Memebership Participation

I have noticed over the last year a large fall-off in member participation on the site. The site seems to lack enthusiasm and interest. I only see the same small group of people posting and commenting. What exactly is the site's "Mission Statement?" Is the whole purpose just to ID watches from ads? I remember something about protecting the "Bulova Legacy" but what exactly does that mean? In my opinion, membership is going to drop off and the site will become a reference library with no enthusiasm or lack of membership interest. There is only a small cadre of people participating....I think some members may still pop in every noow and then but they are more involved in the "other" site. I would just suggest re-thinking this site or you will find there are only five or six people involved in it on a regular basis out of thousands of people who intially signed-up but have dropped out. Just my observation. Rob Stoddard

OldTicker
Posted October 14, 2013 - 3:06pm

Rob,

I think the site is somewhat seasonal, it slows down in the late spring and starts to pick up in the fall. We all have priorities and sitting in front of a computer on a nice warm summer day/evening arguing over the ID of watches is not one of them. I know that was the case for me this year, I have been so busy that I didn't even get to do my normal bargain shopping on eBay this summer so I was not snipping competition to most of you, but I did still manage to pick up a few here at local estate auctions that I will add in the following weeks.

I see 14 watches here right now waiting for ID's, by many new members, so it looks like people are still adding watches. I also see a bunch of new ads that have been added to the site that I need to get caught up on plus a bunch of new form topics to read.

I have also been to the "other" site, and it seems that all of the mybulova bashing that was done over there didn't help them with traffic, it is still one person showing off their watch collection and spouting off their opinions...occasionally they get a watch to ID or a question to answer, but have nowhere near the participation that we have here. There is a fundamental difference between the two sites, here the entire database is made up by members and discussed by all members that want to participate, over there the database is one persons collection, ID's are assigned by the owner, and there is not much to discuss.

I would expect things to start picking up again shortly, we still have a lot of ID's to go...

Greg

 

FifthAvenueRestorations's picture
FifthAvenueRest...
Posted October 14, 2013 - 3:49pm

There's another site?

I've noticed zero site participation from the author of this post, unless it involves a Watch owned by them.

Just an observation.

stoddrob
Posted October 15, 2013 - 9:34pm

Well...to answer your observation honestly....when I've posted a question on someone else's post (about a watch, or an ID, or some other question I might have)  - I never get a response. I've posted for assistance on parts - and never get a response. Who wants to keep doing that? So...IMO the site is pretty much an insiders game. No one wants to enegage when they are ignored. I suppose its on purpose, in my case, due to some personality conflict. But how do you think it makes others feel when they post a question, or ask for help or a part...and no one responds?  I'm just happy to occassionally share my awesome watches with the members.....and not feel afraid to ask the questions and provide some commentary that other's are thinking but too shy to write. And besides....I'm not into the ID thing....that's not my bag. And further, there is only a designated MyBulova squad that can do that anyway....the rest of us minions just have to wait for the Triumverate to tell us what we own. 

OldTicker
Posted October 15, 2013 - 11:44pm

All of the watches for review or published are open to comments from all members, not just the panel or owner of the watch, so if you have something to add that helps ID the watch in review, please post your thoughts. The concept of the panel is to make sure the watch is fully vetted before a name is assigned and it is entered into the database, but every bit of help and input is appreciated when it come to the ID.

There is a lot of information here, and trying to answer all questions or provide immediate responses is always a challenge considering most everyone here is putting in 40 + hours trying to make a living, and are scattered all over the globe.

Some of the members are better at certain subjects, like era of watches, parts & repair knowledge, ad finding, ect...

Parts are always a challenge to find and there are probably only a very few on here that have some on hand so that will limit the responses right off the bat.

I guess what I am saying is it is a entirely volunteer site, and I did respond to your post, twice! : )

JP
Posted October 16, 2013 - 12:42pm

Panel Member

I have probably the largest inventory of parts for the older bulovas (1929-1999) and have always tried to help those seeking a part or crystal or hands to find what they need and I know there are several members who have extensive knowledge of crystals and good inventories. I have never seen a request for help go ignored. 

The site is like a breathing thing, it flexes, growing and shrinking with the times of the year as Greg has stated.  There will always be differences of opinion, as there should be when dealing with a group of such diversity as mybulova has. It has been my observation that the best way to deal with these differences of opinion is to try to see the other persons side of an issue and try to be a little more tolorant of each other.

I don't have enemies on here, just people who I don't always agree with.

JMO

bourg01
Posted October 16, 2013 - 3:36pm

Panel Member

Rob,

Your an Ebay seller under how many logins? stoddrob,dreamweaver, verasvintage......... or more? Why? 

 But to say and I quote you " And besides....I'm not into the ID thing....that's not my bag" , why would you expect our help to provide you with info to market your watches.

If your too lazy to do your own research, Sorry, but why would you expect our help. It's a 2 way street so ........ be proactive in your quest for info, present all the info you can find, help us, help you. Cut the negetivity about the site and it's members and you may just find it's alot more than what you have experienced or percieve it to be.

Next up, As Greg has stated, as panal members we're all volunteers here and we all have a life outside of MB so don't expect any immediate responces. We do what we can, when we can and we're happy to lend a hand to anyone.

When it comes to parts, Sorry but NOS parts are very dificult to come by and can be very expensive. I'm not in business of selling parts and therefore will not comment unless I have lots of inventory and can spare a few. I think all members will share that centiment

Enough said. Regards Shawn

stoddrob
Posted October 16, 2013 - 10:10pm

Shawn,

1. I have two MyBulova accounts: Stoddrob & Dreamweaver. Why? I tried to avoid the conflicts that arise from jealousy...and decided to post watches and remain anonymous. So much for member anonymity and confidentuality. It must have driven people close to insanity trying to figure out who Dreamweaver was and where all those awesome timepieces were coming from! It was only a matter of time before the cadre started discussing and specuating in a frenzy about who Batman really is...and Bruce Wayne's true identity was discovered. It didn't really matter in the end....the same personality dynamics exisited as before. 

2. I have one Ebay account: Stoddrob. I have $10,000 in sales this year and a 99.4% Satisfaction score as a Buyer and Seller. Those sales are on top of #3 below.  

3. I had a website, Vera's Vintage Watches. I sold 12 thousand of dollars worth of watches with not a single complaint or return.  I sold two Calendar 23's for $800 each, and military watches for $450. I had customoers fly in from Salt Lake City and buy 5 watches totaling $2,000. They were the best-of-the-best. I achieved valued far in excess of Ebay prices. I closed the site because I didn't want the cost to maintain it any longer....ran low on inventory....and I had enough repeat service customers I didn't need the advertising. Does that help explain things to you? 

4. I know what every watch I post is before I post it. I think once someone came up with another variant that was the exact same case as my designated model. I do my own homework using more than just this site. I have never felt the need to get anyone's stamp of approval on a model name. It ws someone's bad idea to create the "panel" and leave it in the hand of a few so they rest of us could just wait for the smoke to rise from the chapel to announce our watch model.

5. Greg is right: Don't expect a response right away. But...who am I waiting for? You? Greg? Admin? Fifth? Only a "Panel Member" can answer? There are supposed to be thousands of members....are you the only guys around in terms of getting reply? It just shows a lack of participation in the site except for a few diehards. I own JBL speakers...and on their site I get answers to technical questions, parts, advice, sales, etc within hours and not more than 24hrs from somebody! There's one moderator...and huge member participation with no arguing. Members help members. There's no small cadre of people controlling content and opinion. Too bad this site isn't like that. That's why I posted this forum.....hoping maybe someone would have an epiphany. Your last paragraph sums you and some others up pretty well: Every man for himself! Fine...two can play that game! However, I have given parts to members...and they have given parts to me. John Pirino is one of the gentleman on the site...willing to help anyone. There are others like him and they know who they are....they aren't hoarding their parts like a watch miser.  Reciprocation. That's the way to go. You help me....I help you. But your last paragraph makes it clear that's not going to happen often here....since you are speaking for ALL members by stating it.

Cheers!

Rob

 

bourg01
Posted October 16, 2013 - 11:02pm

Panel Member

Rob,

At MB you will see that in most threads it is the panel members who will try to help. Other members posting watches and looking also looking for info are less likely to respond to you inquires.

Again quoting you " However, I have given parts to members...and they have given parts to me. John Pirino is one of the gentleman on the site...willing to help anyone. There are others like him and they know who they are....they aren't hoarding their parts like a watch miser.'.

I have provided parts to folks visiting this site,some at no charge what so ever, not even the postage but you wouldn't know or see that because it's done privately, off site. Do I hoard parts, hell yes I do. A 10AK balance assembly will run you $129.95 from my supply house, hands are few and far between found, NOS mainsprings will cost you $50-65 dollars and they aren getting harder and rarer to find. You see it as  me hoarding parts, I see it as myself continuing my business restoring watches. Stop and take a look fom my side of the fence. No oence taken but if you need  a balance ass'y for a 10AK or 8AE , I'd be happy to sell at 20% less than my supply  house, but you won't pay $100.00 and I won't give them away becausen you just can't buy them for less anymore. That goes the same for many NOS vintage parts.

Look at my watches, I recently purchased a 14K + diamonds from a lady who was going to scrap it for $500-00. I paid well in excess of that to save it. Again, you don't see that, private sale but the watch is posted, still unknown in my watches. My better half loves it. Did I help someone looking for help, yes I did and she didn't have to settle for a piddly $500.00 bucks as scrap.

Like I said, We all do what we can, when we can ,even if you can't see it.  For the record, I gave her $900.00 for that  watch and still had to service it to make it a runner. I'm still very happy with the purchase.

I think your comments are one sided and biased based solely on what you have experienced and what you can see. Perhaps you need to participate more so you can see more. Nothing is ever " black and white " so keep an open mind, except opinions for what they are, contribute and respond and we will in kind, respond back.

No Hard feeilings, we all have a POV, That's mine, MB is still the best reference site for Bulova's.

stoddrob
Posted October 17, 2013 - 3:05am

I bought 20 10AK Balance Completes for $80....and saw someone win 12 for $25. Not a good example....they are easily found for $10.  But I understand what you're saying. No hard feelings here either. Everyone's got a POV as you said. But I feel that my point got lost. I just see the same small group of people posting and a lack of membership involvement for a membership that runs in the several thousands. Maybe it was because it was summertime....and that will all change once they go into hibernation now that it's almost winter :-)

OldTicker
Posted October 16, 2013 - 11:20pm

Would you like to be on the panel Rob?

I don't understand what your point is, you use this site for ID purposes, reference material, opinions/answers, parts sources, global exposure, plus the knowledge you pick up. Is it not a a good site? How much have you paid for it? I just donated another $50.00 to keep it running as I have in the past, if you don't donate, its no big deal to me, just enjoy the vast amount of info that you have access to. If you have paid for the Vera's watches ads that have been running, that must have worked out well with 12K in sales, I would say that is a bang for the buck considering I know how reasonable a month long ad running on here costs.

The reason the panel was formed was because anyone that posted their watches pre panel could choose any name for their watch...and most were wrong. How can you maintain a reliable database with out control? The panel members were chosen mainly for their dedication to this site and the Bulova brand, not because they sell on eBay, but because they all have a soft spot for Bulova's and want to maintain a site that is dedicated to the brand they love.

We do have many "members", but not many "dedicated members", many join just because they want a watch name, verified info, and the ability to swipe a ad so they can sell their watches for more $$$ on the bay. Others because the watch is a heirloom that they inherited and would like to find out any bit of history to tie it to the loved one that left it to them, that for me is the biggest reason that I love this site.

Its because of this site that you see so many "named" Bulova's...If you are a true collector, you have noticed this "phenomenon" of named Bulova watches on the bay.

I also sell Bulovas and other items on the bay, but probably have over 100 Bulovas that I wont sell because I collect them, along with other valuables.

I also have been to the Harmon Kardon/JBL site as I own both a HK AVR & JBL Sub, but there is a big difference between this site and a "Factory sponsored site"...Why do you think we ask for donations? Did you pony up?, it takes bucks to have servers with this site's host capabilities, and also to buy & scan the nice full color ads you see in the database.

You have added many nice example of Bulova watches for the whole world to see, and looking back at some of your recent posts, it seems like you have had many responses to post subjects and watches you have posted, so why the animosity?

I don't think Shawn or Mark were trying to challenge you, nor was I, but it sounds like the lack of a instance response/gratification is your major concern...you have to remember this is a VOLUNTEER site, and there are also a number of Bulova enthusiasts that are not panel members that do give there opinions on watches posted...it just isn't their #1 priority to do so...catching up on some of the latest post from the last couple weeks, I see many non panel members replying to posted watches and form subjects, that is the way this site operates..participation...when the participant has the time to do so...

If the grass is greener on the "other" site, go for it, but if you now understand how this site works and are willing to share your knowledge, opinions, examples, sources, and research, please feel free to continue to be a contributing member, it is all of us that makes this site work.

Greg

stoddrob
Posted October 17, 2013 - 2:51am

Greg,

First I'd like to say you are also, in my opinion, one of the good guys. But that's as it is in life...not everyone is someone elses cup-of-tea. So I'll leave it that.

I would not want to be on the panel. Thank you for asking. Regardless of what I've said....I value those who contribute knowledge, time, and money to the site. But that wasn't my point in making this post. Nor was my Bulova pedigree, non-pedigree, or contributions. My point was about participation. 

I belong to a non-JBL-collectors group - not a comany sponsored site by the way. The members are all very knowledgeable, resourceful and helpful. There's active participation by hundreds of members. There are other watch collectors groups and  websites where the same can be said. If you ave a question about a Dent watch, or Waltham, or Bulova Phantom pocket watch....there are members who have knowledge and share info and make referrals. 

My point in making this post was: That's what's missing here. With the exception of people posting a watch to ID (instead of learning thevtell-tale signs to look for and researching it themself....and throwing it in yor lap!) there's not much participation and involvement by non-panel members. Why is that?

Im beating a dead horse because panel members are defending their right to be panel members. That's fine...and your efforts are applauded....but you are not creating a very interactive site for newbies and other members to want to check back frequenly. It's a small group controlling content and opinion and it leaves others feeling like, "this ain't me!" It makes others feel unwelcome and intimidated. At least that's what I see. Take it for what it's worth....If you guys feel it works for you and your happy with it....who am I to say? Heck, I can't even ask the question i.e. the title of the post without people getting defensive and attacking my integrity and identity. That's what turns people off and keeps them quiet or turns them away. 

 

 

mybulova_admin
Posted October 17, 2013 - 5:53am

Club 5000Panel Member

I hear what you are saying Rob and I simply don't have the answer for you. The reality is that 1 in 30 users that sign up for the site never actually post a comment or add a watch. I have no idea why.

The reality is that 95% of the sites visitors come here to ask one simple question 'what is my old Bulova watch?'. They may find the answer themselves by searching through the archives or they may gain the answer from another member of the site. Either way they get their answer and move on, never to be seen again. And that's fine, the site has served its purpose.

The other 5% of the sites visitors are people that collect and sell Bulova watches and over the years have gained valuable knowledge which  they are usually only too happy to share with others. This 5% is a group of passionate giving people as far as I am concerned, they don't need to answer questions, they don't get paid to do so and there is no reward in doing so, yet they continue year in, year out to offer their knowledge and experience to complete strangers. I for one think that that is something to be thankful for.

As many users of this site would hopefully agree, I've always tried to be pro-active as well as re-active to member needs. If I can make this site better I will certainly try my best to accommodate the needs of members where it will also benefit the site at large.

Much of the sites functions have come from members suggestions and I will always listen to suggestions.

So, Rob and Jim I ask you both to help me help you and let me know what suggestions you may have to make this website more useful to you both and new members. What can I do to help increase the amount of active members on this site? How can I encourage more member participation?

With regards to members leaving the site or not actively participating in it anymore, THAT is their right, no one is forced to be here and I would hope that no one feels that they are forced to be here (except me that is). I certainly don't see the members leaving this site as a bad thing. If they learn or teach just one thing whilst here then this site has done its job and that is most certainly all I can ask for.

The club, or click everyone seems to keep referring to is nothing more than a bunch of people that share a common passion (sometimes an addiction) for all things vintage Bulova and enjoy being part of a community of like minded people.

Finally, to all those members that no longer participate on this site I say thank you (even if they never read this). Regardless of their current feelings for myBulova, this site will always be a part of them as they will always be a part of this site.

We all have the right to stay and actively participate, to stay and do nothing, or to leave. Either way I will continue to operate this site for the benefit of all not just a few.

Stephen.

Jim Townsend
Posted October 17, 2013 - 6:12am

I am just looking for tolerance not snide remarks etc. And most of all respect. I  miss back when i guess. Wonderful site utmost respect for you admin for keeing this going. There will always be some that know more than others in all aspects of life. We look to these people for guienance information and tolerance to help us learn mroe about these beautiful timepieces.

 

airborne's picture
airborne
Posted October 17, 2013 - 6:36am

I am not a newbie on Bulova watches i have collected for many years. But i have not been a member on MB so long. But i always gets help if i have any question.

MB is the best watch site for Bulovas in my mind even if i am a member on some other sites also.

I really appreciate every body that contributes to the sight.

A nice day to all of you :-)

 

 

Gerard
Posted October 17, 2013 - 12:38pm

I've found if I do comment on a watch generally I'm left out of the conversation. This really doesn't bother me because so many members have much more knowledge than I have. So my guess is you have allot of members who love Bulova, are avid collectors, ask for help, ask for parts, read comments  and are just happy to belong to the site and that's as far as it goes.

I'm guessing.

Gerard

stoddrob
Posted October 17, 2013 - 3:34pm

I'm glad this post created some comments. The site cannot improve unless people speak up. I think there are very positive elements to this site....but it has not even come close to tapping its potential. 

thanks for all of you commenting and sharing your thoughts....something just seemed amiss to me and it didn'tfeel right any longer. Maybe the panel as it exisits isn't the best solution....it inhibits research, discussion and  participation. 

Rob 

 

plainsmen
Posted October 17, 2013 - 7:23pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Hey gents.   I've deleted a few posts as they seemed be just complaining rather than offering constructive conversation. The topic seems well recieved as long as we're being constructive and balanced. If we start slipping into snideness or a bit to much negativity it won't be tolerated.

Thanks guys!

Jerin

mybulova_admin
Posted October 18, 2013 - 7:13am

Club 5000Panel Member

All I'm happy to listen to any and all suggestions via admin@mybulova.com on how to improve  membership participation. If you have any thoughts please don't hestitate to email them to me.

Stephen.

lylel396
Posted October 18, 2013 - 9:27am

  I don't come here often. My interest is pretty much confined to Accutrons. I stop by once in a while to see if any Accutrons have been added. I have about 70 of them and the collection is growing with most of the recent additions being solid gold ones.  This doesn't make me an expert on Accutrons but I'm learning and I have come to respect the knowledge of OliverB. 

  Some time ago a member called Dune entered a picture of a 1975 Anniversary Model. I entered some information about it and everything I said was correct based on what we knew at the time of the post.  OliverB than entered some information. Both of our contributions were pretty much ignored and both of us seemed to conclude that the final naming decision had a silly element to it.   You folks have a lot of  knowledge concentrated here but some frustration arises when people who lack knowledge fail to heed outsiders like OliverB who have it.

 

plainsmen
Posted October 18, 2013 - 3:14pm

Club 5000Panel Member

Good stuff Lyle and I thank you for your input.  As a caviat I'm sure if your original insight into the watch was overlooked it wasn't done with malcontent.

I do see how we could sometimes overlook meaningful input from others outside the same voices we hear all the time.  If you feel we've done this I apoligize.  No excuses offered, but I think some of it could be that a handful of us have been doing this for several years now and trust each other.... it could be that we sometimes get centric on the guys we've known.

I relish all info... heaven knows we aren't infalliable.  If a difference of opinion needs to be brought... absolutely bring it.  We really do dig that sort of thing around here as long as it's done with the goal of helping each other out.

 

 

Jim Townsend
Posted October 18, 2013 - 3:27pm

Is there a way to date a Bulova with only the serial # 8210980 Just wondering. Thanks

OldTicker
Posted October 18, 2013 - 3:39pm

Case serial numbers up to 1946-7 will date the case, after that a code became standard.