I wouldn't like to see a hierarchy either. The other site I'm on has members and premium members. The only visible distinction between them is that premium members get an icon but non premium members only have their name displayed on posts. Actually, this works pretty well because if you get to know and like someone, it's easy to tell they're non-premium, so you can arrange a gift membership for them.
Welcome committee: Great idea if it is appropriate welcoming. I saw someone once "greet" a new member who owns guns with a "No guns!" message. It won't happen again, since I'm banning spammers, I scan the new members every day. I'll be having words with people that leave innapropriate messages for new members.
Ahem. As I have time, I am already pointing people to groups, the discussion forum, journal posts, etc.... Crafting personal messages, and pointing out groups based on an individual's interests is time consuming.
Local interest groups should be grass-roots, and organic. People who join from those areas should create those groups as they see fit.
I really don't want to see the site end up being a pay site. Yes, Richard should be supported. However, I would have been one of the people who wouldn't have stuck around beyond the three months, for various reasons that I won't get into here.
Anyone willing to make a one time donation of at least $25 dollars (say by Oct 15th), I will match up to a total of $750 among all donations. I'll use the honor system. Just tell me you donated and I'll match it.
Daniel Pio Apostata, if you can afford $750 for Atheist Nexus, you can afford a plane ticket to the Atheist Convention in Melbourne next year so I can give you a great big hug and a kiss in person. Get your ass on a plane, kiddo - that's an order!
"get into trouble with my other half for doing this"
When I got married I made a deal with my wife. For each of us, a percentage of each individual's paycheck would go to our own splurge fund. Each of us could spend money from our own fund on what ever we wanted, no questions asked. It works great.