Someone asked me the other day if FL had done anything good. Here is my response.
The speed is much better. There have been no, or very few timeouts, which had become common IIRC before.
Paying and bringing on more mods is good. While they still have some learning to do I think they are generally doing a good job.
Access to admin seems to be more available to the regular folk like me. For example, the recent meeting with the CEO in London was something never before done here as far as I know. I've had several interactions with Daniel lately. Likewise, Alaister and Daniel are taking part in threads. All of this is a good direction.
What I would do if I was in charge (easy to be an armchair quarterback but I'll give it a shot):
1. I would immediately eliminate any WSO or other paid offer that included any implication or claim that would lead a reasonable person to believe that there were easy riches, push button solutions, or guaranteed income or results.
2. I would impose immediate and permanent bans on anyone with serious violations of WSO or other paid ad rules. I would track IP addresses, websites, and Paypal addresses or other payment sources in order to help eliminate repeat offenders.
For example, if John signed up with Warrior Payments with an email of john at xyz.com then tried to open another WSO again with the same PP account later but with a different forum username this would be traceable.
3. I would handpick 5-10 advisors and create a member board that I listened to about direction of the forum, ideas for fixing problems, etc. There would be some sort of compensation involved perhaps or maybe they were volunteers with perks. Any major changes would be discussed with the board first. There would be no obligation to follow the board's recommendations but it would be wise in many cases to do so.
4. I would create some sort of paid signup fee and/or eliminate as much as possible the ability for new people or bots to spam. For example. eliminate links until x number of posts or thanks. Require a $1 signup fee that is then even refunded immediately maybe.
5. I would fix the icons. The failure to fix the icons is much more important than anyone seems to get and the fact they haven't been fixed for months after repeated requests to do so, sets a negative precedent and atmosphere.
6. I would create a strong and growing FAQ that included answers to commonly asked questions.
7. I would immediately eliminate the 60 second delay between bad post reporting if possible. If eliminating the delay makes it easier for spammers to post I would not do it. If there was a fear of possible abuse, I would pick the top responsible posters and create an exception to their accounts, if possible, so that they could continue to responsibly report unimpeded by the 60 second rule.
8. I would bring back the "soft delete" feature on reported posts. If a post is reported 4 times or whatever it goes into a review queue after disappearing from normal users view so that mods can decide what to do. If it's okay then it reappears, if not it is deleted or the offending parts deleted.
9. I would clean out all the junk and expired links, etc. from the War Room. I would figure out a way to make it worth the price or lower the price (note adding the WAMA recordings isn't enough in my humble opinion).
10. I would raise the standard on who can post a WSO. If not more money, then more participation, more posts, or something. I would consider that WSO or other paid ad posters would have to verify their identity, address, etc. This could be done seamlessly by requiring as standard CC name, address, billing address, etc. information and then a check to see if it matches the CC account. This may not work for PayPal but it would for CCs from what I know.
11. I would consider requiring a deposit that would be held for 6 months to handle refunds, etc. This would be administered by FL. The funds would be returned at the end of the 6 months minus any refunds that weren't taken care of by the seller. This may be difficult to track with different payment processors being involved but the point is to figure out a way to stop the thief reputation that is associated with the forum and certain sellers.
12. I would consider photo IDs just like FB, PP, and Payoneer do in many instances, in order to run a WSO.
13. I would consider, in addition to the board, implementing the community subforum advocates or whatever FL called them before BUT there would be incentive to participate, members would be handpicked, members would have to have a positive kind of attitude and a spirit and past of helping, etc. The way it was phrased before was kind of like we are going to pay mods but this is like a mod but just not paid if I recall. This would require getting people on your side.
14. I would find other ways to monetize the forum for example through additional paid content or courses like the Kindle book club. As it stands now, WSO sellers aren't making much money and may not bump their WSO and if WSOs listings were cut down by new rules, etc. there would need to be other ways to legitimately fund the new hosting and paid mods.
15. I would thoroughly vet any recommended WSOs that show up in the newsletter or elsewhere. That hasn't been done very well in the past I think. I would also recommend high quality WSOs even though they may use a different payment processor than WP.
16. I would do a better job vetting WSOs before they are approved - as much as possible. Is it reasonable? Is it blind copy? Is there too much hype? Are there income claims?
That's a start. I think some of these would be done immediately and some would be put on the back burner - even if I was in charge. Much of it is just "thinking out loud."
Whose next with their suggestions of what THEY would do? Thoughts on my list?