Joined: 14 Feb 2003
Location: Harbinger, NC, U.S.A.
Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:15 am Post subject: Feedback Wanted: Potential Changes to the Market Place
Thank you for visiting PhotoshopForums.com.
We are considering making some changes to the Market Place section of PhotoshopForums.com and we'd like your feedback. Please read this entire post if you'd like to weigh in. I'd really appreciate your thoughts.
The main thing that we are considering is the value that the section creates for the community and how we can maximize it. Our core audience is Photoshop users and enthusiasts. Those who use the software and like it or want to use the software or improve their abilities within it. Talking about the software, getting help, showcasing the work you've done within it and so on.
As part of the theme of our community, we added the Market Place as it seemed like a natural extension. Designers are our core and they like to do design and to fiddle with things for other people. In this section, people can ask for things to be done for them, rather than asking people to help them do something.
We are considering how this fits into our overall mission. There are different ways to look at it. One way is that we should focus on people using Photoshop, on helping users and on enhancing the abilities of those that use the software. So, basically, to continue being a site that is about designers and, perhaps, we should not welcome posts from those looking simply for people to do something for them, without any interest in learning Photoshop. After all, there are other communities for that.
It is also true that we'd get these posts, anyway, and would have to deal with them. Either they can be allowed in their own section or they are disallowed altogether - they would muddy the support and help based forums and create a problem, if left to those sections.
But, designers do benefit from these sections, as well, because they are allowed to use their creativity to help others and are given an opportunity to express themselves and grow their experience and/or their portfolio. In some cases, they may be able to make a little bit of money or receive some other benefit.
When it comes to new threads started in the Market Place, we generally see members who are only here to participate in that forum. They are here for that specific reason - to get something done. And, when or if they receive it, then we don't really see them again. This isn't a bad thing, it's simply natural, but is it what we want? Of course, in some cases, some of these new members are bound to stick around and, perhaps, develop an interest in Photoshop.
And then, we sometimes have people who just disappear - but that is the reality of forums in general, unfortunately. We can't do much about it, but then, we don't have to necessarily allow the threads, either.
In consideration of all of this, we really have three seperate options and we would like your feedback on them.
Option #1: We keep the Market Place as it is. The forums add value to the community and having them separated as they are creates proper organization.
Option #2: We keep the Freebie Market Place, but get rid of the Cash and Barter Market Place, merging it with Freebie. We then make it so that the expectation is that the work in this forum is for free, but that if people want to provide some sort of compensation, they are welcome to do so.
Option #3: We remove both forums and disallow threads where someone simply asks for members to do something for them.
Please let me know what you think and which option you think would most enrich the community as a whole. Please share your thoughts, rather than replying to the thoughts of others expressed on this thread and, as always, please be respectful of your fellow PhotoshopForums.com members and their motives in good fath. If you'd rather share your thoughts privately, please send me a private message or, if you have less than 25 posts, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I appreciate your time and support of PhotoshopForums.com.
I am fairly new around here, but I'll weigh in with my opinion.
I, for one, know that not everyone has the cash for a $900 graphics suite such as PS (especially if they only need 1 0r 2 projects done). And that not everyone has an artistic side. Therefore, I think there needs to be some place for people to turn to get their work done for free. Yes, there are other sites out there that do free work. But have you ran accross one that has members as friendly and helpful as this one? I haven't. These free projects are a great way for us "noobs" to hone what skills we have and learn new ones. I, like many, do not have an imagination that works all the time. So, in a way, these projects give me access to other people's imaginations. And access to a wide variety of projects that might arise for a photoshopper later on down the road where my job (it could happen ) might depend on being able to complete such projects.
I have yet to charge for my work. That said, having the Cash Market, while it doesn't get the traffic the Free Market does, gives the impression that we, the regular members, will not take on just any project for free. If combined with the Free Market, some of the people that would possibly (and should) have offered to pay for work will not make that offer. IMO, it will greatly reduce the number of paid offers at this site. Granted, the purpose of this site is not to get paid for this type of work. However, there are members here that don't rely, but enjoy the benefits of a little extra cash in their pockets from time to time. For all anyone knows, that may be, in itself, the reason why some members keep returning to PF.com.
As you pointed out, if you do away with the market place alltogether, the folks that would usually post there will simply post in other sections and make your life as a moderator all the more difficult. It's a fact of life that some people, not all, will simply disregard (if they even read them) the TOS and post elsewhere in the forums if they think there is a chance they will get their work done. Just like the spammers do. So, IMO, this option wouldn't be beneficial.
If it were up to me, and I know it isn't, I would leave the Market Place as is. I would probably do away with the Tennis forum as it gets very little use. And I would add a show off forum or modify the Design Review forum to make it more friendly (for lack of a better way of saying it) to those members that want to show others their work without it being picked apart. There are some really talented people (not necessarily skilled at PS, I'm not) here and, regardless of skill level, I would love to see some of their work without all the "looks good. But you should have" posts that typically follow. I realize that, if such a forum was created, it could potentially increase the amount of bandwidth this site uses. However, adding images as attachments could be disallowed inside that particular forum.
Joined: 14 Feb 2003
Location: Harbinger, NC, U.S.A.
Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 2:26 pm Post subject:
Thank you for the feedback, Dave and Mark. I really appreciate it.
While I am definitely open to feedback on all of our forums and potential new forums, please be sure to keep this thread within feedback on the Market Place as that is what I am looking for, specifically. I appreciate it.
Thanks again for the feedback. If anyone else has any thoughts, please let me know!
I think it should be left as it is. Maybe cleaned out a bit, but overall I think the forums have been set up in a way that works very well. _________________ "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
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