What are the tags on certain people's profiles (Member, Charter Member, etc.), and what is the criteria for getting these (if there is any)?

Is there any info on whether or when they might appoint an (or more) more active admins?

That’s another point that is definitely on the to-do list of the Powers that Be. Beyond that, we don’t know.

Well, at least it’s on the list! Thanks, Chronos.

If memory serves, that date was April 30, 2004. That was when the board went to paid memberships–if you had joined before then, you’d be a Charter Member, as long as you paid the subscription fee before that date. People who joined after that date and paid the fee, were Members.

Today’s Charter Members are those who have kept their paid memberships up since then. How many of us Charter Members are there still?

When I click on the “Charter Member” title by your name, it shows ten avatars, and “+371 more.” So, 381 of you, at least according to Discourse.

Thanks, kenobi_65! Never thought of doing that, but now I do, and you answered the question as well. Again, thanks!

This is going to be one long tontine. But all worth it for the ACCESS DENIED at the end.

It seems like some posters have figured out a way to customize their tags.

Discourse has what it calls “trust levels” where basically members who have been around longer and have done things that make them more “trusted” have permissions to do things that regular members can’t do. We don’t use trust levels and had attempted to pretty much disable them, but our initial settings for that were not correct and some people ended up being promoted to higher trust levels where they could edit titles and could do a few other things that we intended to be done only by moderators.

We have since fixed the trust level settings.

Yes, I remember that. I was one of the chosen few, for a short time. It seems to me that a couple of crafty IT posters continued after the change. But, I may have the timeline wrong.

Now here’s a question - who is the youngest Charter Member? I don’t suppose they are likely to be younger than about mid thirties.

We at Discourse are happy to help.

There is a groups page, but those groups (Member, Charter Member) aren’t visible – I assure you they do exist though! It’s as simple as adding a user to the group, then the title can be activated.

However, I’m not sure where the billing page is, where you sign up to be a member?

As far as I am aware, there is no billing page for the SDMB set up under Discourse. The old system from vBulletin did not port over.

On vBulletin it used to be a link in the user control panel. It was not in the same place where you signed up to be a member.

Information I remember about the old system that I didn’t see mentioned in this thread:

  • Charter Members paid half price as long as they kept up their payments. And there were occasional forgiveness drives where you could pay extra if your Charter Member status had lapsed, and get back that sweet deal.

  • Member and Charter Members got benefits like not seeing ads, as well as the ability to make new threads (aka topics) in the Marketplace forum (aka category).

  • The system used Paypal to handle everything. If you didn’t have a Paypal account, it would use their one-time payment system with a credit card. (I appreciate any system that at least allows Paypal.)

  • Users were allowed to sponsor another user by paying for their membership. (I think it’s possible only paid members could do this. And I can’t remember if Charter Members paid full price or not.) This happened to me twice.

  • I don’t think the system was completely automated. But it would nice if it would be here.

Was the ability to charge for membership not looked at before the transfer was made?

We knew that the subscription system would not port over before the move. I know that TubaDiva was starting to look into it before she passed, but I don’t know if any real progress had been made by that point or not. She had a lot on her plate. There was a lot of stuff going on at the same time.

If you can connect us with the right person, I’d be happy to push Straight Dope subscriptions near the top of our priority list at Discourse @engineer_comp_geek

(dang meant to edit this in but got distracted, so we get two posts)

To be clear, the actual subscription money would need to be collected by Chicago Sun-Times. Discourse does not do any kind of user subscription money collection, ala Patreon. Can you (or anyone reading this, really) point out the old webpage where someone would sign up for a Straight Dope subscription, even as a wayback machine artifact?

What I’m trying to say is, the infra to bill, enter a credit card (or what have you), and manage your subscription is not something Discourse, the software, does. All we do is honor the API request to add a user to a group, based on their status in an external billing and subscription system.

Let’s take this to a private discussion.