The ranking system on SoM is one of the site's most controversial features. Some argue that it is necessary to keep members chasing after higher rankings so they don't goof off or otherwise make work for moderators, and that those who write good posts and provide reliable information to others should be rewarded. Others see it as unfair that so few have the privilege of ranking, that fluff rankings can be given for any reason without warning or notice, and that it discourages discussion of non-roleplaying topics others might simply disapprove of. However, I am not asking for it's removal.
Those with Knowledgeable and higher ranking likely have spent a lot of time here, and likely enjoy using the site very much. Rather than remove the ranking system, I suggest making it a paid premium feature like many sites have. This way, it is accessible to most people and I think it is fair to ask those who spend large amounts of time here to help pitch in to cover the site's operating costs. A premium account could also have perks like unlimited mail and no ads. With an increasing number of people using adblockers and browsers with built in ad-blocking, this could be a smart move by the site's admin to raise revenue.
I am not suggesting we take ranking ability away from those who have it already, only that we open the system up those who don't mind supporting the site.
My account is very new, but I think the ranking system is fair. There are no indications that meritocratic basis of the ranking system is corrupt or oligarchical. I strongly object to your suggestion to create paid accounts. "When buying and selling is regulated, the first thing to be bought and sold is the regulator." Introducing money into a well-functioning meritocracy will corrupt the judges of good merit.
I think that making the ranking system a premium feature, which members would have to pay to access, would defeat the purpose of the ranking system. The reason that it is kept from being open to all members as is, where only knowledgeable and adept can rank, is to keep members who do not know as much/ are into fantasy/ would abuse the system from being able to rank other members up without merit.
Consider this: someone claims to be a vampire or something else fanatical. Other members, with a premium account, could rank that member up to a high ranking if they voted for them. Then, you have someone who is clearly role playing with a high ranked account. It would serve no purpose or benefit.
The current design of the ranking system is to point out proven knowledgeable and adept members, who have shown their merit through their contributions over time, so that those who are new to the site or who have questions know who they can direct their queries to and trust that the answers they may receive are logical, realistic ones. It keeps members from voting each other up, not unlike a popularity contest.
Adding other features such as unlimited mail would not necessarily be a good addition either. The reason there is a limit on the amount of mails that a member can send/receive is to keep spam bots and harassing members from sending out a large amount of copy/paste mails or other such things. What if someone were to pay for a premium account, and then use the unlimited mail option to spam as many mails as they would like around the site? Not to mention, what happens if someone "buys" a premium account but is then gagged for breaking a rule, or some such thing? Not trying to attack you, or your idea. It just seems like an idea that would have a lot of drawbacks.
I couldn't agree with the above post more
Paying for rank is not earning a rank
Our ranks are not exactly for us
It may be a way for members to Honor other members
Stating that They realize all of the hours of study and practice
One puts in to learn what we have up to this point
Its also a way to let members brand new to the occult who to listen to because following people who really have no clue is a great way to be set back in one's studies.Now I notice many unranked people have a great deal of knowledge,you can tell by a person's posts and board History..I have no answer as to why They remain unranked other then no one has ranked them,I'm sure yet would be a key term
There may be ways to solve some issues
But paying for a rank is a very poor idea
If you are on this board for a ranking your on it for the wrong reasons,I joined to learn and help others learn
And also chat with some like minded folks
I think people misunderstood me. Paying does not automatically give you a rank; it lets you rank others. Another good perk could be that it prevents others from giving you a fluffy ranking since so many people here seem anxious about receiving one. This is not getting something for nothing, and all websites this size require money to run. I am shocked by this notion of a meritocracy when it has been stated repeatedly by others besides myself that people can make good contributions here for a long time and receive no rank. I am proposing an alternative way for members to contribute that bypasses site politics.
Arch,This is my first Magick site
But over the past 20 years I have been on dating sites
And other Hobby sites and always chose to join paysites
Not only are accounts better protected
But less people who are not serious about said topic tend to join
Since they are paying a monthly fee..
In this case it happenes to be the best Magick site id you actually want to learn a large range of topics
So the cost of zero is a huge blessing
I wish I would have joined 10 years ago.
It was very hard learning on my own.
The system does have some flaws, I will not disagree with you there. But again, as I said in my post, I don't think the idea of opening up voting to all members is a good one and the solution needed for those flaws. Even though your idea would allow for members to have the ability to rank (not have a rank automatically themselves), what would likely occur is that many members would rank up their friends/ people they agree with (even if they are being illogical- such as the vampire example I mentioned) and rank down people they disagree with/have personal issues with (such as the moderators/ authority figures on the site, or even someone trying to talk sense into someone who is roleplaying/trying to teach other members). To me, it would be more about popularity than actual knowledge at that point.
pay for a rank? feels to me like what stands between you and an abundance of knowledge is money. the rich get everything, the poor get nothing.
the ideas of ad-block and unlimited mail sounds interesting, but it is rather unnecessary. personally, i ignore the ads, and i've never reached my message limit. the rank is meant to be a guide to help new members figure out who knows what they're talking about, not who paid more for the privilege. yes, the system is flawed but i don't think it should be a paid privilege.