My 5,000th Post: Specially for Management

by Mark Singletary 13 replies
I was preparing to do the traditional x,000th post thing with some awesome tips to help people build their businesses. This is my 5,000th post and I've never done one of these.

Instead of helping a newbie out or doing any of the traditional type posts, though, I decided to spend this "anniversary" post on Freelancer. I guess I could have titled this something like " A cautionary tale for newbies: how to waste $3,200,000, run off all the loyal users and customers, and be left with a deserted wasteland of a once great forum" but out of respect I won't.

I am doing this because I believe that if things don't change, the forum may not be around for my 6,000th post and the forum is important to me. I've been here since about 2000. That's 17 years that I've been a part of the forum. I have benefited greatly from what I've learned over the years and in turn have helped out where I could.

Let me say this up front. Some may see my post as an old-timer that misses the old ways and can't accept change. Some may see my post as complaining, bitter, etc. and ask if I don't have anything better to do – it's just a forum. Some may see this as tearing down people that are trying their best.

But here's the truth: I am (or at least have been) loyal to the forum no matter who owned it and no matter who the mods were. I enjoyed a lot of the things that happened in the old days and miss them. I appreciate some of the changes FL has made as well. I especially have a little more hope since it seems that Tim is willing to listen and make some changes.

The last couple years I've complained where it was called for, praised where it was called for, but mostly tried to be fair. I have and do support the mods – their job is not one to be desired and is pretty much a thankless, never ending task. I thank them every chance I get for the good they do but also realize they aren't perfect.

I don't see this as an old school vs. new school issue. I see it as a bunch of people that love the forum that have been treated unfairly, ignored, pushed aside, etc. When that started happening, people left.

The forum has been in severe decline since the takeover. Ask yourself why. Your CEO said something like we were all addicts. But now most of them are gone. Why? What did FL do that caused this? It wasn't buying it out, in and of itself. It wasn't, I don't believe the new trend towards FB groups. People that use to fill the WSO forum with their offers are still doing it – just not here. It was and is the way things have been handled by admin, in my humble opinion.

The following are some of my suggestions. Most of them have been brought up before and ignored. I realize I have no say or standing with anyone that matters. But don't ignore people that are trying to help after asking for their help and then not give feedback or answers about final decisions and at the same time sit and wonder how it all went wrong and what could be done to fix it. Like I said, Tim and the gang appear to have a different outlook about this stuff and appear to be actually listening.

Pretty Ain't the Important Thing

It's nowhere close. From the takeover, there has been an obsession to make things pretty. From the feed, to this big black monstrosity rollover thing you put in, to making the WSO forum "pretty" to the point of being useless you're focusing on the wrong thing in my humble opinion. (And yes, I know for those that have brought it up before, FL makes more $$ and has had more success online than me).

You remind me of all the newbies who talk about spending hundreds or thousands on their site, on their themes, etc. but they can't sell anything. That's because they are focusing on the wrong thing. A theme NEVER made a sale. Period.

The problem isn't the feed or functionality. No one comes because the forum has a feed or a cool rollover. People come for the good conversation, to get help with their issues, etc.

You are ignoring the quality for the prettiness. All this time and money on the feed has not caused one single person to say "hey let's go check out the Warrior Forum – it's got a cool feed."

If you want to fix things, focus on the important stuff. It's not the prettiness, it's the quality. And the quality is suffering more and more which means there is less and less reason for someone to come here.

Speaking of Pretty Useless Features

1. Why in the world would you change the email subscription notification from a full post to
"---Quote (Originally by MartinaK)--- Hi everyone, What techniques have you been using and practising to change your mindset? And which one was the "one"
.

Before, I subscribed to a thread and could read the full replies in my email and then come back to the thread to comment.

This was changed, I assume to get people back on to the thread. It did the opposite for me because it interrupted my "flow." The reply above is absolutely useless and what is waiting for me in the forum is probably a spam message. I'm not going to waste my time to go to the thread just to see spam. Yes, I'm just one guy, but the attempt at forcing me to come back has the opposite effect.

Why not put it back the way it was?

2. Why in the world was the "remove thanks" option taken away? There are many cases where thanks should be withdrawn. You, again, seem to want to force interaction so I pretty much quit thanking people.

Less thanks means less interaction, less visits/traffic, etc.

True story. A few years ago a guy posted about how he'd finally had his big breakthrough and was finally able to start making some money after a long struggle. We were all proud of him and wanted to encourage him to continue. So, we thanked the post.

Then, a day or so later came the kicker. He explained that how he had his big breakthrough was to steal email addresses and blast them with spam (or something like that – I forget the details). A couple people bought the junk he was selling and so he made his first $ online.

Your new way would force us to continue to show our support for a spammer. Why not put the option to remove our thanks back?

3. Modern vs. Classic view. Even though I use and prefer classic view, I'm not bold enough to say I would leave if it went away. I wouldn't be happy but I'm not sure what I would do.

The original design left two important features out – signatures and the report button. Sigs have been almost added back in but why no report button?

Is this why reports are ignored in a lot of cases? Internally you don't want the reports since you don't include them on your preferred feed view?

4. I've written extensively about the bell notification feature. Why in the world would anyone use this as their notification tool when the notification gives no context to what the reply is (again – it's probably spam) and when you click the link it opens a new tab.

Don't you want people using the forum and its features a lot? Isn't that the goal? Why make this design choice where those of us that have a lot of subscriptions are facing tons of open tabs? Why not make the feature useful and helpful?

5. Why is the classified section left off the bottom menu? People pay for ads there. Is it not important to the forum community to have a quick link at the bottom?

6. Many of us use the forum almost exclusively through the New Posts feature. Not too long ago the WSO and other paid forums were taken out of that. Why? Don't you want to encourage more people to see the paid ads? Isn't that what is paying salaries and keeping the lights on? Why limit it? Better yet, give us a personal choice of what forums are included in the New Posts.

7. Why was the preview post with a rollover feature taken out of the new WSO forum? It's everywhere else, why not there?

8. Why does the subscribe button on each thread ignore the subscription settings in each user's control panel and leaves the only option to be immediate email notification?

Warrior Forum Morphs into Blackhat Forum

1. There used to be a rule that if you started talking about spamming with email, you were banned and/or the thread was deleted immediately.

These days, it seems that FL is condoning this behavior. There are more and more of these posts about a friend that gave a guy 1,000,000 emails and they want the best way to milk it.

I wish this rule came back. You are condoning and supporting spammers.

2. There is a rule about no WSOs that talk about: Mass Account Creators, E-Mail Harvesters, Lead Scrapers, Cookie Stuffing Scripts, Mass Automation Tools, SEO Spam Tools, Blog Commenting Tools, Wiki Poster Tools, Spamming Tools, Automation Bots, Forum Posting Tools, Classified Ad Posters, Email Lists.

Why are these things supposedly not allowed to be sold here but they are condoned and supported by allowing discussion?

It's either one way or the other. A double standard never works out. You have principles or you don't.

Marketing Speak

1. Why are you still promoting the WR and not fixing it? We've pointed out the flaws many times. Nothing has been done to fix them over a long period of time which means the marketing copy turns into untruths AKA lies. It's interesting that one of the guys on your sales page for the WR was banned from here for stealing money from people. Many or most of the links are dead or useless. Wouldn't it be good to fix things like that to match the marketing copy?

2. Why are you saying that WSOs to the forum are exclusive and they just simply are not? That used to be the rule but it's not the case anymore.

Tweak to the Rules Needed??

1. You want more interaction. A signature is part of the motivation for people to post help. This helps increase interaction.

I think we need a rule that says that if you say something like "nice way to get your signature in" should be banned or something.

It makes people that are trying to help look bad. Quality is in the eye of the beholder. There are obvious sig spammers and they need to be reported and banned. What I'm talking about here is pushing away good interaction. Who wants to share something if they are going to get attacked for sharing it?

Rules. What Rules?

1. Which set of WSO rules is in place? Your mods are advertising 2 conflicting sets in their sigs: http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...rum-rules.html vs Warrior Forum - The #1 Digital Marketing Forum & Marketplace - Announcements in Forum : Warrior Special Offers

2 A simple question for you: Are there any current WSO rules still in place? Don't laugh – FL had 2 sets of rules before – a public one and a private one when it came to income claims and guarantees.

After I get an answer, I'll elaborate on why I ask.

Again, thanks for all the good that you all are trying to do – both mods and admin.

Mark
#suggestion forum #management #post #specially
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  • Profile picture of the author pauloadaoag
    Administrator
    Thanks for the long post Mark. Some quick notes.

    It's not about making things look pretty. Its about making things more usable. The web has changed since the WF was created. Fifty percent of people view the web through a mobile phone (A number that is ever increasing). The web is exponentially larger making the need to have a great first impression more important to gain any loyalty. Search engines have morphed from simply looking at text and backlinks to analyzing user behavior to affect rankings. Code doesn't rot, but simply staying still will leave ANY business behind as everybody else moves forward. We are listening to ALL users both old and new users as well as looking at the tracking data that we have AND the goals we have for the site moving forward.

    And without spilling all the beans, we are now laying the groundwork for changes to the marketplaces this quarter. TONS of ideas and input has been given over the years. We want the marketplaces (WSO/classified ads/etc) to be the marketplace for IM professionals and products in the Internet and its tricky to do drastic changes without alienating the very vocal existing userbase (who scream murder with every little change).

    As for the War-Room we haven't done any new major marketing push for it. That aspect of the site has needed some love for some time but right now we are focused on other things first.

    Some of the changes you note I'm fixing now. The omission of classified ads at the footer was an oversight.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
      Originally Posted by pauloadaoag View Post

      And without spilling all the beans, we are now laying the groundwork for changes to the marketplaces this quarter. TONS of ideas and input has been given over the years. We want the marketplaces (WSO/classified ads/etc) to be the marketplace for IM professionals and products in the Internet and its tricky to do drastic changes without alienating the very vocal existing userbase (who scream murder with every little change).
      Does this include redoing the WSO rules? If you guys are changing the rules that's fine. But please don't ask forum supporters to report violations then ignore the reports.

      Thanks.
      Mark
    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Originally Posted by pauloadaoag View Post

      Thanks for the long post Mark. Some quick notes.

      It's not about making things look pretty. Its about making things more usable. The web has changed since the WF was created. Fifty percent of people view the web through a mobile phone (A number that is ever increasing). The web is exponentially larger making the need to have a great first impression more important to gain any loyalty. Search engines have morphed from simply looking at text and backlinks to analyzing user behavior to affect rankings. Code doesn't rot, but simply staying still will leave ANY business behind as everybody else moves forward. We are listening to ALL users both old and new users as well as looking at the tracking data that we have AND the goals we have for the site moving forward.

      And without spilling all the beans, we are now laying the groundwork for changes to the marketplaces this quarter. TONS of ideas and input has been given over the years. We want the marketplaces (WSO/classified ads/etc) to be the marketplace for IM professionals and products in the Internet and its tricky to do drastic changes without alienating the very vocal existing userbase (who scream murder with every little change).

      As for the War-Room we haven't done any new major marketing push for it. That aspect of the site has needed some love for some time but right now we are focused on other things first.

      Some of the changes you note I'm fixing now. The omission of classified ads at the footer was an oversight.


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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    As far as ideas to improve the quality, here's part 2.

    1. Whatever happened to the community advocate program?

    When FL first took over they had this idea of sub forum community managers whose job was to build up their section.

    Many folks didn't like this when they heard it was a volunteer position and they had just "fired" all the volunteers that had been here for years trying to help out. So, the thought was let your paid mods do it.

    I think with some tweaking this may work. People may have a feeling of "pride" in their little forum section so they would be happy to post new articles, etc.

    You'd have to be careful that you don't choose troublemakers for this but folks genuinely interested and willing to help out. Maybe their posts would be delete and ban proof as long as they followed the guidelines. They may be able to do some of the simple moderating duties as well.

    "Payment" could happen through do follow links, free WSOs, or things like that if payment was part of the deal.

    One of the admins asked about a list of who may be a good fit for each section. He said that he was going to roll with this but then nothing happened.

    2. Whatever happened to the FAQ idea?

    I suggested a FAQ a while back and admin didn't want it because they didn't want to cut down on the number of posts.

    When Daniel Silvestre came on he was very active in asking how the forum could be improved. I mentioned the FAQ section again. He went as far as opening a thread and asking for topics. Several people responded and then apparently the idea died in the backroom.

    3. To build relationships and smooth over past problems you could have a "committee" comprised of several folks that have been around a while and genuinely want to help the forum.

    This committee has no power except to advise, give suggestions, and hear about new features and plans before they are announced outside of a big corporate secret type things.

    They "meet" quarterly, let's say, to hear and give feedback, make suggestions, etc.

    Of course, FL can choose what if anything to do with this input but they would kind of be expected to follow-up the next meeting about the decision.

    For example, someone suggests turning off signatures. FL considers it and decides to keep them. The next meeting FL says why they decided to keep the signatures.

    Communication is the key. There wouldn't necessarily need to be any payment, per se, for the time but it would be nice and it could come in several formats such as free WSOs, a couple extra signature lines, Tshirts or whatever.

    Most people, wouldn't expect payment I don't think and most of the folks that I"m thinking about don't run many WSOs or would want a shirt so that kind of "payment" may not work.

    4. Kurt Melvin suggested a long time ago an idea to do posts of the day: http://www.warriorforum.com/suggesti...ior-forum.html

    If you aren't going to do that, you've got to figure a way to increase the quality.

    However, please note that they've tried hiring freelancers a few times to write articles. PLEASE don't do that again.

    The community advocate may help with quality. For example, there are many, many, many low quality, junk posts that fill this board. Why would anyone come here, for example, to get SEO help – it's a complete waste of time and filled with junk. I point out SEO but other areas suffer too.

    5. Mods need to learn how to understand a post for quality.

    For example, there is a fellow that has posted several times about how he bought a system that has a set of 30 follow-up emails in this automatic system. He has no link in the post but his sig is about what? This system. And he has a classified ad about this system.

    It is obvious spam to anyone that knows that spam doesn't have to have a link.

    They've been doing pretty good about telling people to use the thanks button but nothing about the other nonsensical trash.

    Part of this is because the mods aren't involved in this industry from what I see. They don't have websites or get the emails or buy the products so it's hard to know what is trash and what is good stuff.

    While IM isn't brain surgery, can you imagine a medical forum with mods deleting and approving posts with no medical background? They wouldn't know if the post about the different layers of the cerebral cortex was accurate or not so the whole forum would suffer quality wise.

    I'm not picking on the mods – I thank them for all they do. But this is a problem. A problem we didn't have before because all the mods were in the business and doing this work every day.

    Mark
    • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
      Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

      Part of this is because the mods aren't involved in this industry from what I see. They don't have websites or get the emails or buy the products so it's hard to know what is trash and what is good stuff.

      While IM isn't brain surgery, can you imagine a medical forum with mods deleting and approving posts with no medical background? They wouldn't know if the post about the different layers of the cerebral cortex was accurate or not so the whole forum would suffer quality wise.

      I'm not picking on the mods – I thank them for all they do. But this is a problem. A problem we didn't have before because all the mods were in the business and doing this work every day.
      Yeah; I never did understand the logic of one of FL's very first acts here, that of summarily firing Every Single Volunteer mod, (y'know, the people who were the most passionate and knowledgeable about this place, and collectively helping to preserve the right environment to foster real discussion 24/7), some of them without even the simple courtesy of advance notice. (It's no surprise that many of those affected, like Paul Myers, had left, never to return again.)
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  • Profile picture of the author pauloadaoag
    Administrator
    The original design left two important features out – signatures and the report button. Sigs have been almost added back in but why no report button?
    Report button now present on modern view
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
      Originally Posted by pauloadaoag View Post

      Report button now present on modern view
      Man - you guys are fast. Thanks for the updates.

      Mark
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    I didn't see an answer to this question so I'll ask again. Are the WSO rules that are posted in effect or not?

    Mark
    • Profile picture of the author timokeefe
      Administrator
      Yes, the WSO rules are in effect. If you notice anyone not abiding by the rules please report them so that we can take action.
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      I'm part of the Warrior Forum team, hit me up with any suggestions that could help improve the forum!

  • Profile picture of the author pauloadaoag
    Administrator
    7. Why was the preview post with a rollover feature taken out of the new WSO forum? It's everywhere else, why not there?
    Mark Singletary this works now.
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