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Dave Martell

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If there's something that's bugging you about KKF (whatever it may be) I'm asking that you bring it up. I can't promise that I can fix everything but I'd like the opportunity to try.

Remember, this forum is a community where we all have input, it's nothing without everyone's voice being heard.
 

DwarvenChef

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There needs to be a filter so I can filter out all that shiny steel stuff :p (sorry just in a goofy mood)
 

Eamon Burke

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I'm assuming this is not a request for altering features and interface, cause there's already a place for that, no?

Outside of that, KKF needs a pair clear, one-sentence mission statements. A vision for the vendors, owner, and permanent members, and a vision for passersby, traffic and newbies.
 

Vertigo

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Okay, I'll bite.

I said it when you were first setting the site up and I'll say it again now: paid vendors will kill this place, just like they killed KF. You already had to temp ban a respected contributor for not "playing by the (stupid) rules," and we aren't even a year into things. Wait until you find yourself having to ban someone with a whole lot of followers. Sound familiar? LOL.

It's easy to monetize your users without resorting to a pay-to-play system. Many of the biggest, longest tenured, and most respected forums are able to offset their operational costs through various ways that don't create the same problems. The first 20 $30 paid subscriptions paid for your software license, the other 30-40 should have your bandwidth and hosting covered--if not, you're getting ripped off. If the paid subscriptions are dwindling, drop the price a bit (because it's a little prohibitive), put a NON AFFILIATED ad on the bottom of the site, and remove them for paid subscribers. Think people will ***** about the Ad? Wait until they start bitching about the bans. vBulletin is rich with plugins and add-on packs which can be setup specifically for paid subscriptions: offer better incentives for signups. Custom user titles, arcades, "secret forums," badges. Beyond basic forum software perks, consider KKF emails. Freaking bumper stickers. Give all new signups a $10 discount on their next Martell branded product.

Just don't ban users because they don't pay you money. Regardless of how you look at it, that's what just happened with Dark Hoek. And it's a really bad sign.
 

ecchef

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I still wish there was a more accessable, dedicated photo gallery that a techno-neanderthal like myself can use comfortably.

Vertigo....I'd rather have a fridge magnet. :D I agree with you; banning is never a good thing. But I don't think the road ahead is leading to "four legs good, two legs better!" It's not that bleak.
 

Vertigo

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Vertigo....I'd rather have a fridge magnet. :D
Fridge magnets, key fobs, trucker hats.. These things cost like 5 cents a pop in bulk and forumites eat them up. I'd love to write my contrarian dissertations while sipping coffee from a KKF branded mug. Lol.
 

mr drinky

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First of all thanks for asking Dave. And I also like Eamon's idea of a mission statement -- or even some sticky with clear forum rules for users and vendors so everyone knows them (and are reminded of them).

With that said, I must admit I was VERY leery of the emphasis on vendors at first, but for the most part I don't have a problem with it now. And I don't want to make 'vendor' a bad word because when I look through the list of vendors, it is a bunch of people I respect and (maybe Dave hides it from us), but for the most part they seem to be class acts with high-quality product and they act appropriately. Maybe the vendors have a different take too, but I don't see it.

And I enjoy the vendor interaction. I think it is harder to manage in the long run and more work for Dave, but managing vendors is an issue everywhere -- not just on internet forums.

The hobbyist 'grey' area and regular user self-promotion links are the weakest parts IMO (but probably not a big problem right now). Self-promotion can get out of hand quickly and attract the wrong types of users. There are many of us members who could promote our enterprises, blogs etc. but choose not to. And frankly, many forums wouldn't have allowed Darkhoek (Harald) to post his links in the first place. If that had been the rule, he probably wouldn't have been banned as it may have headed off the offense.

Other than that, the soulfly and leftover KF bashing turns me off (keep it to PMs). After KF blew up, I went to foodie forums for a bit, but some negative-toned users turned me off and I never really went back. And when Adam Marr came here briefly, the vibe almost chased me away from here too. Imagine being a new user and walking in when those threads were active? It's not very inviting. Sure, I don't want to censor, but when topics chase people away or intimidate people so they don't post, the 'balance' was probably off.

Just my 2 cents.

k.
 

maxim

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I wish also for better photo Gallery :D
 

Ratton

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Here are my thoughts and ideas on this situation. First of all I would like to say this is a GREAT Forum but it is still in its infancy stages so there are bound to be bumps along the road as it grows and develops; it is still in a learning curve.

I think we can all agree that there must be rules set out for what is acceptable and is not acceptable. I feel the protection of the paying vendors is very important. That said I feel that the rules of posting must be very clear and laid out and changed from time to time as grey areas crop up. I also feel that there should be laid down in print a list of consequences that happen when the rules are broken. Then no one can be startled when discipline is handed out.

Here is how I would visualize it working. If a rule is broken then the person is told, “this is your first reprimand” and directed to the rule that was broken. Then if he breaks or bends a rule again he is told “this is your second reprimand”; and if you break the rules again on the “third reprimand” the result will be that your privileges of posting will be suspended for 2 weeks; and after that if you break the rules again your fourth reprimand will result in your privileges being suspended for a month; and after a fifth reprimand you will be banned permanently.

If the rules and consequences are laid out then no one should get their feathers ruffled when actions are taken!

Dave I think you should be very pro-active, and if a suspension is handed out you mention to the Forum members right away that someone (weather you mention the name or not is up to you) has received their second, third or fourth reprimand and the consequences have been implemented; do this before someone else post about it and confusion happens.

I feel it a privilege to be a member of this Forum and post here, it is not one’s right to be able to do it!
Just my $.02 worth!!
:yammer:
 

Chef Niloc

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I'll jump in too.
agree with the photo gallery thing, miss being able to see everyone's whole collection in one place.

Mobil friendly!!!. I'm on a iPad 95% of the time theses days, hell I don't even own my own tower or laptop any more. It kills me when I see threads that have links, at least I think they are links as I can not see them. I always have to ask someone to post a link that I can see on a iPad.


Last but none the least I have to agree vertigo a bit. It does seem that this payed vender thing is becoming a problem. Both for you and the and the mods having to police the sight as you have admitted more then a few times yourself. Also for the members who might not always understand what is going on in the background. More then a few times both on this sight and the other I have PT'ed you to ask "what just happened" or " what's going on", but I doubt every member feels as conferrable doing that as I do. From the out side some of the things that surface here look "bad" for lack of a better word to the members who might not know the "background story". Now that you are the owner of this sight and not just a contributing member it therefor makes you look "bad", the term " Dave's sand box" has been thrown around more then once.

John sad above that the sight needs a clear mission statement, I agree. But to add to that I don't think this sight can successfully be both "a place for small (paying) knife makers to sell there stuff" and a forum for " the guys" to hang out. Even know you have clear set subsections for both the "bleed threw" is troublesome.

I could be wrong but there has to be a better way to make this all work. I think you told me at one point what you charge for a "vender membership" and if I remember right with a 1000 members now you should be able to come out ahead and cover costs by charging a very small fee for general membership privileges I.E. the privilege to post and get PT's. Charge more to have your own subsection, witch in turn would give a vender a more predominant status as well as keeping there items and services more visible as they won't get berried by new posts.
That's my $0.02

Colin
 

stevenStefano

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An idea. Perhaps charge a small fee for hobbiyst type makers/members who can post things about their own work in one separate forum? It would remove the doubt and there wouldn't be such a gray area around this topic
 

Mike Davis

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I can understand the paying to sell aspect. I value this forum as a great source of information and a valuable tool for design work and real life feedback.
 

unkajonet

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A dedicated photo gallery would be nice. And a mission statement that's re-posted every couple of months or so. That way new members can't claim ignorance.

How the bans are set up I think should be entirely up to Dave and the moderators. As long as the rules are posted, then it shouldn't be a problem. I'm not sure I agree with the suggestion of letting the entire forum know when someone has "broken the law" though...I'm not a fan of public reprimands, and feel they should best be done (at least at first) in private.

The things that really bother me are actually the things that are not really in anyone's control: people popping off and insulting others when they don't know the whole story. People misrepresenting themselves by telling outright lies about who, or what, they are (the fake soulfly thing, people claiming to be women, when they aren't, etc.). But I really don't know what can be done about that. That's more of a commentary on a few individuals than the forum in general. Free speech is one thing, but rudeness and lies are something else entirely...

I think KKF is a GREAT forum, and I'm really thankful for it being set up, and all the cool members who contribute to it.
 

mr drinky

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Just a side admin issue. When a person is going to be banned, it would be nice to give them 24 - 48 hours to 'clean' up pending PM threads assuming they are an otherwise upstanding member and did not commit something really egregious. This would allow other forum members not to be adversely affected too much by a ban. God forbid if Marko got banned and didn't have access to his PMs ;)

This comm-block has happened only a couple of times to me when I have tried to contact someone who unbeknownst to me was banned, but it does happen. Also, when PM'ing someone who is banned, it would be useful to have an explicit notice of dates and maybe the option for the banned member to post a forwarding e-mail. Just thinking. One time when I PM'd someone it just said something like "the member may have turned off PM" or something like that. I was confused.

k.
 

Dave Martell

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I'll be talking about all these things with the moderator team and see what we can do to make some improvements.

Thanks for all the input guys, it's very helpful. Please keep them coming.
 

maxim

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I was looking today on KKF and come to conclusion that we soon can call it "Vendor Forum" and not KKF, vendors fills out more and more of this forum :(

I sugest only one Vendors Corner where Vendors and small hobbyist can make they own Threads.
And you can have 2 badges: 1 Vendor that can have big avatar and banner in segniture line
And Hobbyist that pay less price without banner and big avatar.
But all of them can post in that Vendors Corner.

Just some ideas :D
 

Justin0505

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Personally, I like have the vendors on the site. I haven't really noticed much bleed over from promotion / biz dev from the vendor sub forums bleeding over into the rest of the site.

I think that writing a mission statement, rules, and a general code of conduct is a good idea, but that it shouldn't be too restrictive. what often happens with rules and laws is that they are writen with the criminal / worst 1% in mind and they end up impinging on the liberties of the law abiding 99%.

i also agree that there should be a low cost option for the hobbyist like darkhoek so that they can post links to blogs or work without getting in trouble. maybe one big hobbyist sub forum where paying.hobbyists can start posts?

lastly, ill say that i really wouldnt mind a few unobtrusive ads. especially if they kept you from losing money and reduced the costs for vendors and hobbyists.
 

SpikeC

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The hobbyists have a forum now, they just need to use it. I like the way the forums are set up now, I can find what I need where I expect it to be. I appreciate the work that's done behind the scenes to keep things on track here.
 

Dave Martell

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We're listening to all comments and taking notes. Changes will be happening to make KKF even better.

You can count on changes being made to clarify what the rules are and to straighten out the vendor/knifemaker/hobbyist issue as the first things we do.
 

DWSmith

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From a vendors point of view:

I appreciate the opportunity to showcase my goods within the rules Dave has specified. I pay for that right and try very hard not to abuse it.

IMHO, anyone who accepts money for their work is a vendor and should be treated as such. The gray area of a hobbyist who takes on projects for payment needs to be addressed plainly. As such, I believe that anyone who accepts payment for their labors, hobbyist or professional, is a vendor and needs to be labeled as such. However, the hobbyist who makes knives as a pure hobby, accepting no commissions from forum members, is indeed different and the rules need to address their work.

On another forum I was belittled by the owner for what he called my passive marketing. I pushed the rules a little and was slapped so rather than pay his enormous fee for a miniscule rotating banner, I stopped posting there altogether. Daves fees are fair and the rules, as I understand them, are plain.

My 2 cents worth. I'm sure Dave and the moderators will come up with some tweaks that will help us all.
 

add

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Dave, first off, thanks for the venue. :cool2:

Growing pains are natural on any venture and will assist in focusing the direction of the undertaking.

W/O sounding too much like a kiss ass, you offered your vast knowledge/experience very freely on the "other forum" for quite a while, so I take some umbrage that some would question any nefarious financial or fairness motives here.

You are not gonna please everyone... so it would seem, the clearer the vision you have here, the less resulting headaches you might avoid.

That said, I too see this as a "Gentlemen's Forum" (members that assist in policing themselves and others) as being paramount to it's success.
 

welshstar

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Hi.

My input as a new member

1 - Im not really in a position to comment on the whole who is a vendor and who is not a vendor issue but i do know that this site is nice and clean to look at, KF looks like cheap hong kong billboard, i would hate that to happen.

2 - I woud much rather have a well controlled forum like KKF that keeps the whole tone positive and friendly that one where individuals get on their soapbox about things and start dictating. Nothing will drive someone away quicker than asking a simple question that starts a flame war amongst the trolls.

3 - The comments about to much input by vendors, this effectively making it a selling forum. I strongly disagree with this, the vendors here have been nothing except friendly and helpful, there has been no hard sell or even suggestion " buy this from me" at the end of the day the vendors are also experts in the field, no offence to the regulars but advice from someone who makes a living at something carries more weight. A lot of times the advise is to someone who is totally new and knows very little about the subject so basic sound advice form a vendor is very welcome. Its a bit like cars, would take advice on a new engine from an expert driver (Chef/knife user ) or from an expert engine designer ?

4 - To echo the picture thing, its clunky as heck !!

Alan
 

tk59

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...at the end of the day the vendors are also experts in the field, no offence to the regulars but advice from someone who makes a living at something carries more weight...
This is unfortunately not always true and something that new people wouldn't be able to discern without some help and experienced folk would either without actually inspecting and using a sample.
 

DwarvenChef

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Dave, I am pleased with this forum and how it stands (aside from all that shiny stuff :p ) and as a hobbiest I know nothing about the vender issues short of what I have read here. I love the fact that there is no Ads flashing about... that got way to annoying and I eventually just stopped going there. All my firends from the other forums are here so... Me Happy :D

I have learned to deal with the pics issue and it's a non issue for me. I'm sure as we grow things will morph into a more streamlined forum with all the bells and whistles. However I'm still enjoying the "small town" feel here and enwill enjoy it while I can.

Keep it up all :)

One thought on website/blog links, I don't recall if there was a way to add the links to the personal profile page. One clicks on the avatar and sees the info posted there, would such a link system work here or not? It's how I usually check out personal websites and such on other forums.
 

Vertigo

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at the end of the day the vendors are also experts in the field, no offence to the regulars but advice from someone who makes a living at something carries more weight.
I'm gonna +1 TK's response to this, and ask you to reconsider it.

Vending a product in no way implies understanding. Remember one of the fundamental rules of sales: you don't market a product, you market yourself.
 

SpikeC

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If welshy is writing about the vendors here I think that he is right. Other sites, not so much. The difference is that not just anyone can be a vendor here.
 

Burl Source

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My only request is not to go with the ads.
If you do include ads, hopefully supporting members will be exempt from them.
 

jaybett

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It would seem to be simple to have a policy that does not allow any links to commercial sites, unless the site belongs to a vendor or hobbyist. A clear distinction, on the difference between a vendor and hobbyist would be helpful.

My concern with the forum is being able to fully discuss a subject. The most controversial figure on this forum is Mark ******** from CKTG. While I don't feel there should be any links to his site. It would be nice to discuss a product that a vendor on this site has made without going into the whole he who shall not be named routine.

Some of the discussions, that I learn the most from are the ones where a person's opinion is challenged. As long as the argument, even if it gets heated, is staying on point, then hopefully it would be allowed to continue. As soon as it turns into a name calling match, that's when it should be ended.

Jay
 

Dave Martell

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Hi Jay,
I just wanted to comment on the CKTG thing and state that people are welcome, and have always been welcome, to talk about that place, their products, or the man behind the scenes, etc. The censoring done is to his company name, personal name, & links. The only thing that we're controlling is to not promote that business. Anyone doing the "he who shall not be named" routine is choosing to do so of their own will.

Thanks for your input here!

Dave
 
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