Vendors Forums - order of forums

Discussion in 'Forum How-To's' started by Ast_Isis, Dec 17, 2009.

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  1. Ast_Isis

    Ast_Isis Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 7, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    Would it be possible to put the Vendors in alphabetical order? This would make it easier to navigate that section of the forum.

    Just a suggestion since changes are being made to the setup. Great forum BTW...refer everyone to this site who asks me about my ecig.
     
  2. rfun6

    rfun6 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 17, 2009
    Tennessee ....
    I think that would be good too.
     
  3. HippyGirl

    HippyGirl Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 30, 2009
    Alabama
    Third that...alpha for sure.
     
  4. TWISTED VICTOR

    TWISTED VICTOR Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Sep 14, 2009
    The edge of Mayhem
    Has gotten to be a monstrosity, hasn't it?
     
  5. paulspikey

    paulspikey Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 22, 2009
    Henderson, KY USA
    That would be unfair to Zi-moshi. It would give the A vendors an advantage.
     
  6. opuscroakus

    opuscroakus Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 3, 2009
    San Angelo, Tx
    I don't believe this for a second. I believe that Altsmoke is currently first on the list. I would bet Rob doesn't consider this an advantage. Ironically, he would still be at the top of the list if it was alphabetical.
     
  7. beckah54

    beckah54 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jun 27, 2009
    Ohio
    I would like to see the suppliers categorized by shipping location so we could estimate how long it will take to get the merchandise.
     
  8. FluffaPuff

    FluffaPuff Full Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 21, 2009
    Shallotte, NC
    No matter what method you use to list them, SOMEONE will be the first one on the list - so why not just make it alphabetical!
     
  9. eric

    eric Forum Supplier ECF Veteran

    I'll be somewhere scattered towards the bottom and I don't care. If people want to find a certain store, they'll find it. I think alphabetical order is a good idea.
     
  10. Up In Vapor

    Up In Vapor Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 1, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    Yes, I think it would be so much easier for everyone to navigate the suppliers list in a standard alphabetical listing. I always wondered why it was not so??? This would be a great improvement for sure IMHO...thanks Ast_Isis!
     
  11. rolygate

    rolygate Forum Manager Admin Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 24, 2009
    ECF Towers
    Hey guys,

    Good thread - thanks AI for posting the question. Yes, I've been moving several boards in the last few days in a rationalisation programme. The idea is that usability needed improving; some usergroups were disadvantaged (especially new members and visitors); and there were logic issues as some boards needed relocating to discrete sections for clarity.

    All this was simply caused by the rapid expansion of the site, although explosion might be a better term. So we'll keep tuning and tweaking until things look smooth, then we can start on the other big plans!

    Forum layout is my responsibility so I need to explain the Supplier forums ordering.

    Firstly, this is a hot topic - meaning that whatever you decide, there will always be a bunch of people who complain (often bitterly). There is no single way to set the ordering that will please everyone; whatever we do, there will be a group of users who will complain. No doubt their complaints are justified but I just need to point out there is no way to make everyone happy.

    The factors are:
    - The top positions are definitely of better commercial value.
    - Our 'oldest' suppliers (who are also our longest-serving supporters) should have some advantage over newcomers.
    - Usability for members means that alphabetical ordering is best, or at least that the order should stay the same once set.

    And here are the issues with any given ordering method:

    1. Alphabetical order
    This seems a logical method. It has the benefit of best usability for members. However the negatives are that a newly-promoted supplier can jump right to the top of the tree, if they have an A or even better a number as the initial character in their name. It also gives a benefit to businesses that set up or even change their trading name to ridiculously false versions like AceAardvark-Ecigs, A1smokes or 123eliquids. This starts off a silly name competition, and then acceptable business names such as Wichita Eliquid or ZiMoshi are penalised. This is simply not acceptable and unfortunately the negatives outweigh the benefit.

    2. Random order, rotated monthly
    This is a relatively fair system, but has overwhelming usability negatives for members. If the order is changed monthly, members would be permanently confused.

    3. In order of seniority
    This has the benefit of commercial advantage for senior suppliers. New suppliers come in at the bottom and gradually move up. The ordering is set, and once you are familiar with it, should not be too difficult to handle. It avoids the silly name contest and the possibility that newcomers who choose a 'yellow pages' business name can shoot right to the top.

    So on balance our choice is that the ordering stays as it is, with the longest-serving suppliers at the top. I should also point out that this assists customers because if you want to know who has been around the longest, and therefore might be a reliable bet for your custom, then the top of the list suppliers could be a safer choice - if you think that way. It's just a possibility that may help you decide. Of course, newer suppliers might try harder to please you, or have new ideas / new products. The decision is yours, at least we have given you the choice. With alphabetic or random positions, you wouldn't know who has been in business the longest.

    Another factor that may influence me, and also has an impact for you, is that one of my jobs is to balance the supplier-member equation successfully. This is a complex juggling act and again has the potential to create complaints from just about everyone. In essence, there are two groups of site users: the members and the suppliers. Our duty is mainly to the members but the suppliers provide a valuable service, which is one of the reasons members come here. Also of course, the suppliers pay for the running of the site. This is an important factor as running costs are not peanuts, due to the high traffic, the dedicated server / bandwidth / load-balancing costs, the tech staff we need to employ, and the sheer number of hours work it takes to run a site like this, which is very complex.

    In other words we try to please everyone. Each group pushes the boundaries whenever they can, and puts more pressure on us. The suppliers are coming under more pressure financially as prices drop and more competitors come into the market. Consequently they sometimes misbehave here, in order to get one up on the competition. The commercial spam and 'misbehaviour' levels here are rising all the time. We have various ways to handle this and try to protect the community. Miscreants get an ascending level of punishments for their offences. One of the punishments available to us is to move the supplier's forum down to the bottom of the list.

    We need all the measures possible, as the pressure on suppliers increases and therefore the pressure they put on us. Some cannot see sense and need a firm hand to control them. Like any group taken at random from the population, the majority are sensible people but some will resort to shortcuts, and one or two have 'personal issues'. This is simply a normal state of affairs, it is unrealistic to expect a smooth road. But you should see the issues we get with some of the members...

    We will be introducing new areas on the site, with new material and completely different content that should prove very popular with members. To keep the balance, we'll have new facilities for suppliers as well.

    I hope that's given you an insight into the general picture.

    _______________________________________________________
    Note: how to find a known Supplier fast

    If you know the name of the Supplier, or a good portion of the name, you can actually find it faster than by scrolling down through an alphabetical list. Here's how:

    www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/forum-how-tos/56188-how-find-suppliers-forum.html

    _______________________________________________________


    Right on. The site has just exploded and for a time it may have exceeded the capability of admin staff to manage it smoothly. That time is over and we are moving ahead now. Look at the scale of it: the largest ecigarette site in the world; 180,000 pages; 1.5 million posts / items in the sitemap; hundreds of individual forums; dozens of different usergroups or micro-communities; the central global point for PV regulation issues and news; about 500 suppliers registered here, and that number could easily multiply by ten in the next couple of years unless we decide to cap it; 80 suppliers' dedicated forums, with a long waiting list; intense spam attacks from suppliers who have been rejected in order to protect the community; and the list goes on. So TV you are right - it's a big beast, and the challenge is to run it smoothly.

    Beckah you are dead right there. This is one of the first things I noticed when I started here, and to be honest I never got around to fixing a solution. Thinking about this again now, what we need is a page of Registered Suppliers with their location /shipping areas. This should fix it - what do you think?


    Chris
    ECF Site Manager

    .
     
  12. beckah54

    beckah54 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jun 27, 2009
    Ohio
    That sounds great, Chris. Keep up the good work.
     
  13. Ast_Isis

    Ast_Isis Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 7, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    I had suspected that the oldest suppliers were listed first but was not positive. Now I know for sure keeping it the current way does deter the nonsense names.

    I have to admit that creating some way to see which vendors sell to/in which countries would be nice. :)
     
  14. markarich159

    markarich159 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 30, 2009
    PA, USA
    Also, get rid of the suppliers that obviously have gone belly up(i.e. not shipped an item nor responded to a post since the Reagan administration), regardless if they're paying their dues or not. They're just taking up space.
     
  15. TWISTED VICTOR

    TWISTED VICTOR Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Sep 14, 2009
    The edge of Mayhem
    Quote:
    TV -- Has gotten to be a monstrosity, hasn't it?

    Right on. The site has just exploded and for a time it may have exceeded the capability of admin staff to manage it smoothly. That time is over and we are moving ahead now. Look at the scale of it: the largest ecigarette site in the world; 180,000 pages; 1.5 million posts / items in the sitemap; hundreds of individual forums; dozens of different usergroups or micro-communities; the central global point for PV regulation issues and news; about 500 suppliers registered here, and that number could easily multiply by ten in the next couple of years unless we decide to cap it; 80 suppliers' dedicated forums, with a long waiting list; intense spam attacks from suppliers who have been rejected in order to protect the community; and the list goes on. So TV you are right - it's a big beast, and the challenge is to run it smoothly.



    Huh, and I thought I was pretty savvy when I figured out how to copy and paste :oops:. More massive than I imagined, for sure. Well, Chris, hat's off to you and co. I know in just the few months I've been around it seems someone sprinkled Miracle Grow all over :).
     
  16. rolygate

    rolygate Forum Manager Admin Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 24, 2009
    ECF Towers
    Yes Mark you are correct.

    That will certainly be a project we will get to sooner rather than later.

    In the meantime, since you've declared an interest, maybe you can suggest some names for our 'look at very closely' list? :)

    ps -- PM me with those if you prefer, of course.

    @TV
    Well SJ did all the work. Now we're looking at a slight reshuffle and tweak, followed by a whole new big push. Phase 1 is nearly done now. This is a great forum and so easy to build on for the future. We had some technical issues but they're done now, with luck. Nothing good is easy.

    .
     
  17. Up In Vapor

    Up In Vapor Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 1, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    rg, Thanks for the response...though not quite the answer I preferred to hear, it was certainly logical and understandable.

    Still not ready to let up completely (yet), I have one tweaked suggestion for you to mull over:

    How about splitting the suppliers list into sub lists such as:

    1) Preferred/Veteran Suppliers...listed alphabetically

    2) Approved/Endorsed Suppliers...also alphabetically

    3) New Suppliers...you guessed it, alphabetically, LOL

    I just can't wrap my head around finding supplier pages in that LONG tangled mess of names, lol...maybe I DO need some eyeglasses after all! Wonder why the telephone book doesn't incorporate the ECF viewpoint, LOL, j/k...that would be a big can 'o worms eh?

    I think setting the pioneer and veteran suppliers in a separate alpha list would impart the due level of respect they deserve and still allow some order for those of us who don't handle chaos as well as others ;)


    Thanks again for your time in responding and considering our input. You guys are deserving of a Nobel-like award for making this life saving site such a wonderful place!!!

    Ed
     
  18. BigBaddBossyDogg

    BigBaddBossyDogg Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 28, 2009
    Alpha works for every other entity. I don't know why it wouldn't work here, regardless of silly AAAAA names. Can you imagine the phone book being organized according to who paid the most or who's paid the longest?

    Something that would help tremendously, although I don't know how you'd enforce it: People making posts about suppliers should somehow have the sense to include either a link to the supplier's website or, at the very least, a link to their page on this forum. I can't tell you how many times I've read some rave about a supplier, tried to find their website, and just finally gave up. Then again, having suppliers listed in alpha order would eliminate that particular frustration.
     
  19. rolygate

    rolygate Forum Manager Admin Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 24, 2009
    ECF Towers
  20. markarich159

    markarich159 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 30, 2009
    PA, USA
    just sent you a PM
     

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