Home – New Forums Other discussions Is there any interest in a special offers forum?

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  • #979509
    websitedesigner
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    Not sure if this has been discussed before but it seems to me that a lot of people in the forum provide services to small business owners. I think it’s against the rules to just start a new post that just promotes something (I’ve had posts taken down that just linked people up to a free, no opt in ebook).

    But I still see offers posted around he place.

    What about a specific forum where people can make offers? Maybe make it a privilege for members with 50+ posts.

    Particularly for free offers I think this would be useful and the rules (and how they are administered) would be clearer.

    Thoughts?

    #1114776
    Greg_M
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    Off the cuff, sounds OK, might keep offers out of other posts, agree it would need a minimum no. of “normal” posts to access it for obvious reasons.

    If your not interested you can just ignore the threads.

    Not my forum though.

    #1114777
    inkable
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    We would be interested. The idea of having a minimum number of posts should work well to preserve quality and encourage forum activity.

    #1114778
    JacquiPryor
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    Yep – I’d be interested in that. Think the minimum posts idea is a good one too – would keep out those that just sign up in order to promote themselves. Obviously with clear guidelines it could be kept to offers that members are going to legitimately be interested in and/or benefit from etc and not get too out of control.

    #1114779
    Peter – FS Administrator
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    websitedesigner, post: 128754 wrote:
    Not sure if this has been discussed before but it seems to me that a lot of people in the forum provide services to small business owners. I think it’s against the rules to just start a new post that just promotes something (I’ve had posts taken down that just linked people up to a free, no opt in ebook).

    But I still see offers posted around he place.

    What about a specific forum where people can make offers? Maybe make it a privilege for members with 50+ posts.

    Particularly for free offers I think this would be useful and the rules (and how they are administered) would be clearer.

    Thoughts?

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for your suggestion regarding the promo forum. We’ve had a few member discussions about the idea of a member offers type area on the forum in the past, and we have considered in detail how it might work.

    However one of the ongoing challenges we have is maintaining the forum community as a place for authentic discussion, support and relationships rather than being driven by promotion.

    We do understand that generating profile and awareness is an important part of online social networking and a strong motivator for getting involved, but we believe this is achieved most effectively as a by-product of giving generous advice, providing valuable genuine support and forming authentic relationships. As per traditional networking, this will position people as experts in their field and attract loyal long-term fans and clients.

    An effective way to let people find you and/or share offers is to use your post signature. This can be set up in the control panel and include text and a web link. Many of our long-term members have found that using their signature and updating their profile has resulted in many new relationships and clients. Readers get to know you via your posts, see that you know what you’re doing and then contact you when they need your services. Similarly article comments provide exposure.

    In addition, we are currently looking at some new very low-cost ways to help Flying Solo members promote their services and connect directly with each other.

    As you mentioned, we do inevitably still get promo posts on the forum. We continually work to control this through our guidelines and moderation, and have tightened up the guidelines and moderation around that. We also added the ‘Flag as spam’ button (only available for members with 50+ posts) where members can flag a post as spam. If it gets two votes it gets taken offline for moderation and this is working well so far.

    So if you do see promotional posts that are outside the guidelines, please hit the ‘Flag as spam’ or ‘report post’ link on each post and we’ll jump on it.

    Thanks for all your contributions so far. We’re always open to further ideas and input and thanks for taking the time to let us know.

    Cheers
    Peter

    #1114780
    Warren Cottis
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    Hi Peter

    I was going to write a point by point reply to your post and I will write a more detailed comment depending on how this thread develops.

    I think you are underestimating the community that endures here… their intelligence and their community spirit.

    People do need to earn their stripes to be able to make offers… that’s a given.

    But in making that minimum number of posts the regular members will have already formed an opinion of that person.

    So who is at risk… the Newbies perhaps? I’m sure that could be overcome with some guidelines.

    At the end of the day I think the people who stay as regulars in this Forum are already doing their best to gratuitously look after Newbies anyway.

    The person most at risk is the person making the offer.

    They have just spent a considerable amount of time forming a presence in the Forum. Do you think someone with the minimum number of posts to qualify would risk offering a shonky deal?

    I sincerely believe that your real opportunity is to capitalise on the community spirit that lives here by letting the Forum evolve as an opportunity arises… test and trial.

    #1114781
    Peter – FS Administrator
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    Thanks Warren, Dan and all,

    Really appreciate your considered thoughts here, most definitely more food for thought following your insights.

    As you say let’s see how the thread develops and we’ll go into an FS huddle and do some fresh thinking of our own on this one as well.

    Thanks again
    Peter

    #1114782
    AgentMail
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    I’ll throw my hat in to the ring on this one.

    I think it is a good idea, and I’d like to also add that there are opportunities for people to share purchasing power. Not necessarily daily deals style, but if there was a group that was interested in a similar product, a bulk purchase might also be a possibility.

    In a ‘thread’ environment, the difficulty will be keeping the offers current and up to date, without people simply ‘bumping’ them up the chain.

    But I reckon this has some merit, and would also provide us FS members an opportunity to test out pricing/products to the benefit of other members.

    #1114783
    BrettM33
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    I can definitely see where Peter is coming from but this is something I too have wanted for awhile.

    If its moderated/restricted well I think it would be a value added addition to the forum. :)

    #1114784
    Divert To Mobile
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    Im interested in the bulk buying opportunities and I’d also like to advertise more but Im going to go against the grain here.
    I think a for sale or specials forum will end up a waste. Only 20 posts appear on the first page and you post will likely get pushed to page 2 in less than a day. What will you do then? Post again of course because if your not on page 1 you’re nowhere.

    I think the sig is enough.

    Steve

    #1114785
    Cooke Consulting
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    Hello All,

    Love the idea!

    But the application and administration of it is going to be tricky.

    Adding another section in the forum is just going to be a spam-fest.

    I definitely agree that people need to earn their stripes before being allowed to advertise.

    My suggestion would be this:

    1) Add additional functionality to the business directory so everyone after X number of posts can add their advertisement with enough space for a graphic and text.

    2) Add similar functionality to the signature – either keep it text based or restrict the graphic image size to something acceptable so it doesn’t play havoc with the look at feel of the forum.

    3) For business class subscribers you could have their advert on rotation as you do with the members spotlight, taking into account that space is limited and I also appreciate that space is also advertising $ for FS, you could mix up the Members Spotlight with the business class members advert.

    It gives additional value to the current business class subscribers.

    Might encourage additional FS members to sign up for the business class creating additional $ for FS?

    Win – Win?

    #1114786
    bluepenguin
    Member
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    Wow… Bravo to everyone for keeping this thread so civilised while still expressing your differing views. I expected cars to be turned over and set alight by now…

    It’s an interesting idea. I think if something like this were to happen, it would be appropriate for there to be a cost. So that:

    1. We are not cashing in on FS’s hard-earned success without giving any kind of compensation in return.

    2. The forum doesn’t get filled with crap.

    #1114787
    Peter – FS Administrator
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    Thanks all for the ideas/suggestions.

    It’s a tricky one to get right that’s for sure!

    As it happens Sam is in town for a few days later this week to road test some new membership changes (including some promotional options) that we’ve got in staging at the moment. We’ll also discuss this topic and the ideas in this thread together as part of that.

    We’ll let you know in a few weeks once we get a bit clearer on our thinking. Feel free to add your feedback regarding the various posts above in the meantime.

    Cheers
    Peter, Robert and Sam

    #1114788
    EmbalmSkincare
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    Just to put my voice out on this…

    I’m all for it, especially the minimum number of posts required to keep spammers out or everyone who just signed up to promote.

    Regards,
    Mel

    #1114789
    Robert Gerrish
    Member
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    Hi all,

    Thanks again for your input and ideas on the discussion above.

    We’ve had a long re-think about the suggestion of an offers forum and how they might be implemented. However, at this stage we’re not comfortable that we can devise an efficient model for moderating and managing it in a way that will work for everyone.

    To help address this need for extra exposure, we have been working on some new low cost ways to help members better promote their business to other members throughout the Flying Solo site in a way that separates forums discussions/connections from promotion/advertising. These will be announced in the next couple of months once we’ve gone through some back end development and testing.

    As always, we’re still open to ideas and will keep evolving the features and guidelines based on the feedback we receive.

    Many thanks and enjoy your weekend,

    Robert

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