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Call out to Artashes and the TFL Community

Thread title: Call out to Artashes and the TFL Community
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05-22-2012, 05:22 PM
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chaka42 is offline chaka42
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  Old  Call out to Artashes and the TFL Community

The following are my opinions of the observations witnessed over the past year in the TFL community and my suggestions as to how we can approach the issues. I might get a bit long-winded but I think it needs to be said. So, here goes..

New TFL Design
I think there should be some clarification or even determination, if it doesn't exist, as to what the overall site goals are. I've been a long time member of TFL but find myself coming here less and less every day, week, month.

From what I've seen over the time I've been here is that the majority of the active users and new members are primarily new to the freelance world. The folks that have been freelancing for some time, like myself, have no reason to come back.

For me personally, there's not really a lot of discussion or content that is relevant. While there's some value for more experienced freelancers to offer suggestions and information that can benefit younger designers, I don't personally have a reason to. My time is valuable and I'm not invested in those people.

My suggestion would be to figure out who you're targeting, get some input from a carefully selected group within that target demographic, and build something that hits that mark.

I'm not a fan, and never have been, of design my committee or much cared to get feedback from everybody. I've found that this creates delays, induces bickering, and reduces the quality of the final product. Artashes, as the leader of this community, I would ask that you take the bull by the horns in the final decision-making. Find who you need to get the job done and get it done.

TFL Community Feedback
I'd also ask the community to give feedback that's well thought out and based on something beyond personal preference. If you are as adamant at voicing your opinion about this, then you should also invest in making this community better. Invite new users, add content that's meaningful and relevant. Don't simply post that you don't like something, that you're looking for work, selling a product or gripe about a past/current client.

The best way to find work is to write about what you do, why you do it, and why it matters. And remember, every time you gripe about an experience with a particular client, you're potentially damaging the possibility of working with clients that are seeing how you react and respond. No client is perfect. And, more importantly, no freelancer is perfect. Just because you're a freelancer, it doesn't mean that professionalism falls by the way side. To be a successful freelancer, you must exude professionalism in every aspect of your work.

As I mentioned before, I've been a member for quite some time and am disappointed that this community has been going down hill for a while. And that's why I wanted to share my thoughts. This will turn around when the community invests on this site and stops pointing fingers. That also means that we have to have buy-in from the community to do so. Anyway, that's my two cents.

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05-22-2012, 11:54 PM
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Samshelton22 is offline Samshelton22
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Originally Posted by chaka42 View Post
From what I've seen over the time I've been here is that the majority of the active users and new members are primarily new to the freelance world. The folks that have been freelancing for some time, like myself, have no reason to come back.

For me personally, there's not really a lot of discussion or content that is relevant. While there's some value for more experienced freelancers to offer suggestions and information that can benefit younger designers, I don't personally have a reason to. My time is valuable and I'm not invested in those people.

My suggestion would be to figure out who you're targeting, get some input from a carefully selected group within that target demographic, and build something that hits that mark.

I'm not a fan, and never have been, of design my committee or much cared to get feedback from everybody. I've found that this creates delays, induces bickering, and reduces the quality of the final product. Artashes, as the leader of this community, I would ask that you take the bull by the horns in the final decision-making. Find who you need to get the job done and get it done.
This is a very good point. There is no incentive for established freelancers to remain here.

It's another chicken-and-egg problem. Established freelancers will socially hang out on places like reddit because other established freelancers are there posting great content.

TF suffers from the fact that there's nobody posting great content for freelancers about the latest trends, technology (HTML5, etc.), and case studies.

Originally Posted by chaka42 View Post
TFL Community Feedback
I'd also ask the community to give feedback that's well thought out and based on something beyond personal preference. If you are as adamant at voicing your opinion about this, then you should also invest in making this community better. Invite new users, add content that's meaningful and relevant. Don't simply post that you don't like something, that you're looking for work, selling a product or gripe about a past/current client.

The best way to find work is to write about what you do, why you do it, and why it matters. And remember, every time you gripe about an experience with a particular client, you're potentially damaging the possibility of working with clients that are seeing how you react and respond. No client is perfect. And, more importantly, no freelancer is perfect. Just because you're a freelancer, it doesn't mean that professionalism falls by the way side. To be a successful freelancer, you must exude professionalism in every aspect of your work.

As I mentioned before, I've been a member for quite some time and am disappointed that this community has been going down hill for a while. And that's why I wanted to share my thoughts. This will turn around when the community invests on this site and stops pointing fingers. That also means that we have to have buy-in from the community to do so. Anyway, that's my two cents.
As I mentioned earlier, it's a chicken-and-egg problem. People need to care in order for people to care. If no one cares then no one will care. There are a number of solutions, although forums thrive best when great content is constantly being posted.

But where does that content come from? Firstly, it needs to come from the staff. If I see lack of posts from the staff (lack of involvement) then I have no incentive to be here, especially if the admins don't even want to be here. There are obvious steps that need to be taken beyond a more active staff, but that is the best place to start.

I remember once buying a forum called Interwoot (this is one of my earliest web transactions). I had no clue what it was about other than a gaming forum, and the users didn't even know for a few weeks that the forum was sold to me. However, I wasn't a member of Interwoot before the purchase, and I had no clue how it worked. I tried posting content, but it wasn't the content the community wanted. They still thought I was the old admin (the sale included the login details of the admin user), but the way they reacted to my posts was clearly indicative of admin abnormality.

Needless to say, the site began to dwindle and pretty soon I realized I had wasted my investment.

So basically I'm saying it needs to start from the staff. Nobody here is going to start posting great content by themselves.

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