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Thread: EP and its focus (split thread)

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    EP and its focus (split thread)

    [[ Kay This thread was split from here: http://experienced-people.net/forums...0636#post70636 ]]

    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by flipfilter View Post
    I hear they have a framed photo of you in the Sitepoint office where you're simply known as "Mhysa ... Saviour of Flippa". Seriously though, it's just a shame those ungrateful bastards at Flippa will never appreciate everything you do for you them.
    Sorry for quoting myself but I couldn't edit and forgot the [sarcastic face] at the end of that line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    We need a way to break out of this stalemate. Can anyone help please?

    Arguably, the world needs an EP - a counter-balance to the myth and hype. That's why I think people should support our endeavours and ensure we are able to continue. Take us out of the game and who is left to play this role?
    http://platformed.info/ - This is the smartest guy I know when it comes to platforms, critical mass and marketplaces - plenty of good discusions on his site.

    I think my point was that attracting people maybe isn't the issue. Many people who would be your potential buyers and sellers have been here, but ultimately gone. I'd look to address the reasons why that was as a way of solving the problem.

    Personally, and I can only speak from my own experience, I don't think the most useful role this forum could play is 'balancing myth and hype'. Perhaps this is a marketing thing, but you ideally need to decide who this forum is for as you can't be all things to all people.

    Either you're targeting the newbs, who care about the 'myth and hype' deterrents because it will save them money, or you're targeting more experienced investors (experienced people?) who don't need someone to balance the hype because they've been around the block and know all the tricks. The only purpose a myth and hype discussion would serve for them, is to provide a platform to mock and moan which, lets face it, is a great way to kill time but counterproductive to either learning something new or improving business.

    To be clear, I'm not referring to threads that are along the lines of "Be careful of X seller, this is a scam which she's pedalling" - those are valuable to new and experienced buyers alike, but more the "Take a look at these idiots selling the dream on Flippa" ones. The kind of audience I think you want to attract know the score already, and probably don't care because they're too busy growing their own business.

    Just my two cents, but I think if all the myth and hype related threads disappeared, there would be very few people who would actually notice. In fact, it would be a better UX for the more experienced people who just want to learn something new as the only threads left would be relevant ones.
    Last edited by Kay; 17 May 2014 at 3:43 am. Reason: split thread

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  3. #2
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Food for thought, thanks, Justin. But you're not seeing the whole picture. There's a whole different scene going on the Premium Lounge, not least because some of us were fed up of posting stuff in public for people to turn up, read, and b*gger off without posting anything.

    The forum did used to focus on buying and selling. But a lot of people didn't want to talk about buying and selling. They just came to read. And it's darned hard to run a discussion forum when people won't discuss things. So, if people don't want to talk about buying and selling, then what do they want to talk about? As you say, some help for newbies - so we do that. Other subjects which weren't the focus before include publishing and marketing. We have a lot of stuff about publishing in the Premium Lounge. Marketing has yet to be developed further. The marketing forum is new and we very recently welcomed Mike (Mikl) as marketing mentor - so that should give that a boost.

    Facing the choice of pleasing different groups - as you say, you can't please everyone - led to a change of direction. The two groups were:

    A: people experienced in buying and selling websites who didn't want to talk about it and who were not particularly supportive of the forum when their help was needed to keep the place open.

    and

    B: enthusiastic newer members who want to discuss things, who want to participate in the community we've created, and who have an interest in online business generally.

    Obviously, there's some overlap as there are still people around who have a vast amount of information which they're willing to share. But, yes, the focus has changed. And it may change again. A community is a very fluid entity guided and driven by its members.

    Just because the focus has moved towards "group B" and their interests, doesn't mean we can't discuss what's happening in Flippa or on any other place which exists to facilitate opportunities to do online business. Some of their activities are quite jaw-dropping. It's "industry news" if you like.

    And what of "group A"? Believe me, I tried to please them. I listened to everything they said, I implemented many of their suggestions. The sticking point ultimately was that they wanted everything free, the way Clinton did it, often at considerable personal expense. I could not do this (note: "could" not, whether I wanted to or not). Thus there was no meeting of minds and those people showed little support. No wonder the focus moved away from the original purpose.

    If people don't want to talk about marketing or publishing or whatever, that's fine. But they didn't want to talk about buying and selling either. A quick look at the stats on forum members would show how very few of Group A ever had much to say for themselves, even since long before I took the helm from Clinton. If they wanted to focus on any particular subjects, they could have said something long before now. They could even, heaven forbid, have started threads about the subjects they wanted to talk about.

    Brainstorming and ideas and pages of discussions are all very well. Many people are full of what they think should be done. But when it comes to the crunch, ie who is going to DO it or pay for it, the silence is deafening. But this has all veered off the original topic so I'll be splitting this thread now.

    Thanks for your input.
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    If people don't want to talk about marketing or publishing or whatever, that's fine. But they didn't want to talk about buying and selling either. A quick look at the stats on forum members would show how very few of Group A ever had much to say for themselves, even since long before I took the helm from Clinton
    I'll share some thoughts publicly that I've previously shared with Kay in private.

    When this forum started the environment for buying and selling websites was a lot different. The main marketplace was Flippa and buyers of established sites visited Flippa everyday for potential acquisitions. However, Flippa realised that there was a very finite supply of quality websites for sale so they went after a different market and filled their marketplace with MFF sites. This was good for their bottom line, sure, and it still is, but in doing so they caused big changes in the ecosystem:

    1. Most serious buyers of larger businesses abandoned Flippa in droves because, despite the good search features, it was getting increasingly difficult to find what they wanted in a marketplace where the average sale price was not far above $1,000 and the average offering was pretty-looking sub-standard trash. Those players used to post frequently here but now aren't even buying sites - hooperman, tke71709, benitez17 and numerous others are in this list. Very few are left, like PeterTDavis who is still buying the occasional site (but they don't go to Flippa). Other big players - some of whom I know from the Sitepoint marketplace days, domainers who diversified into sites etc., - also abandoned the market. So, while they remain good friends, they are not here in discussions any more because they aren't interested in buying sites. There isn't any other reason.

    2. Most new entrants to the market got burned buying sites in Flippa (including, it would seem, Luke Moulton). The whys and wherefore aren't important. It might have been that unsuitable entrants were attracted to buying sites - my view - or it may have been that the sites being sold were MFF: made to look good at PoS, but which were not investment-grade. Or both. I believe that Flippa now relies on a constant stream of new entrants willing to buy into the dream. The long term serious players have long since gone. These new entrants enter the marketplace without ever coming into contact with this forum. They are sold the idea at a blog, summit, ebook or elsewhere and, as is typical with the type who are regular buyers of MMO products, they don't want to discuss (or think!)

    3. The business that Flippa wasn't catering properly for went elsewhere. Brokers are thriving. New brokers have started up, decent websites which would have gone to Flippa before now go to brokers. And that's a much more "private" market without public comments on a listing thread, publicly visible auction bids etc. And enquiries start with an NDA. Hence little to discuss publicly. Further, buyers of higher end sites tend to make a very limited number of purchases in a lifetime, it's certainly not an everyday affair.

    So, people don't want to talk about buying or selling, but that has nothing to do with me not being here or you doing something wrong. That's because the whole eco system has changed. I listed three sites in Flippa recently and have spoken with several dozen people who bid or wanted to bid. It's a very, very, very different crowd to what it used to be. They are largely newbies who think that buying a site will give them long term "passive" income and most have little to no idea how to estimate work involved, value, likely returns, nothing. They seem to be conditioned to take advice on all these matters ....from the seller of the site!

    The people who were our target, and were regular participants on these boards, have mostly left the market. The signs were there long ago. FlippingPlanet didn't close because Thomas and Bryan didn't know what they were doing but because the market was changing and a different breed of players was jumping in - the type of players who aren't likely to come to a forum and discuss. Just like nobody comments in the Flippa blog any more. You've got two types of participants who constitute the majority now - MFF sellers (and we aren't the ideal place for them!) and relative newbies. I think you're on the right track to diversify into ebook publishing etc., while maintaining the areas of historical strength as an archive and for the few who may still want to participate. This forum remains, after all, the internet's most useful repository of information on buying and selling websites and is uniquely untainted by any commercial partnership with the likes of Flippa or anyone else.
    Find the right business brokers to maximise the value you extract from your business and improve the chances of selling your business.

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    Some days, it is easier to say what is disliked than it is to propose a solution to a problem -

    I paid $37 for a "how to generate income streams from the www" course. I'm not complaining. It makes no exaggerated claims, it does help a little, and it does not suggest that there is a fortune to be made from Adsense.

    What is interesting is what it doesn't cover. It is hard to get accounts with Adsense, Amazon and eBay these days, so it has a heavy focus on ways to get money from promoting Clickbank products - and it has another emphasis on how to write the sales copy. That is the salient point of "what we don't like" around E-P.

    What we don't like around E-P is people who bull$hit, and that extends to people who plug a product or service without actually using it for profit or benefit. There's a problem with trying to engage people in discussion who know that their major source of income is derived from hype. And a lot of our members have gone across to generating products of the WSO type, because it still generates rapid income, and not much else does.

    I'm reminded of a bloke I met on AcornDomains who had a personal conflict with owning a couple of porn sites - he hated the biz but he had to give up a few hundred pounds a month if he dumped the sites.

    People can still make money from aff sites. It is getting harder to fight the big boys, like every other area of web biz, the marketplace is very competitive, and the marketing methods do not fit the general ethics stance of E-P, although they are generally legal. No wonder that people come here to look for ideas, but don't post often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crabfoot View Post
    What we don't like around E-P is people who bull$hit, and that extends to people who plug a product or service without actually using it for profit or benefit.
    I would venture that people who make more from promoting a method of profiting online than from implementing it... are also treated with scepticism around here. That's why some of the site flipping evangelists are no longer with us. People banging the drum about the millions to be made from buying and selling websites - but who can't actually make a living doing it themselves - find this a very difficult audience; there are more gullible ones elsewhere. I don't think their absence is necessarily a bad thing.
    Find the right business brokers to maximise the value you extract from your business and improve the chances of selling your business.

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    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    I would venture that people who make more from promoting a method of profiting online than from implementing it... are also treated with scepticism around here. That's why some of the site flipping evangelists are no longer with us. People banging the drum about the millions to be made from buying and selling websites - but who can't actually make a living doing it themselves - find this a very difficult audience; there are more gullible ones elsewhere. I don't think their absence is necessarily a bad thing.
    Nothing I would disagree with in that - but I think the reason we don't see them nowadays has more to do with the Gargyl changes than anything else.

    You can't kick a small site into life and drive traffic to it while making money from Adsense in the way that was once possible.

    The hidden agenda behnd the uniform T&C policy allows Gargyl to use ANY info it legitimately acquires from any source to make judgements about you and your sites. The hidden agenda behind the attacks of the B&W creatures is to remove a lot of small sites from G search that didn't give a "customer experience" in G terms. And the value of links in the G algorithm has been severely reduced.

    While that has taken away a lot of rubbish sites, it has also nailed up the doors on a lot of info sites that were small, specialized, and didn't carry a lot of pictures or video.

    You can't start small and build up to something any more, and expect to get Gargyl traffic. Put up a small site without a lot of pics, etc. and the moment G finds it the site will be de-indexed because in Gargyl's view it adds very little to what is already out there. Submit it to Webmasters and not only is it likely to be de-indexed, but they will not give you any data BECAUSE it has been de-indexed.

    The point is that you need 50+ pages on a site, with pictures and videos, before Gargyl will acknowledge that it may be worth giving it any attention - and the content needs to be worthwhile stuff. Of course, you can drive traffic to any small site from a diverse range of sources, but you can't start a small site and get help from Gargyl unless your objectives are ostensibly altruistic.

    The flippers were creating or buying small sites, and finding traffic strategies to boost those sites which were easy to implement. That has all gone up the tubes. Everything has got harder.

    The real reason nobody is trying to flip sites is that if you create a worthwhile site these days, and you have learned how to drive traffic to it, you are better off keeping it than flipping it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    B: enthusiastic newer members who want to discuss things, who want to participate in the community we've created, and who have an interest in online business generally.
    I would say I fall in this category and thought I would share my insight as most people sharing are group A's.

    Three things:

    1. You need more web presents, especially in the buying and selling niche or due diligence (more below). After reading over many blogs and websites I finally came across this forum by the reading Chris Guthrie's ebook How to Invest in Online Real Estate and more recently a blog post on flipfilter. The information on this site is priceless but if the newbies can't find it...

    2. I was a little scared to post a question that might have already been asked. I understand that no one wants to answer the same questions over and over but maybe if newbies ask questions that have already been answered and group A's don't respond it might entice other newbies to answer questions they know, which would make them feel more productive in the community. An example of this is the biggerpockets forum, yes a lot of the posts are repetitive but it does help new people interact in the forum. (Newbies don't know much so essentially they can't respond to many posts)

    3. I do agree that a lot of the information on this site is easy to consume for newbies especially when they are trying to get started but I think a good way to drive more user activity and membership signups would be to try and provide some type of due diligence help. It can be a premium only feature as each site has it's own features or issues and people are always dealing with new obstacles with each site they look to purchase.

    Well thats my two sense and I'm probably a little bias since I plan on signing up for the premium membership anyway. Either way thanks for the info you all provide and I will try to post quality information whenever possible.

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