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Official Facebook Channel of The Westone Forums?

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Post by Westone Mon Oct 18, 2021 12:59 am

Dear Raven & Barry,

The Westone Facebook groups are expanding fast (over 1,000 members) with new members probably don't know this forum exists.  Could we establish an official Facebook Channel for this forum to drive traffic back here by advertising this forum?  We'd need Raven or Barry to join as an Admin which we can promote you to once you join here: Official Westone Facebook Group

Try copy & pasting this URL into your browser:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/westone.electra

Then not just in the Channel description do we mention to join this forum, but we post it every month to advertise members join this forum.  

Thanks for considering this idea.


Last edited by Westone on Mon Oct 18, 2021 7:52 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Barry Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:55 am

Can you give a URL for what you are referring to please?

The one I looked up was: https://www.facebook.com/matsumokuvintagegits/
Frankly, I was underwhelmed.

IMHO Facebook is a lousy platform for this subject. All I saw was an unorganized pile of photos, a lot of posts showing dubious modifications with little detail, and frankly a lot of off topic guitar posts of other brands like PRS, Ibanez, etc.

I would personally not wish to be involved in Facebook. With the exception of LinkedIn, I don't get involved with social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram TikTok, et al. have too much uninformed opinion, misinformation, and "fluff", and not enough substance and fact.

I do agree that Facebook members who are genuinely interested in Westone should be made aware of the resources that we have here and be redirected to the Forum and Website.

I have no desire the be an Admin on Facebook, Revisiting everything already answered here--in detail is a time waster, and the Facebook platform does not allow for the kind of thoughtful discussion we can provide here.

I'll pass this on to DreamRaven as he isn't monitoring the Forum very much at the moment. He may be more in tune with Facebook than I am.


Last edited by Barry on Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by DreamRaven Mon Oct 18, 2021 12:50 pm

Hey all.

Thanks Westone for raising this issue.

I am on Facebook, and monitor it every now and again. For some of my other hobbies it can be useful for finding out information/items for sale/experts etc. I have no issues with being an Admin, if you feel it is needed to make a direct connection with the websites and this official forum, to bring all of the interested parties to join together, both on this forum and on Facebook.

I can certainly appreciate Barry's attitude, it can certainly get a little time-wastey, and I certainly avoid pretty much all of the other socials, as they can get toxic.

Please do give us a link to the Facebook page written in clear text, as links sometimes do not get converted here, so that I can go visit and see what you are talking about, then we can discuss what you feel needs doing on our side and indeed on the website...

Thanks!
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Post by corsair Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:09 pm

There are already 2 Westone specific pages, as well as other Matsumoku brands like Vantage and APII, on FB and my feeling is a third would muddy the water more than it is already.
Barry is mostly correct in his summation of the FB experience, but I would also say that Tom pops up on a regular basis, dispensing his pearls of wisdom… so there’s that!
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Post by Barry Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:35 pm

TP is the only reason I'd be interested in going to the FB site (as a visitor).
I guess he feels there's more action there than here? Pity. Crying or Very sad

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Post by DreamRaven Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:54 pm

If a Westone FB already exists and the admin is a member here (as I inferred from the OP) then I would suggest connecting to that, rather than creating a new one.

I certainly have no inclination to manage a FB group or page, but am more than happy to connect an existing one that has a current member as the admin...
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Post by Westone Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:00 pm

DreamRaven wrote:If a Westone FB already exists and the admin is a member here (as I inferred from the OP) then I would suggest connecting to that, rather than creating a new one.

I certainly have no inclination to manage a FB group or page, but am more than happy to connect an existing one that has a current member as the admin...

Yes you're correct @DreamRaven, I'm currently the Admin of a Facebook Westone group. Tom Presely is already part of our group & has posted.  Ben Chafin, owner of the new Electra Guitar company, is also a member. 

I would like you to become an Admin also @DreamRaven & will make you an Admin as soon as I see you.  Same offer for you @Barry if you so desire. 

Try copy & pasting this URL into your browser:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/westone.electra

Or join by clicking here: Official Westone Facebook Group

The other 2 Westone groups define themselves by being primarily Matsumoku.  I needed a way to differentiate so chose the theme: "Westone,  Electra,  Alvarez: St. Louis Music Guitars."
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Post by Barry Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:12 pm

Thanks for the offer Bryant but I think I'll not be an active player at this time.

But I would be curious to hear what TP has to say that might enhance the previous information he left with us. There were still some loose ends.

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Post by DreamRaven Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:45 am

@Westone... I have joined the FB group just now.

It does appear that Facebook and Instagram have, or are starting to take over the role that forums used to take, because there was nothing else. It is a location that allows one to keep an eye on all of one's interests in one place.

That said, most of the important information supplied on FB does become transient and often buried, so having a focussed 'resource' such as this forum ALSO has its place and use. It would be good, @Westone, to try to distill some of the information somehow? This forum would certainly benefit from articles and information 'found' through FB, as would the website.

Combining all sources and 'funnelling' it through to here, increasing the traffic, knowledge and community, in the end, is nothing but a good thing.

Thank you.
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Post by Westone Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:28 am

DreamRaven wrote:
It does appear that Facebook and Instagram have, or are starting to take over the role that forums used to take, because there was nothing else. It is a location that allows one to keep an eye on all of one's interests in one place.

That said, most of the important information supplied on FB does become transient and often buried.

Combining all sources and 'funnelling' it through to here, increasing the traffic, knowledge and community, in the end, is nothing but a good thing.

Thank you @DreamRaven, I have sent you an invite to be an Admin.  If you don't see that invite then please let me know as that means I've mistaken you for someone else.

You couldn't be more right about the transient & temporary nature of Facebook. I had a Facebook Channel with over a thousand members deleted by a Facebook Administrator.  I and many others used every available way to communicate with Facebook but they gave us a ticket response that it had been an accident & couldn't be undone.

Worse, no one old enough to remember MySpace would have guessed it would ever be deleted. When the next big Social media fad takes over market share, Facebook also will be deleted & every post gone.

If people were logical, they would realize this but human nature is the path of least resistance so when they're already on Facebook for everything else, they post on Facebook.

As an experiment, let's post the link to this forum into Facebook every month to invite them & see if some from Facebook join here to funnel people to this more permanent Forum.

My guess is Twitter would be less effective and Instagram has a crowd too young to be alive when Westone was made.


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Post by DreamRaven Tue Oct 19, 2021 10:03 am

I've accepted the invite. Thank you.

Yes, lets try to regularly post links to this forum on Facebook as and when.

MySpace? Nope never heard of it!  westone - Official Facebook Channel of The Westone Forums? 1f601 

@Barry, what are your thoughts to add a link in the menu to the Facebook Group to round out the two way traffic? I don't see an issue with doing so, but you may have other thoughts?

@Westone: I also have a thought, that maybe, if and when 'general' information come across from Facebook, rather than specific to a person's own guitar(s), whether there is a point in posting it as a 'latest news' article on the WestoneGuitars website? I am more than happy to give you an 'editor' account on the WordPress installation for you to be able to help me in that?
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Post by Barry Tue Oct 19, 2021 12:04 pm

Preface

First, my apologies for the long-winded reply, but I think it's important to say this.

Before I rant on, keep in mind that FaceBook is very much a transient platform as far as content is concerned.

Bryant mentioned a thousand members in one of the groups? The one we're talking about had 26 when I looked just now.

I invite everyone to check the Statistics of our Forum at the bottom of the main page. we're many, many times that.

Our website also has a consistently high daily traffic rate indicating its relevance to interested parties.
So I would advise caution in rushing to totally embrace FB as a primary source.

I see it more as a recruitment operation. Very Happy
 


Advertising the Website on FaceBook

Absolutely. Yes.

FaceBook Link on the Website

A qualified OK.

A FB link on the website might be helpful but I would not "feature" it on the main navigation bar. I'd prefer to see it appear under the LINKS section.

Why? Our aim is to drive people from FB to WestoneGuitars.net not the other way 'round.

The current Forum link makes sense on the menu because the Website was designed to be tightly integrated with it. It "feeds" off new information discovered in the Forum and acts as the curator of the Westone legacy.

IMHO it is the most complete and accurate repository available thanks to people such as David Blair, Tom Presley and many other contributors.

Posting a stable, searchable record of members' instruments and restorations also becomes a source of pride and is a incentive for others.

Keeping the Forum alive should be the priority.
The majority of our interaction and new information originates there and ultimately we need new members to keep the site viable.

As you pointed out Keiran, information on FB like all social media, tends to be a linear, stream of consciousness type of format. Not well organized so things are easily buried and lost.
This needs to be avoided.

FaceBook "News" Link

I have the same concern with putting "FB News" on the website. I have nothing against news but it should be reflective of what's happening in the Forum, not FB.

Again, we want people to come to the Forum, not FB. We should not be driving people away from the website.

Instead I suggest the best place for a FB News link is in the menu bar on the Forum, next to the website link.
However, it is critical that any News link be maintained otherwise it's useless. What would it be pointing to and who is going to maintain it?


I would also remind you that we already have a monthly newsletter which goes out to Forum members highlighting recent posts. I think that is more effective than a passive link.

I set it up as an automatic process but I believe there are some limited options to publish 2 free issues per month with some custom content. Forumotion charges extra to do it right though. And, again, who is going to maintain the custom version?

Website Consistency


Being an old website designer, writer and educator I am keenly aware of the need for clarity and consistency of presentation, both in style and content.

The Wordpress platform allows for a blog option but I designed the site to purposely not have that feature in order to maintain presentation style and make content navigation as clear as possible.

A blog addition or editorial section again begins to seriously compete with the Forum, and even FB. In my estimation it confuses things rather than clarifies.

The fundamental question is, "Where do you want people to go for Westone information, and how easy is it to find?" Website? Forum? FaceBook?

As in all things, Keep it Simple.

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Post by DreamRaven Tue Oct 19, 2021 12:55 pm

Barry

Thank you for your valued input.

I respond to clarify my thinking, and to show agreement where I can.

FB as a primary source?
Was never considering this, and agree, it is a bad idea. I think @Westone was also not considering this, as we have both highlighted how transient it is, content wise, and anything controlled by endless third parties is inherently built on sand. The use of FB is very much the 'flag waving' of content to people who didn't realise how much they care about that old guitar that has been hanging on their wall for decades, or how respected it is as an instrument, and then doing our best to draw them into the inner circle, if they are that way inclined. (A friend who I have been playing guitar with for a few years resurrected his Concord II 1983-1984 in Black and brought it out to our weekly playing sessions last night. First time I had been able to pick one up. A mighty fine instrument, and a new recruit to the wider Westone  world. That Super 1 neck pickup is a beaut.)

FB link on website?
Wasn't thinking on that... but yes, adding the FB address to the footer may gain something. I would rather gain users who do have a preference for FB than a forum to at least interact where they wish, but if we keep up a drip drip message to join/login/read the forum via FB, the recruitment drive will happen gently and slowly. If Tom Presley prefers FB to forums (I cannot say either way, but he appears to) then we should entertain it.

Keeping the Forum alive should be the priority.
For sure. No doubt.

FaceBook "News" Link
Was not contemplating have any kind of feed or news posting anywhere on the website. All the plugins are tricksy, FB wants you to jump through a thousand hoops to enable it and then changes the rules. Not worth the effort. 

Website Consistency
I also agree with consistency on the website and was not contemplating any form of 'blog'. A blog infers some form of journal, of regular, or indeed irregular posts. That was not what I was suggesting. 

The website should be a resource of checked and confirmed data based on the history of the Westone brand and its instruments. That said, I am sure there is information that has been confirmed and stored on this forum that needs to be curated. FB might well generate some of that information too. If it gets entered into the website's database it can be checked, counter checked and confirmed, but that is a job to carry out.

The role of 'editor' within WordPress allows the writing of content, along with checking and amending existing content, but can be left to be checked before release, to ensure consistency and other things. Also, the CSS of the site pushes towards consistency, too. 

"Instead I suggest the best place for a FB News link is in the menu bar on the Forum, next to the website link."
That is exactly where I was proposing placing a link to the FB _page_, which will allow existing forum members to find it in a simple manner. The FB page will maintain itself, as well as @Westone adding content, transient and 'stream of consciousness' as it is. I wouldn't really see it as 'news', per se.

Anyhoo... everything is an experiment. Let's see how it goes, and re-visit if we need to?
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Post by Barry Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:05 pm

Keiran I think you have the right sensibility here and I appreciate Bryant's enthusiasm in promoting the brand we all love.

I get the appeal of FB, Twitter, et al.

It appears to be more immediate and satisfies the apparently never ending desire for instant gratification which so many demand these days, so I can't fault TP too harshly for being there. I guess it's a temporary rush.

In the end though, in my opinion, it's the equivalent of a junk food high. Lots of calories which are quickly spent, and little enduring substance.

I realize I sound like an old man yelling at the clouds, and I probably am, but it's your baby now, and your decision which direction to take.

I'll continue offer what little support can, as long as I can, in the effort.

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Post by Westone Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:13 pm

DreamRaven wrote:
@Westone: I also have a thought, that maybe, if and when 'general' information come across from Facebook, rather than specific to a person's own guitar(s), whether there is a point in posting it as a 'latest news' article on the WestoneGuitars website? I am more than happy to give you an 'editor' account on the WordPress installation for you to be able to help me in that?

WordPress is my specialty so would be very happy to have an Editor's account to post what we learn on Facebook to "Latest News."

We'll have some upcoming "Latest News" because Tom Presely announced last week that he's going to answer any lingering questions we may have since he had turned 72 & was concerned about having it together in the future.

Can I ask if you or Barry could create a post for Tom with any unanswered questions that I could copy into the Facebook Channel?  If he answers here or there, we can copy it into "Latest News" so will get his answers either way.
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Post by DreamRaven Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:31 pm

@Westone: Wow! 

@Barry: I completely agree, total junk food, but in the same way MaccyD and BK aren't going away whilst they offer that unhealthy high, because it is popular, FaeceBook is not either. We may as well stand outside the drive through with a sign catching the people who want a boutique burger next time they are hungry.

I think @Barry, if he is amenable, is going to be able to create a list of questions for TP a lot quicker and better than I, or to be able to point at a thread on the Forum that might have those questions.

The website has a couple of pages with history:
https://westoneguitars.net/history/development-history-usa-part-1/
https://westoneguitars.net/history/development-history-usa%e2%80%94part-ii/

The second page ends with this quote: "I’ve had a number of personal e-mail questions about the Bendmaster, Flip Flop finishes, types of wood and resonance points of wood relative to guitars in general, and will get to them as quickly as I can." but I have no idea what those questions actually were to list.
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Post by Westone Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:19 am

Barry wrote:
Bryant mentioned a thousand members in one of the groups? The one we're talking about had 26 when I looked just now.

I invite everyone to check the Statistics of our Forum at the bottom of the main page. we're many, many times that.

You're correct @Barry, 27 members listed today in only SIX days that group has been in existence.  That means we're averaging 4.5 people joining per day.  On this trajectory, in 6 months time × 4.5 new members per day equals approximately 800 members. 

You're also correct that my previous Channel that Facebook accidentally deleted was over a thousand.  I know how to build a Facebook Channel up fast and guarantee over 1,000 members in less than a year. 

Neither I nor DreamRaven are admins over the current Westone FB Channel that does have approximately a thousand members so it wouldn't be wise to direct people to a Channel that won't funnel members back. But you can check its stats here & see that it averages more than one new post per day which would be nice to have here:
https://m.facebook.com/groups/4963678788/

My expertise is web development, I sell webhosting and I run a Webhosting forum with over 30,000 registered members since it's founding in 2004:  HostBoards.com

However I'm honest that you can hear crickets in my forum which is relatively dead (as are 90% of these old-school forums today) because people have moved to Facebook/Instagram.  

It makes no difference if you have 30,000 registered members if barely anyone makes a post.  It makes no difference if you have 24  people browsing (from your previous sample) the forum everyday if barely anyone makes a post.  What you may be unaware of is that some current bot systems are more advanced than the forum systems made to detect bots. That means if your stats show 24 people browsing per day, you can bet up to half of them are actually advanced bots crawling your forum that our forum software incorrectly counts as human. If you Google it, there is a mini-industry of undetectable bots.

It's neither your fault nor my fault that our forums are dead, it's the tides of change that people have taken the path of least resistance to Facebook.  I'm suggesting that a few old-school forums have successfully pushed back against the tides of change & this "Facebook Funnel" is one experiment to push back.  It won't take much effort and is worth a try.
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Post by Barry Wed Oct 20, 2021 3:44 pm

I understand that there are bots crawling over everything all the time, I have them on my websites too. That's how the Internet search works. Without them you'd never find anything.

But it's not correct to say that the majority of the activity here is the work of bots. A look at our stats at the bottom of the home page as I write this shows:

In total there are 16 users online :: 2 Registered, 0 Hidden and 14 Guests :: 3 Bots
Most users ever online was 1075 on Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:35 am
(I would not sniff at over a thousand users in one day as being "dead"!)


Even allowing for some "invisible" bots we typically have more actual people browsing than robots.

I think your assumption of the definition of success needs to be re-visited:

This is a "mature" board, yes.
I have been around a long time (too long?) and I have experienced the exhilaration of lots of activity. We've had a lot of wonderfully talented and delightful members contribute a ton of information. And I've been previleged to help build the content and preserve it all.

Let's face it, most members were of a *ahem* certain age, and reached a stage in life where they were able to revisit their love of guitars and playing, especially Westone of course.

But as with all things the interest in Westone goes in cycles, and we've had few mini upticks in interest over the recent past.

Sadly, the majority of those original members have dropped out and things have become quieter.

Which brings me to my point, which is, do not look at the number of posts per day as the only measure of success.
You have to realize that there is a wealth of information in both the Forum and on the website, and people come regularly to explore both for information about their instruments.

The fact that there are only a few daily posts should be interpreted as people having found what they need which means we have done a good job presenting the content.

We still get a steady number of new members joining but not necessarily posting. They do that mainly because I set up the forum so that you must be a member to view the Members' Westone Forum. It's not available to casual browsers or even if you log out.

So I strongly disagree with you, it does make a difference how many members and visitors you have.

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Post by Westone Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:19 pm

Barry wrote:Which brings me to my point, which is, do not look at the number of posts per day as the only measure of success.
You have to realize that there is a wealth of information in both the Forum and on the website, and people come regularly to explore both for information about their instruments.

I strongly agree with you there Barry, the number of posts per day is not the only measure of success and this is a successful forum.

Barry, I think you've made this board an awesome success because it's a great resource for information on Westones. You're extremely important to this forum because you're here to greet new people. No one wants to come to a ghost town. 

I'm only trying to convey that this experiment might increase the number of posts per day (I hope 🙏 ) by bringing new people that don't yet know about this forum.

I have even a bigger goal that needs those young people to be funneled from Facebook to this forum.  I actually think it's possible to make  Westone relevant for a new generation of young guitarists.
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Post by Barry Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:27 pm

Thanks for that Bryant.
And I do support that goal!

My experience so far has been that new generations keeps rediscovering this brand and have a baziillion questions about it.

Unfortunately I'm not seeing as many who are as enthusiastic about restoration or upgrading as in the past. Too many seem fixated on "What is it worth?"

Converting that mentality to understanding, appreciating and embracing the brand seems to be the main hurdle I think.

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Post by Westone Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:47 pm

Barry wrote:Unfortunately I'm not seeing as many who are as enthusiastic about restoration or upgrading as in the past. Too many seem fixated on "What is it worth?"

Converting that mentality to understanding, appreciating and embracing the brand seems to be the main hurdle I think.

Yes I agree, getting them to embrace & appreciate the brand.  So here's my far-out idea Barry & I want your input. I want to get young people hooked on Westone by designing a new guitar for them with a design contest here on the forum.

I'm not rich, but what would be a reasonable prize amount be for the winner of a Westone design contest?  It will have to be paid via PayPal. 

I want to draw from both the Westone XV3GR Dynasty (pic below) and James Hetfield's Electra Flying Wedge (pictured below last) to create a new design that  might inspire young people to play a Westone.

In 1984, Electra morphed into Westone, first by combining the names, then by switching completely to "Westone" by 1985. I posit that they are essentially the extension of the same brand, Electra evolving into Westone. We may never get a more famous rock star on Electra/Westone than Metalica's James Hetfield so let's celebrate that with a new design.  

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Post by Barry Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:32 pm

If you're willing to put the time, in good for you!
(Not everyone is an artist or software expert so keep that in mind)

I do think it's perhaps being a bit dictatorial as to what needs to be done. The Flying Vee is as iconic a guitar as they come, and the Dynasty is a stellar variation on that.

By restricting the contest to just those two inspirations I'm not sure that many could rise to the level of surpassing either one without going completely silly.

I think I'd rather see the challenge as reviewing the full Westone product line, pick a style for inspiration, and see who can come up with a viable variation. ie something that Westone might conceivably have produced.

Some ground rules maybe? Nothing unduly bizarre, a guitar you could actually play on stage etc. Not only a shape difference but it could be a variation in colour, finish, hardware, etc But it must be playable.

That's all I got off the top.  tongue

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Post by Westone Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:48 pm

Barry wrote:I think I'd rather see the challenge as reviewing the full Westone product line, pick a style for inspiration, and see who can come up with a viable variation. ie something that Westone might conceivably have produced.

Some ground rules maybe? Nothing unduly bizarre, a guitar you could actually play on stage etc. Not only a shape difference but it could be a variation in colour, finish, hardware, etc But it must be playable.

That's all I got off the top.  tongue
Brilliant 👏 

I've sent a message asking DreamRaven's permission. Hoping the design contest can occur here in forum with Facebook posts leading contestants here.

What would be an appropriate prize amount for the  wining design?
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Post by Barry Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:41 am

Westone wrote:What would be an appropriate prize amount for the  wining design?
Not for me to say. It's your creation, your decision. Wink

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Post by DreamRaven Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:43 am

I'm all in for this and have been having a chat with Bryant.

I think that for this to be a success the higher that the prize can be, the better. That said, the terms and conditions should DEFINITELY be tied down and made bulletproof ahead of time, and maybe not discussed on a public forum like this.

Is this just a design competition, or is it going to develop into a build/production end game?
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Post by Westone Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:06 am

Barry wrote:
Westone wrote:What would be an appropriate prize amount for the  wining design?
Not for me to say. It's your creation, your decision. Wink

Right on Very Happy

Thankful to DreamRaven for approving this contest!

Contest opens: This November, exact day to be announced. 

Winner's Payment via PayPal.

Goal: Design a new guitar inspired by Westone's past that will inspire a new generation of young people to pick up a Westone

 --------
DreamRaven I'm all in for this and have been having a chat with Bryant.  Is this just a design competition, or is it going to develop into a build/production end game?
---------

Thank you DreamRaven!  Yes, winner's design will be put into production & becomes the property of Symbol of Trust.  Those designs not chosen remain the property of creator. 

Rules: Barry's rules as he posted above.  Rules will be further elaborated at start of contest- 
Review the full Westone product line, pick a style for inspiration, and see who can come up with a viable variation. ie something that Westone might conceivably have produced.  The design must be a guitar you could actually play on stage etc. Not only a shape difference but it could be a variation in colour, finish, hardware, etc But it must be playable.


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Post by DreamRaven Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:43 am

So... The prize money is in effect purchasing the design from the designer, to be worked up to a production prototype. In which case $500 is probably not going to be enough cash to attract decent quality responses.

Just thinking of the 'market rate' for a concept sketch for a production prototype by a professional product designer is likely to be in the four figure range, even if it was just on "the back of a fag packet" (in British Slang parlance) but the designer would be keeping the copyright ownership of that design.

Just my thoughts, as a trained product designer who has quite a few guitar concept ideas in my sketch books from many sources, but certainly some from the Westone oeuvre. I would possibly not be interested in offering a design for a prize that low. Obviously others would have other thoughts.

- Would you also throw in something like 'First retail model off the production line, with serial no 0001 in the colour of your choice'?
- Would the name of the designer be officially attached to the model, in a similar way to the past (Sid Poole, TP, etc)?
- What happens to the designs submitted that don't win? Do they _also_ become property of 'Symbol of Trust' (whatever that might mean?)
- Is it open to anyone from anywhere?
- Do they need to be a member of the forum (I think this should be the case, as a draw to increase membership)?
- Who and how many judges are there going to be?
- When does the contest complete?
- What counts as a complete design? Is it just a one elevation/plan view coloured using Crayolas, or is it definition of hardware, colour choices, other finishes, woods, headstock, etc, etc, measurements, digital files, or what?

I think submissions should also be submitted 'under a plain cover' until the end of the competition, just in case there is accusations of copying, or theft, or other stuff. I can setup a submission form on the website for that very purpose, if needed.

I'm sure I'll come up with other stuff, too!
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Post by Westbone Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:02 pm

Pipe dream indeed...so the ultimate idea is for profit ?... tumbleweed

It will not work, been there have the T shirt.
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Post by Westone Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:42 pm

DreamRaven wrote:$500 is probably not going to be enough cash to attract decent quality responses.

- Would you also throw in something like 'First retail model off the production line, with serial no 0001 in the colour of your choice'?
- Would the name of the designer be officially attached to the model, in a similar way to the past (Sid Poole, TP, etc)?
- What happens to the designs submitted that don't win? Do they _also_ become property of 'Symbol of Trust' (whatever that might mean?)
- Is it open to anyone from anywhere?
- Do they need to be a member of the forum (I think this should be the case, as a draw to increase membership)?
- Who and how many judges are there going to be?
- When does the contest complete?
- What counts as a complete design? Is it just a one elevation/plan view coloured using Crayolas, or is it definition of hardware, colour choices, other finishes, woods, headstock, etc, etc, measurements, digital files, or what?

I think submissions should also be submitted 'under a plain cover' until the end of the competition, just in case there is accusations of copying, or theft, or other stuff. I can setup a submission form on the website for that very purpose, if needed.

I'm sure I'll come up with other stuff, too!

Yes, to compete, you need to be a member of this forum. If you need us to register an account for you, we'll do so (yes, one famous designer found it too technically difficult to sign up here according to his blog).

Contest is open to anyone, anywhere as long as you can get access to a PayPal account. 

Yes for sure the winner wins the 'First retail model off the production line, with serial no 0001 in the colour of your choice'

Yes the winning designer gets the distinction of having their name attached to the guitar similar to Sid Poole and Dana.

Open to your feedback but I'd like to see this contest run approximately 4 months.

Judges to be determined.  Who is interested in joining us as judges?

All designs that don't win remain solely the property of their creators.  

The more complete and thorough a design is, the better chance it has to win. While a design using Crayolas is admissible, a thorough design has a better chance to win.


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Post by Barry Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:09 pm

Westbone wrote:Pipe dream indeed...so the ultimate idea is for profit ?... tumbleweed

It will not work, been there have the T shirt.
Roll on Floor Laff
I thought the idea was to be a fun activity the purpose of which was to recruit new members.
My suggestion to direct them to the Westone lineup was to encourage folks to explore the Matsumoku legacy and perhaps spark more intersst than might otherwise have happened.

I cautioned right at the beginning that not all folks are capable artists, software experts, or "trained designers". Sounds like you are leaping into a whole different level here which will leave many in the dust. tumbleweed

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Post by DreamRaven Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:01 am

There are many reasons behind all of this, and many have different angles on those different reasons. I believe that it is impossible to be judgemental on any of those reasons or angles.

I *think* Barry's original idea is true. It _should_ be a fun activity which might bring people back to the forum and make them aware of the massive amount of Westone information and community there is, which they can join and expand. Directing any interested party to look at existing models, and choose the best bits (in their mind) and combining them, as they see fit, into a new evolution model design which can then be viewed, commented on (yeah, that is not going to be a shouting match, is it?  westone - Official Facebook Channel of The Westone Forums? 1f601 ) and then voted for. Westone guitars have MANY signature elements that make them Westies and not anything else (even though they share similarities). If your design eschews all of those signatures, it could be argued that it isn't a Westone. It would then be upto the designer to argue their point and rely on the 'judging panel' (hardcore Forum members, other participants, the public at large, whatever is decided) to agree with them.

Yes, it is true, not everyone *thinks* they have the required skillz, but the ability to use a pencil or not isn't the mark of a good designer, and good designers have made REALLY bad ideas reality. In my belief (as a trained designer!) EVERYONE has a solution to a given problem, and having the 'name badge' doesn't mean your solution is better than others. The solutions that four year olds come up with off the top of their heads, with no preconceptions or 'fear of peer review' can be astounding and worth pursuing. Often being given the opportunity to exercise your solution is enough. If anyone has seen the Great Guitar Build Off of recent years, on YouTube, you will see that there are some amazing and off the wall guitar designs being made into one off reality. If you have seen Crimson Guitars YouTube channel (a fellow Brit, and absolutely crazy luthier) you will also have seen some mad stuff. All amazing? No. All creative? Yes, without a doubt. Would you play one on stage? Probably not in many cases. Horses for courses.

Is the ultimate idea for profit? That remains to be seen. I think that Bryant's idea to try to bring a new Westone to life is a dream (pipe or otherwise) and one that is worth pursuing. If you don't pursue your dreams you stand still regretting the things you _didn't_ do. This is a route to find a new idea, that does its best to adhere to the legacy of Westone's past, but possibly building something that, with todays technology and industrial processes, might have been in the minds of past Westie designers, but not feasible with what was available at the time. If (and it is a BIG if) that generates a guitar that @Westbone looks at and thinks "Hmmm, is there a space under my fingers for that fretboard?", there might be a chance at breaking even. The one thing that IS certain is that we are only here for a short time, and you do not get out of life alive. Why not make that short time one of chasing dreams and catching a couple? I stopped trying to please all the people all of the time decades ago.
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Post by DreamRaven Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:10 am

To print my actual reason to visit today:

Judges!

My thoughts for judges are contradictory at best. If you are a judge, can you enter the competition? I think 'standard' competition rules say no. In which case that rules me out, because I would definitely want to enter, but I would also want to judge!  westone - Official Facebook Channel of The Westone Forums? 1f608 

I think that other judge possibles should include:
- Barry: His knowledge, work on the forums and carrying the Westone flame prescribes that.
- Bryant: It was his idea after all!
- a Forum vote: The popular view. Not often the best view, but if taken as a part of all views, it can be valid.
- Other long term forum members: The experts on Westone.
- a PUBLIC vote: The people who have never heard of Westone, do not know its history, but may well buy an interesting but niche guitar, and then may become part of the Westie family (this would likely be held on the Website and/or the FB page, or they would be used to lead people to the forum... mayhap... we need to keep the barriers low for this)

The one thing that I do know is that, outside of the forum or public votes (which would be used to 'narrow down' the field, maybe?), the number of judges should be odd.

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Post by gittarasaurus Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:03 pm

if the facebook page has a focus on the guitars of St Louis Music, then how does a contest to design a guitar support or expand the appreciation of SLM designs?

if the goal is to develop a broader appreciation of the Westone branded guitars then the focus should be on Westone guitars.

i think you would get more participation if you were giving away a free Westone guitar rather than trying to create a new design that would have a remote and somewhat tenuous connection to Westone as a brand or SLM designs in general
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Post by Westone Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:27 pm

gittarasaurus wrote:if the goal is to develop a broader appreciation of the Westone branded guitars then the focus should be on Westone guitars.

i think you would get more participation if you were giving away a free Westone guitar rather than trying to create a new design that would have a remote and somewhat tenuous connection to Westone as a brand or SLM designs in general

Yes the goal of the contest is to develop a broader appreciation of the Westone branded guitars.

I think the confusion is it appears that the Facebook Channel suggestion has something to do with the contest.  No connection and my mistake for not starting a new thread for the contest.

There are currently 2 Matsumoku/Westone Facebook Channels so we didn't need a 3rd.  Our Facebook Channel uses the Saint Louis Music theme to differentiate itself from the other 2.  It's not a perfect choice as Electra & SLM are not as relevant to Europe/UK.  But at least it's a fresh/new theme that limits us to 3 brands (Westone, Electra, Alvarez) as opposed to the more than 21 brands made by Matsumoku:

1) Westone 
2) Electra - The later Electras only.
3) Vantage - Some 20 models: Vantage-Guitars.com
4) JVC - Victor Company of Japan - 2 models.
5) Aria & subsidiaries: Aria Pro & Aria Diamond - many models.
6) Vox 
7) Guyatone 
8.) FujiGen Gakki
9) Kanda Shokai (Greco), 
10) Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez)
11) Nippon Gakki (Yamaha)
12) Hondo professional series (USA guitar company)
13) Norlin (parent company of Gibson).
14) Colombia 
15) Fantom
16) Skylark
17) Washburn 
18) Westbury
19) Univox
20) Pearl (most known for their "Vlog" strat copy).
21. Cortez (part of Westheimer Corporation)


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Post by Barry Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:20 pm

As I've said before, it's your baby, your decision on how to set it up.

I don't think my opinion would matter anymore than anyone else's, but thanks for the compliment! Embarassed

Two things I would like to see though:

1. Some input from current Forum members! If you have a thought, post it here.
We've been tossing this idea between the 3 of us but but I think we need to hear from anyone else with suggestions (not withstanding Mike's and Damian's already chiming in)

2. Concerning "judging". . .I don't think the model here should be a beauty contest format.
(I haven't got the legs for it anymore )

The Forum has the option to create Poll/Survey type posts which has been used in the past, albeit not too often. see: https://westone.forumotion.com/f11-polls-surveys

I believe it needs to be made a simple as possible for all members to have an opinion.
A Post displaying someone's idea/design accompanied by a multiple choice scale which the viewer can simply click on to vote is dead easy, and won't trigger a shouting match.

Parameter details would have to be set but once done it would be self running. The winner then becomes more a function of simple math.

Whatcherthink?

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Post by EWH Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:18 pm

Hmmm...I am thinking about this for a bit...Great thread with lots of good points, etc.

If only I didn't despise FB as I do...
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Post by Barry Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:31 pm

EWH wrote:...If only I didn't despise FB as I do...
Thumb Up  Roll on Floor Laff

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Post by Westone Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:51 pm

Barry wrote:I cautioned right at the beginning that not all folks are capable artists, software experts, or "trained designers". Sounds like you are leaping into a whole different level here which will leave many in the dust. tumbleweed

That's an excellent point Barry 👏 

If we are putting up a huge prize & demanding the details of professional designers, we will lose the point of this contest, inspiring a new generation of us regular folks to explore Westone.  

The amateur designers that we're hoping to motivate to explore the legacy of Westone won't participate.

Thus we'll ask for an amateur level of design detail & offer $464 usd / 400 Euros 1st Place as voted on by Westone's Board + Barry, while winner of popular vote (every registered member may vote) wins $348 usd / 300 Euros. The same entry can't win both.

Total prizes of $812 USD.

Contest begins November 25th.
The contest ends at 2022 SLM-Fest with winners to be announced at the event as well as on this forum.  (SLM-Fest is tentatively slated for May 2022).
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Post by Barry Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:52 pm

Sounds like you 're getting there!!
Are you personally funding the prizes Bryant? Surprised!

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Post by Westone Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:18 pm

Barry wrote:Sounds like you 're getting there!!
Are you personally funding the prizes Bryant? Surprised!

Yes so far I am but in talks with a possible 50/50 partner and I put my wife on the Board as our Accountant.
Westone
Westone
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Number of posts : 130
Location : Boston
Registration date : 2021-08-31

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