I really like the idea of the vendor section. It would be nice to have the vendors be more interactive, and to be able to share that with the others here. Keeping it compartmentalized is also a good idea. Good luck with cutting the rules; I know that will be tough.
I wish I would have seen this a week ago - another posting got my attention that lead me to this posting.
The reason that more vendors aren't involved is because there's a vendor-hostile attitude here. They are always going to be torn between trying to allow knowledgeable members to provide information and trying to extort advertising dollars. Their model is very screwed up and I predict the entire thing is going to crash as the banner ad type of ads they push here dry up because they don't work. Instead of pushing commercial members like me away, they should be entering into discussions to figure out how to move into a successful future.
All you need to do is look at my own signature. I've gotten 3 demands to change it. I changed it complying with the written rules twice only to have it changed by force by another moderator. Now it's just a stupid signature that means nothing. I don't dare to touch it.
Does anyone really think that vendors will have an open ability to discuss anything about their product here? Why do you think there are almost no vendors?