How is The HEADPHONE Community Funded?


#1

We think this is really important. A lot of trouble in online communities can be traced to the way they’re funded and the incentives the funding models create.

We should mention that we’ve benefited a lot from existing communities that use various funding models that we chose not to pursue. We don’t think that for our community to win, they need to lose. We are just choosing the path we think is right for us.

We have decided not to take sponsorship money
We made this decision because we want to avoid the bias or perceived bias this would create. We do allow brands to participate in the community, but they must follow the Industry Insider Guidelines

We have decided not to display ads
We made this decision to avoid cluttering the user experience. We also think ads could increase perceived bias.

We have decided not to use this community to promote Headphones.com
The reasons for this are obvious, but we think it’s still important to explicitly come out and say it.

We have decided to include automatic Amazon affiliate links on products
You’ll notice that some product names will automatically become Amazon links. If you want to support the community financially, just click through one of the links next time you’re going to buy something on Amazon.

The links are automatically added and evenly distributed - even on products we don’t recommend. This way there is no incentive to funnel traffic to certain threads.

For the time being, we think this is the least biased and least intrusive way to fund the community. Everyone can write about whatever they want without feeling like they need to protect a sponsor.

Note 1: We’re looking into the ability to remove these links for members that achieve a trust level of 3 or higher

Note 2: You can overwrite the link with your own link if you would rather link to something else.

We’d love your feedback on this. If you have any questions or comments fire @andrew a message.


Intros: If you just joined the community this is the spot to introduce yourself
#2

#3

#4

We’ve opened this post to questions and comments.


#5

#6

I think no ads or sponsors is the way to go. Aside from bias it creates, ads kind of ruin the browsing experience, especially on mobile.


#7

Actually, I don’t hate ads for necessary incoming. But it is so appreciated for no ads all the time.


#8

This folks right here show these guys sure they have a business to run, but they care generally about people hearing good sound. Its one step above and beyond that frankly, this forums doesn’t have to exist at all. Its awesome. also shows they are transparent with their user base. awesome!


#9

I’m not sure I have an opinion other than I think transparency is always good. I salute you guys for addressing the topic up front.

At first blush I think that vendor sponsored forums for support is not a bad thing maybe, I’m a skeptic by nature but have had really positive experiences elsewhere with that model. Anyway whatever direction you go in I think if you keep member experience in mind you’ll be OK.


#10

Great to see you guys are being so transparent about this. Good and honest communication is the way to go :slight_smile:


#11

Absolutely i appreciate your way to go and it really fits me:)
I have been following the websites for years. I am so happy you took the flag and kept this great company going on with perfect attitude:)
Best regards
Serkan


#12

Great vision! Love all of these tenets, but a little confused by this one. Can you elaborate? As a forum of the headphones.com store, wouldn’t you naturally be promoting purchases for the main store? I feel like that’s totally expected and normal. And certainly not a bad thing. We’re all here because we are customers, aren’t we?


#13

You’re right, it would be natural to promote the store here, but we think promoting headphones.com would introduce the same problems as sponsorship.


#14

I am glad that there are no sponsors, no ads also helps because people can sponsor through ads.
I hope that the site does survive long term, although server hosting costs are relatively low these days and I believe that just amazon referral links should be able to pay the hosting bill.


#15

Disclosures like this really help with credibility. Thank you.


#16

Fantastic ! I am glad to be part of the community here


#17

Excellent!

Kudos for taking the path least travelled. Not only for bias’ sake, but for a cleaner, more user friendly browsing experience.

Cheers!


#18

#19

I ran my first online forum in the late 80’s and it’s refreshing to see a new forum that’s back to the basic straightforward approach that used to exist

Matthew


#20

Great model Andrew. I’m not a big fan of Amazon since taxes and new price increase of Prime soon. $119 yearly. As of today I will support and buy through our Amazon links to keep a clean environment free of influencing sponsorship.