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Should I change the name of the MUG Forum?2482

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Founder
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user

Video: Matterport's #1 Fan: MUG Forum Founder Dan Smigrod

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Should I change the name of the Matterport User Group Forum?

✓ Should we write about Matterport competitors?
✓ Are Matterport competitors a threat to our business?
✓ Are Matterport competitors an opportunity for our business?
✓ Should I buy a Matterport Camera?

While I am Matterport's number one fan - and continue to be their #1 fan - long-time readers of the Matterport User Group Forum - know that I write about - and encourage other MUG Members - to write about Matterport competitors and third-party solutions too.

As a Matterport pioneer - like you - I want to know what my options are even though I still and adore the Matterport platform.

For many of us, we jumped in to be first - or among the first - in our market. And, many of us offered visual storytelling tools - photos / videos / 360ºs / Google Business View / aerial / floor plans / virtual staging / Virtual Reality / 3D Modeling / web services / databases / painted rocks - even before Matterport.

I think of myself as a visual storyteller first and a Matterport Service Provider second.

As a visual storyteller, I am tools agnostic. This means, I will use whatever visual storytelling tools are appropriate to create solutions to solve our clients' problems.

If that's the Matterport platform; great. I am always curious if it might be something else.

While I could imagine that Matterport would prefer that I - we - only write about all things Matterport, the reality is that the majority us - Matterport Camera owners - and potential Matterport Camera owners - want to know about competitive solutions that are either a threat or an opportunity to us. Plus, we want to know about related 3D/VR solutions.

Not in a million years will you read about competitive solutions on the Matterport blog.

Since the Matterport User Group Forum community is not owned or operated by Matterport, we can (and should) write about topics that Matterport never will.

MUG Forum Members embrace change. You signaled that when you bought a Matterport Camera (or are thinking about buying a Matterport Camera).

And, while Matterport executives might not like my - your - desire to explore the ever-expanding solutions in related visual storytelling, I believe that:

competition is good; it helps make the Matterport platform even better
✓ competition is good; it encourages Matterport to innovate faster
✓ writing about other solutions helps Matterport sell more Cameras (because people can get an un-bias prospective here) and then decide to buy a Matterport Camera (or the other solution, if Matterport fails to innovate faster)

Matterport, think of this as tough love from your most vocal fans.

And, as the community grows - not just the 1,736 Members in 71 countries (23 August 2016) - but the 11,325 visitors to our community monthly that will collectively view 1+ million pages in the next 12 months, other Camera companies and third-party solutions have expressed interest in marketing to our community.

That's cash to my company, We Get Around in Atlanta, to help fill our sail with wind to help continue to offer value to the community such as reporting from:

Inman Connection 2016 in San Francisco;
✓ IVRPA in Quebec City 2016.

I enjoy staying current and sharing that learning freely with you. I'd love to buy 360º cameras and bicycle them to Members, as we are doing with a Giroptic 360cam camera.

As the Founder of the Matterport User Group Forum - and We Get Around Referral Network - my client is you: my client is not Matterport. You read and depend on the free, un-bias give/get help from the MUG Forum community (and nine percent of MUG Members join the We Get Around Referral Network as a Basic, Standard or Premium Member to help succeed faster). That helps you; while enabling We Get Around - me - to fund and curate the MUG Forum and Matterport 3rd Party Solutions.

Sometimes I feel like Matterport takes the MUG Forum community - you - for granted.

I wrote a sorta-tongue-in-cheek post to help prompt Matterport to write a blog post about the 2nd anniversary of the Matterport User Group Forum Community (19 August 2016) and how you - an early-adopter sharing your experiences - have helped Matterport succeed. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Everyday, the MUG Forum helps:

✓ sells Matterport Cameras
✓ educes support tickets
✓ increases satisfaction with the Matterport platform (by helping with fast, accurate responses to challenges we post about) Sometimes it seems like we are the de facto 24/7 Matterport Support hotline (because you - the community - is fast to help)

My impression is that Matterport assumes that they will eventually get the Camera sales. So, in the absence of financial support from Matterport - and a desire to make a living by giving/getting help, I feel that I need to continue to encourage you to write about competitive solutions in the Forum to help grow our 3D/VR community to help attract other solutions provides that do not take you for granted.

Matterport has successfully created a market for 3D/VR with its end-to-end platform. As long as it continues to innovate - and hopefully at a faster pace - it will be #1 in the space.

And, as the demand grows - and hopefully Matterport will start focusing on helping grow demand to sell Cameras rather than focusing on selling Cameras - that will be great for us pioneers because we will already be experts when many more potential clients reach out to us.

Anyway, this is a long way of saying that I am thinking about changing the Matterport User Group Forum to be inclusive of competitive and third-party 3D/VR related solutions.

What you and I have in common is Matterport. We are connected because of Matterport. When we meet at MUG Forum Meetups around Matterport, it's as if we grew-up together as neighbors on the same street.

Am I making a mistake thinking that what binds us is that we are visual storytellers first and Matterport Service Providers - or related - second?

What do you think?

Should we - you, me - only write about all things Matterport? Or, should we write about Matterport and the expanding eco-system of 3D/VR visual storytelling solutions?

And, if we agree to write about the ever-expanding eco-system of 3D/VR visual storytelling solutions - not just Matterport - should the community have a new name that reflects this direction?

Best,

Dan

Related MUG Forum Posts

Is Competition a Threat or an Opportunity?
13% of MUG Forum Members plan to buy a Camera in the next 90 days
MUG Forum Members/Visitors Want Competition
Post 1 • IP   flag post
3rd Party
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PetraSoderling private msg quote post Address this user
Dan, congratulations on the 2nd Anniversary of this forum. I started working with you over a year ago, and have seen the sometimes complex relationship between Matterport and their Service Providers first hand.

You personally and this forum have been extremely helpful when I've been building my floor plan business to help the Matterport community.

I did vote to talk about other technologies in this forum. Even though I don't own a camera I am a keen tech enthusiast and like to follow closely what is going on in this space.

However I would not change the name. You've done an amazing job getting search engine robots recognize this forum. I would be afraid to see those great page impression numbers go down if you break the wholy trust of Googlebot

But maybe there's a way around that.

Happy belated Birthday and keep going strong.

- Petra
Post 2 • IP   flag post
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FloridaProperties private msg quote post Address this user
Lord Dan, I'm chilling your fine Wine! 2 years of showing Love, that's awesome! Because of that, I thank you.

Swing Vote for now until I get some of my questions answered.

All of us here, at least myself, use this forum because it's either our hobby or our business. I'm sure that the majority have the Matterport as their business like me.

With this forum, I believe, we create competitors and educate those who use including those who do not use or own a Matterport.

Yes in the future, a non-Matterport user might changed their equipment to Matterport, hoping that they become a member. Lord Dan, you know how many Matterport users are here based on their memberships. You said 13% will buy a metteroprt wiht in 90 days. It took me an hour! Did you ever take a poll on how many switched to Matterport? Maybe this could be a factor in making your decision if it's worth keeping the forum or changing the name and make it more exclusive.

If you are telling me that anyone can interact with anyone here and not being a member or not a user, then, in my opinion, change it. This forum should be exclusive to Matterport users. If someone buys a Matterport and does not want to be a member, but uses this forum to ask questions, 24 hour hotline per say, is that fair? Then again Lord Dan, you are so kind to help everyone.

Can anyone, post a question, open a thread and get answers in this forum? Are they ALL Matterport users? Are they all members?

I'll give you an example, I use most if not ALL services I learn in this forum. I know of a couple that have the Matterport but not a member of We-Get-Around.

Will it decrease your sales if you change the name and make it exclusive to only Matterport members? If they buy the Matterport, give them a 30 day trial to this forum, heck, give a non-Matterport owner a 30 day free trial and if they are really serious in expanding their platforms, changing equipment or just want to get more knowledge about Matterport, they can buy the camera and sign up!

I believe you will have more deserving users if they pay to be a member and it will add more value to your company.

If you lose business from changing the Matterport forum, since Matterport is not compensating you (but I hope they are showing some love in a different way), I hope the recommendations of other services you provide here in this forum are.
Active members, experienced members, answers questions to anyone who posts a question or start a thread, do they mind answering a question to a non-Matterport user? Maybe they have the time to do it. Imagine if that non-Matterport user, buys the camera and opens shop next door to that Matterport user who answered his question.
Maybe wiser to have another forum for non-members?
Matterport Owners should be treated differently since they pay to be a member and help out newbees like me. Quality time is expensive! I know mine is and I greatly appreciate everyone's time helping me grow my business and expanding my knowledge.

Whatever decision you make Lord Dan, I'll still be a member here. I know other members will hate me if I say, maybe increase the membership fees? or for those who advertise their service here, maybe time to charge them or at least get compensated? This is a referral network, right? Definition of Referral is: "Referral marketing is a method of promoting products or services to new customers through referrals, usually word of mouth. Such referrals often happen spontaneously but businesses can influence this through appropriate strategies". And if I may add: "For a Fee"
To members who answers questions to fellow members. Thank you! For non-members who can view he answers to members questions. Be a member! You get better and prompt customer service here than Matterport.

Make it a great day,
James
Post 3 • IP   flag post
UserName private msg quote post Address this user
Matterport's growing and it's probably finding it's way into search results where the actual query might be VR real estate. So I don't think it could hurt, SEO-wise, to keep Matterport somewhere in the name, ideally in the title. Your term, "Visual Story Teller" might also be another way to
brand the site. I might put that on my business page if I had a Visual Story Teller business.

This forum is also a valuable source of non-Matterport related info. I've seen product forums that discuss products unrelated to the one on the main product's site. Visual storytelling is a good word to describe the forum's overall theme. I'm still not 100 percent sold on monitor-based 360 experiences yet. For instance, my keyboard keys change a room's view if the view's on-screen. Conversely, when I wear a VR headset, I can look around just as if I was in a real room.

The good news for Matterport today is that they own the "View a home in a VR headset" market. The downside is that few people have VR headsets and even if they do, it takes time to put a headset on, start it up and wait for the Showcase gallery app to load.

The good and bad news for the Matterport of 2020 may be that EVERYBODY in the future has light-weight VR "glasses," similar to Foster Grants." But, by then, everybody may also have pocket AR cameras that blow today's Matterport camera away. Children in the future might have the ability scan a room to a point cloud in seconds and immediately tour the VR room by simply putting on their Foster Grants.

So, for now, it looks like the real Matterport model market consists of folks sitting at computers or on cell phones who stroll through on-screen homes using their fingers or keyboards.
Post 4 • IP   flag post
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Metroplex360 private msg quote post Address this user
Q: Should I change the name of the Matterport User Group Forum?
A: Yes. I would recommend 'mugforums.com'. Matterport User Group Forums. Then if and when the market shifts, you just call us 'MUG' Forums. Acronym be damned.

The forum should move to a domain, away from we-get-around. Continue to market it as a service of we-get-around and continue to market your business in the same way that you do. Setup 301 redirects from forum.we-get-around.com to the new forum. The new forum should also have separate forums for other tech that we enjoy discussing. Matterport is going to be the focus of your forum for a while and it's the subject of every conversation and the point of comparison to all other tech.

✓ Should we write about Matterport competitors?
✓ Are Matterport competitors a threat to our business?
✓ Are Matterport competitors an opportunity for our business?
✓ Should I buy a Matterport Camera?

Yes, we should write about all competitors and discuss them openly. No, Matterport competitors are NOT a threat to our business. Matterport competitors ARE an opportunity for our business. People SHOULD buy a Matterport Camera to offer this service to their existing clientel (Would you buy a Nikon camera and then start trying to sell your services? That's a bit risky as a way to start a business).
Post 5 • IP   flag post
Tosolini private msg quote post Address this user
When I purchased my camera, I googled its name and your forum came up. That's good SEO and you are a master in content marketing.

Should you change your name just because we discuss other technologies too? I don't think so, at least not yet. The conversations around competitive tech is not nearly of the same depth as the MP threads. By keeping the focus on MP, you have a specific identity. And as you are the clear leader of those conversations, there is value in being first.

Thanks again for all the effort you are putting to keep this community going.
Post 6 • IP   flag post
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Founder
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@PetraSoderling
@FloridaProperties
@UserName
@Metroplex360
@Tosolini

Thank you for your thoughtful thinking.

It's SO nice to have The Brain Trust weigh-in. I started MUG to give help. It's so nice to get help.

Very powerful and moving

Thank you each for your deep thinking on this topic.

Namaste,

Dan
Post 7 • IP   flag post
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Founder
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Seeking addition feedback. Kindly weigh-in. Thanks, Dan
Post 8 • IP   flag post
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@StevenHattan
@3Dwalkmethru
@GeorgeK

Your thoughts?

Dan
Post 9 • IP   flag post
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PetraSoderling private msg quote post Address this user
I had another great example of your SEO this morning Dan. I was reading @stevenhattan's thread about a competitor and discovered the link posted by @GarySnyder about Iris VR. So, as I'm interested in floor plans I typed into Google "Does Iris VR camera have a depth sensor" .... and .... guess what comes up first..... (drumroll) ... is this


Post 10 • IP   flag post
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@PetraSoderling

I it! #1 out of 690,000 search results.

Dan
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