Why Are We Closing Our Forum Today?

May 20

Why Are We Closing Our Forum Today?

It’s true, we’re closing our beloved forum down after 6 years!

It will remain open in read only form for the foreseeable future.

This was a tough decision on our part but one that I feel needed to be made. We have to constantly challenge ourselves and change things up in order to get the best interaction with our community. It was time to do something NEW.

There was much discussion about what to do, and we did not reach this conclusion lightly. At the end of the day, there were 4 big reasons we decided to take this action.

1. Over the last year or so, we’ve spent as much (or more) time each day removing SPAM than engaging in meaningful discussion

2. I haven’t been able to really “target” or steer the conversations into areas that are more helpful to everyone, and to add value by having enlightening threads that bring out best practices for all of our online businesses.

3. The forum had grown very large and became less targeted and harder for people to really find the information that would be helpful to them.

4. Because of 1-3 above (I think), the forum became a “customer support” mechanism. That’s not my vision for the forum. That’s why we have a help desk. I wanted the forum to help each and everyone of every single day to enable you to reach your goals.

So what are we going to do instead? 3 things!

1. We have re-booted our blog (www.theimblueprint.com). I plan on making regular posts over there and riding shotgun on moderating comments back and forth. This will take care of much of the problems listed above. I’m SUPER excited about this, as I’m a closet “writer” and I have big plans. Head over to the blog to hear about them! www.theimblueprint.com

2. We are putting the finishing touches on a Rootbuzz implementation for our Blueprint Pro Plus membership. This is an exciting alternative to a forum that will keep things very focused and REALLY help folks with individual questions and concerns and will help the community (and us) respond to them. Members, expect to hear about this shortly. Non-Members, why have you not joined??? CLICK HERE TO JOIN US!

3. We’re expanding our facebook presence and activity head over here and LIKE/FOLLOW our page! 

Thanks so much for your participation over the years.  We know the next 6 years are going to be even better!

Steven Clayton

28 comments

  1. Alright! Let’s get this going!

  2. I think the blog will be more friendly on finding what one is looking for… also that most of those who will move here and follow you, hopefully are more qualified for the kind of information you share and really appreciate your time and effort on helping people with some direction and advice. thanks Steven! I will absolutely keep my self updated here and check the blog progress! Good Luck!

  3. Howard Dabrawsky /

    Sad to see the fourm closing down, but your points are very valid. The forum seemed to be dead, not getting responses to posts, it just doesnt seem like it was getting the interaction that it had in past, and lately when posting, got very little or no replies, the discussions seemed to have died out.

    Looking forward to reconnecting with everyone via your other modes of communicating with us – i.e FB, twitter, this blog, etc etc. Would be great to have the interaction that we had just a few years ago!

    Howard

  4. Good move, Steve.
    I had been away for a couple of years and when I came back noticed right away that the forum just wasn’t “busy
    ” like it used to be, also the spamming was ridiculous.

    I will be following you on the blog and FB.

  5. This is an unfortunate trend for most forums and a consequence of unethical black-hat SEO teaching. Looking forward to the Rootbuzz alternative (which is new to me).

  6. J Wilson /

    Steve & Tim

    I can’t beleive you are doing this, people spend a fortune building communities and here you are destroying one.

    This goes against all the promises made as part of the previous sales, we are not talking about a $7 WSO, I have spent thousands with you guys.

    This business is all about TRUST and this stunt will lose mine.

    A forum needs to be manned, but you obviously do not want to go to that expense despite making 7 figures on each launch.

    Even then you could have looked for leaders in your community to step forward as moderators.

    I did not receive a message saying you were looking for moderators. So what effort has been made, probably none.

    Perhaps your products are just too old hat, perhaps your message has been heard before and is just too obvious.

    I have done courses in change management and this is not the way to do it!

    I do not expect you to publish this, it is enough that you read it.

    Good Luck in your business

    • @J Wilson – I do take issue with that. Mate…I made about 14,000 posts in that forum. It was not that it wasn’t being “manned”. I think 14k posts trying to help people was more than doing my part! :-) The forum is still there…all of that history, so that didn’t go away, and any support, questions, help etc. is available here on the blog, on Facebook, or on rootbuzz in our member’s area. So, I’m not sure what we’re doing that’s impacting customers so much. We felt it was time to refresh/reboot the platform/method of customer interaction, as the actions of our customers were telling us they wanted something different. That’s what we did…changed the venue, not eliminate customer communication.

    • As a previous moderator with thousand of interactions myself, I can tell you this is the best decision for Steve and the team.

      I too spent too much time deleting Spam and answering questions for the 10th time because of the issue of searching and going through thousands of posts.

      Thank you Steve for hanging in this long and we look forward to the next great medium.

  7. John Kitchens /

    I am sorry to see the forum go, but I totally understand.

    • John McGovern /

      Hey John! How’ve you been?

      • John Kitchens /

        Hey John I have been great. Extremely busy but great! Good to see you here.

  8. Shaun Young /

    Sounds like it’s for the best Steve. To a newer and more improved platform for success.

  9. Hi, I am a bit disappointed about the forum closing. I for one used it reasonably regularly (400+ posts) and it was always useful to be able to bounce ideas of people.

    But I do get why you are closing it. There was a lot more spam and the number of responses to questions had declined.

    But inevitably the forum is busier when something new happens and people have a reason to visit it. After another big Google update it would be busy again. At the moment most people can simply look up relevant old answers and have no particular reason to post lots or visit lots.

    I would have thought a better thing would have been to make it much harder to join the forum to prevent spam rather than closing it. One method for instance would have been to require people to a have a receipt to a product purchase to join the forum. I know I still check out your latest product releases on the forum even if I don’t post. I simply won’t have the same level of connection to your company via a blog or FB.

    That said I understand why you might want to remove this drain on your time. Thanks for the help and all the answers to tricky questions over the years!

    Andrew

  10. John McGovern /

    In a way its a sad day. I learned so much from that forum and made some long standing friends. I’m sure you know what’s best.

  11. Jason /

    After purchasing several of your products, I have always used the forum not for support from you, but for support from fellow IM’ers. I’m sad to see that option go away… I for one both used and enjoyed the forum.

  12. SteveB /

    I am also sad to see the fourm go. For most of my questions, Steve would have an answer back to me hours later sometimes even mins! My problem is, with support it takes days to get the same answer. However I understand. Steve, You helped me reach success online. Your forum was part of that, thank you for all your help.

  13. Sean /

    I hope everyone who is sad to see it go brings the discussion here. I don’t think people comprehend the sheer volume of spam being thrown at forums these days…

    • Paul /

      The ratio of users to spammers on the forum had tilted significantly towards spammers in the past few months. It was very common to see over 150 logged in spam users (based on the format of the user id) and no legitimate users.

  14. Donny /

    Keyword Blaze COULD be a really good tool if it worked all of the time. As it is, it works about 25% of the time. Too bad.

    • We’ve already completely redesigned it in Windows as a first step to better control, and now we are implementing a new screen scraper that should take care of the remaining issues.

      The issue is that Google just does not want us to use the data in this way (or anyone else)…so they make it very hard. It used to be just a pain, now they’ve made it almost impossible.

      The tool we’re implementing should take care of it though.

    • Keyword blaze is far and away the best keyword tool. I use some other tools when it is down. They take so much longer to do the work. It is wise to have an alternative and it can be frustrating – but Blaze is so good it is worth sticking with.

  15. Thanks for all the years you put into the forum Steve. I understand this decision.

    I disagree with anyone who thinks this is a betrayal. I perceive this as a natural outcome of the changes over the years in the nature of the internet and the focus of a business.

    I agree it was time for a change, and everyone should be able to follow their passion regardless of how much money they do or don’t have.

    Choosing to be flexible can open doors of possibility as yet unimagined.

  16. Vickyra /

    As a “casual” user/member of the forum I can relate to the pain that it was to search for some info I needed…in the end it was easier to just submit a new post and hope for someone to reply, and I believe Steve was quite good in keeping on top of all posts. However I am sure it was not effective to keep answering the same question over and over again, specially support type problems (even though it could take a bit longer to get it solved with them). I am looking forward for this change, I am a firm believer that change is always good! Thanks Steve!

  17. Toby /

    Hey Steve,

    I totally Support and understand your decision. I have learnt everything about online marketing over the years from you and of course the people on that forum. I have to admit i have been absent from it for over a year now due to the annoying spam posts and the little inactivity.

    I really look forward to what is next and you guys are always staying ahead of the wave and looking out for your customers

    @J Wilson – Are you freakin serious? I to have spent thousands and have received an education and made quite a lucrative business in the meantime.

    I wouldn’t even have defended myself to that post to be honest and anyone who has done business and learnt from you Steve knows you always over deliver!!!

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