I have had two customers recently refer about reading the Grumble - thus the rant/request for trade only password on Framing Business Issues section - keep financial info/costs private to the trade, not to the general public.
With 10 votes, 91% have said that their customers don't know about the Grumble. Most of our customers (read anyting you want to into that) just want their darn stuff framed. They're to busy with kids, school, soccer, civic organizations, et al, to find, and dissect the G.
If the vote results were the other way around, I'd say 'yay' to a trade only forum. Sorry, but right now, I, for one, don't see the need for it.
If it does come to pass, I will certainly participate, and Marc would make an excellent moderator.
I find it inconceiveable that even a dedicated web-surfer could stubble across The Grumble. I just did a Google search under "picture framer" and "picture framing" and didn't find it in the first 10 pages of results (though I did see a lot of Grumbler's sites.) It showed up in the first page of results by searching for "Grumble," but nobody's going to do that unless directed to.
I myself only found it about 15 months ago after John Ranes gave me a link. (It's not Kit's fault.)
Other than my family (and they've made me stop talking about it,) I've only mentioned The Grumble to one non-industry person - my artist friend who doesn't own a computer. Sometimes I print out a Warped thread for her.
I still maintain it's in bad form to tell rude stories about customers on this board.
I have a hard time getting other picture framers to check out the grumble. Some say they don't have the time, no internet access when its convenient, and one responded that he spends way too much time on the bulletin board for model railroading to ever think about visiting one that's actually linked to his profession. I tell folk that I'm on a trade related website called the Grumble, but I figure they've got way better things to do with their lives, they're probably on the CPA's Grumble, or the Chiropracters Grumble. What interest would they have in reading what a bunch of framers have to say?
I was found! A long time ago too, the customer was simply doing a search and happened across the G after looking for Custom Framing or similar, then using the G's own search thingy tried "New Zealand" and found me! So far there has been a couple of jobs with his name on them, I would be fairly sure that he has never visited the site again and honestly wouldn't care if he did. If there is information you don't want public then don't tell everyone!
I have actually had customers (mostly under the age of 30) find me via Yahoo yellow pages, PPFA website and just plain "online." (I don't yet have a website) More than one of these folks has "researched" picture framing and stumbled onto TG. I don't think that they were very captivated by it, but how to account for lurkers...? Call me paranoid...?