Originally Posted by mynameaintG
we got sponsored posts on NT now...
Originally Posted by AceBoogie
Surprised Meth lets this ride but I'm from the DC area and grew up on DTLR so i'm cool with it.
But to be honest, these jackets are for a small niche market, 5 years ago they would have been a splash during the starter wave. You would have made more noise with throwback majestic mlb jerseys from the 90's instead. Baseball jerseys get rocked way more than basketball jackets right now.
This actually isn't anything new. The "Insider" program has been in place since the site relaunched on Huddler back in 2012. It's part of the platform and it's a program they've had great success with on sites like Overclock and Head-Fi.
In the past, we've had issues with people either shilling for companies or trying to exploit our community as a source of free advertising. At the same time, we've seen plenty of legitimate interest in having official representatives of relevant companies available to directly answer questions and provide relevant updates regarding product availability, etc.
The Insider program attempts to curb the negative, exploitative abuse of the community by shills, etc. by providing a legitimate outlet for verified company reps - and only those businesses who give back and support our community can take part.
On other Huddler communities, it's worked out to be mutually beneficial for all involved. In the best cases, the reps are seen as a legitimate part of the community and the inside information they provide is considered a real asset. We agreed to implement the Insider program here on NT so long as it's a win/win not just for the site and sponsor - but for our MEMBERS. We make it quite clear to all Insiders that the program is NOT a license to spam. It is an opportunity to engage and build with our community members by answering questions and providing inside information in relevant discussions.
You've seen the Random Objects thread here in General for many years, for example, and I've yet to receive any complaints. Hardaway33 is an Insider for Random Objects. The owner of ISS is an Insider as well. Now we have an Insider for DTLR.
Under normal circumstances, they'd be posting within existing threads. In this case, the largest existing Starter apparel thread was from like 2013, so I don't really see the harm in allowing a new thread for an product that, it seems, quite a few members approve of and may not have found out about otherwise. Personally, I think something like this is far better than, say, an additional banner ad or big, animated takeover ads. It actually adds information to the community.
There are many circumstances in which people have wanted to see verified company reps here - but nobody wants spam and nobody wants our community to be exploited or overly commercialized. We've worked hard with Huddler and the sponsors to try and maintain the right balance. I appreciate everyone's feedback and support.