Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Re: "New" Classifieds - Pro or Con?
Hmmm, I get to say something. Let's look into how this site came to be, and how what our thought(s) are.
In 1999 when the LT came to the US a few friends found each other, back then on the long defunct 'epions' web site, which was later bought and operated by yahoo. Back these yahoo was a decent vehicle for a small, close knit community of only a few. Then, when yahoo started to overcommercialize and started to become unreliable in their service (you always get what you pay for) a few of us decided we did not want to deal with unreliable service, ads on every page, SLOW distribution and so on. So we decided to set up a web site of our own, install our own forum software on OUR server, manage it ourselves. On top of all that yahoo was starting to delete historical content, so the descision was actually quite easy.
But even so, even though everything was clearly pointing into the direction of abandoning yahoo, there were a NUMBER of folks who back then *violently* were against the change, opposed the 'split' of the community, and were pretty impossible to persuade that we are doing what we are doing because ini the long run it will be better for the community rather than staying with crappy (but known) service.
Was the new interface different? You bet is was. Were there new and cool features? Against, you bet there were. Were there 'features' missing from what the folks were used to on the old yahoo site? Yes, there were. Looking back I don't believe there is a single person left who was with the community back then and is still here today who still believes it would have been better to stay with the yahoo groups service.
Similar now with the classifieds. The 'old classifieds', were just a forum as all the other forums, just named classifieds. This created a number of headaches for the maintainers and the moderators of the classifieds, as well as problems in format, ... Since everythign was free format the classifieds were much too often also being used for general discussions rather than for their intended purpose.
All these problems brought forward the thoughts of how we can make it better. Better for our members, and better for the maintainers. Better for the members in a way that the current classifieds have categories, allow photo upload MUCH easier, the ads can easily be inserted and taken out , they have all a common look and feel, you are being asked for the relevant data, so you don't forget it and a number of other features one would expect from classifieds. Could they be better? Do they still leave room for improvement? You betcha, and sure! Are they DIFFERENT from what the folks are used to? YES. Yet we, as in the maintainers and moderators of the site believe they deliver a greater value because of all the integrated features.
They are different, they will get better as the program get s better over time, BO they will not be in the standard view of "What's new", just as your classifieds in your Sunday paper are not on the front page either. If you look for something you know where to look for, and then all the additional features are weighing much heavier than having the ad for a bike interspersed with the latest oil- thread.
Are we going to go back? HIGHLY unlikely. Are we going to install new versions as they emerge? Of course we will, and then the service will be even better.
I hope this helps making friends with the classifieds as they are. *IF* OTOH you know of a better product that integrates seemlessly with our user DB, and with our LNF then by all means speak up. Let us know. If there is something better out there I'd be more than willing to look into it. But save the comments "Why can't we just go back?" or "Why did we change in the first place"