A guest question

Would it be possible to have post count and location enabled for guests? Under the current system we can have guests that are actually members of the board for years. Having those two fields enabled isn’t a perk for the paying members, it is something useful to everyone when communicating with each other.

I agree. Now that it’s free to post, I don’t see why these things shouldn’t be enabled for ‘guests’.

Personally, I think they should get rid of the Guest title entirely; I thought at one time that was the plan but apparently that was changed, if that was the case. They should only have Member and Paid Member (or something along those lines; maybe Elite Member or Member Plus or something) and, if they must, Charter Member as long as they continue to re-up on time. I’d get rid of Charter, too, but there’s too many complainers around here to make that worth the bother. Guest just sounds so temporary

Actually- why even distinguish between Paid Member and Member? It’s not like I’m sitting at my computer thinking “Hah! You’re a guest- I don’t see ads. Suckah!”.

The perk for paying up should only be the absence of ads. Post count, join date etc will let me know how active a member you are (whether a lurker or active poster), if I need to know that at all.

Plus, as I understand it, they’d actually prefer the ads, since the market has stabilized enough that they’re a good revenue stream; the option to pay is only to placate those who will absolutely not abide any ads. If that’s the case, then they shouldn’t have any “perks of membership” at all, besides the lack of ads, since they don’t want to give people an incentive to choose the less-revenueous option.

I was hoping to get a management reply. Basically I would like to know if it is possible to enable hose fields for guests and they don’t want to or it is not possible.

From what I understood from reading the thread that went around at the time of all these changes, is that the plan had always been to make everyone “member.” However, that (arguably largely aesthetic) update to the database was way down on the list of things to accomplish. With the financial peril CL is in, the announcement was that the maintenance issues and updates have to take top priority, which assumedly haven’t yet finished.

I’m also curious though, if that’s still the case. A really brief status report (I know there’s a list in ATMB), something of just a general “hey we’ve just finished this bit, we’re working on one of these other important bits next,” would be great if anyone has the time to throw a quick update in.

I may be very wrong. If I had to guess I would say that turning on those fields for guests would just be a matter of clicking on something rather than an upgrade. I hope someone can end my ignorance.

I would hope that you are wrong if they haven’t done it. I have no idea how it actually works, but since it’s not done I would guess that since the ads are off for paying member, the only way to get ads on for paying members and not for non-paying members is to write a whole new db category. The easiest way to do this as a temp fix was to make non-paying members guests. Since the guest field never had location and post count before, that would also take a rewriting of code.

Just a guess. Might be way off.

We could continue to speculate until they get annoyed enough to answer us just to shut us up.

And we might take into consideration that them as knows are busy, and them as don’t know aren’t willing to speculate, either. Which is pretty much what was said the last time a technical question was asked here.

My way is more fun. Besides I know from the past that there are more than a few vBulletin experts here who could at least answer the technical side even without knowing the motivation.

In one of the threads, **Ed Zotti **mentioned that the ad revenues have not yet materialize so they were retaining some incentives for paid members. As you know the ad money for nearly everything has dropped since October. I believe he mentioned this while talking about the user pictures only for paid members.

It is apparently a bit more than clicking a few flags but I am no vBulletin expert. I have seen that as they make global changes to groups that they of course need to test and still often find bugs. So what on a small board might take 10-30 minutes could apparently chew up hours (mainly in troubleshooting and testing) on the SDMB and apparently Jerry (jdavis) does not have much time for the SDMB currently.

I do hope he gets some time for the board soon. I would love to see some of the dozen tweaks done and get an update. I still hope they turn tags and groups back on. The groups would have been very useful for the small NJ dopefest in Princeton thread.

I can understand the location, but why is the post count useful for communicating? I don’t know why they have it even for members.

I asked a tangential question about guests a few months ago, and at the time, it was considered a perk for paying members to have access to post counts, location, and being called a “Member” or “Charter Member”. I think that is absurd. The only reason to pay is to not see ads. Period. Many, many moons ago, when they first started the free to post era, it was my understanding (and I will look for the posting later, but don’t have time at the moment), there would be two main labels. Charter Members, who paid throughout the pay period and never let their subscription lapse, and Members. The vast majority of us. Somewhere along the line, it was decided that there would be three main labels, “Charter Members”, “Members”, and “Guests”. The reason given was NOT, as I recall, a technical one.

If it IS a technical issue, fine. Jerry has limited time, and I can see how this might not be high on his list. But that wasn’t the impression I was given.

I think it’s silly to continue the fallacy that there is any perk to paying other than not seeing ads. And that IS a significant perk. But c’mon… post count? Changing “Guest” to “Member”? Those aren’t perks that would cause many people to pony up to post.

If someone out there who has some time feels like searching the history of what I’m referring to, that would be great. If not, and people care, I’ll do my best to dig it out later this evening.

Paid Members also apparently have a larger PM storage. (100 vs. 50)
The user picture that I mentioned before is another minor but new perk.
Recently it was indicated the Ad revenues were not yet making more than memberships and thus they were keeping some incentives for paid members.

Originally Ed Zotti had thoughts of no paid members and everyone seeing ads so the plan appears to be evolving and reacting to both the membership and the market.

Every day that I log into this message board and it works, I consider a bonus. The company that owns the board is bankrupt, there is no guarantee that ANY paper and ink media company will survive this current downturn, let alone a bankrupt one, and we should simply be grateful that it ain’t gone all wrong on us.

Which is not to say that we should all just shut up about things, but let’s be kind about understanding that the conception of things and the reality of things might be a bit conflicting at the moment for TPTB. :slight_smile:

Can I be cunning here? Would it be possible for paying members to see the post count and location of non-paying members?

FTR, I’m not complaining about anything. But I think you minimize the importance of the posters to this board. True, they give us the medium to post… but without us, the board would not exist. So it works both ways. I don’t think as customers we should accept the bare minimum. If the board goes away, it goes away. We’ll find other places to surf on the web, post, vent, or waste time.

Guest, Member, Charter Member, SDSAB, or whatever, the Reader should be happy to have us posting. Without us, they can’t sell advertising, which is how their business model is designed.

I wasn’t aware of these things, so I thank you for pointing them out. Still, not an incentive to pay to post for me. I have considered paying to get rid of the ads… and if I pay, that’s why. If someone else pays so they can post a picture or increase their PM storage, that would surprise me. They might be nice perks, but if they brought ads to everyone, I’m guessing very few folks would continue to pay for just these two items. IMHO, of course. :cool:

I don’t see how the display of your post-count and location in your posts can be regarded as a membership perk. It’s more convenient for readers of your posts, sure… but as it is, anyone can still access the post-count and location of guests, since all you have to do is click on their username and bring up their public profile, and there you go.

Since I can still do that for free as a guest, and because I don’t really care about displaying my post-count, I’m not really all that encouraged to pay a membership–not on that particular basis, anyway. (I can’t say that ads or the absence of profile pics really bother me much, either, but I can see how those privileges can be regarded as membership perks).

For these fields to be a membership perk, you’d need a situation like Quartz describes–allowing members to see everyone’s postcount/location fields right in their posts, and perhaps blocking guests from seeing them at all, even in users’ public profiles.