This is the graph of our weekly traffic from Jan 2014 through last week. The reason I wanted to share this is that over the last few months, traffic has been growing quite quickly. Sales have also reflected a similar growth. Overall Tindie has grown more than ever before. The interesting thing is we’ve accomplished that growth with fewer resources. At our largest, we were team of 5. We’re currently a team of 3. The reason I bring up that up is that with fewer people, we’ve accomplished more than at any point in Tindie’s history. While we deploy less code, we are making smarter decisions that are having clear impacts on the community’s success.
One of the goals we set for 2015 was to raise the quality of listings on the site. At the end of last year, we had listings that were fantastic and some that were horrible - embarrassingly bad to be honest. In talking with other hardwarians, we heard how off-putting the bad listings were. “We don’t want our product next to that.” - which is understandable. If you’ve put months or years into a project, you want to show it off in the best possible light for the highest chances of success.
Over the last few months, to raise the overall quality on the site, we pushed a number of changes. Specifically -
- Removing poor quality listings outright
- Pulling listings we think have potential but need a little tlc, while working with the seller to improve those pages
- Requiring new products be manually approved before they go live
- Changing our edit product form to better match the attributes we see in other successful products
The goal is to make listings resemble other successful listings - and ultimately raising a listing’s chances of selling. Exactly what everyone else does - from Airbnb to Kickstarter. Looking back at the graph above, as we rolled out these changes, you can see how traffic has increased quite considerably.
The reason I bring all of this up is that lately we have had a few sellers balk at our efforts to raise the bar. Every one of the changes above has had some sort of push back from a very small minority of sellers. Tindie is a community - it isn’t a fiefdom. We listen and correct ourselves when necessary.
I want to open a larger discussion on this topic. Our take at HQ is that these changes have had a positive impact on the overall community and that is reflected in traffic & sales across the board. Higher quality breeds higher quality. Poor quality listings only damage the reputation we’ve worked almost 3 years to create.
But it would be great to hear everyone else’s thoughts. Do you care about listing quality? Regardless of our changes (we aren’t perfect), it would be great to discuss the overall goal. With the community’s support we can work towards the right implementation on the site.
Do you want higher quality listings on Tindie? What do you think?