Charter member vs guest in each header

I looked around but could not find a FAQ on this. Each poster on the board has a status listed. “Charter Member” is obvious. “Guest” seems odd since many of those have been here for years and are hardly guests. I would have thought that “Regular Member” or something was more accurate.

One forum I belong to ranks the posters by their number of posts, you advance from aluminum to steel to stainless steel, then titanium, etc (It’s a metalworking group).

But so be it, far from me to ruffle such a great forum. But I thought I read one post where something else was written there. Did I imagine that?


Guest is a poster, like yourself, that registered (for free) and posts.
Member is a poster that pays $15 (?) a year and gets a small handful of perks.
Charter Member are the elite few of of that have been paying members since very early on.

Also, (paying) Members can pay a few additional dollars to get something written under the word Member/Charter Member.

Basically, it just has to do with whether or not you’re kicking a few bucks over to the board each year or not, but that’s it. Nothing to do with how many posts, quality of posts or anything else. Most people don’t even really look at it, much less judge your posts by it.

Thanks, Joey. I was just returning to amend my post, since I looked again and did find it mentioned in the FAQ under “Registration Agreement”. Guess I didn’t read that entry.


There are quite a few FAQs/Stickies, it can take quite a while to comb through them all. I thought about trying to find it myself for you (I know it’s in there somewhere), but figured it would be faster to just type it out.

Charter members pay half of the yearly fee, since they are grandfathered with that rate reduction always available as long as their status does not lapse.

I’m still bitter I lost my Charter Member status because of a lapsed subscription.

I didn’t want to get into that since the Charter Member pricing is, more or less, irrelevant to someone that just joined the board a few months ago.

History is never irrelevant! :smiley:

I actually began to a write a medium-length post describing the different eras of the SDMB, with the rise of pay-to-post et al. But then I realized I can no longer remember the dates and just deleted the whole thing.

Well, the fact I was only paying half the fee was news to me.

Not that it matters anymore. grumble

oh gods I remember the endless threads on us having ads and subscriptions and the like …most predicting the demise of the board if we had either …

This thread guilted me into renewing my Membership.

Am I crazy, or was there a period of time where it was pay only? I seem to remember people bitching that the quality of the boards would go down if we allowed nonpayers to post.

Yeah, when I joined ten years ago, it was pay to post. New members could join free for a 30 day trial period, but once the 30 days were up, you had to subscribe to keep posting, although guests could still read the forums for free.

It’s just a little way that the administration lets us know that it likes us better than the regular members.

Really? I don’t remember that period at all. Although it might have been during one of my periodic withdrawals when I don’t visit the board for months.

Ditto. But then, if I recall correctly, a few of us managed to appeal for a minor grace period and we got it back. Then I let it lapse again. Oops.

And some (myself included) saying that the quality would go down if we didn’t allow nonpayers to post.

i joined about six months after cochrane and that’s how I remember things too. Probably we’re not crazy.


And what is your verdict?

Seems to me like there’s higher turnover now but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s maybe slightly less of an echo chamber than it used to be.

Seems to me like the board is less active than it used to be, but I can’t point to allowing greater participation as the cause.

I think message boards are just not cutting edge any more. There’s more social media options. I remember there was a drop when LiveJournal came out, and Facebook, and so on.

But we 99ers will still be posting from the nursing homes: “This is Northern Piper’s nursing attendant posting on behalf of Northern Piper. He wants to remind everyone that we used to wear onions on our belts, as was the fashion at the time…”

And I remember people asking in ATMB for people to pay for their subscriptions, and I remember people doing it, and I remember people offering to pay for the subscriptions of new members they found promising.

There’s a reason we even have 99ers.

Gift subscriptions are currently not working, otherwise we’d still have people doing it.