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Thu, 15th Feb '07 5:36 PM


For the past few months I have received hundreds of messages from Sploofusers who can not afford to upgrade their accounts, mostly college students and elderly intellects, and want desperately to participate in these chat forums.

We now have a well equipped crew of quiz editors and site moderators, and they are able to moderate these forums by removing offensive or otherwise unwanted posts very quickly.

I will be creating a new "Members Only" forum, but am leaning towards opening the other BBS forums (i.e. the Salty Dog) to the many other Sploofusers who are also wanting to join in on discussions and make new friends.

What I need now is a good name for the Members Only forums. I would like to do one for Gold and one for Platinum. My ear will be entirely in those 2 rooms.

I think this will be a great advance for Sploofus. With ample moderating power, we will be able to meet so many new and fascinating Sploofusers. Many of them are more addicted and loyal to Sploofus than you would ever guess.

If for some reason things do not work out, I will revert to having all forums available to paying members only. In the mean time, let's come up with 2 good names for the new rooms that can only be accessed by Gold+ Sploofusers.

This will be a great thing for the Newbies forum, Ask the Audience, etc. There will be much more activity and new people to meet. And, if you are in the mood for more intimate conversation, the yet-to-be-named members forums will be available. What should we name them?


Lisap369  (Level: 61.1 - Posts: 992)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 6:29 PM

Will the Platinum room be unaccessable to all but Platinum users?.. If so why? I would think that it should be paying / non-paying. What purpose would these paying member rooms serve? and why do they have to be graduated?

Hunnykins  (Level: 30.2 - Posts: 74)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 7:50 PM

I agree Lisa. I don't think the Gold and Platinum should be seperated from each other but I can understand having a Mebers Only room seperate from the non paying.

Aslan  (Level: 27.6 - Posts: 356)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 7:56 PM

I'd like to see everyone stay together. Maybe having the non-paying members hear from and be exposed to the paying members will give them incentive to join.

Can we all stay one big happy family?

Aslan  (Level: 27.6 - Posts: 356)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 7:59 PM

If Gold members end up having a seperate forum, I suggest the name "The Goldfish Bowl".

Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 8:06 PM

As of today Platinum members do not see much added benefit from being so. I became Platinum to help out the site not because I am "special" (older folk- does that remind you of "Laugh-IN'?) Perhaps Justin is just trying to find an added benefit in going Platinum. Sure he is in no way promoting snobbishness, but these members would have access to Platinum, Gold, and any other chat forum-just my thoughts - Linda

Banomet  (Level: 179.4 - Posts: 266)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 8:08 PM

The "Platinum Bond" for plat chat.

Redwingchick  (Level: 91.1 - Posts: 420)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 8:25 PM

Precious Mentals? tee hee

Embee  (Level: 86.7 - Posts: 362)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 8:35 PM

For me it depends on how much extra volume there will be. If the "small town" feel is gone, I'd like the "Paying Member" area. I don't see a need to separate gold from platinum.

Rnmorg  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 689)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 8:52 PM

Redwingchick: OMFG. I was scrolling down to type that!!!


Missashlee  (Level: 125.6 - Posts: 543)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 9:34 PM

What a great way to test the waters and see how it goes!

If the number of threads with new posts in one day goes up commensurately (and only a small percentage of the approximately 1,000 paying members post now) then there would be about 9 pages of Salty Dog to go through each day just to see “what’s new”. And it could mushroom, because even now people start a new thread if they do not see their topic on the first page.

There may be a loss of the community feel, small town as Embee aptly says, and I don’t think I would have the energy to walk around 250 blocks every day instead of 10, but you don’t know until you try.

I would suggest The Avatars for the platinum room, since having a customizable avatar is currently is one of the benefits for platinum.

Also, as Linda points out, I am assuming posting privileges are just topped and not bottomed.

- Jeanne

Garrybl  (Level: 291.5 - Posts: 6769)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 9:46 PM

How about "Noble gassers"?


Sargon  (Level: 112.9 - Posts: 1256)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 10:34 PM

Would Platinum have access to Gold?

Maurlin  (Level: 220.5 - Posts: 2707)
Thu, 15th Feb '07 10:40 PM

I vote for Asian's Goldfish Bowl. If we are putting Gold and Platinum together, which I would prefer, I like the Precious Metals suggestion.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 4:47 AM

I remember when we briefly had the floating shout that had access to all members. It was kind of a mess and there was too much traffic to follow and keep up with a conversation.

I am not able to play as often as I used to and already find it difficult to keep up with the chats. Maybe a way to keep the traffic at bay is not to open exclusive chats to the gold & platinum members but rather to have only one exclusive chat section that is open to all members, and keep the rest for the paying members. That way there will be only one chat section that is going to be overloaded.

Just a thought.


Baggiob  (Level: 143.2 - Posts: 888)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 5:12 AM

Or why not make it so that the non paying members can only respond to threads started by paying members. That would mean there is no extra and unneeded traffic or threads.

Suzer22  (Level: 165.6 - Posts: 1982)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 9:22 AM

Baggiob, I thought of that too, but threads could easily be steered in different directions making it tough to stay on track.

I don't think $15 ($17 Canadian) is all that much. Access to the BBS rooms is a great incentive to upgrade from free. How about a new membership level: $10 for one year of BBS access.

I think that opening the chat to everyone will overwhelm us with "hi there" messages and "me too" kinds of posts. But if you really want to allow anyone access, I would like to see a "Precious Mentals" room added to the list (allowing ALL paying members access).

Berylm  (Level: 162.4 - Posts: 478)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 1:41 PM

How about doing it the other way around, leaving the current forums as they are, and adding a single new forum that non-paying customers can use?

Chrismb428  (Level: 24.6 - Posts: 10)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 2:05 PM

I absolutely agree about leaving the majority of forums the way they are and opening up brand new forums which include everyone...I especially see the benefit of having the newbie forum open to everyone as well as a general forum for everyone, but leaving the rest the same.

If all forums do become open to both paying and non-paying, then I would like to see gold and platinum stay together and also like the "Precious Metals" name.

Roccotab  (Level: 60.4 - Posts: 185)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 3:25 PM

I agree with leaving the majority of the chat forums the way they are, but perhaps change the newbies corner to an everyone gathering place. Since we are on the Sploofus Island what better place to have everyone meet but around the fire to chat. So a suggestion for that chat room could be, "The Bon Fire", "The Fireplace", or maybe, "The Community Hearth".

As for splitting up the metals if the platinum members wish for their own room they most certainly deserve it, as the price difference is quite signifigant, and the benefits are few. I also agree that there is the potential for chat room monopolization by that I mean like, "hey ?????? how ya doing blah, blah, blah? Doing ok just hanging blah, blah, blah," making it a true chat room which is great if that is what you like to do, but probably hard to follow, and currently I do not see that type of activity in any of the active chat rooms.

If separating the metal rooms becomes reality then how about, "The Golden Thread", and "The Platinum Symposium".

My 2 cents worth Rocco

Allena  (Level: 266.2 - Posts: 1407)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 3:34 PM

The idea that NON-Paying members can NOT see the thoughts of the paying members is negative. Listening to new members who have the same new problems that we have addressed countless times is also unattractive. However, separation of Gold and Platinum is unnecessary. I agree with Heidi…”Isn’t That Special” is not the reason we are platinum, the Devil did not make... I like multiple WordRounds etc. (wish I could do a WordPuzzle over but…) and would opt for a benefit of having Platinum Puzzles moved up in line.

So, how about Newbys can post on the Newby’s and only Newby’s line but CAN read all of them.

Gold and Platinum continue as is, and Platinum members get a positional upgrade when they post a new quiz.

Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 3:47 PM

Like your thoughts, Allena! Do not ever want to be considered snobbish or "special", but believe some added benefit for going Platinum-as you suggest-would be encouragement for that and the added money might help out the site.- Linda

Roccotab  (Level: 60.4 - Posts: 185)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 4:30 PM

Correct me if I am wrong Allena, but I believe you do not need to be a paying member to view, or read the chat forums, you are just unable to post on them unless you are a paying member.

I do not wish to exclude newbies just thinking of perhaps being able to use the current forums format to accommodate everyone maybe re-name another existing forum. Maintaining some paying member benefit to entice non-paying members to join the paying members I also agree is good business. Rocco

Soldotna  (Level: 27.7 - Posts: 145)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 6:05 PM

I like the idea of everyone being able to post on ONE area as well as the remainder of the forums staying the way they are.
As for names how about "Sutters Mill" and "Platnium Platform"

Allena  (Level: 266.2 - Posts: 1407)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 7:22 PM

I was not aware...never was free...apparantly, non payers can read, already...which is good. I think they an incentive to look.

Aslan  (Level: 27.6 - Posts: 356)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 7:50 PM

I like Sutter's Mill. It is better than the one I suggested. Good work!

Phitzy1  (Level: 66.4 - Posts: 873)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 9:56 PM

I'd have to agre with Aslan's earlier comment regarding incentive...

I can remember when I was a Newbie...I didn't quite know my way around, not sure of the whole Sploof - etiquitte thing, and was just anxious to jump in.

Our little island is quickly growing and I would have to agree that if this forum were open to all members (with "read only" in the paying members spaces) it may foster more growth on this island.

The nicest thing about Sploofus is all the members, paying and non, and our interactions with one another...we bolster one another up and lend an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on...(darn wagers!)

Great idea, Justin!

Just a thought... Phitzy Phitzhugh

(BTW - Platinum Postings...I just like altieration)

Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Fri, 16th Feb '07 10:01 PM

For me, what makes Sploofus special is the people. This community is diverse, intelligent, fun, kind, and always fascinating.I only know all the friends I've made here because of shouts/chats/forums.

Access to read them should be available to all. I would skip a lunch...or three, for the right to respond. It's worth it.

I like Precious Mentals. (they ARE!!!!... )


Ummagumma  (Level: 67.4 - Posts: 186)
Sat, 17th Feb '07 2:00 PM

Perhaps a new chat forum for paying members could be "The Island" (uhhm, i.e., "Sploofus Island") And if folks want to be marooned (uhhhm, I mean spend time with us on the) island, then that might be incentive to join either Plat or Gold.

Brunosexy77  (Level: 68.4 - Posts: 215)
Sat, 17th Feb '07 2:15 PM

I would say for the gold member 'Golden Nugget' and for the Platinum Members I would say 'Platinum Diamond'

Mindmonkey  (Level: 279.0 - Posts: 295)
Sat, 17th Feb '07 2:29 PM

I am completely opposed to segregated gold and platinum forums, I do not want a situation where I am no longer be able to talk to the other paying members. Yes, people who pay more money should have more for the their money. However, that should not be the case when it comes to communicating among us. I just read a comment in the thread about the new ads (a battle we seem to have to fight every six months or so and which we seem to be losing again) who said this Sploofus is becoming less and less fun. That's a good point. The new order in the forums will contribute to the feeling that this is not a community,

Allena  (Level: 266.2 - Posts: 1407)
Sat, 17th Feb '07 2:51 PM

I have heard from a lot of non payers that want to be able to post. Let's see...I think Justin is on the right track. Maybe a time period like the first six months. Then take it away if they don't pay. I am not aware of the amount of ad revenue but if the incentive is to get rid of ads then keeping them non-paying may have its virtues. However, I pay, see lots of ads, not the pop ups of course, and think that keeping the price down while letting the advertisers pay when the population climbs, is a very good thing. Maybe Justin hires a programmer. Note to Justin: take the first born that was offered.

Gypsylady  (Level: 148.1 - Posts: 6096)
Sat, 17th Feb '07 4:10 PM

I like the idea of "Sploofus Island" as the name of a forum for paying members, both gold and platinum. I would hate to see them split up into two different forums. Would the new forum replace "Salty Dog"? Except for a new forum for non-paying members, would the other forums stay the same? Would there still be the Sploofus Hotwire where only Sploofus and the editors start threads?


Mandy226  (Level: 77.2 - Posts: 128)
Sat, 17th Feb '07 8:03 PM

How about leaving it all as it is now except for the Newbie's corner being available to all
and adding a new forum, also available to all, which could be called The Free For All.

Larrybus  (Level: 317.9 - Posts: 383)
Sat, 17th Feb '07 8:22 PM

I vote for Mandy's suggestion. Opening the BBS to new, generally non-paying, members would help them learn features of the site faster, become part of the community and tend to encourage them to play more and become paying members.

I don't see much advantage to forums restricted to Gold and/or Platinum members. Posting to forums is already restricted to Gold, Platinum and the relatively few Silver members. There seems to be no point in a "special" forum just for, say Platinum members except fostering the feeling of being in an exclusive club. If it is done, make it unreadable by "outsiders", as well, to keep it really exclusive. And maybe limit it to WASPs, as well. Come to think of it, what about forums for different ethnic, national, gender, religious, etc. groups?

One of the strengths of Sploofus is precisely its sense of community. Don't mess with it by creating cliques.

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Sat, 17th Feb '07 8:31 PM

Yepper, I like Mandy's suggestion too.

Missashlee  (Level: 125.6 - Posts: 543)
Sat, 17th Feb '07 9:38 PM

This thread has taken an interesting twist. Right now, anyone with an internet connection can go to the forums and read every single post – just go to and click on "CHAT" (it’s still called that on the home page menu and not BBS). You do not have to create a user account at all, free or otherwise.

So I assumed "opening up" all the forums to all members would mean anyone who creates an account, free or otherwise, can post on the forum. Bad assumption?

No change means the forums remain like they are now, which is for paying "members only". Pretty exclusive.

A Silver membership was offered at $7.99 per month, which allowed the member to post, but that appears to be unavailable now, because it has disappeared from the options under "Upgrade Account".

Justin, did you mean you would close the "members only" forums (new or existing) so no one else can read them? I did not read that into your post. Could you clarify?

Thanks -
- Jeanne

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