Premium Membership Explained

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steelsoldiers

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There have been a lot of posts recently asking what the premium membership is and why it was created. I have closed a couple of other threads and pointed folks here to keep all of the info in one place. Here's the skinny:

The standard FREE membership is not going away. This site has always been and will always be free to join, post, gather in fellowship, commiserate, whatever. I have no plans to change that.

With that said, I have always wanted SS to more than it has been. Bigger and better in all sorts of ways. That takes several things; money, committed staff and dedicated membership. Unfortunately, very little progress was made over the last few years and I know many of you became disenchanted with the site. Some of our really good members just walked away frustrated and disappointed. Hopefully, they will start to come back once they hear things are changing for the better.

Thanks to Patracy, things are looking up around here. We have our TM section back, we have new classifieds and the software and add-on's are being updated. I have been drawing on the very broad base of experience that Patracy has to implement these positive changes. He has seen a lot of ideas that have worked in forums and lot that have not. Personally, I struggled with what to do with the classified ads for the last couple of years. I really liked having ads out of the forums in a separate area. It seemed like that software add-on was going to be the answer to our problems, but unfortunately, the software just didn't work right. We couldn't get ads to expire, couldn't keep the spammers out, couldn't mandate prices or link locations to user accounts. It just didn't work.

So, after a long discussion with Patracy, we decided to go back to forum classifieds, but there would have to be some restrictions on them to keep them from being abused. I didn't want zero-post members or members with nothing invested in the site to take advantage of our hospitality by coming in, pawning their stuff, and then disappearing. I didn't want the spammers to be able to come in, sign up, and start selling viagra and cialis. That's where the Premium Membership comes into play. Anyone, even non-members, can view the ads, but if you want to sell in the forums, then you have to shell out for the Premium Membership. You have to be invested in the site to use the classifieds, but there is a lot more to the Premium Membership than just ads. Let's break that membership category down a little more.

What do you get for your $15 annual membership? The ones we have discussed so far are:

- Access to post for sale ads
- Custom user title
- More PM inbox space
- Private forum
access
- and a few other hidden features...


Those are nice, but I am working on a plan to implement a few more too:

- Steel Soldiers Web-zine: a regular online publication with articles written by some of the great MV writers of our generation. It will come out monthly or quarterly, depending on how many folks I can get to write for us.
- Special SS Deals: Coupons and codes that will get Premium Members special deals on MV parts from some of our great vendor members
- Special Group Buys: Premium Members will have access to Group Buys also set up through our vendor members
- More to come!!

Where's the money going?
- Website upgrades: software and hardware upgrades, a much needed facelift
- SS benevolence fund: special fund run by our chaplain to support members in need
- Charitable giving: a big chunk will go out every year to support all sorts of great causes like the Wounded Warrior Project
- SS Convention: I am hoping to have a national SS convention organized within the next year
- Rallies: There will be funds available to support SS sanctioned rallies
- Insurance: SS, LLC has to keep liability insurance with all of the off-road rallies, etc... where members participate
- Staff/Expenses: CPA fees, taxes, admin, server hosting fees, etc...

I have a great vision for this website and I have been energized by the progress Patracy has made over the last couple of days. It has been so refreshing! This will be a work in progress so you will see things change one direction and then go back the other way if it doesn't work. Please excuse our mess as we go about the business of building SS back into the premier MV website in the world.

God bless and thanks for your help!

Edit:
To upgrade to the paid membership, use the resources drop down at the top banner. Or follow this link.

http://www.steelsoldiers.com/payments.php

Edit:
To renew, use the same link above as well. Here's a little more info about why it's crucial to use the page.

http://www.steelsoldiers.com/showthread.php?98783-Paid-membership-renewal
 
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patracy

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It will follow shortly. I just have been trying to spend some time with my family this weekend. It should be live by monday at the latest.
 

papabear

GA Mafia Imperial 1SG
Steel Soldiers Supporter
13,183
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113
Location
Columbus, Georgia
2 x 30,000

There have been a lot of posts recently asking what the premium membership is and why it was created. I have closed a couple of other threads and pointed folks here to keep all of the info in one place. Here's the skinny:

The standard FREE membership is not going away. This site has always been and will always be free to join, post, gather in fellowship, commiserate, whatever. I have no plans to change that.

With that said, I have always wanted SS to more than it has been. Bigger and better in all sorts of ways. That takes several things; money, committed staff and dedicated membership. Unfortunately, very little progress was made over the last few years and I know many of you became disenchanted with the site. Some of our really good members just walked away frustrated and disappointed. Hopefully, they will start to come back once they hear things are changing for the better.

Thanks to Patracy, things are looking up around here. We have our TM section back, we have new classifieds and the software and add-on's are being updated. I have been drawing on the very broad base of experience that Patracy has to implement these positive changes. He has seen a lot of ideas that have worked in forums and lot that have not. Personally, I struggled with what to do with the classified ads for the last couple of years. I really liked having ads out of the forums in a separate area. It seemed like that software add-on was going to be the answer to our problems, but unfortunately, the software just didn't work right. We couldn't get ads to expire, couldn't keep the spammers out, couldn't mandate prices or link locations to user accounts. It just didn't work.

So, after a long discussion with Patracy, we decided to go back to forum classifieds, but there would have to be some restrictions on them to keep them from being abused. I didn't want zero-post members or members with nothing invested in the site to take advantage of our hospitality by coming in, pawning their stuff, and then disappearing. I didn't want the spammers to be able to come in, sign up, and start selling viagra and cialis. That's where the Premium Membership comes into play. Anyone, even non-members, can view the ads, but if you want to sell in the forums, then you have to shell out for the Premium Membership. You have to be invested in the site to use the classifieds, but there is a lot more to the Premium Membership than just ads. Let's break that membership category down a little more.

What do you get for your $15 annual membership? The ones we have discussed so far are:

- Unlimited free classifieds
- Custom user title
- More PM inbox space
- Private forum

Those are nice, but I am working on a plan to implement a few more too:

- Steel Soldiers Web-zine: a regular online publication with articles written by some of the great MV writers of our generation. It will come out monthly or quarterly, depending on how many folks I can get to write for us.
- Special SS Deals: Coupons and codes that will get Premium Members special deals on MV parts from some of our great vendor members
- Special Group Buys: Premium Members will have access to Group Buys also set up through our vendor members
- More to come!!

Where's the money going?
- Website upgrades: software and hardware upgrades, a much needed facelift
- SS benevolence fund: special fund run by our chaplain to support members in need
- Charitable giving: a big chunk will go out every year to support all sorts of great causes like the Wounded Warrior Project
- SS Convention: I am hoping to have a national SS convention organized within the next year
- Rallies: There will be funds available to support SS sanctioned rallies
- Insurance: SS, LLC has to keep liability insurance with all of the off-road rallies, etc... where members participate
- Staff/Expenses: CPA fees, taxes, admin, server hosting fees, etc...

I have a great vision for this website and I have been energized by the progress Patracy has made over the last couple of days. It has been so refreshing! This will be a work in progress so you will see things change one direction and then go back the other way if it doesn't work. Please excuse our mess as we go about the business of building SS back into the premier MV website in the world.

God bless and thanks for your help!
All is good, Charlie has been stopped at the wire.
\
Your vision is good and patracy is an outstanding troop, I've met him and like him...but....

Pat is one man...he will wear down...as did the other Admin....we are all human.....well:roll: OK...sorta.

I, and most other hardcore SS members will support you and Pat 300%...but....

Money is just money...ya have a little or ya don't, ya can or ya can't....but everyone has a life, and with 30K plus (potential) sorta, maybe, sometimes members, two men, Chris and Pat will burn out...I've watched it happen Chris.

I just don't see how two men can "command" 30K folks.

There are some good mods on here...and yes...I know there are liability issues....but I think it has been proven that the "two man" owner/admin concept didn't work.

I only know the military way...cause that's where I was "raised"...but I run my business the same way...delegate authority...but maintain responsibility.

Until we can do that, we are just jerking off IMO.
 

m16ty

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PB does make some good points. I've always thought the management was understaffed on a forum this size.

It might work better for the admin to just take orders from Chris and fix the site the way Chris wants it. IMO it's not the admin's job to try and please the membership. It's his job to upgrade the site and keep it going. His job is purely technical and shouldn't have to deal with PR. Let the mods take care of the PR. If you need more mods, get more mods. I know several have volunteered to be mods (including myself).
 

hndrsonj

Senior Chief/Moderator
Super Moderator
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Location
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All is good, Charlie has been stopped at the wire.
\
Your vision is good and patracy is an outstanding troop, I've met him and like him...but....

Pat is one man...he will wear down...as did the other Admin....we are all human.....well:roll: OK...sorta.

I, and most other hardcore SS members will support you and Pat 300%...but....

Money is just money...ya have a little or ya don't, ya can or ya can't....but everyone has a life, and with 30K plus (potential) sorta, maybe, sometimes members, two men, Chris and Pat will burn out...I've watched it happen Chris.

I just don't see how two men can "command" 30K folks.

There are some good mods on here...and yes...I know there are liability issues....but I think it has been proven that the "two man" owner/admin concept didn't work.

I only know the military way...cause that's where I was "raised"...but I run my business the same way...delegate authority...but maintain responsibility.

Until we can do that, we are just jerking off IMO.
I would totally agree. Personally, I think you need more mods (and another admin or two). I'd nominate dug, M16TY and timtrucks for mods.2cents
 

hilber

New member
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S. of Elberton, GA
As a relative newbie I haven't had time to run into all the problems that may exist or may have existed. Plus I am a very simple man. Been called a simpletion many times. I say all that to say this.

Thanks for what you are doing for the site. I have really enjoyed being a member here and look forward to many years of Soldiering on in the Steel vehicle. So Chris and PA, Good Luck and God Bless. I will become a Premuim member and really appreciate the opportunity to do so. I haven't used the Swap and Sell yet to sell but have future plans to do so. The swap and sell feature of web sites like this are very imporant tot he site, so again Thanks for keeping them with the restrictions you are putting in place.
 

hndrsonj

Senior Chief/Moderator
Super Moderator
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Cheyenne, WY
And since the classifieds thread is locked: Regardless how much you pay, whether $15 or $300. This is a MV site; no Hondas or Viagra for sale even if you are selling it to buy a MV! It is MV's only for sale or wanted!2cents
 

firefox

General
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Location
Berkeley CA
Chris,
Please heed what papabear has said. We want you and patracy to survive and enjoy your fantastic work.
Bruce
 

littlebob

New member
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Location
Baton Rouge LA
Chris, Thanks for making changes to help move the site forward! Thank you to patracy as well, volunteering to try and
help and then have to deal with the BS. The site has become something different than the one I joined a few years ago.
My project is coming closer to fruition with the help a few local people, and the help over the last few years from people on this site from all over the world. Overall this site has been very good to me and many others.
I'm glad that we have the membership option now. In years gone by, I've donated when a fund drive or a reminder, but I've been busy with other endeavors and haven't contributed lately.
I'm looking forward to see whats to come.
 

Varyag

New member
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0
Location
Garfield, Washington
This site and its members have saved my proverbial butt and wallet more then a couple times. 15 dollars to help keep this place running couldn't be more well spent. Just let me know where to sign up.

I know keeping any information system running is a massive PITA. I appreciate everything you guys go through for us.
 

steelsoldiers

Administrator
Administrator
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Location
Charleston, WV
This site and its members have saved my proverbial butt and wallet more then a couple times. 15 dollars to help keep this place running couldn't be more well spent. Just let me know where to sign up.

I know keeping any information system running is a massive PITA. I appreciate everything you guys go through for us.
Thanks for the kind words. Click the resources tab and then select "upgrade to premium membership."

So what is this "Private forum" for?
Well, I guess it remains to be seen what people will talk about. All of the same general forum rules apply. My guess is it will contain more sensitive and private posts about our hobby. We've never had one before so we'll see how it goes.
 

patracy

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I know everyone has their concerns about me being burnt out. Today is a great example. I'm up and at it before the rest of the family, that's the only reason I'm online. After I finish going through PM's and touching base, I'll be offline most of the day. I'll be spending the day with my family. So just to let everyone know, I'll be "off work" mostly during the weekends. (But if I'm free and something bad happens, the staff has my cell phone) But I'd rather use my weekends for family and enjoying the site for myself. I work in IT, so there's times where I'm idle at work waiting for things to process. Forums have provided a "fill in" time for me.

I've brought suggestions to Chris about the site. But Chris remains the big cheese. I'm just following orders and offering advice where I deem it applicable. After all, I'm just the computer monkey. Push button, get banana. :razz:

I envision the private forum being a open forum, a place where members could discuss matters not fully related to the hobby. Something along the lines of the chat room, only still forum based. We've got lots of members that would enjoy talking about life, but aren't into the "chatroom". At least that's my personal take on the matter.
 

derf

New member
920
6
0
Location
LA
I appreciate all the work that goes into making forums work. I moderate on a few. But, my niche in the SS world is limited to gensets and the occasional trailer thread. I would prefer the classifieds be free to members in good standing. I understand it takes money to make things work but all the best classified sections of forums seem to be free to regular members.
 

Monkeyboyarmy

Active member
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12
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Location
Kingsville,Oh.
Dang. I didn't even get to post to the new classified thread before it was closed. I'm a slow reader. The $15 is nothing for all of the use that I get out of this site. Classifieds are a big part of why I am a member.I am always looking for parts.That is why I go to the meets, to find parts.But personally, I liked the old classifieds better because I could view what was wanted or for sale by the click of a button. (I like things simple,I'm a tool and die maker). And to not let a person post a classified add because he didn't have enough post might have cost me that one part I was looking for. I think it should be mandatory for every person that buys a box of crap from GL to post what he doesn't want out of it for sale. :razz:(ohh the auction days...) Just kiddin. I know there are reasons for the changes so changes it shall be....I'll get used to them. Payment on the way.Now will I get a friendly reminder of when my next payment is due or a $20 late fee penalty like the great state of Ohio does with their license plate renewals.....GRRRRRR.
 

hwcurtice

Active member
1,542
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Location
Moncks Corner, SC
I think it's worth it for the year. If not, going back to free is that big of a deal.

Since I joined, I've made new friends, learned a lot about MVs and worried about people I don't even know.

Yeah, and cared about them too.

As my darling wife says. There are no strangers. Just friends we haven't met yet!
 

porkysplace

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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mid- michigan
hwcurtice;983962) As my darling wife says. There are no strangers. Just friends we haven't met yet![/QUOTE said:
Ya but some of those new friends get stranger the longer you know them.
 
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