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Afternoon folks...I have a question for all of you.

I have noticed, over the last year or two, that the contests we have here at iKC have been dropping in participation and interest. The last couple we have done garnered single digits for folks joining in. So, I have to ask...Why? What is it that makes folks *not* want a free knife or gear? Are the contests too involved? Not creative enough? Are people looking for more modern styles or brands? Too many giveaways? Not enough? 

So, I ask you, the members, what kinds of contests tickle your fancy? What do you think would get more participation? We would love to hear from you and get your opinions on how we can make our contests more desirable. iKC is all about our members and your suggestions and content make this site what it is! Let's get some ideas rolling on how to make our site a bit more fun!

Thanks for your input!

The Admin Team.

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Jan Carter said:

I have rather intentionally stayed out of this conversation, watching from the bleachers.  While this was going on so was a contest run by a member and that contest had over 60 entries. Here is what I think may have occurred.  

The offered knives were 2/3 customs

Entry was just a click and then send an email

Here is my question

If we were to go to custom or semi custom offerings are you more likely to enter?

As for just sending an email to enter, this becomes more difficult.  I receive over 500 emails a day, I would not want to miss someones entry.  Also many of our knives come from sponsors, I would feel remiss if I did not work the contest around the person donating it.

2018 - I want to offer iKC what the members want.  Speak up!

 Yes Jan, I love custom knives more then semi-custom. Though both are ok with me. You said to pick one so I go with custom knives. Speaking for myself I have so many email accounts now that it has become quite difficult to keep up. I just now checked in on my yahoo email account associated with iKC. Probably need to change my email address associated with your knife club Jan. If you remember yahoo was hacked severly within the last year or more. So I have avoided yahoo up until now. I do love your knife club but have become so busy lately that participation has come to a crawl. Please keep me aboard though. I do have some disturbing information concerning Frost Cutlery and their Cutlery Corner Network. I will try to find the proper place to place this information. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years, Jan. Calvin D. Rose. Call me Don.

Jan I think personally and professionally you are doing a fantastic job. Running an interactive site such as this takes tremendous work and discipline.

For me, a free knife is a....free knife. I get free knives all the time. I write about them in Knives Illustrated or on my site warriorsandsheepdogs.com. and soon for another web outlet. This is why I have stayed out of the contests to increase the odds by the factor of one. So Jan keep up the good work and I am looking forward to my 2018 calendar.

Since it was brought up, I use three different emails including Yahoo. I protect myself with Malware Premium. It stopped the ransom ware dead in its' tracks.

Custom knives are neat and individually unique. Personally I am open to all types. May all of our members and their families have a blessed Christmas and New Year. Be safe. 

Lee said it all. SUBJECT MATTER is more important. I sometimes get the feeling, browsing this forum, that it's probably the only knife forum whose members don't know anything about knives. Many members introduce themselves by saying "My gandpa's first cousin on my ma's side left me two buckets of knives and I'd like to know what they're worth?...etc....etc." Never hear from them again.

If I enter a contest, it's a feedback type (like Home Depot or Walmart) - a couple questions, name address, etc., put it in the box, contact me if I'm a winner. Done. That's it. 

So how do we tackle the subject matter part? Unfortunately I like that part (that's what a forum should be about) but at the moment I'm devoid of any ideas. So all I'm doing is pissing&moaning!!! Sorry about that.

Lee Trennel said:

Jan, I joined your site, but aside of some chats on Ivory bans, I've not been that involved. I'm primarily interested in automatics, but have interest in fixed blades, and folders too. All types of knives are interesting to me, from cheap and expensive, to mundane and wild! Contests however, are not a draw to join a site or stay with it, however, subject matter is more important! I'm ALWAYS on Sharperdeals, or Bladeauction sites (no contests), yet as w/this one, they have associated chatrooms, but I infrequently join them. Even if they offered contests, unless a name draw, I'd be an unlikely participant. If a site wants too much info. Forget it. Not that iKnife Collector will forward garbage sites and spam for an entry, unlike numerous others businesses!

Contests, when creativity (work) is involved as opposed to a simple "hat-draw" by name, I'm not that interested. Call me "lazy" in that respect, but my time is generally taken up by other activities than creating a diorama, or knife arrangement, essay, in whatever the contest theme depicts; & therefore to me, not appealing; especially when an entry is based on a judges personal opinion(s), or majority rules, and not a random selection.

A simple name and address and stick it in a box, hoping for the best over others' names; albeit with greater odds of not winning. That's my kind of contest.

It's like car judging. Who has the coolest wheels, deepest paint, shiniest, cleanest, etc., and in a most cases subjective to the contest judges, based on personal opinion; but with addition of a set of standards, rules, checklists, categories, and whatnot. It's not nearly as biased, or shouldnt be anyway. In the case of this site contest, correct me if not wrong, with generalized guidelines, photo, essay entries etc., are subject to (biased) personal opinion; likes/dislikes whether or not the entry had followed those guidelines. In the eye of the beholder as they say.

A "hat-draw" is not biased, unless pre-loaded with hand-picked names/entries thereby stacking the odds for a favorite person, or persons. I've been witness to that mess, as it's dependent on the integrity of the contest holder, evan a third party voter.

I assume not all members care for a free knife, regardless of the winning means, but how about just an entry form with name and address/tele #? Luck 'o' the draw.

I'm no computer geek, so not sure how to randomly pick a members name, or electronic format for such picks; and will rule out any out of pocket expenses for your shelling out $ for printing entries.

I do appreciate your commitment in maintaining iKnife Collector for all its members, whether frequent visitors, or not.

Michael D, 

ROFL!  Thank you for being honest.  I can say yes, we have a lot of members that come here looking for information.  Some stay and become active, others move on when they get what they came for.  It is for those members that the forum and Blog areas were created.  The groups have always been where the most conversations regarding knives and use and EDC happened.  Recently (within this year) the groups have become very slow with the exception of a few.  So here is my content question....how do we revitalize the groups?

I personally think that getting more direct chat with the employees or owners of some of the big US knife companies would be a huge draw.  I don't know how willing any of them are to speak out with the customers directly, but I imagine it would be very intriging to get the Daniels, or Bill Howard, or a VP from Case or Buck to come in once every 3 months and talk with people and answer questions.

Thank you Don!  Yes please change your email associated here, if for nothing else to get the contest emails.  Very good to have you back!

Calvin Don Rose said:



Jan Carter said:

I have rather intentionally stayed out of this conversation, watching from the bleachers.  While this was going on so was a contest run by a member and that contest had over 60 entries. Here is what I think may have occurred.  

The offered knives were 2/3 customs

Entry was just a click and then send an email

Here is my question

If we were to go to custom or semi custom offerings are you more likely to enter?

As for just sending an email to enter, this becomes more difficult.  I receive over 500 emails a day, I would not want to miss someones entry.  Also many of our knives come from sponsors, I would feel remiss if I did not work the contest around the person donating it.

2018 - I want to offer iKC what the members want.  Speak up!

 Yes Jan, I love custom knives more then semi-custom. Though both are ok with me. You said to pick one so I go with custom knives. Speaking for myself I have so many email accounts now that it has become quite difficult to keep up. I just now checked in on my yahoo email account associated with iKC. Probably need to change my email address associated with your knife club Jan. If you remember yahoo was hacked severly within the last year or more. So I have avoided yahoo up until now. I do love your knife club but have become so busy lately that participation has come to a crawl. Please keep me aboard though. I do have some disturbing information concerning Frost Cutlery and their Cutlery Corner Network. I will try to find the proper place to place this information. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years, Jan. Calvin D. Rose. Call me Don.

Thank you Clint!  As you  know every moment is a labor of love.  As much as it should bother me that folks come here to get information, it usually does not.  Some of those folks become collectors because of the interaction they have at iKC.  We are not the biggest, we are not the most active but we are the out there trying to promote our hobby and keep it alive for the next generation

Clint Thompson said:

Jan I think personally and professionally you are doing a fantastic job. Running an interactive site such as this takes tremendous work and discipline.

For me, a free knife is a....free knife. I get free knives all the time. I write about them in Knives Illustrated or on my site warriorsandsheepdogs.com. and soon for another web outlet. This is why I have stayed out of the contests to increase the odds by the factor of one. So Jan keep up the good work and I am looking forward to my 2018 calendar.

Since it was brought up, I use three different emails including Yahoo. I protect myself with Malware Premium. It stopped the ransom ware dead in its' tracks.

Custom knives are neat and individually unique. Personally I am open to all types. May all of our members and their families have a blessed Christmas and New Year. Be safe. 

Excellent suggestion Carl!  We started out doing that, maybe we should go back to it

Carl Bradshaw said:

I personally think that getting more direct chat with the employees or owners of some of the big US knife companies would be a huge draw.  I don't know how willing any of them are to speak out with the customers directly, but I imagine it would be very intriging to get the Daniels, or Bill Howard, or a VP from Case or Buck to come in once every 3 months and talk with people and answer questions.

I would like to see in 2018 ; stainless steel bolsters on factory knives. Pinned on shields. Expensive knives with better steel to match the higher prices, not just different handle materials. My thoughts. Anyone else ?

I enjoy the ones where you just post a knife for the season or holiday theme.....

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