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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 07-27-2015, 09:13 AM   #11
Mike Greene
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Default Re: How do we get people to read the Trading Post rules?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Murray View Post
P.S.
There exists far more efficient software modules available for running classified ad forums that require virtually zero effort on the part of a moderator. All changes (edits, deletions) are done by the seller/buyer via password entry to serial number identified ads. All the moderator has to do is spot check for banned items offered for sale and delete them without comment.
If interested, PM me for a good source that works.
vbClassifieds isn't an active product anymore, and the copy I had no longer works. You have something that will work with vb3 & vb4, and soon to be vb5? It's been a while since I bothered to look for a classified system that ties into the vb system, if there is something out there since a year or two ago I'd like to know what it is.
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:56 AM   #12
Doug Murray
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Default Re: How do we get people to read the Trading Post rules?

Mike,
The reason Andrew is max'd out on his personal time spent as Trading Post moderator is; first, there are way too many non-software regulated rules. People can't or won't remember all those rules. Some are lazy and others; well, there are limits to what you can expect some folks to read, understand and have the patience to deal with. Second, the site must be "self help" interactive and not require the moderator to monitor every single posting for entry format, wording, spelling, content, edit and delete functions on a 24/7 basis. In short, it's no longer manageable in its present form with one unpaid volunteer. Trading Post has become the victim of its own success and desperately needs upgrading. It is a tribute to Andrew to have stayed tough in the battle this long; his dedication should no longer be abused. Third, a more efficient system could generate far more revenue in advertising if more people used and visited the site more often. Small business limited market advertisers only pay for access to a specific customer base and *traffic*. As it is, many folks avoid Trading Post out of frustration with sometimes long, but understandable delays in posting, no images, plus too many complex rules people can't or won't follow. They are either going elsewhere or.. nowhere. The number of daily postings should be at least triple what they are now for the roughly 5000 active pipers in the world.
If Craigslist or any other high volume classified system used the present "Trading Post" format, they would be out of business in hours. The inability to post at least one image on Trading Post is a huge disability to all buyers and sellers. In fact, at least one image per item for sale should be mandatory and is easily done with currently available technology.
I'll PM you with contact info for three potential upgrade sources from
other long term successful special interest classified sites for your consideration. One of them runs three to four hundred new postings every day and has hundreds of advertisers. One guy runs it.
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Old 07-27-2015, 12:28 PM   #13
Mike Greene
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Default Re: How do we get people to read the Trading Post rules?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Murray View Post
Mike,
The reason Andrew is max'd out on his personal time spent as Trading Post moderator is; first, there are way too many non-software regulated rules. People can't or won't remember all those rules. Some are lazy and others; well, there are limits to what you can expect some folks to read, understand and have the patience to deal with. Second, the site must be "self help" interactive and not require the moderator to monitor every single posting for entry format, wording, spelling, content, edit and delete functions on a 24/7 basis. In short, it's no longer manageable in its present form with one unpaid volunteer. Trading Post has become the victim of its own success and desperately needs upgrading. It is a tribute to Andrew to have stayed tough in the battle this long; his dedication should no longer be abused. Third, a more efficient system could generate far more revenue in advertising if more people used and visited the site more often. Small business limited market advertisers only pay for access to a specific customer base and *traffic*. As it is, many folks avoid Trading Post out of frustration with sometimes long, but understandable delays in posting, no images, plus too many complex rules people can't or won't follow. They are either going elsewhere or.. nowhere. The number of daily postings should be at least triple what they are now for the roughly 5000 active pipers in the world.
If Craigslist or any other high volume classified system used the present "Trading Post" format, they would be out of business in hours. The inability to post at least one image on Trading Post is a huge disability to all buyers and sellers. In fact, at least one image per item for sale should be mandatory and is easily done with currently available technology.
I'll PM you with contact info for three potential upgrade sources from
other long term successful special interest classified sites for your consideration. One of them runs three to four hundred new postings every day and has hundreds of advertisers. One guy runs it.
No doubt the rules & policies are a burden for sure, but those were self imposed! :-)

I had suggested vbClassifieds early on when I took over the admin of the forums (gosh, it's been 8 years already!) and had it setup in a test scenario. It never got any traction so I stopped working on it.

Forum policy and development is a bit of a democracy (among the moderator group) and we are long over due for some upgrades and fresh ideas. I'm all for bringing in new systems to ease the moderation burden across the entire forum system.

Thank you for the PM and links, I will have a look and see how those other forums are doing classifieds.
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:18 PM   #14
Andrew Lenz
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Default Re: How do we get people to read the Trading Post rules?

Just for the record, I'm not maxed out with the TP. I just wish that people would spend the 5 minutes reading the rules before contacting me. It just offends my efficient nature to have to take (unpaid) time to answer things that are already clearly explained in the Rules. The rules aren't 50 pages.

And delays aren't long. It's not instantaneous, but most posts are approved in a few hours, some within minutes.

The rules basically morphed from complaints from people. For example, "Hey, so-and-so has listed 10 used sets of pipes in the last 8 months! He must be a broker!" So we put limits on the number of pipes that can be sold in a 12 month period.

I'm talking with Mike about allowing photos in the TP. Hard drive space and bandwidth is much different than what it was in 2002 when BDF started. Also, the software is more advanced now in terms of restricting members from, say, posting a 20MB image which had been a problem.

Andrew
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:40 PM   #15
Doug Murray
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Default Re: How do we get people to read the Trading Post rules?

While you are being gracious about the hours you spend moderating TP without reimbursement, I would hasten to point out pictures use bandwidth. Bandwidth costs money. If you increase TP traffic several hundred percent by enhancing its ease of access, appeal and usefulness, you can easily attract more advertisers to pay for the additional bandwidth.
Increasing traffic is the name of the game in internet commerce. I know the moderators don't think of BDF as a business. For them it's a labor of love. But it has to be run like a business to survive and grow. Expand the business model. You can have both a private seller and a commercial seller model.
As far as private individuals selling too many sets of pipes, I know guys to whom money is no object, who can go through sets of pipes like a woman trying on shoes or a guy in a tie shop. If they sell those pipes at a discount when they let them go, the benefit goes to the beginner looking for their first set of pipes at a reduced price below retail.
It then becomes an indirect net benefit to everybody in piping to encourage more folks to enter the fold by being able to buy used pipes at a more affordable price. More people buy more stuff. More people fill more band
positions. More people compete. More people fill more PBA positions.
BDF plays a pivotal, indeed crucial role in generating the overall activity vital to the perpetuation of a healthy and growing piping community.
I can see if someone has 10 sets to sell of the same make and model; then put the brakes on. The rare cases of abuse can be dealt with on a case by case basis. When you codify a lot of detailed rules, somebody has to play policeman. That be you. I'm sure you have more productive things to do with our time.
While you may be an organized detail oriented person, you have to remember your dealing with the Celtic mindset on these forums. It wasn't very long ago our Celtic ancestors were having a go at each other with bows and arrows, the mace and some very large swords. Despite modern day outward appearances, these are not all by nature quiet orderly detail oriented folks. Impatience and impetuous behavior still runs in their veins. Who else would still play an instrument of war?
Give yourself a break and change the format of TP with user self serve, self
regulating software designed to quietly and efficiently weed out abusers, grow the TP and accomplish the overall piping growth goals BD worked so hard to accomplish.
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:52 PM   #16
Patrick McLaurin
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Default How do we get people to read the Trading Post rules?

One thing I like about not being able to edit posts is you can't go back and change it after someone's taken delivery of something not as described.

Are not photos hosted elsewhere? So it isn't BD bandwidth taking the hit anyway, or does the photo data pass through the BD server from Flickr, or wherever else? I figure the issue is someone pastes some high resolution photo which gets presented at 72 dpi and thus fills the screen obscuring any text. Links to photos aren't that big of a deal.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:55 PM   #17
Doug Murray
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Default Re: How do we get people to read the Trading Post rules?

"One thing I like about not being able to edit posts is you can't go back and change it after someone's taken delivery of something not as described".

I always make both digital and hard copies (date and time stamped in the image) of both text and images when buying anything off the internet. This is only one reason why pictures are so important as part of the ad itself instead of being stored off site. Sent along with payment, lets the seller know an indisputable record exists.
Sometimes people show images of a new item from an advertising brochure picture and then send you something that has been dragged around the backyard by the dog. The picture rules. On other classified sites I use, anybody who does this without making good on it after constructive notice is sent the seller, seller is barred from the site; locked out by their ISP address. Doesn't take long to weed out the bad actors.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:21 AM   #18
Pip01
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Default Re: How do we get people to read the Trading Post rules?

Greetings to the Members, the Moderators & to All,

In regard to it having been mentioned that, in future, our
possibly having photos on the TP... I find that I am for not
having them there... and for the following reasons:

First:
There is the matter of increased band width, etc., et al.

Second:
None of our Moderators needs aught else to do for us.

Third: Not having photos... may and of in itself... be a sort
of simplified winnowing out process for the sellers... as any
who may be truly interested in what was proffered will send
them a shout... and request the photos from them... thereby
leaving the rest of us... out of that particular dance. :)

Furthermore... and having used the TP myself... and in both
ways... not having the pic's may help serve to help the sellers
to hone their descriptive skills... and maybe even to read all
of the rules. (Just a thought. :)

As for the possible "bait and switch" skullduggery mentioned
above... I have found our Forum to be rather free of all of that,
and am in confidence that this admirable state shall continue.

As for any other commercial selling sites... the more photos
and documentation... the better!!!

Regards to All,

Pip01


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Last edited by Pip01; 08-02-2015 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:18 PM   #19
Doug Murray
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Default Re: How do we get people to read the Trading Post rules?

"... not having the pic's may help serve to help the sellers
to hone their descriptive skills...:

Unfortunately, not all among us these days are literal thinkers due to the alarming decline in language and writing skills in recent generations; not to mention the acute language barriers caused by rapid and immense demographic shifts currently taking place throughout the world.
Well over half the population are instinctively visual thinkers and need (in fact require) visual images to make buying decisions.

Do we shut these people out of private commerce systems or do we accommodate their needs?


"As for any other commercial selling sites... the more photos
and documentation... the better!!!"



What is to be gained, or lost, by private buyers encouraging less transparency from a private seller than they would a commercial seller?

Both parties benefit from full transparency and the inclusion of visual image(s) with the ad. The seller finds a buyer sooner; the buyer finds what they want
sooner. That's a "win-win" success story.


The whole idea of internet commerce is to increase ease of both commercial and interpersonal commerce, not make it more complex, costly or
time consuming than necessary. That is the business model for the unprecedented success of EBay and cyber commerce websites in general.

This advice from the owner of the largest commercial advertising agency in Northern CA when asked, by me, the question: "What makes a good ad?"


Answer: "Simple; with as few words as possible, tell'em what it is; tell'em how much; tell'em where they can get it. And; one picture is worth a thousand words".
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:28 PM   #20
tbrown747
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Default Re: How do we get people to read the Trading Post rules?

I'm not entirely certain that it is the desire or spirit of this forum to become an efficient bagpipe selling machine the likes of EBay.

For that, we have... EBay.

This forum and its trading post has always seemed to me geared towards a small group, focused on trust and respect, rather than quantity and transaction-per-minute efficiency. I'm not certain you can have it both ways.

One way that they keep away nasty people trying to pass off Pakistani pipes or other rip-offs is by requiring each post to be approved, and also enforcing the rather quaint notion of requiring the interested party to inquire for further details.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that. It's one of the reasons I would much prefer to do bagpipe-related business here than anywhere else. I'm thankful for the time the moderators spend in reviewing the posts and keeping the the trading post (and in fact this whole forum) one of the few 'nice' places left on the internet.
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