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  1. The most obvious limitation of the "Recruit" status is the inability to apply for equipment testing. If you've been a member for a long time but are now a "Recruit," it is either because you haven't posted enough times or had enough "likes" on your posts. This happens most often with longtime members who have posted almost entirely in the review application threads. Those who have no posting history or have only ever posted in the review application threads have virtually no chance of being chosen for testing. By creating the "Recruit" status, we're just aiming to be even more upfront and transparent about this. We've had posts on the forum literally for years explaining how to get chosen for reviews; none of this was ever hidden before (here's one from seven years ago). But by putting this speed bump up in a really unavoidable way, we're staying true to the #TruthDigest mission of MyGolfSpy: everything out in the open, nothing done in the dark. The review opportunities aren't "contests" that members "win." These are not random draws. When we're picking reviewers, we're looking for members with a track record of quality posts in the forum that have added value to the discussions here. It's always been the case that members without this track record are eliminated pretty early in the process of narrowing down the applications. Our hope is that by making this even clearer, we'll encourage more of you to join in the discussion here. We believe firmly that this is the greatest golf forum on earth and we want to keep our great community while welcoming new members to become part of what has been built here.
  2. The MyGolfSpy Forum is a true community. We aim to be a welcoming place where all opinions can be heard and all members are encouraged to participate. One of the greatest barriers for this is that new members fresh to the site are trying to find their way around and often have too much ability to handle up front. For this reason, new members begin as part of the Recruit Group. The Recruit Group guides new members through the process to using the forum before they become full members. With Recruit status comes a few restrictions. These restrictions will hopefully encourage new community members to discover all that we have to offer. The following permissions will be disabled for Recruits: Display Name Change Content Reporting Chat Box Posting listings in Buy/Sell/Trade Apply for Forum Testing Opportunities The following permissions will be limited for Recruits: 10MB max photo uploads Max 15 posts per day Limited to 5 recipients per message, 50 total, 10/day These measures are not punishments but are the guardrails to keep you on the tracks until you're ready to be a contributing member to the forum. Want full permissions? It's quite easy to get promoted to Member. You just need to hit the following criteria: make 15 posts AND Receive 15 likes AND Spend 2 total days on the forum. That's it. Easy enough? Get posting!
  3. Check this forum. You’ll see that most of the threads are locked; those are tests in which we’ve already chosen the testers. An unlocked thread means that we’re looking for applicants. Always read the instructions in the first post. Normally, we’ll ask for some specific information that will help us choose a variety of testers or testers especially suited to evaluate that particular product.
  4. The OEMs generously provide equipment for our members to test. They are in the business of selling gear and each OEM has its own business model and goals. In most cases, we’re dealing with a specific business unit that only has control over a certain geographic area. Items shipped outside that region create a logistical nightmare—customs and duties are no joke. While we understand that our international members are sometimes frustrated by these restrictions, we trust that you understand that these are OEM decisions and that there are reasonable explanations for their choices.
  5. Donating is not a requirement for testing. You can look through the official forum review threads each year and find that roughly half of the reviewers aren’t donors. MGS Forum testing is decidedly not a pay-for-play proposition. That said, we are looking for testers who are committed to the mission and ethos of MyGolfSpy, and donating to MGS is a significant way of showing that a member is on board with that mission. When we pick testers, whether someone is a donor is part of the total package of qualifications that we consider. In many cases, it breaks the tie between two equally-qualified candidates. If you’re interested in donating to no-nonsense, data-driven golf testing, you can find out more here.
  6. Member product testing is a big part of the MGS Forum and our community takes this responsibility very seriously. The OEMs have been incredibly generous with us through the years and it’s important that we continue to merit their trust. When they commit to sending our members new gear, they have obvious goals: they’re looking to create some buzz by proving the worth of their product. For starters, it's useful to read examples of great work already completed by members like YOU. While we never promise an OEM positive reviews (we want honest reviews), we must be able to promise the OEMs that they will get a review. It’s a huge black eye to our whole forum when someone receives a new driver or a set of wedges and then we never hear from him again. It’s why you don’t hear us talking about review opportunities as “contests” or reviewers as “winners.” While we understand that it’s a thrill to get brand new free gear, it’s also a real responsibility to get the review done in a thorough, informative, and timely manner. For that reason, it’s the moderators’ highest priority to choose testers who’ve proven that they’re invested in our forum community. So how do you get our attention? Set up a profile picture. It’s a small thing, but it’s really one of the basic ways we separate between those who are part of our community and those who are (often) just here to get free stuff. Start posting. Of our thousands of members, there are many who have only posted in review opportunity threads. If that’s your entire posting history, you won’t get chosen. Prove your review chops. There are plenty of opportunities to post unofficial reviews. Start by posting a WIYB. Get some good pictures of your clubs, bag, balls, and accessories. Explain why you use the club setup that you do. Post content that our community finds valuable. The reaction system (likes, etc.) is fun but it also has a serious purpose: racking up likes is a solid indication that your posts are a positive contribution to our discussions. Want an idea of how to add value to our forums? Check out the Leaderboard and especially some of our Hall of Fame members. You’ll find all kinds of different personalities, interests, and posting styles, but they have quality in common. Become a MyGolfSpy donor. More on this below.
  7. Check out the Member Map feature. Zoom in to your local area and you’ll see what other members are nearby. Also, there are regional introduction threads; if you’re new to the forum, go to the proper thread and introduce yourself and get to know other members who are in your same area. We have a whole subforum dedicated to arranging rounds with forum members.
  8. Sometimes you want to know if a thread that interests you gets any new activity. The forum makes this simple. When you have the thread open, scroll to the top title. On the far right, there's a button that says "Follow."
  9. As you spend time in the forum, you’ll eventually come to find your own favorites sections and discussions. When you come to forum, you’ll want to see if there’s anything new there first. Start by clicking “Recent Posts”: Then take note of the options in the boxes. You can narrow your feed to threads you started or have posted in, only unread threads, threads you’re already following, threads within certain time periods—the options are nearly endless. Once you find a setup that suits you, click the little green checkmark on the top left (next to “RECENT POSTS”) and make that feed your default when you click “Recent Posts.”
  10. The MGS Forum has been active for a full decade. If you’re thinking of a specific question or topic for discussion, there’s a decent chance that someone might have thought of it before. There are two ways to search the forum. Your first option is the forum search box in the upper right: If you want to narrow your search, you can pick from the suggestions under the search bar, or choose "More search options." Especially helpful options are to restrict the search to "Content titles only" and "All of my search term words." These options can filter out a lot of results that might not be relevant to you.
  11. The gallery is the best tool to use when you’ve just got pictures you want the forum to see. Click “Gallery” in the main menu bar, then the “Add Images” button in the upper right. Choose a category for your pictures. If you’re uploading several pictures, create an album to group them together.
  12. In a forum thread, use this link when you’re composing your post: Select the file you want to include; after it uploads, it’ll show up at the bottom of the posting window: Position the cursor in your post where you want the picture to appear, then click the picture.
  13. If you want to discuss something with a forum member directly, the DM system is your best choice. Click the envelope icon at the top right of the screen, and then click "Compose New": In the "To" box, start typing the forum member name of your recipient. Add a subject and a message and hit send.
  14. Just ask for ‘em! The complete set of options for the badges can be found here. A couple of the badges have to be earned, like the winner of the MGS Fantasy Football and Golf leagues. Others relate to your vocation or golf accomplishments. Product testers receive their badges after fully completing all the aspects of their review. You can get nearly any of these badges by requesting them with a post in the badge thread or a DM to one of the forum moderators. For the “Donor” badge, you need to DM one of the moderators the transaction ID for your donation as a verification.
  15. You might notice that many of our members list their current bag setup in their signatures. To get one like that yourself, click your forum name in the upper right corner, then choose “Account Settings”: Choose “Signature” from the list of options on the left of the page. To insert the custom icons of the various club and accessories OEMs, click the emoji (the smiley face) in the toolbar and scroll all the way to the bottom of the list.
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