I have to tell you that the new Ning Badge widget has just made my life about 10000 times easier when it comes to keeping track who the paid members are.
I added a Diamond badge to the category I created for my paid members and now when I do a thread or need to approve pictures and see that diamond, it saves me from having to figure out if they are PM's or not by toggling over to a spread sheet with a list of names.
If you charge a portion of your membership, this is a great tool to distinguish who they are.
Lora, how do you charge only a portion of your membership?
This is what we would really like to do on the World Pantheist Movement Ning, and to give paid membership more perks and powers.
Also, how do you make a badge that's not square - I would like to add a spiral badge but if it's square it takes up too much room.
What I do is use my Pay Pal business account to create a payment button
It's really easy to do... :)
Then when they pay .... with the new badge system... I designate them with a Diamond and created a merchant list.
Once you create a payment method, I then use a spreadsheet (on Google documents) and list the names and dates along with their email addy.
Each month I create a list of who is up for renewal. I give them 10 days to renew.
If they don't, they stop being featured, come off the merchant list and I delete their pictures.
The Badge ....do you mean the badge like the diamond I used? Or do you mean the network Badge?
im thinking too, to use paypal directly, as there is no point paying ning monthly fee, PLUS transaction fee, as well - with paypal direct you can set a recurring billing
but isn't it a bit of a custom involvement (like manual working/time-consuming )? can paypal do anything automatically within the ning? like prevent non-paying members form seeing the member area? or you will have to delete them manually ?
If you do not want to have to deal with creating your own document or spreadsheet to keep track, then you need the Ning way.
But I have been doing this for 4 years and I have a spread sheet with names and dates and email and each month I make a list of who needs to renew, I remind them and they use the Pay Pal button I created.
Here is what it looks like to members (the link in my old reply isn't working cause I created a new page instead... )
As they pay, I remove them from the list and update my spreadsheet which takes about 3 minutes... :) Easy as pie.
Here are my paying members.
When they do NOT renew, I go in and remove them from the merchant category and set them back to a default "member"
looks good hon your site, but i can not deal with spreadsheets and manual work for the moment (my time/living cost is much more expensive than managing say 5$ a month members manually, but i need recurring and SIMPLE solution and all to be done automatically, and ning dont provide recurring billing
Have you looked at the Ning payment option? There are several ways to set it up. There is a recurring option.
Check out the help page, it has so much information that apparently you have missed! http://www.ning.com/help/?p=2989
I hope this helps :)
Warmly, Susan Daniels