Author Topic: A few changes coming  (Read 928 times)

Alan

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A few changes coming
« on: August 30, 2018, 02:51:14 PM »
Dear Air Gun Guild members.

It isn’t a secret that at just 24 months or so of live operation, we’re still the new kid on the block. As originally set up by Travis Whitney, the layout and “feel” was, and is, a copy other airgun-related sites—a “me-too” in other words. To be frank about the situation, it isn’t working!

When I became the owner—I’d rather say trustee—of the Air Gun Guild, one of the major changes I made was to address the rules and regulations. That is to say, I made them short, sweet, to the point, while assuming we are all ladies and gentlemen. It appears to have been a wise decision.

I didn’t change any of the various moderators status, and that too has worked to everyone’s advantage. Steveoh, our illustrious webmaster is an exception, in that his name is also on the masthead (co-owner). About all I’m doing at this point, is paying the bills. But these changes haven’t made a significant increase in our visitor statistics. Nonetheless, I wish to see this site prosper, and grow into the future. In an effort to do so, we’re making some changes.

One major change is the vendor area. It is gone away! It’s been replaced with an area for vendors to post updates to their product lines, but not specific to one individual vendor.

The banner ads are gone as well. The income from these ads has never been worth the effort, nor the hit on site performance.

The Guild Mall is gone! Actually, it hasn’t been viewable by members for some time, but it too is a hit on site performance.

The layout is going to change a bit as well, with less white space at the top. Smart phone users will be the biggest beneficiaries.

If I’m personally remiss in any facet of the site, it is the contest area. For example, the current guessing game consists of a hunting package, worth about $350 in retail pricing. Yet, only three folks have chosen to respond. With a little more than 800 total members, this lack of response surprises me. If you have any suggestions to spur on activity, I’ll be happy to try them.

Alan Applegate,
Co-owner,
www.airgunguild.com


  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.

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Re: A few changes coming
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018, 03:46:03 PM »
It's a tough challenge, Alan, and good on ya for putting your shoulder to the wheel.   It seems that each one of the forums has kind of its own unique flavor and "specialty" (albeit really too strong a word), even though many of its die-hard members span across many or all.   

So I suppose the question is,  what do you think is unique about Airgun Guild? 

or

What particular thing do you believe is lacking on other forums or sites, including Facebook I suppose, that you would like to cultivate on AGG?  (Yes, even mentioning Facebook made me throw up in my mouth just a little, but it's an unfortunate reality).

And when the rubber meets the road, maybe it would pay to spend a few bucks on a higher Google ratings placement.  Isn't there some way we can buy a vowel?

  • Carrollton IL

steveoh

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Re: A few changes coming
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2018, 04:43:07 PM »
It's a tough challenge, Alan, and good on ya for putting your shoulder to the wheel.   It seems that each one of the forums has kind of its own unique flavor and "specialty" (albeit really too strong a word), even though many of its die-hard members span across many or all.   

So I suppose the question is,  what do you think is unique about Airgun Guild? 

or

What particular thing do you believe is lacking on other forums or sites, including Facebook I suppose, that you would like to cultivate on AGG?  (Yes, even mentioning Facebook made me throw up in my mouth just a little, but it's an unfortunate reality).

And when the rubber meets the road, maybe it would pay to spend a few bucks on a higher Google ratings placement.  Isn't there some way we can buy a vowel?

Early on, after quite a bit of effort, we got pretty decent search results. The big boys who have been in the game a long longer have a huge amount of content which makes it difficult to surpass them in search rankings. But being smart about how the forum is set up, and installing other components helped get us up there very quickly. But these days the traffic has fallen off. I remain unsure of why that is. Perhaps the folks who stick around can help us figure that out.  Travis left, and seems that a lot of folks left with him.

I keep on doing what I can because I think we are/were a little different. For sure some of the policies here got picked up by other forums along the way.

Some features we have had from the beginning:

1. Pretty much unlimited number of private messages. Elsewhere I have to clean my PMs up on a regular basis or it fills up. If they get out of hand, we'll reduce magic number. But till then enjoy.

2. Images: 10 per post, maximum total size 5500KB, maximum individual size 999KB.  I notice that another site has increased their image max sizes perhaps in response. These are pretty chunky images, and help mobile users who have little choices of image reduction software. Videos: we've installed a plugin that makes it pretty easy to post YouTube videos. It's one of my favorite things. Same thing with Vimeo. Try doing that on some of the much older forums.

3. Censorship: To the best of my knowledge we've avoided censoring people, with the exception of a few who gotten way out of line.  Guess what, you can say "silencer", "moderator", etc without being chastised or edited or banned. Awesome. No one including the government types are fooled by "lead dust collector".

4. For a while we had some to the leaders of the airgun world posting on a regular basis. It's gone down quite a bit, but maybe we can gain some ground back.

All I do around here is update the software, and keep it running, and add stuff that Travis used to ask for, and now that Alan asks for. I shoot rats, and waste  a lot of lead and time messing around with big bores. But I have fun.

What do you folks want in this forum? Why have we lost so many posters? Was it something I said? Is it because Monkey Dad is too busy to hang around and ban people? :) Do tell. 
  • Benicia, California
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Alan

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Re: A few changes coming
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018, 04:55:57 PM »
It is more like buying three vowels!

As with any forum, only about 10% (if that many) are active at any one time. I haven't tried to count, but I suspect our percentage is 5% at best.

As you alluded, some sites are brand specific. The Airgun Nation for example, is almost all FX, but not exclusively.

Thanks in part to Bob Sterne and others, the AAG contains a lot more technical data (and savvy) that others I have visited. I'd like to foster more of that, obviously.

To expand on the company-specific area... Almost every supplier and/or tuning company and/or airgun maker, have their own web sites. What interests me, are the posting with in those areas on other airgun-related sites. In most cases, the questions would have been better answered directly by the companies in question, rather than by embers of the site. That fact weighed heavily on the decision to do away with the area here.

Let us hope what has been done, helps the site to gain viewership.
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.

steveoh

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Re: A few changes coming
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2018, 05:06:45 PM »
What blows me away is the fact that the businesses we encouraged to set up shop here hardly took advantage of free advertising, and the ability to link back to their own websites. That is a key component of getting noticed by search engines (google primarily), and it's difficult to find places who allow business owners to add their links. Oh well.

All forums have a rather dismal ratio of regular posters vs lurkers. It's always the same.

Bob Sterne and a few other unsung heroes are amazing. I am in awe at times by the technical knowhow, and understanding of the physics of airguns. Good stuff.

Coming up I'm going to put together a tutorial on how to make a post more search engine friendly while at the same time making it more informative and better organized.  We can beat other sites just by being smart on how we word and organize a post. Who-da-thunk?

It is more like buying three vowels!

As with any forum, only about 10% (if that many) are active at any one time. I haven't tried to count, but I suspect our percentage is 5% at best.

As you alluded, some sites are brand specific. The Airgun Nation for example, is almost all FX, but not exclusively.

Thanks in part to Bob Sterne and others, the AAG contains a lot more technical data (and savvy) that others I have visited. I'd like to foster more of that, obviously.

To expand on the company-specific area... Almost every supplier and/or tuning company and/or airgun maker, have their own web sites. What interests me, are the posting with in those areas on other airgun-related sites. In most cases, the questions would have been better answered directly by the companies in question, rather than by embers of the site. That fact weighed heavily on the decision to do away with the area here.

Let us hope what has been done, helps the site to gain viewership.
  • Benicia, California
Quackenbush .58 Outlaw
Shooting Chairs
Vallejo Ferry Schedule
Sam Yang 909s .45
Sam Yang Sumatra .25
RWS Diana 350Magnum Compact Pro .22
QB-79 .177
Crosman 1322
Crosman 1377 - HoRodded 10 FPE
Diana Model 27 (childhood airgun)
Tolman Skiff
Airgun Giveaway

mobilemail

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Re: A few changes coming
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2018, 05:20:13 PM »
That's what I keep thinking of is a place for the craftsmen to jibber-jabber in whatever that language is.  it seems like for every guy like Haji who has produced some unique products along with videos and a website, there is another guy who has excellent technical expertise and makes cool trinkets, but doesn't have the skill or interest in website or video part. 

I have to admit, I don't fit well in that crowd. Heck, it took me five years to figure out how to install my own regulator and make it work right!  And I would rather use my precious time shooting or hunting that making videos of it.  But it's nice to come here and look over the shoulders of the more gifted.   

Now if we can get shooter1721 to give lessons....

Come to think of it, maybe we need a tutorial section, "How to make an airgun video that doesn't suck technically".
  • Carrollton IL

Alan

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Re: A few changes coming
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2018, 04:31:54 AM »
If memory serves, Hajimoto did a video on how "HE" does his, but your suggestion is a good one. I wonder if we can convince him to do one?
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.

Motorhead

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Re: A few changes coming
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2018, 05:19:08 PM »
Your not alone when it comes to a major downturn of web surfing .... Every forum I'm a member of is operating at a shadows viewing of there previous past.
The allure of the web and all its information at ones fingertips peaked a few years ago and what we are seeing today in web traffic largely consists of those who are Asking so many questions & subjects covered so many times before. Sad thing is few wish to wade threw the info by searching so they ask it again.
Then there is the constant influx of the new know it all guy who is hell bent in sharing all he knows convinced all before them were clueless.  This just pisses off many of the knowledgeable member and then they too quit posting.  Then there is the regurgitation of hearsay how too read elsewhere that contains questionable content and info that gets stated in responses to questions asked by mew members.
Again those who know better & speaking up often get beat down ( In a Trolling manor ) when attempting to correct or set the facts straight.  This further chases away those who have a clue & give openly asked information.

Now this is a Blanket statement for forums in general and not directed at the Guild specifically.

As one who has contributed vast amounts of tech and how too over the years within many Air Gun forums, R/C racing forums, Motorcycle forums etc ... with pictures hosted by Photobucket  :P :P
Having there crack down on 3rd party hosting and nearly 100% of the photos that had accompanying text became near worthless !!  THAT TOOK THE WIND OUT OF A LOT OF SERIOUS POSTERS across the entire web !!  Then there has been all the site hacking !! where entire libraries of info collected for years wiped out over night.
With years of contribution essentially flushed down the toilet many many many simply sit back now and let the next generation build it back up be it accurate to the past or not.


Just thoughts  ::)

Scott 
« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 05:22:49 PM by Motorhead »
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Frank in Fairfield

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Re: A few changes coming
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2018, 06:13:28 PM »
DITTO!
"Good judgement comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement."