Soon we will be making changes to how the VIP and Donations systems work. Much of this is to allow us to more fully utilize the Store, as well as membership package auto-promotions. I'll go over, briefly, how things used to work, and then outline the new hotness that's coming your way.
First off. Donations. In the past you could "donate" and receive VIP status which gave you access to mainly Chat, but also additional features and permissions on the forums. You could also just donate, a charitable contribution, to help the sites operational budget requirements.
Thanks be to all those who have donated, out of grace or for VIP; we have come a long way in 13 years, and much of that has been due to your direct and indirect support. So thanks to you all.
Moving forward, we would like to make more transparent where your contributions are going, and even give you the opportunity to support the specific causes you care most about. This will come in the form of three (3) new VIP groups, and a new take on the donations center. The *old* VIP group will be retired, and all those present will be grandfathered in OG style.
The new VIP groups will be accessible via the Store under Premium Memberships. As you know, Mycotopia is free to the public and will always remain so. We do however count on your contributions to thrive as a community, and as our community grows so too do our financial liabilities. Subscribing to a Premium Membership allows you to support Mycotopia on an ongoing basis while also giving you access to more functionality and features site-wide.
Premium Memberships will be a subscription that any member here may purchase and self-manage. When your subscription lapses so too will any add-ons associated with your package.
Donations will be split into Campaigns to which you may choose which you would like to support. An example will be Site Operations - We pay for software, servers, security, domain names, services, ssl, and a host of other things to keep this site humming along; donating here will ensure your donations get attributed to this campaign only. A second example may be the upcoming Site Redesign - With the size and complexity of our platform we've decided it's best to hire professionals to recreate, graphically, what it means to be Mycotopia and integrate that into our existing platform; donating here will ensure that you're supporting, specifically, the Site Redesign Campaign.
Likewise, we will create additional campaigns ongoing as-needed to help generate enough revenue to cover the costs and truly making this a site of the members and for the members.
With these new groups we will also be releasing our new MycoChat service. The current Chat system will be retired. This is due to direct and repeated requests from our members for a better chat system. We think you'll enjoy the new MycoChat - it's a real-time IRC-like chat system, user uploads and attachments, url pre-rendering, smilies, multiple channels, private messaging, notifications, user tagging; and best of all there is a web client, a mobile client, and a desktop client! It's all SSL and encrypted traffic too.
Generally we feel this is a major update and a very positive direction for our community and we hope you will feel the same. Stay tuned as we release more information on the new VIP groups, the new MycoChat, the new Donations system, and last but not least, our new Awards system.
Oh yea, I failed to mention that. Awards. We will be creating awards for achieving various things around the community. :) Keep up the good work ya'll, movin and groovin, Mycotopia is scootin!