Guests, Registered Users and Members
Cubic Yard hopes to establish a relationship with all of our visitors and in return exchange valuable and useful information and exercise mutual responsible behavior. After years of experience and tens of thousands of visitors, we think we have it right. Please read through this when you have a few extra minutes. We hope you will gain an appreciation for how we manage your resources here on Cubic Yard.
Three Classifications of Visitors
Cubic Yard recognizes and offers different levels of content and features for three categories of visitors:
- Guests: Registration is not required. Guests do not have access to all the content and features of the site. This is the appropriate status for the general public.
- Registered Users: Must register and have access to more content and features than guests. This is the appropriate status for limited business research or for interested parties not directly involved in the property preservation business.
- Members: Membership requires registration and a monthly membership fee. Membership allows access to all the content and features of the site and is the only level that reveals professional level content. Some optional content and features revealed within the membership areas may require additional fees, particularly those licensed from a 3rd party*. Membership is the appropriate level for anyone with direct involvement in the business such as contractors, recruiters, asset managers, servicing companies, legal concerns, etc.
Why Bother With Classification of Visitors?
Many websites offer only minor changes of content and features, if any, regardless of who is visiting.
Since Cubic Yard is both an information source for all and a toolbox for members, our content and features vary according to the visitor. Taking responsibility for giving our members value for their membership fees dictates that we prioritize and concentrate on adding value to membership.
Prioritizing our efforts naturally results in the guest, registered user and member hierarchy. We have learned that a visitor electing to remain at guest level have only a precursory interest in our content if any. Unfortunately many active users of Cubic Yard are almost unknown to us simply because they do not register or become a member.
We hope that guests visit often and are welcome to maintain their status as a guest. However, we can do so much more for you when we know who you are and why you are here. We would like for you to establish and promote your identity to other users of the site and take advantage of additional content and features for registered users and members.
Our Inflexible Registration Policy
Guests are anonymous and anonymity can wreck havoc in a web site. Anonymity is a double-edged sword when it comes to an online community. While anonymity may allow people to feel free and uninhibited, it can also be a web community’s biggest enemy. Anonymity allows people to hide behind their computers while saying whatever they want with little ramification. Anonymity that hides a person behind an online username is common online and most internet users have a number of different identities they use that allows them to explore different aspects of their life. For these reasons and others guests have very limited access.
Registered users are real people. User names are vital to online communities as it allows other users to learn to identify other users they like or dislike based upon their behavior and personality. People build reputations in their usernames, and so their reputation becomes something they value and want to protect. It is not the content of the registration data that is the purpose of registration – it’s the process itself. By requiring users to take an affirmative action such as our simple registration, we can weed out the casual troublemaker.
We feel that registered users have an investment in Cubic Yard are much less likely to blow that investment through inappropriate, negative behavior. Our thoughts are that as we come to know you as a registered user through your participation and your registration profile, our relationship can become stronger and our interaction more frequent. Knowing you as an individual allows us to interact with you about issues, concerns and opportunities.
Members are clients – they pay the bills. Although guests and registered users generate traffic that benefits Cubic Yard in many ways, our members shoulder the bulk of our expenses. So, when we show up to work everyday we are working for our members and their needs always are top priority. We know the problems and needs of property preservation contractors – remember, we’ve scrubbed those toilets too.. and, lost thousands of dollars on bad decisions.
What’s The Bid Deal About Membership?
We use membership as a filter. We’ve already discussed how our priorities are influenced by our visitors’ user access level but we have not mentioned now ccording to It is our desire that our visitors register at CubicYard in order to receive the value given to registered users. Our membership system does not let us know more about you than you allow us to know—a user email address, a user name, etc. – but it’s not the content of the registration data that is the purpose of registration—it’s the process itself. By requiring users to take an affirmative action such as our simple registration, we can weed out the casual troublemaker.
I’m A Registered User or Member. Now What?
Your registration or membership is the transport vehicle for your online reputation system. Your reputation influences other users to decide whether you can be trusted or not. Although easy to manipulate, the reputation system is one of the cornerstones of Cubic Yard’s foundation for growth and popularity. The reputation system allows users to judge the value of other people’s views and reviews. It also provides an important tool to help users make value-based judgments. The number of forum posts you make is important. The more posts you make, the more “senior” you become. Members with increasingly senior reputations may be invited to accept greater access or responsibilities within the Cubic Yard community. Some members have had contract offers from others that say they were greatly influenced by the recipient’s online reputation. Those with no or little reputation will be given little or no access to some site services. This is your incentive to work on your reputation. We hope you value your reputation you build in the Cubic Yard community. It’s an investment and we know that once you are invested in your online reputation, you are less likely to abuse it.
Lets Keep the Communication Flowing
Online communities like Cubic Yard often have trouble because they are not clear about the community’s expectations of members, and because they communicate in “marketing speak.” We hope we have effectively stated our expectations. As a registered user or member, you may occasionally receive communication from us concerning your actions or the actions of others. We value your participation and your voice. As a willing partner in the growth of your business, we ask that your communications with us be clear, direct, and frequent.
Our registration and membership system is not a cure-all and it will not stop a person who is committed to disrupting the site, but it does offer a connection to a a real person, and that person to their actions. The registration process also works to limit bad online behavior – or at least some of it - and creates a subtle but important psychological difference between an anonymous visitor and a known community member. A person who is invested in a community through a membership system is one less likely to abuse the community.
Thank you for your time and your visit,
Terry Platt, Editor and Publisher