Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Crohnie, Nov 8, 2013.
Quite the contrary my friend. I'm barely on anymore.
There seems to be some confusion as to why I started this thread. Let me make myself perfectly clear:
I started this thread NOT to discuss specific staff decisions publicly since that is against the rules. My purpose was to discuss the apparent reluctance of FC Staff to LISTEN to significant input or constructive criticism from regular members. It is strictly my OPINION. Others may feel differently.
Thank you Paka, for letting me (and everyone else on FC) know that Mods don't have to follow the same rules as regular members. I appreciate your honesty. And you're right. I don't like it. It seems a bit hypocritical to me.
Sticks, you know as well as anyone that I have nothing but love for you. I get along with all of you and you know im not a bad guy. I don't Chronie or I being misinterpreted here.
All we want is for the best possible environment here as you. Our messages whether it be me, chronie, lwein, or anyone for that matter are only to help you guy's.
Since when are the rule makers bound by the same rules they make? I know that doesn't sound fair, but for the life of me, I don't anywhere where that exists.
now that's the crohnie I know...the one I can talk to.
my question is...when did the apparent reluctance of FC Staff to LISTEN to significant input or constructive criticism from regular members happen? I haven't seen it. If you are referring to the thread about the classifieds that jka started, then I simply disagree with your assessment. That thread started out with members expressing their concerns, then staff explaining their decisions, followed by repeats of the concerns. What you didn't see was the back room discussion that thread prompted. We talked about the concerns, weighed them against the benefits we were trying to achieve and decided in our favor. I think we then closed the thread so as not to have to repeat ourselves to what would surely be different people bringing up the same concerns and questions. sometimes threads get closed because they have served their purpose and no longer offer anything substantially different than what has been posted.
My best guess is that most of the feelings you and others have about not being heard is a misunderstanding. We have an entire subforum for the mods that is filled with threads doing nothing more than discussing policies, member requests and the like. Those discussions aren't public, but they happened. Just because the outcome isn't what someone wanted doesn't mean their concerns were not considered.
I don't follow you. My post you quoted was referring to your comment about voting on the threads...good idea that I don't know whether or not is feasible.
Check your profile page...it disagrees!
No, it's everybody's problem. Nobody benefits from repeated questions and answers. The manufacturers waste time responding, the members have to wade through the same thing over and over, and the moderators have to put up with the complaints from both directions: either "this thread is useless because of the repetition" or "we're being stifled and not allowed to ask questions".
It's depressing that you continue to imply that it is so one-sided. Since I'm aware of the degree to which we agonize over how to be fair to both sides, I feel frustrated that your impression is vastly different from mine.
My background in online forums goes back to the early days of USENET and dial-up BBSs, both of which I participated in heavily. The criticism and conflict expressed in this thread arose immediately and has come up in almost every forum I can remember. The approach applied here is actually an anomaly because as I've said, almost no forum would allow this kind of thread and for good reason. It's the same reason that the rules are not the same for the moderators: it is well-proven that this is how to prevent a forum from descending into flame wars and chaos.
A lot of the problem extends from the misunderstanding that you alluded to earlier. A forum is not a democracy. It has an owner who decides the rules and if you don't like them you are free not to participate.
The thing is...I HAVE brought up these concerns to Staff members before in private. While I did get responses with promises to "look into" these things and perhaps provide a solution, there was never any follow up. That's the reason I've brought it public.
I see good points being made all around, I have another perspective on "the situation".
A manufacturer show not allow FC to be the main source of information on their company and product, by design or by accident. The forum set-up is inherently flawed for this purpose, as is pretty obvious. I understand when frustrated parties repeat the same questions, why should they have to read hundreds and hundreds of posts to get the whole picture? I understand when staff and more regular users get irritated reading the same thing over and over... It is irritating!
I agree that manufacturers shouldn't rely on FC as their main marketing and support platform. We don't encourage this, but we don't disallow it either. The ones that have used this approach are almost all producing artisan vapourizers, mostly logs that are turned out by one or two person operations. They don't have the resources to do it differently, and they also can't afford to get too popular because they have inherently limited production.
I'm sorry for being too vague, but the manufacturer I had in mind was vapexhale, actually. They have elected to share their bad news with the world through FC exclusively. I'm not saying they aren't answering questions if asked, or doing their best etc. What I'm saying is that it is natural for the ensuing drama to cling to the forum where the announcement originates from. Their own slick, very professional website is severely lacking in answers to most of the questions that a customer would logically have at this point. It's no leap to assume that a person spending 500+ on a vape is going to google if they have a problem, and wind up here.
VXL is involved in litigation and that shapes what they do. I know it influences what they post here. I'm not sure what you would expect them to post on their website, but I suspect their lawyers have a say in it. As you point out, the Googles will lead a curious customer here, so anyone really looking for information can be as informed as we are.
At any rate, we're now discussing something we at FC don't control. We don't have a rule against a manufacturer not providing information and support elsewhere, nor does one make sense to me. It's their business choice, and if there's one thing that annoys me about a lot of posts on FC, it's "advice" from armchair CEOs and designers.
But isn't that one of the things that makes FC as good of a site as it is, that is a place where end-users can come and interface with the manufacturers and get information and answers to questions that they would otherwise never be able to obtain while at the same time, a place where manufactures can come, not only to promote their product but get feedback from the end user, not only in regards to company policies but vaporizer designs as well................kind of a focus group, if you will.
Now granted, the manufacturers do get feedback that they sometimes didn't ask for but that doesn't take away from the fact that some of that feedback "could" prove to be very valuable for them.
True, but I think you know what I mean. Some advice is useful, but telling them how business should be done and what price they should charge is usually done with ignorance of the factors involved, and that annoys me. "I'd like to see..." is different from "[$company] should..."
Just felt it needed a bit of clarification, Paka, but yeah, it's all in the presentation.
I understand why you guys want to keep a thread on a positive track. But given the topic we are discussing, wouldn't a unbiased thread rightfully skew to the negative? I'm certainly not advocating staff let it go that route, but it is a certainty: Bias is being applied in order to keep the peace there.
Are their lawyers really telling them to trickle out tidbits of their legal situation through a public third-party website? That's vxl's problem, not ours. I'm no armchair CEO. I can't see why FC would want to continue to position itself like this.
As a business owner I am offended at some of the business practices exhibited by others. Just as not all customers are in the right, the same holds true for vendors. I would love to see staff question a vendor sometime. Something along the lines of: "several members have now repeatedly asked you about abc, why do you refuse to answer/address customer concerns?" While I understand the desire to have good relations w/ vendors, any relationship is not necessarily a good one.
If I exhibited some of the behaviors I have seen from certain vendors, I would not be in business. Most all members are the customers of these mfr's and should expect quality cs, product and interactions. When this is not the case, I find it understandable that they are upset and want to share this info w/ other potential customers.
I suggest you read more of the threads here then. You can start with the EV-2 thread.
I'll assume by "unbiased" you really meant "unmoderated" because otherwise I don't understand your statement. If a thread skews negative then it is biased by definition.
We don't apply bias, we moderate. In order to keep the peace, we try not to let complaints become repetitious while allowing them to be expressed, and we try not to let someone pressure a manufacturer with negative posts here. We walk a fine line and we often get flak for it. Even when we don't, we have members resenting our interference, as is evident from this thread. We've joked that we should not moderate anything for a week and see if the disgruntled would like it if they got what they want. I'm willing to bet my stash that few people, if any, would like the outcome.
As for VXL, we don't know what their lawyers tell them. They're in a hard spot because they are questioned here all the time, sometimes belligerently. If they don't respond there's a segment ready to criticize them for silence, and if they do they risk complicating their legal position.
While most of the points have been covered here already, I'll try to add some worthwhile .
The assumption that vape makers pay a fee here is incorrect; the only requirement for them to post here is that they abide by the forum and manufacturer rules. You'd be surprised to know how few manufacturers even say "thank you" -- sometimes they even do the opposite and tell us how to run the forum. I think that when there's a good thing going, people sometimes take it for granted and get ticked off when things aren't perfect.
The first forum rule is that the rules themselves exist to keep the forum fun, informative, and manageable. Yes there's always room for improvement, but I think we do a damn good job at maintaining that balance for the most part. From my time behind the scenes here I know very well that it's rarely possible to please everyone. As has been said, we have a report system and a staff forum where issues are analyzed and a lot of effort goes into finding the best resolutions.
I know that members don't see that side of things, and when something doesn't turn out the way they want, it can be discouraging. It's unfortunate when that happens, and I can understand the frustration. With that being said, please trust me that there are some really smart people behind the scenes here and if those frustrated members saw things from the other side they would likely have a different outlook.
I'll try to address some specifics.
Come on, that's not a very productive way to start off if you're truly concerned.
No manufacturer has any special protection here. We have rules governing regular members and commercial posters and we enforce them as best we can. I think the following rule is the source of some contention.
Don’t attack products or companies. You can post your opinion, and you can criticize, but posts written to offend are not allowed. State your complaint and move on.
This forum was created to be a champion for the consumer and nothing has changed there. We've also always had a "Be Nice" rule. A little tact goes a long way, and it's almost always possible to say exactly what you want without being offensive while doing it. I understand that this can be difficult when you've got a broken vape, but we do ask that you challenge yourself.
As for the last part of the rule, when the same complaint has been posted for the umpteenth time it ceases to be helpful. Again, I know that not everyone is going to read through a thread before posting, especially when they've got a broken vape. I hope that members can appreciate the balance that we try to maintain.
While what you said is true, I think that leading by example is of the utmost importance and personally I always try to do so.
I have one conversation from you and I was the last to post in it back on June 5th. If you truly feel that you didn't get an answer please feel free to reply. If you didn't get the answer you wanted to hear, I'm sorry but again, there's more than one side to an issue. The issue discussed in that conversation has in fact been discussed in great detail by our staff and acted upon. The report system is very useful in handling forum issues and I encourage you to use it if you see a need.
But really, the staff are a large part of what make it so great here. Not many other forums are so clean and full of information. We have numerous manufactures with active reps on here sharing information and answering questions. We have a classified section that isnt full of spam or bullshit. Threads are kept civil and on topic so that information is easy to find.
Look at the many other cannabis related boards. Not many of them are as mature and chock-full of information.
I occasionally feel as if they side with the manufactures a little strongly, but there are a lot of reasons for why this happens when it does I'm sure.
I agree, I know they seem to come down hard from the outside looking in, but really they're like family who are comfortable just being straight with us!
That said, I still think sellers only should be allowed to post replies in the classifieds!
Personal opinions are one thing but this is a loss of functionality!
Yes, and as we explained (several times) in the thread Crohnie is mourning, that was the original intent but the software does not support it. We were faced with a choice and it's been made. As far as staff is concerned, we have the least of several evils. Some bullets are made to be bitten.
and oh yeah, .
I'd like to chime in a bit.
I love FC.
This place is very, very similar to another forum I was previously very active on, which was dedicated to a particular make of car.
There are a LOT of forums dedicated to various auto/trucks, but many, like many, many forums dedicated to weed, seem very juvenile, unhelpful, and often is just a home for spambots.
That forum, like this one, has a very dedicated owner, and a core group of moderators that will come down heavy on those that push the rules just a bit too far, or who do not know when to just let something go.
If you (generically "you". IOW any of "you" including "me") are feeling a bit "nose-flicked" about a particular thread/response/whatever, maybe stop and ask yourself - Did I grab that and run with it? Often, when I've been "moderated", I'll calm down enough to realize that, yeah, I was just trying to dig in and make MY point, when the point was really moot.
I do understand why certain threads (and their respective manufacturers) MIGHT seem to be given more leniency/less leniency than others - depending on where the storm surge is hitting, and how long it seems to be threatening, will determine how much damage control a mod will attempt. Very popular, rapidly surging threads (new vape release, anyone?) will require much, much closer watch, to keep the sheer volume of "are we there yet?" and "but, mine is broke!" postings from completely rendering a thread useless, while still providing needed information "open a claim ticket, idiot" and a healthy amount of traffic.
The mods, while seeming like the ultimate baby-sitters, are not being paid for this. They are also NOT the mediators for issues someone might have with a manufacturer.
It is sad that most people seem to not remember that manufacturers are businesses, and when dealing with a business, you might try using the normal support channels. I see this on facebook (used to) all the time.
An advertising arm of the company will use all sorts of social media to be their name/product out there, but THE SUPPORT people are NOT there - call the phone number, use the "contact us" on their website, etc. The salesperson that updates the status CANNOT fix your vape.*
[*unless, of course, it is a one-man/woman/entity operation. Those on here have frequently requested that FC-ers actually use their support ticket system, anyway]
Anyway, all of that was to say Thank You to @vtac and the rest of the mods, and happy holidays to the rest of us.
Remember, for every carol played in a store before thanksgiving, an elf kills a baby reindeer. Stop the slaughter.
My wrists have been slapped on a few occasions here on FC, and in each case upon reflection soon after I was grateful for it. My jets either needed to be cooled or I needed to be made to realize that my point had in fact been made in spades and possibly AD NAUSEAM. Their little voice in my head helps me to keep better focused and on topic, and more careful in my selection of words that might otherwise trespass onto personal territory which isn't usually necessary to make the point. I feel FC mods overall handle things quite well, with wisdom and fairness, keeping our threads from getting too gunked up, nasty, and derailed. Rarely have I felt that they were being over-bearing or unduly critical, and once again upon reflection, later thought better of that.
Some laws do actually help save us from ourselves. I think the "governance" of things here is pretty darn good! Thanks!
Thanks for the kind words, it really does mean a lot.
I will be the first to say that I'm not a perfect moderator. I do make an effort to be the best I can be with an open and reasonable mind, but I get things wrong and I miss a lot. Although I can do better than I have been at times, the time when I could read every new post here is long gone. The moderators here rely heavily on member reports to help us keep things in check here and I encourage anyone who feels that we don't enforce the rules evenly to report posts that appear to be breaking the rules.
As the sticky thread in this section says, if you have a question or comment about the rules we govern this forum by you're more than welcome to post it in this section. All of our rules truly were written to keep the forum fun, informative, and manageable, and after 6 years of tweaking I think they're pretty solid for the most part.
An important point I forgot to make when I typed that is that we can't read every new post. I keep up with the threads that I'm interested in, and as a result, those threads are going to get moderated more thoroughly. Same goes for the other mods. Again, we rely on community reports to help cover the whole forum.
Once more, no vape maker is required or encouraged to provide compensation for the ability to post here. Our sponsors page is linked in the menu bar at the top of the site. As you can see, there is only 1 vape maker there. Even when a manufacturer is generous enough to offer support to the site I make it clear that they will not be afforded any special consideration when it comes to the rules. In fact, that very manufacturer was banned a couple weeks ago. When they broke the rules they got a warning point just like anyone else would.
Believe me I'm as pessimistic as anyone. Greed runs much of our civilization, so I understand your concerns. I don't expect everyone to believe me, but I have done my best to keep this site as unbiased and organic as possible and have turned down hundreds of advertising offers from stores and promoters.
A leading cause of ruffled feathers is when members don't read through threads before posting in them. It's a real challenge for us behind the scenes to keep threads informative and topical without offending anyone. I'm sure to some people it seems like we're too heavy-handed while others feel we let too much slide. It's impossible to please everyone all the time, so we just strive to have the best set of rules possible and apply them to the best of our ability for the best of the community.
Is there any way to enable bump without replies? It takes FOREVER to sell anything now...
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