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JBroida
08-22-2012, 06:22 PM
I was hoping you guys could help us out... here are a few questions i have for everyone here...

First... on the subject of videos

What, if any, subjects do you guys think we are missing in our youtube video series?
I've got a list of things i want to get around to as soon as i have time, but its always helpful to hear from you guys since i dont always run into the same problems anymore.

And second, on our product lineup

We constantly have new product lines in various stages of development and testing. I have some interesting things i'm currently working on, but i was wondering what gaps you guys see in our product lineup? What kinds of things would you like to see in the future from us?
We cant promise anything, but most of the time we do our best to make things like this happen. Our product development tends to take a bit longer than some of our competitors, but this is because i spend so much time testing and revising before i'm happy with what we have. For anyone that's been here to our store, i'm sure you've seen all of the prototypes we have here... both knives and stones. Again, we're constantly going through this process, but i was hoping you all might have some more insight into what would be interesting/fun/useful.

Thanks so much.

-Jon

schanop
08-22-2012, 06:57 PM
A: video of knives in action i.e. you and Sarah cooking something :-)

B: Chinese cleavers with rat tail tang, like sugimoto handle for example ^_^

JBroida
08-22-2012, 06:59 PM
sara is always shy about stuff like that, so not so sure about that one

on the cleavers, its already in the works

Johnny.B.Good
08-22-2012, 07:10 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again: video overviews for each and every line you carry in the store (like the Gesshin Ginga video for example).

JBroida
08-22-2012, 07:15 PM
slowly working through them
it seems like i'm missing:
some gesshin heiji
gesshin hokubo
jin
kochi
suisin
gesshin uraku

i can do those soon-ish

Johnny.B.Good
08-22-2012, 09:37 PM
i can do those soon-ish

Yeah, yeah, yeah. ;)


on the cleavers, its already in the works

Looking forward to this...

labor of love
08-22-2012, 09:51 PM
it would be like a dream come true if you could make
1)zakuri blue steel #6cleaver
2)gesshin kaegro wa gyutos
3)gengetsu or some other stainless clad blue steel gyuto(theres really not alot to choose from out there)
youre videos are soo great they really help me a great deal. seeing the knives in action would be a plus though.

JBroida
08-22-2012, 09:54 PM
Yeah, yeah, yeah. ;)



Looking forward to this...

working on them right now... just shot gesshin heiji and kochi. Tried to do jin, but my memory card just ran out of space. Unloading and trying again.

The Edge
08-22-2012, 09:55 PM
This may be out of line to suggest, but how about a straight razor by one of your artisans? :D

Zwiefel
08-22-2012, 09:58 PM
How about a JKI RV?

Travel the country teaching sharpening classes, showing off your toys (and taking orders, obviously), showing Sara the amazing size and diversity of America, and spending the evening with your favorite customer based in Central Arkansas <ahem>.

mhenry
08-22-2012, 10:11 PM
270ish suji's by Kochi and Gengetsu

JBroida
08-22-2012, 10:12 PM
270ish suji's by Kochi and Gengetsu

some of that may or may not already be in the works :P

JBroida
08-22-2012, 10:12 PM
This may be out of line to suggest, but how about a straight razor by one of your artisans? :D

thought about it, but i'm not a razor guy and i really love knowing a lot about the things i sell. Sorry.

JBroida
08-22-2012, 10:55 PM
just finished shooting videos for kochi, gesshin heiji, jin, gesshin hokubo, and suisin... uploading all of them now. Whats next?

schanop
08-22-2012, 11:08 PM
video of the wheel

Johnny.B.Good
08-22-2012, 11:22 PM
just finished shooting videos for kochi, gesshin heiji, jin, gesshin hokubo, and suisin... uploading all of them now. Whats next?

Impressive.

How about a little video tour of the store? I can't quite picture the layout...


video of the wheel

+1

Maybe you should get some sleep first though and execute a wardrobe change.

markenki
08-22-2012, 11:31 PM
Not exactly what you asked for, but here are a couple of suggestions for the website:
1. When you hover over the main menu items (like "By Type"), you get a dropdown of the different types, but if instead of hovering, you click on "By Type" it takes you to a the items page. It would great to be able to select the different types after clicking. Not a big deal on a computer with a mouse, but a real pain on a device like a Kindle.
2. Would love to see a comparative (written text) summary of each of the product lines you carry. What makes each of Ginga, Heiji, Hide, etc., unique? What are each of their strengths?

Thanks,

Mark

Johnny.B.Good
08-22-2012, 11:40 PM
Would love to see a comparative (written text) summary of each of the product lines you carry. What makes each of Ginga, Heiji, Hide, etc., unique? What are each of their strengths?

I like this. I was thinking there could/should be a short, general, written overview of each brand that appears when you click the brand link (before one drills down to an individual blade's page). Having it all on one page would work too. This could/should include whether special orders are possible (sizes, handle types, etc.).

wenus2
08-23-2012, 01:17 AM
1. When you hover over the main menu items (like "By Type"), you get a dropdown of the different types, but if instead of hovering, you click on "By Type" it takes you to a the items page. It would great to be able to select the different types after clicking. Not a big deal on a computer with a mouse, but a real pain on a device like a Kindle.

+1,000
It's not iPad friendly either, it usually takes me a half a dozen tries to navigate to a page I want because of the drop down menus. An intermediate page offering manual icon selection would be nice.

JBroida
08-23-2012, 01:29 AM
i have plans to have someone redo the website with better coding early next year... sorry about all that. I wrote the whole thing myself and clearly i'm not the best at it :(

jaybett
08-23-2012, 06:22 AM
The web site is geared towards knife enthusiasts, which is great for many of us on the forum. A lot of the questions on the forum on from people wanting to upgrade their knives from either German or the entry level Japapense, i.e. Global to a nicer Japanese brand. When I first stumbled into ITK, the terms were almost over whelming. Yo-Deba, Wa-Gyuto, Blue Steel, White Steel, Geometry, Profile, Laser, Work Horse.

A brief description of the types of knives. What is a Nakiri? Maybe a video, showing tasks, where it excels. What kind of users might find a Nakiri to be helpful?

What types of knife should a beginner be considering? What makes a good beginners knife? What techniques should a beginner concentrate on? The same type of questions could be used for intermediate and advanced users.

Jay

stevenStefano
08-23-2012, 07:20 AM
Not to try and make you go crazy with too many suggestions, but as others have alluded to, I think if you had a bit more stuff or even videos about the makers of your knives it would be very interesting. I think what makes guys like you and Maxim different is that you are so close to the makers and really understand why their knives are so good

Seth
08-23-2012, 09:09 AM
I've hesitated to mention this because of the scope of the project but the black background on the site and photos is not the best for readability for me or the best to highlight the photos of the knives. Maybe a survey for preferences on this? Since you are planning a rebuild.... The black background is almost branding for you, but good photos I think would make a big difference since most of us don't get to visit in person and we buy based photos, narratives, and reviews.

Zwiefel
08-23-2012, 10:32 AM
i have plans to have someone redo the website with better coding early next year... sorry about all that. I wrote the whole thing myself and clearly i'm not the best at it :(

Actually, now I'm kinda impressed...you did a great job for someone not in the industry.

add
08-23-2012, 11:49 AM
I've hesitated to mention this because of the scope of the project but the black background on the site and photos is not the best for readability for me or the best to highlight the photos of the knives. Maybe a survey for preferences on this? Since you are planning a rebuild.... The black background is almost branding for you, but good photos I think would make a big difference since most of us don't get to visit in person and we buy based photos, narratives, and reviews.



From this viewer's perspective, an elephant in the room remains the dark images/contrast, and image size... like trying to view a map by candlelight in a cave.

Also (as long as you are asking :wink: ), perhaps an incentive for buyers to leave a review or feedback to boost the quantity ?

Eamon Burke
08-23-2012, 12:30 PM
I would really like to see Sara show how to wrap knives(whether in Sayas or not) in those cloth things for storage and travel. That sounds like a really fun part of the J-Knife hobby.

rsacco
08-23-2012, 12:59 PM
I'd like to see closer shots of the knives in your videos. I think you provide great detail and have a clear voice in your videos. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind your mug in the shots. But, I think if you were to shoot using a table tripod or table dolly to get close ups on your knives then your explanations and details mentioned in the video while viewing the knives will make the videos more useful. I tend to listen to what you say in video then pull up the pictures on your site after watching the videos so I can get a better view of the points you highlighted. Also, +1 with what Seth said and the other post about viewing the site on an iPad.

JBroida
08-23-2012, 01:31 PM
The web site is geared towards knife enthusiasts, which is great for many of us on the forum. A lot of the questions on the forum on from people wanting to upgrade their knives from either German or the entry level Japapense, i.e. Global to a nicer Japanese brand. When I first stumbled into ITK, the terms were almost over whelming. Yo-Deba, Wa-Gyuto, Blue Steel, White Steel, Geometry, Profile, Laser, Work Horse.

A brief description of the types of knives. What is a Nakiri? Maybe a video, showing tasks, where it excels. What kind of users might find a Nakiri to be helpful?

What types of knife should a beginner be considering? What makes a good beginners knife? What techniques should a beginner concentrate on? The same type of questions could be used for intermediate and advanced users.

Jay


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieHxW1RAEm0


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZrmHOz5LAE

mpukas
08-23-2012, 01:51 PM
To offer constructive criticism of the videos, I'm not sure that your new format with the close-up of your face best shows of the knives. You've become a great presenter on camera, but we don't get to much about the knives. You hold the knives up in front of your face for a short time, turn them around a but, and then put them down. It would be nice to see the knives in a close-up shot and in a slower presentation.

I think some of the earlier video formats, such as the Hide video, offer a better view of the product being shown and discussed. Or, as rsacco suggests above, doing table shots of the knives. This would perhaps require cutting the sequence from a shot of you talking about the maker to a close-up shot while you describe the knife. The two videos you just linked above do a great job of showing the knives' shape, profile, etc. With your new shooting equipment and editing skills, this would be even better!

AFA products go, I'd personally like to see one of your makers do a hon-kasumi KS profile 240-270 gyuto with stainless (or low-reactive) cladding and some super-steel core, like AS, ZDP-189, etc.

For stones, I'm really don't know. There's so much more to that whole realm, even more than with knives! You've already got many great stones, and there are so many others out there, I'm not sure what to even ask for or suggest. Perhaps a video of a basic overview of the stones you carry, which are soakers, which are splash-n-go, and the general characteristics of each. Also, suggest some stone progressions for different needs and what the results would be.

JBroida
08-23-2012, 02:09 PM
Impressive.

How about a little video tour of the store? I can't quite picture the layout...



+1

Maybe you should get some sleep first though and execute a wardrobe change.

i can probably do something like that at some point... gotta get a merlin first though... anyone want to donate to the cause? :P

if you dont know what a merlin is, click here http://www.tiffen.com/handheldmerlin.html

JBroida
08-23-2012, 02:10 PM
Not exactly what you asked for, but here are a couple of suggestions for the website:
1. When you hover over the main menu items (like "By Type"), you get a dropdown of the different types, but if instead of hovering, you click on "By Type" it takes you to a the items page. It would great to be able to select the different types after clicking. Not a big deal on a computer with a mouse, but a real pain on a device like a Kindle.
2. Would love to see a comparative (written text) summary of each of the product lines you carry. What makes each of Ginga, Heiji, Hide, etc., unique? What are each of their strengths?

Thanks,

Mark

see my earlier comment on the coding, but as for the summary of each product line, i think i can manage that. Maybe this sunday if i can find the time.

JBroida
08-23-2012, 02:15 PM
To offer constructive criticism of the videos, I'm not sure that your new format with the close-up of your face best shows of the knives. You've become a great presenter on camera, but we don't get to much about the knives. You hold the knives up in front of your face for a short time, turn them around a but, and then put them down. It would be nice to see the knives in a close-up shot and in a slower presentation.

I think some of the earlier video formats, such as the Hide video, offer a better view of the product being shown and discussed. Or, as rsacco suggests above, doing table shots of the knives. This would perhaps require cutting the sequence from a shot of you talking about the maker to a close-up shot while you describe the knife. The two videos you just linked above do a great job of showing the knives' shape, profile, etc. With your new shooting equipment and editing skills, this would be even better!

AFA products go, I'd personally like to see one of your makers do a hon-kasumi KS profile 240-270 gyuto with stainless (or low-reactive) cladding and some super-steel core, like AS, ZDP-189, etc.

For stones, I'm really don't know. There's so much more to that whole realm, even more than with knives! You've already got many great stones, and there are so many others out there, I'm not sure what to even ask for or suggest. Perhaps a video of a basic overview of the stones you carry, which are soakers, which are splash-n-go, and the general characteristics of each. Also, suggest some stone progressions for different needs and what the results would be.

this kind of multiple shot video requires me to do some video editing (which i dont do now)... i think i can make it work. The main reason i did the closer shot wasnt to focus on my face, but to allow the knives to fill more of the screen when i hold them up. I do agree that i move them in and out pretty quickly... maybe i can hold them up for a longer time or maybe i can shoot a separate video of just the knives.

On the new knife design, i have quite a few things in development right now and i think one or two may fit the bill.

Also, on stones, i have plans to do a general stone overview video as soon as i have the time. In fact, in addition to the things all of you have suggested, i have a long list of things i plan on doing.

JBroida
08-23-2012, 03:42 PM
it seems i missed gesshin uraku... i'll try to get that done this weekend with a few other things i've been working on

pitonboy
08-23-2012, 03:47 PM
Jon, thanks for all the new videos. It does help to hear about all your different lines in detail and it can't be easy to crank all of this info out on video this quickly.

JBroida
08-23-2012, 03:49 PM
sometimes i just get in the zone ;)

Namaxy
08-23-2012, 04:54 PM
I'm late to this thread, but here are my requests:

More Gengetsu....you've addressed this and it might be in the works.

Wa handled Fujiwara - eg their No Meito knives for example.

Wa handled PM knives - I know you just introduced your first western handled PM blades....those are just my thoughts.

Finally...you may already do this...but polishing and/or engraving. I recently bought a knife as a gift for someone that was mirror finished and had a small engraving added to it.

JBroida
08-23-2012, 10:37 PM
Not exactly what you asked for, but here are a couple of suggestions for the website:
1. When you hover over the main menu items (like "By Type"), you get a dropdown of the different types, but if instead of hovering, you click on "By Type" it takes you to a the items page. It would great to be able to select the different types after clicking. Not a big deal on a computer with a mouse, but a real pain on a device like a Kindle.
2. Would love to see a comparative (written text) summary of each of the product lines you carry. What makes each of Ginga, Heiji, Hide, etc., unique? What are each of their strengths?

Thanks,

Mark

we just finished adding a bunch of general brand descriptions to our site... there may be a few left to do, but i think i got most of them. Take a look and let me know what you guys think.

GlassEye
08-23-2012, 10:58 PM
Looks good so far. Gesshin Kagero is spelled 'Kaegro' in the "Knives-by brand" drop-down menu and the top of the description.

JBroida
08-23-2012, 11:08 PM
I'm late to this thread, but here are my requests:

More Gengetsu....you've addressed this and it might be in the works.

Wa handled Fujiwara - eg their No Meito knives for example.

Wa handled PM knives - I know you just introduced your first western handled PM blades....those are just my thoughts.

Finally...you may already do this...but polishing and/or engraving. I recently bought a knife as a gift for someone that was mirror finished and had a small engraving added to it.

more gengetsu is indeed in the works

considering the fujiwara stuff, but its a big overlap with gengetsu... just something to keep in mind

on the stainless clad super steel thing, i have a craftsman in mind and am currently working on this

and on the polishing/engraving, we can always order knives this way, but polishing can be very time consuming. Thats not to say we cant do this, but usually when you see this on knives, its done by the maker. Otherwise, it would be people paying for a couple of hours of my time. on the engraving, i'm actually training and practicing this, but its a lot harder than people give it credit for and not being great at kanji isnt helping me... but we are practicing...

JBroida
08-23-2012, 11:09 PM
Looks good so far. Gesshin Kagero is spelled 'Kaegro' in the "Knives-by brand" drop-down menu and the top of the description.

thanks for the heads up... this is now fixed

Johnny.B.Good
08-23-2012, 11:19 PM
we just finished adding a bunch of general brand descriptions to our site... there may be a few left to do, but i think i got most of them. Take a look and let me know what you guys think.

I like it; and I'll like it even more when you finish Hide and Ittetsu. ;)

markenki
08-23-2012, 11:38 PM
we just finished adding a bunch of general brand descriptions to our site... there may be a few left to do, but i think i got most of them. Take a look and let me know what you guys think.
They're great, Jon. Thanks for doing them so quickly!

I noticed that when I select Gesshin Ginga, the first so many knives are Ashi. Not sure whether that's intentional.

Thanks,

Mark

JBroida
08-24-2012, 12:34 AM
I like it; and I'll like it even more when you finish Hide and Ittetsu. ;)

i thought the Gesshin Hide had a link that talks more about them... gesshin ittetsu i still need to do. It will have to wait until i have some more free time.

JBroida
08-24-2012, 12:34 AM
They're great, Jon. Thanks for doing them so quickly!

I noticed that when I select Gesshin Ginga, the first so many knives are Ashi. Not sure whether that's intentional.

Thanks,

Mark

that is intentional... i've got 4 left and thats the easiest place to put them

mpukas
08-24-2012, 01:36 PM
this kind of multiple shot video requires me to do some video editing (which i dont do now)... i think i can make it work. The main reason i did the closer shot wasnt to focus on my face, but to allow the knives to fill more of the screen when i hold them up. I do agree that i move them in and out pretty quickly... maybe i can hold them up for a longer time or maybe i can shoot a separate video of just the knives.

On the new knife design, i have quite a few things in development right now and i think one or two may fit the bill.

Also, on stones, i have plans to do a general stone overview video as soon as i have the time. In fact, in addition to the things all of you have suggested, i have a long list of things i plan on doing.

I was thinking about this more - two ways you could possibly do it w/ little not or no editing; 1) stand in front of a table, with approximately the same zoom, and give an intro to the knives, then have your assisant (ahem, Sara) pans the camera down to the table where you can show the knife in detail and describe it's characteristics and let poepl really soak in the knife visually. Then, your lovely assistant (ahem, Sara) could pan the camera back up to your face for closing comments. 2) do a point of view or over the shoulder shot, as you've done in the sharpening seminars/videos. But this would probably eliminate any shot of your face unless you edited the vid.

JBroida
08-26-2012, 08:14 PM
yeah... i'm thinking of how i can do this best. Its not all that important that i'm in the videos, but it just felt odd when it was a lot of me talking and my hands doing nothing. However, it is worthwhile to note that most of the videos i shoot now days, i do entirely by myself, so i have no helper to move a camera.

Tatsuya
08-26-2012, 09:21 PM
Jon, your product selection on your site can be filtered by brand and type. Have you thought about sorting by type of steel? So with one click I can see your entire selection of white #2, for example.

JBroida
08-26-2012, 10:25 PM
I might be able to figure out a way to make that work

Johnny.B.Good
08-26-2012, 10:25 PM
Are you sorry you asked for our suggestions/opinions yet, Jon? ;)

JBroida
08-26-2012, 10:28 PM
not at all... I really appreciate the help

Tatsuya
08-26-2012, 11:00 PM
I might be able to figure out a way to make that work
I know that trying to do that might suck because you might want to split hairs about different steels. But even something simple like stainless/carbon sections may help customers out a little. And you can already sort by price so having Zakuri next to the Jin knives isn't a big deal.

JBroida
08-26-2012, 11:11 PM
let me think about this and how best to make it happen... that being said, I'm sure I can do this somehow