No Commerce Criteria - 2nd Thread

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by neil_poulsen|1, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. A couple of comments with respect to photo.net's response to the "No
    Commerce Criteria" thread recently posted.

    >> Prior to posting the thread, I looked for photo.net's guidelines.
    I missed them. Had I seen them, I would not have initiated the
    thread.

    >> I would note that the overwhelming majority of responders voted to
    allow participants to announce LF related workshops. Photo.net's
    objection is a reminder that the LF forum would be better off on an
    independent server that is free of these kinds of constraints. The LF
    forum should be run in a way that best benefits the LF community.

    >> Until an independent server can be established, we are compelled to
    adhere to photo.net's request.

    Neil

    --------------------------------------------

    Response from Brian Mottershead . . .

    There is a classifieds section for advertisements by photo.net
    members, and this section is currently used without charge also by
    dealers.

    But the Terms of Use state that forums aren't to be used for
    classified ads or for commercially-oriented postings. There are many
    things about the forums that are basically left to the forums to
    decide for themselves, through the moderators, and as was pointed out,
    the different forums don't have consistent policies on everything.
    However, the non-commercialism policy is not one of the things that is
    left "up" to the forum participants or moderators.

    Only one forum has specifically been granted permission for classified
    ads by non-dealers: namely the Leica Forum. This is because classified
    ads had been the norm on that forum for several years when it moved
    here last June, there being no classifieds section on LUSENET. We
    would not be very open to making a similar exception for other forums.

    So that is the policy. Of course, the key issue is: what is a
    commercial posting? If an employee of a company is a regular
    participant in a forum, and happens to mention some relevant product
    or service of his company in the course of a thread, I wouldn't
    consider that commercial. The test is: is it a post which a person not
    associated with the company might have made? A lot of the postings in
    any forum amount to recommendations of particular products and
    services in relation to particular problems. If somebody posts a
    question asking, what workshops are available on landscape photography
    in Newark, N.J?, it is fine for somebody to chime in: my company is
    offering one starting next week and there are still slots open.
    Because that is information that any participant following the forum
    might have provided, if he had known it. But it isn't fine for that
    person to come into a forum to start a thread announcing: "Slots still
    open in the such-and-such workshop!!!" Of course, people can
    circumvent this policy by creating a shill account to ask the
    question, and then posting the ad they intended to post, in the form
    of a "helpful" answer. We wouldn't take kindly to that, if we thought
    it was happening.

    (I should add that Per's free workshops, being free, are not
    commercial, and are totally fine.) Also, if a regular participant
    provides a pointer to his web site where he happens to have prints for
    sale, or is promoting his services as a professional photographer:
    that is slightly commercial, but I'm OK with it, within reason.

    Basically, (1) we don't want advertising to be mixed in with the forum
    content; it should be in visually separate areas, and (2) if ads do
    appear on the site, we want them to be paid for, since advertising is
    one of the few sources of revenue available to us. The open posting
    policy of the site is not a back door for commercial companies to
    post ads for free.

    --------------------------------------------
     
  2. " Photo.net's
    objection is a reminder that the LF forum would be better off on an
    independent server that is free of these kinds of constraints. The LF
    forum should be run in a way that best benefits the LF community
    >> Until an independent server can be established, we are compelled to
    adhere to photo.net's request."


    This is once again underway, after the person writing the programming mysteriously disappeared and later re-surfaced after most of those involved had given up hope and were on the verge of getting the programming re-written. As he put it, he has been told he was involved in a very bad car accident on the way home... Thankfully now well recuperated and convalesced.

    So it is hoped that the new LF Forum (incorporating the whole of the old Greenspun LF forum) will at some time in the not too distant future be a reality.
     
  3. Note that the frequently quoted story that the Leica Forum has had commercial threads, as well as pictures posted for/or not for critique had existed for years before moving to the presnt arrangement. Not so. It was a very recent problem that only appeared shortly before leaving the LUSENET.
     
  4. Looking forward to the move. It could not come soon enough.
     
  5. Tim, I wonder what the archive situation would be if this place does move.
     
  6. I don't like seeing ads (even WTB, WTT) being posted as threads right in forum, such as in the Leica forum. I just don't think they should be treated the same way as a Question in the forum. I think they should be separate. For one thing, when they are not separate, the moderator has to spend time removing them so that they don't clog up the archives. But they also tend to turn the forum into a marketplace. I don't like it at all in the Leica Forum and many of the people in the Leica Forum don't like it a lot either, but I went along with it because I understood it to be the long-standing custom in the forum. It comes as news to me that it was a relatively recent thing at the time the Leica forum was moved.

    When I read through the other thread, I don't see a landslide in favor of ads in the LF forum. There were four positions expressed: in favor of ads in general, in favor of workshop announcements (including commercially-organized ones), opposed to all ads, and ambivalent. Those favoring workshop announcements were in the plurality (with the provision often stated that they be posted by regular forum participants), but I'm not sure it was the majority position. Those favoring all types of ads (such as the Leica Forum) were in a minority.

    But rather than seeing the photo.net policy as oppression and motivation for a separate forum, one might also explore ways to meet everybody's goals. LF-oriented advertising might be posted in the classifieds and text links to these ads to be placed in a sidebar in the forum, so that the photo.net goal of having ads separate, and the goals of some LF members of being able to see LF-related ads would both be satisfied.

    At present, photo.net doesn't try to make revenue from occasional ads in the classifieds section, and this won't change. So, if we did this many of the LF ads would be posted without charge. photo.net does plan to limit the number of ads that people can make for free in the near future. Non-subscribers will still get so many for free, subscribers will get quite a few for free, and volume advertisers will be able to purchase a higher quota. When we institute charges for classifieds, most people, including workshop organizers with a few workshops probably won't end up paying anything, and those with a few more could become subscribers for $25. I doubt there is anyone organizing so many workshops that they would need to purchase additional quota beyond what they would get as subscribers.

    What do people think of there being a sidebar in the forum with text links to LF ads in the classifieds section?
     
  7. Wayne, QTL says that Philip Greenspun does not object to the copying of the archives from LUSENET (that is, through June 2002). Presumably, if the individual posters object they will make this known; but everybody will be surprised if any of them do.

    As for the posts made on photo.net (after June 2002), our Terms of Use are quite clear (unlike LUSENET), we don't own the copyright to the posts -- only a license to publish them on the photo.net web site; so permission to copy them someplace isn't ours to grant. For this reason, if there is a new forum, the archives will only go through June 2002.
     
  8. "What do people think of there being a sidebar in the forum with text links to LF ads in the classifieds section?"
    This seems to be the obvious solution. I don't think people would want to wade through the hundreds of adds for non-LF stuff, but it wouldn't be too hard to have a little filter that pulls out all LF adds, or even just all workshop adds. Just so I'm clear on this... is this one issue really what everyone's in such a huff about?
     
  9. As a photographer who likes to take a picture or two in his own peace, and
    as person who lives hundreds and thousands miles away from the nearest
    workshops, I have to ask what is problem here with posting announcements
    about some photography happening (free or commercial even) other than a
    pure principle. I jealous on people who can go to some LF workshop or any
    other meeting of that kind, but, as I have wrote before, I really like to see
    that someone is organizing something... and sharing that as announcement
    or as the memories from such meeting with rest of us... btw, I haven't noticed
    much of such advertisement here, bigger problem were a political threads few
    moths ago.
     
  10. Sometimes these get a bit much I think? - not really much more than blatant commercial advertising as far as I can tell (in some ways even more so, because to the unsuspecting or newbie, they may not even realise that - advertising masquerading as advice) - not really unbiased advice - in the example below, I don't see any suggestion of say Acratech or Arca Swiss. I think there could be a limit put on these kinds of posts:

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=005hUt
    Linhof Kardan M on a Gitzo 1326?

    "There are several heads that handle this camera. The Linhof Profi II and Profi
    III, The Linhof
    3-Way leveling Head, the Novoflex Magic Ball, the Kaiser Large Pro Head, the
    Giottos
    MH3000, etc.

    Bob Salomon"
     
  11. "We import Ansmann, Berlebach, Braun, CombiPlan, DF, Ergorest, Gepe, Gepe-Pro,
    Giottos,
    Heliopan, Kaiser"

    I missed the second post - this kind of commercialism definately doesn't have a place on the photo.net forums, especially considering their TOS as outlined above - take it to the classified ads please
     
  12. Bob Salomon is doing no worst than any of us who, when somebody asks "what is a good camera, lens, tripod?", etc., we suggest what we own and use ourselves. Of course we have a vested interest in what we use and would like to see others use because there must be a reason we like the various products that we own. Bob is pushing the products he sells of course, but they are good products that can potentially benefit the poster in question.

    How about the post from Bob when the prices on Linhof dropped dramatically? Did no one benefit from that? Yes that was in effect a commercial post but my guess is that some folks saved money big time in the end. So in effect Bob was doing us a favor by making sure we knew of the price cut. I haven't seen an overabundance of FS type of posts and personally I'd rather find out here about something that might be useful to me that having to wade through a ton of ads. We are a community here and if some one is selling a 5.35 x 9.284 LinDorffCangeeWizzer Flugelfield camera, better we should get the chance to find out and buy it first.
     
  13. "Photo.net Terms of Service

    No Soliciting
    You agree not to use the Site, other than the Classifieds section of the Site, to advertise products or services or to solicit anyone to buy or sell products or services, or to make donations of any kind, without our express written approval. An exception is granted to this section to non-dealers who are users of the Leica Photography forum for the purpose of offering personal Leica-related camera equipment to other forum members, as is customary in that forum."

    sounds pretty much like those kinds of posts fit the above - just not allowed here - period.
     
  14. So, Kevin, you think that moderators should delite any question (or answers
    on such question:) like "new to LF, what lens to choose?", "or is my XYZ
    multycoated better than ZYX coated?"..?
     
  15. "So, Kevin, you think that moderators should delite any question (or answers
    on
    such question:) like "new to LF, what lens to choose?", "or is my XYZ

    multycoated better than ZYX coated?"..?"

    Did I say that? - read the thread - the answer is no.

    But, when someone asks I'm "new to LF, what lens to choose?", and a paid employee of the distributor of Rodenstock pops up and say - well, buy Rodenstock, then that's not really accpetable as a non-commercial posting.

    I'm on various lists which have a non-commerical postings rule where manufacturers representatives are part of the forum. They take part in the general discussions and are quite happy to offer advice and expertise, especially about the products they obviously know well. They generally gain a lot of respect from that and probably gain customers as well. But they also know the difference between that approach and what are blatantly commercial postings.

    When someone asks a question about tripod heads - "Linhof Kardan M on a Gitzo 1326?" and gets a reply "There are several heads that handle this camera. The Linhof Profi II and Profi III, The Linhof 3-Way leveling Head, the Novoflex Magic Ball, the Kaiser Large Pro Head, the Giottos MH3000, etc." from the person who just happens to import those very tripod heads, it's just plain trying to flog the product - a commercial advertising/posting. Which seems to be prohibited by the photo.net TOS.
     
  16. Sorry Kevin, and yes - you are right. That's my bad english... I had to ask my whife to
    carefuly translate whole thread to me, and I have found where I missunderstud your
    words. sorry...
     

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