I've been toying with an idea to restructure the Marketplace a little to make it cleaner and I need your feedback.
The idea was to separate all hosting offers by type. Each will have its own dedicated forum.
However, while it is a big change, keep in mind the volume of activity overall to see if it warrants such segregation. For example, an option would be to first separate VPS, Dedicated & Colocation offers into two: (1) VPS, and (2) Dedicated & Colocation.
Shared & Reseller are natural fits that often get presented together and we get very few Colocation offers (in my estimate, less than Cloud). VPS, out of all solutions, have grown into its own very distinct and popular offering, so it makes most sense to give VPS and Dedicated/Colocation its own separate life. We just need to make sure that whatever we are separating into its own dedicated forum is backed by healthy activity in that forum.
My wish was to always keep this community interesting and fresh when it comes to discussions. I realize that commerce is an essential part of why companies participate in communities such as ours, but I also don't want members to add more advertising content without proportionally contributing to conversations. I think you can understand this concern.
The existing Marketplace structure is as follows:
Shared & Reseller Hosting Special Offers
VPS, Dedicated & Colocation Server Special Offers
Cloud Hosting Special Offers
The proposed new Marketplace structure:
Shared Hosting Offers
Reseller Hosting Offers
VPS Hosting Offers
Dedicated & Colocation Hosting Offers
Cloud Hosting Offers
Other Hosting Offers (email, storage, streaming, adult, website builder solutions, etc.)
Please cast your vote, let me know what you think or propose a new idea not covered by the poll.
PS: One extra question: should we allow free hosting offers anywhere in the new Marketplace, or is it just asking for trouble?
EDIT: JULY 27, 2016:
I wanted to address something that might be a matter of interest to companies that advertise in the marketplace through stickies as it might impact the way they vote.
Here is what to expect if the Marketplace is restructured:
- Targeting will increase
- Prices for sticky ads will decrease
- Existing clients will double exposure at no price increase
What happens to my sticky ad?
All existing clients' sticky ads will receive a second one without a price increase. If you have an active sticky ad in the Shared & Reseller hosting offers forum, you will receive a sticky in both Shared offers and Reseller offers forums without any price increase for you. If you have advertising running in the VPS, Dedicated and Colocation hosting offers forum at the time of marketplace changes, you will receive a sticky in the VPS offers forum, Dedicated offers forum and Colocation offers (only if you offer such a service).