Av8Chuck

New Forum Layout

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And other assorted issues..

Have you changed the layout or did I inadvertently change a setting?  "Drone" topics used to be segregated by manufacturer now its by model of drone.  I'm not sure of the affiliation between "UAV Coach" and "Drone Pilot Ground School?"  I assumed that UAV Coach was the Community forum for DPGS and so I assumed that the forum was more focused on the "professional" application of drones regardless of model or manufacturer.  

MultiRotorForums.com was started because of a need for a forum for professionals to hang out and discuss issues related to the application of drones.  In the beginning it was focused on issues they cared about and there was very little discussion of manufacturer's and any discussion of model of drone was in context of its capability to achieve a commercial mission.  It became a very popular site.

Once the forum was formatted in a similar way to your new layout, people started doing product reviews, much of the discussion started to shift towards the drones and away from the application and a lot more "hobbyists" joined the conversation at the expense of the "professionals," who had little interest discussing the concerns of hobbyists.  Initially there was a significant increase in membership but as the professionals left so did the websites unique value proposition, it became a smaller version of RCGroups and the hundreds of other "Hobbyists" oriented sites.  

The layout of a forum is important, it has to reflect the mission of the overall site, is it focused on hobby or professional related issues?  It cannot be both.  Curious, is traffic/subscribers for the forum driven by students of DPGS or are more students finding their way to DPGS as a result of the forum?

Also, I've recommended quite a few people to your $299 coarse, pointing them to the UAV Coach website and several of them reported that they couldn't find where to sign up.  

 

 

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Hi Chuck,

You didn't change any settings, there are updates rolling out to the forum this weekend. 

Personally, as someone who flies a P4 Pro, Mavic, and Spark (the latter for fun), the former 2 for commercial work, I think dividing up the threads by model, as the forum continues to grow is imperative. I've seen this on Facebook (there is a host of groups run by my friends Curtis Dart and Mark Mulkey), and it has flourished under this more focused structure. Even if people own a variety of models, they may have issues that need to be addressed with a specific one and will gravitate toward a group that is dedicated solely to that.

Also, as someone who started out as a hobbyist and transitioned into commercial work, I don't mind giving advice to new people entering the industry. I get a dozen or so messages per week through my own personal website from people asking me what settings I use for photos and video. I always take a few minutes to answer them when I get a spare moment. The demand for pilots is there and I think encouraging people to get involved is beneficial for everyone.

All that being said, your feedback is appreciated. If you think it's a mistake to separate these threads by model then this is certainly something we can discuss and consider. Thank you for all your valuable input.

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The issue isn't so much the layout, it's the focus.  In what world is a Spark and a MAVIC a professional tool?  In this industry pretty much everyone started out as hobbyists so the overwhelming percentage of users are hobbyist.  Trouble is, there are plenty of resources, Facebook, RCGroups and many others that can answer their questions about settings.  

I agree that the number of hobbyists wanting to turn professional is on the rise, but what forums are available to professionals?  Just because someone purchases a drone and hangs out a shingle proclaiming their business intentions doesn't make them a professional.  The focus on the discussion needs to be about that transition.  If you really want to help people with camera settings then teach them photography.  It's a camera, it doesn't matter who manufactures it nor that it's on a drone.  

My point is that you can't compete with Facebook and the many large consumer oriented sites by trying to appeal to hobbyists.  This forum can be competitive if it focuses on building profitable drone related businesses.  

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6 hours ago, Av8Chuck said:

 This forum can be competitive if it focuses on building profitable drone related businesses.

Amen and something we'll be focusing more on.

Appreciate your comments. Working with @Kara Murphy to make this forum really helpful for folks. The issue of UAV Coach vs. Drone Pilot Ground School is something we've struggled with for a while. Same company, but two different brands. DPGS is strictly our Part 107 test prep course / commercially oriented and public agency folks. UAV Coach is where we've been reporting on the drone industry since 2014. Much larger list and broader audience.

Our vision and mission for this community is aligned with your comments above. We exist to help folks break into and stay informed in the drone industry. Appreciate your comments as we continue to refine our place and positioning.

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Is keeping them separate intentional or just how it worked out?  

I'm a little old school when it comes to market positioning, I don't care why a potential customer thinks of us as long as they do.  

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When we launched the course last year, we made a deliberate choice to build a separate brand around it. It was mostly a "less is more" decision. UAV Coach hadn't been redesigned at that point, and it felt like a really noisy site that was hard to navigate. Creating a new brand / site around a single test prep product and commercial certification process with one FAQ page and one Curriculum page was just so much easier to do.

But longer term, it likely makes sense to merge the brands into one cohesive option for folks. I totally get you re: recreational vs. professional. We can't be everything to everyone, and the more we hone in on our messaging, the better.

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Having two brands isn't a bad thing, just make sure that the same big red button to purchase comes up first when you click on the "training" tab on the UAV Coach site.  This is where I'm referring people.  

I refer them here because this is where I hang out and it's probably one of the things that differentiates DPGS from other 107 coarses

Edited by Av8Chuck

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3 minutes ago, Av8Chuck said:

I refer them here because this is where I hang out and it's probably one of the things that differentiates DPGS from everyone 107 coarse.

Great point, thank you.

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