Friday, January 28, 2011

Please Do NOT Sit On The Fence!


From time to time, we get reports from others in which they want us to share on our blog. We love sharing info that is shared with us but we have found that far too often, the ones who report something that is absolutely upsetting, offensive or whatever, will climb up on the fence once the report is out there on our blog.

Please, if you want us to look at your story and consider reporting on it, have the back bone to stand behind it and your initial comments to us. When you change your mind or whimp out after we write the story, it is too late and unfair to us because we are counting on your support after the article is written. We put our hearts into our personal stories here and would appreciate not being used.

So, if you want to send something for us to report on, please do and thank you. But if you are a fence sitter on the topic you are sending - please do not send it to us.

Bonanza Removes Rush Announcement Banners


Just a quick not to state that on 1-23-11, Bonanza finally removed those intrusive banners from most pages on the site. That includes removal from each sellers booth.

Too bad they didn't do that before so many of us were censored and treated like unwanted step-children for giving our thoughts on the situation.

Doing the right thing to start with would have prevented many hard feelings.

At least for now, this little change is a step in a better direction.

As for us, we will not be renewing our paid membership even though Bonanza made this change. It's just too little, too late. Their continued disregard for sellers and the impact changes have on sellers is all too obvious in their actions.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Boomers' Online Shopping Outpaces Gen Y for Health, Beauty, Food, Beverage Products


Study Shows Shoppers' Behavior Shifting to More Purchases Online

Despite shopping in general being down, online shopping has increased. 73 percent of shoppers who are buying more online are NOT shopping more -- they are just shopping differently. This was revealed in The Checkout, a newsletter that compiles data from the ongoing shopper experience study currently underway by The Integer Group ® and M/A/R/C ® Research.

"The number one reason why people decide to purchase online is to get a better deal. This is no surprise. When shoppers hunt for a singular item online, they search for a good price, attractive shipping options, and then they buy," said Randy Wahl, executive vice president, M/A/R/C Research.

While younger generations (18-24 year-olds) appear more comfortable shopping online, they continue to stick with 'safe' purchases in categories that historically, are purchased online (electronics, clothing, books and music). The surprise comes from the boomer shopper segment. When considering the somewhat newer CPG online shopping world (health, beauty, food, beverage), it's the older shoppers making these purchases. Although Gen Y may be increasing their overall online shopping (more than twice as many compared to 50-64 year-olds), they are not as quick to adopt when it comes to experimenting with making purchases in new categories. This behavior also seems to surface with marital status—married individuals are 58 percent more likely to buy food and beverage products online than single individuals.

"Categories that require hunting for multiple items at once, like food and beverage or health and beauty, introduces a new online buying mentality," said Craig Elston, senior vice president, Integer. "The concept of completing standard grocery shopping online is still new for most of us, and manufacturers and e-tailers need to understand that there are conventions ingrained in shopper behavior that they must disrupt."

Overall, the majority of shoppers still have trouble adapting to the world of online CPG. In the food and beverage category, nearly half of shoppers are currently saying they "haven't and never will" buy this category online.

Data for The Checkout comes from a national survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C where consumers are asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors, and economic outlook. Topics range from criteria shoppers use to select retailers, to which in-store stimulus is most likely to drive purchase, to factors that might lead shoppers to leave an aisle empty-handed. The Checkout is available for download at Integer's blog www.ShopperCulture.com or M/A/R/C's web site www.MARCresearch.com/thecheckout.

About The Integer Group

The Integer Group (www.integer.com) is one of the world's largest promotional, retail, and shopper marketing agencies, and a key member of TBWA Worldwide. Integer lives at the Intersection of Branding and Selling® and creates strategic marketing solutions for clients in categories that include retail, beverage, packaged goods, telecommunications, home and shelter, automotive aftermarket, and power sports. Integer has more than 1,200 employees, with global offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. Join the conversation on shopping culture and brand strategy at www.shopperculture.com.

About Omnicom

Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom's branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations, and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

About M/A/R/C ® Research

M/A/R/C ® Research (www.MARCresearch.com) is a brand development firm dedicated to helping clients create, evaluate, and strengthen their brands. Our teams design and execute qualitative and quantitative, traditional and online solutions while adhering to a client-service ethic built on being easy to work with and delivering what is promised. Our core competency is measuring attitudes and behaviors to accurately explain and predict market share, revenue, and bottom line impact of a client's actions. We help our clients address consumer, channel, and B2B marketing issues to launch better products and services, attract and retain valuable customers, and build stronger brands. Our proven, marketing-issue focused solutions, support clients' brand building efforts.

SOURCE: The Integer Group

SEO.com Predicts the Top 9 SEO Strategies for 2011



A growing list of new technologies and search marketing trends will join some old standbys to influence search engine rankings and generate more qualified leads and sales.

The start of 2011 didn't ring in shiny new strategies that will shock the online marketing world. However, specific tactics that emerged in 2010 will have a larger affect on the success of 2011 marketing campaigns.

"A lot of what worked in 2010 will carry over," said Nelson James, president of SEO.com. "But we are noticing a few trends that will build better links and produce more qualified leads."

SEO.com, an SEO firm, identifies the top nine strategies in 2011 (in no particular order):

1. Video Marketing –Boyd Norwood, SEO.com's director of SEO, has been doing tests on visitors that come from video sites like Youtube, Vimeo and other sites. So far, the results have been surprising.

"The conversion rate of visitors from Youtube was about 20 percent higher than from the search engines," said Boyd Norwood, director of SEO for SEO.com. "Video will continue to be big in 2011."

2. Social Impact (Ranking Factor) – 2010 was the year social media threw its weight around and affected search rankings. This will likely become more prevalent in the coming year. To increase rankings, SEO specialists will need to understand how to create valuable, shareable content and how to spread the word through various social sites.

"As the search engines put more emphasis on the popularity of links shared through Twitter and Facebook, social media will become a necessary tool for link building," said Nelson James, president of SEO.com

3. Blogging and Guest Blogging – Blogging continues to be an effective tool for thought leadership, link bait, and a way to leverage social media to drive website traffic and leads. Guest blogging benefits both the guest and the host. The host will get fresh content on its site while the guest blogger will received a link from the host. Both sides will be able to use each other’s resources to help share the blog and spread it online. It's a win-win for both involved.

"Guest blogging will be huge this year," said Greg Shuey, SEO.com's director of SEO. "It's a great way to obtain quality links, and to extend your network."

4. Conversion Optimization – While this is not technically part of SEO, conversion optimization, the process of turning more visitors into paying customers, will determine the success of any SEO campaign. It will become even more valuable in the coming year as more become aware of the practice that tests different designs, call to actions and other details to find what converts the most website visitors into leads and sales.

"Before, marketers were only concerned with driving more traffic and being content with their conversion rate," said Josh Summerhays, conversion optimization manager for SEO.com. "Now, some of those marketers are figuring out that it's cheaper and more effective to tweak their website to get more revenue out of the same amount of traffic."

"Conversion rate optimization will continue to be a difference maker for companies that embrace it," said Scott Miller, CEO of Vertster, a company that provides tools to help conversion optimization.

Tim Ash, author and CEO of SiteTuners.com, said in a message over Twitter: "Doing more with less is at the heart of conversion rate optimization and landing page optimization. Landing page efficiency is the new black."

5. Local Search Marketing – With 90 percent of shoppers searching Google before they head out the door, local Internet marketing and Google Maps are a must for any business trying to get people into their doors.

"Google has almost completely replaced the Yellow Pages as a place where people look for local businesses," said Lori Gilson, president of PRMarketing.com. "If you’re not on Google maps, you may as well not exist."

6. Mobile Marketing – With abundant smartphones, apps, widgets, location-based marketing through social media, discounts, coupons, QR codes, image and audio searches, and text message (SMS) marketing, mobile is poised to reach the big time. eMarketer's "2011 Marketing Trends Survey" says 35 percent of businesses worldwide plan on increasing their mobile marketing spend. Performics projects that mobile search clicks could be greater than 16 percent of all Google search clicks.

"Mobile got big last year. It will get bigger this year. And will be huge the year after," said Ash Buckles, VP of client services for SEO.com. "Search marketers will need to embrace mobile technology and make their products and websites mobile friendly."

7. Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) – This older Internet marketing strategy is still a key element of search marketing. PPC creates awareness and produces qualified traffic and leads. eMarketer's survey says 41 percent of companies plan to increase both their search engine optimization and PPC spend in 2011.

"Some of the main benefits of PPC to an overall search marketing strategy is keyword research," said Todd Julien, president of PurePPC.com. "You can use PPC to help test what keywords deliver the highest quality of traffic to your site, while at the same time giving your business a boost in traffic."

8. Email Marketing – This old standby has made a strong comeback. eMarketer says 65 percent of businesses plan on increasing spending on e-mail marketing this year, which beats out the forecasted social media spend by 8 percent. Adage also reported that e-mail marketing provides a higher conversion rate than social media.

"E-mail is still a critical tool to drive leads and sales," James said. "It's still the best way to remarket to those visitors that you’ve attracted to your site from SEO and PPC."

9. Content Marketing – Content marketing (e.g. infographics, blog posts, press releases, whitepapers and articles) increases SEO through natural link building, establishes thought leadership, makes companies more interesting on social media, and drives traffic and leads.

"The future of marketing is not buying ad space," said David Scoville, creative director for PRMarketing.com. "It's in producing unique and interesting content and stories that attracts visitors and builds your brand. Companies must become journalists and storytellers."

About SEO.com

SEO.com is a SEO firm that delivers a big ROI for its clients by driving traffic to their websites through aggressive search engine optimization services, pay per click management, and social media marketing. SEO.com then turns those visitors into sales through user-friendly design and conversion optimization. Clients range from small startups to Fortune 100 companies.

Go Smile Achieves Success with Infused Commerce-powered Facebook Store


Go Smile, the Smile Beauty company, partners with Infused Industries to open a store on the company’s Facebook page to help deal with the massive traffic spike resulting from Go Smile being featured as one of Jill’s “Steals and Deals” on the Today Show.

Go Smile, the Smile Beauty company, achieves success with their Facebook store, powered by
Infused Commerce
.

After being featured as one of Jill’s “Steals and Deals” on the Today Show, the company’s e-commerce website was overwhelmed with enormous traffic resulting from the consumer response. The demand surge for their best-selling product, the Smile Whitening System, exceeded order processing capacity even after upgrading servers and staffing additional customer service representatives.

That’s when shoppers went to the company’s Facebook Page looking to get in on the deal.

Using Infused Commerce, the company quickly set up a store allowing consumers to shop on their Facebook Page without leaving Facebook.

“We experienced a tremendous response to this groundbreaking Facebook e-commerce functionality,” says Surj Gish, General Manager of E-Commerce at Go Smile.

Infused Commerce immediately helped us capture sales and serve our Facebook community in a way that added value to our brand and our customers,” adds Mr. Gish.

During the product promotion, 37% of all visitors to the Facebook store made a purchase.

About Infused Industries

Infused Industries provides social commerce solutions that enable e-commerce merchants to sell products on Facebook and in embeddable widgets across the Internet. To learn more, visit
http://www.infusedcommerce.com
.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Survey Shows that Blogs are Two Times More Likely to Drive Beauty Product Purchases Than Magazines


The survey also indicates that women still prefer a brick and mortar store over a website when it comes to purchasing beauty products

Belmont, CA

The results of a joint research survey of women’s shopping behaviors and the influence of media when it comes to beauty and personal care products were announced today by BlogHer, Inc., the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online, and DeVries Public Relations, a leading consumer agency representing some of the country’s top beauty and lifestyle brands.

The survey provides insight on the huge $7 billion health and beauty products market in the U.S., more specifically in the areas of online vs. offline purchasing, the relative influence traditional media and blogs have on the products women purchase and brand preference.

Key findings from the study include:

Blogs are more than two times more likely (63%) than magazines (26%) to have inspired a beauty product purchase over the last six months.

Women are just as likely to trust the beauty product advice from a Parenting (43%), Health (42%) or Lifestyle (37%) blog, as from a Beauty and Fashion blog (43%).

Women turn to and trust “familiar” bloggers more than store websites, social networks or message boards when seeking beauty product recommendations.

Women buy beauty products offline at a rate four times greater than online. Women tend to research online and buy offline.

"We've long believed at DeVries that trusted blogs have as much influence on purchase decisions as traditional media outlets, both inside the beauty category and out. We just didn't have data to confirm what we felt intuitively to be true,” said Stephanie Smirnov, President of DeVries Public Relations. “Our research partnership with BlogHer was forged to validate our hypothesis about blogger influence on beauty purchase decisions, and it's been extremely illuminating."

“BlogHer’s 2010 research on women, their social media usage and how it influences purchasing has been eye-opening about just how mainstream social media’s impact has become,” said Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder and COO of BlogHer, Inc. “Doing a deeper dive into the beauty product segment, specifically, revealed that even when purchasing ultimately takes place offline, online word-of-mouth maintains its powerful influence.”

About the Survey

“Beauty is in the Eye of the Blog Holder” was conducted using the following samples:

BlogHer Inc. in partnership with DeVries, fielded a 25 question survey across 25 million BlogHer network users, with a sample size of 1,074 total women across the United States.

The margin of error is +/- 2.9%.
All portions of the study were conducted in October 2010.

The full results of the “Beauty is in the Eye of the Blog Holder” survey can be found here: http://www.blogher.com/beauty-eye-blog-holder-0

About BlogHer

Reaching more than 25 million women each month (Nielsen Site Census, October 2010), BlogHer is the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online. Founded in February 2005 by Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone, BlogHer’s mission is to create opportunities for women who blog to pursue exposure, education, community and economic empowerment. Today BlogHer creates opportunities for members via a community hub (http://www.blogher.com), annual conferences and a publishing network of more than 2,500 qualified, contextually targeted blog affiliates. BlogHer provides the highest quality content on a range of topics, with all blogs continually edited to meet strict editorial standards, including content quality, category relevance and blog frequency. BlogHer enjoys a strategic partnership with iVillage, part of Women@NBCU. BlogHer’s investors are Venrock, GE/NBC Universal's Peacock Equity Fund, and Azure Capital Partners.

About DeVries

Founded in New York City in 1978, DeVries Public Relations is dedicated to providing consumer PR communications for a diverse roster of blue-chip brands that are a part of consumers’ everyday lives. DeVries provides a thorough spectrum of public relations and communications capabilities across the beauty, fashion, wellness, food/beverage and home categories. DeVries Public Relations is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

EyeBuyDirect.com Online Sales Grow 200% in 2010 Holiday Season


Internet Retailer’s Revenue Growth Signals E-Commerce Trend Towards Social Engagement, Interactivity and Community

New York, NY

EyeBuyDirect.com, the leading online retailer for high-quality, stylish and affordable prescription eyeglasses, today announced a 200% online sales growth year-over-year, as the 2010 holiday season wraps up.

The Internet retailer for prescription eyeglasses, now in its fifth year of operations, has increased its daily web traffic by 67% from the previous year’s holiday season. The Internet retailer’s growing popularity and loyalty among customers can be attributed to very specific technological enhancements such as Facebox and EyeTry, which allowed customers to give their eyeglasses a “test drive” online and share their experience with a social network of more than 20,000 members.

“Improving the customer experience is at the heart of every business decision we make,” says Roy Hessel, CEO of EyeBuyDirect.com. “What’s most interesting is that our holiday sales growth didn’t result from expanding our inventory of eyeglasses, but instead from redesigning and enhancing our website to be more socially engaging, interactive and community-driven.”

By combining technology with social engagement, EyeBuyDirect.com saw a dramatic boost in the number of web visitors who made a direct purchase, thereby increasing the site’s conversion rate by 20%. As a result, the bounce back rate dropped 10% in comparison to the 2009 holiday season.

Hessel sees a promising future for the website over the next 3-5 years. “As we look to improve the online experience for our customers via social engagement, interactivity, technological enhancements and even cause marketing, we expect our sales and website traffic will grow as a direct response.”

About EyeBuyDirect.com

EyeBuyDirect.com is the leading online retailer for prescription eyeglasses committed to bringing optimal vision to customers around the world without sacrificing quality, style and, most importantly, affordable prices. Launched in 2005, EyeBuyDirect.com believes that vision care is a fundamental right for everyone. Offering an assortment of eyeglasses that run the gamut from functional and sturdy to fashion-forward and lightweight, EyeBuyDirect.com has something for everyone including designer deals from Gucci and Christian Dior.

Bonanza a finalist for Washington Technology Association's Consumer Product of the Year


From the Bonanza blog:

Bonanza has been named a finalist in the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) Awards for Consumer Product or Service of the year. This is a pretty big deal in the Pacific Northwest and something we’re really excited about!

This year marks the 16th annual Industry Achievement Awards, a ‘signature event celebrating Washington’s technology industry.’ Other finalists include Logos Bible Software and Swype. The awards will be announced on February 24, 2011.

Congratulations to everyone in the Bonanza community. This acknowledgment is for all of you as well for making Bonanza what it is today!

About the Washington Technology Industry Association

The Washington Technology Industry Association, founded in 1984, is one of the largest statewide associations of technology companies, IT departments and individual technology professionals in North America. With more than 1,000 members representing more than 125,000 employees in Washington State, the association is a catalyst for sharing expertise, fostering collaboration, delivering key business services and advancing the value and global impact of technology companies doing business in Washington.

The association’s corporate sponsors are F5 Networks, HTC, Microsoft, Moss Adams LLP, RealNetworks, Regence BlueShield, Vertafore and Wells Fargo Insurance Services.

For more information, go to www.washingtontechnology.org.

Good luck Bonanza!

Free Webinar - 10 Blogging Strategies to Generate New Sales


SEO Copywriter Gloria Rand presents a free webinar on ten blogging strategies that you can implement to generate new sales for your business.

Blogging may have been overshadowed in 2010 by Facebook, but it's still a valuable tool in a company's marketing arsenal.

Technorati, the leading blog search engine, reported last year that 58% of business owners who blog have sold products or services to their readers. So if you're a small business owner without a blog, 2011 is the time to launch one!

Join this free webinar to learn:

* Importance of using guest bloggers
* Why search engine optimization strategies are necessary
* How to leverage the power of social networking sites for your blog

You'll also get a sneak peek at the upcoming unGeeked e'lite social media, branding and marketing retreat coming to Orlando, FL in March.

Join SEO Copywriter & Social Media Consultant Gloria Rand for this high-impact, one hour webinar.

Space is limited.

Visit https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/745384030 to register.

Gloria Rand is a freelance copywriter, specializing in search engine and social media optimization. Services include: social media marketing, blog writing, email marketing, direct mail marketing

Gloople - The UK's 1st Social Sharing Ecommerce Platform


A first in the UK: Gloople is placing e-commerce at the centre of social networking Gloople has been selected as a finalist for the Innovation in E-Commerce Award by Econsultancy Innovation Awards.

Winners will be announced on 14 January 2011.

Jan 10, 2011 – Harness the power of social conversation and increase your social media ROI with Gloople, the UK’s first ever fully integrated ‘social shopping’ e-commerce platform.

With more retailers adding social shopping capabilities to their commercial offering every day make sure your business isn’t left behind. Gloople provides a powerful and affordable e-commerce option for SME brands and retailers, enabling you to automate engagement with your consumers online.

Available to either licence or purchase with a range of customisable options for your business, Gloople allows consumers to make direct purchases from your brand’s embedded store without having to leave the comfort of their social networking ‘home’. Links with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter communicate your online consumers’ purchase behaviour to their entire social community, sending your brand viral.

We already have applications such as American Express’ iPhone app Social Currency which allows users to show off purchases made on their AmEx card to their online community, but where is the brand control? There is no direct brand to consumer communication here. Gloople provides brands with a fully customisable online sales platform, from which to engage directly in commercial activity with their online fan base through controlled social media interaction.

By offering rewards and incentives in return for further online interaction with your brand using Gloople’s GroupBuy facility, your brand’s online community is no longer simply a fanbase, but an empowered salesforce, expanding with every ‘tweet and ‘like’.
Perpetual creatures of consumption, what we purchase is symbolic of who we are and when combined with the allure of social media, it is only natural that we would want to share our online purchasing behaviour with our peers. We already broadcast our location to the world; with Gloople, we can now show off our latest purchases.

Other functionalities of Gloople such as the Social Hub provides online consumers with an arena to share purchase stories, advise and recommendations, promoting a sense community and conversation under the watchful eye of the brand. Gloople also has full mobile functionality; with a unique mobile application complete with branded search capabilities and even a payment system, Gloople is fully equipped to meet the demands of the Smartphone user.

http://www.gloople.co.uk/

Dr. Veronica Anderson On Social Media’s Exploitative Problems


Jan 10, 2011 – Dr. Veronica Anderson, Founder and Host of health and wellness web radio talk show, Wellness for the Real World, recently published a blog on her website www.drveronica.com about social media’s spam-like growth. The blog, titled “The Exploitation of Social Media” explains the reasons why friend- and follower-requests from strangers that have no interest in your personal or business cause cloud the true relationship possibilities offered by social media.

Dr. Anderson writes, “I realize the business uses of social media to build an online presence, visibility, and search-ability, but I am determined to get rid of the crabs of social media in my circle of online connections. The bottom line is that I refuse to be bombarded by ads for weight loss products or SEO promises on my Twitter feed. Followers that appear out of the blue with no purpose are akin to junk mail – and I’ll reject them like I do spam.”

“The true gravity of the health consequences of social media is the risk for illness and declined healing. Many studies show that people who have a strong community or social circles have decreased illnesses of their body and mind. In fact, they heal faster from sickness and surgery… I choose to keep my social media networks exploitation-free and I encourage you to do the same in your own social media circle.” asserts Dr. Anderson.

Wellness for the Real World features information on developing a healthy and fit mind, body and spirit in today’s dynamic society. Dr. Anderson adds her easily understandable, fun-infused voice to the broad-audience discussion on today’s most popular medicines, alternative treatments, health policies and opinions of wellness – so that her listeners can benefit from truly vigorous life in the real world today.

The entire blog can be found at http://www.drveronica.com/blog/the-exploitation-of-social-media.php.

To learn more about Dr. Veronica Anderson and Wellness for the Real World, please visit http://www.drveronica.com.

Listen in to Dr. Veronica Anderson’s web radio show at www.blogtalkradio.com.

About Wellness for the Real World:

Learn about wellness for your mind, body and spirit on Dr. Veronica Anderson’s weekly WebTalkRadio.net broadcasted radio interview program. Each weekly radio show showcases current issues with timely guest interviews. Dr. Veronica draws from her education and experiences to unpack complicated medical details, analyze health reports and share her thoughts on today’s issues with her listeners in three recurring categories: Food of the Week, Fits You To A “Tea”, and The Veronica Report, a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on Corporate America and how they are watching out for our wellbeing.

About Dr. Veronica Anderson:

Dr. Veronica has become known by many for her intellectual and passionate commentary on today’s most popular and debated health perspectives. In addition to her regular radio talk show, Veronica’s upbeat and outspoken perspectives on healthy living have been featured on TV talk shows including Our World with Neil Cavuto (Fox News Channel), and Live with Adam Carolla (syndicated). In addition, radio hosts coast to coast have seen their lines light up as listeners clamor to hear more of Veronica’s straight-forward, pull-no-punches philosophy. She also serves as Host and Guide for Medicine Woman, Modern World, a healthy living travel adventure series for the web.

Determined to become a doctor at age four, Dr. Veronica completed pre-med at Princeton University, received her MD with honors after internship and residency at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and New York’s Mt. Sinai Medical Center, where she received a fellowship in glaucoma. She has practiced at Robert Wood Johnson, Philadelphia’s Wills Eye Hospital, and is also a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Veronica Anderson holds a black belt in taekwondo and has completed two marathons.

Vote for Your Favorite Online Marketplace On AuctionBytes


AuctionBytes, the independent trade publication for online sellers, is collecting votes through January 19 for its second annual Sellers Choice Awards. Participants are asked to cast a vote for the Internet marketplace that best promotes profitability, customer service, communication and ease of use.



Here's the link:
http://blog.auctionbytes.com/cgi-bin/blog/blog.pl?/pl/2011/1/1293989608.html

Monday, January 10, 2011

US Commerce Secret White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Announce Steps To Enhance Online Security & National Office for Identity Trust Strategy


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 7, 2011
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-4883

Planned office will foster private-sector collaboration in growing confidence, privacy and convenience in online transactions

Remarks

At a forum with Silicon Valley business and academic leaders at Stanford University, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard A. Schmidt today announced plans to create a National Program Office to help foster an environment in which sensitive online transactions can be carried out with greater levels of trust.

The National Program Office, to be established within the Department of Commerce, would coordinate federal activities needed to implement the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), an Obama administration initiative aimed at establishing identity solutions and privacy-enhancing technologies that will make the online environment more secure and convenient for consumers. The national office would serve as the point of contact to bring the public and private sectors together to meet this challenge.

“The Internet will not reach its full potential until users and consumers feel more secure and confident than they do today when they go online,” Locke said. “A coordinated national strategy to significantly improve online trust will put e-commerce on stronger footing. The National Program Office will engage the best minds in the field from both the public and private sectors to give people greater confidence that their personal information is safe when they engage in online transactions.”

“With the full participation of industry and the general public, NSTIC plans to nurture the development of a secure and privacy-enhancing ‘identity ecosystem’ for the Internet,” Schmidt said. “This identity ecosystem would instill greater confidence in online transactions with less personal information being collected and stored with each transaction, lowering the risk of identity theft.”

Created in response to President Obama’s Cyberspace Policy Review, NSTIC is a key building block in the national effort to secure cyberspace. NSTIC strives to enhance online trust through increased security and privacy. It focuses on improving the ability to authenticate individuals, organizations, and the underlying infrastructure, such as servers and routers, involved in sensitive online transactions. At the same time, it provides consumers a choice - those who want to remain anonymous for activities like blogging will continue to be able to do so. Online service providers that opt in to such a system would follow a set of security and privacy guidelines.

NSTIC’s anticipated benefits for consumers include increased convenience, security and privacy. For example, implementation of NSTIC would allow users the option to obtain secure, interoperable credentials from a range of service providers that would authenticate their identity for a variety of transactions such as banking, accessing electronic health records and ordering products. This would simplify these transactions for users and reduce the amount of private information users must reveal to the many organizations they deal with online. Such a marketplace will ensure that no single credential or centralized database can emerge.

In the NSTIC vision, businesses would enjoy new market opportunities, with the ability to deliver services and transactions previously considered too risky. Government would be able to expand online services for constituents, so they can operate with greater efficiency and transparency; remove impediments to e-commerce; and increase public safety by bolstering the integrity of networks and systems.

As the Federal coordinator, the National Program Office would collaborate with other Federal partners, including the Department of Homeland Security and the General Services Administration on NSTIC implementation. The National Program Office would work to:

Build consensus on legal and policy frameworks necessary to achieve the NSTIC vision, including ways to enhance privacy, free expression and open markets;
Work with industry to identify where new standards or collaborative efforts may be needed;
Support collaboration within the government; and
Promote important pilot projects and other NSTIC implementations.
E-commerce worldwide is estimated at $10 trillion of business online annually. E-commerce sales for the third quarter of 2010 were estimated at over $41 billion; up 13.6 percent over the same period last year.

“Identity theft is rampant and growing. Increasingly sophisticated cyber hackers and thieves continue to steal personal information, bank account data and proprietary information. The NSTIC will take important steps forward to enhance the trust of user and consumer confidence in all of their online transactions,” said U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski.

Senator Mikulski, who chairs the Commerce, Justice, Science subcommittee on Appropriations, added “I will be an active partner with Secretary Locke, NIST Director Gallagher and Cybersecurity Coordinator Schmidt to implement this important program. I can think of no better place than the National Institute of Standards and Technology for this important initiative to be housed.”

“Establishing this office represents an important step in the process of protecting the security and privacy of online transactions, said U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. “ It’s a critical piece of the larger cybersecurity puzzle. I look forward to working with the Administration this year in enacting comprehensive legislation that will address the challenges we face in securing cyberspace.”

Later this year, the Commerce Department plans to hold a workshop to highlight the existing initiatives in this strategy. Representatives from industry, academia, civil society organizations, standards-setting organizations, and all levels of government will be encouraged to attend and collaborate on the development of an interoperable identity ecosystem.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Bonanza Social Media Rep. Jeremiah Mattocks Unprofessional & Repulsive Facebook Response


On December 22, 2010, Jeremiah Mattocks wrote about his arrival to and duties at Bonanza.

Here is the Bonanza blog link to his announcement:
http://www.bonanza.com/blog/main/Introducing_Jeremy

It is fairly well known that Bonanza.com staff has a so-called sense of humor. While humor is great, the timing of and the situation / delivery of this humor should be wisely looked at before applying it.

Jeremiah states in his introduction that he has something to do with a "comedy" website. We have been to that website and do not really see the humor in it. At best, it is a very sad, forced sense of humor.

Here is the link to the "comedy" site:
http://itgetsworser.com/

Anyway, we firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with a little humor so long as it does not reflect badly on the site and/or its sellers. In fact, it is nice to lighten up a bit from time to time BUT what happened to a well established Bonanza member today was just too much to ignore.

Here is the run down of the story as noted by Sofyblu2 (note: her avatar is of one of her dogs) on her Facebook wall (caution - strong & offensive language follows):

This is how a social media rep responds to a friend request????? by Russ Kawecki on Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 12:59pm


How would you feel about this? While doing my usual thing on FB I see the person hired to do the social media duties on Bonanza has also posted on a thread I am on. I think cool! A Bonanza employee! I will request friendship. This is the message I am sent by the social media rep:

Jeremiah Arthur Mattocks 09 January 2011 at 00:05

Subject: friend request?

Dear Russ Kawecki,

Imagine my surprise upon receiving a friend request from you, as you appear to be an animal; it was my understanding that animals other than Homo sapiens sapiens lacked the cognitive faculties social media requires. Either I have been grossly mistaken, or you are an unusually intelligent canine. A canine lives with me—he eats cat shit from the litter box. With your exceptional intelligence, I wonder, do you eat cat shit from the litter box when the opportunity is presented?

I do hope you’re the type of beast who accepts constructive criticism with grace. Please don’t think me rude for saying so, but we humans usually use Facebook for befriending people we know in person. I can’t remember meeting a genius dog, and I think that’s something I would remember. I understand why you might be seeking friendship outside of your peers, given your anomalous IQ, but I thought you might like to know.

Cheers,
Jeremy – a human


This is the very person hired to be our social media rep. Sweet huh?? Would one not think if they were hired for that type of position that they may have people sending friend requests and to have the god given brains to see if perhaps the requester was a part of the site you work on?

To say I am beyond offended is putting it mildly. If he said this crap to me who else that are buyers and sellers has he responded to in this manner?

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=180531435300228&comments

What kind of business person would represent Bonanza in this manner? What must potential sellers and buyers think if they are greeted with this sort of response? What must blog and media writers think in the same situation? What about potential investors - they may be wanting to learn more about Bonanza when they contact you? Do you also send them the same type of foul mouthed nasty message simply because you don't know them?

Jeremiah! You should know that it is hard to say who is behind those avatars. If you are such a social media guru, you should already know this! Seriously, you need to take lessons from Facebook for Dummies because what you did was not only unprofessional and not funny but it also makes you appear to be a real jerk. You most certainly did not appear to be a good representative for Bonanza or their sellers.

What you said was NOT funny. It was STUPID! Maybe you ought to be checking your "anomalous IQ." You are not as bright or witty as you think you are. Your comments were absolutely sick!

How many people have you run off from Bonanza with this kind of behavior?

Sellers wonder why there are very few buyers and sales on Bonanza, well, I think we found at least one reason in your response to Sofyblu2.

What is funny, this also shows just how out of touch you are with Bonanza, Jeremiah! You see, Sofy has been a Bonanzle/Bonanza member since 08-27-2008 and is on the forums daily. She posts multiple times everyday. If you had any kind of serious connection with Bonanza and its members, you would have known her avatar!

Bonanza needs to fire this joker and get someone in there that knows what they are doing. This jokers club thing will not sustain Bonanza. What it will do is kill the site. No one who is a serious seller or a buyer looking for a site they can trust will use Bonanza if it does not rid itself of the bad humor that is frequently offered up by those with a grade school attitude.

Who is running Bonanza anyway?

Many sellers are trying to make a living at least in part on Bonanza. They need professionals at the helm, not a bunch of clowns. Get some business minded people in there and fire those that have no idea how to interact on a professional level.

UPDATE:

Alex Berg posted to Sofy's FB wall. Here is a copy and paste of the spin. (And yes Alex, it is spin.)

Hi everyone. I understand the frustration and anger, and I am not making light of this, but I want to try to clear the air on a few things.

Jeremy was using his personal Facebook account and was responding to a request from someone who he ...thought was an old friend and was playing along. I assure you that he would not have responded as such if he thought the communication was in any way Bonanza-related. He sent a very heart-felt apology directly to Sofy once he was made aware of the error.

Let me add my own apology here as well. Sofy, I’m sorry you were spoken to in such a fashion. This is not the manner in which we speak to people in the community. If I thought Jeremy was being malicious in any way towards anyone in the Bonanza community please believe me that swift action would be taken.

Did he make a mistake in assuming it was a friend? Yes. Should he have checked who it was first? Yes. Regrettably, he made an honest, and now very public, mistake. I can assure you he has learned a lot from this.

Thank you for your understanding. I hope you'll all give him, and Bonanza, the benefit of the doubt that this was a mistake and not a reflection of how Bonanza treats community members.

Alex Berg
That excuse is so.... oh man, I can't find the words for it. All I can say is most of us did not fall off the turnip truck in the last 30 minutes. "Playing along" with what Alex? Sofy sent a friend request. As far as we understand it, that is not a game but it is a common thing done on FB. Normally, members approve, deny or simply ignore friend requests. They don't usually send rude and offensive responses.

As one of the responders on Sofy's FB wall states:

I only have three things to say about this...

1) Wow, what an interesting coincidence, that he had an 'old friend' named Russ Kawecki!!?

2) Hmmm, if I got a request from my 'old friend' Russ Kawecki, I might have accepted the friend request... at the same time as I was asking him if he ate cat shit and insulting his intelligence.

3) When I felt it necessary to explain to my 'old friend' that FB is normally reserved for friends that I know in person, I might have thunk that my 'old friend' Russ might take it to mean...Since I don't know you, why are you invading my personal FB space?

...okay, four things...

4) Which brings us back around to immature, rude & crude, and not a very good choice for a social media rep.
---

And another poster responds on Sofy's wall:

IMHO the young man is a loose cannon.

The origin of "loose cannon" comes from Victor Hugo's last novel, Quatrevingt-treize (or "Ninety-Three" in English). In it, a sailor was negligent in not securing a cannon on board, causing it to be tos...sed about in a storm. The moral is, even in a storm, it's not something outside of us that is capable of doing the worst damage, but what's INSIDE of us. The novel was published in 1874.

If Jeremy "thought" he was chatting with an old friend (but was not sure), he should not have replied in the manner he did. To hand over such a position to someone this inexperienced is clearly a mistake. Surely his talents could be used more effectively in another position with Bonanza for now, while he studies up on proper communications as a representative for an up and coming venue. The reputation of Bonanza (and each booth owner) is still young and fragile. It needs to be guarded CLOSELY. There is no room for error.

Stepping down off my soap box.
---

The above posters are 100% correct, as far as we are concerned.

It appears that the kid hasn't enough common sense to know when to shut off the so called comedic relief. It was a problem in this instance BUT how many other times has this happened - it was Bonanza related - but we don't know about it, yet?

What does it matter if the person he was speaking to was a Bonanza member, a possible investor or potential Bonanza seller or buyer? It shouldn't matter who he wronged but what should matter is that someone contacted him with a friend request because of his connection to Bonanza and he delivered a horrendous repsonse.

No apology can make this right. The dirty deed, hurt feelings and etc have already been done. (It's like when our kids used to get caught doing something wrong and they would say - sorry - and then go on with life as if nothing happened. BUT it did happen!)

Well, what Alex is sayig is that Bonanza and its sellers will continue to be represented by this childish person. Whatever Bonanza is paying him is far too much and the risk they are taking with the site reputation (thus, the reputation of each and every seller on the site) is extremely high.

What Alex fails to see (probably because he is relatively new to Bonanza) is that most of us have given Bonanza the benefit of the doubt for so long (since mid to late 2008) that we now know when our leg is being pulled. We have seen the spin, time and time again. And guess what? Our legs have been stretched as far as they can go but being dizzy from the spin hasn't blinded us from the truth.

Click here to read another Bonanza sellers blog on this topic.

UPDATE:

Sofy just posted on her wall, the following:

******* MY TURN :) *********************************
First off I would like to say thank you to all our friends that were so supportive to us. That means a tremendous amount that you will never realize.

I believe that this actually opened ...a door to allow Management to see that we need to be treated with TOTAL respect both on and off the site. That our opinions do matter and that as contributors to the site that we do deserve a voice in the very thing that effects our lives..our business. To that I fervently pray and wish that no one leaves. I believe we can make this all work as long as there is some give and take on both sides. And I mean BOTH sides.

Jeremy did send me an apology. However, I quit earlier than usual and did not receive it until a few minutes ago as i dug thru my mail. Alex's response was some 5 hours later than when Jeremy apologized.

As this is my problem..I am willing to accept Jeremy's apology with the agreement that he apologize to the community. However to avoid any further problems I am requesting that it be done so that no comments can be left. It is now time to heal.I have thought long and hard about this.. I do not want him fired. My expectations from Jeremy are that he will learn from this kick in the ass, that being careless is no way to go thru life, that he realize in his youth that he actually is responsible for our livelihoods, his actions directly effect my business. He may not yet have a mortgage nor a family, but perhaps this will allow him to see how how his actions do effect others. And that I expect him to pick up his slack and do the job he was hired to do and to do it beyond the call of duty.

A lot of things have been said and I think a lot of it has just been building up for so long that the dam finally had to burst. We as sellers have felt like we no longer mattered to what many felt like what was home. I want my home back again and I want us all to succeed. Again that is going to take the work of BOTH us and management.
---

I understand forgiveness and all of that but this guy could make or break Bonanza and/or each one of us who sell on Bonanza since he is supposed to be the "social" guy that helps get the site name out there and hopefully, bring buyers to Bonanza. I firmly believe, allowing him to stay at Bonanza will be a huge mistake. (The same goes with all of the others who have committed - not funny capers - that can directly affect our businesses with which we support ourselves and our families.)

While this may have seemed to be an attack on Sofy, it really was more than that. It was an attack on all of Bonanza and its sellers. So, I kind of have a problem with one person telling me and the rest of the site members how to feel about this whole situation (sorry, Sofy). I think all of the sellers have feelings on what happened and all of them have merit. We have every right to call for the kid to be fired as he is also representing us in whatever he posts to and in conjunction with social media. I think his "mistake" proves that he is not mature enough to handle the postion and he lacks very important basic decision making skills. Bonanza needs someone who has REAL experience with social media - not just some kid who plays around with social media and some ridiculous "comedy" website. (By the way, did you see the Christmas cartoon on his site? Bad taste for the social media guru of a selling venue, if you ask me.)

So, I am a bit bugged that anyone thinks that this should be the end of it and that life just simply goes on - because it doesn't. That same thinking did not work for my kids when they lived at home - it certainly is not going to work for this kid in Seattle who has the potential to destroy our business.
--

UPDATE:

Jeremiah posted an apology on Sofy's wall:

Dear Bonanza community,
...
For all the anger, hurt, frustration, and loss of trust I’ve caused, I am very sorry. Your anger with me is expected. But the thing I’m most ashamed of is how I’ve damaged your relationship with Bonanza. Not content to hold me personally responsible for my own private, stupid actions, I’ve seen Bonanza’s name dragged through the mud; I couldn’t feel more terrible about this than I already do.

When Bonanza hired me, they did so not because I was an expert, but because they saw potential. I’ll be the first to say I’m not an expert. I’m learning, I’m human, and I made a big mistake. This is, without a doubt, the biggest and stupidest mistake I’ve made. But that is exactly what it was: a mistake. This was not me being malicious or callous or knowingly disrespecting a Bonanza seller. This was an honest, albeit idiotic, mistake. But I promise you this: I won’t make this mistake again. No matter where I find myself in the future, I’ve learned a valuable lesson that I’ll never forget.

Since my message has already been made public, I owe you all more than just an apology—I owe you an explanation.

I share a weird sense of humor with many of my close friends. Every once in a while, one of them will create a new fictional Facebook account as a joke. I will respond in kind and find myself friends with another fictitious entity. I’ve been Facebook friends with a rag doll, a mannequin, and a pet chinchilla. I’m not asking you to laugh, but I hope you will understand that this was a ridiculous attempt at humor made in the worst possible way at the worst possible time. Unused to representing a company in my private life, I assumed this new friend request came from one of my old friends up to their zany hijinks again.

What I’m trying to say is I made a horrible assumption. Since I assumed the request came from a close friend, it made sense to me to respond as if I were talking to a friend’s pet. It made absolutely no sense to respond to a valued member of our community in that way. To say I am sorry would be an understatement. I am mortified to find out that my message went to a Bonanzler who was trying to connect in earnest. This is not intended to be an excuse at all. I accept full responsibility for the mess I made. This is just an explanation.

What I’ve learned from this is that I represent Bonanza personally as well as professionally. And given that many of you earn your living on Bonanza, I take this lesson very, very seriously. I understand now, more than ever, that I have a duty to the entire community that doesn’t end when the work day is over.

To everyone I hurt with my carelessness: I deeply, truly regret my actions. Your anger and disappointment is completely understandable. I’ve read your messages, I’ve taken them to heart, and I’m ready to start showing you how much I value your role in Bonanza.

I am so sorry. I hope you’ll forgive my carelessness.

Sincerely,

Jeremy
---

Ok, that seems like a very heartfelt apology. Thank you Jeremy!

But the question of his ability to effectively and professionally represent Bonanza and all of its sellers is still unanswered. Is it worth the risk to continue on this course with a social media guru who didn't realize the full realm that social media plays on a selling venue? Is it worth the risk to have someone represent you who has no idea just what their job is and/or how his personal life can cause problems for his business life online?

It's not just this one mistake. It is several mistakes that have happened involving Bonanza reps. This poor kid just got caught up in the strange workings of Bonanza. There have been several blunders by those who represent Bonanza so for many, this mistake was the icing on the cake.

I still say, this should not be allowed to happen and there should be a termination as it appears Bonanza hired someone that they liked personally or liked his sense of humor at an interview rather than someone who had the appropriate credentials to do a job that can make or break not only Bonanza but all of the sellers on Bonanza.

UPDATE:

ColderIce & Pheadra talk about this situation:

John and Pheadra Talk Social Media Mistep at Bonaza by ColderICE

Note: We disagree with CI's initial comments about peoples avatars. No matter what the avatar looks like, no one should be talked to like that. No social rep of a selling venue should say bad things to anyone whether someone uses their own picture or just a simple graphic as their avatar. After all, anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that it is a person typing messages on Facebook and not any animal.

As far as the comments about a social media rep and not knowing enough to separate their personal stuff from their business stuff (a real social media rep would have known this info before they went looking for employment), we wrote the basics on this back in August 2009. For that matter, this same advice is all over the internet. Here's the link:
http://thereevesreport.blogspot.com/2009/08/online-seller-professionalism.html

And - anyone who has been out in the working world knows that people can and do recognize you due to your work. Sometimes the 2 portions of your life do cross over. This is why many employers have policies about your conduct on and off the job. In most all cases, employers fire those who cross over the line in a manner that can hurt their businesses. This is true in both government and private sector jobs.

And yes, many of us have made mis-steps in our lives but for the most part, they do not hurt anyone but ourselves. There is little room for mis-steps that can hurt all sellers on a selling venue.

And the lynch mob comments: this has nothing to do with a lynch mob. It has to do with holding the selling venue responsible for their choice of such a rep. Ultimately, the selling venue is responsible to all of their sellers when they hire someone to fill a position that is representing everyone. Yes, Jeremy made a huge mistake (that credentialed social media reps would likely not make) but it was Bonanza that hired him so they are the ones who hold the majority of blame. Personally, we don't really care where someone like this works as long as it is far away from our business if they have no idea how to do their job or the seriousness of the responsibilities surrounding the job.

None of this has changed our minds. Get a REAL social media rep or do without one completely. Sellers work too hard to build their reputations to have some green horn come in and ruin it for them with snarky comments. Doesn't Bonanza do background checks on the people they hire? If not, this is proof that they should.

We just checked out the link to the site that Jeremiah claims that he is a "social media specialist." Oh Lord, if this is what got him the job, Bonanza also needs to hire a personnel director to do their hiring because their judgment is clouded with their weird humor. Anyone reading the page can see, this guy is not who you want representing your company. Here is the link (a social media specialist would never have "suck my cocktails" on their site where they are soliciting employment but it is on this site):
http://www.jeremiahmattocks.com/about

Added 01-11-2011 - Link to Colder Ice's article on the above subject:
http://3rdpoblogs.com/colderice/2011/01/10/did-bonanza-com-pick-the-wrong-name-out-of-the-social-media-specialist-hat/

JA Winter Show At Javits Convention Center In New York



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Show Floor: 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

JCK Show Announces Extended Dates and Enhanced Features


By JCK Staff
Posted on January 7, 2011

As JCK Las Vegas 2011 finds its new home at Mandalay Bay this June, attendees can expect extended show days, new exhibitors, and new product focus areas, JCK Events announced Jan. 6.

The show will feature a redesigned show floor organized by product category to aid buyers in efficiently shopping the JCK show floor. More than 80 percent of the floor will occupy product location “destinations” with the introduction of silver, bridal, fashion jewelry, and pearls.

A growing number of new exhibitors have signed up for this year’s show, including Temple St. Clair, Rio Tinto Diamonds, Lagos, Alex Sepkus, and Breitling (at Swiss Watch at JCK), among others.

In addition, extended dates for LUXURY, Equipment Technology & Supplies, and AGTA will allow additional opportunities for buyers to source key areas of the show floor. LUXURY, typically a three-day event, will expand to seven: May 31–June 6 (May 31–June 2 by invitation only). AGTA will run June 2–7, and Equipment, Technology & Supplies runs June 3–7.

Monday, January 3, 2011

We're Back & We Found Poop In The Sandbox, Again


As far back as I can remember, it has been said in various ways that we shouldn't poop in our sandbox or a sandbox that we frequent. Even an animal will not poop in their bed. You likely know the old saying - you made your bed, now you have to lie in it. The same holds true for sandboxes.

Well, some reading this will say that I am pooping in a sandbox I frequent but that is not the case. What I am going to do in the next several posts is to out some of those who are doing the pooping and point out some of the poop that is just so deep, it can't escape being written about.

We have been gone awhile do to a recent move and health issues so the following will not necessarily be in the proper chronological order, date wise of the event, but I will try to include when it happened in the posts.

Please remember, when your sandbox or one you frequent is being polluted and no one is doing any poop scooping or they scoop in a discriminating way, it is not wrong to warn others to be aware of the poop so they can try not to get any on their shoes. I, for one, can not remain quiet any longer.

And by the way, Bonanza thinks that they can gain buyer trust with logos from PayPal, VeriSign, Truste and etc. Well, until they clean up the riff raff on the site and run the forums consistently without prejudice, trust will be an issue. Logos do not instill trust. A well run site with honest sellers who list items as what they are (not what they are not) is what it takes. The site needs to build trust in the usual way, not off the backs of other websites. Those are some examples of removing the poop.

We Will No Longer Post On The Bonanza Forums


Due to an incident on 11-04-10, we have had enough. Seems that Bonanza wants their members to think that they are able to express themselves but that is clearly not the case.

Here is a post from Bonanza forums written by Mark that states, in part:

"Hey everyone,

Each day one of the first things that we do is browse the forums to get a sense of how the community is doing, what is new, how everyone is, etc. The past couple of days we have seen a couple of posters that stated that they were “afraid to post” or “hesitant to discuss sensitive matters” in the forums for fear of being DMV’d (Disemvoweled, suspended, etc, see definitions below). So that everyone in the community is clear, that is not how we roll. We totally want you to talk, discuss, and have constructive conversations and carry on as you always have. The idea that we do not want you to disagree or the be “only cheery” is not true and not realistic. That being said, we are very intent on having one of the most friendliest and empowering communities online, which we are. Does that mean that you cannot disagree with someone? Not even. Bill and I disagree all the time (mostly about Racquetball rules and the best Nachos in Seattle). But when you do disagree (on Bonanza), you need to disagree constructively and in a professional manner. We want to make sure that we are fostering a community that is welcoming to all, buyers and sellers, because lets face it, there is enough dreariness in this world to go around."

http://www.bonanza.com/forums/4/topics/136442

We got disemvoweled and a forum violation on page four in this thread:

http://www.bonanza.com/forums/9/topics/138465?page=4

If you don't like clicking on links, you can click on the below screenshot to enlarge it to see the missing vowels:

This is what was written before the disemvoweling:

>>Why does the Rush banner show up in my booth? We hope that Rushes are going to become one of the differentiating features of Bonanza — so we don’t want these to be an event that is buried where it won’t be seen. We will be closely monitoring if and how the Rush announcement affects buying behavior, but given how many buyers visit from search and click away after one page, we figure it can’t be a bad thing to give them a second place to glance at if the original item they came to see didn’t meet their buying criteria.

And of course, any buyer, whether logged in or not, can hide the Rush notification with a single click.<<

If Bonz is going to leave that banner in our booth and take no consideration that we work hard to bring buyers to OUR booth (our time and effort with no help from Bonz to bring them to our booth) then we will NOT be renewing our premiere membership.

Bonz has no right to put that banner in our booth to take our customers out of our booth. We don't want our visitors/buyers seeing that banner in our booth! We can NOT hide that banner from our visitors/buyers by clicking anything.

We don't want that banner in our booth and nothing is going to change our opinion.

To keep taking away our control of our booths and business is wrong on every level.

Bummin' more and more about the so-called upgrades of the site because they are not considering what is best for the sellers but seem to be only concerned about bells, whistles and taking more choices away from the sellers.

I am sorry - I thought the Rush could be a great opportunity for Bonz and the sellers but if the above statement is the case, that means Rushs will only be good for some sellers at the expense of the rest of us sellers.

Here is a screen shot of the post to prove the above is what was written. Please click on the graphic to enlarge it:

After we got the violation email we sent this to support:

Just thought I'd say how childish that was to violate me and DMV me for my opinion on Bonz destroying our businesses with their bells and whistles.

It's ok, I won't post in your stupid forums no more but you can bet my blog will be busy being filled with posts this weekend when I have more time...

And just for the record, I won't DMV Bonz management but don't be surprised if I call out any spin you may post.

I am angry that you are taking our businesses out from under us and you should have expected some of us would speak out.... But of course, you probably did and kept that nasty violation button hot and ready.

Have a great night!
---

Then Mark waits 3 days to respond with:

Mark, Nov 07 23:21 (PST):

Really sorry for any trouble in the forums. We really enjoy having you in the community and sincerely appreciate your support in the forums. We hope that you reconsider your position and that we see you participating soon.

Regards,
Mark
The Bonanza Team
---

Who the heck is he kidding? Why would anyone post just to have him or other Bonz management humiliate them in the forums?

This wasn't the first time they slapped me/us around in the forums but you can bet your bottom dollar that it won't happen again.

Those forums are a joke.
The rules they use are a bigger joke.
Their rule enforcement is not consistent and causes further issues. (If you aren't a favorite with management, you best look out!)

Just simply stated, the post that Mark made that states we shouldn't be hesitant to post in the forums is a bold faced lie! We know all too well - how they "roll," as Mark put it.

Some forum members have not only been told that "Bonanza may not be right for them" (basically a suggestion to leave the site) due to issues they have had in the forums and others have been threatened in private emails. We can promise you, you can not speak freely there.

Things have gotten even worse than ever before since Bonanza got the money from the investors. It seems that any member is now expendable. We are not needed.

If you use Bonanza forums, be aware that you may find trouble lurking for you.

For those that don't know, what we write on our blogs can also get us into trouble with Bonanza management. If they happen to read anything negative about them or the site, sometimes they respond in a manner that is not so kind. Yes friends, Hitler and his cohorts may have been reincarnated so please be careful.

Unprofessional, Irresponsible Post By Bonanza Management In Their "Roundtable Questions"


Management of a venue with forums should lead by example. Whatever the site rules are, management should be the first to follow those rules. Horseplay and/or "testing" (whatever they want to call it) should not be done where potential buyers may see it when they visit the site. The first impression is what buyers remember and when something questionable or unprofessional is seen, buyers will notice. Many will run fast and furious from a site that appears less than business-like.

Bonanza's rules regarding the use of the roundtable question area states, in part:

Bonanza's Roundtable is a place you can get general questions about items answered from the community. Any user can ask a question, and any user can post an answer. Keep in mind when answering that accuracy counts; the community votes for the best answer. If your response gets the most votes, Bonanza's system remembers you as an excellent reference for a particular category of items. As a trusted resource, your response will get priority over others when a similar question arises.

The rest of the info about roundtable questions can be found at:
http://www.bonanza.com/site_help/general/roundtable?layout=&title=What+are+%27Roundtable+Questions%3F%27

Bonanza also states in their forum rules, in part, the following which believe is to somewhat govern the whole site:

Other conduct unbecoming a good community member: expressing polictical or religious viewpoints, asking for donations, using foul language, engaging in threads of adult nature (drugs, drinking, etc.), threatening to talk to lawyers or file lawsuits, stalking, booth chat hijacking, starting topics about topics that have been reclassified, unnecessarily assuming the worst in others or Bonanza, spam.

The forum guidelines can be found here:
http://www.bonanza.com/site_help/general/forum_rules?layout=&title=What+are+the+forum+rules+and+guidelines%3F

Bonanza's own, Mark Dorsey posted a roundtable question on December 22, 2010, that should not have ever been posted. It was fairly early in the evening and remaining up to read for several hours, during prime shopping time. This should not have been posted at all - Not by Bonanza members - Not by management - Not by anyone!

We figured that the post and subsequent posts would not last long because someone with some sense was bound to see what was going and complain so we took the following screenshots so we had proof of what was said. Click the below graphics below to enlarge them.


There you have it. Bonanza management talking about drinking as if it was to be expected of Bonanza members and visitors through the holiday season. What was he thinking?

Here are some of the responses to Mark's roundtable question - click on the graphics to enlarge them:






Mark sent an apology and an explanation to at least one person for his irresponsible post to the roundtable. Mark said:

"The roundtable had been stagnant for over a week and I was trying to think of something to post just to test to make sure it was working properly."

While we don't believe that excuse, we have to give him credit for admitting that he made an error in judgment and aplogizing.
---

And if that wasn't enough, 2 days later, someone brought up the above mentioned roundtable question in their own roundtable question. Click the graphics below to enlarge them.


The above new post to the roundtable didn't last too awfully long but it should not have happened and was caused by the unprofessional behavior in the original post.

Forum Guideline Implementation Inconsistencies Create Issues Amongst Bonanza Users


There has not been a time that we can remember that one of the threads which originated from us has ever been allowed to stay in the forums. For whatever reason, they have been sent to drama and deleted shortly after, just simply deleted and now with the new Bonanza management toy, threads that we have started have ended up in purgatory. Bonanza purgatory is where a thread does not get deleted or moved to drama but it is set in limbo where only those that have bookmarked it can find it again. You can still post to it if you can find it but it does not show up on the people page of the forums.

Well, one time we confronted Mark at Bonanza support and here is what he said as to why one thread went to purgatory:

I can understand how you may think that you are being targeted, as I know there have been a couple of posts from you that were taken off of the front page rotation. Let me explain why, that will help so that in the future you can continue to post such topics but word them differently so they do not wind up the same fate.

Using your title as a first example:

"Threatening OBO Message -Is it necessary & in sellers/sites best interest?"

It is a very strongly worded title that may invoke drama, which we try to steer clear of. Instead, try wording it something like this:

"I think we should word the OBO message differently, what do you think?

The second title is more inviting of constructive feedback and is less likely to be cast off of the home page.

If you have a quick look at the description of the OP, you will also see words that are inviting of drama:

"so Bay-like"

"so what!"

"why the threatening message?"

"nasty message."

Your posts are very strong and opinionated. They serve only to fire people up and invite dramatic responses. We are not unreasonable and have always responded to constructive feedback from all. But it needs to be constructive and not delivered so strongly so that it delivers the wrong message to us and also invites dramatic posts from others.

Hope this helps you understand the process. Just in case, here are some links to our guidelines that will also assist:

http://www.bonanzle.com/site_help/general/topic_tags?layout=&title=What+are+the+forum+topic+tags%3F

http://www.bonanzle.com/site_help/general/forum_rules?layout=&title=What+are+the+forum+rules+and+guidelines%3F

http://www.bonanzle.com/site_help/general/disemvowel?layout=&title=What+does+it+mean+to+become+%22disemvoweled%3F%22
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Funny how as adults, we are being told what to write and how to express it. After all, we are not smart enough to get our message across without censorship and or coaching.

We don't know when it happened or why but the thread eventually was completely removed:
http://www.bonanza.com/forums/1/topics/127219?page=1

Oh, and here is another thread that we started only to have it land in purgatory without an explanation:

http://www.bonanza.com/forums/1/topics/124288?page=1

When questioned, all Mark said was:

"The post is still live and can be seen by all. Thank you for your support of our community and for the helpful information you are providing.

Regards,
Mark
The Bonanzle Team"

That was so untrue! It was only able to be seen by those who saved the link.

And one time, I got a message from Mark, can't find it right now but I know I have it somewhere, where he stated that the message I was trying to convey in a post I had made is one similar to posts that they have seen posted by others that led to discord, or something like that, so he removed a post that I had made. (The post I had written was not causing any issues but because someone at some other time had posted a "similar" post that caused a stink, mine had to go!)

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Then when you look at the forum guidelines, they state in part:

•Other conduct unbecoming a good community member: expressing polictical or religious viewpoints, asking for donations, using foul language, engaging in threads of adult nature (drugs, drinking, etc.), threatening to talk to lawyers or file lawsuits, stalking, booth chat hijacking, starting topics about topics that have been reclassified, unnecessarily assuming the worst in others or Bonanza, spam.

http://www.bonanza.com/site_help/general/forum_rules?layout=&title=What+are+the+forum+rules+and+guidelines%3F

There have been posts on this blog where we have talked about how Bonanza management have favorite members on the site and that those members are treated differently than others. That's not saying anything bad about these particular members because management is making the choice to treat those members better than others.

Anyway, with all that I have said above, I can not for the life of me understand why this post is still on the forums! It was started in drama but threads get obliterated there also. So what gives?

Here is the thread: http://www.bonanza.com/forums/10/topics/146141

The thread is bringing up a topic that has been reclassified which is against forum policies;

And the thread is talking about religion which is agaist forum policies.

Besides that, people have been a bit snippy in that thread and yet it remains.

Why the favortism? Who knows but it is clearly obvious on Bonanza, no one can ever convince me otherwise.

What else is funny about this, since this drama thread has started, the prayer request threads have popped up quite a bit and no one is doing anything to enforce the forum policies. Funny how that works!

What I don't get is Bonanza is a selling venue. These kinds of threads offering support or whatever can be done on any of tons of sites that are available on the internet for that sole purpose. There are private emails, Bonz emails (Bmail,) there is a chatbox in each sellers booth and there are QT's. So why does this kind of thing show up in a selling venues forums?

Some say get rid of Christmas, Easter and etc if they enforce the religious policy. That would be silly because while many people associate those holidays with religion, many others do not. In all honesty, those titles are so commercial that the true name of the holidays and meanings of them have been lost for the most part.

But back to the message of this post, it does matter who you are on Bonanza when it comes to posting in the forums.

Bonanza.com Blatantly Diverts Traffic Away From Sellers Booths


Without any consideration for sellers feelings, Bonanza placed a huge banner on their booth to the sites new Bonanza Rush's, effectively creating a diversion to potential buyers who may visit a particular sellers booth.

At first, the banner in each individual booth was as big as the banner on the home page. Click the graphic to enlarge the screenshot:

Many sellers complained on the Bonanza blog and in one instance, where we asked to have the banner removed from our booth, we were told they would look into. Once again, to enlarge the screenshots below, click on each of them.


Then a short while later, Bonanza founder, Bill Harding wrote the following post:

When I saw what Bill wrote, which was completely contrary to the message Alex wrote on the blog, I was miffed.

The reasoning for these ridiculous banners in our booth is not as stated but we believe it is because they are not going to advertise the rushes BUT they are going to suck off sellers efforts at promoting their booth to draw buyers into their booths. Rather than advertising outside of Facebook, Twitter and emails (which go to a great number of people that are already Bonz members and know about the Rushs,) they are forcing sellers to do the work for them indirectly.

Bill's post was a page before I got disemvoweled on the same thread:

http://www.bonanza.com/forums/9/topics/138465?page=3

At some point, Bonanza did finally reduce the size of the leaching banner but it is still in every sellers booth, just waiting for one of the buyers that that seller worked so hard to draw in to click on that thing and be pulled away from that sellers listings.

Seems to me that Bonanza is forgetting that many sellers left eBay because they were being told how to run their businesses and their choices of how or what was going on with their stores and/or listings were being taken away.

Just how long does Bonanza think they can continue on this course of - do what we want / to hell with the sellers and their thoughts and feelings - before they start leaving Bonz for places that value and respect them?