Removal of the Ideas Page

James Minson James Minson 27 posts

Hello there everyone,

Some of you may have noticed recently that the link to the Ideas Page has been missing from the footer of Redbubble.com. We’ve intentionally removed this link and will soon be removing the page from the site completely.

As we continue to grow we’re finding a lot more feedback coming to us via social channels and user testing. Ultimately we’re in much better position to invest in and monitor these kinds of channels, such as our new Redbubble Create Facebook group.

The ideas forum is not really something that many casual users come across organically, additionally we don’t want our artists and buyers that do find it, to be putting time into an area of the site we’re not actively checking for new ideas/thoughts for Redbubble.

There’s a lot of changes happening on the site at the moment and big plans for the future. Please rest assured we value what our users have to say and there are a lot of things are in the pipeline that we think will benefit everyone.

Thanks very much,
James
Redbubble Artist Experience

Janine Paris Janine Paris 189 posts

Thanks James,

So if we had something logged on the Ideas page, such as this, should we post it to the Redbubble Create Facebook page?

Janine

ifourdezign ifourdezign 1376 posts

Once again RB, you have managed to single out a percentage of your users. It may not be a big percentage in your eyes, but I, like no doubt a few others on RB, DON’T use Facebook or CHOOSE to use Facebook.

So, how do you expect to bridge that gap? Are my ideas not valid simply because I’m not on that particular form of social media? Or would you prefer those of use who don’t use it to fill up the forums with pointless requests that won’t get actioned anyway!

James Minson James Minson 27 posts

@Janine Yes that’s the idea. We’ve made sure we’ve had a look at all the trending posts on the Ideas forum before closing anything down so please don’t think we’re dismissing the posts already made there!

@ifourdesign Of course your ideas are valid. We understand that no solution is going to be perfect for all users and that Facebook is not used by everyone. We still need to figure out a way to reach the wider community and get their feedback. Currently the Ideas forum is not the best mechanism to do so. You are always welcome to email us with your suggestions.

ifourdezign ifourdezign 1376 posts

You are always welcome to email us with your suggestions. – I value your reply, BUT on most occasions, RB support have said – oh, you will need to pop it into the Ideas Feedback! Swings and roundabouts guys…

PS: it really is design with a Zee! I’m not a typo

ramiro ramiro 23 posts

I don’t understand how Facebook is a better channel. People could vote and comment on ideas in a single dedicated forum, whereas Facebook is full of distractions and as @ifourdezign rightly pointed out, you exclude part of your community in favour of a system controlled by another company.

Some people put a lot of effort into describing their ideas and these are gone now. You could have given users the possibility to save their ideas instead of making them inaccessible without prior notification via email.

ifourdezign ifourdezign 1376 posts

Facebook is full of distractions / you exclude part of your community in favour of a system controlled by another company.

@ramiro – I couldn’t have said it better myself!

We have a perfectly fine forum here (apart from the endless pain in the bum spam) It’s a friendly, helpful community of great people and some great artists that have many useful, helpful and valid things to offer every day.

Yet, it confuses me they still feel the need to seek out a ‘third party’ source that myself and others won’t be able to view, appreciate and participate in on a daily basis.

I feel we are being alienated for not following the sheep! And I never follow sheep… bahhhhhhh

mind you, I did get chased by one once…

ramiro ramiro 23 posts

@ifourdezign “mind you, I did get chased by one once…” sheep can be pretty intimidating ;)

But seriously, I think it is perfectly fine that Redbubble wants to take advantage of FB as an additional communication and marketing channel, even if it excludes people. Scrapping a system you control yourself in favour of FB is foolish imho.

What bothers me more about removing the ideas page, is that the people who spent time with the intention to make Redbubble better by posting ideas and commenting on them have no way to access those ideas any more. It’s basically throwing away the work of people in the RB community. There was no notification via email, only this forum topic, which most users probably won’t see or only now that it is too late, like me.

v--r v--r 1 post

This is terrible. The ideas forum was amazing and made me feel like RedBubble actually cared about the many ideas and requests that the users had. It was nicely focused and I loved the idea of being able to like our favorite ideas so it could go higher and higher so that RB could see what features we all wanted the most as opposed to the disorganized and non direct method of social media. What are you expecting for us to randomly say an idea on Facebook and hope by some miracle that they get to the people in charge?

TC-TWS TC-TWS 3 posts

Why would anyone want anything to do with FB? They claim ownership of anything you post.

SusanSanford SusanSanford 319 posts

One possible explanation is that management felt that Facebook would reach more people than the ideas section, which may not have had a huge proportion of the community over the years. That is, the intent may be to be more inclusive rather than less.

John Douglas John Douglas 33 posts

Sucks. Moving ideas/discussion to Fakebook? I am not joining facebook to try and find updates on this actual site I am typing in now. Awful idea, as is the current featured artist/products blocks of ads you have to wade past to get to actual activity on page. Downhill slope fellas….

Peter Stratton Peter Stratton 264 posts

Facebook, eh? Should I quit RB and go there? Please advise now so I won’t be wasting my time or yours? I don’t like Facebook, their format and mission statement. I joined and left in the past. I will not rejoin. The move will disintegrate RB and the friendships of many years will be scattered and likely lost. I was right! Mergers have casualties, you know! You are screwing the pooch!

Ann  Warrenton Ann Warrenton 14565 posts

I came here years ago to be a part of a great art community. I am not interesting in posting ideas for RB on a social media website FB.
Is RB growing so much it can’t handle the work load on it’s own website???

Peter Stratton Peter Stratton 264 posts

I came here seven years ago to show my editing skills as a photographer and do a more serious approach to art than is now in prolific abundance. The environment has changed dramatically in search of the quick buck, which is to be expected in a society of rapid transitions. Of course I am selfishly disappointed, not so much at change, but that it has become so rapid and multi-directional. The most dramatic change has become the necessity to change just to keep up with change! This has become the new norm and we are in trouble!

Is it so hard to realize that beliefs are rampant, truth is transient, knowledge is ignored, wisdom is rare, reason is lost and fear is the driver of fools? If you have an opinion, chances are it will be met with either violence or indifference. Values are whims in the wind. Sixty-five years ago, General Electric had a motto: “Progress is our most important product.” Really? Think about it and how this defines the transition going on here! The art of chasing change?

Ann  Warrenton Ann Warrenton 14565 posts

Soon, we will have so many chances ( choices ) that we will actually give up… :)))

Peter Stratton Peter Stratton 264 posts

Hi, Ann,
The entire dynamic of what it means to be human is changing so rapidly it resembles a Mandelbrot infinity. It matters not what we do or direction we take: The future and past is becoming a new now, an unidentifiable entity. I just thought you’d like to know what I think you may have meant. There, does this set things straight! :-))) ?

Ann  Warrenton Ann Warrenton 14565 posts

Hi Peter,
I think your absolutely right! You stated it well! :) Thank you.
If we look at the big picture ( the world ), it will scare us to death! Big Brother is already out there.

Jim Plaxco Jim Plaxco 26 posts

Hi everyone,
I too am sorry to see RB abandon the Ideas page that was integrated into the RB site and I find myself in agreement with the various concerns and criticisms voiced here. While I have in the past posted to the Ideas page, I’m not at all certain that I would take the time to head over to FB. Putting on my cynic’s hat, perhaps RB sees this as primarily a way of improving their FB engagement numbers – which is not necessarily a bad thing.

PS I am posting here because I was actually trying to find the Ideas page in order to make a suggestion regarding calendar workflow.

BYRON BYRON 12308 posts

Hey

The Ideas Page, while it gave us all warm fuzzy feelings of inclusion and influence, actually didnt function very well. I believe that it suffered from the same problem that befell a similar site we created where I work…

In my situation, the “ideas page” we developed ended up being filled with some truly stupid stuff that was of no help to the core business. It was also directionless, and quickly became too big to manage effectively in order to improve our core product delivery.

The same happend here. RB’s Ideas Page was full of dumb shit like “make more t-shirts with luke skywalker on them” as well as some pretty pointless ranting rubbish by people who think running a major multinational business is as simple as running the local fish shop.

The management of this quickly became a pointless exercise and I expect that RB were spending a lot of time and resources managing a thing that was not doing what it was actually designed to do … ie… an open discussion on ways to improve RedBubble’s core product delivery.

Sure there were lots of “ideas” but none of the RB membership ever contributed to those discussions to enhance or develop those ideas further. As such, the Ideas Page was an epic fail.

This is probably why doing it via Facebook is a better idea. More people will be able to see it and contribute to the discussions.

 

One thing I want to point out… and this is from personal experience: think globally, not locally. Your ideas should be about the greater good for this site, not about things that you personally think would be a cool idea.

RB dont do anything that doesn’t benefit them financially, and god knows that is exactly how they should operate! Any ideas that you have… consider the development & implementation costs vs the dollar return.

Any upgrade to a site like RedBubble could potentially cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to design, code, test, implement, and bug fix… They would be expecting (at the very least) to get that money back and more! How many t-shirts do they have to sell to get back their investment of $100K on some upgrade? (the answer is 4221x t-shirt sales, just to break even!) But, if all they do is break even then they have actually wasted that money on nothing, so they must generate considerably more income than what they spent in order to justify a site upgrade.

A = development costs
B = implementation costs
C = Dollar Return on the investment

If A + B is greater than C, then no responsible business would go ahead with the upgrade. (and yes, I am channeling the narrator from Fight Club there!)

So if your idea is basically just something that would make your life easier but not really increase RedBubble’s income, then maybe try developing it a bit more first.

johnandwendy johnandwendy 111 posts

Nicely put, Byron.

kalaryder kalaryder 14736 posts

Sorry the ideas page is being discontinued. I do not use Facebook or any other of those sites, so that restricts or rather, totally wipes out my infrequent forays into the ideas page. Feeling more and more cut off

BYRON BYRON 12308 posts

An “Ideas Page” is about as useless as an “ideas box”.

It just doesn’t work… in two ways.

1. It gets filled with rubbish which becomes too difficult to manage so no new ideas get implemented, and
2. Those that do contribute never see their ideas come to fruition because of (1) above.

What actually works better is a “guided ideas page”.

A guided ideas page is one which is structured by management to create a discussion around a specific topic.

In other words, management says to its staff “this is today’s issue, what solutions can you all come up with.”

In this scenario, the team members contribute with a common purpose and management actually gets something valuable, namely a lot of different ideas on how to solve a situation (rather than a lot of ideas about anything but how to solve the situation).

Nothing is right, and nothing is wrong. All ideas are valid, and now management has input from a large number of people instead of only the few committed ones (as normally happens).

Also, with such a large response to a specific topic management now have the opportunity to “mix and match”. They can put all the ideas around a specific topic together and try blending the best bits from each idea to create a whole new idea.

How would this work for RedBubble? Well, they would ask all of us something like this:

“We are thinking of introducing skateboard decks as a new product line.
- What do you all think about that?
- What do you think we should do if we move forward with that?
- What do you think we should be aware of with introducing this new product line?
- Other feedback?

In this example, I would bet there are more members that know about skateboard decks than RB staff who know about them. RB would very quickly gain some very useful and pertinent information about skateboard decks.

This is a great management tool

An “Ideas box” that is chock full of things like “make lampshade covers that have skeletons on them because my kids like skeletons” (for example) is of no use to anyone, doesn’t help RB develop and evolve its business, and wastes an employees’ time to manage that suggestion.