Username Post: Where are the featured projects?        (Topic#1674743)
NMscrapper
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NMscrapper

When I signed on this morning, I found the featured projects replaced by even more ADS! I'm really sad because the beautiful creations always inspired me and, yes, sometimes caused me to purchase something. Now, there is nothing to draw the casual surfer into the site, possibly inspiring them to try papercraft.

When I discovered scrapping years ago, I was blown away by the gorgeous creations by seasoned scrappers but had no idea where to start. Naturally, I Googled the subject and found many sites willing to sell me stuff, but I had no idea how to use all that stuff. When I opened sb.com, I was immediately drawn to the projects created by members of the community. When I clicked on one, I was led to lots more information on the particular page. From there, I found all of the how-to's, videos, etc. Each product mentioned had info on how to use it and related products! Needless to say this site led me to a satisfying creative experience that eventually became a passion.

Now, sadly, I will bookmark my destination, skipping the storefront entirely. Several fewer keystroke!s. I won't see what's new and what is being featured. Since surfers won't know what is here, will they go any farther, or just go on to the next scrapbook product seller's site? Good bye, old friend!

PS - I just found what now passes for the featured projects area. I scrolled all the way to the bottom of the storefront and found "Project Gallery," which now seems to include mostly design team and commercially sponsored creations. Not what I had in mind, folks!


Edited by NMscrapper on 08-03-18 03:33 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
Doreena
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In response to NMscrapper

Oh wow, I didn't even realize until you said something and now I am sad about it myself (thanks, Carol! LOL )

But I did find the featured gallery, it just takes a few extra clicks.
Go to:
>Gallery (2nd tab at the top)
>Featured (first choice in the drop down)
But yeah, like you, I did like it on the front page!


 
MarciLB
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In response to Doreena

at the very bottom of the page there are some projects...not sure if they are "featured" but yes, you'd never know they were there--I liked seeing them to when I signed in!


 
MrsCDJ
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In response to MarciLB

You know, just a few days ago someone was mentioning they have noticed a serious lack of participation on sb.com, I don't think this newest change is going to help.

I don't think it will help sales, and it isn't going to draw people in! The forums and member run swaps & challenges is what made sb.com stand out! (Seriously, I can shop ANYWHERE...give me something...more!)

I remember when I first found sb.com I was overwhelmed by how many forums there were! And I know that trends come and go, but I also have noticed many of the "original" participants have all but disappeared, and I don't think it's because they aren't doing papercrafting anymore!


 
NMscrapper
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In response to MrsCDJ

That's how I feel too, CJ. Over the last couple of years, seems more and more is geared to selling the new customer at the expense of the loyal customer base. You're right, we can shop anywhere. What keeps us here (those of us who are left)? I think it's the community. That's something the new customer will never see, since it's all very well hidden.

Looking at the number of scrapping sites out there, it seems lots of papercrafters are still around. They're just not HERE anymore. I'll admit I don't buy like I used to since my stash is outrageous, but how many newbies are inspired by your work, my work and that of the rest of our veteran crafters? Maybe the new people will stay awhile and buy, or maybe they will simply move on to the next splashy site.


 
Sewflake
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Sewflake
In response to NMscrapper

I have noticed that the activity level seems to have gone way down in the last couple of years but without the statistics of the overall site it is hard to tell how things are going for the retail portion of the store.
I know I don't have as much of an incentive to list the products I use since it takes longer with the new system than it did before it was changed.
Now I never go to the featured or gallery layouts to get new ideas and inspiration which lead me to purchase!


 
MrsCDJ
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In response to Sewflake

I tried the new system for linking products a few times, I thought maybe I could adjust to it. I have decided that is not going to happen. It is slower and seems more ... cumbersome.

If people aren't linking and member projects have become harder to find, what's going to happen to sb.com?

Plus, has anyone else noticed there seems to be a lack of participation from sb.com themselves? It's like they only post videos by manufacturers now. You don't see all the people who run sb.com anymore!


 
Sewflake
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In response to MrsCDJ

I can imagine that running a business and hosting a chat site for customers is a full time job!!! Then having to stay current with all technology that changes so fast can be a headache, then throw in family and personal time...... well whew, it gives me an overwhelming headache just thinking about it!!

While I do not like all of the changes I can understand them...It takes more work on my part to check out the latest featured layouts, plus it takes more time to add products that I use.
Not being a designer for any company, the products I use are often discontinued by the time I put them on a layout so that does not help SB. much!

These types of forums go thru changes over the years. I for one would feel lost if I could not come here to "chat", voice my opinion, and yes purchase products that I can not find locally.

There is a large community of scrappers where I live and very few of them shop online as much as I do! I have seen only one of the ladies from my area here at SB.com.

I just pray that we will continue to have places like this that showcase our creative work...no matter how much I voice my dislike of change.


 
Doreena
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In response to Sewflake

I too have noticed the lack of participation and have voiced my concern a few times now... I mean just in conversation not anything official.

It makes me sad, it also makes me not want to hang around here as much. Which means another person participating less...
Which means I become part of the problem...
But not because I'm trying to be.
I do find this place a lot less fun then it used to be...
Can I pinpoint why? Not really...
Maybe subconsciously it's all the stuff you all mentioned.
I just know sometimes when I finish a layout I find myself thinking, "Is it even worth my time and effort to post it on SB.com?" That has never been an issue before and I've been here for over 13 years!


Edited by Doreena on 08-07-18 06:48 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
ppilgrim
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In response to Doreena

When I first signed up for sb.com, I was bemused by the lack of forum participation -- until I realized that most of the nattering was going on in the various Challenge or Swap threads. It's all there: planned projects, home renovation ideas, what's-for-dinner, weather updates, whose pets are sick, whose kids are getting married, etc! The only problem is that it tends to encourage the formation of cliques but newbies are always welcome, so I guess it's just a matter of introducing oneself.

General Scrapbooking doesn't get a lot of traffic, perhaps because it's too "general." It could also be that folks who were put off by the spate of spam attacks last year just never returned to this part of the forum.

Still, compared with the viciousness of some of the late and not-so-lamented Two Peas forums, these forums are lovely. I kind of miss the product-related chatter (it seems that product talk is bad form here) but I sure don't miss the snark.

Despite that fact that I have to make an effort to find the featured layouts, I still enjoy them. The gallery here is a treasure so it's no surprise that there's a lot more gallery participation, in terms of feedback, than on any other scrapbooking sites I've visited.

Over the years, I've learned to accept change to websites a bit more gracefully than I once did and I understand the need to keep the .com in scrapbook.com. This is a business, folks, and the cost of running galleries and forums is overhead that most on-line stores simply can't afford. In other words, shop where you post, if you want to keep posting.


Edited by ppilgrim on 08-09-18 09:38 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
Sewflake
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In response to ppilgrim

You have made some very good points pilgrim...
I am sure SB.com is trying to find what adds to the bottom line and yes I am very grateful and add to that bottom line whenever I am able!! Right now I am looking at more efficient storage items.



 
Lamoo12
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In response to Sewflake

I was very active on this site for a long time but stopped about 4 years ago because of all the changes they made to have it be more like FB and a store. Actual scrapbooking and personal interaction has mostly disappeared.

Sadly, because of those changes I've moved to another site.

I keep looking to come back, but this place is SO focused on sales that I have no reason to hang out here anymore.


 
Vivian Lake
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In response to Lamoo12

Thought I would jump in and give my thoughts:

I have been on this site a long time. Back "in the day" it was overwhelming and confusing to navigate. Now . . . I know my way around but that doesn't mean a new person doesn't still feel that way.

There was definitely some rather rude comments floating around back in those days. But there was nothing "we" could really do about it.

Facebook changed everything, so did Pinterest. This forum is nothing like chatting on FB. You can follow anyone's conversation (or unfollow someone) so quickly and be a part of many types of crafting discussions at once. Here . . . you have to dig to keep up unless you really want endless email notifications.

With Pinterest you just have to stick it on your board and move on. You are not obligated in any way to make comments.

It's really hard to have a sales site and a discussion site at the same time, on the same platform.

I host three challenges on this site. I "could" drop ship and host three challenges thru my blog or even FB. But I actually like this site and I do most of my shopping here. Shipping fees don't bother me as they are just part of running an online business. If I do shop elsewhere, I have found that I can't just browse anything I want. I learn more about products here, than browsing thru other online shopping networks.

However, I will say I learn about a lot of fabulous products thru FB forums that SB.com may or may not carry.

If I do run across someone who is new and wants to learn more about scrapbooking or cardmaking, this is THE place to learn about products and just browse.

With all that being said, I'm glad of those who still want to be challenged and participate here on SB. So I will continue to host!!!


 
Doreena
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In response to Vivian Lake

The only reason I don't shop as much as I use to is because I HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF... there I said it.
Part of solving the problem is admitting you have one, right? LOL

W/ that being said I love shopping here and will continue to do so as my stash starts to dwindle (is that even a thing?! LOL) and I window shop almost daily!

SB.com will never lose my business... I just don't hang around as much otherwise.


Edited by Doreena on 08-13-18 07:17 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
MarciLB
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In response to Doreena

Well, if you read all the posts here-and combine them all --that's it! you hit the nail on the head with all of the reasons! I like it here just haven't been able to participate or host as much due to my back and forth trips to Florida helping with my mother who is ailing as well as DH who is having surgery 8/28 etc!

I enjoy helping sb.com the past 3 yrs on NSD but there was a big difference this year! I don't know about you all but my calendar is blocked out for NSD! LOL!!!!!

Doreen, I have enough stuff too for 3 lifetimes...but I always love the NEW stuff LOLOLOL!!!!!


 
MrsCDJ
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In response to Doreena

  • Doreena Said:
The only reason I don't shop as much as I use to is because I HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF...




I don't comprehend what you're saying here, Doreena.

With that being said... I do love sb.com, even if I don't like all the changes. I'm not likely to leave sb.com, and I will still keep the Ugly Games (aka: Ugly Paper Challenge) going as long as my mental stability holds out ... wait, maybe I should choose something more long term as a *stopping* point...anyhow, I'll keep putting it up every month as long as I can.

From a business standpoint, creating a Storefront & Forum linked and working together is not an easy task. But it seems as though they were better before all the updating. However...

Keeping up to date with technology, not an easy or inexpensive task.

Keeping up with all the changes in mobile platforms...I don't even want to think about it.

And, from a purely business perspective, The BIG names (in our world) like Tim, Dina, Julie, and Dyan, to name a few off the top of my head, should draw in potential customers. If more people come shopping here, maybe, just maybe, they will find all us "old school" sb.com'ers lurking in the shadows.

And as Vivian pointed out, Facebook and Pinterest changed things...and not necessarily for the better, and not JUST related to sb.com. But that's a different topic altogether!



 
GentlewoodFarms
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In response to MrsCDJ

Hey - I'm here as well. But yes, there is a tendency in crafting for ebb and flow. The things that WE do are those things that our kids won't, just because they have a need to establish their own identities.

I shop here first. Always. The ease of finding what I want and clicking that "add to cart" is just too simple. And like all of us, I have too much stuff, but there's also the "newest trends" that I want to try and play with.

Life has a nasty way of getting IN the way, and as our kids grow up and move out, we take fewer pictures and therefore have fewer activities to document and those both contribute to the slow down of some of us who aren't as active as we maybe used to be.

But, and I hope that the SB dot com people are paying attention here, ONE of the best ways to SELL a product is for people to see how it's USED. Ok - take Nuevo drops for instance. Without quick and easily found access to the gallery of projects, why or how would a newbie know how COOL that product is? It also seems that the gallery is a great way to get "free" product advertising. Normal everyday people using a product and showcasing it for others to see without expecting anything in return ... I mean, what company DOES that?

I agree that the featured gallery should be more prominent - if for no other reason than to inspire us to dig into this store site, and that's what it is... a store. And we're all really just shoppers, but we're shopping together and saying, "Oh wow, that color looks great on you, you should buy it... and did you see that they have it in red as well???" Nothing spends money like other people spending money, and the way things are set up now, it's pretty hard to see what everybody ELSE is buying ....

And let's face it, none of us are on track to become Frank Garcia or Tim Holtz, or Finnabar, or Gabriella Poccolo. They're big fish is a big pond and they're being paid for their time. No way are THEY doing it for free. When they post here, their projects always direct you to their blog or their store so that you're not purchasing from here. That doesn't do much for THIS site, which is one of the few places where you can find ALL of their products in one place.... When that "see details on my blog" trend started, THAT'S when the decline in participation started. I made it a policy to just not support that concept - haven't bought anything from anyone who's doing it. It seems that if this site allows you to showcase your work, the LEAST you can do is support their efforts to sell a product for you.







 
Vivian Lake
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Vivian Lake
In response to GentlewoodFarms

[quote=GentlewoodFarms
And let's face it, none of us are on track to become Frank Garcia or Tim Holtz, or Finnabar, or Gabriella Poccolo. They're big fish is a big pond and they're being paid for their time. No way are THEY doing it for free. When they post here, their projects always direct you to their blog or their store so that you're not purchasing from here. That doesn't do much for THIS site, which is one of the few places where you can find ALL of their products in one place.... When that "see details on my blog" trend started, THAT'S when the decline in participation started. I made it a policy to just not support that concept - haven't bought anything from anyone who's doing it. It seems that if this site allows you to showcase your work, the LEAST you can do is support their efforts to sell a product for you.




I'm not sure I agree 100% with this. For me, I will say "details on my blog" for many reasons.

#1. Not every single scrapbooking product is here. For example, I used a lot of Lindy's Stamp Gang colors and SB.com only sells a few.

#2. I put a lot of time in making a blog post. I really see no reason to do it "twice" - extra photos and explanation. I do link products if I can find them.

#3. Blog posts are not the driving force it once was, but many DT still use it as a main starting point, along with Instagram. SB.com doesn't really support outside challenges and "different kind" of purchases and many folks are looking for that. For example, I once made a LOT of cards using svg cut files. I can't really post about that here nor does SB.com sell svg files. (All the details on my cards are done by me, every single little piece.) SB does sell some tools I use (like the Silhouette Cameo), but that can get tedious trying to find it all. And I certainly don't get paid to give SB free advertising. So it does become helpful to many people who are trying to find a way to learn a new style, not just buy a product.

#4. Obviously I'm here, hosting three challenges, and fully support what SB has to offer, but it does not "catch" everything. I think it's a fabulous place to have an outlet, learn and grow in your craft, make friends and all that jazz. But I feel the really deep, personal touch will still be found on my blog



Edited by Vivian Lake on 08-16-18 05:23 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
NMscrapper
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In response to Vivian Lake

I'm not generally an emotional person, but reading all of your comments on our little community here at sb.com brought tears.

Obviously, assisting scrappers new and not so new with info and inspiration isn't high on the list of priorities when compared to continued/increased sales. I thought, apparently erroneously, that the featured projects area in the prime position (above the fold), drew people further into the site for not only inspiration but (be still my heart) SALES. Since I started this thread, I have scoured the web looking for another place to BE. And, as you all know, there isn't much out there anymore. So . . .

Here's what I decided: I have always shopped here for all of the reasons everyone lists above, but that's over. Agreed, I can't participate as I used to, because my d/h is terminally ill. Now, I'm providing our version of Hospice care in his last days (weeks? months? . . . we don't know), and I look to our groups here for solace and (face it) distraction. I want to hang on here until this site, too, finally fades to memory, but I won't buy here as first choice anymore.

Example: Today, I'm ordering two items from Amazon, and will save $10.00 plus free shipping over sb.com's prices. Nice savings, apparently that's what's important?!

I know bashing the site you love isn't good form, but I can't see that positioning the featured projects where they are instantly seen is such a programming nightmare. How about giving them the prime spot where Frank Garcia's ad is? Just move Frank and everything else over one spot. That way Ms/Mr Prospective Buyer can click through to a whole world of art created by real people, like her/him not the pros who can easily intimidate some. Major programming nightmare? I wouldn't think so.


 
MrsCDJ
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In response to NMscrapper

First I want to say how sorry I am to hear about your husband Carol. I will keep you in my thoughts during this difficult time.

It's been a long time since my web design days, but you're right, it's not a major programming nightmare to move spots around. I think sb.com has become too much storefront, too much sell, sell, sell! But I suppose the bottom line of it all is...the bottom line.

But it does come down to this, in my opinion, how does a newbie know this site has "regular" people if they aren't front and center? I can find Tim, Dina, Julie, Dyan, Frank, etc. EVERYWHERE. I know they exist, let me know where the non-pros are!

I'm glad I signed up for sb.com almost a decade ago. I wouldn't know any of you if I hadn't! I wouldn't have thought "I wonder how Carol is" as I drove through NM on my way to OK. I wouldn't have thought "me and Doreen should have met up and sat in awkward silence together" before leaving CA. I wouldn't have drove through OKC and saw the sign pointing to Pat's town and thought "Hey! I *know* that place!" I wouldn't know there were perfectly normal people living in NJ, not just the "Jersey Shore" cast! I wouldn't have the ability to get inspired by Vivian's challenges...when I can, because, life. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things, but I don't handle change well, and this whole year has been one change after another. My brain is unhappy.


 
Doreena
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Doreena
In response to MrsCDJ

I'm so sorry Carol...


CJ...

You nailed it, our meet up...


Edited by Doreena on 08-18-18 12:22 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.


 
NMscrapper
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NMscrapper
In response to Doreena

Thanks, CJ and Doreena. You and the rest of our community mean a lot to me.


 
suebird
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suebird
In response to MarciLB

Carol, sorry to read about your troubles; you, too, Marci.

For what it's worth (and mind you, this is just my 2 cents), perhaps 'the powers that be' could read this thread and use our thoughts to 'fix' things?


 
NMscrapper
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NMscrapper
In response to suebird

One can only hope, Sue. I'm certainly in the minority, but I depend on this group as Marci does . . . for sanity. But no matter the reasons people are here, it's important in many lives. I know that doesn't sell scrapbook supplies, so my hopes are slim.

I still believe that one stationary field at the beginning of the sales stream wouldn't cut in to their bottom line and just might entice people to explore the world we are so familiar with through features created by US, real people.

I sense a bit of desperation in all of the recent changes, which I can understand. But . . . maybe we could help. There was a tech support forum here to discuss things like this, but it hasn't been active since Megan left in 2014.






 
suebird
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In response to NMscrapper

Wonder who we can 'pester'? Any bright ideas? Maybe bring up the bit about Tech Support, also?


 
MarciLB
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In response to suebird

Thanks Suebird, Carol, when they made the previous change and the forums were hidden, I wrote but no response.....
Carol, thinking of you and your family, many prayers....,


 
NMscrapper
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NMscrapper
In response to MarciLB

Marci - So did I, with same result.


 
MrsCDJ
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In response to NMscrapper

Yes Marci, you're the normal one in NJ!

Personally I gave up on tech support here when I actually had a tech problem and it took a bit to get resolved...which might not have been too big a problem if I hadn't had to explain myself multiple times. (Or been treated like a dumb . By which I mean it didn't seem as though they actually read the message and only responded to the message title.)


 
RhondaR
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In response to MrsCDJ

I just stumbled upon this thread and it's so sad
I don't post here very often and truthfully, when I do come it breaks my heart to find it so stagnant. These forums use to move so fast you couldn't keep up if you tried.
Layouts in the gallery got comments--people loved giving and receiving the positive feedback. Now, it seems comments are rare for the most part. Most of the comments I've gotten over the last few years are obligatory comments---meaning I commented on someone's work so they felt the need to reciprocate.

As for all the changes, I guess I'm not here in the forums enough to really notice.
Although, I DO miss the "featured" layouts on the front page. I loved seeing those first thing and it DID work as a marketing strategy--at least in my case, lol. It's scary how many items I've put items in my cart just because I saw it on someone else's layout. Which also speaks to the "products used". Those links people are taking the time to add do SELL PRODUCTS--I know I'm not the only one who buys stuff through those links.
And, while I think this is a touchy subject, I think for me, personally, not keeping the digital gallery separate from the traditional layout gallery has had an impact on whether I go to the gallery and in turn how much or what I purchase.
I've said before that, while I appreciate the digital layouts, I don't want to see them in the traditional layout gallery. But, apparently, nobody wants to hurt anyone's feelings by insisting they be separated.
I'd think that a store trying to sell product would want their actual products more front and center. But, in the main gallery sometimes you have to go to page 2 to even find a traditional layout. There are no "products used" on those digital layouts so I'm not going to buy anything from looking at them.
I'm not intending to offend anybody and I do find art and beauty in the digital layouts. But, as a traditional scrapper, I prefer to only see those layouts.

I have been a member and customer since 2003 and I still love sb.com and it's the first place I come for inspiration, knowledge and the best shopping and customer service experience.

I truly hope sb.com is around for many many more years and that scrapbooking and paper crafting come "back in style" with a vengeance. The thought of losing the place hurts my heart.


 
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