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Topic: another sampler site.........?  (Read 9586 times)
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« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2007 12:09:10 AM »

Ahh yeah... sadly alot like that.
Do you think theres room for more of that?
I have lately been thinking about targeting it more to fit a specific market or type of person.
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« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2007 06:13:18 AM »

Is there more than one department store available? More than one printer? More than one gas station? Heck, there are tons of examples of this. There's definitely room for more than one Sampler-type organization.

Your challenge is to make it different enough so that you can outshine the Sampler and get the people to sign up who aren't satisfied with it. I know there are some people here who are signed up there. Do a search here in the forum and start asking these people what they would like to see to make something like this better, or if they're no longer signed up, ask them why. It's a start.

« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2007 11:01:26 PM »

Thankx for the encouragement.
I guess I just worry that if there is someone already doing this that it is something that people will have heard of and not be excited about. Although  you are right... there can be more then one.

As I've been thinking about it I think I might try and narrow the field down. I found another site today that focused just on samples of bath type things.

Also do you guys think there needs to be more of an insentive for the businesses involved. I do think that some sample sized products are a fair exchange for advertising. Although while the site is still gaining reputation maybe thats a bit much to ask for. Perhaps giving a set of samples out to the businesses as well. Although thats still not alot of insentive when you are giving away say 50 sample products.

Also are there any areas that you guys would like to see a sampler type thing? Im thinking something maybe more racey and sexy. Although honestly Im just looking for ideas.
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« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2007 10:29:24 PM »

That sounds like something I would subscribe for. I'm a total pack rat and love random odds and ends or things I don't quite need but would still like to have around.

I think advertising and a set of samples would be a good exchange...maybe the companies could get a few sets actually, when new stuff arrives.

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« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2007 05:29:37 PM »

Also, I believe that already having something like that around is a good sign. It meant somebody tried and it worked, so there is space for another one that's for sure.

Narrowing it down to a specific field is probably a good idea. Also, you can have different pack categories later on if you want to expand.

Why buy something when you can make it? http://www.diyist.com
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« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2007 01:35:36 AM »

Argh. I know this comment is WAY late, but honestly the first half of the post (well, everything before LippyBalm) annoys me.

Firstly, the legalities are messed up here. You can't copyright a business model, idea, or concept. You can't even copyright names like "The Sampler" - that's under the realm of trademarks, which you can protect. From http://www.clickandcopyright.com/what_can_i_copyright.asp:

Another form of intellectual property that cannot be copyrighted include Ideas, plans, methods, systems, or devices, as distinguished from the specific manner in which they are expressed or described (i.e. a mere listing of ingredients can not be copyrighted, but if a recipe is accompanied by a set of directions, or when there is a collection of recipes, then there is a basis for copyright registration)

So if some other random company calls themselves The Sampler, Marie has grounds to sue them if she has trademarked (NOT copyrighted!) the name. (Trademarks, unlike copyright, require registration of some form). However, if Company XYZ wants to do a business that does essentially the same thing as The Sampler, Marie can't really do much. Only thing she could do is if the company hinges its marketing on being the first/only user of the Sampler concept, but that's it really.

Trying to patent it, while possible in some places would be another complex process, and even if Marie was successful, she'd only get backlash. Look at what happened to Amazon when they tried to patent the One-Click ordering system.

For one thing, The Sampler DOES NOT serve everyone. As a case point: I'm from Malaysia and have a PayPal account with an Australian address, since I go to university there. The Sampler will NOT ship or bill Malaysia or Australia. I can't buy a Sampler! They'd take money from New Zealand and Singapore, but not someone like me, even though I live next to both countries so shipping wouldn't be much different. I'm merely a crafting n00b and in no position to start a business. I'm definitely not going to start a whole crafting business just so I can get a free Sampler!

I thought the Sampler concept was really intriguing and was thinking of getting a Sampler thing started in Malaysia. The creative scene is under-appreciated here (people tend to equate crafts with traditional old-fashioned cultures) and a sampler system would be a great way to encourage creativity and get the word out about some aspiring crafters. However, because the founder of The Sampler seems to think that anything sampler-related would "hurt [her] feelings", I won't be able to even think about it, apparently.

So much for the Crafting community! Should it just be limited to people privileged enough to live in a few certain countries?

Closing off a viable business model and hoping to be the only business in existence that does your particular thing (which is impossible - there's nothing new under the sun and nothing stays new for long) only creates a monopoly, which isn't always a great thing. See what happened to Microsoft - tried to create a monopoly over web browsers and see where that got them. It is ridiculous to assume that you can shame and guilt people over just wanting to spread a good idea, just because you didn't happen to be the first person to think of it.

The current vibe in the creative world is sharing - making everything open. Why did Creative Commons take off? Why did Open Source take off? Because people say that by making things openly available, creativity increased. People were free to build on other works and create new works of their own. Businesses should be the same. It is ironic that it's a creative business that's trying to close itself off - all they're doing is stifling creativity. Not everyone can be a crafter, but some are great businesspeople.

A little competition never hurt anybody - instead, it has often led to greater productivity and creativity as everyone involved strives to do better. Saying your feelings are hurt if someone even dares to make another Sampler site is absolutely ridiculous.

I posted a question about the legalites of this on Ask MetaFilter, whose community I trust and respect for its thoughtful and often intelligent responses, and already the first response is telling:

I think the Sampler person is either confused or trying to confuse others. She never actually states that she has a trademark, copyright, or patent on anything in particular; she just mentions the terms and lets her readers connect the dots. It's telling that she throws around all three of these terms, which are quite distinct legally, as if they were interchangeable.

If Marie is simply confused, then it would be a good idea for her and others to get educated on the differences between patent, copyright, and trademarks and adjust accordingly. If Marie is deliberately trying to confuse others, then we have a bigger problem - she would be attempting to hoodwink and intimidate the crafting community. The community where many are prepared to defend her. Again, so much for community.

B*B, Tiara
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2007 07:30:10 AM »

Hi Tiara,

I recently took over the Sampler from Marie, and any exclusion of Malaysia is purely accidental.   Australian orders are accepted, and are in fact the first country listed in the pop up list.

While I obviously would love for no competition, I fully understand and expect it.  If anyone has had bad experiences with the Sampler, I would love to know what they are and how I can improve things for them.

I know some of the beginning comments were centered around "another sampler site".  I think its the use of those words that gets people upset.  If you were to say you wanted to create "a site that collects products in exchange for advertising" then you wouldn't get quite the backlash.  It would be the  same as saying you wanted to create another craftster site, when you are simply looking to create another craft forum.

Anyway, I'm not looking to argue.  I would just like to offer that if anyone had a bad experience with the Sampler, let me know what I can do to make it better.  Also, I will be fixing the Malaysian oversight as soon as I can.


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« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2007 07:50:49 AM »

Hiya Alison,

Thanks for the very prompt reply! I wasn't expecting it (it is an old thread!) but I quite appreciate it.

Having never bought a Sampler before (though now that you mention Australia's on it I'll check that out! I seem to remember actually being so close to buying it once, don't know how I missed out the last time! o_O) I can't really say I've had an "experience" per se. However, what bugged me on this thread (and led to my Ask Mefi post) was:

a) People assuming that doing another Sampler was some sort of legal issue, when it isn't - there are no laws broken for doing another business that does essentially the same thing as the Sampler does (perhaps with some differentiations, like locale or focus or something)
b) Marie's replies saying that another Sampler would "hurt her feelings" - I understand that there is some emotional attachment, but as far as business goes that is an absolutely ridiculous and stupid statement
c) The verbiage on the Sampler website saying vague things about "laws that protect businesses" when again, The Sampler cannot stop anyone from making another Samplereqsue business (the only legal recourse you may have is if they name their thing The Sampler too)

To me, all those only come off as threatening and doing a disservice to the crafting community. As you can see here, there are other people that have ideas for something similar to The Sampler but have been shot down because of the "it'll hurt Marie's feelings!" rhetoric. Such things only dissuade creativity from flourishing.

People don't always want to make new versions of something because they had a bad experience. If they had a bad experience, they'd more likely complain or avoid the product/service instead of going through all the trouble to recreate it (a few might, but that's just a few - it's easier to complain than to do something about it!). As we can see from the Sample example, many people want to make their own version of it because they love the idea and want to adapt it for their own special circumstances or preferences. It's because The Sampler is such a great idea that we need more of it. Specialized Samplers! Local Samplers! Food Samplers! Horror Samplers! Samplers of Things that Go Bump in the Night! whatever they can think of. Of course, calling it something else other than a Sampler would help.

And honestly, if people are going to get upset that someone's asking to "make another Craftster" or "make another Sampler" or "make another Etsy" or whatever, they need to get better priorities. A lot of business centers around making the next great X - whether that's the next great McDonalds or the next great Harry Potter.

One thing you could do is to change the section on the "can I make another Sampler" so that it is less legally ambiguous. As it stands, it sounds a lot like you guys don't know what you're talking about legally and that you haven't done enough research on patents, trademarks, and copyrights (and whether any of that applies to you). One of the Ask Mefi posters suggested the following:

Can I start my own Sampler?

Of course! Just do us both a favor and find a way to distinguish yourself from the Sampler. Put your own spin on it. Call it something clever (obviously I didn't try too hard and I'm sure you can come up with something better!)!

heck, you could even take this opportunity to make a Sampler Network. Link up the different varieties of Samplers out there, exchange samples, get wider exposure for the samples that come to you. Create a community of sampler makers. Make a multi-company sampler for special events. There are so many ways this could be used to your advantage.

I just learned that you were very recently the new owner, so I wish you all the best. I'm going to get myself a miniSampler now that you mention Australia's there! As for the countries: how about just adding every country in the world there? There should be a ready list you can import from most webdesign resource pages.

Also, I really do recommend reading the Ask Metafilter thread I linked: http://ask.metafilter.com/79222/ . It's a bit snarky but people have been posting excellent resources for business law that I think any crafter could benefit from.

Thanks for listening and have a good day Smiley

B*B, Tiara
« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2007 07:54:57 AM »

Thanks for pointing out the links, I will be reading them.  The Sampler transfer is still happening, and I don't officially own it yet.  Once I do, there will be a new site launched and I do have legal counsel to assist me with the wording of different parts of it.

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