Manufacturers pushing their products and agenda in the forums.


In the deep, dark, past manufacturers participated in the Audiogon forums with a general sense of decorum and a sensitivity to other products that they did not manufacture themselves and which were, from a design standpoint, philosophically opposed to their views. 

What has happened? Manufacturers now post into the forums dogmatically espousing their myopic view of the hobby, shamelessly pimping their own products and view of the audio world and, even more disturbingly, running down opposing brands. 

IMHO, it may be time to throw the baby out with the bath water and ban manufacturers, distributors, retailers and importers. If they can’t get their act together they should take it on the road.
F9d3c1c4 5c01 4a92 9782 a2556975b971viridian
I share your view and had suggested a couple alternatives to Admin- if somebody is posting as a dealer to peddle or promote, they should have some badge identifying them and charge them for that privilege (in the same way as "Insider"). For those manufacturers or dealers who are kind enough to offer technical or other advice without the sales job, perhaps they can do so under another user name (though that kind of puts the crush on some long time members here who can wear both hats and provide technical or other advice without an agenda). And having a strict compliance rule that is enforced by user flagging if someone is flogging stuff through the forums without paying for the privilege.
My suspicion is that somehow Audiogon sees value in having dealers and manufacturers and I generally do too-- If Audiogon can monetize it (which is really what this site is about, right?- nobody offers this platform simply for the sake of providing a place for us to ’chat’), perhaps they can figure out a way to separate the two intelligently.
At bottom, how much money does Audiogon make from the forums? Advertising, I suppose. But the original main mission was as a sales exchange for gear, much of it used (I remember when a dealer first said, "I’m getting out of taking trade-ins, just put it up on Audiogon").
As it stands, I just ignore certain threads altogether-- though that may not mean much in the overall scheme of things. I’m sure that Admin is aware of the issue. I think it is a question of how Audiogon can do this sensibly without wholesale disruption.
Disgusting. Awful.

By the way, Linconln Contintentals are now available with my personaly selected audio components ...
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viridian

Something to keep in mind is that Agon and the audio professionals here are in conversations about this issue on going. In fact the conversation started when the Audiogon Forum first began and has never stopped.

Michael Green

http://www.michaelgreenaudio.net/

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Hi viridian

I've probably had several usernames as I'm notoriously forgetful about usernames and passwords. But they all would have been something to do with the business or me personally. Michael Green, RoomTune, MGA or something along those lines.

I've been a part of several of the marketing campaigns here while in discussions of how best to promote using Agon as well as being in discussions about Agon itself within the industry. I don't remember all the names of the marketing ventures Agon has done, but recall the Marketplace one, Dealer Showcase was another and the Banner system where we as advertisers would buy credits and go up and place our own banners in different places on the website. I'm sure there were other programs that we did with the Gon, but those are the ones that come to mind. I believe my last in person meeting I had with Audiogon was during the 2005 (I think maybe even 2004) show when we were at the Vegas Towers. I remember meeting with Steven and Alan stopped by to take pictures of the place for their show report.

I'm happy to share anything that I can to add to the mix. I came on board as an HEA designer in 1989 and quickly became part of the reviewing scene and as quick had 650 dealers carrying RoomTune in the US and distributed to over 30 countries by the early 1990's so was pretty up on the industry's MoJo at the time. Before that was a dealer myself so I got to see the hobby as a hobbyist, dealer then designer, three completely different mindsets btw. My first store was started in 1981, while I was sound engineer at Turner and In Touch and for the Atlanta Symphony, as a little background.

Always thought Audiogon was a cool and unique place and have seen it's development as an important part of the HEA chapter of this hobby.

Michael Green

http://www.michaelgreenaudio.net/

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A question for you viridian. (very timely and important thread btw)

When you joined years ago have you been an active poster ever since?

I haven't been obviously but am interested in Audiogon as a whole ever since I have started posting here regular in person. I started my own audio forum in 2004 "TuneLand" and learned many things about forums in general. TuneLand the current version is a much smaller hangout vs the first one which out grew me quickly, but visiting other forums is very informing and shows the trends of the hobby's personalities and do's and don'ts. I say do's and don'ts in reference to things I would never do on my own forum but see practiced elsewhere.

My "other forum" experiences include a few but the ones that caught my attention were the Stereophile and TAS and here that I jumped in and participated in Starting with TAS which folded, then Stereophile (troll city) and here, still very much seeing the potential but as this thread is pointing out may want some changes. One of the them being thread building issues.

Michael Green


http://tuneland.forumotion.com/

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Hi viridian

"Mr. Green, thanks again, much appreciated. Oh I remember your ads quite well. The hair, unforgettable, the speakers, not so much. IMHO, manufacturer participation here has run its course."

I'm still on the fence with "manufacturer participation". The same with dealers and any professional agendas. At the same time I don't think these types of forums will have longevity without the whole community being a part.

I also don't see the professionals as being Agon's biggest threat. The hobby of listening to music and talking about it should be "internet troll free". My recommendation to Agon is to implement a 3 strikes your out policy concerning internet trolling. I believe if you get rid of internet trolling (abusive toward other members) this place would change dramatically for the better.

MG

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"And yes I have had threads, and posts removed, and have had all of my posts under moderation from time to time."

Yep, see this is something I don't understand about audio forums. I can't get my head around why someone would get angry about audio. And worse the stalking other members to troll them that goes on. It's a forum subculture that is very odd, and many social forum lawyers are actually looking into the legality issues again. I wouldn't be surprised if the banning of forum members started happening as with other social media types now getting more serious about these issues.

MG

I've told Tammy in emails "I feel your pain". She does a great job and even though I would step up the no abuse policy some, I'm interested in the future part Audiogon plays in the community.

nice talking with you viridian

MG

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viridian "Manufacturers now post into the forums dogmatically espousing their myopic view of the hobby, shamelessly pimping their own products and view of the audio world and, even more disturbingly, running down opposing brands.IMHO, it may be time to throw the baby out with the bath water and ban manufacturers, distributors, retailers and importers."

I love Americans which I am sure you are you tout, defend, and embrace "Free Speech" unless it contains thoughts, ideas, or concepts with which you disagree, criticize, or object and then you seek to silence, isolate, or ban such contributors to suit your own agenda, goal, or desires.  It is not for you to limit, restrict or prevent other users, contributors, and posters from stating, expressing, or advocating their views, beliefs, and theories.

What oft happens, in fact, is that disagreement is either interpreted as OR incorrectly characterized as abuse. I.e., It’s a tactic. Sometimes referred to as brown-nosing. 🤗Without freedom of speech, there can be no democracy. This country was founded on differences of opinion. Besides don’t differences of opinion make for a more interesting and robust forum? I’m not referring to name calling, not at all. Look at what happened to some other audio forums, I won’t mention any names, that fell into disrepair and even ...oblivion 💀 once there’s was no action.
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I find that audio is probably the most petty and brutal forum type on the net. In the top 5 or maybe the top three.

Almost as if notable percentages of the the adherents don’t know how to participate if they can’t express wanton negativity.

The illustration of that, in clarity and in repetition so you know it is tru(er), is that... when a political thread appears in the off topic section... they are far more civilized and calm than the audio discussions.
I don't care for the vendors that do the things you mentioned, but I'm sure there are some that appreciate their posts. 

Some people know how to use social media to build their reputation as experts or thought leaders, and some manage to tear down their reputation by misusing social media.  IMHO the posters you described are doing themselves more harm than good and aren't savvy enough to see that.

As long as this place doesn't become a complete spamfest, I don't think they should be banned or restricted as long as they're offering some educational content that may be of value to some members.  

I find the tactics you mentioned offensive and would not do business with anyone that conducts themselves in that way.  Others may see it differently.  
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viridian
Manufacturers now post into the forums dogmatically espousing their myopic view of the hobby, shamelessly pimping their own products and view of the audio world and, even more disturbingly, running down opposing brands.
You should alert the moderators to any post you find objectionable. From what I can see, it looks like manufacturers are observing the forum’s rules.
IMHO, it may be time to throw the baby out with the bath water and ban manufacturers, distributors, retailers and importers. If they can’t get their act together they should take it on the road.
So because you don’t care for the contributions of these contributors, you think they should be ejected from the group? I don’t think this forum should work that way.
elizabeth
I am of the opinion that no one needs to be 'saved' from whatever.
I agree, but this is a common problem. Someone identifies a group that they decide needs "protection," and they then appoint themselves as the "protector" of the group that doesn't recognize or even necessarily want the "protection." Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed "protector" claims the moral high ground.
I don't view it as protection for anyone but myself- to avoid the noise. My alternative has been simply to avoid some threads altogether. I'm not sure it is a question of free speech since that isn't directly applicable (so far) to private internet fora, no matter how "public" (though there are some fascinating legal and policy issues that I will not go into to avoid censure for violating the terms of use here).
I think the issue is whether the forums are an appropriate place to "sell" and in more extreme cases, disparage other brands of equipment when there is an obvious commercial agenda. I had recommended that this be monetized and badged rather than simply censoring manufacturer or dealer postings in wholesale fashion.  
Like @elizabeth said, most of us, I think, can sort the wheat from the chaff. The question (to me) is the tenor or culture of the board. 
As I probably mentioned at some point, I was a sort of consigliere to one exotic car board some years ago and it was a constant headache. There is no easy answer, but part of it, in my estimation, relies on the culture of the board as established by the forum owners, which in turn, results in a form of self-moderation. People who frequent a forum then know what is within bounds and what isn't. Self-moderation, once rules are clearly established and enforced, is in my view a far better alternative for everyone, including those who have the thankless task of moderating, and makes the board a more enjoyable place. 
I'm only one voice and expressed my view, which coincides with the OP. Others may have different views. I think that was the point- and I would hope, as long as we keep this discussion civil, the moderators will not see the need to delete it.
I agree with much of what has been said above. What irks me are the unsolicited product reviews citing design philosophy, product dimensions, price and even finishing options, purporting to be just helpful info for members. I’m happy to hear arguments to the contrary but, to me, these seem to be simply manufacturer shills. They are usually supported by lots of fanboys who feel compelled to share their thoughts, despite being new members having made only two or three past postings. Yes, I’m suspicious. I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees through these fake reviews.
tonykay
What irks me are the unsolicited product reviews ... I’m suspicious. I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees through these fake reviews ...
If it’s so easy to identify these posts that you find objectionable, why not simply just ignore them? That seems a more practical solution than banning all "manufacturers, distributors, retailers and importers," which is what the OP and apparently @whart seek.
@cleeds - au contraire- I said it should be monetized and badged, rather than wholesale censorship. 
whart
au contraire- I said it should be monetized and badged, rather than wholesale censorship.
I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. I was relying on this comment of yours:
I’m only one voice and expressed my view, which coincides with the OP.
Thanks for clarifying this.
AGREE with Viridian's post
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viridian
... you are mis characterizing my original post when you say, “ That seems a more practical solution than banning all "manufacturers, distributors, retailers and importers," which is what the OP and apparently @whart seek.”

That is not what I said, I said that it may be time to ban them ...
I quoted you accurately, and said it is apparently what you seek. Now you say that isn’t what you said. So what exactly are you proposing?
You also stated:
If they can’t get their act together they should take it on the road.
So what is it that you seek? That they should be allowed to post here, but that their content should comply with your preferences? If all you seek is a discussion, then what's your objection?
We know that you can use the “alert moderator” feature. You have used it on my posts many times.
That’s not true at all, and it’s quite ironic coming from someone who claims I’m "mischaracterizing" them!

    My general rule is not to join any club or blog that would accept me as a member.  Somebody needs to be responsible for keeping the riff-raff out, right?
     Audiogon's been my lone exception for many years now and I'm just constantly amazed that I haven't yet been permanently booted off this highbrow and esteemed audio forum with extreme prejudice.  
     I mean, I've been kicked out of a lot worse clubs, blogs and forums than this one for a lot less: The Ferocious Flatulence Fraternity for using a Bic lighter and burning down the clubhouse, The Mean Boy Club for complimenting another member on his merciless callousness, The Fight Club for insufficient kidney punches and nutcrackers, The Women Haters Club for 'unenthusiastic misogyny' and The Satire Club for excessive irony.
 I love you all for tolerating me,
    Tim
  XOX
I don't mind dealers or anyone else posting whatever they want. What I mind is sanctimonious virtue-signaling word-salad, that when anyone calls them out on it they find it easier to complain and have the post removed than defend their weasel words. That sort of behavior is shameful, and petty, and beneath contempt.

But it still shouldn't be censored, any more than the people who call them out on it should be censored. It should be pitied, and pilloried, open to the ridicule it so richly deserves.

I think we've had more than enough authoritarianism already. Especially when instead of protecting the community it protects the weasel. Enough, already. Free and open exchange of ideas. Let the chips fall where they may.
millercarbon
I don’t mind dealers or anyone else posting whatever they want.
Within reason, agreed! Post away!
What I mind is sanctimonious virtue-signaling word-salad, that when anyone calls them out on it they find it easier to complain and have the post removed than defend their weasel words. That sort of behavior is shameful, and petty, and beneath contempt.
If it’s "beneath contempt," then why the contempt? This just sounds unnecessarily dramatic. After all, A-gon is just an audio forum. It’s supposed to be fun to be here, no?
But it still shouldn’t be censored ... It should be pitied, and pilloried, open to the ridicule it so richly deserves.
Pilloried? Open to ridicule? I don’t think that’s consistent with this forum’s Terms of Use. Please note that one of the reasons for moderators to reject a post is, "Abusive towards another member."

Showing a little courtesy towards others would really help this group - especially towards those with whom we disagree.
+1 Cleeds on all your posts. Reasonable. Thanks
The culture of a chat board is measured by its members, not the moderators. 

Don't you guys have anything better to do than talking about the obvious ?
Respect the NATURAL SELECTION RULE and let the stronger(here I mean good hifi gears) grows and don’t courage ppl being PC ! I think most of us can distinguish a real end user experience from a subliminal marketing.
Sales people are sales people, anything to push a product. It's a cut throat world that sales, always has been.
If a product isn’t marketed something horrible happens. Nothing. - PT Barnum 🤗
cleeds, Good point. Beneath contempt is just plain weak writing. Should have said contemptible. Thanks for the tip!


I have no problem with vendors posting on the site as long as they identify themselves as such.  I’ve read interesting and insightful advice by audio industry people.

I do have a little heart burn from those masquerading as hobbyist but clearly have a financial position or association. 

Simple fix.  Identify those with commercial affiliation.  



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Why is it so difficult to ask people who own or work for an audio business to simply identify themselves at the top of their post? If I see that, and decide to continue reading, that’s my business. There is really no need to flame or censor someone in the business, as long as he/she self-identifies. 
I am somewhere in the middle
full disclosure about conflicts good
virtue signaling word salad...,???????

one thing I have noticed is many of what I would classify as obnoxious dealer shills rarely frequent the music section, wonder why ?

and I frequent some fishing boards with complete idiots... insisting they remain armed when the Coast Guard boards them at sea...

I guess that will be the next stupid frontier - open carry at CES or ????
And in case anyone missed it, still a Vandersteen fan boy

my review out soon on Six Half Moons, I bought the samples, no debate allowed on this thread....


cleeds,

It’s good to know where you stand. I reiterate that these thinly-disguised, manufacturer ads should be culled from the forum and they should either have to pay for the ad or have them deleted. Fortunately, they are easy to spot. Check out the Tekton "review" on tonight's forum.

The best product would never sell without marketing. I`d like to have more manufacturers writing and responding on audio forums. It takes a huge courage to doing that in a shark tank like audiogon. IF something is fishy, there are lots of experts here for pick it apart. That`s my two cents.
“Fishy” is an understatement. These shill posts are way past fishy! They’re simply deceptive. I can’t be any clearer.
mikexxyz

I do have a little heart burn from those masquerading as hobbyist but clearly have a financial position or association.

Simple fix. Identify those with commercial affiliation.

How could A-gon possibly enforce this? How would moderators identify those with commercial affiliations?


cleeds why don't you come out from behind you're keyboard and reveal your interest, associations, and alliances within the audio community that lead you to these nonsensical, meaningless, illogical positions, arguments, and beliefs or do you prefer that I reveal to the world what it is I know about you?!?