The situation with advertising on the forum has, as Alan says, got out of hand.
Whilst it is obviously desirable to inform holidaymakers and residents of "free whatever" on Sundays or "whoever" singing on Saturday night, the concession was, I think, introduced to benefit patrons (any secondary benefit in favour of the business was, to them, a bonus).
However, I feel that to look at "latest posts" now is akin to watching nothing but a shopping channel on TV. Coupled to this is 'housekeeping', there are now "upcoming events" dating back to 2011 and we have no way of knowing if Joe Soap is still playing every Friday night at whatever bar or not. Consequently, "upcoming events" is probably more of a hinderance now than the help it was originally intended to be.
On the theory that "it can't carry on the way it is", what are the options ? Charge for advertising, restrict free advertising (and bumping up advertising posts), a time limit (then the post gets deleted) ?
I doubt that anybody would pay money to advertise. Most businesses in and around Vera Playa are struggling to survive. They have no marketing budget! We have always given all the bars and restaurants etc free advertising - it's good to know what events are going on for everybody. The only 'blanket ban' is on apartment advertising. 'Classified' type advertising I see as no problem at all. And there's no problem with anybody asking 'Where can I buy/find .....?" But Alan does all the work, it's his call at the end of the day.
Happy owners and winter residents at Vera Playa, our piece of Naturist Paradise.
What Phil was rather politely trying to say in his opening post of this thread is this.
We are concerned about the future of the Website and forum. We constanty watch the statistics of the forum and the way it is being used. It is apparent that they way the forum is being used is changing, All change isn't bad but we are seeing that there are getting less posts of discussions and general information about the area and more posts simply advertising events.
We are also seeing that many posts that would have formally been placed on the forum are now being placed on Facebook.
So we are asking question. In what direction does the website and forum go to service and provide a useful service?
We are not necessarily saying that we should charge for advertising.
What is really on my mind is that a large proportion of the posts are now for upcoming events. This is a very important source of information for the area. However I feel that this is being abused in several ways:
1. Multiple postings in more than one place on the forum
2. bumping of events i.e. adding an almost empty comment just to bring that event to the top of recent posts
3. And now using the likes to highlight events
I'm all for spreading the word but if somebody wants their word to be seen more than anybody else's than perhaps they should pay for the privilege and contribute to the running costs of the forum. The forum isn't free to run, Maureen pays for the domain name and I pay for the hosting, we have never asked for any payments from anybody towards these costs
It is quite difficult to decide to what level free advertising should be allowed. I have just had an enquiry from a business today who want to put prices for their service on the website or forum, should that be allowed for free? I'm about to start an email conversation with them to decide what we will allow. Their services will I'm sure benefit both visitors and some businesses in VP so should I allow them free advertising. If we do where does it stop.
Then you have to start thinking if we're helping these businesses why shouldn't we benefit from that as well. I fully understand that the businesses are struggling in the VP area but I think I probably put as much time into this Forum and Website as some of those put into their business (just take a look at the time of this posting).
I personally like to see what events are up and comming in VP expecially as Phil and I will be visiting this year after a 3yr break. It would be interesting if members would post their comments if they have visited an event whether it was good value, entertaining etc. I do agree with Phil some of the advertising postings have been taking advantage of free advertising. But not sure how to moniter this. I don't do many postings as you will see but check the forum every day (since it was established) to see what is happening in my favorite place - VP. Sue
Well I have been responsible for promoting and continuing a number of discussions on here about the area in general, the way it is developing and changing' the way certain folk choose to behave and what we want (hope) to see in the future. And most importantly, what we may be able to do, collectively, to influence events.
I must say it was not a great success.
I was quite firmly, but politely told both in public and in private that this was NOT the purpose of the forum and that I should avoid any matters which may be controversial, which, I guess means any topic upon which there may be differences of opinion.
So no "discussion" on the forum then.
So, that left not much except to discuss whose birthday it was next, and where folk were going for their next evenings eating, drinking, partying or whatever. There's a limit to how many times you can write about what time the bus goes.
If you ban the publicity of such "events" I don't know what would be left to discuss that's allowed here.
Maybe you could publish a list?