This is a proposal for when Nick gets back from his upcoming trip, if you'd like to weigh in now is the time.
Upon registering, users are given the option of a paid registration in a variety of tokens. Users who choose to pay are sent a generic access token that gives them access to the private half of the forums. This is basically an introduction to access tokens, they would not be very exclusive and the vending machine that powers the distribution to new users would be able to issue more as needed. Funds collected in this way are pooled and set aside.
That won't stop spammers, they will overcome any system we come up with because spammers are just users whose motives are to game the system for their profit. If we make it impossible for spammers who are seeking profit how can we expect users who just want to interact with each other to figure out our system or deal with our protections.
I believe we should institute a credit system that users pre-pay to their account in the same way as we handle submission credits. Lets say 100 LTBCOIN per credit and it takes 1 credit to reply, 2 credits to create a new topic.
At the end of each week, the system would count all the posts that have not been removed for some reason and allocate 1 share per reply and 2 shares per topic to whomever made the non-spam post. This would give each user who posted at least one non-spam post a share of the non-spam reward, so if there are 100 credits worth of posts created and 10% are spam, each share is worth 111 LTBCOIN.
The funds at the beginning we set aside are used to determine the number of free posts each user gets each week or month, basically all non-LTBCOIN funds received are exchanged with the LTB platform for LTBCOIN and those LTBCOIN are used to buy posting credits for users in the system, who would then be able to post more and if they are not spam recieve the LTBCOIN associated with their shares as pure profit, so instead of an 11 LTBCOIN net gain from a 10% spam rate it would be a 111LTBCOIN gain since that user did not pay for the credit. This could easily be supplemented by diverting part of the audience rewards program to the purpose.
Further, once we have these not-very-valuable-but-useful posting credits that are database entries in our system, we can let users give them to each other. Since posts now have a cost and a reward, giving someone who has posted something you like a "tip" in the form of a posting credit take what is a low reward speculative venture relative to the cost and turn it into a no risk scenario since the person giving the credit has paid the cost while you still have the possibility of reward. Receiving multiple credit "tips' multiplies the effectiveness, essentially pre-paying you so any reward you receive from the non-spam system is a bonus.
I do not imagine we would let people "withdraw" credits in the form of LTBCOIN, the only way to convert them would be to use them and be rewarded for non-spam or tip them to someone.
I believe this would align the incentives properly when it comes to posting without locking out users. Letting "free" users have their own area gives us an entry onramp, but also presents a disconnect between the public google-searchable community and the more private community community without getting clichey like token viewpoints inevitably will.
Since there can't be a negative number of spam posts, worst case scenario with 0% spam you would make no profit but receive back exactly what it cost you in the first place. We could give users the option of receiving what they are owed in credits if they want to skip having to buy them again and essentially any profit would be reinvested back in more voice which would also give you tipping ability.
So once again the system is
New users can pay or not
If they pay, their funds are gathered in the "Credit Charity Fund", they get access to the paid-only area via a "common" access token plus the public area.
If they don't pay, they get access to the public access area
Any user can use LTBCOIN or other tokens to buy Posting Credits. When they get a new account and periodically they receive free posting credits. It costs 1 credit to reply to someone elses topic or 2 credits to create your own.
At regular intervals, all the posts made during the last length of time which are not spam are polled and shares are credited to their posting user, 1 share per reply 2 shares per topic. Users receive LTBCOIN per share for the time period from the Posting Credits fund based on the following formula.
(# of credits spent during time period) / (# of credits worth of non-spam posts made during time period)
Posting Credits are not tokens, they can't be sent or used outside of the LTB platform and the only way a user can extract their value in LTBCOIN from the system (which is variable based on when they are redeemed) only by making non-spam posts. Posting credits can be "tipped" to other individuals which happens immediately and entirely outside of the spam system, it is the equivalent of trading tokens pre-redemption with the act of making a post and thus using the credits being the act of redemption.
What do you think?