Introducing Vendor Membership for Advertisers
Over the last few months, attempts at blatant advertising from non-advertisers in our forums has become more prevalent. Furthermore, as the site gets more and more popular, it takes more time to monitor, moderate, and maintain it. So I think it's time to batten down the hatches a little bit and update the rules of advertising.
Many advertisers may have several sales representatives from all over the country (maybe even the world). I really, really appreciate their decision when they choose to advertise with us. However, many sales representatives might think they can post freely in our forum with attempts to sell or setup demonstrations for their potential customers because their parent company advertises here. It's not really fair if a huge corporation can advertise here and have 10 employees posting advertisements in the forum for the same price a mom-and-pop shop would pay without the resources to have multiple employees posting about their stuff all the time. I want to showcase all of our advertisers and give them all an opportunity to post their announcements, specials, etc. but without overpowering the free and informative nature of our community. So I've created the Vendor Membership program.
Vendor Membership would grant a single member the ability to post in the Vendor Showcase forum up to 4 times per month with specials, announcements, product news, etc. and enjoy some other benefits as shown in the Vendor Membership section of our Advertise page. If multiple sales reps from that company want to have the ability to post in the Vendor Showcase, they would each need to purchase a Vendor Membership. The great thing about this is that our users will have one stop when they are shopping, and the Vendors will have a way to tell everyone about their products. Posts in the Vendor Showcase will still appear in the Recent Posts just like any other posts, so Vendors will get exposure to their products and services on the most popular page in our Community -- and interested members can reply to ask questions and offer feedback.
Furthermore, some advertisers may not want to purchase Leaderboard or Footer Sponsor ads, so this gives them another option. Vendor Membership allows them to basically craft their own posts to advertise their stuff in a specially dedicated forum just for them. Regular (free) members can post replies in that forum (but not create new topics) in order to spark up a conversation about each topic and keep them showing up in the Recent Posts from time to time. Think of it as an online version of an exhibitors hall at a surveying conference. For more information regarding the rules of the Vendor Showcase forum, please visit the Vendor Showcase Rules topic.
These policies are in effect immediately. If you are a current advertiser, I am offering a free Vendor Membership to you at no charge for the remainder of your current advertising term, but you must request it by the end of the day December 31, 2018. Send me a private message or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions, please visit the Advertise page for details. If you still have questions, you are welcome to send me a private message, an email, or reply to this thread.