Dude, it's just a forum, save your money for your house.
So I think it would be helpful to clarify if you guys are non-profit seeking donations or if you are for-profit seeking to up-sell a service.
Either one is fine, but I can't imagine buying a premium account without that clarification.
The tone of those posts suggests that this is not for profit - in other words, to help allay the costs of the boards and services here.
However, even though I may have a boatload of posts, I am not affiliated with the site at all, so I am speculating - this is purely conjecture on my part.
Rob / Phases / anyone care to answer?
Just had to get in the VIP section
Joking aside, feel that is a well deserved donation, have learnt soo much on here and although still learning am able to help others now.
Thanks Rob, Mods, Guides for all your hard work and of course not forgetting the members as without us this would not be needed.
I'm only a Phone Guide, however really what the premium membership is for is to show your support for the site. The membership charge is like a donation which goes towards the many costs to run the site like hosting and what not. The money isn't used to pay the Mods for their service or anything like that. Up until now, Rob has had to pay for the site out of his own pocket. Now, we can take some of the weight off his sholders. The features unlocked by becoming a premium member are to give you something in return for your much appreciated help.
For those who have donated or become a Premium Member, thanks for you support!
It would be kind of cool to get a membership with just no ads.
I don't really want graphics or anything, I'd just like no ads. I wouldn't even mind doing the subscription if you could turn all of the gold stuff off.
See this, to me, is an unacceptable answer. I dont donate to for-profit businesses no matter how much I like them. And, as you can guess by my post count, I do like AF, quite a lot. But sadly I wont be buying a premium account here as the silence on the questions raised about the business versus non-profit is too indicative of some unpleasant things.
The whole trend of misusing the word "donate" when in fact your are selling a service is a bad one. If donating gets you a service in return it's not donating.
Sadly, I would have gladly paid for a service, or gladly simply given a donation, but the lack of a response as to what this actually is, leads me to think this was an intentional misrepresentation. I would have gladly bought one or the other as long as it was billed as one or the other and not "a little of both but we're not telling you really how much of each". That, coupled with the removal of titles for only for premium members and farking with the signatures has left me wondering what is going on around here.
Anyways, I hope you guys get your house in order. I don't begrudge you trying to monetize what you have created here, and I do really enjoy these forums. But the most special thing about this place is it's warm and friendly community. And to see these ambiguous statements about donating, and the questions regarding clarification of such going unanswered, makes me think you guys have a rather curious (lack of) respect for the membership.
If you'd like to ask some pointed questions, I'll be happy to answer them, but all you seem to be suggesting is that we're somehow scamming/tricking people into giving us money. Not only does the site cost a lot to maintain ($X,XXX), but myself along with many others want to see the site IMPROVE, and 100% of the money from memberships goes back into continued development of new features (after costs are covered).
Is this a "for profit" site? Sure... but to continue growing/improving both the small and big things we've discussed as admins/mods and with members, we could use all the help we can get. This is part of the reason the "Apps" section has faced such a huge delay and trust me... you don't even want to KNOW how much money I've sunk into that project/feature.
You say "sadly" you won't be buying/donating but you don't see anyone trying to convince you... do you? And you can still pretty much do every single thing you could before... can't you? So I'm a bit confused why complaints keep coming.
You've made your point several times about the "semantics" and at this point it's probably just best to agree to disagree. The premium memberships are designed to allow a constant stream of money to be put aside specifically to improve the website. As for constructive criticism and suggestions - keep them coming.
SIDE NOTE: Phases had drafted a response that I asked him to withhold - he feels very strongly about this. Probably because while most members view this as a place to get answers and a place to hang out, folks like Phases, Shivers spend more hours discussing the site and working on the site than you can possibly fathom.
Thank you for the response Rob, that does clarify things for me and it was very respectful and honest. I guess you are correct in that it seems just a disagreement in how you and I view the semantics of it. But that's fine, and I may have spoke a bit out of place a bit (and a bit too soon) but I will surely agree to disagree. Perhaps implying it was an intentional misrepresentation was a bit too much.
My above post though about not buying an account though stemmed from asking politely about the differences and getting ignored. All the while seeing that poor guy's post who was trying to donate despite being very down on his luck. This is what triggered me to get upset, as I saw him as reacting to the word donate especially. The word donate plays on people's sensibilities and morals (as evidenced by that gentleman) and seems to me inappropriate in a business setting.
Again though, I absolutely don't begrudge you guys trying to up-sell a service. But you were removing features that regular subscribers had used, to make them exclusive to premium members. This is your prerogative of course, but it doesn't feel like up-selling when you take stuff away. So while no one is directly trying to make someone buy an account, it's clear there are subtle disincentives being given if you don't buy one. These silly user titles under people's names that make it look like we say these hokey things about how we love Android or have a custom ROM being a perfect example.
Btw if Phases want's to let me have it that would be fine, I think he's a nice guy, I think you're all nice guys and I apologize for saying you were misrepresenting things intentionally, and I know you're really dedicated to this site. However, I just wish you guys were more clear in the language you use.
At this point you are right though, I have said my opinion and shall leave it at that, I don't mean to harrass you at every turn, just to state my view.
(Custom titles were a flop, will be changed before too long. Have a couple thoughts that may be received better.)
How long after a payment before you get the premium upgrade?
Soon as it clears on both ends. Most cases so far have been within a few minutes, but we got at least one e-check (I believe was the method) that took 4 or 5 days.
I used paypal with credit card not e check but its been like 35 mins. I didnt know if you had to log out and log back in or if it just automaticly upgrades it.
Looks like you're good.
Thanks Phases, appreciate the help.
You guys should do it like SprintUsers.com ..... You get points for everypost, and you can spend points on extras for the forum, including a premium membership. I think it was something like 1k posts got you enough points for premium
Money talks BS walks. General rule in life
A better option for a subsidized premium account might be for heavy posters with higher ratings to somehow be rewarded this way. That way, you aren't rewarding people who are only contributing traffic (not the good kind, but the kind your host dings you for) to the site. Users with high post counts and high thanks/ratings are atleast contributing content.
Giving those people even a small discount would not only be an impressive act of good will but could also serve as a way to encourage the type of participation in this site that you probably want.
It's also a great way to encourage people to spam the site, multi-post several times and start pointless threads or posts to get a higher post count. Linking posting worth to post count is IMHO a bad idea.
That is what IOWA was suggesting, not me. It would also be tied to the quality of the posts (I thought that I said that at least twice in my comment.)
There might need to be some improvements made to the thanks/rating system as it often seems that it becomes a measuring stick for the popularity of a post vs the helpfulness of it. Well, if someone posts wildly popular things and people are drawn to the forums because of that, I guess you could reward that sort of thing (even selling Lady Gaga's stuff pays the bills for some people.)
right, a lot of the top posters have many many copy and pasted posts in the intros, games, lounge, etc....
How about just linking posting worth to the relative merit of the posts; can the admins/moderators just keep track of the Caddyman, OTD types who are always helping and then somehow reward them for it?
I mean, sometimes I can see that an issue will come up and the help arrives from a user here who does not have the issue with their Eris but who has taken the trouble to find a solution or a link to the solution. The two I mention are the ones who stand out, but there are others.
thought games and lounge didnt count toward total posts
(Games don't. Intro and lounge do.)
Separate names with a comma.