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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:24 am 
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Well, I don't know how many of those 15,000 members are active, but the site seems very busy. It's gotten to be a case where volume attracts volume. Like how everybody uses Microsoft products because everybody else uses Microsoft products, and not because Microsoft is especially good.

Designers sign up because doing tests in that forum gets them a lot of free exposure, and testers go there because it has the widest selection of designs to choose from. Plus I think people like that it's got a structure and feel that the moderation will back them up in case the other party flakes out. The other test forums have very light or no moderation.

It's only after they've been there a few times that they realize that the mods are a) total dictators about pointless crap, and b) Don't really help you much if your tester flakes out. I met some people who tried to report flaky testers but the mods were all like "Well you didn't report them fast enough, too bad how sad."

And it's usually the designers who get disgruntled and leave because the rules covering designers are so much more complicated that they get dinged a lot more with rule violations. If you're a tester you have to jump through a few hoops but you may never notice the really crazy stuff.

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:26 pm 
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Wouldn't the designers be a small minority of the registered users? It would seem that alienating them is pretty much an invitation to a terminal negative feedback loop, since their content is the only reason for the community to exist in the first place; and that being the case, they should care more about a known designer than 'only 1/15000th of the users'.

Just my two cents worth (adjusted for inflation).

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:27 am 
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Well, you would think so, but not really. For various reasons.

Not all designers use the free testing forums. None of the actually commercially successful ones do. Established designers use paid testers. Or they design for magazines, which have their own quality control systems external to the website.

The people who use the free testing forums are those who can't afford to pay their testers. Some are just doing it as a hobby, like me. Some of them are more serious about wanting to be indie designers, but most will never be financially successful enough to actually live off their designs.

If you look at the projects that people are knitting (the website allows everyone to post pictures of the stuff they make), the vast majority of hobby knitters are making a relatively small number of well-known designs. Like fiction writing, this is a long tail business. If a successful designer is like Stephen King, I'm the author who published a short story in an anthology that no-one has heard of and about five people read. Nobody needs to give a crap about me. The community exists just fine without me. And there are plenty of new aspiring designers showing up all the time so if you disgruntle one there'll be another along in a minute.

The cost of alienating people like myself is pretty small.

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