I'm a new member, and I have no real experience on this board. Having said that, I'm not a newbie in any sense of the word, am experienced in several countries and have contributed to several other boards. I'm now exploring this one, as I'm now traveling a bit more to the DR for mongering purposes. I like a good board where people participate, share information, recognize the limitations of newbies and are patient with them, and have a sense of humor. I haven't hardly been here at all, and have no business opening my mouth up about things of which I'm ignorant, so my apologies if I'm stepping on any toes with my next question.
I am ignorant of the way this board works, and so I'm going to ask you gentlemen a question and hope you'll indulge me. Before I invest a considerable amount of my time, sweat, knowledge what-have-you on this board I need to understand what it means to be a member here. Do I have to buy in to my membership on a regular basis? I'm unclear as to what the difference between a gold and a silver member is, and I'm even more unclear of the process of moving from one to the other. From comments earlier I inferred that my membership here could be relegated to a vote, or to a mandatory in-person meeting of one or some of the "gold" members in order to be approved as being good enough to join the ranks. Is this correct? What is the criteria and who decides?
Again, to be perfectly clear, because I know that what I asked might be inferred as being critical, I'm not necessarily criticizing the way the board is run. I'm new and I'm trying to understand it.