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PlanetChristmas shifting away from forums?


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PlanetChristmas used to be the hip and happening place for Christmas decorators.  In the early days it wasn't unusual for the site to trip off-line because of too much traffic.  The stories I can tell...

Then along came Facebook.  Now anyone can create their own version of a Christmas group and Facebook handles all the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting.

I'm considering changing the PlanetChristmas website to a Christmas-centric classified ad site.  I'm seeing a growing need for Christmas decorators to have an easy way to move stuff between themselves.  The classified ads, as usual would remain free on PlanetChristmas.

Whatdoyathink?

 

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I won't pretend to know what it takes to maintain the forum pages.  Only you can decide that.  I can say that this forum has been a source of information for me over the years.  Everything I learned about blow molds I learned here with everyone's incredible knowledge and willingness to be helpful.  I, personally, don't use Facebook so losing these pages would be the end of the road for me as far as learning more. First it seemed as if Kevin lost interest in Blow-molded because nothing got updated or added and now traffic here has diminished.  This forum would be sorely missed by me.  If you decide to end it I just want to say "Thanks" for keeping it alive all this time.  

Donna     

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Chuck,

You are correct on the Facebook deal, but....I have been on here since 2005 and learned alot and met alot of people from these forums. Granted it may not be as popular as it once was but it is still viable and in someway be retained. This was the place to go for Christmas knowledge at a time when we were all trying to figure it out. Knowing you I know that you will make the best decision for the site but hopefully the forums could be archived in some way to keep all the info that has passed through this site through the years.

SPaschall

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I would simply repeat and agree with everything already said.  I always tell my wife I could never have my display on national tv because my PCers would see all the ideas I’ve stolen from them!  Either way,  Chuck I hope you realize the help and encouragement your site has provided to a lot of Christmas light fanatics  over the years.  Thank you.

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6 hours ago, Chuck said:

PlanetChristmas used to be the hip and happening place for Christmas decorators.  In the early days it wasn't unusual for the site to trip off-line because of too much traffic.  The stories I can tell...

Then along came Facebook.  Now anyone can create their own version of a Christmas group and Facebook handles all the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting.

I'm considering changing the PlanetChristmas website to a Christmas-centric classified ad site.  I'm seeing a growing need for Christmas decorators to have an easy way to move stuff between themselves.  The classified ads, as usual would remain free on PlanetChristmas.

Whatdoyathink?

Hi Chuck,

Reading this makes me feel sad.  On the one hand I understand where you are coming from but on the other hand nothing can ever "replace" the P.C. forums.  For those of us who are still here this is still a hip and happening place (even if the pace is a little slower now).  None of the other places (such as FB and other forums) would be as popular as they are if it hadn't all started here.  You've always had great vision as to which direction to take Planet Christmas.  I'll continue to support (and recommend) P.C. whatever direction you go but I do hope that some of the forums will remain.  Maybe it would be easier to maintain if the number of different forums/sub-forums was reduced.  Back in the day there were only a handful of different areas ("Lights, lights, lights", "blowmolds", "Heads Up", and a few others) and we did ok.

TED

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This time of year I always start seeing used Christmas equipment changing hands.  We currently have a Buy/Sell/Trade area in the PlanetChristmas forums but it's pretty crude.  Can't help but think there's a way to make this easier.  I need to keep pondering this.

My goal is always to keep PlanetChristmas pertinent to today's decorator.  Facebook has certainly made that challenging when it comes to posts. To me the hundreds of thousands of old PlanetChristmas posts are a real treasure trove of information but the newbies seem to care less about how we solved a problem a year ago... much less 20. 

I do like Ted's idea of reducing the number of subject forums to something less threatening. 

  • Lights, lights, lights
  • Blowmolds
  • Heads Up

Any other suggestions?

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You are the one who does all of the work to keep this site running so it remains your decision.  Personally I check in here every few days to see if anything new has been added.  It picks up near the end of the year and slacks off after the New Year.   Had I not discovered Planet Christmas by accident I would not have expanded my decorations into blow molds.  Just picked up 11 more last night (see separate post).  I will miss it especially because I don't post and rarely read anything on Facebook.  It creeps me out with all of the data collection they do so I stay away.  I had to sign up for Facebook to read something there about three years ago and never posted anything .

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I randomly found this 2 or 3 years ago and have learned a crazy amount of stuff. Some I have used and others I am keeping on reserve for years later.

Just last week I was searching through some old posts learning new stuff.n

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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Oh man, say it ain't so!  i just started looking back on here in anticipation for the upcoming holidays.  With the way prices have gone up due to tariffs and the corona virus, i didn't now how people would decorate this year.  My wife and i talked about starting earlier this year just for the purpose of hopefully lifting someones spirits.  I too have used this forum to gain knowledge and insight to Christmas lighting.  I would hate to lose it.  I appreciate all the people that have gave me input and the comments on my display.

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I just got here so i say keep it going!  Not sure how i missed this place for the past 5 years of actively escalating my decorating, although i'm glad to be here now and drinking from the firehose of knowledge that appears to be stored here! :)

I also buy and sell blow molds as i build my collection and recently started a parts and accessories website for things i haven't found others making yet like exact replica candle flames and antlers. I, for one, am glad I found this website and forum and look forward to learning from (or "stealing from" as @slankard said above 😅) all the PCers who have been here much longer than me.   

Also happy to help in any way I can on the buying/selling concepts.  I used to manage a small shipping dept, have a shopify store, sell on mercari and have 15+ years on ebay.  Finally, below is a picture of part of my display from last year.  

IMG_1528.jpg

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Chuck

I agree with all the above. Last year my wife was in hospital for 65days. After our son was born he was in NICU for 10 days we brought home 3.8 lbs baby. I think I read most of the old post during hospital say with my wife and it was a great escape for me. This site is a great outlet to get new ideas, learn, Create,  All the positive comments. And the since of a team working together to put out Ideas and new way of doing things. I hope you can keep it going in some form. Also I don’t do FB either way to much negativity/drama.

Chuck thank you for your years of work keeping site running I really appreciate it!

Scott

Edited by Scott Rob
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I have this saying: "the easiest thing to do is nothing."  Most people seem to default to this setting.  

Sooooooo... I'm going to leave things alone, at least for this season .)

But... I'm wide open for suggestions on how to make PlanetChristmas a better place.  Please let me know here or send an email to me at [email protected]

 

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I too don't use Facebook and  would most likely cease in seeking out help in the restoration of old David Hamberger animated Christmas displays..Slowing down a little with the age and not really looking to sign on other websites for those in the know on on this subject. Would like to " Thank all  " who have giving me ideas and possible solutions to a variety of minute problems on this subject.Thank you too Chuck for even having the idea of a place where people doing similar things like this can help each other. I''ll still be here on the side reading the different stories and remedies folks have as long as the site is here and  "" THE GOOD LORD  '' allows me the time...Frank

Edited by CHRISTMAS ANIMATION
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  • 2 months later...

Glad to see your going to keep the forums alive for the rest of the year.  I've never been much of a forum poster but I do read a lot of the postings, though somewhat infrequently.  Most of the time around Christmas.  Probably for the same reasons I don't do facebook.  My philosophy is to make a phone call and carry on a conversation with friends / acquaintances.  I've used websites / forums like yours to learn about things.  One thing I do know is that I miss the Planet Christmas magazine.  I never thought to say Thank You.  But I will say it now.  Thank You.  Even though you've discontinued them.  And also for the signature code.  I too have learned a thing or two or three from the articles that you made available.  I do follow your logic on considering the change of direction.  I'm sure you've looked back on how Christmas decorating has changed over the years.  How YOU were able to help perpetuate it into what it is today.  But the real question you have to ask yourself is, will I later regret not maintaining that piece of history, that if I'm not mistaking, was the first Christmas PC website?   So Thanks for continuing the site Chuck!  

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Please keep the forum part of the site. Lots of knowledge here. I belong to a Facebook group and it’s not the same as here, I also belong to a sales group where everyone is listing things for sale and it seems rather slow as far as the traffic is. Maybe folks are just not decorating like they used to.

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We are actually doing more than ever!  It's been a rough year for some, so we, well mostly my wife, decided we should start early.  We bought more deer and gift boxes, so it'll be a nice display when done.  People in the neighborhood ride by all the time to see if we have them on yet.  Christmas lights make you feel like a kid again!

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I found PC about 4 years ago and I love the forums. I preferred the older format of the website that was more of a  traditional forum layout.  The new design is harder to navigate in my opinion.  Personally I think changing it to a classified site will kill traffic even more. Facebook has those groups too along with Craigslist Ebay and many other sites. 

I have frequented other forums in the past and they too are suffering from Facebook. And in general the Facebook groups are supe terrible for this type of sharing of knowledge and ideas. The post lasts for a few days and then gets bumped down and difficult to find.  But they are popular because that's where the people are and it is easy that it is in a app that people are already using.  I think the only way to bring a forum back is to get the people back. I know I would share more and login more if I knew there was more activity. But how do I motivate people to post over here?  My thoughts are each of us who want this to survive should create informational and quality posts and share them with others, even in the Facebook groups.  We can also make sure to reply to any new posts we can so that newcomers don't leave after never getting a response.  In General Chuck or others could create blog type posts with pictures and instructions like the old PC magazine had. And again we can share and comment. These could be searchable content that brings new enthusiasts to the site. The LOR forum is one of the most active forums I have seen lately, so ai think it is possible but it takes a group of people to keep it going and make it worth it.   Those are my 2 cents from the peanut gallery. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I used the site / forums a lot around 2007 to 2011. It was invaluable!    So much knowledge!    I stepped away from decorating for several years and now I’m back.   I’m finding it very difficult to use the forums now.   I can’t find things.  (looking for how to repair LED lights...I’m sure it’s out there somewhere but I can’t find it yet.).  I might just need more practice.  Wondering if there’s anyway to make them easier to use?    And wondering if that might increase the traffic?   I hope the forums stay regardless - I know know other place in the world where this knowledge exists!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I also and an old regular visitor.  I checked page daily during Halloween-Christmas season.  Back from 2005-2008-ish.  I got busy with the kids and then just keep doing same show every year.

Kids are a bit older now and wanted to update/change the shows.  I come back to the forums, obviously things are different.  I had to get new username.  I didn't remember password and didnt know email password from account I used 10+ years ago...

I too am having difficulty surfing thru the forums, especially on my phone.  But I also remember laughing at my grandpa not being able to program the clock on his new VCR back in the 1980s

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Hey Chuck, on August 14th, you wrote that you may consider a change, including making it easier to move Christmas items between members.  I’m hoping you still may do this. Now that stores are carrying reduced Christmas stock, we can help each other get blow molds for example, that are hard to find; or big-box stores may have available in one part of the country.  In this forum, I saw pics of blow molds available up north that were not sold here locally.  Thanks, Scott.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hope the forum stays.

Yes, they are not as popular as they once were and that other entities, from Pinterest to Facebook, have all the pizazz of the moment, but forums are where serious discussions take place. The internet needs forums. They are an archive of past discussions, which are just absolutely invaluable libraries of information. 

I love pizza and a particular pizza forum upped my game in a way that social media never can. Reviewing threads that went back to the early 2000's, their information was still relevant to me. The same with this forum. If someone has a question, chances are their answer is here within these pages.

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