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Are we too elitist & doing 99% of newbies a disservice?

Are good at helping enough newbie buyers?


  • Total voters
    99

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
8,795
BGD has had too many customer service flops the past two years for me to keep recommending them :???:
Yes the prices of settings substantially went up and the service level went down I'm talking several years ago we used to recommend them here a lot. GOG's custom settings could be hit and miss for that matter too.

I'm sure this will be blasphemy to many but I owned a .99 AVC a long time ago and I sold it because I found it O.K but boringly sterile at the same time. I find genuine old cuts more interesting and often provided you find nice ones visually as good if not better to look at.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 29, 2012
Messages
8,830
I should add I have had nothing but a great experience lately with BGD.
 

Diamond Girl 21

Shiny_Rock
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Jun 26, 2017
Messages
309
@Diamond Girl 21
Part of this discussion, from my perspective, would be to prevent people who love a diamond they own from being convinced they have a bad stone based on aspects that may work for elimination- but not for selection.
For example- we’re discussing how GIA’s cut grade allows stones most of us would not choose.
But the reverse is not true. ( I may be using too many double negatives)
The point is, many drop dead gorgeous stones get submitted to GIA and achieve EX cut grade. I’ve even seen many amazing, beautifully cut stones graded VG cut by GIA.
So please don’t let a discussion like this dull your love of what’s likely an awesome diamond.
Thank you! I really appreciate your response.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,273
I'm almost afraid to type this, but....here I go....I do wish that GIA would grade cut like AGS, however, I feel that sometimes there appears to be too much negativity about triple X stones. I personally have a beautiful GIA triple X stone that falls squarely within AGS ideal standards. Yes, these stones are harder to find, but they do exist. And, I still find some beautiful stones outside of the ideal standard. Just like color and clarity, this is a personal choice as well. I hope I didn't offend anyone. This is just my opinion.
They definitely exist! My first hearts and arrows stone in 2006 was from Jonathan @Rhino , a 1.63 beauty which was graded GIA XXX because that is where that cutter sent his diamonds for grading. Jonathan provided all the technical info and light return images to show that it was a top cut diamond. A few years later when I sold that stone, we had it regraded by AGS, and of course, it was graded AGS 000 Ideal cut. In fact, I have had another diamond since then that was GIA and I had it regraded and it was also AGS ideal cut. I have had my eye on a couple of outstanding GIA XXX stones recently which I am sure would grade ideal cut, but I am having to restrain myself because I do NOT need any more diamonds! :lol:
 

Diamond Girl 21

Shiny_Rock
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Jun 26, 2017
Messages
309
They definitely exist! My first hearts and arrows stone in 2006 was from Jonathan @Rhino , a 1.63 beauty which was graded GIA XXX because that is where that cutter sent his diamonds for grading. Jonathan provided all the technical info and light return images to show that it was a top cut diamond. A few years later when I sold that stone, we had it regraded by AGS, and of course, it was graded AGS 000 Ideal cut. In fact, I have had another diamond since then that was GIA and I had it regraded and it was also AGS ideal cut. I have had my eye on a couple of outstanding GIA XXX stones recently which I am sure would grade ideal cut, but I am having to restrain myself because I do NOT need any more diamonds! :lol:
I love the idea of sending it to both labs! I'm definitely going to keep that in mind for the future. If only I could upgrade right now.:)
 

Diamond_Hawk

Brilliant_Rock
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Apr 8, 2014
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1,176
An observation of some irony: By the very title, this topic would largely keep the 99% away from this thread. Which brings me to a question I have asked myself from time to time: what topics could get the first-timers to speak up, do you think? If seemingly naive or uninformed, would their answers or observations garner an eye-roll by long-time PSers? Could a topic or question even engage them, or must an internal desire to know more or find help drive them to post?
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 15, 2000
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14,790
An observation of some irony: By the very title, this topic would largely keep the 99% away from this thread. Which brings me to a question I have asked myself from time to time: what topics could get the first-timers to speak up, do you think? If seemingly naive or uninformed, would their answers or observations garner an eye-roll by long-time PSers? Could a topic or question even engage them, or must an internal desire to know more or find help drive them to post?
Hi Brian,
I don't think my intention with this thread (after reading all opinions and thoughtful responses) is to increase the number of people signing up.
I want to help more lurker visitor people in their pursuit of buying a nice diamond and putting it into a great setting.
The elitist idea is that when people are told they MUST only buy a diamond with 56.3 - 57.2% table, 34.3 to 34.7 degree crown blah blah - and it must be supa dupa blood and guts cut etc
That we frighten them off.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 17, 2008
Messages
6,434
I didn't want to jump in because it took me so long to read this thread (working a deadline) Yes I believe there are elitists here. Not just on diamonds but also on Colored Stones. I'm raising my hand because in some ways I am also an elitist. (I don't do stones of unknown treatment or mystery metals basically)

My knowledge base is mostly in colored stones. But, I do encourage people to see the stones with their own eyes, and not buy what they don't see. Basically if I didn't see anything in a super ideal, I wouldn't be bothered. Unfortunately I do and my wallet cries in poor. Its the same with color when it comes to colored stones.

But to be honest, if I had not been here, I would have never even known about super ideals.

Now even though I said what I said above, people here ARE friendly and helpful, but like anyplace where folks can go deep into the paint and not think about who they're helping or, any one elses experiences. And they can talk over people who just want a really pretty stone. I try NOT to talk over people. I'm enthusiastic in sharing what I know and try to use every day terminology that would be understood. I don't always succeed though.

To be really honest when it comes to diamonds,I'm amazingly stupid. Y'all talk way the hell over me so there you go....lol.

Yes I want a stone that looks great and sparkles in my price point, and yes I actually DO use the tools if I'm looking at a large amount of stones but the reality is for me, if my eyes are happy, good, thats the stone (s). But I think we should encourage poeple to see MORE. I really don't think you can purely buy by numbers, and its hard to tell with videos and such. THey're helpful but there's really nothing like seeing that stone in person in your environment.

Buying a good looking diamond is NOT easy, and probably like 90% of people who never log on, I read the diamond board a lot, get confused, go google some and still come back to the threads here thanks to google...

imma shut up and go back to work now.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 27, 2009
Messages
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Hi Brian,
I don't think my intention with this thread (after reading all opinions and thoughtful responses) is to increase the number of people signing up.
I want to help more lurker visitor people in their pursuit of buying a nice diamond and putting it into a great setting.
The elitist idea is that when people are told they MUST only buy a diamond with 56.3 - 57.2% table, 34.3 to 34.7 degree crown blah blah - and it must be supa dupa blood and guts cut etc
That we frighten them off.
Garry,
Your proposition seems to be a solution in search of a problem. Where is the evidence that newbies are being 'frightened off"?

The fact that there are far more lurkers than posters is normal for any forum. Sure, there are some people here saying that the opinions and advice given to newbies is often too technical, too narrow, or is given by people who lack some sort of "credentials", but that does not constitute proof that you have a real problem with newbies being intimidated.

Internet shoppers are pretty sophisticated in terms of being able to sort out the info and advice that resonates with them. They pick and choose the advice that is applicable to their desires and needs and ignore the rest. I am sure that a great many of the 99% do get the help/guidance/info they need to aid them in their shopping. And I don't see too many in the 1% complaining that they are being intimidated in any way. Even the poll here shows that a solid majority feel newbies ARE getting the help they need.

Do you have some specific reason to believe this is an actual problem?
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 15, 2000
Messages
14,790
Bryan read this post :) please.
And thx Arcadian, and I love the sphene.
I didn't want to jump in because it took me so long to read this thread (working a deadline) Yes I believe there are elitists here. Not just on diamonds but also on Colored Stones. I'm raising my hand because in some ways I am also an elitist. (I don't do stones of unknown treatment or mystery metals basically)

My knowledge base is mostly in colored stones. But, I do encourage people to see the stones with their own eyes, and not buy what they don't see. Basically if I didn't see anything in a super ideal, I wouldn't be bothered. Unfortunately I do and my wallet cries in poor. Its the same with color when it comes to colored stones.

But to be honest, if I had not been here, I would have never even known about super ideals.

Now even though I said what I said above, people here ARE friendly and helpful, but like anyplace where folks can go deep into the paint and not think about who they're helping or, any one elses experiences. And they can talk over people who just want a really pretty stone. I try NOT to talk over people. I'm enthusiastic in sharing what I know and try to use every day terminology that would be understood. I don't always succeed though.

To be really honest when it comes to diamonds,I'm amazingly stupid. Y'all talk way the hell over me so there you go....lol.

Yes I want a stone that looks great and sparkles in my price point, and yes I actually DO use the tools if I'm looking at a large amount of stones but the reality is for me, if my eyes are happy, good, thats the stone (s). But I think we should encourage poeple to see MORE. I really don't think you can purely buy by numbers, and its hard to tell with videos and such. THey're helpful but there's really nothing like seeing that stone in person in your environment.

Buying a good looking diamond is NOT easy, and probably like 90% of people who never log on, I read the diamond board a lot, get confused, go google some and still come back to the threads here thanks to google...

imma shut up and go back to work now.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,100
Bryan read this post :) please.
And thx Arcadian, and I love the sphene.
@Arcadian makes a very nice case that yes, you can call enthusiasts 'elitists' if you want because they are knowledgeable and passionate about what they like, but that does not mean they cannot at the same time express their opinions or advice in a way that newbies will find approachable. Some people are better at that than others, but most make the effort. And I would think that most newbies appreciate it and get something out of the exchange, and out of seeing a range of such opinions. Even those that just lurk.
 

Jsand

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
78
As a novice and newbie, I’m extremely grateful to have found this forum; my husband and I purchased a CBI as a direct result of reading other threads where newcomers/lurkers were trying to select between a few duds, had ACAs/CBIs etc recommended to them instead, taken the plunge and been ecstatic with the results. I‘d never heard of super ideals before this, and I don’t think informing people to make the best possible decision regarding quality with their budget is elitist. It goes without saying that “normal” diamonds are a bad investment, but having bought a CBI we don’t feel that we’ve fallen victim to this!

99.9% of those advising on here have been beyond gracious and helpful to newcomers, including to myself. That said, the only thing I would consider somewhat elitist in this community is (very, very occasionally) an experienced and knowledgable prosumer coming across as condescending/superior if a newbie doesn’t blindly agree with what they’ve recommended. Hasn’t happened to me personally but I’ve witnessed it in a couple of threads, and not always about diamonds. To me it can come across as someone flexing their “elite” combination of diamond education and personal wealth.

Reiterating that this is very rare, I mention it only to share my perspective of elitism existing here. On the whole PS is probably the most welcoming online community out there, certainly that I’ve seen.
 

prs

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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Dec 26, 2017
Messages
902
I don't find it surprising that @Texas Leaguer is in favor of the status quo.

If a newbie comes to RockyTalky he or she will see a front page full of threads about cut. Not surprising really given almost all the regulars here are cut geeks. Where is the thread telling him or she why they don't necessarily need to spend a small fortune on a E, VVS1 to get a gorgeous stone?

A front page full of cut threads is going to frighten off many newbies or bore them to death, they will go somewhere else to get the information they need. The regulars here have forgotten how long it took them to learn the diamond basics before they figured out the importance of cut. I am simply astonished some oppose Garry's attempt to improve how we educate newbies. The better we are at helping newbies learn the basics, the more likely they are to stick around and learn about cut.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
3,100
I don't find it surprising that @Texas Leaguer is in favor of the status quo.

If a newbie comes to RockyTalky he or she will see a front page full of threads about cut. Not surprising really given almost all the regulars here are cut geeks. Where is the thread telling him or she why they don't necessarily need to spend a small fortune on a E, VVS1 to get a gorgeous stone?

A front page full of cut threads is going to frighten off many newbies or bore them to death, they will go somewhere else to get the information they need. The regulars here have forgotten how long it took them to learn the diamond basics before they figured out the importance of cut. I am simply astonished some oppose Garry's attempt to improve how we educate newbies. The better we are at helping newbies learn the basics, the more likely they are to stick around and learn about cut.
@prs ,
I'm not AT ALL happy with the status quo!!! I would like to see Pricescope return to its former robustness. If you have followed my postings over the years I have welcomed and encouraged vendors of all ilks to get involved here, as I really believe in this community. Obviously we sell a specialty product, and we believe we have a compelling value proposition. But we know that our product will not be appreciated by everybody. That's totally cool with us. Our philosophy is that a rising tide lifts all boats. The more the merrier.

My question is whether the problem is "elitism", or regular posters 'frightening off newbies'. I don't necessarily buy into that concept. At least not without being presented more evidence. I don't think the decline in forum activity is caused by prosumers' treatment of newbies or the content of their recommendations. From what I can tell, the indications are that this is NOT the main problem here.
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jun 23, 2005
Messages
11,798
I don't find it surprising that @Texas Leaguer is in favor of the status quo.

If a newbie comes to RockyTalky he or she will see a front page full of threads about cut. Not surprising really given almost all the regulars here are cut geeks. Where is the thread telling him or she why they don't necessarily need to spend a small fortune on a E, VVS1 to get a gorgeous stone?

A front page full of cut threads is going to frighten off many newbies or bore them to death, they will go somewhere else to get the information they need. The regulars here have forgotten how long it took them to learn the diamond basics before they figured out the importance of cut. I am simply astonished some oppose Garry's attempt to improve how we educate newbies. The better we are at helping newbies learn the basics, the more likely they are to stick around and learn about cut.
With all due respect, I don't know that newbies are run off with all the cut talk. I think a good majority of them are reading and learning. As Bryan said, they are probably savvy enough to ingest the material that they think applies to them and reject the rest. Isn't that the way we all shop online? We rely on word of mouth, reviews, etc. to make a determination of whether a product works for us or not. You will spend more of your fortune on an E, VVS1 stone than you will on a G, VS2 stone and many will argue that is a waste of money. Just depends on your tastes and your wallet. Presenting options is never a bad thing and people certainly have free will to choose. Pointing out pros and cons in a stone are often what they ask about.

Garry says he is not as concerned about increasing membership as he is in helping lurkers to find a great diamond. I find this statement at odds. How could we ever know if lurkers - those that never join - have bought a diamond or not? If they don't join, they can't come back and post pics and reviews of their purchase. Maybe they are lurking just to gain some information, maybe they aren't actually buying for another year, perhaps they bought two diamonds for earrings. How would we ever know? So we can't assume that they just aren't being helped at all and are totally turned off with talk about cut and tune out.

There is a ton of information to be gleaned from this forum. You can do some basic searches with basic terms and pull up lots of threads. How would we realistically help people learn the basics? What are the basics? Shooting for recommended ranges of stats is certainly a good start - regardless of whether you are considering a super ideal or not. Numbers do matter and relation of angles matter if you want a nice stone. That's just a simple fact. With GIA rounding, that becomes even more complicated. However, there are folks here every day that help people with non-ideal cut stone selection too. Just because they sometimes show people a super ideal cut stone in the same size or price range doesn't make it bad - it just expands their buying options.

I don't find it surprising that @Texas Leaguer doesn't see anything broken here - I don't either frankly and I've been a member since 2005. As a newbie way back then, I was soaking it all up like a sponge. Unfortunately, I couldn't buy what I wanted until many years later but I definitely loved the knowledge that I gained. There can always be some room for improvement but there are many here with many different points of view and you can never control all of what any of them will say. Who would want to? I want all the information I can get and then I'll make my decision.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,273
I don't find it surprising that @Texas Leaguer is in favor of the status quo.

If a newbie comes to RockyTalky he or she will see a front page full of threads about cut. Not surprising really given almost all the regulars here are cut geeks. Where is the thread telling him or she why they don't necessarily need to spend a small fortune on a E, VVS1 to get a gorgeous stone?

A front page full of cut threads is going to frighten off many newbies or bore them to death, they will go somewhere else to get the information they need. The regulars here have forgotten how long it took them to learn the diamond basics before they figured out the importance of cut. I am simply astonished some oppose Garry's attempt to improve how we educate newbies. The better we are at helping newbies learn the basics, the more likely they are to stick around and learn about cut.
"Where is the thread telling him or she why they don't necessarily need to spend a small fortune on a E, VVS1 to get a gorgeous stone?"

I have spent a lot of time on Rocky Talky, and I can honestly estimate that in at least 99.9% of the threads I have ever read when the newbie OP says he wants a colorless, high clarity stone, it is explained that cut is a more important factor in a stone's beauty, and if the budget is not unlimited, one might want to balance the specs a bit to get a well cut stone since well cut stones face up quite white, especially in the high near colorless range. Many times they will come around and get better cut and drop a grade or two in color, sometimes they don't but may choose a smaller, ideal cut with high color and clarity.

Sometimes I think certain people post more technical information that the person wants. They want approval or disapproval of stones they are linking or they ask for suggestions. There are great articles already on the site for newbies to explore. I honestly am not seeing the problem because I would say the majority coming here just want help finding a good stone without having to become a diamond expert to do so. However, there is plentiful educational material that we sometimes reference when appropriate. Arcadian is a perfect example. She learned of superideal cuts and knew she loved them when she saw one. She didn't need tons of diamond education to realize the superideal was an outstanding diamond.

I am honestly not sure I see a problem other than an occasional newbie giving incorrect advice. In that case, I have seen others try to correct the information.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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May 11, 2012
Messages
8,795
@prs - most of the older posters will state that buyers can drop down in colour and clarity to get a larger stone or get better $ value which helps a lot of people that come here with the exception of people that want flawless clarity for purity/mindclean symbolism or a D or an E again for reasons like purity, cultural reasons or they generally like whiter diamonds. This isn't and should not be a one sized box that fits every new person that seeks help - we do attempt to ask questions to fully understand what the buyer wants.

@Texas Leaguer - I think it's a combination, I've seen new and old members give new people outstanding and really poor advice, and I've seen new and old members really listen to and try and work out what the buyer actually wants well and badly.

That is something I think many people here need to learn to do better - work out what the new person or poster wants as opposed to some preconceived notion they have about what we all think they should buy. A super Ideal stone, or a perfectly cut new old cut believe it or not is not always the correct option for everyone.

The point being if every member took the time to understand what each new poster wanted and didn't JUST automatically recommend Super Ideals every single time, then we wouldn't need to be assessing if we are frightening newbies away by being too elitist or not!!!

I know two long time members both of whom gave really outstanding advice to many many newbies that came here and have found many great priced stones for people in the past that won't even go to the RT forums any more because they were tired of getting talked over, challenged and argued with by our members.
 
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SandyinAnaheim

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
806
I don't find it surprising that @Texas Leaguer is in favor of the status quo...

...A front page full of cut threads is going to frighten off many newbies or bore them to death, they will go somewhere else to get the information they need....

...The better we are at helping newbies learn the basics, the more likely they are to stick around and learn about cut.
A front page full of cut threads is PRECISELY what drew me in. That is the variable local jewelers wouldn't talk to me about when I wanted to know why my expensive GIA XXX was a total FAIL.

With all due respect Peter, newbies will stick around if and when they want to and have the time to read through the monstrous amount of data on the boards. I don't think that there is anything PS can do outside of offering some sort of incentive, or making the majority of the site data invisible until sign up to get people to join. And what is the point of getting people to register if they're not inclined to participate? Simply to have a new pool of newbies giving other newbies bad advice? There is nothing wrong with the board as it is now. Since I have been on here, there have been people who's opinions I value opining on subjects, and others who are unaware of their ignorance, much like today.
...My question is whether the problem is "elitism", or regular posters 'frightening off newbies'. I don't necessarily buy into that concept. At least not without being presented more evidence. I don't think the decline in forum activity is caused by prosumers' treatment of newbies or the content of their recommendations. From what I can tell, the indications are that this is NOT the main problem here.
I agree. Like you said, it may have been more "robust" in the past, but everything in life has a season and an ebb and flow.

...I don't find it surprising that @Texas Leaguer doesn't see anything broken here - I don't either frankly and I've been a member since 2005. As a newbie way back then, I was soaking it all up like a sponge. Unfortunately, I couldn't buy what I wanted until many years later but I definitely loved the knowledge that I gained. There can always be some room for improvement but there are many here with many different points of view and you can never control all of what any of them will say. Who would want to? I want all the information I can get and then I'll make my decision.
I agree, and I was the same. I came on the site, I learned, I contacted my vendor of choice, purchased my stone, created my setting and didn't post pictures of it till years later. There is no cookie cutter schema for newbies to follow...everyone is an individual.

We should perhaps listen to what recent newbie @Jsand has to say above....
 

mission1

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Messages
127
I'm a newbie on the site. I'd already done a lot of research and narrowed what I was looking for, but I really appreciated the PS resource and knowledge.

People can take what they want from it, and don't even need to understand the reasons for the recommendations....though I suspect that most joining/posting are inherently of a mindset where they want to learn and want to optimise their budget.

I'm not sure that anything needs to change. Whilst you could make some of the resources 'member only' to encourage signups, I really doubt this would translate to more active participation.
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 23, 2018
Messages
4,140

When I found PS, my thoughts were NOT that I wanted to buy an "OK" diamond. I wanted a kick ass stone for an amazing price. At the time I didn't know the technical side to help me find that stone, but the reason I liked this forum was because of the technical information.

Most local jewelers and online sites don't focus enough on cut quality IMO. By far, cut is the hardest of the C's to understand and comprehend, but it's also what makes people love or hate a diamond. Even a newbie can determine if color or clarity works for them, but I don't think the masses know and/or trust themselves to determine a well cut stone.

By providing that technical analysis, we arm consumers with knowledge to feel more confident in that aspect, but most importantly to get a stone they will be proud of for years to come.

Also, how do we determine a good value? A $5,000 "ok" stone, or a $5,500 well cut stone? We know which cost less dollars, but when was the last time you seriously bought anything of any meaningful purpose where it was solely about dollars? How is that truly helping someone? Does that mean we ignore budget? Obviously not, as that aspect HAS to work. But when we maximize value, that means we push the maximum of the 4 C's into that budget according to how the buyer prioritizes those C's.

Like many of you, I've helped lots of people find dream stones. I tend to be more technical in my responses, but I try my best to put them in "easy speak". Based on the comments I receive from those people, I believe they want and appreciate that. In fact I've dropped in late on some threads, and made a few comments and had responses thanking me as they saw me comment on another post and was hoping I'd analyze their selection.

I'm not bragging, but rather humbled by it. I know there are many here that spend time doing the same as me. I'm not sure everyone's driving force, but for me, I genuinely enjoy talking diamonds and helping people.

IMO, the diamond industry as a whole has done a relatively piss poor job at educating consumers. Nearly all of us get married, and a vast majority will buy diamonds. So it seems logical we'd try to educate people to make good solid choices. It's my hope that PS will remain technical in nature (but friendly, and present information in a digestible format) and continue trying to truly educate people, and not just give "feel good" answers.

Assuming that continues, it's my hope we make a dent in the mass population which likely makes a dent in how the industry cuts and offers stones.
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
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May 23, 2016
Messages
742
To keep PS alive subscriptions would be great, but the real deal is money from sponsors who list diamonds and jewels. That business is shrinking as affiliates have grown and can afford to do paid adwords etc.
I may be off in my understanding of how PS operates and is funded, but unless sponsors view their support of the site as an altruistic investment in the jewellery-loving community, they are going to seek concrete proof about the number of users their ‘investment’ is reaching and the likely return they see on that investment. Therein lies the concern re: user numbers. Without the support of sponsors to fund admin, site development etc there would be no forum, or at least none in its current well-maintained and moderated form. Talk of maintaining the status quo would become meaningless if there's no cash to fund the site.

What ultimately seems to matter, as the underlying question, is how to achieve i) greater user numbers and ii) proof of user numbers including lurkers who (currently) silently act on advice. This keeps sponsors happy and therefore keeps the site well funded so that we have a platform to advise and debate (esoterically or not!) on.

I suspect the conversation around whether the site is elitist/esoteric/biased in its views could continue until the cows come home! It's only part of the bigger picture of lower than desired user numbers though. Is there another palatable way to fund the site or increase users? You mentioned subs and paid app development. Do sponsors currently track who clicks through to their sites from the diamond search facilities? Do I remember talk a few years ago talk of a PS referral/discount code for some vendors? That could give sponsors an indication of contacts they receive that are initiated by PS. I'm not technically savvy so forgive me if those are not sensible questions!
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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4,140
My only fear with using vendor dollars to fund this site is the potential for freedom of speech to be impaired.

I've seen it happen before elsewhere. Vendor A pays $X to the forum. All is great if the mods and users push that product. But if someone has a bad experience and says something negative, they get a warning and/or ban for it. Then another user or two gets irritated and questions that and they too get banned. Next thing you know, a large group breaks off and creates a new (competing) forum.

I get it -- the forum is trying to support the vendor that paid money to support the forum. But the harsh reality is that sometimes vendors do stuff or have products that suck and they (and others) need to hear it.

Not to pick on anyone, but how do you think JA would feel if they paid money to sponsor this site? I utilize them because they get picked on for their TH line that is't always true to the name. Or prior to them blocking certs, basically selling the same virtual inventory stones available elsewhere except at higher costs. Or most recently, their decision to block certs and the rumblings that came as a result so they could basically sell the same stones available elsewhere at other sites for higher prices, but without any proof it was the same stone, lol.

If the forum is taking their dollars, does that mean they will start censoring/banning users when the user opinion turns against the vendor? Will the vendor cease their support?

There are also benefits. I love the fact that WF, HPD, VC, JA and others contribute here. I think having that vendor/trade adds value to the site as a whole.

How cool would it be to see this forum work together with some of these vendors to do studies and tests on various subjects. For instance, the topic of fluor is what spawned this entire thread. There are some strong opinions on both sides, and it would be interesting to see a study with several vendors, maybe a few prosumers and some outside GIA/AGS people.

I think there is a way to network and grow the vendor relationships here, while possibly getting some monetary support. But it has to be done right. I think a simple thing that could happen is make trades pay for their membership. Maybe even have different tiers. And at a certain tier, a sub-forum could be created for that vendor so they could freely discuss their products, special pricing, group buys, etc.

Then vendors could start to see any direct relationships to PS and sales. Also, it may entice more people to sign up and participate.
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
742
But the site is already funded by a pool of vendors, via sponsors paying to list their stones on the PS search site. I know we get the occasional query re impartiality, but in general I don’t think that funding has historically biased any posters’ views. If the issue Garry raises is that that pool of funding is shrinking, partly due to lower footfall and partly vendors preferring to advertise directly, PS needs to be funded by other means in order to continue providing a platform for education and debate. (And those sponsors, to their credit, include JA, despite the bashing they’ve taken here over recent months.)
 
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msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,576
I hesitated to post on this thread, because I'm not one of the seasoned posters here, and I own a diamond with specs that aren't the typical ones most would recommend.

THAT SAID... I certainly appreciate all the education that PS has provided over the years. My vendor really pushes the whole idea that "GIA XXX is the best you can get.. no need to look at the specs... HCA??!! ...dumb." :roll: Knowing full well that isn't the case and that GIA XXX encompasses some amazing, good, and not so good stones, the education I received from PS made me feel pretty dang comfortable while navigating through what felt like a million GIA XXX for my upgrade a few years ago.

Although I didn't get a stone with "super safe specs", I felt very confident in choosing my spready diamond, because I was able to apply everything I'd learned over the years to know that it was indeed a great performer (the angles just worked). I knew I'd be very happy with it.

As another poster said upthread, I didn't get a superideal, but I got a super diamond that is ideal for me. Whether it be super ideal, 60/60-ish, AGS ideal, or GIA XXX, I will continue to try my best to help people find a stone that is perfect for them and their situation.
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
742
As another poster said upthread, I didn't get a superideal, but I got a super diamond that is ideal for me. Whether it be super ideal, 60/60-ish, AGS ideal, or GIA XXX, I will continue to try my best to help people find a stone that is perfect for them and their situation.
Job done - the bold part is what PS mantra should be!
 

Rose-gold-or-bust

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
313
Two threads come to mind that I feel are worth pointing out here.

The first (a few months back) was more of a series of threads from a member who upgraded their diamond on advice from PS and then found out it was just slightly off the super ideal proportions. That member was stressed and fretting over upgrading it again believing that her beautiful stone wasn’t good enough despite it being a terrific upgrade from her original stone.

Another was more recent - a member got engaged with a beautiful mossianite and posted the ring in SMTB and somebody told her it needed to be moved to fabulous fashion jewelry. No clue if the original poster took offense to that but to me it came across as ‘your ring is only costume jewelry’. It was somebody’s engagement ring and they were excited to show it off. I know ‘no simulants’ in that board but I think PS needs to do a better job at making sure everyone feels welcome to share their bling, regardless of the stone type or quality.
 

amoline

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
308
I feel compelled to mention that the question that the title of the thread asks and the question of the poll are opposite questions:

"Are we too elitist & doing 99% of newbies a disservice?"

"Are [we] good at helping enough newbie buyers?"

People might see the thread title and want to answer that question, and thereby in effect giving the wrong answer that they intended to what is the poll question.

I say this just because I talked to a few users about this issue outside of PS and they then voted on this thread, and their vote is the opposite of what they shared their opinion to be. Entirely possible they changed it but maybe also possible that people are mistakenly answering the wrong question via the poll.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
5,376
Also re: forum postings being down overall - forums are "passe." I've been on a lot of forums and most of them have gone extinct, or have only a handful of posts/comments a year. Those younger than millennials often access the internet only from apps, and don't actually know about specific websites if they don't have an app. The ways to fix this as I see them are to 1. advertise somehow places where people are, like instagram etc - no clue if that's prohibitively expensive, 2. have an app? The forum can definitely be on the app, but having an app where you can access the HCA and other tools like the diamond search would be really good because it would encourage people to think of them as "mobile tools" that you could use with you when you are in a jewelry store - get the report, plug the numbers in right there, etc. Of course you can do that on your phone via the internet app, but people younger than about their mid-twenties don't necessarily think that way, and that's the next group coming up who'll be shopping for engagement rings.

But basically - many, many people aren't googling for things. Yes, increasing the site's prominence on search results would probably help, but ultimately more people are finding things through ads than searches these days, I think.

I really don't think PS's problems are down so much to PS itself as to overall internet trends - however how to fight against overall internet trends is something I don't really know how to answer. I do know that it can be done, though.

Is there anyone who posts regularly who works in social media/advertising?
 

Rose-gold-or-bust

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
313
Also re: forum postings being down overall - forums are "passe." I've been on a lot of forums and most of them have gone extinct, or have only a handful of posts/comments a year. Those younger than millennials often access the internet only from apps, and don't actually know about specific websites if they don't have an app. The ways to fix this as I see them are to 1. advertise somehow places where people are, like instagram etc - no clue if that's prohibitively expensive, 2. have an app? The forum can definitely be on the app, but having an app where you can access the HCA and other tools like the diamond search would be really good because it would encourage people to think of them as "mobile tools" that you could use with you when you are in a jewelry store - get the report, plug the numbers in right there, etc. Of course you can do that on your phone via the internet app, but people younger than about their mid-twenties don't necessarily think that way, and that's the next group coming up who'll be shopping for engagement rings.

But basically - many, many people aren't googling for things. Yes, increasing the site's prominence on search results would probably help, but ultimately more people are finding things through ads than searches these days, I think.

I really don't think PS's problems are down so much to PS itself as to overall internet trends - however how to fight against overall internet trends is something I don't really know how to answer. I do know that it can be done, though.

Is there anyone who posts regularly who works in social media/advertising?
When I first came across PS, I looked to see if there was a Facebook group with similar info. I already use FB so if I could find a group, I’d rather not sign up for a forum separately.
 
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