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default Commercial side of eco movement and online Forums

Post by rue_d_etropal on 2nd July 2010, 11:09 pm

I am part of an eco project, which to survive to promote the eco message has to be comercial. I ran up against a brick wall on another orum because I wanted to promote part o the project and feel there is a negative approach to commercialism on some forums. I detect some of that here and that really concerns me, but that might be mis-reading the 'rules'.
My other interests are in anything to do with FranceI I now have a house there to do up) and small railways. The forums or Francophiles have had their problems, but someone has come forward and set up something new. One of the problems with the old forums was their approach to commercial activity, and the owners reluctance to accept critisism of businesses which might wish to suport forum with money. The new forum is free of commercial support and accepts some self promotion by members, as does the railway forum. Both forums also have vibrant threads on areas totally outside the main intersest group, and both forums are attracting a lot of interest. On the other side of the coin, forums require a lot of work from moderators and it might seem easier to apply a box ticking attitude, but ultimately the success of an online forum can be judged by number of active members and the messages they post.
I am afrad to talk about the project I am working on as it does have a commercial side, which is not only essential or its future but also the Green movement.
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default Re: Commercial side of eco movement and online Forums

Post by Adrian on 3rd July 2010, 12:07 am

I am happy for discussion on projects, blatant advertising is out until I have the markeyplace set up - there will be advertising space/areas added with vendors/projects/companies added at my discretion for a small fee which will go towards the running of the site, still trying to work out how I want to run it, either as a forum part, as a sidebar advert or as a main section on the main site [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I actually have no problem with green/eco commericalism (well apart from greenwashed tat) and the T&C are mainly set out to avoid having companies join up and plaster the boards with adverts.

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default Re: Commercial side of eco movement and online Forums

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 3rd July 2010, 7:46 am

I think there is a distinction to be drawn between companies with an eco product/message/aim who make a profit, and companies who exist solely to make profit using the eco angle as another marketing tool to increase profits.
Although, ultimately, the end justifies the means - I have worked with some volume housebuilders who have created Eco-developments of green(er) housing purely to increase their margins and get a little more market share, and are not ideologically committed to Green issues in the slightest. To my mind that does not matter in the slightest: the net result is a bunch of houses with lower carbon footprints.

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default Re: Commercial side of eco movement and online Forums

Post by Hairyloon on 3rd July 2010, 10:03 am

Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:To my mind that does not matter in the slightest: the net result is a bunch of houses with lower carbon footprints.
And also a demonstration of the good business sense of going greener.
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default Re: Commercial side of eco movement and online Forums

Post by rue_d_etropal on 3rd July 2010, 10:43 am

Many years ago I tried to set up a simple online business directory. It failed , partly because some people thought there was a catch, but mainly because there are good free directories such as Google.
My experience and interest in small railways has shown me that there are a lot of ellow enthusiasts willing to put their own money to promote something they are interested in. I have a small website, I would not expect it to make any money, but it is one of the tools I use to promote what interests me. The main forum I use actually has an area for manufacturers to promote their specialist products. Those manufacturers are also members of the forum and the forum has a good following.
Specialist websites including forums should not be set up expecting to make money, or even have someone else pay or them. I see them like any interest or hobby, and I don't expect others to pay me to enjoy my hobby.
Enviromental interest is increasing, but should still be seen as a specialist interest/hobby and it should not put off those putting their own money into doing something to pust the message forward .
If a member of this forum came up with a brilliant idea which would help the environment, one which could make a little money, but not enough to interest the big companies then I would hope that this forum would help promote the idea. In fact this forum could be part of the development of the idea, and everyone gains.
For some in environmental movement there does seem to be a feeling that commerce is bad and they should stay clear of it. One great thing about the Transition movement is that a bit of realism has entered the arena and commerce is essential as long as it is small(and hopefully therefore sustainible).
One final point which really niggled me concerning anothere forum, was that it seemed perfectly OK to promote Eco courses, even those a member was running(probably for profit), but any other type of eco business a member was involved in could not be promoted.
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default Re: Commercial side of eco movement and online Forums

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 3rd July 2010, 11:24 am

I think the thing is not to dwell on what didn't work on another forum and forge ahead with what what does work on this one.

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default Re: Commercial side of eco movement and online Forums

Post by Adrian on 3rd July 2010, 12:35 pm

Indeed, the simple message here is for the vedor/compant/business/entrepeneur to just talk to me about what they do and we can work out an arrangement.

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Post by Compostwoman on 3rd July 2010, 1:22 pm

I have a link up to my environmental education business on here, which is my business but also does N-F-P stuff...and it seems to be allowed?

I guess it is how you go about doing stuff, if it is blatant advertising then I feel it is reasonable to pay for a forum to host it...

omlet take a cut for advertising my chicken keeping etc courses, after all...but then they do, do all the booking, take the money etc and just send me a payment regularly.
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default Re: Commercial side of eco movement and online Forums

Post by Adrian on 3rd July 2010, 1:57 pm

Ruinning the forum incurs me costs, both financially and in time therefore in opportunity cost - I think that a small fee is not unreasonable for a company to advertise its products/service.

However, as I said, the answer is always to talk to me about it

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Post by Hairyloon on 3rd July 2010, 3:22 pm

Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:I think the thing is not to dwell on what didn't work on another forum and forge ahead with what what does work on this one.
There are lots of other forums (fora?), and I don't think that looking at what is good or bad about the advertising policy of another forum to see what we can learn from it constitutes dwelling on it.

However, I think the boss has put it clearly enough...
So am I OK to plug my services here then?
I'm a non-profit organisation, although the organisation is fairly lacking.

Those of you that read my theological diatribe may also realise I am trying to set up a non-prophet religion.Wink
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Post by Adrian on 3rd July 2010, 6:07 pm

Hairyloon wrote:
So am I OK to plug my services here then?
Wink

Badger wrote:.

However, as I said, the answer is always to talk to me about it

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 3rd July 2010, 6:15 pm

Hairyloon wrote:
Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:I think the thing is not to dwell on what didn't work on another forum and forge ahead with what what does work on this one.
There are lots of other forums (fora?), and I don't think that looking at what is good or bad about the advertising policy of another forum to see what we can learn from it constitutes dwelling on it.


No, but having looked at it, as we have, and established what was good or bad, then it is time to move on and do something constructive. Learn from the mistakes of the past, don't pick at them like scabs.

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Post by Hairyloon on 3rd July 2010, 7:58 pm

Badger wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:
So am I OK to plug my services here then?
Wink
Badger wrote:However, as I said, the answer is always to talk to me about it
There is no use talking to you, you're far too far away to want to hire me for anything. Wink
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Post by Compostwoman on 3rd July 2010, 8:02 pm

Have actually noticed my signature no longer has my business website link on it? anyone notice when it went?
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Post by rue_d_etropal on 3rd July 2010, 8:15 pm

I directed towardsthis forum , partly because of what happened elsewhere. I am myself putting a lot of effort into a project which takes 'Eco thinking' to the High stret, or at least as close as we can aford. I tried to advertise a share issue in the Co-op which will run it ( an alternative to setting up a charity ), and I was rebuffed.
The eco movement has been growing momemtum, but still needs a kick up the backside to keep it running. Apart from being a member of said co-op, I have no personal gain, apart from possibility of a low paid part time job in it. I irst got involved in environmental movement over 30 years ago doing practical conservation work (chopping down trees was fun) but after a gap of 20 years I now want to get serious, and apathy is probably the big enemy . Along with the Co-op I plan to re-gig my website and bring back some eco fun and games, anything to get Jo-Blog's attention, as the future is very very important. Just saying , I tried, is not enough.

sorry having to re-edit to re-insert 'f' s which my keyboard keeps ignoring [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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