View Full Version : In our never ending quest to improve the forums..

01-11-2001, 08:26 AM
We are going to design topic logos for each of the forum areas (like the one's already in the Johnson and Caffrey forums). Not the cheesy stuff you see elsewhere, either. If you have any ideas for favorite board, put it right here. Folks that moderate a specific board will get a more directed graphic; areas that are more generic will get a broader treatment. The main idea is to keep it clean and simple though.

01-11-2001, 11:36 AM
I've been discussing this with Alex. I prefer a simpler cleaner logo. As I'm moderating the custom knife forum I want to be able to rotate the background (with the lettering in the forground) so that I can put a different knife up every month or so. Then I can put up a post of knife info. maker, materials etc.

01-11-2001, 11:57 AM

Jerry's should definitely be kept in raw format where we can rotate his monthly design picks. Since his forum is about collecting, he needs to have a way to spotlight the makers and designs he wants to focus on for that month ... Besides, we can force him to use one of those Doggett's every now and then. At least, until he threatens to quit! :)


01-12-2001, 05:50 PM
Alex, I wouldn't quit, but I've been very busy at work and haven't been able to pay as much attention as I would like to. It's been dead lately at the custom forum.

01-13-2001, 11:36 AM
I really like the one Alex made for The Neo-Tribal forum a lot. Thanks!

01-13-2001, 02:50 PM
Jerry ...

The collecting side is something we're actively developing now ... as you can see, we reordered the boards to place it on top. That's how important we feel it is, too!

I understand work priorities, though! Would you like me to try and enlist some additional help for you over there. It might take some of the load off and help you kick start it a little. We don't want to loose you, though! We want you right here! But, we don't want it to wear you out either!


01-13-2001, 03:21 PM
Alex, Whatever you want. Things will ease out for me after next week so it shouldn't be a problem. Besides I think that a lot of the Custom knife stuff is being held at the "display case" so in that sense it's not really that slow. I've been trying to get more people interested/involved, but that's been slow going as well.

01-13-2001, 04:12 PM

What we want involves you too! Of course, with Bob Doggett's involvement in the Administration now, we have a lot more manpower to throw at the overall development of the site. One of the things we haven't focused on developing yet is the collection side of the equation. The articles we have planned for the upcoming newsletter and some of the site areas we're working on will be more oriented toward the collecting side of the hobby. Hell ... that's all I do, and there's no place for me to hang either. The first thing we wanted to focus the effort on was the making end, but collecting, as a rule, is where 90% of the market exists out here. We just wanted to be ready to do a good job in supporting it once we open the doors up.

My position on you is that I don't want to place all the burden on your back to support the threads. This should always be fun ... not some old job!

I'm also using this thread to make the same point to all the board moderators. When this becomes more work than fun ... let me know and Bob and I will find you some help!

All we're going to do is continue to grow, so we have to have some pressure valves in place and ready to go!

One thing I do want to do is make sure that it maintains the utmost in professional environment. We may only grow to 20% of the size of BF and KF, but we want our 20% to be on the right side of the 80/20 rule. That is, we want our 20% to comprise the very best the web has to offer! I'd be happy as a lark to let those guy's act as a place for all the amatuers to cut their teeth before they join us. Agree?

In the end, the "power" will always filter to the "elite". That's nature's way of ordering existence.


01-13-2001, 06:35 PM
I think it's just a matter of time before things start to really take off for all the forums here. Our new home here is still less than one month old. We started all over from scratch on 12/16/00. This was at a time when so many folks (myself included) were busy doing Christmas shopping, getting ready to either leave town to visit relatives, or preparing for relatives to come in for Christmas. Right after that, everyone was gearing up for New Years. After New Years, things start to settle down on the home front, and folks start finding more time to get on the net.

So now (01/13/00) we're looking at just over 100 registered members, and a few more folks that visit and post, but haven't registered yet. In less than one month, we are averaging about 1,200 visits per day, sometimes between 1,500 and 1,600. I'd say that's pretty good for only being about 28 days old.

We're still working on new ideas, adding forums, moving things around, and just sort of testing out the waters. I've got an idea or two that I haven't even brought up to Alex yet, and I'm sure he's got a few things up his sleeve that we don't know about yet. Yep, I can see big things happening just around the bend.

I don't see us just being a World Class outfit. That's not good enough. To me the term World Class just means that you lower your own standards to align them with the rest of the industry. Nope, I see us redefining the standards. I've already seen a little stir elsewhere over Neil Charity's folder tutorial. Folks were asking, "Hey, why can't we get something like that over here?"

I feel that as we continue to raise the bar, and continue to grow, they'll stop asking questions like that, and start migrating over, making this place their main hangout. To heck with World Class. Let the rest of the world follow us!

01-13-2001, 06:39 PM
Yes, I agree. I've become less and less involved with BF & almost never at KF. I outgrew that a long time ago and just don't feel the need to deal with it again. (I don't mean BF or KF just all the posturing and flaming that goes on. I mean, really, high school was a long time ago) Not to say that there aren't some great people there, but the trolls outnumber the heros (isn't it always like that in the sagas ;) )

I'm going to be at the East Coast Custom Show in New York this March and I'd like to do a little recruiting, so to speak. I will try to get Bob Lum, Wally Hayes & Joe Kious to join up. Of course Bob & Joe both insist that they are computer illiterate, but at one time we all were. I will probably send Darrel Ralph an introductory email as well. Unless you think this is too much too soon.

I'm also a member of the TKCL (The Knife Collectors List) and they're a classier bunch than those other boards. There are a few people here who are members also.

Let me know about the "recruiting"

01-13-2001, 09:17 PM
Men ...

It's an honor to work with you!

Look ... for the record. Our position on recruiting is this: Tell everyone and anyone you can find that we're trying to consolidate this industry into one high-performance professional internet matrix, and let them search their own intelligence to see if they understand what impact this can have on their future operations if they help us drive the plan forward.

The reason we created the CKD is to provide the single Jump Point to the best this online "Custom Knife" industry has to offer. Notice that the CKD differs in a way that is more profound than one. The CKD is a "pure" custom knife community! What better reason to join for a custom knife enthusiast than to spend their time in a "pure" custom knife environment around the people that are driving it forward!

We're caught in a professional quandary, however. I'm not all that high on going to another group's resource and directly recruiting their members. On the other hand, we see an end-vision that supercedes anything they have to offer their members.

At some point, the facts should override anything that blocks our path. Right now, all they have is numbers. Most of the industry's big name makers are going to be short sighted and follow the numbers for the immediate personal payoff. If you notice how most of them operate, you'll see that their concept of working the forums is to start as many love letter threads they can create to get the viewers stating "yeah ... you're the greatest" type of discussion.

In many ways, they're being strictly parasitic ... is a short term solution to a long term game plan. It just won't work for long term success. It's too parasitic and hollow in intent. God makes laws that direct the eventuality of that type of thinking.

Look at what we do, on the other hand. Take Neil Charity for example ... he's unselfishly pouring it out for the rest of us to see. He is investing his time, without regard for the immediate return and in effect, making a statement about who he is ... a professional. Someone worthy of collection value. Now, notice SRJ, Ed, Don, both yourselves and everyone else that "is" part of our elite core hub we have here. Even our "CKD Newbies" are top notch prospects. More on that in a minute ...

We've asked a couple of the more noted makers to get involved on our ground floor here. In fact, several of these individuals have been asked by some names that were more widely recognized and respected than themselves. However, their reluctance to join in, for whatever reason, is something that the front end operation of the CKD will soon eliminate. Once the "names" start to hear and realize that we provide the resource to directly market their latest work, the kinds of visitor numbers our main site is turning (showing what the world at large is really after) and that it's moving as much metal as it is, they'll join in. In fact, if some of these "namers" knew the type of production we were moving, they'd be here now! The old adage, "build it, and they will come" is true! We have built it. It works! And, over time, "they will come."

Now ... I have a different game plan. This is in effect, irregardless of whether they join or not. I contend that we can help "make" names in this industry. What this means, is that someone who pays attention, follows the advices and suggestions of our more prolific members will "by teacher association" (become) the next "names" in this business. In this regard, the payoff that the CKD offers is lasting and profound for the individual in a way that can not be overlooked. That's why, regardless of what "new" big names decide we're worthy of their time, it's going to eventually become impossible to ignore the CKD maker group. Being exposed to the technical expertise of Steve Johnson, Ricardo Velarde, Neil, Ed and all our other pros (especially considering their willingness to bring a lower man up to high level standards) will by default have the same effect as when Steve was exposed (and listened) to Loveless. Look at Bob Doggett for an example of what I mean by "next" in the coming "big name" movement. With 50,000 targeted visitors a month, and growing, the CKD as a viable custom knife community is no longer in question. We are here. This is our land we've staked out. Now, we're about building a nation!

Sure, we've felt some growing pains. And, you see what the effect was in placing a personal "acid test" on our members. It was not planned this way, but the forced result was the same. Our members right now (and everyone please take note) are the men of metal you can build a career upon. These men and women will follow you into a mission and stick to the plan.

Based on that, I'll tell everyone and anyone "name or not" what we're doing. I do it because I have their best interest in mind. That is, the overall development and enhancement of their environment. In this regard, I feel as if I'm saving souls ... Saving souls must be a worthy goal, because the greatest man that ever lived did that for a living!

So, "#### the torpedos! Full steam ahead! And, let the elite drive the future, fore they make the cars."

The CKD is not mine! That's where the other site masters are fooling themselves and limiting the performance of their product. The CKD is "ours"! It will be the reflection of what "we" think and see for the future of our industry. That's why I worked so hard to make this case to Tim and the NT Tribe ... those guy's don't BS around over there. They're serious about being "pure". I had to substantiate the case that we wanted them with us and that our vision was equal to theirs. They are a very important case to examine as we look at ourselves.


01-15-2001, 04:50 PM

Most of the other forums are run by the owners of a knife retailer and so it is a promotional vehicle. Now without financing nothing will work, so just how do things work here, since you don't own it.

Believe me I like the way things are here a lot. At the TKCL we where concerned that if it became too big it would turn into an unwieldy beast such as BF or KF, but cream floats to the top. It happened there and hopefully will happen here.

01-16-2001, 06:10 PM

That's a great question ...

First, let me clear up what I was trying to say ...

I am the owner (Atlanta Virtual Internet Services) along with Bob Doggett of Doggett Designs who recently purchased a 50% stake in the CKD site property. Together, we represent 100% of the ownership of the site.

We've tried to build the CKD on services that are available, on an as needed basis, to revenue the site and it's development. However, the site in it's raw form is designed to offer open and unfettered access to anyone and everyone who has the interest in custom knives. We want to build and offer the very best resource and community the custom knife internet has out here. We ask that our knifemaking and collecting members use the CKD to further their own pursuits in any way possible, as long as they meet the collective standards we establish together. In this sense, the CKD is "open source", but managed just enough to be an effective tool and maintain it's highly professional posture.

I see what the guy's on the "list" are concerned about. All they have as ground reference is what's out there already. Their concern is not with the eventual size of the CKD, which in essence is it's largest benefit, but in it's ability to maintain it's high standards. Agree?

The larger, deeper and more visited this web community becomes, the better it is on the industry as a whole. The goal we have to maintain is to keep the CKD as the sharpest edge on the web, make it from the best materials and craftsmanship possible. Right?

My vision for the future of the CKD, would be to see it as an SR Johnson type of work. That is, worthy of any man that picks it up and worthy of any job it's used on ...

Then, I would add ... anyone we invite to be a part of it (the CKD members/users/visitors) is welcome to pick it up and use it at any time they desire, because we offer it to everyone!

Our real interest in the overall business is the web side of life ... we are primarily a hosting and design company. Our great benefit is in the building, linking, managing and construction of the individual maker's sites we work with and offering them integration in to the CKD web community. Not only do we try to provide "Grade A" web space and programming experience, but we're building the community that they work within.

Anyone can be a member of BF, KF and some of the others. I even use them myself. But, the CKD is something different from the ground up. The CKD is the central resource, where we help promote, distribute, associate and organize the community structure that we hope becomes the "Closed Community Gateway" to the largest custom knife resource and community of active users and sites in the industry. We feel like an organization like this will become the "Earthweb" of the custom knife business! That is, the first and foremost community on the subject of "pure" custom knives on the Internet.

Right now, with all the sites and makers we collectively manage, promote and maintain, we represent over 200,000 targeted visitors a month within this industry on the web. At our present rate of growth and client development, we feel a million visitors a month within our matrix is achievable. Our ultimate goal is to centralize all the services necessary to make custom knife making it's very own web center and make it available to the world of enthusiasts' and business owners! This in effect is the opposite of independent operators who are effectively on remote islands out in the ocean of the web who are "sniping" when they market using resources like the others out here.

I'm not sure if this answers the question, but it's exactly what we are doing. So, I wanted to expose the animal by showing you it's colors.


01-16-2001, 10:48 PM
We will have more exposure with maker's at the shows this year. I will personally be at The Gator Show, The Blade Show, The Guild Show and the Florida Knifemakers Association show this year. We might have a small group right now, but it is an open, friendly and closeknit group. It boggles my mind why there are not more new (and old) makers here taking advantage and asking questions. We have Steve Johnson and Ed Caffrey with their own forums, freely sharing info. No one gets ridiculed, and there is no question too stupid to be asked.

Don't fret over membership. It will grow. It is always fun to play at the other forums, but I always come back home.

01-17-2001, 12:58 AM
Oh yeah ...

Shows are big on the agenda this year. I'm going to try to attend all the majors!


01-17-2001, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the info. Will either of you be attending ECCKS in New York this March? I will be there and I will be sitting at Johnny Stout's table. I will post a similar question in Custom Collecting closer to the show date.

also Bob, how about answering my questions about your knife that's in "Display" ;)

04-10-2001, 07:04 PM
After having found and read this thread I have a new view of the CKD. I hadn't even *concieved* of the ramifications of what you all are doing! I heard a saying once, best I can recall it was something to this effect: Small people talk about other people, average people talk about things and events, but big people talk about ideas, dreams, and concepts. It seems to me we have some *really* big people as the driving force behind what is happening here. The funny thing about it...? Most people probably don't even grasp the reality of what is going on here, let alone the possibilities! It just about blows me away. I just went and checked to see how many views this page has had. *ONLY* 54! It ought to just about be gospel that new members read this as a "Mission Statement" *before* being allowed to become a full-fledged member. You guys are *truly* movers and shakers. *WHAT A CONCEPT!!!*

04-10-2001, 08:48 PM