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Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by Dave • Fri 04 Sep 2009 13:11
I have updated the Small Ad's Rules again to help make them clearer. Many members seem to struggle with these rules, which I think are pretty clear and simple, so perhaps you can take a moment to read them again and let me know if you don't understand something.

I understand that times are tough and that many people are selling things to help them get by, but some seem bent on turning Pont Noir into little more than a free version of eBay. The small ad's forum is a free service for members to sell the occasional thing and is not designed for car-booters or the "Arthur Daley's" amongst us to make a little on the side.

If this service continues to be abused then it will be removed or restricted to those with over 50 posts. There are few other places that allow free small ad's and even less that cover the Creuse.

Please leave your feedback, comments or thoughts here in this thread (good, bad or plain ugly).
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Dave
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Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by Annik • Sat 05 Sep 2009 00:30
As long as they are not too overpowering, I like to read the ads. We have bought a nice rotavator through them and wouldn't have known about it otherwise. You have obviously been doing some thorough editing as I haven't noticed anyone abusing the system. It would of course be a shame if the ads started to dominate matters.

Annik
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
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Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by grandad • Sun 06 Sep 2009 21:06
Personally, I find the small ads an interesting and useful resource I've obtained some things and offered to give some things (free) in response to "wanted" ads. Seems a pity to lose it.
If the "management" has a strong thing against the present format, I'm sure that someone (me for instance) would organsie setting up an alternative Creuse/english/freecycle thing, to which I for one would subscribe. Pont noir might direct future advertisers and enquirers to such a site after ( say) a month's grace ?

regds
grandad
47
Apr 2008
Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by handyjack23 • Sun 06 Sep 2009 22:00
That's a good idea. We are great fans of freecycle and have used it a lot. Indeed most of our emails now come from freecycle in Cheshire, though we can't do anything about the things on offer until we go back to England.

We have probably got various items we could offer on a Creuse freecycle. After 15 years our house is stuffed with things we really no longer need but don't want to throw away.

Annik
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handyjack23
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Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by Dave • Mon 07 Sep 2009 10:44
I'm not sure about the "management" but I don't have anything against the format of the Small Ad's nor of having the forum in general (otherwise it wouldn't be here I suppose), but I do have a big issue with those few who don't bother to read and/or follow the rules. Rules that are clear, simple and not really that onerous; in fact they are far less constricting than those of most printed small ads that charge by the word.

In general it is not free or wanted ad's that cause an issue. Normally small ad's would be reviewed before becoming publicly visible and that in trusting people to post within the rules it is inevitable that some ad's won't be acceptable. Some, I expect, already know this when they post, but that doesn't stop them arguing the point after I delete their ad's.

In effect, it is the same position as that of What's On In 23, where the possibility of free advertising proves so strong that "commercial" doesn't apply to their business. Our "No Advertising" policy oft lauded by the members, isn't always welcomed.

As always member participation is welcomed and if any member would like to moderate the Small Ad's forum they can PM me with their idea's.
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Dave
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Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by grandad • Mon 07 Sep 2009 11:44
There must be more than two people Plus Dave Admin who are interested.

More feedback !!!
grandad
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Apr 2008
Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by Maria2009 • Mon 07 Sep 2009 14:11
Personally, I like the Small Ad section, although I do understand that it must be very frustrating if people ignore the rules.

I think it would be a shame to lose this 'topic' from Pont Noir - but apart from suspension of accounts of those who abuse (which I believe is already in the rules) I don't have any further suggestions :roll:
Maria2009
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Apr 2009
Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by rayh • Mon 07 Sep 2009 18:36
I, like Dave, get irritated by people who:

1) sign up just to advertise
2)Are long term members, but only ever advertise.

I don't think the "50 post rule" is an answer (yes, Dave, I know that was only one suggestion :) )as people will post 50 lots of c**p just to get round it.

I think Dave should continue to enforce the rules and we put up with the odd one that gets through.

as I said in the advertising debate, you don't have to read them :)

those of you lucky enough to be in France at the moment, enjoy the weather!

Ray
"Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" - Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by lestroisours • Mon 07 Sep 2009 19:09
In my view while it is a service, there is a only current membership of 810, which is, I would say, not a large circulation.

I believe that there are greater opportunities for the wanted/for sale sector outside this forum, as nice as it is to be given an opportunity to see what's on offer locally.

Are the chances of a successful sale of an item through this medium, as opposed through a site or medium that deals wholly in items wanted/for sale, greater or lesser? The unusual items like ducks and geese are fair "game", but should we put cars up for sale for example?
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ~ Charles Darwin
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lestroisours
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Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by edmoraz • Mon 07 Sep 2009 19:34
I have used the small ads section to buy things in the past and found it useful. Maybe we keep it to small ads and put a maximum monetary value on the items advertised. It would be a shame to loose this resource.
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edmoraz
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Feb 2008
Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by Dave • Mon 07 Sep 2009 20:04
as people will post 50 lots of c**p just to get round it.
Maybe, but I guess the forum mods might notice 50 posts of "Hello Dolly" etc.
In my view while it is a service, there is a only current membership of 810, which is, I would say, not a large circulation.
Yes, there are only 810 members (some of which haven't visited the site in years) but we get many more visitors than that, all of whom can see the ad's. TBH I rarely get feedback on whether it works or not, so you maybe right and most items aren't sold via Pont Noir.
Maybe we keep it to small ads and put a maximum monetary value on the items advertised
Yes this is possible, but in the end it's just another rule that is ignored and I expect therefore more admin conflicts. Plus people can just put "offers" or something.

I also thought of charging 50 cents per ad (for sellers only), but that's a lot of work to implement and therefore not cost effective. I also expect that it would increase admin effort and conflict from paying punters (if in fact there were any).

I've also thought of implementing a points system on the site, whereby you get points for addng posts or other content which you can then "spend" on other services, such as on a small ad. In the end though whilst it may offset some spam it won't solve the real issue: when people don't read the rules or read them and don't follow them then some action must be taken, or the forum will be filled with nonsense (just take a look at what goes on at some of the larger sites where it's almost a free for all).

Perhaps another possibility is that any member can delete any small ad at any time, or maybe members can post an ad for anything they want at all, but can only have one post. Or posts can't be edited and are deleted after a week. Or posts don't show until they are admin approved. There are many things that can be tried but all will require admin intervention and all will annoy some subset of the membership.

I don't want to stop genuine community members from buying/selling/exchanging stuff. I think it's a good way to meet up and also promote recycling etc, but I'm a little sick of spammers, hawkers and part time traders at the moment - hence the new broom.
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Dave
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Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by james419 • Mon 07 Sep 2009 21:05
We have bought a couple of items via the ads section - and whilst not top of my list for reason for visiting - I have found it useful also I am selling at the moment and it is another opportunity to try to find a buyer.

I agree that you get some people who only visit to sell, but that happens on other forums as well, the same with promoting locations for entertainment, but that is also of use to us as we do not take a local paper or wander the supermarket ads, I like it and would be sorry to see its demise.
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james419
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Sep 2005
Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by sscbristol • Tue 08 Sep 2009 09:39
We have bought and sold via this facility and it would be a shame to see it removed. However I can understand Dave's point of view and I would hate to see this forum gradually drift towards a buy/sell exchange as others have become.

I think that we should trust Dave to review all ads and decide whether they should be allowed or deleted. If some people object, then tough. It's Dave's forum and he has made a good job of running it - for no benefit - for almost five years. Thank you.

This is my favourite forum because it it local and non commercial, and whilst I do not post regularly, I do visit every day.

I have also resolved to try and contribute more to general discussions.

Have a good day all - the sun is shinng and you live in the best part of the world - La Creuse
Tony
sscbristol
69
Oct 2004
Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by TournesolKate • Thu 10 Sep 2009 09:29
The rules seem pretty clear and fair to me!

I too, have bought one or two items from the Small Ads forum and I enjoy reading the posts, whether or not they are selling something I need/want.

It would be a shame to see this forum go for the sake of a few individuals who ignore, or simply can't be bothered to read the rules.

Also, while a small charge is a good idea, it wouldn't be fair to those who use the Small Ads to give things away for free, or people looking to buy an item, rather than sell.
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TournesolKate
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Oct 2008
Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by Dave • Thu 10 Sep 2009 11:27
Also, while a small charge is a good idea, it wouldn't be fair to those who use the Small Ads to give things away for free, or people looking to buy an item, rather than sell.
I don't think that Pont Noir will charge, because that's doesn't fit with the ethos of the site. The free and wanted ad's are the main reason for this forum IMO and I wouldn't like to see them go. The difficulty lies in that we don't cater for those who want commercial advertising which causes issues when those members try to post as a private seller.

I hope that now we have a dedicated moderator for this forum this sort of issue will all but disappear and no further changes will be required.
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Dave
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Re: Future of the Small Ad's Forum
by grandad • Thu 10 Sep 2009 11:52
Good decision - the postings show a real interest in this topic.
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Apr 2008
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