Are you going to be operating the e-commerce site as well? Funny thing is I don't recall ever seeing a post of anyone who actually purchased anything from Sailnet, mostly referrals to West Marine and Defender. I have gone to some of there specials and every link goes to Product not found! link. Then some pop up comes up asking if they can help me. I have always worried that this site might not go well, if it was depending on the sailnet e-commerce site making a profit.
Just the forum.
Not that I would recommend trying to turn sailnet into sailing anarchy, but I would recommend taking a look at their front page. The constant updating news articles makes it worth starting there instead of going strait to the forums.
Noted, I will have a look.
One of the most unique and valuable things about this site in my opinion is the articles section. There is some truly great stuff in there written by some truly great sailors. Sure, much of it is old, but it's still great stuff.
You guys should figure out a way to not only promote this existing library of articles, but also solicit articles from the membership here. If sites like Sailfeed can monetize the creation of content by good writers, you guys should be able to do it as well.
With guys like Bob Perry, Mainesail, JonE, Cruisingdad, the sailing chefs, and many others, you have a very valuable opportunity staring you in the face to leverage social growth around great, relevant content. Expand that from the written form to podcasts and video (like DrakeParagon's series) - and it could really get fun.
On some of the car and motorcycle sites for example we have a tech exchange program. This is where members are rewarded for writing good tech articles. We may be able to start something like this here but more so for sailing articles.
It's the members who create the content that attracts the members. Attracting members who keep coming back drives advertising income.
Taking that further, vBulletin costs a few hundred dollars. Putting it on a website costs a few thousand dollars for a dedicated server per year. So the hard assets of the company are almost worthless. The real value, quite obviously, is all of us, right?
So yeah, I think there is a claim that it is all of our business. Why would they hide it? Why would a moderator be so defensive about it? Did they receive compensation?
No compensation was given by the original owners to the mods, this I know. The rest to be honest I am not even privy to.
I agree about the avatar picture. Maybe a gray warship like Phil Herring uses over on sailboatowners.com. Small world but maybe you are him? If so, and if not, welcome.
I also agree with MiataPaul that the store search engine does not work so well. Maybe that is not of your concern.
I don't control the store, sorry.
Funny, by the way the question was phrased, I thought svmeanderer was a bot.
To his point about all of us being the real value here, that's not entirely true. People come and go at their own will. We see it all the time. The real value here is the sense of community and cameraderie. Even if we don't all get along all the time, the site continues on and (almost) everyone is glad to be a part of it. How does that happen? The mods and the rules they enforce. They are the reason the site has flourished, and they are the reason the site could have any real value as an ongoing concern (as opposed to, as Smack pointed out, the incredibly valuable articles section and the vast storehouse of knowledge in the archived threads). If the mods received compensation as part of the deal, then I'd be THRILLED for them! Donna, Ron, Andrew, Brian, Jeff, and anyone else I've forgotten do a great job and deserve to be compensated for the time, effort, and energy they put into making the site what it is.
More fundamentally, it is exceedingly rare for ANY privately-held company to disclose anything about its transactions (either buying or selling). Hell, I'm impressed that a) they told us at all about the ownership change, and b) that the new owner has personally taken his time to chat with us.
I am not technically the new owner but part of a team of people who will be working on the site who all work for the new owners.
I have been here a few years and contribute when I can. I think this is a premier sailing site where everyone can contribute and learn. The posting needs a few tweaks especially in posting photos and videos. Not sure this can be done but there has to be a way to mine all the data from old threads in a reliable search engine and re-goup them into one.
Do you have trouble attaching images to a thread or embedding youtube videos?