I think the key for this site’s success is to offer something different than SOTW. If SOTW was perfect, we wouldn’t need to be doing this. The response I get when I complain about something over there is always “if you don’t like it, go start your own forum.” That’s exactly what Horned Toad did and now it’s up to us to make it fly.
Here are some ideas that might help differentiate this place from SOTW:
1. Reduce the amount of sub forums.... when I look at the site and want to find a topic, sometimes I feel like I’m looking at the menu at the Cheesecake factory. I think this site could reduce to a few. Maybe start with horns for sale, mouthpieces for sale, other stuff for sale. You could also let WTB ads be in those forums to keep the sub forums to a minimum. Then you could have one forum for all brand discussions, one for playing styles (maybe separate between classical and jazz), lounge, feedback, and maybe a few others. That would make it much easier to find your way around over here than SOTW. You could adjust it over time, but starting simple would make the experience easier.
2. Make it to where you don’t have to log in 100 times per visit. Check! That’s done. That’s one of the most annoying things at SOTW and I’m glad to see it’s not an issue here.
3. Put more emphasis on the marketplace. SOTW has this strong stance that they are community first and that the marketplace is supposed to be just a side thing. The truth though is that so many users are gearheads and love to go on a site like this just for the market. With the new rules, the market is basically useless on the other site. Ebay/reverb fees are too high especially now that you pay sales tax, and Facebook marketplace is a little on the risky side for the high end gear. I think a well functioning online marketplace forum is something that is very lacking in today’s saxophone world and this site could fill that void.
4. Have a subforum that allows political talk/debates/etc. Like it or not, politics are on everyone’s mind right now and it’s fun to talk about it with your friends. If you put it all in one subforum and let people have at it, it could be wildly entertaining and drive traffic. That will also be a huge differentiator from SOTW.
Looking forward to hearing some other ideas. Feel free to tell me if I’m approaching this wrong, I’m not an expert, I just want to see this place succeed. Let’s all chip in and help HT build this place into the new alternative for the saxophone community!
I am (I hope obviously) not making nor trying to make money off this site. I just started it because SOTW disgusted me and I got annoyed. So, I think there are some things that could be done to make this site more attractive but it would up to some of you raise some money to do this. Basically I am talking about some of the software stuff. I could never figure out how to get a banner up there with this software, but with some funds I could hire someone to deal with it and get some graphics up there. Another thing is, if we raised some money, to use a little advertising on facebook and google.
These are things that would take a little bit of money that I have considered. I am just kind of busy at the moment. If others are interested please feel free to discuss etc.
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/jazzpaladinVGM/
I also agree on the sub political talk accepted forum.
How much? I don't really know. I have not really looked into it, just starting the topic. I consider this site (if it survives) as a community resource. The specific annoyance with SOTW initially was just that it kind of dominates the sax-market online (as well as the discussion) yet it does absolute shit job with it. They basically killed the marketplace, are visibly against it yet wont get out of the way and let someone else do better, for the good of the community- they dont care about that community.
This site is for the community so you (we) all can figure it out if we choose to. I know some people who can do coding/tech but I'd want to pay them. I have a lot of projects at the moment so was not trying to make a big deal out of this site...yet. but if people want to spend some money, it usually has an effect.