We could have an E-mail list for them rather than a section of the forum? Or make them forum user specific and make sure the sportsbook knows who can/cant take part properly in advance?
Have a plan and stick to it
Im part of a private forum on another site, basically its designed to allow us to discuss a local footy league here and keep the discussion away from the bookies, users are given access to the board when they prove themselves as valuable contributors in the normal boards.
90% of members do not know it exists
We just set up the permissions and your away
I would support a private room here with limits on numbers based on history and value they can bring
I'm a member of a Rangers fans site that has a separate forum for regular posters.
Basically once you attain 250 posts you get access to the forum.
It was designed so that there was a place where fans could go without threads being hijacked by Celtic/other teams fans.
Not sure if something similar would be useful or not?
Originally Posted by munk
Sadly there are far too many people on forums ( including MSE and RP ) who leech, make money and contribute absolutely nothing at all
I notice that on MSE particularly - the number of people whose first posts are "help, I'm messed up, what do I do?".
Originally Posted by jbh2008
Well, it's thoroughly tricky really... it's not even vaguely beyond the realms of possibility that someone should 'infiltrate' the forum posing as someone decent, manage to get access to the private forum via social engineering, grab all the details regards an exclusive bonus and then nick off to their own gnome farm/private forum/pub mates and abuse the hell out of the promotion.
I think the only solution regards specific/exclusive promotion abuse is stricter checking on the part of affiliates and the gaming site involved to make sure that only the people who should be getting the 'exclusive' promo actually ARE getting it (compared to hundreds of people who have nothing to do with the forum and have only claimed it through word of mouth... which really begs the question as to what exactly DO gaming sites expect to happen if they let anyone and everyone pile into a promotion that's supposed to be exclusive?).
A powerful feature IMHO that you have here is the 'Thanks' count, in that you could base it on someone's contribution to their fellow posters.
Originally Posted by munk
It could be that your status is measured as an ongoing thing rather than "once you're in, you're in". So (taking LuckyInLove's idea of Thanks as a measure) you have to have earned 10 thanks in the last 3 months to access the private area. If you're inactive for a while, your "counting" thanks will drop off until the point when you've had less than 10 thanks, when your access will be removed again.
This means that, to have ongoing access to the forum, you'll need to be a consistently useful and active member. And if we can't trust consistently useful and active members, we might as well just give up.
The trouble is actually counting this kind of stuff, I don't even know if you can actually query the database to find out who's had x number of thanks in the last 3 months, let alone find out in the forum software itself (you won't be able to do that I'm 99.9% sure). But then again there will probably be a way to do it...
There's a reputation system that the forum uses already called vbExperience and that associates a person's reputation based on a huge number of criteria and I think that changes dynamically over time. It's a shame it's not really used for anything...
You can see your vbExperience on your profile page where it tells you what level you're up to and how many points you need to reach the next 'level'. There's also this:
The Gamblers Underground - vBExperience Ranking
which is interesting reading. (EDIT: just looking at that page above now and sorting by the various criteria, one obvious criteria could be 'activity', if you sort on activity descending you can see all the regular 'names' from the forum listed there at 100% ... although Tom you're only listed as 50% 'active' so perhaps not the best criteria for you!! Really should read up more on this vbExperience plugin, it will be on the vbulletin forum somewhere let's see... here is info on the vbexperience plugin - that's interesting it says there that you can adjust the activity ranking so it only goes on activity over the last x number of days which would be ideal for automatic promotions/demotions perhaps).
That would be an ideal way of at least looking for members that could potentially qualify for membership of privileged usergroups (if not using an automatic awards system to promote users to the privileged group when their xperience rank reaches a certain level).
But... as with most things KISS is often the best approach!
RE The vb Experiance thing you can give certain things certain ratings, ie 1 point for a post, 2 points for starting a new thread, etc etc.
Overall, i still dont think a private forum as such is a good idea. There will be steps in place to restrict certain bonuses/offers to certain people in future though, and have semi private sections like for Poker freerolls, etc, etc. I dont think a 100% private section would work though myself.
But the Jury is still out. It isnt a pressing issue just now but the next time it might become one im sure we can think of something.
Have a plan and stick to it