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Author Topic: Blowing the RWD Horn a Bit  (Read 23829 times)

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Offline Admin

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Blowing the RWD Horn a Bit
« on: January 04, 2006, 09:29:06 AM »
There has been something of an ongoing controversy about the differences between internet boards who have the common topic of international dating and relationships with women from the FSU.

As most of you know, RWD was established - by me, and me alone - after spending quite a lot of time in Ukraine from 1998 forward. I have also been a very active participant on a couple of boards, including Patrick's Planet Love board and the BRAMA Ukraine travel board. I preceeded Jack Bragg on P-L, as well as most others who eventually came to visit there. I never participated on - and almost never visited - any other RW board, primarily as no others existed when I started, and then I just didn't have time to split between multiple boards.

Some ignorant posters on other boards have referred to RWD as a "clone" and implied there is some unwritten or unstated agenda of RWD. Of course, those accusations are fueled by jealousy or ignorance or both.

Nonetheless, the fact that RWD has no commercial interest does, definitely and undisputably, have an effect on the readership and participation we draw to our board.

Taking a moment to describe the business nature of a board such as this, consider:

* Why would an introduction agency or travel agency or professional translation firm choose to spend their money on advertisements on an internet board?

* If you owned such an agency, what would motivate you to spend your money on such an advertisement?

* You would ONLY spend that money if you felt it would stimulate a revenue stream. A revenue stream will be generated only if that particular board attracts the type of participant/visitor who will pay for use of your services.

So how does the internet board attract a particular demographic that will appeal to their intended paying advertisers?

I suppose there are multiple answers to this question - but suffice to say, there are certain categories of participants/visitors who would be more attractive than others. For example, a guy who is married and settled in their new country is unlikely to make use of the services of an introduction agency or a translator. They are no longer a major consumer of the services being offered, hence, are a LESS attractive participant than the guy who has just initiated his interest and pursuit in seeking a life partner from the FSU.

So how do you suppose this translates into active participation on these boards?

Well, someone sent me a JPG image taken on 20Dec2005 which shows the online participants here at RWD and at another RW board at exactly the same time. The other board is commercial in nature, hence, appeals to a somewhat different demographic. I've attached the JPG for you to see the differences - and I am told this is a common scenario between these two boards.

What is *seems* to show is that the total number of online participants is approximately the same - 13 for RWD versus 12 for the other board - BUT - the distribution is quite different. Whereas RWD had only 2 guests of the 13 online, the other board had at least 7 guests of the 12 online - or more than half of their 'participants' were lurkers who were not active participants/members of the board.

This is not really surprising when you think about it. The other board has a business need to appeal to new guys who will be actively spending money in this process, hence, will naturally want to bring in 'new blood' so the advertisers can sell their wares and generate new revenues. Guests to their board being referred by search engines or other websites would be expected and highly-desirable by the advetisers, as they represent the most likely 'new blood' to fuel the industry with $$$$.

RWD has no such business need and seems to have appealed to the more mature and experienced participants. They are far less attractive to advertisers - though, arguably, vastly more valuable to the newbies engaged in this pursuit.

I bring this up principally to address this ongoing controversy - and also to illustrate the complementary nature of the various boards on the internet - rather than focus on their differences. While true those differences exist - they can prove useful to the newby who needs to gather information and advice untainted by commercial interests - while also seeking assistance for their pursuit by evaluating various service providers.

What do you all think about this?? Am I on target, or missing something? Please restrict your commentary to positive comments - no accusations or criticisms of other boards please.

- Dan

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Blowing the RWD Horn a Bit
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2006, 11:04:41 AM »
This sounds like a somewhat symbiotic relationship. Go to the other boards for goods and services then come here to find out to do with the goods and services. If I was just getting into this and spent time reading both types of boards I would tend to lean towards using the services recommended here rather than elsewhere just for the fact that they are not commercially motivated for the most part. I say most part as there are service providers here and their posts in some instances are to promote their services.

Ken (not a service provider):D
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2006, 01:47:23 PM »
Dan,

all I can think of is: "if it works don't fix it!"

:D

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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2006, 01:49:04 PM »
Quote from: BC
Dan,

all I can think of is: "if it works don't fix it!"

:D

BC,

 I can see that you don't work for the government do you? :D

Ken
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2006, 02:06:37 PM »
Ken,

You are absolutely correct.. but the US government does indirectly pay my salary!

LOL

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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2006, 01:23:44 AM »
........What do you all think about this?? Am I on target, or missing something?.......
 
 
Of course your on target here Dan.
 
This reminds me of the time I posted a thread on a Russian discussion board about a scam we had discovered. This particular board was a board who accepted advertising dollars from agencies and the scam we found, and could prove, was from the largest paying advertiser at that time.
 
As you could imagine I was quite surprised when my detailed post in the scammers section was removed. When asked why I was told it was due to some computer glitch. Yea, and it only effected my post. Sure, give me a break, like I just fell off the turnip truck yesterday.
 
Are you on target here Dan?  I would say so.

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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2006, 08:53:33 AM »
Even though there are a lot of similarities between this and the other board, I see the biggest differences are the freedom to post here and the demographics.  That being said, I would like to ask just how different can a format be on any forum?  You either  use a format like Planet Love that can be confusing without topic titles or catagories or you use the current set up.  I like the set up currently being used.  The accusations that this forum is a clone of the other is some sort of misplaced jealousy.  And as for the set up here being similar to the other forum, well, just how many different topic titles can you have on the exact same subject?

The freedom to post here is a huge selling point to the community of members this forum has attracted.  Many have been banned from the other forum for over stepping some imaginary line drawn in the sand over there.  Whether it was because of personality or business conflicts, we will never know because once you commit yourself to moderation, you are at the mercy and descretion of the people you give the moderating powers to.  The result is uneven moderation.  I will say that I think the other forum has backed off of heavy moderation lately and have let more threads take their natural course.  I also think that that change can be directly linked to what is being done here.

But it is the demographics that is the biggest difference between the two forums.  There just seems to be many more active posters here that have successfully traversed the minefield of marriage to a RW.  The active members of the other forum seem to consist of an inordinate amount of players or men that are really not interested in marriage to a RW.  Now if I were a newbie, I would want to obtain my advice from men who had successfully traveled the road I was undertaking and not from some sex tourist.

KenC
You are a den of vipers and thieves-Andrew Jackson on banks
Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies-Thomas Jefferson

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Blowing the RWD Horn a Bit
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2006, 10:37:34 AM »
Ken,

You make a number of good points.

I have done substantial research about the major BB software packages out there - and most have a VERY similar look and feel. There are subtle differences - and this one was selected for its simplicity in administration. Had I wished a board which was effective at banner ad management, or one which integrated into a CMS (Content Management System), I would almost certainly have made a different selection - but even those have very similar appearance for the members.

As for topical choices and structure - I have stated it many times, I have visited the RWG only a handful of times in the period it has been active and have visited the other board (Khashyer's - ??) even less - maybe one time in my life. I honestly did not even know the layouts or forum structures or anything else about the other boards, when I set-up this board. I based the structure on my own initial thoughts - then I solicited a few other opinions (yours was among them, IIRC) - and the rest has evolved over time. If there is a similarity in appearance, it has nothing to do with any alleged "cloning" - it is the simple natural progression of the nature of the theme and topical content of the board.

Demographics seem to be driven by a couple of things. One is how the board is marketed. There are numerous websites I have come to recently learn, all on the topic of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) - driven by the fact that Google and Yahoo and others are somewhat closed-mouthed about how, exactly, they rank sites which meet search criterion. There are strategies employed for 'back-links' (whatever those are), and meta-tags (which I am told are useless now), and other similar efforts to try to ratchet a site up on the ranking lists.

Another influence to board demographics is reciprocal links - and links from paying advertisers. RWD does not have many of those - as there are no paid advertisers, and the only links pointing to us, are from those people who have made the decision to point people here because of the value of the information - no other reason. A good example if the blogger who is living in Ukraine right now and is on some sort of sponsorship by an American organization to study the MOB phenomenon. You can find his blogsite here -- http://everybodyiloveyou.blogspot.com/ - and in it, he references RWD and includes a link to our site.

One of the tenets of RWD which I hope is valued and appreciated, is that I tend to do everything pretty transparently. I ask the members what direction they want the board to take. I encourage the members to send me emails, or initiate polls, or take any steps they wish to determine what RWD will become. I do, on occasion, make unilateral decisions to protect the stated interests and mission of the board - but those are so rare as to be almost non-existent.

In other words, there is no "back-room" discussion or politicking in which board direction is set and board administration policies are decided.

Well - we shall see where, if anywhere, this topic goes.

I think it is important to 'clear the air' once in a while - and if nothing else, maybe this has (or will) accomplished that.

- Dan

Offline Bruno

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Blowing the RWD Horn a Bit
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2006, 12:00:44 PM »
Quote from: Dan
I have done substantial research about the major BB software packages out there - and most have a VERY similar look and feel.

Dan, you have something on these forum who don't exist at any other forum... the "no-hold barred" section...

Other forum delete controversial post... here, they are send in the "no-hold barred" section... everybody is free to search in the trash for find some pearl...

Software and template can be the same but each forum have his own "personality"...

 

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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2006, 12:21:42 PM »
Quote from: Bruno
Dan, you have something on these forum who don't exist at any other forum... the "no-hold barred" section...

Other forum delete controversial post... here, they are send in the "no-hold barred" section... everybody is free to search in the trash for find some pearl...

Software and template can be the same but each forum have his own "personality"...


Yeah - one of the interesting things I did recently was to re-restablish the criteria for what is a "Popular" topic - found under the tab with that title in the upper left of the Home page.

Of the topics which appear there - an unexpectedly large proportion are from the NHB section.

It seems we have a board community that likes to argue about some topics :shock:

FWIW

- Dan

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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2006, 03:56:30 PM »
Well I like this board fairly well since the change from the old format. In fact under the old format I may have posted a total of 10 times if that. This format however appeals to me & the fact that there are no paid advertisers here also appeals to me. As of late I have been spending more time here than on RWG (oooops I said it). Not for any one reason, but for many.

The whole crowd has pretty much changed over there & I find I am in a group of people that for some reason although, we are involved in the same thing, don't seem to be going down the same path. Don't know if that sounds right or not. I find that you can go a little further now than before in some cases but in others you'll get shut down quickly. I don't really know how to explain it other than to say that most of the old crowd is gone & most of the new crowd, well, I just don't feel like I fit in anymore. So here I is.
Quote
I say most part as there are service providers here and their posts in some instances are to promote their services.

There is a section for that very thing & should probably be confined to that section. I try to minimize my advertising on the open forums & keep it in that section.

If however you are going to come back & mention my "tag line", I do that not to advertise but to let people know that my replies to whatever are coming from the view of someone who is in the buisness & should my post take a certain slant, that is why, not to market my buisness. This I started on the other board because I was critizized for certain posts & not mentioning that I was an owner, so now I make it clear right up front on all boards I post on.

Besides if I really wanted to advertise, my URL would be my tag line, LOL.

RVR - Canadian Cowboy/Agency Owner

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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2006, 03:35:38 AM »
The following is written by Cameraguy from the other board. Because I frequent both boards I was one of several asked to try to make contact. These thoughts are the sole property of  Cameraguy, and I am merely facilitating the exchange of ideas.

 
Quote

Dan,

I'm receiving messages that you're seeking a response regarding a post that's perceived as being critical towards RWD.

First of all, any comments that I post solely represent my own views and opinions. Secondly, I never mentioned RWD or made any accusations about "being some sort of shill for Jack Bragg and FirstDream". If this is a typical response to perceived slights or disputes, then it represents the greatest difference in board philosophies.

Spencer was recently threatened with a lawsuit by a reputable agency and long-time board advertiser. They objected to a single critical post after receiving years of positive comments. He immediately severed the relationship and pulled the account. It's too bad that some people think lawsuits are a valid way to resolve disputes, especially from someone who operates a discussion board that's supposedly devoted to free expression and diverse opinions.

After initially hearing several years ago that RWG was going commercial, I disliked the idea. I felt it would be difficult to objectively discuss any agency or service provider who was also a board sponsor. I'm happy to report that I was completely wrong. Most of my few conflicts with agencies over the years have been with those few that are deceptive, manipulative or who think message boards are a cheap and easy method of marketing, something that I've always disliked. For example, a 'Big 3' agency attempted this last year. They even went so far as to incorporate their name in the rep's handle and added a promotional tag line to every post. Despite being the board's top advertiser, I'm strongly opposed to this practice and freely said so. The agency rep assured everyone that he'd be around for a long time. Evidently, he was mistaken.

The message that was forwarded to me also stated, "Rather than stoop to his level and post on the open board, I prefer to deal with him directly." Well, I'm not sure what this thread will accomplish, but if the past is any indication, it'll soon become apparent over many pages and months. BTW, not that it matters, but when I checked each board's online members, it was 31 to 6. For total vitriol and snide insinuations (which has already started, but is somehow never considered inappropriate), there's no comparison. As I've previously said, if you don't like the place -- for whatever reason, don't post. Otherwise, it's being hypocritical. Any board with lots of members attracts a few strange characters and publicity hounds who are more trouble than they're worth. OTOH, the overall depth and diversity of experiences and advice is unparalleled.

The challenges of this endeavor are always changing and involve more than being married to an RW for 5 or 10 years. But having done that is no small accomplishment, as I believe the overall AM/RW success rates are much lower than domestic marriages. Going in without knowing the experiences of others further reduces those odds.

Even though I question the propriety of starting a thread that implicitly sanctions another long-term bash-fest, I appreciate Dan's (and KenC's) civil attitude. Now if only every member could act accordingly...

~CG

 
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2006, 03:38:18 AM »
Quote from: Rvrwind
I say most part as there are service providers here and their posts in some instances are to promote their services.
There is a section for that very thing & should probably be  confined to that section. I try to minimize my advertising on the open  forums & keep it in that section.

RVR - Canadian Cowboy/Agency Owner[/quote]
Rvr,

 I didn't say that to judge or be harsh in any way. Just as a  qualifier to what I was saying. I fully agree that those who are in the  business (agency owner, interpreter, apartment renter, flower  deliverer) should have a place to sell their wares and it is  appropriate that they do. The majority of this type of professional who  posts here does keep it up front who/what they are. I respect that very  much and know that they have a different and valuable side of  information to give here.

Ken
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2006, 06:26:05 AM »
Quote from: Jet

Dan,

I'm receiving messages that you're seeking a response regarding a post that's perceived as being critical towards RWD.

First of all, any comments that I post solely represent my own views and opinions. Secondly, I never mentioned RWD or made any accusations about "being some sort of shill for Jack Bragg and FirstDream". If this is a typical response to perceived slights or disputes, then it represents the greatest difference in board philosophies.

Spencer was recently threatened with a lawsuit by a reputable agency and long-time board advertiser. They objected to a single critical post after receiving years of positive comments. He immediately severed the relationship and pulled the account. It's too bad that some people think lawsuits are a valid way to resolve disputes, especially from someone who operates a discussion board that's supposedly devoted to free expression and diverse opinions.

After initially hearing several years ago that RWG was going commercial, I disliked the idea. I felt it would be difficult to objectively discuss any agency or service provider who was also a board sponsor. I'm happy to report that I was completely wrong. Most of my few conflicts with agencies over the years have been with those few that are deceptive, manipulative or who think message boards are a cheap and easy method of marketing, something that I've always disliked. For example, a 'Big 3' agency attempted this last year. They even went so far as to incorporate their name in the rep's handle and added a promotional tag line to every post. Despite being the board's top advertiser, I'm strongly opposed to this practice and freely said so. The agency rep assured everyone that he'd be around for a long time. Evidently, he was mistaken.

The message that was forwarded to me also stated, "Rather than stoop to his level and post on the open board, I prefer to deal with him directly." Well, I'm not sure what this thread will accomplish, but if the past is any indication, it'll soon become apparent over many pages and months. BTW, not that it matters, but when I checked each board's online members, it was 31 to 6. For total vitriol and snide insinuations (which has already started, but is somehow never considered inappropriate), there's no comparison. As I've previously said, if you don't like the place -- for whatever reason, don't post. Otherwise, it's being hypocritical. Any board with lots of members attracts a few strange characters and publicity hounds who are more trouble than they're worth. OTOH, the overall depth and diversity of experiences and advice is unparalleled.

The challenges of this endeavor are always changing and involve more than being married to an RW for 5 or 10 years. But having done that is no small accomplishment, as I believe the overall AM/RW success rates are much lower than domestic marriages. Going in without knowing the experiences of others further reduces those odds.

Even though I question the propriety of starting a thread that implicitly sanctions another long-term bash-fest, I appreciate Dan's (and KenC's) civil attitude. Now if only every member could act accordingly...

~CG

[/quote]

Thanks Jet,

It serves no useful purpose to engage in any sort of exchange like this on the open boards, which is why I sought a direct exchange. CG made his point(s) clear in his post - and his posts of the past. His action to take my request to the open internet says a lot - but this is not the proper venue.

- Dan

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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2006, 06:35:10 PM »
Quote from: Dan
It serves no useful purpose to engage in any sort of exchange like this on the open boards, which is why I sought a direct exchange.

 

I tend to agree, ESPECIALLY through a third party. I have honored one request from each side of the issue, can I be done now? :huh:
Every action in company ought to be done with some sign of respect to those that are present. ~ Geo. Washington

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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2006, 07:21:39 PM »
Quote from: Jet
I tend to agree, ESPECIALLY through a third party. I have honored one request from each side of the issue, can I be done now? :huh:


Thanks again.

- Dan

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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2006, 06:18:29 AM »
Well at least folks here do not get banned for not posting ;)

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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2006, 07:48:22 AM »
Quote from: BC
Well at least folks here do not get banned for not posting ;)
I think you were not banned BC.. in their urge to get rid of Elen they blocked all non-American IP's :D
No it is not a dog. Its really how I look.  ;)

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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2006, 08:29:08 AM »
Quote from: BC
Well at least folks here do not get banned for not posting ;)


We all know how rowdy you can be BC. Banning is the nicest thing to befall a rabble-rouser like you!

:zappedhim:

[tongue planted firmly in cheek] - (is there an emoticon for that???)

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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2006, 08:43:06 AM »
LOL Dan,

According to a very trustworthy source they do have a problem with the board..

Rats.. just when things were getting interesting..  Oh well back to procrastinating  yardwork!

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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2006, 09:11:50 AM »
Quote from: BC
LOL Dan,

According to a very trustworthy source they do have a problem with the board..

Rats.. just when things were getting interesting.. Oh well back to procrastinating yardwork!


Yeah, I suspected as much - from all the comments I've been receiving (PM and email). Though, of course, none from the person whom I invited to engage in a private exchange.

I am trying SOOOOOO hard to contain my sarcastic commentary. :cool:

- Dan

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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2006, 09:32:37 AM »
Quote from: Dan
I am trying SOOOOOO hard to contain my sarcastic commentary. :cool:

Yeah that can indeed be difficult to do at times ... :D

 

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« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2006, 06:51:58 PM »
Shadow, why on earth did Spencer want to get rid of Elen that he blocked all European internet IP's?  She has been active on this board for a while as well.  

Dan, by the way, I whole heartedly agree with your initial post.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2006, 06:52:00 PM by Bruce »
"A word is dead when it is said, some say.  I say it just begins to live that day."  Emily Dickinson

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Blowing the RWD Horn a Bit
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2006, 07:01:50 PM »
Quote from: Bruce
Shadow, why on earth did Spencer want to get rid of Elen that he blocked all European internet IP's? She has been active on this board for a while as well.


This *must* be a different Elen than our Moscovite Elen - right?

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Blowing the RWD Horn a Bit
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2006, 04:21:25 AM »
wow, Ellen got banned from a board?  Must be a board who feels threatened by her expertise, experience. Or maybe she said something negative towards a paying advertiser, or she must have said something that offended a moderator.
 
 

 

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