We're currently working over a whole new plan for dealing with the hobbyist/vendor issue as well as a whole slew of other things too. Getting this figured out is a priority.
Sounds good. Just don't do to much conversing with JohnnyChance, he needs to hold his post count down for a while.
I believe that only allowing vendors (and now some hobbyist) to use the site to directly sell knives and services makes perfect sense and is easy to monitor and enforce. Trying to prevent things like people posting pics of thier work, process, wip pics or mentioning that they perform a service, ect is going to continue to be a losing battle. I know that you have a strong stance on anti self promotion on the forum but I believe the definition has gotten too large and has turned into censorship. Censorship or the perception of censorship will limit discussion and ultimatly paint the forum in a negative light.
Also the knife making community is incredibly open and sharing. I belive that if you spoke with your knife making vendors they would not approve of censoring people that want to post pics of there work, wips, ect. I believe this would be even more true since you have stated that you do this to to protect the vendors.
I also think it would be great if someone could be a vendor and permitted to sell without having a sub forum dedicated to them. The sub forum sounds like a good idea but often quickly there are not many new posts or posts on a regular basis and I believe it has the potential for a maker to look unpopular or uninteresting.
I personally think that the structure of selling stuff and the moderation of the knife maker area of blade forums is excellent. You have to pay to sell things, can only do it in one area but are still free to discuss your work or the work of others without fear of censorship.
Just some thoughts
I personally like the idea of sub forums for vendors. They can do stuff that is not necessarily "kitchen knife" related and be able to show off their skill set. I personally make more that just kitchen knives, and some of the unique stuff that is done on say a fighter that is presented, might trigger someone to ask for something similar in a kitchen knife format. It is like having your own space to discuss your personal experiences and how you relate them to your craft.I agree with this.I personally think that the structure of selling stuff and the moderation of the knife maker area of blade forums is excellent. You have to pay to sell things, can only do it in one area but are still free to discuss your work or the work of others without fear of censorship.
Just my 2 cents....Oh and we need a midget smiley juggling monkeys
Re: vendors, it's probably not necessary to reinvent the wheel. There must be sites where vendors coexist peacefully among themselves and with everyone else who comprise of 99.5% of the forum members. Jim's active on Badger and Blade and there must be others. Copy the best of their models, if you're not already.
But even the best run places are bound to have occasional problems. If DH is the only one of 1,000 people who is temporarily banned with no ill will, that's an excellent batting average by any account. I've been on sites that prohibits any hint of promoting a business and people occasionally cross the line. At other places where there's free reign for vendors, same thing.
Personally, I like the current system. It's easy to see what vendors are up to and there's quick access to their sites. There's a good interchange between them and everyone else and a lot of respect between the vendors. I don't see anyone being a pig. Also, it's clear Dave puts a lot of sweat and money into keeping this place going. At the very least, he should get enough revenue to pay the expenses.
If the hobbyist is making some money, even if it's just to maintain the hobby, let them pay a nominal fee for each item sold. Set a threshold of when they become a vendor.
What I don't cotton to is unwarranted badmouthing of other vendors who aren't members here. We all want to be warned about the blatantly unscrupulous vendor or a bad product. Beyond that people usually develop a negative opinion of the person who is criticizing.
I think the problem is a lot of people are starting little side hobbies, jobs etc that may or may not turn into businesses at some point.....at what point do u let them post pics etc without it being advertising.....it is also not fair to paying vendors if u ask me.....Ryan
viva la revolucion !
You people are using a system of revenue generation which limits open discussion... on a discussion forum. Duh.
So who the hell is supposed to pay for the site.....i cant really see bumper stickers paying for the site......Dave is supposed to foot the bill for everyone else to do business?......and as far as revenue last time i talked to Dave he wasn't buying an aston Martin.....Ryan
viva la revolucion !
Maybe a section where hobbyists can have their own sub-forum.
I wouldn't worry too much about regular vendors feeling threatened by hobbyists.
Most have enough work lined up to keep them busy for quite a while.
My impression of most knife guys is that they don't look at each other as competitors, but more as peers with like interests.
As for comments on choosing between discussion only or allowing select vendors, hopefully you can keep both.
By keeping vendors and possible sale oriented threads in a separate section, those who don't want to be exposed to that sort of thing don't have to.
Kind of like a library keeping the periodicals in a different area from the books.
I think I am starting to ramble.
I like the way you have the forum.