Why couldn't it be another resource for the donating members, like the rest of the non-hammock stuff is?
Want information on camp stoves? Donating member.
Want information on backpacks? Donating member.
Want information on time-sensitive deals on camp stoves, backpacks, or other camping equipment? Donating member.
Want information on hammocks and only hammocks and hammocks all the time? Member.
If it's about protecting the cottage industry, I can understand that...but I fail to see the connection between sharing a good deal with like-minded people and commercialization. Granted, it's not about me, and I don't make the rules...but more and more I see people trying to share deals they've found (Woot.com selling hammocks lately has been a big one that I've seen a few times) and these people aren't representatives of the vendor or retailer, just like-minded people sharing something useful.
The example you give is a perfect one. We do vet perspective members and particularly vendors. Our Vendor rules are very strict specifically so that we keep the commercial side of HF to a dull roar. That doesn't mean that we aren't bombarded by folks trying to join that are not approved. Many of those are rejected because it is obvious on the surface that they are here to sell. A few make it through and are quickly called-out by members via the Reported Posts. So yes, we do exactly what you're talking about here. Problem is, it is already a lot of work trying to ferret these people out. Adding links and links and links to 'good deals' will only multiply the workload.
But, that's the low hanging fruit. Mods know they will have to work when the accept the job. The real issue is more about focus. We don't want the focus to shift where HF becomes a place to shop. We went through something similar with the whole stove thing. HF is a hammock site, with hammock in the name, where we talk about hammocks. HF is a place to learn and as a byproduct, a place to make new friends. There are plug-ins you can add to your browser to find good deals. There are an infinite number of websites and search engines that provide good deals on just about any topic. There is only one HF. There are a couple of other hammock sites out there, but nobody can claim to be the resource that HF can claim on hammocks. Most of the credit goes to the members, but we attract and keep the members that we do because of the way the site is managed.
I think you will find the mods to be very resistant to commercialization. It contributes very little, as the information is very easy to find, but it adds plenty of problems. It just isn't the path that we want to be on with HF.
Because it clutters the forum, especially for folks who use the "new posts" function. And because that's one more thing for the mods to work on that doesn't add to HF's primary mission of discussing hammocks.
I guess this comment settles the debate in my mind. I do use the "Today's Posts". I can see them getting cluttered with stuff that does not enhance this site. I like the site the way it is (except, when I get corrected by the Mods.) LOL
It seems like I am having a little problem with too much gear, I really need to cut down my on line shopping. I like using small businesses for my shopping needs. That is a part of HF, cottage vendors.
We really don't want to be a link farm for big box outfits. We are very lucky to have the cottage vendor interactions that we do and we also appreciate the fact that they come here to share as much, or more, than to sell. That's about all the commercialism we are looking for here. Discussion is more valuable to us than 'Hot Deals'.We do not want any more commercialism on HF than there is already. We don't want to take away from the cottage vendors and we don't want to be overflowed by 'representatives' of the sites that are being linked,Nicely put, Cannibal....several times.HF is a hammock site, with hammock in the name, where we talk about hammocks. HF is a place to learn and as a byproduct, a place to make new friends.
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For me seeing the Cottage Vendor Deals is good and fine. But I just pass on the Commercial Outfits as I will more than likely get an email or ad or catalogue from them anyways.
I am in favor of the rules as they stand.
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You post a good deal to a large commercial site with a cheap price. A member buys that product at a price that our low-volume cottage vendors cannot compete with. That member is now out of the market and no longer a potential customer to our cottage vendors for that product.
Pretty simple, really.
And that's in addition to the extra mod work. If price is more important to someone and they want a good deal, I completely understand that...and all they have to do is google it. But asking the mods to take on an enormous amount of work to save a folks a few minutes of googling? Seriously?
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