questionswhat can we do to make woot the best deals site?

vote-for24vote-against
vote-for2vote-against

Based on the flurry of posts over the last few days I'd say either add a section to the community for off-topic discussions.

vote-for41vote-against

Back in the beta days, we'd often receive surprises delivered to our IN box, or even better, to our homes! I received quite a few and I was always touched to be included in the "THANKS! We think you're swell" round up. I'm afraid those times are long past.

vote-for3vote-against

Your real name isn't Rutledge, is it?

vote-for14vote-against

@lavikinga: That makes sense. I bet getting those freebies made you appreciate being part of the site and want to contribute. Those days don't have to be over unless the new ownership isn't willing to keep Woot cool. The community can help we just need to give them ideas.

vote-for24vote-against

They are doing the opposite of that. Removal of the monthly coupon for certain types of participation is just an example.

I have to admit that I have NEVER received a bag of crap or "surprise" package, yet have dutifully participated.

vote-for18vote-against

@tretat: That was back in the days where Deals was like the wild West. It was a free-wheeling time, running around with our hair on fire, rousing the rabble, rattling the cages of Jumbowoot & Snapster, throwing sand, and setting the crabs free to run with the rabbits and cowboys (the old timers will understand that reference).

Every site evolves for better or worse. We've a new skipper at the helm. Hopefully, he'll be able to save this foundering ship and learn to tack before all the rats desert.

vote-for15vote-against

Need someone to weed out all those crap postings. I haven't seen but maybe 5-10 deals in the last 6 months. Used to enjoy checking out deals.woot, but my interest is waning. True there is no advantage in running up your rep. so I gave up trying. Hoping for the best.

vote-for29vote-against

@tretat: I've always used the golden rule. If it makes me say "MAN! I have got to buy this because it's so cheap!" whether I needed it or not. Most of the time, I don't even have a real use for it, or know what I'll actually do with it when it arrives.

You don't see deals like that anymore though. The reason is because community participation has decreased to the point that nearly all individuals have stopped posting. It's all businesses and the "crap" they advertise and spam onto the site.

I'd give anything to see it go back to the way it was in 2010-2011 but those days are over I fear.

vote-for3vote-against

@tretat: No offense, but you've only been a member here since 7/31/13. You seem to know a lot about the past. If you've been lurking since Amazon bought woot over 3 years ago, that's understandable.

And then continued lurking in the past year since @snapster's been gone...I get that, too.

Your timing in joining & asking this question is odd to me.

vote-for4vote-against

I think we should stop making things so hivemindy and exclusivi-... oh crap I see I'm late

vote-for12vote-against

@gmwhit: Its actually kinda the opposite. I am new and know nothing about the past. I was looking at the posts in the last few days about the FAQ and people saying they were leaving etc. I did not know that they actually did send out free stuff for participating before. Kinda sucks that they stopped. Maybe too many people have left to save this place?

vote-for21vote-against

@tretat: There used to be a lot of things that added value. Such as being a black triangle... which you already are after two weeks. Congrats. Not that that means anything anymore.

I personally don't think there is any one thing that they can do. Or two, or three. I think it all comes down to their company values and the current values appear to be in opposition to creating an awesome deal posting website.

vote-for14vote-against

@tretat: My sincere apologies if I misread you. Must admit when I began participating in deals, I knew nothing. Had grandiose ideas & verbalized suggestions for improvements. Was hammered on the head by a few oldies who (sometimes) gently explained that my ideas were old & stale. They'd been suggested often before.

Since then, woot & deals has (IMO) done everything they can to alienate us. The new FAQs are at least 2 years late. And...returning to the deals-related only questions in AtC seems silly at this point in time. Yes, many have left. More and more will leave is my guess.

Again, sorry to 'bark' at you.

vote-for11vote-against

@tretat: " I am new... ."

Sometimes when you're in a new community, it's useful to spend some time exploring and researching before offering solutions to problems with which you're unfamiliar.

Fresh ideas are always welcome, but it seems odd to me that you apparently think all we need to do is make smiley-faced suggestions to TPTB (as if no one had ever thought of them before) and all will be well.

Given your newness and all that, what prompted you to ask this particular question worded as you did?

vote-for3vote-against

@magic cave: True, I have not looked too far into past posts. I apologize, I guess I'm a little too ignorant to contribute. I have no idea what TPTB stands for... I'll just keep to myself I guess. Sorry.

vote-for8vote-against

Let's give @tretat a chance to make suggestions. There is nothing wrong with being new. Perhaps a "new" perspective would help out us ol' complainers. Welcome @tretat. @magic cave, did you get my email?

vote-for10vote-against

@tretat: TPTB=The Powers That Be. (I still have to look up the acronyms folks use from time to time.)

Suggest away! Fresh ideas are welcome. Just keep in mind that the old-timers (I'm a middle-aged timer, myself) might have already tried some of your ideas.

@lavikinga: I just got a "Gee, you're swell" freebie yesterday from another site. A HUGE box of random junk that included some really great stuff. (I've been hesitant to post it here since it wasn't from Woot. Incidently, other than the coupon codes that seem to have disappeared, Woot has never sent me a surprise BOC. I guess they don't think I'm as "swell" as a couple of other sites. This was the second random box I've received for free from this particular site, and another surprised me a while back with about a dozen Starbucks gift cards.)

I agree that some kind of random reward would be nice, even if it's only a very small token or a free shipping coupon. Mostly, we need a forum for non-deal topics!

vote-for3vote-against

@barnabee: Got it, and you have one now also.

vote-for8vote-against

And here we are, back on a non-deal topic. Guess it's good no one has deleted it yet.

vote-for4vote-against

@gmwhit: Agreeing with you, I think...there sure are lots of deal downvotes by this "new" account....

vote-for22vote-against

To be honest, I don't think there's anything we can but to just stand and watch the "Woot we knew" turn into history.

And I don't get it.

And I don't think I'll ever fully understand what is going through the minds of TPTB. If their intention is to destroy all that was created by @snapster - well, they're succeeding. :(

As shirt.woot is my main hangout, I'm basing my opinions and observations from there ...
- I wasn't around last year, but since I returned for (fresh) cake, it's gotten quieter and quieter in the forums.
- A loose estimate is that shirt.woot sales have declined 50-60% from 2 years ago.
- Voting in the weekly derbies have declined by about 80%.
- In spite of lesser sales, QC issues have increased.
- A year and a half later, folks are still complaining about the blanks.

Social media was supposed to help replace those who have left. In the past 18 months, I think shirt.woot grew by 5k "likes". In the same time, a new shirt site grew by 108k "likes"

(to be cont.)

vote-for19vote-against

(continued).

Expecting "word of mouth" to rake in new customers only works if those new customers like what they're seeing. If they don't, the opposite effect occurs ... which is a part of the decline here at Woot.

It's not exactly the same here with deals, but I can certainly draw parallels from what I know.

I also know that lamenting isn't going to fix things, but if TPTB isn't willing to listen to the customers who still care enough to participate, I don't think there's anything to suggest that would reverse this site's decline into nothingness.

There's no way I'd ever forget Woot, as my closet is a daily reminder, but if things don't change that helps promote the participation that use to be the norm here, there will be days in which I'll forget to check Woot. Which will turn into weeks. And so on ... :(

vote-for5vote-against

They can finally admit that deals.woot was an experiment for school, but then it started making money.

vote-for8vote-against

I'd like to see the "old guard" of the community be more welcoming to new community members instead of scaring them off. I'd like to see the community grow but it can't do so under the current trend of downvoting deals by new folks and "barking" at them when the ask a question or make a suggestion.

This isn't the first time I've seen this and it has bothered me for a long time.

And now, off to bed.

vote-for3vote-against

@thunderthighs: If you are speaking to me (reference the "barking"), please do note that I apologized. Not an "old-guard" member, relatively new myself. Normally, I AM more than welcoming to new members. As I said, I was slapped around a bit when I was an novice, too. Oh, and I do NOT down vote deals, nor questions, by new or old members...for what that's worth.

......

On retrospect and further thought, I will say this...I still find this new member a bit suspect. I could be wrong. I don't think I am. Does this mean I rescind my apology. Perhaps.

Tired of the game-playing by many. Am aware of quite a number of sock-puppets. This one has an amazing, hard to believe, full-on participation for a TRUE new 2+ week member.

vote-for14vote-against

Deals Woot died for me when they added the downvote button. Suddenly it turned into reddit with the hivemind running the place. The people like me who appreciated the fun were scared off by the "not-a-deal" downvote brigade. It became a forum for members to increase their rep, not a jovial place anymore. I only come back once a day to upvote some deals just in hopes of maybe getting another coupon code, but it sounds like that went the way of the dodo too.

vote-for11vote-against

I think leaving is the only viable choice as I don't see woot surviving on it's own merits. Low prices is nice but lack of real customer support(dumping the problems on the manufacturers) and email responses only if you are lucky makes woot a failing idea when attempting to sell upscale merchandise. Making the customer pay return shipping for damaged or faulty merchandise if the manufacturer does not help is a low blow. Don't buy from woot unless You can deal with possibly getting a raw deal. PS deal centric post only is ugly censorship.

vote-for5vote-against

Oh I forgot to mention Good luck with the upscale merchandise warranties.

vote-for13vote-against

I never actually "left", I just became that weird kid who sits in the corner and stares at the rest of the class in an unsettling manner. I'm still here. I just hardly post anymore.

vote-for9vote-against

@gmwhit: "bark" seemed like a good word and yours was just one of many examples I've seen. Other words that came to mind are bullied, belittled, downvoted, and generally made to feel not welcomed. It saddens me and it's been this way for a well over a year.this isn't the first time I've mentioned it here.

Voting seems to be a popularity contest with the popular people getting the most votes. Just look at the popular page. Mostly black boxes. Go create a new account and add a good deal. See how many votes you get. No cheating by telling your buds here offline or in the chat room.

Ask a question and often you're told it's been asked before and links are given to prove the point. It's not done nicely either. To a new person with their first post, it's enough to make you slink away.

There are some exceptions obviously. Some of you come in later to try to soften the blow but by then, the damage is done.

Sorry guys, but that's what I'm seeing.

vote-for3vote-against

@thunderthighs: Hmmmm Wasn't kidding, nor exaggerating when I said I am usually very welcoming to new members. Have made statements disagreeing w/negative voting. Yes, voting is a popularity contest....isn't that what the Leaderboard does?

How odd. I think you just suggested that one should create a sock puppet account. For the record, this is my one and only account.

My opinion: Just so you and the rest of the staff know....You all make some members feel unwanted here. I know I feel the coldness. Alienate the veterans; ignore their suggestions and complaints. Initiate rules/changes that are senseless. Defend the 'downtrodden' faux noobs. Berate the very core of the community.

As I've said several times before...this appears like a top down edict to close the deals side of woot. And quite possibly all of woot. The suicide attempt seems to be working.

vote-for4vote-against

I agree with @thunderthighs, but I said it with wayyyyyyy more snark. Creative freedom!

There seem to be certain things that you're simply not allowed to do here, and they have nothing to do with the quality or relevance of content being provided. So when you get annoyed that the popular page is full of hoes because of a dealmeme that's going on, you're wrong. Or if you don't automatically love deals from certain people, you're bad. And good luck if you actually want to say something about it.

It's bogus.

vote-for5vote-against

@gmwhit: A sock puppet would be an account you create to talk up your own deals - shilling. I didn't suggest that at all. I suggested an experiment.

The OP asked what could be done and I expressed my opinion. I know I stopped posting deals because even after spending an hour making sure it was the best deal, quite a few seemed to take delight in bashing my deals in comments for other reasons. I assume it's because I was staff. Regardless, it just wasn't worth the effort anymore. It's not a job requirement and I didn't need my email filled with that.

The same for asking questions. I thought long and hard (two weeks) about asking the luggage question. I researched to see if anyone else had asked it and how long ago. Now I'm a cold and callous staffer. Think what a new person to the community feels like.

vote-for15vote-against

@thunderthighs: I agree that members are often abrupt, often with new members. Especially in "we already discussed that" posts. That's partly due to the proliferation of "sock puppets" posting questions they never go back to just to increase rep. Get rid of downvoting. Several of us have argued that it brings an unwelcome negative tone to Deals.woot, and I think that tone infects the dialogue as well. It is easy to see that downvoting does not serve its presumed intended purpose, to help identify bad deals versus good ones. There are a myriad of reasons why people downvote, some of which I don't even understand, but a sincere valuation of the deal at hand seems to be only a minor consideration. I think the capacity for downvoting especially affects your sponsored deals, where members (unwisely, IMO) seem to apply backlash against unwanted changes in our little neighborhood. To me, downvotng is like graffiti; anonymous, often aggressive, and makes the whole community look bad.

vote-for8vote-against

@moondrake: I like that idea and I've seen it mentioned at least one other time in the last couple days. I've passed it up the chain.

vote-for13vote-against

@thunderthighs: If you manage to get rid of downvoting, I will personally FLY TO TEXAS and take you to lunch. I will also worship the ground you walk upon. It's the worst idea deals ever had. Okay, one of the worst.

vote-for9vote-against

It's not just the newbies who receive comments with a bullying tone. I've had to toughen my skin since coming here. Overall there is less trolling and nastiness on DW than most other places I've visited, and I was lucky not to be a target when I first started out here, but I've seen folks (and these never seem to be the more active members) go on binges of making negative and occasionally nasty comments on deals posted by a single individual.

My personal LEAST favorite is the snarky, "How is this a deal?" comment. Urgh! Perhaps if it were a valid comment it wouldn't be so bad, but I've seen this comment made on deals that included links to other sites with price comparisons clearing showing that at least a few bucks could be saved by taking advantage of the posted deal.

Anyway, I try to be kind when commenting, rarely downvote deals, questions or comments (unless they are snarky comments) and agree that there are Wootizens who could be kinder to newbies. My $0.02.

vote-for9vote-against

@belyndag: yea, that one is always more of a snooty, "Who would spend money on such drivel? Why I never!" than an actual attempt at discussion.

┌─┐
┴─┴
(ಠ_ರೃ)

vote-for9vote-against

@tretat: To pull this back on topic, the question I have back to you is what got you to join in the first place. I see that you have one Woot purchase so you could have come to Woot first and then found deals or was it the other way around?

vote-for4vote-against

@thunderthighs: Downvoting is fine but I think there should be a required comment on why there is the downvote, same as when reporting abuse. It might also help to display the people that did the downvoting and perhaps have the mods check to see if there is a pattern of downvoting everything and then suspend the account. There are trolls and they need to be stopped but there are also things that need to be downvoted, it is time to get away from the era where everyone is a winner. Feelings do get hurt but they can be beneficial if done in a constructive manner.

vote-for2vote-against

@sclark89: I disagree. Downvoting is the only method we have of letting vendors and others know what we don't like. What is a "deal", anyway? To me something isn't a deal just because it's cute or useful or it fits the meme-of-the-day. It's a deal if the price makes it a bargain - no other reason. Just because a site claims something is on sale does NOT make it a deal if the sale price isn't substantially less than other sources.

That being said, I have also been known to downvote posts from sites that are way to aggressive about trying to force you to join or take tracking cookies and site redirects beyond anything reasonable. While I don't usually downvote this, making your link take me through Share-A-Sale or CommissionJunction is a sure way to make sure I don't see your posted deal. Ghostery traps those just fine and it's rarely worth the trouble to get there by another route.

vote-for11vote-against

@wisenekt @sclark89: Wouldn't a deal having zero votes accomplish the same thing? We don't have to downvote deals for people to see that the deals aren't well received. When it never gets off the fresh tab or is a sponsored deal with no votes for it, it sends just as clear a message. And if you have something specific to actually say against the product, comment and let people know why you think it is not a good deal.

vote-for2vote-against

@moondrake: No, because you can always have sock puppet accounts to get you some upvotes and get it noticed. However, downvotes put the "deal" back into it's proper place.

vote-for12vote-against

@wisenekt: So instead you create sock puppet accounts to downvote anyone who's ahead of you. Same net result. You can't beat cheaters. To me it is the difference between destructive and constructive behavior. Casting a downvote is a destructive behavior. It counters a positive vote or digs a score into a deeper hole. Making a comment about why a deal is no good is a constructive behavior. In informs both the members and the poster as to why the deal is no good. I think this site would benefit from encouraging positive behaviors and not create an outlet for negative ones.

vote-for-1vote-against

Pleased to see that at least 2 others here view "sock puppets" as those who down vote deals/comments/answers in anonymity. They're not always shills, as said & defined by TT, voting up their own deals, etc. Yes, that happens, too.

I believe that there are many, many sock puppet accounts here that do nothing more than down vote deals, questions.....and comments and answers. Those puppets are invisibly negative & destructive to this site. Note: I also know of SP accounts that do not spend their time voting in a negative manner - not speaking to those at all. Both types know which you are.

IMO, more than one account is deceptive. And, in many cases, created for that reason.They are able to vote negatively w/o being linked back to their main persona. Exception: Woot has encouraged dup accounts to get around the limit issue. Not speaking of that either.

Most webs sites are able to determine dup accounts by ISP numbers. woot apparently is not one of those sites. Or doesn't care.

vote-for10vote-against

@gmwhit: Woot doesn't care - it's all numbers. Another account = another customer.

That said, it's one thing if these additional accounts are strictly used for multiple orders (or status testing - I started in 1245th place yesterday; let's see what one reply and a few votes does for ranking here.), like the purpose of this account. Alas, as you know, there are sock puppets that exist merely to promote and demote others. A way around that is to grant voting rights only to those who have purchased something (like it is with derby voting at shirt), which would create an entirely different set of issues here.

In the interim, eliminating the downvotes, as suggested by @moondrake and @shrdlu on multiple occasions, would be a step in the right direction. There's a reason why there's no "dislike" button on FB. This alone isn't going to fix Woot's overall issue, but it'll help here at deals and will be at least a sign that TPTB is listening ...

vote-for6vote-against

@narfcak3: dude, I hate to be the one to break this to you but that username isn't really anonymous. I mean, it's fine if you just want to test stats but if you want to test voting by user popularity, well...... :P