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2006-08-31, 10:58
I created a new usergroup with the name "Senior Members". It is a variation of the regular Registered usergroup that members are in when they join the forum for the first time and confirm their email addresses.

As it stands now, here are the differences between Registered members and Senior Members:

Registered: can send a PM to 3 recipients at a time
Senior Members: can send a PM to an unlimited amount of recipients at a time

Registered: have a total attachment storage space of 1 MB
Senior Members: have a total attachment storage space of 2 MB

Registered: can not see Who's Online
Senior Members: can see Who's Online, but not those who are "invisible"

Registered: can not directly email members
Senior Members: can directly email members who have allowed it in their settings

I've set it by way of something called Promotions, that a user of the Registered usergroup will automatically join the Senior Members usergroup after being a member for 1 year and having at least 20 posts.

On the very minute that a user reaches the threshold amount required to be promoted, it will not occur just then because of the way Scheduled Tasks (http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/main/scheduled_tasks) work on the forum. Some things are updated instantaneously, such as a user's post count after making a post. But some other things are updated hourly; such as Promotions, thread views, and attachment views. Hourly updates using Scheduled Tasks, as supposed to instant updates, reduces the strain on the server. The frequency and timing of the Scheduled Tasks can be adjusted in the admincp.

I've set a Username HTML Markup on three usergroups in this forum so that their names will appear differently on the display of posts, Who's Online, and the Members List. Administrators and Super Moderators are indicated with bold and italics, while Senior Members are indicated with bold. Just take a look at the names in the left column of the Members List (http://www.3-3-3.org/forum/memberlist.php) and you will see the differences. There is another place in the forum where usergroups can be determined. That is on the Show Groups (http://www.3-3-3.org/forum/showgroups.php) listing. I do not list the usergroups of either Registered or Senior Members there, because there are too many and the list would be too long.

The specifications of the usergroups and of the forum are also indicated in this announcement, which is updated periodically:

2006-09-04, 04:07
After thinking about it some more I decided that having a special Username HTML Markup for the three usergroups I mentioned in the above post is not a good idea. The reason why I think so now, is that it doesn't look good visually to have different font styles for different people, and creates a lack of uniformity and consistency which looks ugly. It also contributes to an increased feeling of inequality on the board.