Do you find the vendor forums useful?

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jeff

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We've had the Vendor Forums section here for years. It was originally envisioned as a place where vendors could interact directly with our members without violating our "no advertising in the forums" rule. It used to be a much more active place, but of the two dozen forums there, only a handful have any recent postings. Periodically, I contact the vendors to request they either use or give up their forums. That usually results in a few new postings, then it's quickly back to radio silence.

I'd like to either re-energize or abandon that section of our forum, and I'd like to hear your ideas.
  • Do you see any value in this section of the forum?
  • How could it be made more useful to you?
Thanks for your input!
 
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Good question Jeff. I normally reach out to each vendor I use directly via email. I have seen some in a few non-vendor forum posts where vendors will go outside the vendor forum to promote their product but it's not very strong. I guess my question to you might be, how many hits does each vendor forum get on a weekly/monthly/annual basis. If it's a low count then members are not looking at the forum and it's probably just taking up space. My only concern would be that if you get rid of the vendor forum it will lead to a lot of posts by some vendors to promote their products in a normal post, like Casual Conversations. I think that would be bad. I think a Vendor Directory would be better where a vendor could advertise their products or services.
 

jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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NJ, USA.
I rarely use it at all. If I do it is to try to contact Ed of Exotics but many times that is an exercise in futility and it is a PM here or an answer from a message left on his site.
 

egnald

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Jun 9, 2017
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Columbus, Nebraska, USA
I have used the vendor forums, mostly to identify vendors for materials and such. I would recommend keeping the forum, but clearly ordering or ranking them by their participation and activity level. - Just my 2 cents, Dave
 

KenB259

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Dec 24, 2017
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I have used it. I did not even know there was a rule about " no advertising in the forums". I see quite a bit of that, doesn't bother me at all. When I write a new post, I always wonder why there are so so many forums. I would guess many are unused.
 

greenacres2

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Northwest IN
I typically log in 2 or 3 times/day--and almost 100% of the time click "What's New"-->"New Posts". So if there is activity in a vendor's thread, i see it. If no activity--i'm oblivious...unless i'm looking for Rick Herrell. Ed's active enough in posting that Exotic Blanks is a frequent spot--but those are generally as a contributor in my eyes, not as an advertiser.
earl
 

its_virgil

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Jan 1, 2004
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Wichita Falls, TX, USA.
I don't use it to "shop" their ads, mostly because the ads have seemed to be few and far between. I have used it recently to just find the contact info for Rick Harrell and another person or two. Having it gone would not affect me but a vendor directory would be helpful, especially for those that are not as (online) visible as some are.
do a good turn daily!
Don
 

Mart

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I browsed around in there a while back and was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of good nib holder sources. Maybe it can also serve as a place for product reviews?
Mart
 

Mart

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I browsed around in there a while back and was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of good nib holder sources. Maybe it can also serve as a place for product reviews?
Mart
Wait- there’s already a forum for product review. Never mind. Man this place has a lot of rooms to explore!
 

mmayo

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Jan 12, 2013
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Tehachapi, CA
I don’t use it now, but might. I have somewhat gravitated to directly contacting vendors. The ones that show interest in me get my business.
 

robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
I believe the very reasons that made the Vendor's Forum be created still exist and will continue.

The Vendors Forum has given me the "safety net/space" to free expression without infringing any IAP rules that once were a problem so, I can only say that I totally defend the existence of the Vendors' forum on this large family IAP forum.

PS: The question could be asked, is the Vendor's Forum present location in the best/ideal place it could be, for easy to use/access/be visible...?

Cheers
George
 

sorcerertd

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North Carolina, USA
I just posted something in there that seemed to fit questioning PSI kits. Probably would have fit in a general penmaking forum, too.
What was the original intention of that forum? Has it successfully fulfilled that purpose? I have looked through them a few times, but feel that section might be more useful as a bulletin board. Vendors could post sales, offers, and flyers there with an expiration. Maybe save them in an archive for a set duration for reference?
 

jttheclockman

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Messages
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Location
NJ, USA.
I just posted something in there that seemed to fit questioning PSI kits. Probably would have fit in a general penmaking forum, too.
What was the original intention of that forum? Has it successfully fulfilled that purpose? I have looked through them a few times, but feel that section might be more useful as a bulletin board. Vendors could post sales, offers, and flyers there with an expiration. Maybe save them in an archive for a set duration for reference?
Todd, I know Jeff can answer your question better than I but being a long time member here I will lightly touch on the reasons this was set up. When we started back in 2004 there were a few members here and as we grew more and more members came on board and along with that came the exchange of products in form of sales. But there became a rift between members trying to outsell or belittle sellers and a war of advertising became part of every forum on here. Then ads started popping up and they would be large and cumbersome. Well heated arguments were all too common and Jeff had to step in and get under control. He limited the size and place for ads and created a section for vendors to setup their own stores and if any questions came up about their product member could directly contact the vendors through this avenue instead of muddying up the forums. With addition of many new members many of these rules are not followed today but are under control. So not much gets mentioned. But as evident from Jeff's question many vendors fall by the waste side here and do not monitor their site and is a waste of space here. PSI does not have a vendor site there even though they have spys that follow this site with a passion. Now unless you bought the kits from a vendor there then you could just post as a general question under the penturning forum and will get answered. Quick explanation and I am sure Jeff can explain better.
 
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