Marketplace's Future

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by CalBoy, Jan 17, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #1
    Disclaimer: I'm not writing this because of any current problem, but out of a sense of what could happen in the near future. I'm also just throwing out ideas for the purposes of brainstorming.


    Ok, now for the meat and potatoes:

    The MR marketplace is a lovely place for established members. It allows us to buy and sell a myriad of goods with a small sense of safety that's derived from the fact that those who post threads there have been here for at least a little while. Hence the 100 post requirement, as it helps establish a sense of familiarity and community.

    However, I question how strong 100 posts is for 2008. When I first started to read MR religiously back in 2004, there were nowhere near this many threads/posts in one day. There has been a gradual and consistent growth in posts, threads, and posters. I'm sure Doctor Q can provide more specific numbers, but I think we can be fairly safe in assuming that the site has seen explosive growth over the past couple of years.

    This presents an interesting problem (in my eyes at least): 100 posts ain't what it used to be. With the expansion of Apple's product line, we've gained the iPhone, iPod touch, and now the Macbook Air, all of which will attract more posts and threads (a good thing to be sure!), which also means that a determined poster can easily climb to 100 posts in short order, without having been on MR for any real time at all.

    Now, as I wrote in my disclaimer, this isn't a problem yet (at least from what I can see; the mods/gods might have a different story to tell, and I would love to read their insight into this). However, I think the opportunity for abuse is present, and that there should be some kind of preventative measure taken (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure).

    As such, I propose 2 ideas, one I like and one I don't:

    1) Increase the post count requirement to 125, 150, or 200, or some other "round" number. This is a very simplistic way to handle things, and I view it largely like countering inflation with a COLA; rather than address the problem, we would merely react to it.

    I'm not a fan of this idea. I think it will only lead to more spam and useless posts that will create more work for the mods and generally cause more problems all around. As such, here's my second idea:

    2) Keep the post count the same but establish a "minimum time" requirement for the marketplace. For example, the marketplace might require one to have 100 posts and have been registered for 2 weeks (or ten days, or some other easy to remember interval of time).

    I like this idea because I think it would present a road block to those who register here just to use the marketplace. There have been a few posters like that (rare, but they might increase as MR becomes even more popular) and I think this would make a spam marathon pointless and force that poster to seek a different route to sell their wares, or wait out the 2 weeks and post more diligently. Either way, I think that this idea would really help preserve the "community" feeling of the marketplace while not creating new work for the mods/gods to deal with.

    Now, there is a question of software technicalities, but I'm not sure how that could be addressed.

    I look forward to your thoughts. :)
     
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #2
    I would like to see

    1) 500 posts minimum

    and

    2) at least 3 months membership
     
  3. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #3
    I take it you've had problems modding the marketplace before?
     
  4. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #4
    And I thought my little thought out requirements were tough. ;)

    I'd like to see 1) minimum 500 post count and/or 2) minimum membership on MR of one month.

    But then I just realized, I don't want no dirty Marketplace spammers who spam to get 500 posts in a month. :D :eek: Yeah, forget my silly ideas. I'll let others come up w/ better requirements. Teehee.

    And yes, the MP is continually a source of post reports and issues. It can get a tad annoying.
     
  5. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #5
    I agree...this is something the moderators have talked about, so this thread is a good place to hear from the users. Particularly those who frequent the Marketplace...what's your take?

    If the requirements were made more strict, is that good or bad for sellers? It shrinks the pool of potential buyers, but in theory makes the pool of higher quality.
     
  6. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #6
    I think that preserving quality is very important. If the current 100 post count stays in place, we will soon have dozens of new posters who qualify for the marketplace, but who may not be accustomed to how MR works. In a sense, the marketplace might devolve into a type of free 'ebay.'
     
  7. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #7
    I don't use it much but can you get stats on the %age of people who get to the minimum, use the MP and then never come back to MR except to sell stuff.
    If there are any such scoundrels.
     
  8. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #8
    In my 5 or so years here, there have been maybe, a handful of problems in the Marketplace. Is this a solution looking for a problem?
     
  9. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #9
    Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they aren't there. ;)

    Yes, we have had a variety of problems with the Marketplace...it's possible that a change like this could help with a number of them, but we want to make sure we consider both positive and negative ramifications of it.
     
  10. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #10
    i stay away from the marketplace overall because i am a bit weary. it would make me feel more confident overall as a buyer.

    and i can just imagine the headaches such a forums creates for the mods.
     
  11. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #11
    True, and I'd doubt higher post requirements / length of membership*would have stopped those problems happening.



    * no editing please
     
  12. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #12
    A possible negative that I can think of is that people have to wait too long and forget that they have marketplace privileges (if we make them wait a month or something after their registration date).

    Meh. It's weak, but it's all I can come up with for negatives.
     
  13. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #13
    the thing its, the marketplace isn't the reason to be here. its a part of the community, but its not the core of macrumors. so i think a time limit would help.
     
  14. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #14
    That's how I viewed it as well.

    The current 100 post requirement was originally intended to serve as a time barrier (how many posts can one make in a day right?), but with the forums expanding the way they are, 100 posts will probably not come up to muster more and more often.
     
  15. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #15
    Yes, we've talked about it... and talked some more. Like Mitthrawnuruodo, I tend to favour a far stricter entrance requirement because those using it should be a little more familiar with the forum rules and be a little more respectful of them, in my opinion, something that comes about with time spent on the boards as a whole. To me, it's a more important perk than having an avatar.

    And yes, it's the problems you guys don't see.
     
  16. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #16
    Of course the guy with 17+ posts per day sees 100 as too little of a number. (; It took me forever to get 100 posts.

    I would be in favor of a time-based solution. Say, 6 months?
     
  17. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #17
    Thwarted! yes I read the plea
     
  18. tefleming macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    ATL
    #18
    QFT

    I don't think the number of posts or time in membership has anything to do with whether someone would be a good trader or not.

    There are evaluation systems (like Heatware) that provide actual, less-anecdotal evidence of whether someone would be a good trader.

    I view my 70 positive ratings (zero neutrals/negs) as a far better testament to my reliability and trustworthiness than my 145 posts (most of which were in the Premiership thread) or over a year of membership (most of which was idle).
     
  19. Ish macrumors 68000

    Ish

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    I visit the marketplace but haven't actually bought or sold on there. I'm a bit wary too. (I'm amazed when I see 100 posts or a month - hadn't realised that many people were that prolific. It's taken me 3 years and 2 months to reach 500, even though I visit most days!)

    If that's the case, I'd say 6 months + 100 posts, whichever is the later. No-one's going to hang around that long just to rip us off! Doesn't mean that everyone who hangs around that long is perfectly honest, obviously, and I don't see any way to guard against that.
     
  20. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    I'm where I need to be
    #20
    Ish- Love your Avatar.

    I haven't used the marketplace myself, but I do frequent it to see whats out there. I, like many others, am a bit wary. To those that think making the requirements a little more strict won't change things as much as we'd like, I say that it certainly could not hurt. People here just to sell things aren't the people I'd like to have around here anyway (no matter how good the deals ;)). I believe the marketplace should only be open to those with 500 posts or greater as well as a time limit of at least 3 months.

    I trust in Arn and our mods to decide whats best for us :p
     
  21. kainjow Moderator emeritus

    kainjow

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2000
    #21
    I agree with this, but would make it 6 months instead of 3. For everyone else, there's always Craigslist, eBay, etc.

    Agreed, and this is why I think the requirements should be stricter.
     
  22. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #22
    I'm quite glad to hear opinions from our members. Our goal, as always, is to make the Marketplace as successful to as many members as possible. To do that, we try to find the right balance between "newish" members who want to take full advantage of the Marketplace and the members who want to have a chance to "get to know" the thread starter, or to check up on them, from their other posts. A larger posting history also shows more of a commitment to the site (as would a longer membership). For these reasons, the current rule cuts down on the chances for deals to turn sour. In my experience, Marketplace threads tend to go best when members have taken the trouble to do this -- really look at the other person's posts.

    We're also trying to find the balance between over-regulating (making the Marketplace so safe that very few people qualify) and taking a completely hands-off approach, which we've already found leads to regular problems. We're well past the days when MacRumors had a small enough community for you to feel you "knew" any significant percentage of the members, which is why you have to qualify at all.

    If Person A makes 100 posts more quickly than Person B, or more quickly than Person A would have made a year ago when the forums were less busy, that doesn't take away from the ability of other members to "get to know" them by their posts. It's the same amount of information. (Perhaps the speed at which they post is another piece of information that people should consider!) If it took 100 posts (admittedly an arbitrary cutoff) to get to know someone before, it shouldn't take more posts now. So the idea to increase the minimum should be based on how well the current cutoff has met the goal, not just because the overall number of posts per day in the forums has increased.

    For length of membership, I wonder whether a member who joined at least X-many months ago is more likely to be a good partner for a deal, even if they didn't post for many of those months. As I mentioned, it shows a bit more of a commitment. In theory, the time it takes a member to make 100 non-spam posts has become shorter, because there are more forums and more threads in which to participate, so that "natural minimum time" isn't as long as it used to be.

    No automatic qualification system can be perfect. Your comments can help us fine-tune our system. I continue to encourage buyers and sellers to read each other's posts outside the Marketplace, because it's much more informative than bean counting.
     
  23. TimJim macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #23
    Right when I got 100 posts i sold some stuff in the marketplace and i still sell things in the marketplace from time to time.

    But I do think that number should be higher. Someone could get a quick 100 posts, photoshop their names into near some pictures of a Mac Pro, sell it, and ditch this place.

    The problem with raising the post count to 500 or something, is that less people will qualify, therefore less activity.
     
  24. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    I'm where I need to be
    #24
    Do you always have to be the voice reason? :p
     
  25. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Location:
    My Mac
    #25
    I agree, this would keep spammers away since it would do no good to spam up 500 posts while still waiting for the 6 month finish line.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page