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"Policy Change for Hobby News" Topic


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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Sep 2019 1:05 p.m. PST

As you may remember, there was a discussion – TMP link – about how Hobby News should be handled on TMP.

To sum up the responses I received, both publicly and privately: readers were generally opposed to a change, but 100% of the advertisers that contacted me were in favor of a change.

So… I've made the decision to try this new policy for a while and see how it goes.

This means that Hobby News can no longer be posted on our forums. Companies cannot post new product announcements, sales, convention visits, or other subjects which are normally covered in Hobby News.

Since only TMP advertisers can post stories to the Hobby News section, this means that non-advertisers will need to become advertisers if they wish to promote their products on TMP. (It is very inexpensive.)

We ask that individuals refrain from posting new product and similar announcements of a commercial nature on the forum.

Wherethestreetshavnoname03 Sep 2019 1:22 p.m. PST

Will this apply to Tango?

Northern Monkey03 Sep 2019 1:49 p.m. PST

so, what happens if I see a new product and want to say "Hey, the new 20mm tank from XYZ looks great". Can I still do that?

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Sep 2019 2:05 p.m. PST

I agree that Bill's rates are very reasonable.
It is common these days for folk to expect "something for nothing" though.
The policy might reduce the information given.
However it is a small price to pay (in my opinion). Some of the non- payers post a lot of ads, be it for such diverse items as female figures, books they have written, kickstarters they are promoting or Napoleonic rule sets.
TMP should be supported by manufacturers. I support TMP because I believe it is right and a good thing for the hobby. Others obviously feel less so inclined. I do not expect free trade space at shows, but maybe I should?

Skeptic03 Sep 2019 2:34 p.m. PST

It would be nice if the Hobby News and News Talk sections were searchable from within TMP…

altfritz In the TMP Dawghouse03 Sep 2019 2:52 p.m. PST

What if I notice a company is running 20% off and post the information as a community service?

altfritz In the TMP Dawghouse03 Sep 2019 2:53 p.m. PST

"100% of the advertisers that contacted me" – That could be a single advertiser.

Devil Dice03 Sep 2019 3:52 p.m. PST

Tango should be exempt from the new rules as he provides an essential service flagging up items that would otherwise be missed. Give him an official title and put him on the staff!

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2019 3:52 p.m. PST

I was not even aware that this was a subject of discussion.

SashandSaber Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Sep 2019 4:38 p.m. PST

I think this would be a major mistake. I'm an advertiser and post to Hobby News periodically. Sometimes there is a long queue, particularly before major conventions. Also, what exactly would be considered "hobby news" and therefore banned from the forums? Would any information regarding the company be considered "news?" What about future plans, ranges, etc. If a company wants to update info regarding a particular range (i.e. Kickstarters) can they not post updates in the forums? What about attending a local convention that has a thread going on the Conventions forum? We can no longer post info regarding pre-orders, etc. without officially posting to Hobby News?

Chris

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Sep 2019 5:07 p.m. PST

So, this means my "Hobby News" submissions will be pushed off the front page and into oblivion, essentially, even faster than they are already?

I am an advertiser and basically I pay to use the Marketplace. I post Hobby News occasionally but it vanishes so fast I rarely bother.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Sep 2019 5:47 p.m. PST

I post Hobby News occasionally but it vanishes so fast I rarely bother.

We publish stories at 3AM, 6AM, 9AM and noon PST. We publish three stories at a time, typically one story each of high, medium and low priorities. That means that each set of three gets three hours of exposure before the next set comes along.

Your reader settings determine how many stories are on your homepage. On my homepage, for example, I see ten stories 'with picture' and another ten stories 'without picture'. That is almost two days' worth of stories.

The stories are also copied to the various 'zone of interest' boards, where they are shown much longer. For example, when I see the ACW page, it shows stories as far back as mid-June.

Headlines are also posted to Facebook (usually a daily list) and Twitter (fewer because of the Twitter limit on text).

We could make changes to how the above system works. We could raise the number of headlines 'with pictures' on the homepage (although this would raise our bandwidth costs); we could also raise the total number of headlines displayed.

miscmini Fezian03 Sep 2019 5:50 p.m. PST

"This means that Hobby News can no longer be posted on our forums. Companies cannot post new product announcements, sales, convention visits, or other subjects which are normally covered in Hobby News."

I assume the new policy has no affect on the Marketplace and Painting Services boards.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Sep 2019 6:06 p.m. PST

What if I notice a company is running 20% off and post the information as a community service?

Staff will remove the topic.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Sep 2019 6:08 p.m. PST

I assume the new policy has no affect on the Marketplace and Painting Services boards.

The Marketplace is intended for individual use, not for companies.

Companies which are promoting their painting services on the Painting Services board would need to be advertisers here.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2019 6:44 p.m. PST

I get the ad revenue angle, and that makes sense in many cases.

However, I thought a lot of what TMP is about is "Hobby News", and people sharing info about new products, sales, deals, etc., etc..

Banning posting about that in the forums will lead to others going elsewhere to find this information, I suspect, leading to a decline in viewership, and clicks.

Waco Joe03 Sep 2019 6:58 p.m. PST

I must say I find this policy at odds with the spirit of TMP. Look at the Crowdfunding and 3d printing boards. Those exit mostly to bring new "products" to our attention, usually through a fan's posting. Are we now banned from promoting these? Curiouser and curiouser. frown

TheWhiteDog03 Sep 2019 7:46 p.m. PST

This month will be my last as a paying member. I wouldn't mind a list of those manufacturers either, so I can stop patronizing them.

I don't blame you, Bill. I blame them for their shortsighted opinions.

mjkerner03 Sep 2019 7:48 p.m. PST

No Tango to speak of? Boy, I'm up for supporting membership again in a week or so, but if people can't post about hobby news, which is one of the main reasons I have been here for 15+ years--and gladly support it--there's little point to supporting the site with my $$ (unless I were to sell something in the Marketplace, which I have never used)?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Sep 2019 7:49 p.m. PST

However, I thought a lot of what TMP is about is "Hobby News", and people sharing info about new products, sales, deals, etc., etc..

Depends. Some readers have Hobby News turned off, and only visit the forums.

Banning posting about that in the forums will lead to others going elsewhere to find this information, I suspect, leading to a decline in viewership, and clicks.

We'll see. It also means less clutter on the forums, and more focus on the businesses that actually pay to support TMP. It also 'thins the herd' so to speak, so that marginal and under-financed companies fall off the radar, leaving the better managed companies to dominate the news sphere. After all, it costs very little to advertise on TMP…

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2019 8:14 p.m. PST

I agree, a big chunk of what draws me here is others posting about sales, new products, etc. I certainly understand cracking down on companies posting in forums rather than paying for advertisements, but to stop supporting members from informing other members about hobby news is ridiculous.

Zephyr103 Sep 2019 8:32 p.m. PST

So how long must a 'new' (or any) product be out before it is considered 'old' and can be mentioned?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Sep 2019 8:46 p.m. PST

…but to stop supporting members from informing other members about hobby news is ridiculous.

If TMP members are posting about Such-and-Such Company's new releases, why would that company ever become an advertiser?

How would you distinguish between a true fan of a company, and a shill or sock puppet account set up by a non-advertiser to promote their products?

So how long must a 'new' (or any) product be out before it is considered 'old' and can be mentioned?

What we don't want to see is a TMP member posting, "hey, Such-and-Such Company just released X and Y!" because that is giving the company free advertising.

What would be allowable are posts such as: see the unit I just painted, here's a battle report of a game I just played, here's a review of a new product (assuming it is a true review and not simply an advertisement).

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Sep 2019 8:56 p.m. PST

Look at the Crowdfunding and 3d printing boards. Those exit mostly to bring new "products" to our attention, usually through a fan's posting. Are we now banned from promoting these?

Some of our advertisers have crowdfunded projects. Is it fair to them to let other companies promote their crowdfunded projects at no cost?

Remember that advertising with TMP is very affordable.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2019 8:59 p.m. PST

IMHO… this is a big mistake… but … Bill house….


So, no more hobbie news in the Message Boards… only those who paid money… well… Supporting Members paid money too… and I'm aware many of them like to see hobbie news with one click in the Message Board… not only the news for those few who paid for it…


Today…TMP is not anymore a " Web Magazine for Miniature Wargaming… it's a restrictive paying "Web Magazine…" for those Hobbie Companies who paid… and what about the paying (or not paying) fellow members?… good luck for them… you only have the right to see and read any news about your hobby … that has previously been paid … otherwise … live in ignorance of the hundreds of news that exist in the hobby in the world … that they have not been previously paid…


"So… I've made the decision to try this new policy for a while and see how it goes…."

I hope that when it is taken into account that the thing is going really bad … it will return to the previous state … before it is too late.


Today… is a sad day for TMP Comunity…

Amicalement
Armand

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2019 9:30 p.m. PST

Does this effectively stop people asking for recommendations for figures, models, books etc.? If someone asks (for example) for a particular class of ship and I know a certain manufacturer has them, or a particular dealer sells them then does that constitute free advertising for them?

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2019 9:32 p.m. PST

Likewise, does posting pictures of my latest modelling efforts of Company Xs nice tank models constitute free advertising if I mention the name of the manufacturer?

And does this mean a ban on book reviews (or reviews of other media?)

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Sep 2019 10:05 p.m. PST

Does this effectively stop people asking for recommendations for figures, models, books etc.? If someone asks (for example) for a particular class of ship and I know a certain manufacturer has them, or a particular dealer sells them then does that constitute free advertising for them?

No.

Likewise, does posting pictures of my latest modelling efforts of Company Xs nice tank models constitute free advertising if I mention the name of the manufacturer?

And does this mean a ban on book reviews (or reviews of other media?)

No and no, I already answered that question.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 1:35 a.m. PST

So can we recommend products? No it seems!
Can we warn about solething? No either as " counter advertising" hummm?
Can we answer a question about which rule or mini etc. to use for a sugject? "Hiden advertising"?
Because this is one of the true treasure of tmp!

The move is understandable as paying advertisers are a bit at a disavantage to those who sneak in. But if it is really cheap, it is not so bad.

The lack of independance of the site itself towards advertisers might end up like a Wargames illustrated post Mcfarlane. Sort of.

Also now on posdibly no negative revews, that woukd be terrible.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 1:40 a.m. PST

May I suggest that a bit (3) more information would illuminate this topic before anyone gets too upset .

1. Would the traders that do not pay for advertising give an insight into their thinking on this topic. They are surely reading this.
2. State how much it does cost for an advertiser to advertise their wares on TMP.
3.What proportion (not amount; that is your(TMP) business only) of TMP income is from supporting manufacturers?


thanks

Devil Dice04 Sep 2019 2:59 a.m. PST

It's precisely the "marginal and under-financed companies that fall off the radar" that is the reason many people come here for.
The big companies all have their own websites that can be found easily with Google. TMP is where you come to search for hidden gems.
Also muzzling Tango will be a great loss, he does so much to highlight companies and figures that would otherwise go unnoticed.
I can also see why current advertisers are worried that a sudden large increase in the hobby news section would swamp their ads making them less visible to potential clients.

korsun0 Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 3:34 a.m. PST

Disagree with this. A niche industry needs exposure when it's within a niche market. Promoting service, products or pointing out XYZ has particular items strengthens the hobby. I also understand the need to make an even playing field, but I think this is a little excessive.

Mooby66604 Sep 2019 3:52 a.m. PST

Why not run a poll where everyone can have a say?

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 4:30 a.m. PST

I agree with Tango01 and Jcfrog.

Seems to me the "big boys" are trying to crowd out the "little guys" and mom and pop, or just "pop", single man operations, and they don't like honest and objective criticism of their products.

Many of us love and/or strongly like and appreciate the miniatures, terrain, rules, and other items produced by small, one man operations. Losing info about, and access to them will be sad indeed.

I suspect other wargaming blogs and forums will help pick up the slack some with info about these, but TMP used to be the place I would go to learn about them.

It is a sad day indeed to say that will now no longer be true.

TMP has changed, and not for the better.

Crabbman04 Sep 2019 5:30 a.m. PST

I think i will just stick to posting ads for my games on facebook….

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 5:33 a.m. PST

If your running short of finances why not raise the cost of becoming a member a bit and then allow everyone to advertise or make comments about new things that are coming out.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 6:08 a.m. PST

As a manufacturer, but not an adveriser(yet), I can see both sides of this discussion. And , there is no easy answer.

Perhaps another way to approach this issue(I am offering a potential solution, not just whining grin) is to allow the posting of non-advertiser information, but , on a board that is available to only Supporting members. In order to post or view this proposed board, you pay the piper for the privilage.

Now, before the torches and pitchforks come out, I am attempting to change this discussion from a bit$h session to a discussion with possible solutions.

So, have at it boys and girls.

Dave

WarWizard04 Sep 2019 6:23 a.m. PST

I am trying to understand this policy will function.

I really enjoy when someone posts a review for a new set of wargame rules. Does this mean if someone posts on a forum "Hey, check out my review of the just released XYZ ruleset for ancients battles", will this be banned now because it is considered advertising for that company?

Nevermid, I just saw this answer in an earlier post:
What would be allowable are posts such as: see the unit I just painted, here's a battle report of a game I just played, here's a review of a new product (assuming it is a true review and not simply an advertisement).

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 6:56 a.m. PST

I think StoneMtnMinis has a good idea. This ensures that there is some revenue tied to the "free advertising."

As for the Market Place; why isn't the policy of it being for individuals and not vendors being enforced. There is one company whose product seems decent and I would've bought except for the fact they are constantly advertising their products/sales/etc. on the Market Place boards and it has always been my understanding that this is not supposed to happen.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 9:09 a.m. PST

I also agree with StoneMtnMinis!

I have been a paid advertiser for many years and appreciate the privilege, but I also would like TMP to continue to be a place where the VERY little guys (littler than me!) can offer their products/services in some fashion.

Learning about the "seeds" is the best way to give them a chance to become "trees," even if they are only floating their first "shoots."

That may be a tortured metaphor, but it's in a good cause.

TVAG

dapeters04 Sep 2019 9:31 a.m. PST

I surprise Bill your doing this way, why not a poll?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian04 Sep 2019 9:55 a.m. PST

If your running short of finances…

Not sure where you got that from! huh?

jefritrout04 Sep 2019 10:33 a.m. PST

As I see it Tango (and others) do not post in the Hobby News section, but in the boards. Hobby news is at the top of the page and seems more important.

I believe that the message boards are there as a source of information. Therefore, items like those posted by Tango and small folks should have space in there without being restricted. It shouldn't be blasted across all the boards, but if you have a new kickstarter for Napoleonic houses, that should be listed in the kickstarter board and the Napoleonic board, but not in 4 or more boards across the whole site. For me the little known information in the message boards is why I check out TMP almost every day.

If this new greatly restricts the flow of information on new products, then I can see my reason for visiting TMP also restricted.

BorisTheSpider04 Sep 2019 11:18 a.m. PST

"Marginal and under-financed companies that fall off the radar" might not fall off the radar of given a chance to show off their products. Even the "big boys" started somewhere.

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 11:19 a.m. PST

So basically as a paid advertiser I can no longer post new product announcements on any forum.

Well, the policy is completely off base.

Non-advertisers or others shouldn't be allowed, but heck as a paid advertiser I should be allowed.

I have been on TMP since almost from he beginning and a paid advertiser as soon as that became an option.

I am quite disappointed.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian04 Sep 2019 11:27 a.m. PST

"Marginal and under-financed companies that fall off the radar" might not fall off the radar of given a chance to show off their products.

Our advertising rates are low. If a company can't afford our rates, they shouldn't be in the business.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 11:38 a.m. PST

Yes paid advertisers should be able. We actually might notice more! Personally I seldom even see of sorts the banners, seldom click on them not just because I know most of them.
The idea of the paying members is not bad from Stone Mountains ( argh can I say the name? ). But it makes tmp more and more like a restricted member club, maybe soon paid by a few big boys. Not its expected aim.

The original point raised, is not moot. Why should one pay advertising ( say 100/200$ a year) if posting by you and pals in the forums nearly does the job? I think the paying members only partially covers the thing. And certainly advertisers should be able. No t easy.
Remains the sticky subject of critism/ negative reviews. As one who soon might ( nono,😜😋) be subject to it, I still think that it is absolutly needed, to have honest reviews, credibility. No all rules ad certainly not all figs are good. Motivated, polite, open minded, that is nicely tmp moderated.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 12:25 p.m. PST

I think makers can pay from about £50.00 GBP a year to be a trade member. Quite cheap I think.
A quarter page in the glossy magazines is about £150.00 GBP per issue.
A trade stand at most UK shows for 12 foot is about £140.00 GBP

SashandSaber Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 12:35 p.m. PST

I agree with Lon. I've been a paying advertiser since the early days of Sash and Saber. If I can only post "news" by submitting through Hobby News that takes away a way of communicating with customers (through the forums). Really the only time I post anything to the forums is when members ask about product, show attendance, etc. This new policy stinks.

Chris

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Sep 2019 12:37 p.m. PST

Completely understand the blocking of the non paying.
Non advertisers should not be allowed only makes sense.
However, As a long time paying advertiser I should be open to speak of my product anywhere on the message boards!!

Russ Dunaway

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