Monday, May 4, 2009

Forums... Are They Just Playgrounds Now?

Forums. All the marketplaces have them, and they are suppose to be the place sellers mingle on, the veteran sellers touching base with each other, welcoming the Newbies to the site, and offering help when needed. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Forums can become toxic places, full of fun and games, snarky comments, and general B.S. that makes it impossible for people to find answers to problems. Don't get me wrong, I love to have fun just like anyone else, but when I need an answer to a problem, I hate having to wade through pages of the "Whoo Hoo" "Fun" threads to find anything of value. ALL forums don't start out this way....but as the site grows so does the forums and unfortunately, not everyone is mature enough to realize the forums are public for all users, not their private playground.

I recently tried addressing this issue on Bonanzle, after being contacted by several who said they hated to bother me but could not find get a good answer in the forums, and they knew I have constantly stated "my door is always open" to anyone. The response was great! Many of the "old tymers" that have been on site since the early days responded, saying "If anyone needs help,...feel free to contact me!"

It was titled : "OLDER BONANZLERS!- United to help! - NEWBIES! Look here for help! "- but unfortunately that thread is now GONE from the site. as I said ALL forums unfortunately have the problem children that seem to be allowed to run amok, causing havoc whenever and however they please.

This is NOT just a "Bonanzle" problem.....this is an everywhere problem...and alot of times it is the same ones stirring the pot, no matter where you look.

One thing Bonanzle has going for it is there is a group of sellers that do care about the site and helping others learn the ropes. Two of them truly shine out as leaders in the help department, and that is Walt aka AuctionWally and Phaedra of attheboutique. With their weekly show on talkshoe , Brainstorming Bonanzle , they ,along with their guests, offer countless tips to all sellers. Phaedra also has one on one booth consultations .

Bonanzle also boasts a spot on a new talkshoe show, "The River, The Ranch, And The Bay" (ie the Ranch part). Tune in and check out Kat and her fine lineup of co-hosts and guest as well for some good info.

Now if you are needing some quick answers between these shows.... check out ANY of these sellers on Bonanzle.... They are ready and willing to help out anyone needing alittle help:

I know there are more willing to help..... but Like I said, unfortunately forums can be a playground for the few...and was not able to get a full list before they deleted the thread.
So the moral of the story is wanna play??? go ahead and jump into the forums. You need help?? tune into a couple of fine talkshoe shows ...or go knock on the door of one of the ones listed here....Good people who only want to help....
Anyone else want to help?? What say you? Are Forums helpful or just "Playgrounds"?


Ellen said...

The forums can be a place for a little lighthearted fun but I have found them to be a font of information with people always willing to help with a question or problem. Unfortunately, there will always be some "negativity" in the forums but I choose to ignore it.I prefer Positive energy!!!

Roger Hjulstrom said...

Please feel free to contact me for help, also - Agree with you about the forums, they were wonderful, and now I rarely look at them. Nice blog!

Susan Berry said...

This is a Plumbdrop blog post I wrote earlier this year. Sadly, I could not, and would not, pen these words today:

"After 5 years in residence, I closed the door to my ebay store the other morning. Ebay was no longer a good fit, aesthetically, ethically, and no longer in alignment with my world view of how responsible business should be conducted. But don't be sad! There is often a rainbow after the rain... and they say the grass is greener...

The bright spot in the world of e-commerce is An up and coming social marketplace venue, Bonanzle management makes a conscientious practice of contributing positively to the wellbeing of their customers, and community environment in a big way. This includes being ethical, transparent, service-oriented, creative, responsive, and responsible. With recent upgrades and features, it is apparent that this venue is seriously committed to holding its merchants (and customers) up to the same standards.

I already have a "social responsibility" commitment embedded in my business model, and I whole heartedly believe that doing business with others who have made that same commitment to business ethics shows my customers that I'm serious, and willing to walk the talk. And in so doing, I endorse the expression of people helping each other and supporting their mutual success in whatever way they can – personally, professionally, and globaly. At Bonanzle, this sense of "doing it a better way" creates a ripple effect where newcomers willingly engage from day one with the sincere interest and concern reminiscent of small-town humanity.

Today, more than ever, it takes a village to survive and prosper. It takes cooperation, but only if offered in the spirit of generosity and compassion, with respect for individual differences. The Bonanzle community is working this out despite its explosive growth (about 35,000 members) in just a few short months.

Community responsibility is an ideal, a goal, a standard to which few web business citizens have fully measured up. Yet socially responsive, socially reflective disciplines are achievable. At Bonanzle, members are pro-actively expanding new horizons on this issue and expressing a collective self-confidence and pride in what we each achieve in our own businesses and as a group. It's an amazing process to witness and to participate in. That’s why I'm open for business at Bonanzle! I'll see you there."

Thank you Renegade for recalling the Spirit which once was the cornerstone of Bonanzle, that is people helping each other and supporting their mutual success in whatever way they can.

Kat said...

I agree 100% with Renagade here. I find it shameful thread was deleted. It started out as a good thing, and one had to come along and ruin it. We are trying to run professional business here, and I frankly find it more and more irritating, that I am running in to people that are on the internet for "FUN" there are social sites to go to to have fun. Millions of them! Why forum on a site that is trying to grow, and move forward to become a professional platform. It disturbs me greatly that I am in with what "feel's" like kindergartners!

Please...I had to rant for a few, but for the ones of you who read this and agree, and do need help. There are many of us that will do so. In all different areas.

Gregory said...

I am pleased with Bonanzle and sift thru the problem people who do appear in every forum on a number of sites like the useless spam we all get everyday in our inboxes.

I have never had a problem that a True Bonanzler could no help me with and even though somethings are time consuming to deal with there again has not been one time someone did not step up and help.

I have been on Bonanzle a little less than a year and have found this to be one of the best sites all around for forums.

I just want to thank everyone who has or does go out of their way to help and make themselves available to those in need of help, etc...

Truely Sincere,

thefrillisgone said...

It's not only become a playground but it's teeming with tyrannical dmving and topic-closing by the PWB. They're so hamfisted with the power to do so that people are being turned off the site just from their experiences on the message boards alone.

If they would put more effort into improving the mechanics of the site and less time patrolling the boards looking to censor boardies who are critical of some aspects of the site, who knows where it could go.

As I told them when I closed my booth, more people will surely leave if they stay on the path they're on now.

momspennies said...

I have to agree with the others...Bonanzle IS a great place to buy and sell, but there are some who use it's forums as a place to gain popularity by creating cliques for themselves and banding together to attack those who try to help the venue grow with positive actions. Some of them may be plants from other sites (users who sign up and then use the forums to discredit the venue) and some are people who just have very strong personalities and use them to intimidate and put down other members. It is true that you see this on every venue that has a forum. I often wonder if those who act in an unfavorable way think that it will somehow benefit them because people will remember their names.

I can honestly say, I remember their names and I remember why I will not ever do business with them. And If I see it, so do others. So really, they are not hurting anyone other than themselves.

I like to know that when I am buying from someone, they are consumate professionals, and it shows in postive actions they exhibit on these forums. We all have to be conscious of how we appear when we get involved in discussions. When a thread starts to become negative, it's time to go to another one. People will not always agree, but if you can't be a postive force within the thread, why get involved?

I have my own agenda, and it is to tend to the business at tend to my booth and to be available to help new members so that Bonanzle can grow in a postitive direction.

Anyone who needs my help can contact me and I will gladly help. My name is on Renegades list.

Bonanzle IS the place to be and hopefully in time, the negativity will die off and disappear.

thecrabbynook said...

I love your writings Renagade! You are one of the most kind and helpful people around. Why someone would "poof" your thread is beyond me.

I just wanted to stop in to say that I think you are the greatest!


blarney_stone said...

Again Ren,

You know me well enough to know that I fully support you here. There are some snarky people who just want to S**T disturb. I do not know who went snarky, and if they deserved to be called a B. I never saw the post. Water over the bridge now. It needs to stop. A post offering help should NEVER have been poofed.

When you see people like yourself, and me, and so many other old timers, posting very little in the forums, you can generally assume that there may be a problem in Mayberry.

Bonanzle is a great place to Buy and Sell. The forums can, and have unfortunately, disenfranchised more than one seller and buyer.

I still love this place, and wish that the folks that have a beef with someone else would perhaps contact that person privately. I keeps the embers from bursting to a full fledged Poof! And may help keep helpful threads such as yours on line, and on topic.

Always feel free to contact me at

Cheri said...

I've not been on bonanzle very long a few months, but I have to say I have found you and many of the others on your list of people willing to help, the most helpful honest and friendly people I've ever come across on line. I have not sold much but a lot of you are why I am on Bonanazle. Please keep posting in the forums I love to read all the posts and choose to ignore the negativity..I would love to know who some of these people are as I'd prefer not to buy from them myself.
Thanks again

Annette(JASTworks) said...

Like many others, I don't participate in the forums nearly as much as I used to. I still go and take a look, but there isn't often I find a thread that I feel compelled to reply to. And I have noticed that a lot of others that I was used to seeing as regular posters aren't there either. I missed what happened to yours renegade, but a thread offering help should never be attacked or caused to disappear!

I am so disappointed in the direction the forums have gone, but it does seem to be the trend no matter how well a forum starts out. Eventually a few people with nothing better to do ruin it for most everyone else. A lot of us had to deal with this kind of c*** in grade school. Too bad some didn't grow up.

Gail/haflcenturymark said...

I was on the thread last night offering help in any way that I could.
Imagine my amazement to find that the thread had been sent to a black hole somewhere!A thread offering help ppl,not a my doggie's cuter than yours thread!
We are all grown ups,most of us have raised kids and now enjoy grandchildren.It is beyond my comprehension why more focus is put on the diverse personalities,instead of the real issues at hand!In all honesty,we are for the most part strangers who have a common site to communicate with one another.Allowing someone's difference of opinion to dictate whether or not you'll buy from them in someway or even agree to disagee with them without exibiting childish behavior on your part,surely makes one look less than professional!
We all came to bonanzle in hopes of finding a place to sell while managing to keep more than a few cents in our pockets,more freedom to run our business in a professional manner,and maybe make a few friends along the way.
It is beyond me why,as a beginning site that we went from working together to accomplish a common goal of building the site(and our business) to now having a thread offering help,disappear because someone felt that they had more to offer,than someone else!
What I do know at this point is that a new direction needs to be taken or all the efforts put in so far will be nothing but a waste of time and money for **everyone** on the site.
Ren,I understand your need to vent and I apologize for my own rant at this point.
Having gotten that off my chest,I again state that I will stand behind you and offer any help needed.

Virginia Morgan-Burr said...

Thanks Ren for your post and the discussion here. When forums evolve where there is little value added information, then it becomes non productive for sellers that take their business seriously.

When there is nothing of value, it is pointless to try to interject anything that might be - because it becomes quickly extinguished or buried. This is an appropriate topic for pros/cons of social networking on selling sites.

JMO Thanks

Elizabeth said...

You know I'm always willing to help where needed. :-)

The heart of Bonanzle is the same as it was when I first arrived last year. Unfortunately, in every crowd there are troublemakers. No matter where you go some people just don't get it, and think forums are a playground where they are free to play games and harass others, but I do my best to ignore them and just get on with business. Unfortunately those troublemakers occasionally cause a perfectly good and useful thread like yours to go away, which makes it a bit harder to ignore their antics.


Kim said...

I was sad to see I was not on the list considering all the help and messages I have sent to newcomers spent hours, days walking new members through things, and even teaching regulars new things.

I think it is hard to make a list of the "helpful" members when not all of them do it in the spotlight many do it in messages. I do on the forums at times but most I do behind the scenes and from day one have worked my tail off promoting Bonanzle since the night I joined Halloween night 2008.

I am one who finds the games good, There is a section on Bonanzle dedicated to them so I don't see why it would not be used. I get guests that buy from community events as well as other sellers, but does the way I conduct my business really change me to a non helpful member? I make money, I hurt nobody, and help all I can.

I feel good about myself at the end of the day, but unless I am taking this wrong I feel very hurt right now.

I do agree helpful threads to get sent to drama and even promos sometimes that don't make sense, but this list of helpful sellers totally discounts many others that I also know who help behind the scenes and just don't step into the spotlight. I don't find it fair.

Always have respected you but just don't find this list fair at all.

Renagade said...

Wow! Thanks to all who commented here! But I MUST address my old friend ...

This list IS only a PARTIAL list of the MANY who do help...and YES you need to be on it!
I started a THREAD in the forums to encourage the older ones like you and I to get more involved again in the forums, and many chimed in that their door was opend to anyone looking for help. Unfortunately a few jumped on, attacking those of us that have not been as active in the forums as we used to be, basically saying thet THEY rule the playground now...and the whole thread was pulled off....Before I could get any more names...
AGAIN...yes this IS only a handfull of helpful people. But do to the others who think forums are just a playground, many on the list no longer post on the forums....That is the sad part...and that is the entire purpose of this blog...
My intentions where NEVER to slight anyone who is trying to help other as yourself has done.
Forgive me....

jamiro said...

And last night the gangs slammed the Old Tymers thread into hades. WHY? what is the problem that we continue to see senior members being driven to drama then poofed? We have been told the Boyz have final say on what gets poofed after being tagged drama/venom etc then why are they allowing us to be slammed for no reason? I am sick at heart to see this happening. I've been dmv five times in one day for no reason, so have others. It's sad.

Just a side note: Kim honey no one slighted you - the thread asking for volunteers to put their name down got slammed to delete zone before you got there. That's all. :)

Kim said...

Thank you for replying back to me I appreciate it. I wish I could have seen the original threads. I can't imagine helpful threads vanishing then again I have seen some odd things get moved to drama, and even to promotions that are help lists for people to promote off Bonanzle.

I felt hurt, but also felt hurt more so for the many that sit behind the scenes new members and old and message new members directly when they see their questions. I think they should be mentioned. They may not want to be in the lime light so cannot be pointed out who they are but there are a very good amount of them.

When did it change that now Boyz have final say. I thought it has always been since I joined, I remember them saying it that if enough people tag something venomous it will vanish from the forums or if enough tag it dramatic it will get moved to drama. Is this not true any more? Could this just be a group of users?

I will not reply to blogs anymore in the wee hours of the morning when I am already confused as heck what is going on. Promise. lol

I do stand by a brief mention of those behind the scenes whom help is worthy of mention even though they may not want to be up there on a list, or out in the forums there are a bunch of them old and new that have constantly helped. For instance I am going to use her as an example because she used to come to forums more and is a friend of mine and I know she wont mind BUT even after she stopped helping on forums as much she continued in private behind the scenes and that is she is recovering from surgery right now but normally is available to anyone but most would not know it anymore.

I know we differ on the games/community events but I think we see most everything else pretty much the same. I don't know that would be a talk for in private not on a blog :)

I think the older members the semi older members and the new members can all together make a very nice mix in time. I think we all need some wrinkles ironed out just as Bonanzle does, because as a whole this is so much different than what anyone is used to and thats a good thing, but it will take time, patience, and some arguments probably too before it all gets ironed out.

Hope that made some sense. I am kind of rushing need to hurry out the door to an appt. soon and I am not a morning person normally working on promoting and such until around 5am 7am so this is a whole new world for me. Nice seeing out this time of the morning, it does not happen often anymore.

Looking towards a beautiful day here and on Bonanzle!

Kim said...

P.S. poor Eclectic is missing the Bonanzle part of her link :) lol

Hugs and still respect!

Henrietta said...

IF I am reading this correctly "driven to drama then poofed" then I have to disagree! Nobody is driven to drama. Being dramatic is a choice we make.

Nobody is forced to step into the sh*t some other folks feel compelled to drop in public places. If you don't step in it the stink will not follow you around.

Just because some lame brain says something stupid does not make it true. All it really does is show the world how ignorant they are. Yes it is hard, take a deep breath and scroll baby scroll. Acknowledging the post gives it life, makes it fun for those who have nothing better to do than spread negativity.

If you ignore the drama, don't feed the trolls, eventually they will give up. After all dropping pebbles down a deep well is boring.

If the post is truly ugly, use the tools and report it, just the post, not the thread. If you feel a thread has been manipulated into drama email Mark. ( He is able to tell exactly who is doing what and when, and if it is brought to his attention he will research it and deal with the perpetrator.

So far as leaving a venue is concerned, we are business people. If the numbers tell you the venue is not working for your business, then yes you should devote more time to a venue that does work for you. Emotion should not come into a business decision or you run the risk of making a bad business decision. However, as always, it is YOUR business and how you run it is YOUR decision.

An example: I was on eCrater. It is a good clean site, but I made one sale in ten months. Obviously the people who like and buy my product do not shop on eCrater because nothing was priced or offered any differently than it is on Bonanzle. I moved on.

Finally, I would like to extend an invitation. Many of you have much to share. I am always open to guest blogs on RedINKdiary. I do reserve the right to edit but if there is a subject you can write on that will be helpful to other sellers, then lets talk about it.

My email is bananas at 200 West Main dot com.

Kat Simpson said...

Ren, just a note to say thank you for the show mention and I'm so sorry to hear that folks are causing some problems on Bonanzle. I've never been a forum user on any site but I know many who have found friendship and help there. I hope the majority of kind and helpful Bonanzle sellers will prevail. Thank you again! Kat

Anonymous said...

Yes it is amazing
some people
I was attacked when I first came here and was a sight they were people who had been here a while
and my comment was to a bunch of others that said it was not good for business to keep the bay logo's up on their booths here at bonanzle
Some one made a comment that there is a removal of that code in the program that transfers the items from over there to bonanzle so there should be no excuse
I replied that it was rude to advertise for the bay like that here at this site especially being there is a code removal right in the transfer program
I was attacked by a whole bunch of so called fellow bonanzlers who had been here a while
One person up and told them they are blowing it way out of proportion
they did not care then they just started calling me names etc and wow then they even made a comment of how they only hang with intelligent people????? LOL
so after a few bouts I added fuel to the fire
being I was gonna let it go till I seen them and others patting each other on the back and making nice nice etc
so the fuel I added was a reply of you know people who do one thing say another and then do the opposite and so on are well I'll say it "two faced"
attack people in quarrels and then go back to the regular postings and make all nice
I watched them same people make some nasty remarks to a lot of you in quarrels?Drama and then delete it
I have watched these same people do that same delete thing in the regular postings
sometimes I just sit in a post and I hit refresh button a lot and seen some nasty nasty comments come from some of these people who pat you on the back and give what seems like good advice and isn't
I have been in the threads when others have said that they go to threads and just watch also
and that can be seen evident in the first page of the threads were the topic is and then number of replies and also number of views and the person who posted and how long ago they posted
these problems have always existed here and no one bonanzler ever did anything about it and me I attacked many people who attacked the newbies
and me
as far as these oldsters LOL lets just ignore it and it will go away
well did it go away huh huh
I think it got worse
I have even seen some people who have not been around in a while post LOL
They have funny advatars and they even will throw up the pic of them that they used when some of you attacked them when they were here last
I have caught this by sitting in a thread and hitting refresh OH what you can find under rocks
I have seen this one person who was humiliated by a lot of bonanzlers back with a new booth and a new name for them self but the same
face glasses coat same pic just a little darker so you can just make it out that it is them
hehehe watch what you say and do to others it may come back and get you