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Trying to Understand the Talk About "New SF" and "New SF B&S" - Page 3

post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

Let's not get things twisted.
Actually, you guys can complain about vendors all you want, and many do. Unlike Andy, we have a very strict policy of not endorsing any vendor for any type of compensation, in cash or in kind. Advertisers pay for a space, and they have control over their affiliate threads, and that's it.
The original content is something that members asked for, and that we put out, at considerable expense. If you don't enjoy it, we would be happy to save ourselves lots and lots of cash.

I'm not twisting things.

Whether you intended it or not, issuing original content and encouraging vendor participation distinguishes certain voices above others. This naturally changes discussion on the forum. You can manage a marketplace in which participants freely exchange and value information, or you can be a provider of information yourself. The latter pollutes the former and I think it's sensible for any forum's management to think hard about the right balance. AskAndy changed for the worse, not because Andy endorsed Kabbaz, but because Kabbaz was simultaneously running the forum and acting as a chief contributor.

As for the expense of creating original content: I really don't know why you take it on when the best original content on the forum has historically been provided by members themselves, for free. Many of those contributors have voiced concerns about how the forum has changed and have since ceased participating. Perhaps taking their concerns seriously would have been cheaper for you in the long run.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by NORE View Post

An MC heavy perspective:
Earlier on, there were many members who migrated to this site from other sites or just found it searching for answers to questions & general info re clothing. There were long, lively, informative discussions regarding clothing, rules of dress, different styles, etc. with the intended purpose of elevating one's own style sense and in turn, helping others to do the same. The amount of knowledge shared was only rivaled by the amount of people willing to learn a thing or three. Knowledge about things that seem elementary to most long-time members now. Knowledge re who-makes-what-for-whom, etc., and to be honest, many of us would never have given a second thought to that pair of Brooks Brothers or Lands' end shoes, or, inconspicuously pinched a coat in search of canvas, had it not been for the knowledge that they were made in England by C&J or AS, or Isaia, etc., thanks to the forum. The same extended for some to bespoken articles, many by "mystery bootmakers" or, "mystery tailors".
There were countless PSAs (Public Service Announcements) regarding sales and such shared with the fora at no cost and with no intent to capitalize. A brotherhood. Many of us bought countless pairs of shoes, etc. just so we could post pics and exclaim, Kopped! icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif on teh forum. We wore our purchases with pride knowing that these, yes, these, are forum approved and in many instances could identify a fellow member IRL based on the same.
When someone bought something that didn't fit, or work for them, they offered it up on the B&S boards at cost or at a loss. There was no, "add x% for paypal fees" or "do you accept refunds?" for if you bought something off of B&S that didn't work for you, you knew you could just put a line in your sig and someone else would snap it up. If you search my original SN for some of the first threads I started here, they were on B&S and I have even bumped my threads posting no more than, "bump". It was that good.
Then we reached a saturation point. There was little else those same members [thought they] needed to know about clothing. We became experts. Thus, we turned to snark. Looking down our noses at latecomers, newer members seeking the same thing we'd experienced not too long ago. We forced our own opinions down newbs throats in such a dogmatic way, it seemed only logical to comply. Or we flamed out and got banned.
PSAs became a vehicle for monetary gain; the forum descended on B&M establishments with such a fury that no longer does EG do mail order with their semi-annual sales. No longer does RL @Woodbury take phone orders, et. al. And, to top it all off, members were taking their hauls and listing them on B&S at a markup. Not a, "I need to recoup gas & tolls", markup. Exorbitant markups. Straight price gouging.
Brother turned against brother and a divide was inevitable. It may not be immediately apparent now but this is largely the tone. Such is life.
There are still those of us who try to champion the virtues [we feel] the site stands for and will do so no matter how many times we are timed out or banned. Self inclusive. This is love. This is life.
Bris.

Great Post--I agree!! bigstar[1].gif
post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post

I like the original content too. But not as a substitute for the conversation that brought me here. There are all sorts of blogs and sites and Tumblrs that have interesting content that I don't read. Very hard to distinguish yourself in that arena these days.
No reason we can't have both, but I think the forum portion of the forum is still the lifeblood of the forum.

I agree with this completely. You should hear me at any meetings. If you believe nothing else I say, believe that I am all about the community. It's not perfect, but it's always the central focus of my energies.
post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

I'm not twisting things.
Whether you intended it or not, issuing original content and encouraging vendor participation distinguishes certain voices above others. This naturally changes discussion on the forum. You can manage a marketplace in which participants freely exchange and value information, or you can be a provider of information yourself. The latter pollutes the former and I think it's sensible for any forum's management to think hard about the right balance. AskAndy changed for the worse, not because Andy endorsed Kabbaz, but because Kabbaz was simultaneously running the forum and acting as a chief contributor.
As for the expense of creating original content: I really don't know why you take it on when the best original content on the forum has historically been provided by members themselves, for free. Many of those contributors have voiced concerns about how the forum has changed and have since ceased participating. Perhaps taking their concerns seriously would have been cheaper for you in the long run.

Thanks. That's an interesting perspective on Andy's forum. fwiw, I contribute very little in the way of content. I fund people who are much more knowledgeable and are better writers, to produce content, on topics (like Neapolitan tailors) that readers have asked for. While our strength is in our community, we can't always find people who have the means to travel to Naples, and the desire to report back (though some do, thanks!). So we "help" that content get made. For other contributors, I see my job as facilitating their content to be found by other members.

As for addressing concerns, I regularly solicit opinions from a lot of our oldest and most respected users, from PSG to Manton to Itsstillmatt (formerly Iammatt). I realize that not everyone shares the same concerns, nor sees the same problems, nor the same solutions, and j and I try to make the best judgements we can with all the input we are given, and also with our own vision in mind. It's a constant work in progress.
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