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-   -   New Premium Memberships (http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/news-community-announcements/136355-new-premium-memberships.html)

schweb 01-08-2009 08:07 AM

New Premium Memberships
 
We're excited to announce a new way for you to show your support of Mac-Forums and enhance your experience in our community, Premium Membership.

We developed Premium Memberships after receiving suggestions and feedback that such an option was desired. As a Premium Member you gain several benefits:
  • An ad-free forum skin option
  • Access to a private Premium Members forum
  • Increased PM mailbox size
  • A special Premium Members badge to show your status
In addition, we're already planning several new features that will be available for Premium Members in the future to continue to bring enhanced value to the program.

Premium Membership is available beginning today! For more information, visit the Premium Member information page:
http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/premium.php

JGruber 01-08-2009 02:11 PM

What if you don't use Paypal?

schweb 01-08-2009 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JGruber (Post 784363)
What if you don't use Paypal?

Currently that's the service we use. We may look at alternatives in the future.

JGruber 01-08-2009 03:22 PM

But it does look like it will allow people to Pay with a Credit Card without having a Paypal Account.

This is good news for the people that don't have or use Paypal.

schweb 01-08-2009 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JGruber (Post 784421)
But it does look like it will allow people to Pay with a Credit Card without having a Paypal Account.

This is good news for the people that don't have or use Paypal.

Yes, I believe that's correct. Thanks for checking that!

JGruber 01-08-2009 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schweb (Post 784422)
Yes, I believe that's correct. Thanks for checking that!

Not a problem at all! I'll jump on this when I get home from work later today!

Zoolook 01-08-2009 04:19 PM

Can I ask exactly what the funds would be used for? I am assuming that the advertising and sponsorship covers the cost of the hosting, and the admin/mods give their time voluntarily.

Also, isn't there a danger of this becoming a little clique. It's one thing to make people MOTM for their behavior and contributions, and another thing entirely to create a sub-group based on willingness or ability to pay.

I am not shooting the idea down, and I am sure you have considered how this might impact the community feel here, but what are your thoughts on these points? I am interested in supporting the forum as it happens, I just don't want there to be a two tier feel to the forum, as the community spirit is what makes this place special.

BlueMac 01-08-2009 04:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zoolook (Post 784462)
Can I ask exactly what the funds would be used for? I am assuming that the advertising and sponsorship covers the cost of the hosting, and the admin/mods give their time voluntarily.

Also, isn't there a danger of this becoming a little clique. It's one thing to make people MOTM for their behavior and contributions, and another thing entirely to create a sub-group based on willingness or ability to pay.

I am not shooting the idea down, and I am sure you have considered how this might impact the community feel here, but what are your thoughts on these points? I am interested in supporting the forum as it happens, I just don't want there to be a two tier feel to the forum, as the community spirit is what makes this place special.



I agree- it might seem as if the paying members might be 'favored'.

JGruber 01-08-2009 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zoolook (Post 784462)
Can I ask exactly what the funds would be used for? I am assuming that the advertising and sponsorship covers the cost of the hosting, and the admin/mods give their time voluntarily.

Also, isn't there a danger of this becoming a little clique. It's one thing to make people MOTM for their behavior and contributions, and another thing entirely to create a sub-group based on willingness or ability to pay.

I am not shooting the idea down, and I am sure you have considered how this might impact the community feel here, but what are your thoughts on these points? I am interested in supporting the forum as it happens, I just don't want there to be a two tier feel to the forum, as the community spirit is what makes this place special.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlueMac (Post 784478)
I agree- it might seem as if the paying members might be 'favored'.

Hate to say it, but that is how it is on sites that give the option to pay for a 'Premium Membership' On the site I Admin (socalrcrc.org/forum) we have a paying club membership, those that are paid members get perks on the site, special deals by some well know company's in our industry.

Also some people just feel the need to help out, $25 a year isn't much, comes out to about $2.08 a month.

schweb 01-08-2009 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zoolook (Post 784462)
Can I ask exactly what the funds would be used for? I am assuming that the advertising and sponsorship covers the cost of the hosting, and the admin/mods give their time voluntarily.

I would imagine they'd be used for running the site and improvements to the site. And let's face it, in all honesty, there are some cool features we'd like to bring to the site that ad revenue alone won't cover. Premium members will get access to additional features, no different than Flickr, Evernote, or many other communities.

Core features will always be available to all, but Premium Members may have access to enhanced functionality.

Quote:

Also, isn't there a danger of this becoming a little clique. It's one thing to make people MOTM for their behavior and contributions, and another thing entirely to create a sub-group based on willingness or ability to pay.
That was the same worry that people had when we created the MoTM program, but we've worked hard not to allow that to happen and I think it's been successful. We'll do the same here.

Quote:

I am interested in supporting the forum as it happens, I just don't want there to be a two tier feel to the forum, as the community spirit is what makes this place special.
I appreciate the concern and feedback, but trust me when I say, in general there won't be two tiers of membership, at least in the eyes of the staff. Premium Members will have access to an enhanced experience, but anyone has the option of becoming a Premium Member. You will not lose anything from your current experience or any future "core" experience improvements by remaining a regular, valued member.

In the end our intention is not to alienate our regular member base, but we also wanted to allow those who wished to support Mac-Forums through Premium Membership to have value in doing so. As we grow this program, I would hope you continue to give feedback, publicly or privately through PM, if you feel we're not delivering on what we promise to do.

schweb 01-08-2009 05:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlueMac (Post 784478)
I agree- it might seem as if the paying members might be 'favored'.

How so?

By receiving enhanced experiences for their support? Sure thing, but there's nothing wrong with that, it's how many sites and communities work. You can pay to receive more features and a better experience. Core things will always remain available to the community as a whole.

If you mean they'll be treated differently in relation to the forum rules, behavior, etc, absolutely not. And if you don't believe that, ask any MoTM. ;)

dabears34 01-08-2009 07:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schweb (Post 784495)
How so?

By receiving enhanced experiences for their support? Sure thing, but there's nothing wrong with that, it's how many sites and communities work. You can pay to receive more features and a better experience. Core things will always remain available to the community as a whole.

If you mean they'll be treated differently in relation to the forum rules, behavior, etc, absolutely not. And if you don't believe that, ask any MoTM. ;)

I believe what he is saying is that maybe things like MOTM will be skewed by the fact that some people are Premium members while others are not. and if thats not correct im sorry. I think if there is a forum that can pull this off its MF.

BlueMac 01-08-2009 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schweb (Post 784495)
How so?

By receiving enhanced experiences for their support? Sure thing, but there's nothing wrong with that, it's how many sites and communities work. You can pay to receive more features and a better experience. Core things will always remain available to the community as a whole.

If you mean they'll be treated differently in relation to the forum rules, behavior, etc, absolutely not. And if you don't believe that, ask any MoTM. ;)

Well, I get this thought from another forum I belong to- people seem to trust the paying members more, and act though they are police men, people who mean more than other forum members.

But lets see how this goes, first. :D

baggss 01-09-2009 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schweb (Post 784493)
That was the same worry that people had when we created the MoTM program, but we've worked hard not to allow that to happen and I think it's been successful. We'll do the same here.

Allow me to play the devils advocate here:

I can see that, but the MOTM program is not voluntary, others nominate you and you really have no say (I suppose you could decline). This involves money and is therefore completely different. When people plonk down their cash they expect perks for it, especially when charging for something that is, basically, otherwise free.

As an example, if I pay my $25 and then get suspended because I talked about file sharing or how to rip commercial DVDs, do I get a refund? I ask this because I have been gigged, and almost suspended, for things that I think were questionable enforcement of the rules in the past. If I start paying you money for the maintenance, upgrades or whatever of the site, I expect something solid in return, not just extra message space and a pretty badge. Where is the incentive? A private forum?

schweb 01-09-2009 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by baggss (Post 785198)
Allow me to play the devils advocate here:

As an example, if I pay my $25 and then get suspended because I talked about file sharing or how to rip commercial DVDs, do I get a refund?

No, you don't. The forum rules are clear, and every member, even premium ones, will be held accountable to them. Suspended is a temporary situation, it takes alot to get permanently banned and I would hope someone who's paying to be a premium member wouldn't be the kind of person to continuously push the envelope like that.

Quote:

I expect something solid in return, not just extra message space and a pretty badge. Where is the incentive? A private forum?
Each person will make the judgement on its value based on their expectations and desires. It doesn't seem like it's for you, that's cool. MobileMe isn't for everyone either. For others, who have already signed up, Premium Memberships do provide value to them.

I'd also like to point out that Premium Memberships are a direct result of the community asking for them. When inline ads were introduced, a good number of members asked us to provide this very thing.


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