Got it. Thanks! ;)
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No, there is no downside to that. I hope we continue to improve and grow on that front.
However, a question that I have is how can we be more useful beyond that. So if artist usage is one aspect of gear, what are others that Equipboard could do to make an interesting experience out of exploring gear.
I've been thinking about this for a bit...but I'm increasingly hesitant to chuck up lists of wants or suggestions in these types of threads because I'm already an inmate; I'll be here regardless of what features get added next, and (more importantly) I don't represent a very large/mainstream target customer demographic.
That said, getting back to the original question at the top of this thread re: gear photos: I've been looking at, and replying to, gear photos at a regular clip since you guys added that gear photos filter to the main page, and what I'd want next from this feature, speaking only for myself, is a means to get a better sense of what each member is doing with the stuff in the photo... but I don't want to see/read about it, I want to hear it. Why would I care to see someone's signal flow diagram or favorite settings if their tastes and/or musical output just isn't my thing?
Very often, I'll see a user review or photo, and I'll go to their profile to see if they've got a Soundcloud link, and if they've got one, I'll give their stuff a listen... and if I like it, I'll then navigate back to wherever I was and tell this person in the comments... people seem to like/appreciate that... but it's usually a 2-tab adventure for me to do all that.
What if there was a way for users to associate their favorite audio or video demo with a piece of tagged gear?
- Login to EB > mainpage > Gear Photos
- I see a photo with the kind of synth nerd, left field guitar, or gonzo thrash metal stuff that catches my interest. I click on the photo.
- Photo is tagged, and underneath each image in the tagged list, just below that user's star rating for that item, I see a link or icon to the product demo that user has selected
Product demo could be either:
a link to a certain spot in a Soundcloud track where that item gets used
a link to a Youtube video demo they made OR someone else made
The point wouldn't be to make users record demo tracks or videos just for EB, wayyyy too labor intensive, the point is to get a sense of that individual user's tastes and preferred applications. There are so many pedals/synths/FX that can be used in radically different ways depending on style/genre/etc. A few years from now, when popular items have dozens and dozens of videos associated with them at the product page level, there will only be so many videos that can really be featured... but the most popular video for the Strymon Big Sky (for example) is probably going to be guitar-based... letting users associate their own favorite demo content for an item would allow users to showcase what THEY like about that product, and give a better sense of how they use or intend to use it.
The most popular demo for the Fender Strat, at the product page level, is probably going to lean towards blues rock, but someone here who plays funk exclusively, for example, should be able to link the Strat in their Equipboard to a demo that better reflects their own tastes.
I for one head to different places like forums, ecommerce stores, youtube videos, and others when considering a piece of gear because I don't think one single site has nailed all of it yet.
Have you guys given any thought to aggregating professional reviews from SoundonSound, TapeOp, GuitarPlayer, MusicRadar, SonicState etc? As of yesterday, you've got the retailer price aggregation up and running on the product pages (congrats!), is there any room on the product page experience for users to associate the pro reviews we all seek out when a new item drops? I know it can be a slippery slope in terms of what counts as pro/non-pro, but maybe sources could be restricted to a list of approved publishers and top-shelf influencers who do reasonably objective, pro-quality reviews?
When a hot new item nears release date, I Google "item name soundonsound", "item name review", "item name TapeOp", etc... could EB one day crowdsource centralizing that content per-product?
... I think we could do a much better job of delivering on value proposition #3, the one about getting good deals on gear. In fact, that's a change to the site that is coming up very soon. I spoke about it a bit in this forum post.
I can appreciate that the explosion of the boutique pedal market over the past 25 years complicates the process of serving up the pedal boards of the pros and using that connection to help people choose the right pedals for themselves. There are SO MANY great pedals out there, with 95% similar analog tone circuitry among many of them, you not only have to educate people that John Frusciante uses a vintage Boss DM-2, but that rather than spending $600 on a used one, you could get the Waza Craft DM-2W for $150, or a 3rd-party clone, ORRRR a DSP-based vintage delay modeling pedal that also models a Roland Space Echo and a Memory Man for roughly the same price... AAANND this pedal proliferation means that because there are so many outstanding pedals out there, better than the vintage classics in many respects, that many excellent products don't have many (if any) pros associated with them yet, because there are 100 other very similar pedals out there...
...I don't know where I'm going with all this... just thinking through what you guys must be up against in terms of value prop #3.