Pay or Play usage?


I am considering Discourse for a community animation project…
I would like to know if it is possible, realistic, with Discourse, to have a system of evaluation of the activity of the members, to define their access rights to categories.

A kind of Pay or Play model,
where lurkers would be fined if they want to keep their access to premium categories, and where best active members will be rewarded with some bonus …

Is it possible, with some hadoc plugins ? would a specific external dev be mandatory ?
Anyway, as you can see, I don’t know enough Discourse, and would love to have your insights.

Access to certain categories can be controlled by groups. So users can be added to a group to get access to certain predefined categories.

That is what the trust levels are for. People that are active gets trust level 3, which gives you access to certain things.

Not sure what you want to do or mean with this.

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For the groups, I understood well then, thank you.
Could the assignment to a group be dynamic?

I had understood that the trust level was a static state, which only goes up in time. I was thinking of something more dynamic, which evolves with the weekly or monthly activity, or either on a ratio activity/age …

Concerning specific dev, I haven’t yet looked at how the plugins were developed … And since it is a change of state not very frequent, the use of the api and a piece of external software is perhaps sufficient …

The trust levels look like 0->1->2<->3, 4. You can’t go back down from 2 (without an admin explicitly changing it) but you can go down from 3 to 2. 4 is only available manually.

In order to reach and maintain trust level 3, a user must view/read/reply to topics and give/receive likes to whatever amount over a period of time, as well as visit some number of days within that period. All of those values can be set by you in the Trust Level settings.

My concern is that you would end up encouraging people to make senseless posts to keep their ranking.

But a plugin that ran a job that looked at their activity and changed group membership is certainly possible.

But if it were a really good idea, I’d think that such a plugin would exist and be popular. I’m not aware of one.


Thank you @Simon_Manning for this detailed explanation. It is indeed something like this trust level between 2 and 3 that I was thinking about …

I may already have something to do with this existing functionality.

Thank you @pfaffman,
There are indeed so many ways to hijack an automatic process… Common sense should prevail :wink:

Otherwise, I’m a big believer in gamification for community management.

The easiest way is to experiment. I have your answers, the first elements, and the api is pretty well done.

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Re. the pay or play model, I think a combination of the Discourse Subscriptions plugin and trust level 3 may be what you’re looking for. The trust levels have automatic user groups and the Subscriptions plugin can automatically add/remove users from a group based on their payment status.

You can then change the security settings for certain categories so that they are only accessible to the trust_level_3 group and your subscription group(s). This way if a user either pays the subscription or achieves trust level 3, they will gain access to those categories. If they stop paying or lose trust level 3, they lose access.

“Rewarded with some bonus”, if you mean something beyond free access to those premium categories, would need a plugin. Have a search through the #plugins category here on meta, you might find something that meets your needs.

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