Changes for TGP in 2016

Discussion in 'Interactive Administrator Threads' started by Brian Scherzer, Jan 30, 2016.


  1. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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    I wanted to alert all of our members about changes that we are working on and plan to have completed in 2016, along with some comments.

    1. We plan on splitting business for sale ads from non-business ads before the end of February. All businesses who are current supporting members (of any type) will be grandfathered into a new user group. We will be adding a set of commercial emporiums for dealer and builder sales, including any member who is a "hobbyist for profit". When completed, all businesses will be expected to post in the commercial emporiums unless an item is privately owned for personal use, in which case the business member may list the item in the appropriate regular membership emporiums. We will allow commercial sellers to have one ad in each regular emporium that shows what that seller has for sale in the relevant commercial emporium.

    2. We now have almost as many people registering as members from outside of the USA as we have registrations from within the USA. We have gotten requests over the years to set aside some emporiums for certain regions. We now plan on adding those as subforums. At the moment, based strictly on membership numbers, we will be adding subforums for Europe and for the Pacific area (Australia, New Zealand, etc.). This should make it easier for international members to find gear that is for sale in their region.

    3. As we add forums and subforums, the Index Page (the one that has links to each of our forums) is getting really long. One way to get around that is by "nesting"......which means that there is less clutter on the Index Page but, it can be confusing because it's a change! I just "nested" the Gear Demo forums so that members/guests can check out what I'm referring to. Instead of seeing all 6 of the subforums, you now see one and there is a link that you can hover over or click on that shows you the "nested" subforums. Check it out.

    4. Many members are not aware that we have a webzine that has a number of reviews. However, members have not had specific areas to post their own reviews. I will be adding a set of review topic areas where I can copy staff reviews from the webzine onto the forum, and in which members can post their own reviews. That should help makes searches for info on certain gear much easier to find and it gives members a chance to write their user opinions. I hope to get this started this weekend.

    5. As stated in #1 above, we will be establishing commercial memberships for business members for the first time ever. No, we're not going to charge a huge fee to be a commercial member. In fact, all members who represent businesses and are currently a supporting member at any level will be grandfathered in to the new user group for the duration of their current supporting membership. I have not yet decided what the annual fee would be for future business members but I'm leaning toward $50, which is the same as a Gold Supporting Membership. Although I'd love to charge what some other forums charge for commercial memberships, I have concerns about influence. Once you charge one group of members a lot more than other members, there is a greater danger of being influenced by money or at least could lead to a perception of favoritism. As quirky as my decisions might seem, I'd rather pass on having higher fees if it enhances greater trust in our community.

    5.1 - I have made choices in the past about allowing business members, even if they were not supporting members, to remain members after issues of unethical behavior came up. My philosophy had been that allowing businesses who had apparently engaged in shady dealings the chance to set things straight with our members was better than banning them. I came to regret that philosophy over the past couple of years and decided that it had to change. From this point forward, if there are credible reasons to believe that a business is being unethical, we will suspend or terminate membership on TGP, depending on the perceived level of unethical behavior. This is no different than would happen to any member here. I expect ethical behavior by all members but, especially, from our business members.

    My comments on the past year:

    Growth through the years has brought more conflict between members. When we were just a couple of thousand members who tended to share the same like and dislikes in gear, there was a lot less snarky posting and general insulting of others. Obviously that has changed as we grew in membership. I hate to say that we suspended and banned more people in 2015 than any previous year, but that's a fact. It is my intent to continue pressing for reasonably polite posting. There is no problem with members disagreeing with each other. What we will crack down on even more than last year is when members insult each other. Even when you are positive that the other person is wrong, there's still no reason to insult them. If it makes you that upset, quit reading what the other person is writing. There is a huge difference between debating and arguing a subject versus arguing about the the perceived deficiencies of the other member or members.

    I wanted to close this post with a truly visual reminder of just how far TGP has come. I found this link to an archived index page from the first year of TGP's existence. The growth has been astounding!

    https://web.archive.org/web/20030210075829/http://63.151.115.106/board/index.php
     
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  2. OiRogers

    OiRogers Member

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    All sound like good and needed changes... I like 5.1 particularly.:)
     
  3. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Supporting Member

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    Wow! The archived page is amazing!
     
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  4. DGTCrazy

    DGTCrazy Moderator de Emporio Staff Member

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    Outstanding, and proves again that TGP is dedicated to it's members and making their experience here a positive one. Thanks Brian.
     
  5. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Member

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  6. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks again for everything, Brian. Scott and Alec, too. This is a really fun and educational place. :)
     
  7. svenhoek

    svenhoek Supporting Member

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  8. sfarnell

    sfarnell Gold Supporting Member

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    some really good ideas Brian.
     
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  9. KeithC

    KeithC Silver Supporting Member

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    :aok too!
     
  10. dc_jcm800

    dc_jcm800 Member

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    Keep up the great work.
    I wish some posters would opt to just not post when they don't like something rather than feel compelled to be mean or negative.
    Its so easy to read some of these ridiculous threads and comments and just not comment for the sake of argument.
    .
    The true spirit of this forum, gear, musicianship, should be the focus. Keep your hate to yourself.
     
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  11. Down and Out in NYC

    Down and Out in NYC Gold Supporting Member

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    How do you define hobbyist for profit. It seems obvious to me who these members are yet I'm a hobbyist who occasionally sells a guitar or part on here. Occasionally I make a small profit on a sale. Will someone such as myself be lumped in as a for profit hobbyist ?
    ( I seriously doubt it , more curious than anything else )

    Love 5.1
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  12. Brian Scherzer

    Brian Scherzer Staff Member

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    It's difficult to define for everyone but what is meant is someone who may have a regular job but who also has entered into a side-business of selling gear. A basic test of this might be whether there is an official entity for these sales like an LLC or some other factor that separates most folks who just buy and sell to try out gear for themselves and those who purchase gear with the intent to resell at a profit. Like I said, it can be tough to define.
     
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  13. fenderball

    fenderball Supporting Member

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    amazing archived page...!
     
  14. MoPho

    MoPho International Man of Leisure Silver Supporting Member

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    And monitor.

    I'd put the bar at whether these transactions are being run through a business entity where business expenses are being deducted by the entity to operate this business. It doesn't matter what formation the thing is. Hopefully, the membership here will self report and there are ways to validate if there is ever a question.

    I like the plan and appreciate all the mods/admin/tech wrangler/owner do to make this place a terrific resource in many ways. #thumbsup
     
  15. dohmar

    dohmar Member

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    Like #2, going to make things easier for us o/s members. Thanks!

    -D
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
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  16. tsbot

    tsbot Supporting Member

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    Great work! Sad we all can't agree to disagree more.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
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  17. stealthtastic

    stealthtastic Supporting Member

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    Good call banning the shady people on here. I run a guitar community that caters to a different crowd but still is fairly large with around 300k people, and I found banning shady people and calling them out to be the best way to keep members safe.

    Also, it's very cool of you to keep the community here updated about what's coming. This forum seems to be the only one that actively adapts to community input, which is probably why it's been so successful.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  18. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Silver Supporting Member

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    Brian - nicely written and informative OP. Keep up the good work!
     
  19. marktweedy

    marktweedy In Transit® Silver Supporting Member

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    I too welcome the changes. I also appreciate this being a moderated forum. My thanks to you and the mods.
     
  20. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

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    All good. Keep up the great work.
     

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