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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I just thought I would vent over my disgust in having a supporting members only forum that is closed to the public at large. IMO this website is not big enough to justify this incurred cost. I believe in supporting forums. Thats why I pay more for items that are in banner ad's on forum websites. Even though I can find them for less on Summit Racing's website. Same goes for home audio and computer gear. Why should the average person who frequents the website be held back information because he has'nt paid $15.00? My advice would be to banish it altogether. And if that isn't acceptable make it a read only forum for non site supporters.

All the best,
Aaron Lephart
 

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Super Moderator
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Aaron,

I had the same thoughts. I'm on several other auto forums and while some have a supporting member option, they don't have a separate private section (except for the moderators.) I don't even mind paying the $15, but I don't like the automatic renewal feature so have held off. Maybe a read only option is a good compromise.
 

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make it a read only forum for non site supporters.
though i am unaware of the (longterm) intention of the private area and can not invision a dialog that would require the exclusiveness that seems to be currently configured, i'd vote for read only, given a vote.

(ie i like the suggestion ALephart, for what its worth)
 

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What does the Supporting member’s area offer?

This Smart Car forum has a large amount of information, is helpful and also entertaining. If it has value $15.00 is not outrageous. What does the Supporting member’s area offer?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey guys, it's ONLY $15.00!!!! Make believe you burn an extra five gallons of gas per YEAR.
It's the point, not the money. Money I have.

It's the idea of the whole thing. Why are we separating these "supporters"? When there is talk of community the furthest thing from my mind is separating people, we should be bringing them together. Do I think owners of 450's don’t have a voice? Should we penalize them for being an early adopter? What makes 1 mans word better then the next man; oh I get it because he paid money!

Aaron Lephart
 

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I have no problem with paying members getting something for their money, but a private forum seems counter-intuitive. I am not sure why that would be a benefit or something I would pay for. The purpose of a forum is to get maximum exposure to answer questions or get feedback, so limiting that seems to limit rather than enhance the experience.

I would pay for email alerts, a google like function where I can put in a subject and get an email with a link to the post, notifications of updates to my posts, or other alerts. Also, I would pay to have a favorite list so I can save threads that I want to keep up on, for easy viewing. Any feature like that would be great to have, and would be a real benefit worth paying for.

Sorry. Marketing guy here. Can't help myself:)
 

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I'm afraid I have to agree on all of the above. I don't see the benefit of the exclusive forum unless the two-star members are over there talking about the rest of us. :eek: I would say I'm disappointed more than disgusted. Just seems like an ill-advised money grab. Oh well. :(

tm
 

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I don't really care for the "members only" section either. It tends to belittle others that don't pay and, to me, encourages a group to appear "better" than others since they are the "paid" members. Don't care for it at all.
 

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Smart A**
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I would rather see "exclusive" benefits bestowed based on community support, content contribution and participation. The $15 really is insignificant, but the forum financial support should really come from the advertising vendors rather than the participating members
 

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Hi everyone,

I wanted to take the time to respond here and open myself up for questions from the group.

To start, I would say that the Supporting Membership is here to serve a purpose, but one which is not fully developed yet. Right now the majority of the responses have been around access to the supporting members area. Yes, the supporting members area is essentially another room for members who have donated to the site to interact and chat about things behind a closed door but it will also serve as a steering community where this group will be able to voice ideas, complaints, and concerns. The steering community in my eyes is for members that really want to be apart of the community and to have an active voice on the direction of the site. For the most part, there is no reason for the supporting members forum to be listed on the the homepage rather then me trying to notify the members that there is such a section and I may be removing it from the public view soon.

Next, I firmly believe that there is a great reason to be a Supporting Member! The value in the Supporting Membership is not the added forum, but rather all the perks that come with the membership such as added inbox space (more bandwidth for us), more gallery space (more bandwidth for us), custom user titles, profile pics, ability to upload attachments (more bandwidth for us, and a lot more to come. The reason we created the Supporting Membership is because of demand for the five or so things I just listed out.

Our Supporting Membership is in no way trying to alienate the crowd. Needless to say we are still trying to fine-tune the program as well as prep the upcoming enhancements such as the parts review section, and dealership reviews.

I hope this helps and please feel free to shoot any additional comments my way.

**Also, I will leave this post here for a few more days but it actually belongs in the Site Questions and Comments area where I will move it in a few days time with a redirect.**
 

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This Pay site is an insult to the members of this forum.

Why did you not ask our opinion before doing this?

Two classes now, and of course the implication is, those who didn't pay up have less valued opinons.

The STARS are a hoot :D :D :D.

A2Jack.
 

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Why did you not ask our opinion before doing this?

Two classes now, and of course the implication is, those who didn't pay up have less valued opinons.

The STARS are a hoot :D :D :D.

A2Jack.
A2Jack,

I am sorry that you may feel that this is bad for the community but on any site, it really helps to have a supporting group who can help lead the site. Of course there will likely be a moderation group in the future but for the time being, I am trying to empower members that want to be a part of it and to serve the community by supplying features that are currently being demanded.
 

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I'm a long time forum owner and SysOp (meaning, dial-up in the 300-baud and under days). Let's be honest, he can do it because he can - just like he can decide what is and is not appropriate for the board.

Smart is putting the effort into running this forum - and it seems that he's happy to take suggestions from anyone. I appreciate it, and have put my money with my mouth is. Hmmm, I wonder if that meant my first hit on this board was free? ;)

That said, I wouldn't worry about the members only forum - there's nothing of consequence in there. That may change, as Smart said above, but it sounds like it'll be more in the area of administrative stuff, and not exclusive content.
 

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At one of the forums I frequent, they use a different color to differentiate between moderators(green), regular members(blue) and supporting members(orange). Maybe that would be a less intrusive method of distinguishing the differences.
 

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Putting in my 2 cents, I would rather just pay the $15 and not see any advertising at all. In our lives these days, we are inundated with advertisements....radio, TV...Drugs, trucks and SUV's .....well, just everywhere and guess who winds up paying for all that bombardment type advertising?? :(

John
 
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