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Syn Anatine

Allow merchant advertising on the forum please.

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I believe the forum would be a great tool for advertising ones products and since the creations of SL residents are such an incredibly huge part of SL I feel it's only right that they should be a part of the forum as well.

Create a Merchant Ad subforum but with a few rules that would prevent spamming:

- Each Merchant is confined to one thread that they can continuously post to with new releases. // This would prevent people from making a new forum topic each time they release something new
- Advertisements are restricted to MP/Inworld products only. No ads for services, venues, land and so on.
- Advertising is solemnly allowed in their existing thread, the reminder of the forum stays ad free and the current advertisement rules are upheld.

I am not sure why this hasn't been a thing for years; Land, Venues, Events and destinations can be freely advertised but what makes SL...SL can't. Without the creations people have brought into the SL world we'd have a very dreary and drab time logging in.

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I like this idea, though I'd probably also want a limit on how many times a day a given Merchant can update their thread (only 1-2 times a day) -- so that it does not pop up on my Unread list every 30 minutes or something.

 

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No thanks.  We get enough spam as it is. I understand the appeal of free advertising but it would kill these forums.

 

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4 minutes ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

No thanks.  We get enough spam as it is. I understand the appeal of free advertising but it would kill these forums.

 

I personally do not see product advertisement as spam. It would give me, as a customer a place to go to find new merchants without having to resort to an outside source such as google, facebook, flickr or any other social media site. Merchants could even be required to tag their thread with the type of wares they sell so people could see at once whether they'd be interested to open said thread or not.

As long as spam topics like "5 word game" and the likes are allowed the reason for 'no more spam' to decline my suggestion simply doesn't fly. People can spam to their hearts content as it is already, you could always suggest the forum rules be changed about that. Product Ads are useful, more so than forum games anyway. They would help especially newer and smaller merchants to get the word out about their store for free. Why not give merchants that ability when Real Estates, Club Owners, Roleplayers, Venue Owners get the chance to? Seems a bit biased in my opinion on SL's part to allow these yet shut merchants out.

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20 minutes ago, Syn Anatine said:

 Why not give merchants that ability when Real Estates, Club Owners, Roleplayers, Venue Owners get the chance to? Seems a bit biased in my opinion on SL's part to allow these yet shut merchants out.

This is why I don't have a problem with it.  There is already a forum for land ads, event ads, and role play stuff.  As long as it is in its own sub-forum that I can choose to have it be part of my stream and notifications or not.

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   I'm all for this, as long as all advertising goes into one subforum. Commerce > Advertising. This way, it could never be considered spam, because only people who want to see it would read it.

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Exactly, those who are not interested at all in product ads would simply be able to filter them out and never be badgered by them. With the new forum update all of this is very possible.

SL merchants shouldn't be forced to sign up with different websites just to get the word out about their wares, they should have a space on the SL forum. While obviously it would get the word out wider to sign up with social media sites or make a blog, it shouldn't be the only option they have.

It would benefit all types of merchants new and old, big or small, it might even draw more people to the forums in general while those who do not wish to see any of it have every opportunity to opt out.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not against the idea as long as it's confined, in which case, it's not exactly advertising to the passers-by

We can already advertise to the passers-by in this forum - in signatures. The more you post, the more impressions of the ad you get. There's nothing to prevent signatures being frequently changed to promote various products.

Edited by Phil Deakins

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I think it would end up being a lot of work for the mods.  We already see people don't read the forum guidelines before posting, posts in any old forum not the correct one etc.  As soon as people realise there is a new free place to advertise I can imagine it being a free for all.  Not against the idea completely as I can filter out what I don't want to see but when you see a product image for the latest all singing all dancing vajayjay in general discussion forum, don't be surprised 


 

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42 minutes ago, Cindy Evanier said:

I think it would end up being a lot of work for the mods.

Agreed it would, and for those of us who are endlessly flagging people advertising escort raffles etc in general events. So many people are not aware enough to place things in the right area.

Then there are added chances of endless bumping as MissRetexturer.Resident spams up one new thread for every single colour of her copyright infringing t-shirts. Because there is money involved, no merchant will want to sink off page one, the bumping will be spectacular. Rules or not.

The biggest concern for me though will be an unhappy customer (we see enough of those) finding the merchants thread and easily bypassing the name and shame rules while absolutly crucifying the creator they reply to.

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Just now, Callum Meriman said:

Agreed it would, and for those of us who are endlessly flagging people advertising escort raffles etc in general events. So many people are not aware enough to place things in the right area.

Then there are added chances of endless bumping as MissRetexturer.Resident spams up one new thread for every single colour of her copyright infringing t-shirts. Because there is money involved, no merchant will want to sink off page one, the bumping will be spectacular. Rules or not.

The biggest concern for me though will be an unhappy customer (we see enough of those) finding the merchants thread and easily bypassing the name and shame rules while absolutly crucifying the creator they reply to.

Mods are there to do their job, as far as I am aware there is no more volunteer mods so the mods we do have actually get paid, so I am not concerned with the higher workload for them. This forum is incredibly tame as is as far as mod work goes, having been a part of other official forums for a litany of games over the past decade *those* are the places I pity the mods in.

You do however raise a very good point in your last paragraph! I am not sure how feaseable it would be to only allow the OP to post in a thread they'd create in the Ad section. Or perhaps incorporate the Ad section as sort of like a blog where the OP can choose to not allow comments or to have them screened. Anything would be better than LL's stance of "Literally everyone can advertise but the merchants."

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Syn Anatine said:

Mods are there to do their job, as far as I am aware there is no more volunteer mods so the mods we do have actually get paid, so I am not concerned with the higher workload for them.

I could be wrong but my impression is that the mods only deal with the forum as a part of their LL jobs - amonst the LL employees they drew the short straws - and that they are not full-time mods here. If being a mod here is all they do, then LL is chucking money away, because the forum only needs one such mod, and almost certainly nowhere near even that.

Dakota Linden, for example, has the mod ability to issue warnings and suspensions from the forum AND the ability to issue both of those for SL itself. I know that from personal experience, and I assume all the mods and admins have the same abilites, simply because they are Lindens. If people were hired as moderators, full-time or part-time, I don't believe that LL would give them the ability to warn and suspend users from SL. They never did before when they used 3rd party forum moderation. I'm not even sure that the 3rd party mods had the ability to suspend users from the forum. I rather fancy that they had to report the user to LL and any suspensions would come from there.

Edited by Phil Deakins

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8 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

I could be wrong but my impression is that the mods only deal with the forum as a part of their LL jobs - amonst the LL employees they drew the short straws - and that they are not full-time mods here. If being a mod here is all they do, then LL is chucking money away, because the forum only needs one such mod, and almost certainly nowhere near even that.

Dakota Linden, for example, has the mod ability to issue warnings and suspensions from the forum AND the ability to issue both of those for SL itself. If people were hired as moderators, full-time of part-time, I don't believe that LL would give them the ability to warn and suspend users from SL. They never did before when they used 3rd party forum moderation. I'm not even sure that the 3rd party mods had the abilioty to suspend users from the forum. I rather fancy that they had to report the user to LL and any suspensions would come from there.

Thank you for that indepth look at how it works Phil, I really appreciate it.
My point stands though, with precautions taken and rules being put in place it shouldn't create such a hefty workload that it would give anyone grey hairs. I've seen it done before on another platform's forum similar to SL years ago when I was active there. It wasn't nearly as regulated as it would be here yet nothing got out of hand, there was no drama whatsoever despite the general population being more immature than SL's. The odd out of line post simply got pulled and all was well.

Having seen it work just fine I am having a hard time grasping why it wouldn't work here in an even more controlled environment I admit that.

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I'm not against the idea per say if it's limited to a sub forum with posting limits to prevent people from trying to keep their advert post as the most recent to show on the main forum page  

I would say there are already opportunities to advertise with your profile pic, member title, signature & cover photo

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Claireschen Hesten said:

 if it's limited to a sub forum with posting limits to prevent people from trying to keep their advert post as the most recent to show on the main forum page 

This would be key, along with not allowing anyone except the OP to post in a given thread.

However, I am not sure that such ability exists within this forum software to automate that.  If not, it would be one hell of a dump of new workload on the mods - at least until people get disciplined enough to start following the rules.

Overall, I am not opposed to the concept, but folks have raised some good points about possible negative fallout from such.

Edited by LittleMe Jewell

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35 minutes ago, Claireschen Hesten said:

 if it's limited to a sub forum with posting limits to prevent people from trying to keep their advert post as the most recent to show on the main forum page 

not sure it's said already... and limited to ONE poster per store...

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What percentage of people in SL ever look at these forums? I suspect the number of merchants vastly outnumber the current number of people who use the forums. That's a small group to advertise to and I doubt many forum readers would bother to look at that subforum anyway.

How many merchants are in the Marketplace? I'd guess at least 10,000. How many products? I know that's in the millions. Also, the Marketplace has many categories for products. Putting all of them in a single subforum will create an incredibly huge and unwieldy pile of posts. People aren't going to sift through thousands of posts to find something. The search system here isn't set up for it either. A Marketplace search is more efficient. (Scary thought, eh?)

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38 minutes ago, Parhelion Palou said:

What percentage of people in SL ever look at these forums? I suspect the number of merchants vastly outnumber the current number of people who use the forums. That's a small group to advertise to and I doubt many forum readers would bother to look at that subforum anyway.

Having advertising possible on the forum is exactly what would make that percentage rise. Even more so if one or more of the big time merchants decides to open up a thread and perhaps links to it on their blog and who knows, a few of those shoppers might turn out to be fun future forumites.
If ads were introduced I'd strongly suspect the active forum user count to jump.

Also, SL forum users might subscribe to the topic to be up to date on new releases without needing any other website. These posts wouldn't be to 'sift through' a thread of 20+ pages as you say, that's what their MP store is for.

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2 minutes ago, Syn Anatine said:

Having advertising possible on the forum is exactly what would make that percentage rise. Even more so if one or more of the big time merchants decides to open up a thread and perhaps links to it on their blog and who knows, a few of those shoppers might turn out to be fun future forumites.
If ads were introduced I'd strongly suspect the active forum user count to jump.

I've never gone to a website to see the ads.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Parhelion Palou said:

I've never gone to a website to see the ads.

So you've never gone to a merchants official site? Good on you, I go to a lot of merchants sites and their ads for their new releases are always a part of it.

Even a site like strawberry singh that a lot of users frequent is nothing but advertisement for the mesh body/head they're currently showcasing.

SeraphimSL is nothing but advertising for merchants, huntSL or SLhunts is nothing but advertising for the merchants.

Quite interesting! Because a lot of people in turn don't go to these official sites, they'd rather stick to one news source. Works either way.

 

Edited by Syn Anatine

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Posted (edited)

I go to merchants' websites to get information/specifications about a product - that's not advertising. They will have ads on their site but I don't have to pay attention to them. Strawberry Singh has a lot of information on her blog. There are ads as well, but again, the information isn't advertising. As for SeraphimSL, never been there and I have only a vague idea what it's about. To me, the Marketplace is a search system for in-world home & garden stores. Ads in a subforum won't help me with that, so my only concern is whether possibly doubling (or more) the amount of content in the system because of the ads would affect the forum system's reliability and usability.

I don't think the change will end up being useful for merchants either, but that's my opinion.

Edited by Parhelion Palou
got -> go

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Posted (edited)

Even now, SuperTom is probably in a meeting with the LL powers that be, pitching this idea as a money-earner by charging merchants to have their own personal thread, into which only the advertiser can post :D

Edited by Phil Deakins
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1 minute ago, Phil Deakins said:

Even now, SuperTom is probably in a meeting with the LL powers that be, pitching this idea as a money-earner by charging merchants to have their own personal thread, into which only the advertiser can post :D

Payable in US dollars, not Lindens.

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