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Using the forum to good

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Seriously.  Boards like this one are more influential than you might think - both recommendations and slams are from genuine enthusiasts rather than generated by some marketing department, and I think people really like that.  Customers would rather take the recommendation of someone who uses their hard earned money to buy the product than that of someone who is being paid by Kiton/Prada/The Gap to sell product and image.  The non-commercial aspect of this board is a huge selling point.  And the slightly "underground" (ugh, hate that term) feel of the forum is authentic. Since we have contributing members already... how does the forum feel putting a very simple notice in some very carefully selected publications?  I'm going to p.m. J and Steve about this separately, but would like to hear what others think.  And do tell me if I am totally out of line with everyone's elses feelings.
post #2 of 11
Hmmm...not sure if advertising would be the best thing. What this board has in character it gets in part from attracting fellow-travelers who pop it up on a google search. Besides, who would pay for advertising and what would we gain? We have fairly deep expertise on the board in many areas already, and I doubt that the folks attracted from an advert would be connoisseurs. Plus, this thing is a wallet-crushing virus for me - shoe budget goes out the roof with onlly a few viewings. Do we want to wish this blessing/curse on the unsuspecting masses?
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Benefits, huh? Well, I hadn't really thought about that - just thought that it would be cool, but here are a few off the tope of my head: 1) Increased traffic through the "Buying and Selling" part of the forum - this would benefit deserving members like A Harris and discostu004. The frank nature of this forum and the arbitrary powers of Steve and J. would keep out spammers and unscrupulous sellers. 2) Increased influence over some Ebay sectors. Again, the often critical discussions of Ebay here could, should, would, sink some uncrupulous sellers, and bolster some deserving ones (see above). This could in fact draw attention from 3) Ebay itself. At the moment, the feedback system is very unreliable. There is always the fear of reprisals, and so many Ebay sellers and buyers have unwarranted high ratings. Here, forum members with good knowledge give honest and impartial comments about specific auctions. This is a good thing for Ebay (the company). Maybe we could get sponsorship from them to keep the site going, at very least. Probably a lot more benefits from the exposure. I'm just brainstorming (an unusual thing for a Friday afternoon, I know). Any ideas, anyone?
post #4 of 11
I see the potential benefits, but I think they are outweighed by the likely drawbacks, particularly from the increased traffic. If the forum begins advertising, we are likely to attract teenagers who have nothing better to do than post racist/obscene messages (i.e. the GQ forum) or people who are truly clueless about style (i.e. the Men's Health style forum). I think the best thing about the board now is that you really have to be looking for information about fine tailoring or fashion in order to stumble across the forum.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
We could always cap the membership, or have a rule such that all new members need a minimum number of sponsors. My personal preference would be to have a probational membership system, under which, after X number of weeks, a new member must have X number of votes from existing members (say, the members on the board right now) in order to become a "chartered" member. Definitely, there are ways of keeping out trolls and keeping the membership to people who are really passionate about clothing and maintain the integrity of the board.
post #6 of 11
The increased traffic could create a lot more work for J and Steve. Though, each one will have to say how he feels about that factor. If we do decide to spread the word, I think we need to put some type of membership selection in place before we "advertise." Your recommendation of sponsoring new members seems like a good idea to me. I think that would -- for the most part -- eliminate the worry about any immature teenagers with idle hands (and minds).
post #7 of 11
This is going to sound selfish, but: To the same extent that markedly increased traffic "helps sellers" by generating greater interest in eBay auctions and other "bargain sales" and/or popularizing some of the obscure niche brands that people here fancy, it will also hurt us as buyers by driving up prices...unless we simultaneously attract a proportionally larger supply of the "great finds" we're all looking for.  Bargain shopping for high-end clothing is largely a matter of exploiting inefficient markets, so I have my doubts on that score.   I mean, do you really want the entire readership of GQ bidding on that pair of mis-marked Edward Greens you're all set to lowball-snipe on eBay? I'm just saying...
post #8 of 11
Acole makes an excellent point. Comparable to "don't move to California because we don't want it to get more crowded" but hey, we're already here. eBay electronics go for MORE than they do at discounters, because part of the population doesn't have, or realize they have, easy access to discounters. That's not true for high end clothing and cuff links, at least not yet. We use eBay because we can find values that are way below the other sources that I, for one, have. I'd like to keep it that way as long as possible.
post #9 of 11
I seriously think we should leave this Forum as it is.
post #10 of 11
And you guys wouldn't believe what advertising rates in the magazines named are like these days...
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Bottom line is, I think that there is money to be made (possible by all), without changing the nature of the board, by putting this forum on the map as the place to find real clothing enthusiasts with real opinions. Sort of like an exclusive club for clotheshorses. See my post in the Poll post, and tell me what you all think.
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