Progress Reports - CONSOLIDATE IN ONE THREAD! Please bump your master pages :)

BKmetz

Administrator, Member #10
Staff member
Joined
Sep 25, 1997
Location
Illinois
TDI
2015 Passat, titanium beige, 6MT
New rule: (cue Bill Maher) Vendors cannot post anything for sale in the 'Private TDI Items for sale/Wanted' forum regardless if the item is from personal use and not part of the business. No exceptions.

We have better things to do than spend time searching for vendors posts in that forum and deciding if the posts should be there or not.


:rolleyes:
 
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nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
There are a few vendors massively spamming and abusing this board. This is unfair to the other vendors who play by the rules.

{edit} OLD rule + NEW enforcement: a vendor may have only ONE thread in the top page (with default forum settings) at any time. Any extras WILL BE DELETED or mass-consolidated (messy), and you will get a short term time-out. Serial abusers will get exponentially escalating ban times.

Implementation date: I will start enforcing the rule on 1 Jan, 2013. You are expected to have complied fully by then, or you'll get the ban. Sorry for the draconian rules, but it seems a few bad apples is all it takes to spoil the bunch.
 
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GoFaster

Moderator at Large
Joined
Jun 16, 1999
Location
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
I had a bit of time today, and got started on the thread-consolidation project, and I know that someone else was working on it, too. If any vendors want to change the name of their master thread, or suggest which threads to consolidate and which ones to just lock or delete, let us know by private message.
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Update: I'm already seeing a positive change as more vendors are consolidating threads: MORE VARIETY of good deals for customers! That's good instead of just seeing the same half-dozen vendors.

GOOD WORK CLUB VENDORS.

A few of you have reached out to me and other moderators with questions/concerns and the communication has been very appreciated. I am here to help you curate your threads. Just let me know what post numbers to pare away. To avoid cluttering, you can allow members to post their questions in your threads, then after you've either responded to their inquiries by PM's or by clarifying something in your FS posting, you can request thread cleanups. Also, we can change the title for you to reflect whatever specials or deals you're currently running.

I'm thinking weekly paring or maybe more. It' doesn't take me that long to edit threads.

You can post updates, post photo content, and bump your own threads to your heart's content--but only one thread in the top default page. You can maintain several other threads for informational purposes, but to prevent those threads from getting you into trouble with the 'one thread on the default top page' rule, we can lock it for you (with periodic openings at your request to edit it). You can then point members to those posts (send them the link) and not get into any trouble since the thread can't be bumped.

So don't be shy to reach out to me for technical help and assistance. We want the most variety of vendors to get top page time as possible because that serves the user base the best.
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
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Update: seeing some mixed results. Some vendors who are in touch with me are working on thread cleanups. Some others are brazenly flaunting the rule, even after I PM'd them. Ban time-out!

Some thread cleanup protips:

1. K.I.S.S. Verbosity is your enemy. Your customer inquiries might get you "free bumps" but they also totally clutter your threads. Moderators can strip out all that clutter if you just send us a list of post numbers to remove.
2. Shrink pics down unless they HAVE to be huge to convey detail. Visual overkill/verbosity is your enemy.
3. You can copy image URL tags by right-clicking on them, even for locked threads.
4. It's often helpful to use Word to craft your thread in case your internet connection is spotty, so you don't lose work.

Work Flow Tips for new threads:

1. Create a new master thread with a nice title (we can edit at any time later, so don't worry about being locked into one phrase).
2. Reserve 6-12 sequential posts or however many you wish.
3. Craft your thread using Word, and periodically paste it into the post window to see how it's shaping up.
4. Use right-sized images, lists, and hyperlinks with appropriate white-space.
5. Consider encouraging potential customers to PM you with inquiries. Bumping your own threads is NOT seen as desperate in this Vendor's section. It's your job! It shows you curate and manage your 'store front' well.
6. So, you're too big to fit in one thread--So is everyone else. Deal with it: post huge images, detailed descriptions, and other stuff in external threads, which you will point members to with a thumbnail and clickable link. We will lock those external threads so you don't get in trouble.
7. Clear out the old clutter: Search for all your vendor threads--at the bottom of the screen, you select 'search by thread starter', then let us know which ones to be locked/deleted/etcetera...

Anyway, this enforcement of an old rule (look at the OP date) is yielding good changes. As a potential customer/shopper, I find the front page much better and easier to spot good deals, with more variety.
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nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
(Saturday) Progress report:

Today through tomorrow evening some vendors are being allowed to have more than one thread in the top page STRICTLY FOR house-keeping (thread cleanup/consolidate, etcetera).

Once your informational (detailed, in depth sales material) threads are up to snuff, they'll normally be locked.

Sorry if it's messy right now.

A note: some of you are having a heck of a time getting this organized: this is because you have way too much advice/chatter posts mixed in with transactional/sales/promotional content. The transactional/sales/promotional posts and content can ONLY exist here in the vendor's section, and your threads will be much easier to consolidate/cleanup if you strip out the chatter and inquiries.

ProTips:

1. Read what your customers have been asking, including technical and pricing enqueries.
2. Incorporate that information into your sales/promo posts, so that their questions will already be answered.
3. Request deletion of chatter posts. (Or start a fresh thread).

If you want help from us moderators,

We will need your EXACT, SPELLED OUT preferences for thread cleanup assistance, in engineering terms like:

1. "please delete posts 4,6,7,8,9, 13, and 15 from thread "X(link)" and change it's title to "blahblah".
2. "please open thread "Z(link)" so that I may edit it. Please retitle it "wowow"; I will be done at time "T".

If you want to communicate with me, a text message to fiv2zer0_31two*76_Oh.1 will be fastest, I can't check emails as often.
 
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nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Sunday Progress Report:

I am giving a time extension for house-keeping duties to a few vendors until Monday 9:00 PM, my time because I had family stuff going on this weekend and could not assist them.

Seeing good progress as threads are getting organized. As a potential customer, your pages look a TON better as they are easier on the eyes and to navigate.

I am continuing to crack down on stealth vendors (vendors who sell junk-yard parts or parts off of 'back counter' through the personal items FS threads. I do NOT think you guys should have to compete against that.

I'm screening the personal items FS threads frequently 'by thread starter' in the prior (running) week. Report stealth vendors if you find them. No reason for them to not play by the rules.
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Monday Morning Progress Report:

The vendors with the extension have completed all housekeeping ahead of schedule. Good work!
 
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nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Monday noon report:

I've done my best to bump locked and deleted threads from the front page. So, basically we are viewing a totally fresh front page now.

If you've been waiting for the hubub to die down to consolidate and clean up your threads, now is a great time! This is how it's going to be.

For those who've worked with us, we'll reach out to you by PM's and grant you housekeeping time if we see more than one thread of yours reach the top page. Same for any of you who want to start now--start by reaching out to us. Make sure to CC me if you're working with Brian, so I know what's going on.
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Tuesday report:

Looking good. Thank you for your quick attention with these thread cleanups. That's how it's done!
 

Judson

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Location
Cheyenne, WY
TDI
2001 Jetta
I hate to complain, this is a net negative for me, the consumer.

Separate threads from vendors are easy to search on for particular items. Multiple pages in a long thread means that for a particular item search returns just one thread, and one then has to click through each page to find the thing.

In addition, some vendors list so many things in one thread it gets really confusing. For example, for clarity's sake, when I send an email, it's one email for one subject. This is why it's best to one have thread for one category of product. For those vendors selling multiple different categories (turbos, or maps sensors, or intakes, or transmissions, and etc.) it doesn't make sense to have them all in one thread because again, the subject can't possibly be descriptive of the contents of the thread.

I realize this forum is a lot of work to manage, and a lot of thought has been put into this effort so far, but in my view, it would be much much better to allow vendors to have multiple threads.

IMHO, .02, and thanks again.

Jud
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
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Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Well that's good input. I will continue to work to find the right balance. What we had before was chaos that worked for the loudest and most obnoxious and no one else. So I think we should schedule a time to chat between vendors and moderators to see what we can come up with. I'm in a phone now...maybe by next Friday?
 

Judson

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Location
Cheyenne, WY
TDI
2001 Jetta
First, thank you very much again for the hard work, and second, for being open to feedback.

My idea of allowing by-category threads unfortunately means that categories must be defined. This could get out of hand in a hurry if not careful. As you said, balance is key and as well, moderator's time is to be respected as it is given freely.

I would certainly be up for a concall.

Jud
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
First, thank you very much again for the hard work, and second, for being open to feedback.

My idea of allowing by-category threads unfortunately means that categories must be defined. This could get out of hand in a hurry if not careful. As you said, balance is key and as well, moderator's time is to be respected as it is given freely.

I would certainly be up for a concall.

Jud

After consulting with admin staff, we've decided to push this conference call or group chat to next week. I will update when I can propose specific time options.
 

hevster1

Vendor
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Location
Columbia NJ
TDI
98 NB
One of the things I saw was several vendors with multiple threads advertising essentially the same things or a vendor having 5 or more threads each with one item. It got out of hand which is why it was changed. I understand the point that someone can easily see what the vendor offers and that is great for parts. However, for someone who mainly sells services such as myself it means we get relegated to the bottom of the page every time a vendor opens 5 new threads. Why not just visit the vendor's website, email or call them to determine what they carry or do? If a vendor has no website, call them or e-mail. If they do not get back to you within a reasonable amount of time they probably do not have an item or don't care.
Honestly, whatever the moderators want is fine with me.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Location
just out of north east philadelphia
TDI
2004 audi s4, 2003 allroad biturbo, 2003 jetta wagon, super 7
again, more reason for categorical separation. a separate forum under classifieds for services would be great!

what i would like to see:

regular classifieds
service classifieds
vendor parts (new) classifieds
vendor parts (used) classifieds
vehicle classifieds

this will thin out the vendor section and get more attention to those offering services as they wont get bumped off the front page by someone selling lots of parts. its also easier for a member to find a local tech, used part, or new part.
 

Whitbread

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Location
Johannesburg, MI
TDI
Several
I hate to complain, this is a net negative for me, the consumer.

Separate threads from vendors are easy to search on for particular items. Multiple pages in a long thread means that for a particular item search returns just one thread, and one then has to click through each page to find the thing.

In addition, some vendors list so many things in one thread it gets really confusing. For example, for clarity's sake, when I send an email, it's one email for one subject. This is why it's best to one have thread for one category of product. For those vendors selling multiple different categories (turbos, or maps sensors, or intakes, or transmissions, and etc.) it doesn't make sense to have them all in one thread because again, the subject can't possibly be descriptive of the contents of the thread.

I realize this forum is a lot of work to manage, and a lot of thought has been put into this effort so far, but in my view, it would be much much better to allow vendors to have multiple threads.

IMHO, .02, and thanks again.

Jud
I agree with Judson one some of his key points.

I respect and appreciate what the mods do, but there must be some sense of balance.

For vendors that offer a wide range of products and services like myself, one thread for everything is going to be massive, hard to follow, and there won't be room for the direct question posts about specific items without creating clutter. That means I'll be getting 30 emails/pms a day with the exact same simple questions.

I look forward to the announcement of new policies and arrangements.
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Thanks guys for the support and good inputs. I'm sorry to keep putting this back, but the moderator staff and admin are scheduling teleconference time with Fred first, then we will roll out and talk with you all.

Thank you so much to the vendor community. I am really impressed. My goal is to drive more traffic to the vendor pages and to ease or decrease the percieved stigma or burdens on vendors. For now let's stick with the 1 thread in the front page--when we're ready (soon, I think), we can work toward a finer balance.

I do appreciate the constructive inputs!
 

slamhouse

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2011
Location
Stanwood, WA
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI SE
I must say that this new vendor classifieds system is working rather well for me!

Being able to see a vendors complete offerings in one thread is much easier that sorting through pages of vendor ads to find one product!
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Bump your master vendor threads to keep pushing locked/deleted/moved notices off the front page. It's nice to see a page of pure vendor goodies and nothing more/less :)

Then ask for post deletions--those bumps are needed to keep the page fresh, but they also add clutter. If we delete them at your request, your page will look clean and it won't affect its placement (deletions don't change page ranks). (Edit to add): You can delete posts individually within each post's edit box function. I *think* only moderators can delete customer bumps (at your request, of course).[/edit]

I don't subscribe to your pages and don't read them until they are reported, or when I notice you have more than 1 vendor thread on the front page of this section. So notifications/requests for cleanup should be by PM, email, or SMS.

Reports/referrals go to all moderators and the admin.
 
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nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
I agree with Judson one some of his key points.

I respect and appreciate what the mods do, but there must be some sense of balance.

For vendors that offer a wide range of products and services like myself, one thread for everything is going to be massive, hard to follow, and there won't be room for the direct question posts about specific items without creating clutter. That means I'll be getting 30 emails/pms a day with the exact same simple questions.

I look forward to the announcement of new policies and arrangements.

I wish to address the bold content: so, IF you are doing a good job of describing your products and services, you really shouldn't EVER have 30 PM's a day or get massive thread questions. That is just proof you aren't organizing or structuring your content well. As a vendor, you should anticipate your customer queries and answer them before they are asked.

Examples:

"Will your DP fit my mark 3 conversion?"
"Is that a TIG welded part?"
"will you warrant this in my _nonstandard_ application if it conforms to the standard application's dimension/power/pattern (etcetera)?"

These are screaming at you to get organized and methodical. If you do get organized, and customers are still struggling to understand your product specifications and applications, you can point them out to your other threads in their respective sub-forums ( you can post as many non-commercial threads as you want outside of this section.)

The vendor's section has historically not gotten many page views, but you should all understand that by the time a customer makes his or her way to the vendor's section, THEY ARE 90% READY TO BUY from you. Make it easy on them, here. Multiple pages are nice, FOR YOU, but not for the buying customer, IMO.

Edit to add: this enforcement action is intended to drive more traffic to you here, in the hopes that your buying customers come here to see more professionalized pages that makes it easy to shop. {side-note: many of you have external websites also, so you can surely appreciate the integration between these FREE forum hosted pages and your websites. What a tremendous resource you are getting, huh?}
 
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Judson

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2001
Location
Cheyenne, WY
TDI
2001 Jetta
I am not a vendor; however I was the owner of a brick and mortar, and built my own web pages. So I perhaps I have a somewhat unique perspective...

The nature of forums lends itself not to multiple subjects within one thread, but multiple threads covering different topics.

A single website can be carved up with submenus focusing on each product. This allows the vendor to tailor specific information to each line of product they have: specific, focused content.

Forum software does this poorly. As others have echoed, allowing a vendor to had multiple threads focusing on different categories is a way to get around this inherent weakness. Or, if you like, have whole subcategories.

For example right now we have private, vendor, and for sale. The vendor section could have sub-categories according to either make/model (MK4, MK5, etc.) or by function ( engine, body, interior, exterior). This would look cleaner and probably be easier to manage.... It would also be easier for the perspective buyer to navigate and find exactly what they want.

FWIW, .02, and etc. and thanks for listening.
 
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nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Housekeeping time

CT Tdi is granted 48 hours housekeeping time to sort/organize his master vendor thread (may have > 1 thread open).
 
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nicklockard

Torque Dorque
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Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Scott DeWitt is granted 48 hours shopkeeping time to sort/organize. Edit: Scott finished early-08:08 Tuesday.
 
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nicklockard

Torque Dorque
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Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
General housekeeping

I'm deleting page bumps in your threads (just simple "bump" or "to the top" posts) to keep them clean.
 

nicklockard

Torque Dorque
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Location
Arizona
TDI
2010 Touareg Tdi w/factory Tow PCKG
Whitbread is granted 48 hours shopkeeping time to sort/organize (may have >1 thread open)
 

krousej

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
Location
NE Philly
TDI
2001 Golf TDI
I feel your pain. This particular forum model is out-dated, unorganized, and inadequate. I can remember coming onto TDIclub for the first time thinking, this is not user-friendly whatsoever. Now that I've been indoctrinated by continued hours of searching; I've learned a little. Just wanted to make my point as a new-comer, this is gibberish. I agree with GotEuroCorrado that forum categories need to be broadened. I'd like to see a regional division of some kind as long as it does not exclude searches from someone who does not specify region....aka, vortex. I also agree with Judson's point about comparing forums to web pages; much greater depth and organization. However, that's not the nature of forums and I feel your frustration. My experience as an initiator is simple; which I do feel corresponds to the nature of these forums. When I put up my part-out: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=337994
I really didn't have a clue; I can remember searching for some guidance, or at least an example. I didn't really come across anything authoritative. So I just read a bunch of other ones, searched for continuity and unforeseen problems. My model has some good ideas that have proven to be effective; but this is my first and only part-out. You guys must really be pulling your hair out.
I say, either upgrade the forum software or do the best with what we got....and by that I mean, the administrator needs to write a concise but clear play book for each sale, wtb, trade, or group buy vendor or not. By clear I mean like when you sign up for a credit card or something. There's a little check box followed by a bunch of legal jargon. Have that be your play book that pops up before someone goes to make a thread. So what's it going to be? A software upgrade or more band aids?
 

bhtooefr

TDIClub Enthusiast, ToofTek Inventor
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Location
Newark, OH
TDI
None
An idea that I've seen some other forums use, that appears to work well, is give each vendor that's large enough their own subforum. That way, they can post as much as they want, without polluting the main vendor forum. (One forum that used that gave the vendor moderation powers over their subforum, but I think that's getting to be a bit much.)
 
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