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Dave Martell
01-14-2012, 10:37 PM
Recently we've made a lot of changes here at KKF to reflect the needs of our community's rapid growth. Some of these changes (like the creation of clear vendor/hobbyist rules) have been seen as beneficial for the control of the unchecked advertising that was taking place here. This has led to some new knifemakers and a new hobbyist coming on board officially and this is good. However we have some bad that has happened in that we lost a few members from the site as well as 5 or 6 hobbyists not officially coming on board. This is a loss of member contribution (to the community) as well as a loss to the members themselves (from a loss of sales).

It is clear to us that the new hobbyist vendor forum(s) are not working out as planned. Clearly this was a popular and well received idea while it was free but now that a fee is being imposed it is not being embraced.

We all want to welcome hobbyists & knifemakers to contribute here at KKF but we have to have guidelines in place so that it doesn't become another knife forum whore.

What I would like to do now is to address these issues in a dialog that hopefully brings forth even further changes to benefit the community. If you have a suggestion towards this end please speak up, we'd love to have your input.

Thanks,
Dave

PierreRodrigue
01-14-2012, 11:44 PM
The vendor fees are fine, I don't want to see every body and their dog hanging a shingle as a knife maker. The hobbiest thing is going to be an unfortunate situation. Some morrals are going to get in the way of the serious hobbiest. Some makers who don't want to pay ANY fees, will still be bitter. There will be some we lose we didn't want to lose, and some we keep, we want to lose :D. It will be impossible not to p!ss somebody off. To take sides on a case by case basis will reek of favoirtism and open rifts already healing. I admire the work of some who have choose to leave to the point of offering to pay his fee, his work was valuable. The governing body has mad a stand. If there is a way to make things better, I for one, welcome them. But right now, things seem smoother. So if we cant make things smoother, and protect the position of paying vendors, as is is fine.

Eamon Burke
01-14-2012, 11:51 PM
I dunno, the hobbyist fee is not huge. You can hardly purchase one knife for less than that around here.

Maybe charging a commission for sales would go over better? Like 10% of what gets sold goes to KKF? It's the same thing to me, but perhaps people would feel better about it. :dontknow:


It's only been a month and a half. Maybe give it time.

kalaeb
01-15-2012, 12:33 AM
Obviously I am biased, but I don’t consider myself a hobbyist, but I do re-handle western handles (passive marketing plug):oops: I think the term has been applied to a person who is trying to make money off it, like selling on ETSY. I am not doing re-handles to make money, I am just a person who after working a 75 hour week likes to work with wood to relieve stress.

I generally only make one handle every two months. (Took me almost 4 years to finish my boat.) The $475.00 fee was inordinate. Simply to be able to recoup the cost of the fee I would have to tack on $80.00 per handle, or increase my output. If I had to increase output and have deadlines; it would increases my stress, going against why I was doing it in the first place….to relieve stress.

I have zero problem donating a portion of the sale to KKF. But 80, or even 40 dollars is absurd.

As much as I would like to keep all the handles I have done, it does not make sense so I looked elsewhere to help keep my sanity. Thankfully there have been a few members who have allowed me to experiment on their knives, for that I am grateful.

I guess the bottom line is, I will continue to make handles because I love doing it and I want to get better at it…those handles have to be sold somewhere for me to continue.

Regarding posting, I truly miss hobbyist, woodworkers, collectors or anyone else being able to post pictures and WIPs. That was one of the main reasons why it was fun for me to come here. No offense to anyone, but the past few month have been a little stagnant regarding colorful content. How I wish for some pics and wips.

I know the fee will probably not go away, but please allow some pics and wips.

I will never go away from this place, I really love comming here and will always be a supporting member, even if I am banned I will change my IP address and be back the next day:blahblah:

PierreRodrigue
01-15-2012, 12:41 AM
"Regarding posting, I truly miss hobbyist, woodworkers, collectors or anyone else being able to post pictures and WIPs. That was one of the main reasons why it was fun for me to come here. No offense to anyone, but the past few month have been a little stagnant regarding colorful content. How I wish for some pics and wips."

Wips and pictures, yes I do miss this as well.

stevenStefano
01-15-2012, 12:41 AM
I like the idea of Commission but perhaps it would be worth exploring though I can still see issues with it. I agree that I loved the WIPS and I am sad they aren't here any more. I think it is hard to really define advertising and perhaps the definition could be loosened a little. I think a lot of WIPs aren't really advertising personally

Dave Martell
01-15-2012, 12:53 AM
The $475.00 fee was inordinate.


Just for clarification, the hobbyist fee is $175

kalaeb
01-15-2012, 01:00 AM
Just for clarification, the hobbyist fee is $175

Really???? :angry1: I kid you not, all this time I thought it was $475.00

kalaeb
01-15-2012, 01:03 AM
:beatinghead:Gah, I really need to get some glasses.:beatinghead: That makes a big difference.

Eamon Burke
01-15-2012, 01:07 AM
That's what I'm saying! If you make custom sayas, and sell them for $150(like a lot of folks do), you make one and you are $25 + cost of wood away from a year of hobbyist fun.

It's two handles.

One cutting board.

1/2-1/5 of a knife.

Dave Martell
01-15-2012, 01:09 AM
:beatinghead:Gah, I really need to get some glasses.:beatinghead: That makes a big difference.



LOL :D

sachem allison
01-15-2012, 01:33 AM
Really???? :angry1: I kid you not, all this time I thought it was $475.00
didn't you read my long diatribe about it only being $3 a week? I even offered to pick Darkhoek's tab and I think Pierre offered to pick up someones and tk too.:lol2:

kalaeb
01-15-2012, 02:14 AM
nope, missed it, but I am more than wlling to admit I messed up. Sorry guys!

Eamon Burke
01-15-2012, 02:31 AM
Hey, nobody's upset with you, we're just happy you can join us in being bewildered by "those guys" that just don't get it...whoever the heck they are! :scratchhead:

sachem allison
01-15-2012, 02:44 AM
nope, missed it, but I am more than wlling to admit I messed up. Sorry guys!

what were we talking about?:spin chair:

Bryan G.
01-15-2012, 04:12 AM
Dave,

I'll throw 2cents in.

As far as the Vendors go, my understanding is you have a fee (more than the hobbyist) and with it they get their own sub-forum and can sell how much they please and post photos and whatever else. If this is correct I really don't see any flaw here. You can't ever receive before giving. It's a matter of how much someone thinks the forum is worth in terms of marketing their product, but more importantly he or she themselves. Ultimately it is who and what you ARE that is going to make you money regardless of what you DO. Money is just a means, and any focused only on means will always struggle to have it. And that's a lesson they have to learn on their own. It's obvious to any wise man or woman that the products here are created by the Vendors who first and foremost care about who they ARE and what they DO is superior as a direct EFFECT of the aforementioned. LIKE attracts LIKE. So we naturally have people drawn here bringing demand for these products from these vendors. It's a scientific fact that if this level of superior/positive thinking from current vendors continues and grows that so too will the demand grow for their products which is only just an extension of them.

My point is, if someone is too ignorant to understand this or perhaps emotional thinking with strictly emotions instead of intellect and feeling, then it is their loss because the vendors fee is completely warranted if you grasp and have insight to my above statement. Do not feel wrong or ill as they will either come to their senses and come back or they will struggle through life wherever they may go until they learn this lesson.

Now as for the Hobbyists. $175 is a small fee, but I do find this one not as clear cut as many are just starting up their passion at this stage. I am not clear on the picture/posting situation. But how can someone grow without posting pictures of their work? How can they get their name and person out if they do not interact? Perhaps they are questioning if anyone even enjoys their work and are having a hard time envisioning being able to do it, thus they would question paying a fee if they are unsure themselves if anyone would want to buy. So here I would suggestion giving some leniency. Perhaps having a separate forum for "up & comers" photo's only. Perhaps allowing some pass-arounds as well so people can grow and come to a clear vision if they want to pursue this or not. And leave the "Hobbyist" forum as is or with a commission fee as mentioned. Perhaps let the Hobbyists or potential Hobbyist vote on that. I personally think the commission may be the more fair way to go ... as I can see the type of person that would want to sell 10 handles a year and sell one. Initially gun ho about the 175$ fee to sell handles on his/her down time and afford he/she to make them, only to be out and discouraged all together from making them. Where if they knew they only payed a commission they would be more inclined to do more. And the more they do, the more their confidence builds, the more they sell ... the more they sell the natural progression would be to become a vendor. I honestly haven't looked at all the forums and sub-forums so maybe you have something like this in play already with the photos.

I do know limiting photos of peoples work is a negative and not a positive because you are obstructing personal growth. You are obstructing the growth of the person questioning if their work is good enough ... and in turn you can be obstructing future growth of others who may see that work and be inspired to create such work themselves. Which is obstructing the growth of the community as a whole if you look for even a second at the effects. If someone is posting pictures asking for sales when they are not a vendor or have not payed commissions (if that were the hobbyists stipulations) then a moderator would contact them that their photo has been moved to the proper forum and their post edited and they should not offer their work for sale without the proper channels being followed first. And failure to follow these channels once again will result in a banning, which we as a community, not just staff, DO NOT WANT to see happen. That is a very fair way to do it and benefits the whole.

If someone wants to post pictures of work and PM people behind those pics trying to sell them or even entertain a PM from someone asking to buy, do you not think that they will reap what they sow? You do not stop people from stealing by locking your doors, putting signs up, setting up an alarm, threatening them ... none of these are correct ways to stop this. The correct way is to create an environment and community of thought that would not even entertain any such negativity. Because if people want to steal they are going to steal regardless of material/superficial attempts to stop it. But if everyone as a whole is firm in the ideal which is positive and against it, those people who would dare to question it certainly will weed themselves out quickly without haste and absolutely find themselves without friends of sound judgement and thought.

Food for thought I hope this applies to your inquiry because it is late and Son's spinning chair got me kinda dizzy, so I apologize if I got off base here!

Kind Regards

Bryan

WillC
01-15-2012, 04:53 AM
There is one hobby seller signed up at least. I don't really get why more people have not signed up, but then I've got used to factoring in cost of sales. Even if your a hobby maker as a craftsman selling your work a couple of times a year at free events in town halls or whatever, that still costs much more in time, preparation, materials for your stall plus you have to sit there all day, doing two free events a year would cost you more than $175 in bits and bobs, fuel etc and you might only sell 2 items. . I really miss the buzz and shared ideas of hobby makers and would like to see it bursting with life. Maybe a percentage on sales with a cap on how many $ per month would be fairer though for those making smaller items or those worried they may only get time to finish one or two things.
Very nicely put Bryan, a very warm attitude.:)

ajhuff
01-15-2012, 09:47 AM
I like the commission idea. There's a big difference in the hobbyist fee impact if you sell one item per year versus 12 items per year.

BUT.

One thing I find annoying is that all of the posts regarding hobbyists seem to focus on sales, which mean a hobbyist is just viewed as a subgroup of vendors. It is assuming there is a profit motive in the sale. I'm going to bet most hobbyists are more interested in just recouping their material costs so they can start another project. Moreover, I would think that from a hobbyist's interest the greater desire is to be able to post WIP, have discussions, ask questions and interact with other hobbyists, pros and users to be able to improve their hobby. There may never be a sale. While that interaction has value, and I'm not saying it should be free, I have problems with the mentality hobby SALES make the current fee not so exorbitant. I think this attitude of recoupment is wrong.

I'm not a hobbyist or a vendor so I have no real dog in this fight but I think a smaller subscription fee + a commission on sales makes more sense for a hobbyist designation.

-AJ

Marko Tsourkan
01-15-2012, 11:07 AM
From a former hobbyist.

As Matt pointed out, to improve, one has to offer work for sale, as there is a different level of expectation (on oneself) when work is commissioned for pay. Given the failure rate at this point, one probably makes no money (or makes little), but this is an investment into skills and a learning experience and should be treated as such.

$180 fee is very reasonable and should be affordable. To put things in perspective, I was paying three times that on KF for hobbyist privilege and my output wasn't that different than of hobbyists' on KKF.

I think if people don't embrace the idea and the cost, it is more because of a principle (and possibly free-riding), than of reasoning, and no concession might change that.


M

Bryan G.
01-15-2012, 11:26 AM
Thank you Will :) ... awesome work by the way my friend. Keep up your progress.

I think most of us (hobbyist and outside guys like AJ and I) feel just as the above is stated. When you have like minds creating a community we are all the same in make, the difference is one of degree. The goal is to grow the degree of thinking for the hobbyist and help them advance without worrying so much about compensation if you don't know how much they are going to produce. Make the fee small and simple enough to where it helps them grow. Again natural progression is if they start making big strides in selling their work is to become a vendor/full on knifemaker which we want to encourage. Some of my favorite new makers where hobbyists not too long ago.

I think AJ summed up very well the typical scenario and like I said you have a lot of younger (or older but young to the craft) hobbyist who like Kaleb do it for stress relief and fun and look only to break even to keep doing it. I think 175$ is not a huge fee for a year, yet it might be to someone doubting if they can even produce something in their spare time that someone else would value. We want to build people's confidence, not doubt.

Dave if it wasn't for you donating your time with me via emails I would be very clueless on sharpening and not understand waterstones what-so-ever to the extent I do. If not for the amazing visual work by the hobbyist and makers here and conversation about the products of thought produced here I surely would not be drawn back here. I certainly will make a handle and knife one day, but not to the extent of the full time makers here. But definitely have been inspired, and definitely plan on producing great things myself bringing great means for my end, and when those means come most certainly know who I would like to share them with.

Kind Regards

Bryan

Dave Martell
01-15-2012, 12:31 PM
This is excellent conversation with lots of great points already made.

I want to add in that some of the people coming here are already knifemakers who sell (some part time - some full time) and are crossing over to kitchen knives. They're looking to learn from the community as well as make sales. We have to also consider them in this as well.

tk59
01-15-2012, 12:34 PM
I like the commission idea. There's a big difference in the hobbyist fee impact if you sell one item per year versus 12 items per year.

BUT.

One thing I find annoying is that all of the posts regarding hobbyists seem to focus on sales, which mean a hobbyist is just viewed as a subgroup of vendors. It is assuming there is a profit motive in the sale. I'm going to bet most hobbyists are more interested in just recouping their material costs so they can start another project. Moreover, I would think that from a hobbyist's interest the greater desire is to be able to post WIP, have discussions, ask questions and interact with other hobbyists, pros and users to be able to improve their hobby. There may never be a sale. While that interaction has value, and I'm not saying it should be free, I have problems with the mentality hobby SALES make the current fee not so exorbitant. I think this attitude of recoupment is wrong.

I'm not a hobbyist or a vendor so I have no real dog in this fight but I think a smaller subscription fee + a commission on sales makes more sense for a hobbyist designation.

-AJThis precisely my view.

mhenry
01-15-2012, 12:53 PM
I like the commission idea. I had a handle for sale back when the forum was free, and it never sold. There is a chance that a hobbyist could pay the fee and never sell anything. So the pay as you play scheme sounds really good.

JMJones
01-15-2012, 02:15 PM
I think it is great that this is being discussed, especially in a more positive manner than in the past.

As a hobbyist I am fine paying a fee for the year or a flat fee per sale or a percentage per sale or whatever when I am actually selling a knife.


My issue is that members who are not actively selling something are still required to pay before posting pics, info, wips ect. If a hobbyist is allowed to post pics, ect, and they receive positive feedback they are going to be more likely to then want to sell something here and shouldn’t mind paying for that privilege. Mandating that someone pay first is putting the cart before the horse and I believe has and will continue to have a negative impact on the community here in two ways. First, members are missing out on some interesting content that could be posted. Second, I feel it is off putting and kind of irritating for the hobbyist or potential hobbyist to feel we are being censored. In my opinion censoring kitchen knife related content on a kitchen knife forum is silly.


I have said it before but I think bladeforums has it right. Anyone is free to post whatever they want for content in the makers/ custom forums. If you want to post something for sale, there is a different sub forum for that and you have to pay for that privilege.


Promotion and Sales, although related, are very different things. The current rules do not take that into account.

mc2442
01-15-2012, 05:49 PM
I think the ideal thing would be able to choose between a commission and an annual flat fee for the hobbiest. This would allow people to choose commission until they have material sales that makes them switch to the (then) lower flat rate. If someone only sells a few a year, a commission would be fine, and allow them to fully participate in everything that was mentioned above.

There are a couple of problems that come with this, setting the commision and policing the activities of others. For a commission, both a flat fee and a commission have weaknesses in that they type and amount of sales are widely varied. If someone sold a bargin basement item for 1/10th the price of a higher end one, how do you set a price per item. And if someone uses higher end materials, is a % commission fair to the purchaser?

As for policing, if everyone obeyed by an honor system, the world would be a wonderful place. There will be a lot of grey area, misunderstandings, and upset people. A lot of people hate the legal and tax systems due to their complexity, but unfortunately there is a need since there will always be those in search of loopholes (my personal feelings is that both systems are a lot more screwed up than that would account for, however).

JBroida
01-15-2012, 06:09 PM
also, its totally possible for people to post a ton of WIPs and whatnot, and never sell an item on the board... that would make the commission thing a bit tricky.

ajhuff
01-15-2012, 06:29 PM
Do all hobbyists sell their work? JM has a good point about needing to pony up before posting any WIP pics. That would seem like a big deterant. But are there any hobbyists that purely build for the love of the hobby? $175 is a lot of money just to post pictures.

-AJ

JMJones
01-15-2012, 06:38 PM
also, its totally possible for people to post a ton of WIPs and whatnot, and never sell an item on the board... that would make the commission thing a bit tricky.

I dont see that as an issue. If they are posting a ton of wip's they are contributing to the content of the board, that is enough. If it leads to some private sales, so be it. If they want to actually sell stuff on the board, they should have to pay.

This is the only knife related board that I know of that would not let me post a pic of a knife I made or a work in progress thread:dontknow:.

tk59
01-15-2012, 07:00 PM
...If it leads to some private sales, so be it. If they want to actually sell stuff on the board, they should have to pay...You're saying that if I like something you've done, I can contact you and ask you to make it and you owe nothing to the forum. On the other hand, you wouldn't get that sale if you handn't been on the forum and so you do owe the forum a commission. The real question is, "How does the forum get a piece of that pie without sucking?"

JMJones
01-15-2012, 08:08 PM
You're saying that if I like something you've done, I can contact you and ask you to make it and you owe nothing to the forum. On the other hand, you wouldn't get that sale if you handn't been on the forum and so you do owe the forum a commission. The real question is, "How does the forum get a piece of that pie without sucking?"


I see your point but that is exactly how it works on every other knife related forum that I have viewed on a regular basis. I think that the harder the forum tries to" get a piece of that pie", ie the more rules, fees, censorship, ect the higher the potential for "sucking".

Taking your comment to the next level, if you then show your coworker the knife I made for you and he orders one do I now owe you a commission or even the forum another commission because ultimately the forum introduced you to my work? Eventually a line has to be drawn as to when the forum gets a piece of the pie, I personally think it is when someone is actually selling something on the forum, not just showing/discussing pics, wips ect.

Also as to my quote in a previous post "Promotion and Sales, although related, are very different things. The current rules do not take that into account” If I am posting interesting or informational wips, pics, ect, i am obviously promoting my work/ gaining exposure even if it is already sold or not for sale. However I am also adding value to the forum as a whole by providing something that members may enjoy viewing/ learning about and hopefully making it a more interesting place for more people to congregate. I see that as more of a symbiotic relationship with the forum than something I should have to pay for.

RRLOVER
01-15-2012, 08:16 PM
I see your point but that is exactly how it works on every other knife related forum that I have viewed on a regular basis. I think that the harder the forum tries to" get a piece of that pie", ie the more rules, fees, censorship, ect the higher the potential for "sucking".

Taking your comment to the next level, if you then show your coworker the knife I made for you and he orders one do I now owe you a commission or even the forum another commission because ultimately the forum introduced you to my work? Eventually a line has to be drawn as to when the forum gets a piece of the pie, I personally think it is when someone is actually selling something on the forum, not just showing/discussing pics, wips ect.

Also as to my quote in a previous post "Promotion and Sales, although related, are very different things. The current rules do not take that into account” If I am posting interesting or informational wips, pics, ect, i am obviously promoting my work/ gaining exposure even if it is already sold or not for sale. However I am also adding value to the forum as a whole by providing something that members may enjoy viewing/ learning about and hopefully making it a more interesting place for more people to congregate. I see that as more of a symbiotic relationship with the forum than something I should have to pay for.


I was thinking the exact same thing.

SpikeC
01-15-2012, 09:08 PM
I am a hobbyist, and the reason that I have not signed up as such is that I don't feel that I can produce enough product of high enough quality to make selling worth while. The disabilities that keep me from working at my career as a custom jewelry maker make progress in knife making difficult. I can still post pictures of what I am making. I gave away several knives to my sisters for Xmas, so I need to make more now.
Come to think of it, I think I will ask for Hobbyist status just because of all that I have learned here. It is worth the fee just for that, and once I am invested it might get me working a little harder!

Bryan G.
01-15-2012, 10:22 PM
I was thinking the exact same thing.

This is very intelligent thought here, I agree with Mario, Mr Jones is making a very fundamental point. We get caught up in "monetary transactions" when it is more about "personal interactions". The relationships are where the true value lies. If you build this with the hobbyists and forum members and makers the means take care of itself. The natural progression of the hobbyist is to become a professional if they continue to advance, because where else is there to go? At which point I believe everyone is in agreement a fee is warranted and just for the whole. And if they stay at the hobby level not selling much or making a profit, then is their contribution of inspiring others and giving content that only helps draw people to the forums that not only admire their work, but perhaps of another maker who is paying dues to sell his/her work payment enough?

And lets not concern ourselves with past forums or current forums too greatly looking for precedent rather than progress. I have learned to think only of what you want and nothing of what you don't want. A Chef is nothing more than a CEO of a kitchen, a greater degree of the whole who must connect not only with the customers through food, but through other things as well as connect to his cooks who help carry out his food. A great Chef will understand giving freedom with guidance to his cooks will yield entirely greater results than giving a vision all his own and forcing strict accordance.

To quote myself in absolute confidence:

"I do know limiting photos of peoples work is a negative and not a positive because you are obstructing personal growth. You are obstructing the growth of the person questioning if their work is good enough ... and in turn you can be obstructing future growth of others who may see that work and be inspired to create such work themselves. Which is obstructing the growth of the community as a whole if you look for even a second at the effects."


I tell my cooks all the time ... people do things for absolutely NO OTHER REASON then they LIKE YOU. It is the ONLY reason anyone will ever do anything of real value for you over time. LASTING success comes only from true understanding of this. It's a scientific fact. Will everyone always like you? No, but if you're truly honest and fair, those people who don't like you I promise don't always like themselves and that's a "personal" situation and not a "environmental" one. I can give dozens and dozens of examples to prove this is scientifically and spiritually sound.

A personal and heart felt example for Dave is would I pay 450$ for a knife made from a maker who is making his first knives? Upfront for that matter before knife is in hand? Is there not more experienced makers with knifes at relatively same pricing? Why would I choose to do this? So did all his time he "donate" to me have no value? Is he not being rewarded? When I am very successful and have an abundance of wealth will it not pay off for him because he has made a friend of me? If he told me years ago, "Sorry, I can't really give you much help, but you can give me $200 and watch my seminar to learn about stones and sharpening" it probably wouldn't be the same today. And now I would pay $200 to attend his seminar or 450$ for a first time knife maker ... because on the flip side I know he is going to give me something worth far more than that $450 value because I am his friend as well. So much faith I have in this I gave him an outline of an idea and left the rest to him in creating my knife.

Kind Regards

Bryan

Marko Tsourkan
01-15-2012, 10:29 PM
You're saying that if I like something you've done, I can contact you and ask you to make it and you owe nothing to the forum. On the other hand, you wouldn't get that sale if you handn't been on the forum and so you do owe the forum a commission. The real question is, "How does the forum get a piece of that pie without sucking?"

That is the same question I would like to have answer to.

Forum is a two way street. One contributes to a forum, as well as one derives benefits from being a member - information, ideas, feedback, inspiration, exposure, etc. Most people think it is free. However, it is not. To make a good forum takes more than a free forum software and $5/months hosting service and bunch of people with time on their hands.

It irks me a little bit when people think that their individual contribution justifies a free ride.

If one is accepting private sales through the forum, one should give something back.

@ Spike, I share your approach and I have a feeling that by taking this route, you will get much more help from others, including myself. A fair approach that is.

M

Bryan G.
01-15-2012, 11:04 PM
It irks me a little bit when people think that their individual contribution justifies a free ride.

If one is accepting private sales through the forum, one should give something back.

M

My question is why would you think they wouldn't give something back? Why would one take it upon themselves to think this? Is it up to us to be so impatient to think someone is "leeching" off the forum if they don't pay upfront before making a sale or even to post pictures? What if they are in a rough spot and cannot afford to make that payment to the community at this current time. Yet they make some sales on the forums privately and it helps them in their own endeavors. Do you honestly believe they would not remember this and return the favor in future time when their position has progressed? Perhaps they even become a full time maker do to the support of the community and not only pay dues to be an official maker but bring more people here to view their work. Perhaps it stays nothing more than a hobby and they become successful in something else and lend funding to the community. Maybe they don't even want to sell anything but it brings them in contact with someone else from another profession that also enjoys this hobby and it benefits them to the point where they donate something to the forums. I mean the possibilities are endless. And lets say they don't give anything back if you would like to think about a negative outcome. Does anyone really think they won't reap what they sow? The selfish ones always stick out like a sore thumb in a positive environment.

I don't think ANYONE is in disagreement with you M. I just think the matter at hand is having some patience and compassion with guys just getting started and having faith everyone here aims to be like minded on the morality. I don't think any of the more experienced guys have an issue with paying at this very moment as they are wiser and more experienced. Sometimes a little patience and faith goes a long way.

By stopping growth of budding members just to ensure we are monetarily compensated at this very moment is at the very least assuring we make small strides in growth as a community and ideal, and quite possibly contribute to the lack of monetary means we so seek NOW, in the future.

-B-

ajhuff
01-15-2012, 11:35 PM
The natural progression of the hobbyist is to become a professional if they continue to advance, because where else is there to go?
<snip>
Kind Regards

Bryan

This is the part I still don't get.

Is this unique to knife making and we are only concerned with them?

I think the natural parallel here is that all the home cooks on here are essentially hobbyists. I don't think anyone thinks the next step for them is to go pro. I can think of lots of hobbies that I am involved in where people are involved at such a high level but would not be considered pro. For example, in my local motorcycle club we have one member who is basically a traveling mechanic for us. He never charges. He does it out of passion for just the bikes and the friends who ride them, the interactions.

That's why I can see a fee that is at a level above a Support Membership but well below the $175 with a percent commission levied for any sales through the forum. Why can't a guy be jazzed about rehandling all his own knives, post WIP threads, interact with others and never have any intent to sell anything?

I just don't get this everything leads to sales and revenue. Can someone explain?

-AJ

ajhuff
01-15-2012, 11:36 PM
Otherwise I am pretty much in agreement with what everyone else has commented from all sides.

-AJ

SpikeC
01-15-2012, 11:51 PM
+1, AJ

Eamon Burke
01-15-2012, 11:59 PM
I am typically(ok all the time) a huge proponent of building heuristic, workable, adaptable, self-monitoring systems that require massive forethought and maintenance, but no oversight. This is kind of what I do, honestly, it's about all I was ever good at.

But this situation does not call for a set of rules to be placed that are spelled out black and white, and that is because this is(as all things are) an ethical question.

What is KKF going to be? A forum-oriented system of communication, or a community of people expressed through a forum?

If it is the former, rules can be placed and the community will suffer for the good of the forum.

If it is the latter, it requires human oversight and intercession, with a simple hierarchy and managed relationships.

I would like to see it be the latter.


So my suggestion is to open up the rules for WIP threads, allow people to post their rehandles and home projects and custom knives. If they are sold, there should be a commission to both keep up with the site and regulate transactions. The commission should not be nominal, since at this point, the goal is still to have fun together, not make money. Hobbyists should be happy to support KKF and if they make some knife-cash doing it, great.

The trick is when people are making TOO MUCH sales. When is a hobbyist a weekender, and when does it become a side-job? Guess what? There is no empirical way to way to define this, because it is a human relationship, and therefore relative. But that is what Mods are for! Yes, it's extra work for the mods, but if Mods don't have people skills, they won't get anywhere anyways.

It's up to the team running KKF to decide when enough is enough, and that is why they are selected carefully to be the kind of people that KKF represents.

Just bump in and tell a person, "Hey, congrats--you are doing really well. But at the rate you are selling, KKF requires you bump up to being a Vendor or slow down--because this is not a retail store".

I say let pics and wip be had in abundance, sales be done through commissions, and aggressive sellers become vendors, which is up to the mods. A WIP should be either not for sale, or done for a sale that goes through KKF, unless you are a vendor. Any backalley violations of that are never going to be regulated--this IS the internet, after all. But this is a small community, and the truth will come out in such a situation, and yes, someone will get pissed off. That is unavoidable.

This is a forum, and communities need leaders to make decisions with the good of the community in mind. This is actually not optional, especially for Dave, because he owns this site in full, and does not have the choice to be laissez faire--what he does with KKF will decide how KKF is for everyone else, no matter what. That's not a bad thing.

WildBoar
01-16-2012, 12:34 AM
Due to the 'level' of output by hobbyists, it screams for more then one level of fees. But I agree with many here that a fee will prevent some who produce only a tiny amount of work from posting. And policing things closely enough to determine what level a hobbyist is at would probably reduce Dave M's productivity more then the extra revenue he would get from the hobbyist.

I could see the following course of action:

1. If the person has a real knife-related business they should have to be a vendor.

2. Any member of the KKF can post one WIP per month.

3. Any member who wants to post more then that should pay an annual hobbyist fee equal to a "Site Supporter", and a small % commision (2%)?

That way a hobbyist who wants to contribute to KKF plus get some feedback is not out any more $ then many of the regular members already pay to support the site, and if they sell stuff thanks to KKF there is a little more $ back to running the site. It would be an honor system as far as the 2% goes, but good luck selling something nice to a KKF member and not having them eventually post a pic :)

Pabloz
01-16-2012, 12:57 AM
"There is one hobby seller signed up at least."

Well..... I am that one hobbyist. I went this route for 2 reasons, 1) I wanted to be able to help support the forum financially and through postings, pics, passarounds etc., and 2) If anyone actually wanted to buy something I made I wanted to feel legit. The founders set the terms therefore I can choose to agree to the terms or not. At this point in time I have not posted any WIPs or pics due to my leather knives keeping me very busy, but I did get off 2 beta testers for a local passaround that I will use to contribute something here. Honestly I am still trying to find my way in the Chef knife world and y'all have been a really big part of my sticking to it. I really do have to give Colin a big SHOUT OUT here as he spent a significant amount of time advising me and to Marko who wrote a phenomenal response to a question I had, that I really hope turns into a tutorial!!!! ....that would rock. So, with that, please accept my apologies as I have been more of a taker that a giver at this point since – I’m still learning and expect that it’ll pay off in the near future. I look forward to having a product worthy of presenting to you for consideration and critique as it will be a product that was developed with the help of your input.
As far as commissions go, they would be much more welcome as the seller knows they have revenue to pay the comish with. Paying the fee in advance is more like a permit/license in that we are granted limited rights and privileges to conduct business. With my license in place I know I can post unlimited WIPs and sell 1 knife per month and have a photo gallery of work. So far I have had my Hobbyist Vendor Permit for 2 months and have sold 0.....NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.....I just don't have something quality enough to present yet. I kinda wanted to get in and make some sort of commitment that I could grow out.
If asked which I would prefer commission vs. permit/license I would definitely go commission....but then again my wife and I are OTs....obscene tippers.....if the commission was 5% I would probably pay 10%...if it was 10% I would probably pay 15%.....who knows? If it was a really great deal 30%??? Why not?? If the commission was $2.00 per item and I sold a $500.00 item and sent in $50.00 where's the harm?? I truly believe that most people are honorable and that paying comish on an honor system would work unenforced. When and if I do sell something here at KKF would it be unreasonable to send in an extra "Donation" on top of what has already been paid for permit/licensing....not to me. LET FREE ENTERPRISE RULE. If y'all like my work and want to own it, THANK YOU!!!!! But if I produce something you don't want or need you will make that statement clearly as well.
And on the topic of shilling, just ‘cause it came up once before, I firmly believe that if someone provides a quality product and/or service it will speak for itself and then those users will talk. If you need to pay someone to toot your horn then you don't have the orchestra of happy, satisfied customers playing behind you.
OOHHH, also, please remember that Dave has also made the fees payable in installments. This is a big +++ if cashflow is an issue.
Thank you for taking the time to read my babbling.

PZ

PierreRodrigue
01-16-2012, 01:02 AM
Due to the 'level' of output by hobbyists, it screams for more then one level of fees. But I agree with many here that a fee will prevent some who produce only a tiny amount of work from posting. And policing things closely enough to determine what level a hobbyist is at would probably reduce Dave M's productivity more then the extra revenue he would get from the hobbyist.

I could see the following course of action:

1. If the person has a real knife-related business they should have to be a vendor.

2. Any member of the KKF can post one WIP per month.

3. Any member who wants to post more then that should pay an annual hobbyist fee equal to a "Site Supporter", and a small % commision (2%)?

That way a hobbyist who wants to contribute to KKF plus get some feedback is not out any more $ then many of the regular members already pay to support the site, and if they sell stuff thanks to KKF there is a little more $ back to running the site. It would be an honor system as far as the 2% goes, but good luck selling something nice to a KKF member and not having them eventually post a pic :)

Fair points! When I started in the kitchen a few years ago, I was brought in to the kitchen by a few members who said "Drop in, check out what these guys think of your work!" I did, I comissioned a couple pieces, and I paid the hobbyist percentage for every knife I sold over there, religiously, no questions asked. I was allowed to post wips, the guys helped me out with critiques It worked well. I chose to persue this venue, and concentrate 90% of what I make now to be kitchen knives. I would like to say I love it! I love the interaction with everybody, answering both public questions and PM'ed questions.

Without the "ease into it period" of being considered a hobbyist maker, and not being burdened with a high rate paid by most makers, I likely would have given it up. I am a member of a few forums, but KKF is my "home" forum. I have made many friends here, and continue to do so. I pay the vendor rates happily, because I am in a position where I no longer call myself a hobbiest. Some hobbiests may not be able to, or choose not to become a listed hobbiest, maybe because the rates are to high for them still. I can relate. The commission per sale is a nice idea. It can work, it will likely get stretched/abused. As was said, moderators and even members will need to police/decide when the line is reached, that a casual commissioned persons work crosses the line to full fledged hobbyists, and when hobbyists cross the line to full fledged makers.

JMJones
01-16-2012, 01:06 AM
I say let pics and wip be had in abundance, sales be done through commissions, and aggressive sellers become vendors, which is up to the mods. A WIP should be either not for sale, or done for a sale that goes through KKF, unless you are a vendor. Any backalley violations of that are never going to be regulated--this IS the internet, after all.

Great post in general, but ithe part quoted above, I could not agree more with!!!

Bryan G.
01-16-2012, 08:34 AM
Yes Eamon I agree with Mr Jone once again. Companies and businesses who understand what you just said are the ones who not only last, but thrive, til the end.

My snip AJ quoted was only one outcome I listed. That if they continue to advance and take greater interest they will sell more and become a vendor, I would like to think naturally on their own, but if not obviously that is what the Moderators are here for as Eamon states, "Hey friend you are doing great, think it's time you became a full time vendor. We would like to support you in doing that." And of course there are going to be more people who just enjoy it as a hobby and never look to make any real money off of their items they make.

And again as I have said and Eamon concurs in complete agreement, you can not even give thought to those who would like to take advantage of "back alley" sales and being immoral. That is a personal issue, not an environmental one.

I have a saying in the kitchen about this,

"It's hard to find a turd in the sewer, but in a clean toilet it's pretty damn easy"

Dave Martell
01-16-2012, 02:14 PM
This has been a great thread to follow with so many insightful points being made.

Clearly this isn't an easy cut and dry situation that we have here so all input is appreciated.

Thanks everyone!

j.g.emmerling
01-20-2012, 10:22 PM
Dave,

I'm a little confused. Given the current discussion, as a contributing member (Dec 2011), what can I post? For the past 20 yrs, I've been a full time blacksmith. Bladesmithing is a new thing for me and I do it more or less for fun. I've probably sold no more than a half dozen knives in all that time.I'm more in tune with improving my blade making skills than selling at this point. Would I like to sell more...sure! This is expensive fun and I'd dearly like to at least break even. Fat chance...:lol2:
That being said, this site is awesome as I've learned a lot and the contributors are most giving. So, I'd like to post some work for the feedback. Is that possible?

John Emmerling

Dave Martell
01-21-2012, 01:14 AM
Dave,

I'm a little confused. Given the current discussion, as a contributing member (Dec 2011), what can I post? For the past 20 yrs, I've been a full time blacksmith. Bladesmithing is a new thing for me and I do it more or less for fun. I've probably sold no more than a half dozen knives in all that time.I'm more in tune with improving my blade making skills than selling at this point. Would I like to sell more...sure! This is expensive fun and I'd dearly like to at least break even. Fat chance...:lol2:
That being said, this site is awesome as I've learned a lot and the contributors are most giving. So, I'd like to post some work for the feedback. Is that possible?

John Emmerling


Hi John,
I'd like to say thank you for asking first versus posting and then asking, this is greatly appreciated.

So to answer your question, if you wish to show the knives that you make and have intent to (or do/have) sell knives then the answer is that you have to look towards the hobbyist/vendor program to do so. See Vendor/Hobbyist Guidelines (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/3836-Vendor-Hobbyist-Guidelines?p=59730&viewfull=1#post59730)

Thanks for giving me a chance to explain.

Dave

Eamon Burke
01-21-2012, 02:43 AM
But if he isn't going to sell them, he's free to post and learn and share away, right? It's the selling part that trips the wire.

ajhuff
01-21-2012, 10:11 AM
That's the point I've been trying to make. It's the POTENTIAL to sell that trips the wire. The general attitude by most posters is that hobbyists are vendors in waiting.

-AJ

Dave Martell
01-21-2012, 12:01 PM
Just to keep everyone in the loop, we're constantly discussing alternatives to our current program and looking to make the site better for everyone. We appreciate all of your input. Thanks

j.g.emmerling
01-22-2012, 12:36 AM
Dave,

I have no desire to become a vendor at this point in time. I make my living doing architectural ironwork, ie, furniture, lighting and fire accessories. That's reality, and isn't going to change. Would it be nice to sell a blade on occasion? Absolutely. But as stated earlier, I'm more interested in feedback from those blade smiths and chefs more skilled than I am. If I felt that I was of vendor quality, and was selling blades, I'd be happy to pay a fee, or commission.

However, it seems to me that the hobbyist fee is somewhat one sided. I have over 20 yrs experience in the blacksmithing trade and can/am willing to contribute to the group many tips/techniques in forging/forge welding etc. What is that worth? Today, I forged a 2720 layer 'W' pattern billet of 1095/L6/5160 that I'd like to share, but can't...unless I pay $175. Also, having gleaned a lot of useful information over the past few months while lurking, I decided to donate to the site (a first for me). It was never acknowledged.

To me, this is a really good site, with some exceptions. I think you need to open it up a bit and embrace new/fresh ideas...wip's etc. The worst case scenario is that you become stagnant, and seemingly elitist.

John Emmerling

Eamon Burke
01-22-2012, 12:46 AM
Today, I forged a 2720 layer 'W' pattern billet of 1095/L6/5160 that I'd like to share, but can't...unless I pay $175.

You certainly can! But if you are trying to sell it when it's done, or are willing to make more billets to order in the future, a WIP is clearly less like sharing and more like a strong, effective marketing tool. But if you are a blacksmith here to share and learn, and not sell your wares, you can share and talk and show whatever you want.

If you decide to start taking orders on billets, I assure you 1-2 hand-forged billets the forumites here would like to buy will be worth most of the cost of a hobbyist membership. If you aren't selling though, there's no problem.

At this rate of growth, unregulated, there would be a million various kinds of advertising and marketing and sales going down on KKF in 5 years. It would turn into a bazaar--this site is ripe with opportunity and will attract everyone.




A bit off topic, but if someone donates, that does not need to be a quiet transaction. Generosity deserves gratitude.

j.g.emmerling
01-22-2012, 01:47 AM
Eamon,
Thanks for clearing up my confusion. Where can I post some pics/info?
Je

Eamon Burke
01-22-2012, 02:45 AM
Eamon,
Thanks for clearing up my confusion. Where can I post some pics/info?
Je

There is a Shop Talk subforum here (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/forumdisplay.php/51-Shop-Talk). The rules for it are posted there, and you can check out the other threads--knife guys showing off their stone bases, rehandles etc, and talking shop--about belts, hammers, and laminating stainless. I love a new Shop Talk thread.

Dave Martell
01-22-2012, 03:10 AM
Dave,

I have no desire to become a vendor at this point in time. I make my living doing architectural ironwork, ie, furniture, lighting and fire accessories. That's reality, and isn't going to change. Would it be nice to sell a blade on occasion? Absolutely. But as stated earlier, I'm more interested in feedback from those blade smiths and chefs more skilled than I am. If I felt that I was of vendor quality, and was selling blades, I'd be happy to pay a fee, or commission.

However, it seems to me that the hobbyist fee is somewhat one sided. I have over 20 yrs experience in the blacksmithing trade and can/am willing to contribute to the group many tips/techniques in forging/forge welding etc. What is that worth? Today, I forged a 2720 layer 'W' pattern billet of 1095/L6/5160 that I'd like to share, but can't...unless I pay $175.


John,
You are not required to share with us nor to become a vendor or hobbyist, all of that would be a decision that you make for yourself. We ask nothing of you.

You are a commercial entity posting here. You have made it clear that you are such, what you do, and what (if possible) you will do if presented with the opportunity to sell. This means that you can not simply post pictures of your work as we see this as advertising your wares. I'm sorry that you do not agree with this but these are the rules.

If you wish to share techniques and tips with our members please feel free to however you may not post your wares through WIP threads or finished products. There are ways for you to share without showing off your wares. If you're seeking the advice of other members then by all means ask your questions and you will hopefully receive your answers.





Also, having gleaned a lot of useful information over the past few months while lurking, I decided to donate to the site (a first for me). It was never acknowledged.

I'm very sorry for not acknowledging your donation. I do try to do this as best I can and I'm sure many here would verify this fact yet I can't say that I do it every time as I'm sure that I don't. I will try to better handle this in the future.