you ask  me, it's almost like saying  regular members  who can't afford to  contribute to the pot so to  speak  are not good  enough to  contribute to  certain  areas  of  the  forum. Again this is  my  personal  opinion  not  meant to  offend anyone.  Smiley
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« Reply #34: June 23, 2011, 06:27:29 pm »

Having  a  special section  for  people  who  pay  is  kinda well tacky  if you ask  me, it's almost like saying  regular members  who can't afford to  contribute to the pot so to  speak  are not good  enough to  contribute to  certain  areas  of  the  forum. Again this is  my  personal  opinion  not  meant to  offend anyone.  Smiley

I'm not a huge fan of the idea myself, but since it was brought up and we had never really discussed it I figured it is worth talking about. Ideas from all sides are good on something like this.
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« Reply #35: June 24, 2011, 02:02:19 am »


Here's what I know donors should get on the new board:

* Far fewer ads -- probably very close to none (just like here). I will not promise "none" as some ads might be impossible to control per user group. But it will be as close to none as I can get it.

* More PM Storage. I higher your donor group, the more PM storage you will have.  Donors will also get the ability to request "PM read receipts". Gold Donors may also get the ability to send a PM to someone even if that person is out of PM storage.

* Able to start more Social Groups. Regular members will be limited to 1 or 2, probably one to start with to prevent a flood of social group creation at the start.  It might also be possible to limit things like only the owner can start new threads social groups to donors, but I'm not sure how good an idea this would be.

* Donors may get the ability to set themselves "invisible" on the list of users online.

* Some type of badge for their postbit (the user description that appears in every post) just like here -- once I figure out how to do it.

There may be other stuff as well, but these things I am pretty sure of.


See...IF I had the money to be able to donate, none of this would interest me.  Nor has any of the previous suggestions.  Most of the suggestions - give-a-ways, etc - sound like they would be more hassle then worth. 

So far TC has  been able to stay afloat with  donations, and donor's  get some  certain  extra's that  non  donor's  don't get while  keeping the entire  forum open to all members to  contribute to. This  system isn't  unusual  I've seen it on other sites and  it does seem to work  well. Having  a  special section  for  people  who  pay  is  kinda well tacky  if you ask  me, it's almost like saying  regular members  who can't afford to  contribute to the pot so to  speak  are not good  enough to  contribute to  certain  areas  of  the  forum. Again this is  my  personal  opinion  not  meant to  offend anyone.  Smiley

I have to agree with Jubes on this. I've been thinking along this line since this thread started. 

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« Reply #36: June 24, 2011, 03:37:31 am »

I have to agree with Jubes on this. I've been thinking along this line since this thread started.

I've been wondering, too - what if you can afford to donate now, but not in a year's time? Will you be kicked out of the donors-only area? I'd find that fairly impolite if it happened...
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« Reply #37: June 24, 2011, 04:18:27 am »

People here have always been willing to donate money if there was a need without anything in return than a good running forum. So TC is attractive enough for donors without special community rights for them. I think a lot of TC's attractiveness comes from the members. There are many people who write thorough posts which give other users a lot of useful information. Those members don't get paid for this service to the community, they do it for free. The mods don't get paid for their work either. I find it important to look at this aspect of TC: It's such an attractive community because many people are willing to give things for free just to keep the cauldron bubbling. So there must be already something they recive in return.

I'm not against a few special features for people who offer special help like donations or devoting their time to moderate, but I don't see a need to kind of divide the forum by setting up community areas for donors only. I don't like ideas like restricting 'normal members' ability to start new social groups, because starting a good running social group can also add to TC's attractiveness. If there is a flood-problem, I think there could be a restriction adressing exactly this problem, but I wouldn't like to see unpaying members more restricted in community functions than they need to be for the prevention of flooding and spamming.

However I like other ideas of appreciating donations like buttons, larger avatars, sig images, more storage space, maybe the ability to choose different board styles etc. - things which are special features, but don't restrict unpaying members in their ability to contribute to the community.

I also like the idea of donating readings to donors, but I think it should be based on how much the volunteer readers can donate. I'd see it as problematic if this was made into a right for ever donor to recieve a specific number of readings for their donation. It's a good idea to give donors the privilege of receiving larger readings or being first in the queue if the volunteer reader has the time to do a reading, but this would depend on the measure of the volunteer reader. I also see the problem that some volunteer readers might be able to contribute differently to different requests. I'm not an expert in divination, but sometimes there's a request for which I have enough confidence to pick it up. This could be a donor's request, but it could also be a request of an unpaying member... - However I think it is a good idea to show a bit more effort to donors where it is possible, while keeping in mind that TC isn't the same as a paid service.

Just my two cents, I don't like the idea of a community like TC working well enough with volunteer contributions turning slowly into a paid service without the need to.
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« Reply #38: June 25, 2011, 03:49:02 pm »


I'm a regular donor and while I enjoy not seeing adverts it's not the reason I donate. I do that because I love it here and want the board to continue and at the moment I am fortunate enough to be able to spare a little each month. If I could afford to give more I would. I don't think that having a subscribers only section of the board would have encouraged me to donate rather than the reasons that I already have. To be honest I don't think there's anything that would motivate me more than my love of the board. 

Similarly with a monthly give-away, although I think this is a nice way of saying thanks to the donors, if it didn't become too burdensome. I would certainly be happy to contribute something to such an idea. I make jewellery so I would be happy to donate an item or two for other members.
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