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Selling TF and The Future

Thread title: Selling TF and The Future
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10-23-2009, 09:26 AM
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Big Zee is offline Big Zee
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  Old  Selling TF and The Future

Hi Guys,

To end lots of speculation and to provide a solution for the movement of TF, I have decided to sell the forum and I thought I thought I'd give you an insite into my decision, where we go from here and foum sale plans etc.

Reason I bought TF in the first place
I initially bought TF as I wanted to gain access to a good sized webmaster related forum as I was setting up a new SEO system which would:

A/. Need a forum to discuss the system
B/. Have access to a large number of webmasters who may want to use the system.

In hindsight TF was the wrong forum to buy as its member base, although close, was not ideally suited to those really into SEO and is much more a design and obviously freelance related forum! However at the time there were very few webmaster related site of decent size available and any that were, were just priced at a rediculously inflated price. At the time TF seemed like a good option.

As a lot of IT projects do, there were numerous delays in the SEO systems launch and it went from a relatively smallish project into a giant. On top of that there has been about 5 changes in developer, a complete re-write in .NET from php, and a few period where it lay dormant.

It has been back in fully time development since the start of this year but is still about 3 months away from launch.

All this time I was reluctant to sell TF as I had bought it for the reason (at considerable cost) above and the project was still being worked on, so I always thought that when it launched it would provide a massive boost to TF - DP was basically built on its provision of tools such as the coop etc, and my system was going to look like rocket science compared to that.

So basically I didn't really see a way out. I wanted to keep the forum and its user base for the system, thinking when it launched this would be the huge boost TF needed, but at the same time the system kept getting delayed. If I sold TF I would loose the user base that the system needed for launch. At the same time I didn't have time to input into TF as I am also the MD of a big company that has grown and grown in those years and makes me work 12 hours a day just on that alone!


A possible solution:

The whole vision thing and the loads of people contacting me about selling TF, kicked me into gear, that I needed to find a solution to these problems:

- TF needed a boost give it the dedication it deserves, and I couldn't give.
- I didn't want to just loose the userbase of TF members who may be interested in the SEO system

Therefore I hit upon and idea.

I would launch a new forum that was completely dedicated to the audience I wanted for the SEO system - IE people that loved SEO/SEM and making money on the net (rather than TF's more design orientated audience).

To keep any members in the TF database that are really interested in SEO and maybe the lauch of the new SEO system, I would start the forum by importing TF's userbase.

This would be the starting point of the new forum, and from there TF and the new forum would go their seperate ways - I re-iterate that this forum is NOT a replacement for TF! There is only a small overlap in interests, but there are enough userss of TF that are interested in SEO to make this worthwhile for me to do.

I could then sell TF, and keep my database of users.

So, last week that what I set about doing, and created : http://www.semseosalad.com - you can login as under you current TF details, and if you are into SEO then you are welcome on the forum. For those not interested, then you can again just login and unsubscribe, and thats the last you will hear from it.

What's SEMSEOSALAD going to be like?
Well purely and simply its dedicated to SEO/SEM and making money on the internet, and when the SEO system launches, there will be a dedicated section for that. It's not going to be "fun" or very social forum like TF - its really just about doing SEO and making good web business. Don't expect any competitions etc, this is purely just going to be hardcore talk on SEO etc. If that sounds of interest, then your welcome, but if its not your think then I wouldn't recommend it.


How come you can spent time on SSS when you couldn't on TF?
Well to put it simply I'm not - I just don't have time. When the SEO system launches I'll be around the forum for that, but generally not much day to day. I have mods etc already in place to handle all the work and promotion will be funded from the TF sale.


How the sale will work
I plan to advertise the forum in as many places as possible as well as email all members of TF. This should have several benifits.

A/. I obviously get the sale in front of as many potential buyes as possible and there get the best price.

B/. The amount of noise this will create - and I am guessing a lot as a webmaster forum of this size hardly ever comes up for sale - will create a lot of activity on TF itself and hopefully provide a significant boost to everyone wants.

C/. A new owner is going to have a awful lot more time and dedication to TF than me, so they will hopefully provide extra boost that TF so wants.

So thats going to be the plan of action.

Please NOTE:
- This is NOT the sales thread as that will be created later, so DO NOT reply in this thread with offers etc, this is just for general discussion on the sale.
- Please do NOT PM me with loads of questions etc, I have loads to do with the sale etc and will not have time to answer them - any bids will only be answered in the correct thread!
- There will be NO BIN - the highest offer will be accepted after a specific period.

As per private PM's I have had with a few people, I will try to find the best person to take TF forward, and will do all I can to advise they should maintain the current staff struture etc.

An Apology
I aplogies that I have not been the dedicated owner that you all wanted and TF deserved, and I don't doubt that most of you will be glad I am going. I would just like to say that i wholeheartedly apologise for letting you down, and wish you and TF all the best for the future.


Thanks

Zee

10-23-2009, 11:54 AM
#2
ChrisGwynne is offline ChrisGwynne
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I think it's extremely unethical you have used TalkFreelance's database to boost and power your new forum. This is not how a new forum should be built. It'd have been better to have emailed members asking them to sign up there.

You have also broken users privacy and trust as they're now defacto registered on your new site, with their personal forum information from here on there also. I don't believe you have asked any member whether you can transport their details and use them on your new website. Whilst yes, you own the rights to the TalkFreelance database, and it's content, nowhere have you stated that you'll use said data in any other way other than for TalkFreelance.

10-23-2009, 12:22 PM
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Big Zee is offline Big Zee
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Originally Posted by ChrisGwynne View Post
I think it's extremely unethical you have used TalkFreelance's database to boost and power your new forum. This is not how a new forum should be built. It'd have been better to have emailed members asking them to sign up there.

You have also broken users privacy and trust as they're now defacto registered on your new site, with their personal forum information from here on there also. I don't believe you have asked any member whether you can transport their details and use them on your new website. Whilst yes, you own the rights to the TalkFreelance database, and it's content, nowhere have you stated that you'll use said data in any other way other than for TalkFreelance.
I can understand certain concerns on this, and appreciate you thoughts, I can honestly say there is nothing malicious about this. At the moment and until the TF is sold, they are one and the same company, and its a common practice for a site etc to branch out into different product areas and URL's and maintain the same user info - the main beinifit being that users still have their information without having to re-enter it all over again. If people do want to use the SSS forum then they will also maintain their itrader post counts etc which I think they will appreciate. For those not interested in the forum, then I will handle this with care and sensitivity and effectively screen them out of the database.

Due to my reasons for buying and holding onto TF originally, this was really the only solution I would be prepared to do to sell TF. Rather than being trapped in this cycle this allows me to get something similar to what I originally bought TF for, and for an new TF manager to come in and dedicate themselves to TF and improve it to the status which I am sure you have all been wanting.

10-23-2009, 12:29 PM
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ChrisGwynne is offline ChrisGwynne
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Do potential buyers of TF also know you have the entire userbase and a lot of the posts on another website? Personally, if I knew that the forum was replicated onto another website, I wouldn't be interested in buying at all...

10-23-2009, 12:54 PM
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Big Zee is offline Big Zee
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Originally Posted by ChrisGwynne View Post
Do potential buyers of TF also know you have the entire userbase and a lot of the posts on another website? Personally, if I knew that the forum was replicated onto another website, I wouldn't be interested in buying at all...
Yes of course I'll be totally upfront about it.

I am also fully aware that any bids will be lower because of this. However, as a TF member, you know that "most" TF members will not be interested in this forum, and as you can see its totally different from TF and its very unlikely to have any impact on TF in that user will just transfer where they go. Maybe some will visit both, but as a TF member, you know that they won't drop TF for SSS.

You also know, as well as all other TF members, how little time I have had for TF, and therefore by loosing me, TF looses nothing and has everything to gain.

Any Non TF member will not assume this and will factor in a lower price, enabling TF members, if they are so inclined, be able to pick TF up for a much reduced price.

I'm sure you are of the same thought that TF with its huge user base and dedicated core following etc, could be made into a very big forum very quickly, if the right person buys it.

All these factors are unknowns to a non TF member, and they would be wary of it. TF members will know the score, and as such one of them, will hopefully purchase it.

I think you would all prefer an exisitng TF member to purchase the forum for obvious reasons - therefore I see the above situation of what I have done to make this a much likely scenario.

10-23-2009, 01:25 PM
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Jeff Andersen is offline Jeff Andersen
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I'll have to agree with Chris here that that's probably one of the biggest no-no's when it comes to operating a forum.

Extremely unethical to sign me up for a forum that I had not registered for. Not to mention the legality of it isn't straight forward considering to register on the forum itself we had to agree to a terms of service and privacy policy - to which each site has their own iteration of this thus requiring us to agree separately.

I'll make this my formal request to be deleted from the "SSS" forum.

Good luck with the sale, but you've just cause your sale price to drop considerably.

10-23-2009, 01:33 PM
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Zivem is offline Zivem
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Originally Posted by Jeff Andersen View Post
I'll have to agree with Chris here that that's probably one of the biggest no-no's when it comes to operating a forum.

Extremely unethical to sign me up for a forum that I had not registered for. Not to mention the legality of it isn't straight forward considering to register on the forum itself we had to agree to a terms of service and privacy policy - to which each site has their own iteration of this thus requiring us to agree separately.

I'll make this my formal request to be deleted from the "SSS" forum.

Good luck with the sale, but you've just cause your sale price to drop considerably.
This.

I'm rather disappointed about this as well. You get a different joy out of GAINING your members than to just moving over a database from a past website. Truly disappointed.

10-23-2009, 01:39 PM
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silent1643 is offline silent1643
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Originally Posted by ChrisGwynne View Post
I think it's extremely unethical you have used TalkFreelance's database to boost and power your new forum. This is not how a new forum should be built. It'd have been better to have emailed members asking them to sign up there.

You have also broken users privacy and trust as they're now defacto registered on your new site, with their personal forum information from here on there also. I don't believe you have asked any member whether you can transport their details and use them on your new website. Whilst yes, you own the rights to the TalkFreelance database, and it's content, nowhere have you stated that you'll use said data in any other way other than for TalkFreelance.
+1 wrong move - i thought at first you were using a forum injection script but soon found out it was the same post from TF - start fresh and build up on that - this is the only true way a creditable community can come about

10-23-2009, 01:41 PM
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Big Zee is offline Big Zee
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Ok guys, I see I have set a few backs up hear. I do apologise and it certainly wasn't ment. I'll hold fire on everything for the time being and adjust my solution.

10-23-2009, 01:56 PM
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Randy is offline Randy
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  Old

While the fact that you took the userbase bothers me I do understand why you did it. I will for sure head over there myself for SEM and SEO purposes and stick around here for design.

Cheers,
Randy

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