Re: Why do we have so many of the same
Hello Steve, in my forum hopping, I have seen several of your posts, always giving 100%+ effort to help the person solve a problem. I know you answered a question for me recently on Ricky's forum and I see you've put a lot of thought and effort into this response as well.
However, I still maintain, strictly from a CUSTOMER point of view, it makes a lot of sense to create a one-stop shop, where I don't have to spend hours trying to find what I want. All the experts in their various fields of expertise, would be far more effective in delivering a better product to the customer.
And as a matter of fact, I had no idea that this is a project that Gordon is working on. I was referred to this forum as a place where there is a lot of positive energy and nice people to hang out with.
I feel Gordon's concept, if executed properly, will provide the customer with more choices under one umbrella. This one-stop concept works for many large corporations in order to deliver better service to the customer. It takes all the confusion away from the customer. He/she does not have to bookmark several sites to keep current on what's happening.
Just think of all those millions of new internet users coming on board every week. How can YOU, as an expert in your field, along with the others, make it easier for these users to find you? Unless you've got a nice budget for marketing, it isn't easy promoting a forum or web site.
A case in point. The only reason I've been able to spend most of my waking hours on the net is a) because I now connect via cable, which means I'm always online, and b) because of my unlimited access, I am now able to do more research. It's through my research that I've been able to make these observations re the one-stop concept.
I'll tell you another reason why I think it's a good concept. I have friends in the Pacific rim countries and in the Caribbean. We in Canada and the US have it real good. A friend of mine from China is now visiting Trinidad. He has to pay TT$23/hr to get his mail at an internet cafe down there. I don't know what he pays in China. So, I've volunteered to help him with his research while he's down there, becauase there is no way he'd be able to afford to do anything other than receive his email. The rest of the world is not as wired as we are, and connection rates for those outside North America is still at a premium. A one stop approach would make a lot of sense for someone to quickly find information or be pointed in the right direction.
I haven't really had a chance to look at Gordon's new site as yet, so I'm only guessing that the concept he has in mind is similar to what I'm talking about.
I don't think one needs to be concerned with losing one's identify in this one-stop concept, especially if you've already established a following. If you continue doing what you're doing, I think you stand to gain far more with the group effort vs. going it alone. You're bound to gain more exposure from others in the group.
A good example would be someone visiting Jane Smith's forum on Motivation. But someone in the forum asks a question about some kind of PC technology that Jane is not familiar with. The natural choice would be for Jane to refer her customer to Steve, who is the expert in this area, or whatever the case may be.
Steve, I know there will always be those who prefer the boutique or specialty store approach. You're talking to yours truly who spends several hours shopping on the weekends. And I don't mean shopping at the malls. I mean, the produce store, the fish store, the butchers, the grocery for the staples, the bakery, the health food store. Exhausting for me, but I'm a fussy eater and my husband isn't. But thank God we're not representative of the average household. So, while I like the shop hopping because I care about what I eat, it really bothers me that all my favourite shops could not be under one big roof. I could save a lot on gas, frustration, and time.