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Customer / Our Forum Discussion

Started by Mojo, January 20, 2012, 12:32:16 am

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sofadoc

Something else I noticed. At Carrscorner (where they have both public and private boards), visitors can't view member profiles. HERE, they can.

Quote from: Mojo on January 20, 2012, 12:35:58 pm
95 % of my business comes from these forums.
That's interesting. I would estimate that very little (if any at all) of my business comes from discussion boards like this one.
I guess the RV crowd is way more into forums.

Technically, didn't we all start out here as lurkers?
Think back to when you first came on as a lurker. If all the "meaty" topics had been inaccessible to you, would you've stuck around?
I hope that if we DO get a private side, we'll keep most conversations public.
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban

Mike

January 21, 2012, 01:42:13 am #16 Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 02:34:50 am by Mike
you could just get a new acount and used name and pm us who you are.
Me there a boating forum I've been on for years and a I'd always five advise on question a out van as  upholstery care Ect and one day  up north. Couple customer came in and said so tour mike. From the forum.  Surprised me.  Then after I moved to Florida one day a  saleman saw my trialot pass by  and saw the name.  Googled it and a ton of info good came up from this  boating forum of people
talking about my company name. So he called me and told me about it and got a new client.

Mojo

There are tons of forums for people who have deep passions for something. The biggest forums are motorcycles, boats and RV's. I am a member of all three types. One RV forum I belong to has over 14,000 members.

My son owns a corporation that produces forum software. They are the largest producer now in the world and just his own corporate forum has over 100,000 members. Some of his clients have HUGE forums. Last I knew his customers included NASA, the NFL teams, The MBA teams, the NHL teams, Madonna, Janet Jackson, The Eagles, Yahoo, Blue Cross, NBC, etc. etc. Some of these forums are massive. You should see the post totals click after a game or concert or whatever. Some of these forums get 50 to a 100 posts per minute. Some even more. :)

Now what is funny is that the vast majority of my business comes from just two RV associations who have member forums around 2,000. This is where I make my presence felt and where I spend my time at. I haven't even touched some of the other ( larger ) RV associations because I can barely keep up with the business I currently have. Once things slow down a bit with these two I will start tapping into the other associations. I could do e-bay but would probably get clobbered so I stay clear of there.

Getting back to the original topic, we could just make the Business section of our forum a members only section and not create any more sections. Anything discussed business wise could be placed there.

Chris

JuneC

I'd be in support of the "business" section being pro members only.  Like Sofa says, I lurked for a bit before throwing in my 2 cents.  If it were all private I'd never have bothered to try to register.

June
"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

     W. C. Fields

bobbin

Yeah, that would work for me, too.  The whole connotation of the word, "lurker" cracks me up, but most people do start out reading for awhile,  I count myself in that august group, too.   :)

fragged8

January 21, 2012, 03:21:21 pm #20 Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 03:22:15 pm by fragged8
hiya

Did i hear my name :-)


I know what Mojo is saying, I thought about that when setting up my forum and the pro section.
if you google anyone these days everything they have ever posted can get flagged up.

And after this post it seems it was a good idea, I mainly thought of it because if some pricing issues were discussed
I wouldn't want a customer coming to me and saying 'Well you only pay this much because I saw it on your forum'

If you go look at http://www.snuggtopz.com ( click the forum link )you can see the main pages as a guest
or a newly registered member but until I register you as a pro then the top 2 boards remain hidden.

It does require a bit of time by an admin to varify who you are registering as a pro though, have you seen
how many members are on here :-)  

Rich




Mojo

Couldn't you just grandfather everyone here and then start the process ? I do not know as I have never gotten into the bones of these programs.

I am a moderator at a large motorcycle forum and I know the outside of the program but the guts I do not.

Chris

fragged8

well maybe but I dont have that level of access Mojo.

Hdflame is the guy ... someone wake him up :-)

Mike

January 22, 2012, 12:18:53 am #23 Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 08:20:58 pm by Mike
I'd  be for the buisness forum thing also that sounds like what it is for.
Just  wondering  how would the admin see if a member is a pro  call a buisness number a d see if it is the person.  Would a website or buisness number do it.    

sofadoc

Quote from: Mike on January 22, 2012, 12:18:53 am
Jet wondering  how would thebadkin see if a member is a pro  call a buisness number a d see if it is the person.  Would a w site or buisness number do it.
That would be the hard part. Even if all of US are grandfathered in, future registrants would have to be verified as pros. That could be time consuming.
One way to expedite the process would be if a current member vouches for them.
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban

hidebound

     This site has been instrumental to me learning this trade. I am in no way a proffessional upholsterer. If I started out to list all of the things I have learned from this site I would run out of space, for that I am gratefull to each and everyone of you that has freely given advice. I have spent nearly 2 years fowllowing the most important advice I have been given, sew, sew, sew. My greatgrandfather was an upholsterer, my great uncle took over his shop in the 60s, my grandmother, and mother were seamstresses. I worked in the shop when I was a kid. Learning this trade is, as goofy as it sounds is a sentimental undertaking for me. I never had the opportunity to work in the shop as an adult. That is where this site came in.
     I am also mostly a lurker. Sometimes I will come and post out of a desire to contribute something back to the board, or to ask a question. Mostly though the questions I have had can be answered by a search. Believe it or not I have read every post since I have become a member, and many from before. I sometimes have to read a couple hours to catchup.
     I also have come to know the regular members of this board in a way and I have the utmost respect all of your accomplishments and your opinions especially the marketing and business accumen that you posess in particular Mojo.
    All of that being said I guess my point is that this board has been important to me for many reasons, and it worries me that this information would be resricted because I am not a pro. My hope is that with practice I can become a pro. As Darren often says just my 2 cents.

sofadoc

January 22, 2012, 05:02:43 pm #26 Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 05:37:06 pm by sofadoc
Quote from: hidebound on January 22, 2012, 04:24:48 pm
       All of that being said I guess my point is that this board has been important to me for many reasons, and it worries me that this information would be restricted because I am not a pro. My hope is that with practice I can become a pro.
Hidebound makes a good point.
I would hope that if we do get a private side, we would only use it to discuss wholesale "trade only" pricing (which is on "life support" these days IMHO), or business strategies that might be misconstrued  as "shrewd" by the general public.
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban

Mike

good point somehow one like hidabound who wantsto learn the trade and dosent comsider hthem self a pro would still like to get info in pricing to start out . like a new upstart under bidding oldtimers and cutting himself short doing so is not good for anyone.

Steve at Silverstone Fabrics

Great Topic.

I think there should be a private site here on our forum that would be available to the "next level" of interest.

This level would include the "true pros" of our trade and those who are aspiring to become pros.

How do we determine the level of competence to become a pro .........we can't. That is the curse of being in an unstructured industry like upholstery. We do not have testable knowledge and standards like plumbing and electricity. As I have been told, we are a "hand craft" and what ever the lowest level of competence that  consumers  are willing to pay for is the standards that all shop owners have to defend their standards (and prices) against.

In my opinion, the only way to keep separate the "Joes" from the  "Pros" would be some type of membership dues......$20 -$30/ year. This would be enough money to intimidate most people that did not want to invest the time and effort into the understanding the real 'nuts and bolts" of our industry but not enough money to keep the "serious students from talking to the professors".

Steve Terry, 2nd Generation Upholsterer & owner of Retro Modern Contract Fabrics

Mike

January 22, 2012, 11:59:59 pm #29 Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 02:13:41 am by Mike
THE problem I see with a pay  site is  anytime  I've been on a site be it a bike site a boating site if there comes a dues many dissappere.
Here if there was a fee how many  pros would dissapere just because why pay ,  And without  pros to awnser newbies  questions who may purchase from kens  website they  may dry up also with fees participants that is
It's as on carrs site there wasn't much for me  so. I did post much so I was deleted was there a fee  i don't  know but if there is I'm not going to find out