Why can't I post my entry in the contest thread?
Contests on Chainmaillers.com are only open to users who are "active or supporting members". An active member has 10 (or more) posts in forums that count within the past 30 days of the date that you are trying to post. A supporting member is someone who has purchased or was gifted a "supporting member" account upgrade.
Active memberIf a contest was starting today, at any point in the previous 30 days, you would have had to have made 10 posts. You could've made 10 posts in one day, 1 post every 3 days, 2 posts every 6 days, etc.
Once a post moves out of that 30 day period, it is no longer counted towards being an active member.
For example, if you are currently able to post in the contests forum, but 5 of your 10 posts were made 30 days ago, if the contest started tomorrow, you would need to make up those 5 posts before you would be able to post in the contests forum again.
A script is run on the site at 20 minutes past every hour that calculates whether or not you meet the criteria for being an "active member". For example, if you were to make 10 posts, in forums that count, at 2:30 pm, you would not be considered an active member until the script runs at 3:20 pm. This is really only important if you wait until the last 40 minutes of a contest to become an active member. Most likely, you will miss the eligibility period and will not be able to enter the contest.
For example, a contest ends at 11:59 pm. You go to enter at 11:30 pm. You are unable to post because 1 post moved out of the 30 day period earlier that day. You run to make a post so that you will have 10 posts and be an active member again. The script that would make you an active member again won't run until 20 minutes after the contest is over and you will miss the eligibility period.
Supporting memberSupporting member account upgrades are active as soon as they are gifted or when the paypal payment clears (if purchased).
How can I tell if I'm currently an "Active or Supporting Member"?
"Active Members" have the user banner "Active Member" Your user title can be seen in 3 different spots.
To the left of any post in the user postbit:
On a users member card (click on any user name to see the member card)
On a users profile (to see your profile, hover over your username in the toolbar and then click on the link "Your Profile Page"
If you don't see a banner saying "Active Member" or "Supporting Member" by your username, you're not an active or supporting member.
All hope is not lost. If you look at your user profile, you will also see a field that says "Messages last 30 days:". Once that number reaches 10, you become an active member once the promotion script runs. Information on how to increase that number can be found here.