This is my chance each year to give our members an idea of any plans we have for TGP in the coming year and to address problems from the past year. I'll start with the latter..........I need your help! All large forums are subject to change as new members come in. Although we still have a large core of members who have been here for years, we also have a whole new generation of members who do not seem to understand the behavior I expect of all of us. Yes, it may be naive to believe that people can post on a forum WITHOUT getting personally nasty with other members.........but that's what I expect. I have no problem if you disagree with what another member has posted. Feel free to state your case, but do NOT make it personal! Lots of our more established members have noted that there are more and more people who seem to want to turn many conversations into negatives. It's time for our more established members to set the tone (pun fully intended) for the membership. There was a time here when most threads engaged in respectful discussion, including when disagreements broke out. Set good examples. Some have asked what we do when members get nasty with each other. Flat out, we have suspended and banned more people in the past two years that we have at any time in our existence. We plan to continue to crack down on the anger we see. Leave it behind please! On the other end of the spectrum, many of you would laugh at some of the reported posts we get. Please don't report posts just because you disagree with what someone else wrote. We're not here to "fact check". If the post doesn't clearly break one of our rules, please don't report it! Changes for the coming year? We do have some. We gave the international emporiums a chance this past year and found that they are used infrequently. Those will be going away this month. We are also going to make changes that involve our business members. Last year we reacted to the complaints of members that dealers had too many ads in the emporiums. This was a good thing in many ways but has led to some problems for businesses. The feedback is that our business members have noted a dramatic reduction of views of their ads. TGP was set up to help musicians AND music businesses. I'm proud of the fact that we have helped so many startup businesses to become successful. A number of our early members went on to create new gear. At the same time, I realize that most of our members would prefer to look at ads from regular musicians and not from businesses. There has to be a compromise that works for everyone. My decision this year is to begin a new member classification for businesses. Maybe we'll call it a commercial member, but that hasn't been decided. The major change that members will see in the emporiums is as follows.....and I think that it's the fairest possibility for both sides...... Let's say that a guitar dealer becomes a commercial member. They will be expected to place their ads in the Commercial Guitar Emporium. The only change is that we will allow the business to place ONE ad in the regular guitar emporium that shows what they are offering in their ads in the commercial emporium. The same would be true if the business had ads in the Pedals or amps emporiums. The problem before was that some businesses would place a number of ads in the regular emporiums. Being allowed one ad as a means of showing what they are offering in the commercial emporium seems fair to me, does not overload the regular emporiums with dealer ads and allows them more exposure. Another change being strongly considered is starting vintage gear sections for amps, guitars and effects. In a sense, vintage gear has been receiving increased interest from musicians as a niche. We'll see if such topic areas pick up sufficient interest to continue. Most of all, I am asking the moderators to step up enforcement of respectful posting between members. Quite honestly, some people still need to go. If you come onto TGP and make the experience unpleasant for others, you can expect at least a suspension if you don't stop. YOU are responsible for not retaliating if someone else starts something. Most of all, don't report a problem and then make retaliatory posts with the person you are reporting. We'll probably decide that you're part of the problem too and you may end up with a warning or suspension for continuing the problem. It just comes down to being respectful of each other. Our world seems to be becoming a less respectful place where anger and insults are becoming far too common. If you bring your hostility to TGP, it makes all of us a bit less happy. Feel free to disagree with others.....in a respectful fashion (and stop the passive-aggressive stuff!) and TGP has a lot more benefit to its members! One last thought. We have never raised our supporting membership fees since we started them and that continues for the coming year. Please have a wonderful holiday season and I thank you for being part of our musician community. Let's really try to make TGP a more pleasant experience!