What type of disclaimer are you suggesting: one cautioning of bad or non-expert advice in general, or manufacturers/dealers surreptitiously promoting products under the guise of advice, or what?
Provide an example of a sample disclaimer, and then we can discuss the merits.
And what would you have the disclaimer contain?
Well..Its obvious this post got by the moderators eh!,,Although its definately an issue, I think the thread issues could be concidered similar to the buying/selling of gear. One does take thier chances with such transactions( Buyer beware) and as such is the same for threads which may have an not so obvious, yet real influence on what we ultimately buy.
That's an interesting point Jeff. Maybe in a way, we're all getting played. Between manufacturers comments and the zealots of certain factions, its all too easy to be led astray.
Folks nowadays (the information age) are looking for quick, concrete answers without actually trying products and tweaks for themselves. They all seek to label things and store them in neat, tidy compartments. I believe in some instances, this approach can be counterproductive and misleading, especially when you have the wide variety of componentry, personal tastes, and bias from the various audiophile dojos factored in.
You seek enlightenment? Try the equipment for yourself, in your own familiar system -- forget the theories and stop relying on other folk's experiences and opinions.
I hate seeing questions like, "I only have $20,000 to spend, which is better, Speaker A or Speaker B?" Really! If you have 20 G's to drop on speakers or an amp, or whatever, get yourself a plane ticket and go hear it -- or have it shipped to you on a trial basis.
I mean, if something looks great on paper to me, I'm still not going to form an opinion until I hear it with my own ears in a familiar system.
Regardless of what commercial interests may or may not lie here, we all need to be aware that our brother audiophile's advice is likely just as biased as any moderator's or manufacturer's. Hey, I hope this post doesn't make audiophiles any more paranoid than they already are. :)
Jeff, the only warning should urge potential posters to search the archives for answers to specific questions before posting. The forums are being choked by a merry-go-round of repeated questions, many answered five, six or more times in past posts, which are definitely of dubious value, except to those those too lazy to search the archives.
Jeff, The gullible and the lazy are always at risk of being skinned. No disclaimer is ever going to be effective. These folks never read the fine print. Ever notice that folks put X's or tabs on legal documents so you can just sign them without reading, even though they contain large bold, and often red, print warning to read the document before signing. Still very few do!
This site is about the sale of audio equipment. To the thoughtful person that in itself should be a major warning. A good mantra for folks seeking advise here would be - due diligence, due diligence, due diligence, critical analysis, critical analysis, critical analysis.
Tvad - good question, maybe something simple just to help out the newbie. "Forum discussions may be intentionally or unintentionally biased by the financial interests of Audiogon or some of its members".
The wordsmithing could use help, but something basically along those lines.
Others - thank you for your thoughts!
Audiogon - Thanks for allowing the thread.
Plato - We are only paranoid becausee everyone is trying to cheat us :). Else, I think you make a great point.
Jeff, honestly, I believe most Audiogon users, including newbies*, are smart enough to know that internet discussion forums are filled with great advice, suspect advice, informed advice, misinformed advice, facts, opinions, buyers and sellers looking for a good deal, and buyers and sellers looking to rip someone off. Other than the disclaimer you propose or a revised version never being adopted by Audiogon because of the likelihood of scaring away potential buyers and/or sellers, the idea of posting a warning seems too much like Big Brother unnecessarily protecting the innocent from themselves. I suppose I'm Libertarian in this regard, and I'm tired of our lives being dictated by rules and disclaimers intended to prevent lawsuits from those who should know to keep the gasoline away from the bonfire.
I'm glad you asked the question.
I vote for no disclaimer.
*I remember that I discovered Audiogon as a newbie when I did a Google search for a specific product and Audiogon came up as a featured site. Anyone familiar with internet searches knows that featured links are advertisements, and therefore commercial ventures.
DISCLAIMER : Enter forum at your own risk, inside you may be infected by a disease that man has not found a cure for !!!
A sarcasm disclaimer would be appropriate.
While we are at it let's put a label on the cereal box that says "Caution: No swimming until cereal has been digested." It's just like parents that are over protective of their kids. If you are spending thousands of dollars on this site without really knowing what you are getting, or not understanding that there is some sort of risk involoved, you need not have access to the internet.
I'm strongly against a disclaimer on this forum.
Lots of forums...this may be one of the better ones for a newbee to find if his interests are strickly audio. Seems to be an older crowd with years of collected experience on even the oldest components.
The other forums which are good but may be less (real) help to the newbee are audiocircle and audioasylum.
1. Audiocircle...mostly filled with newbees
2. Audioasylum...filled with great info. and usefull audiophiles, except...not hardly newbee friendly and many times overly ripe with ego trippers...can be scary for a newbee to ask dumb questions.