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Product Representatives- "Forum Moderator"- Oxymoron?

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Old 07-08-2002, 04:23 AM
  #1  
INJUN_EAR
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Default Product Representatives- "Forum Moderator"- Oxymoron?

I've noticed a very queer thing about these "forums"....

There are hobby product representatives hanging out as "moderators". You know, those people with the power to edit, and delete posts that are contrary to their business posture, or product line....

Ann Marie Cross has demonstrated the propensity to do so concerning posts that I have made, twice so with by having no less than two of my threads "killed", and one edited to remove content that was critical to her, and the company she represents.......One involved her assertion that Futaba equipment be sent in once a year for a "check-up" to ensure that it's safe, and the other that they (Great Planes, i.e. Futaba) use incorrect terms in their product brochures and instruction manuals that's amatuerist and incorrect; FM instead of the technically correct term, PPM........


Here's a question to you guys.....

Given that she contributes good information, mostly I suppose, but crosses (no pun) the line from time to time, is it "ethetical" to have a factory "product representative" asserting herself (themselves) in these supposed "unbiased discussion forums", disguised as "moderators"?????????

I, of course think not......I read her posts and they clearly whistle the company tune...Some of her answers, so much so, as to defy common sense.....

I wish I were smart enough to put this question in the form of a poll, but I'm not......

So how about it? How many of you have had your posts directly, or indirectly deleted or edited by RC8V8,...or anyone else on behalf of Ann Marie Cross, or Great Planes manufacturing, when being critical of their products???????


Question two. I have observed that AM is the dominate voice in the Radio forum. She contributes inordinately to most threads, and again, whistling the company tune....

Is this in the spirit of an open forum, or does her contribution, and repeated inputs to these threads skew the objectivity of the forum in favor of one narrow point of view, that being Great Planes product distributors?????
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Old 07-08-2002, 04:44 AM
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MikeL
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Default Product Representatives- "Forum Moderator"- Oxymoron?

I'm going to be very careful in what I say here, but no matter what I say it'll come out wrong. Bear with me.

I think AMC often crosses the line between support and marketing, but to a degree that's the nature of the beast. When someone asks about, say, a Futaba vs. JR product she's right there to provide GP's info. Is that support, or is it marketing? Some will argue it's both, but when a person is using the information to make a purchase decision I think it's marketing. That should be a no-no, to me.

I think people often get very uncomfortable with negative opinions about products, particularly in RC it seems. Everyone tends to jump to the manufacturer's defense when information about a bad experience is given out. Often that has to do with the way the experience is presented, but I think one of the reasons for these message boards is for modelers to give each other the strait dope on the products they've used, for better or worse. Somehow that idea falls into conflict with the manufacturer's reps that appear, and with the idea of site sponsors.

Where's the line? That's up to Marc, but he should be aware of how his users feel.
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Old 07-08-2002, 06:34 AM
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Mike James
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Default Danger... Rambling ahead.

Personally, I don't have any problem with it, because in the "signature" portion of her posts, she is clearly identified.

It'd be just like that, talking to a group of people at a big flying meet. Some will be reps, and you'll probably know that while you're talking to them. So we all make our own judgement about "trusting the rep" or not.

I say the more the merrier. I will read all the things I can on this forum, but then make my own decisions about what to do, what to buy, etc.. It's been a great experience for me so far. I've made a lot of new friends, established new relationships with a variety of information sources, learned some new techniques, and even found an outstanding building partner to work with. (Paul Reese)

That doesn't suck at all!
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Old 07-08-2002, 07:25 AM
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Default Product Representatives- "Forum Moderator"- Oxymoron?

I tend to be impressed by products that do have people who are willing to contribute. AMC is always clearly identified, I can't see any sneaking or disguise involved.

I also don't believe that just because she is professionally involved in modelling and knows what she's talking about she should be prevented from having opinions. After all we all know who she is and where she's coming from. There are many other people posting here with only handles, no real names, and I personally have no idea who they are or what their agendas might be. As just one example, for all I know INJUN_EAR could be a rep for a competing company and that could be why he/she is so keen to criticise Futaba/Great planes (and apparently only them). Probably not so but how do we tell ?

As for the Radio forum it seems to me that AMC answers questions when she knows the answers. That's generally regarded as a good thing . Has any other company/manufacturer been refused the right to have their reps post answers or is it simply that the others don't have anyone who can be bothered to turn up here and answer our questions ?

Steve
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Old 07-08-2002, 10:40 AM
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Default Product Representatives- "Forum Moderator"- Oxymoron?

Y'all seem to have missed the VERY important point about DELETING POSTS/THREADS. If I-Ear's contention is true, that practice should NOT be tolerated regardless of the value of AMC's contributions. Say it ain't so Ann Marie!
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Old 07-08-2002, 12:07 PM
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Steve Lewin
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Default Product Representatives- "Forum Moderator"- Oxymoron?

You'll note the Injunear is fairly careful with his language. He claims, without any evidence I've seen, that AMC "had" his threads killed or edited. Not did it herself just had it done. Any proof ? He is apparently claiming the the other moderators are puppets of Ms Cross. And the proof is ?

It's a shame when a potentially useful contributor gets all bitter and twisted and spends his time attacking other contributors rather than helping people. But it happens.

That's my last contribution. I expect I'm already on IEs hit list as an obvious AMC puppet.

Steve
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Old 07-08-2002, 12:40 PM
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Default Product Representatives- "Forum Moderator"- Oxymoron?

.
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Old 07-08-2002, 12:42 PM
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Default Product Representatives- "Forum Moderator"- Oxymoron?

I feel that AMC is a asset to RCU as other Company reps are also, sure she as others stick closely to the company line, wouldn't you also if employed by that Company. So therefore they sometimes are not as objective as we who have no connection to the products the reps represent. Sure they are Moderators of their own forums, as a few people cannot state their cases with out slamming a product or service, and they ask to be able to moderate their own forums. I believe it is ethical for factory reps able to control their own forums. The line they draw in the sand might be to the left or right of RCU policy, but not bye much if at all. One only hast to treat others as they themselves want to be treated to never be moderated in these forums. If we disagree with a statement some factory Rep makes, we have a choice to to disagree, but this is not the place to slam, or slander either the Reps or the products they represent, as there are other places on the web for that. This is only my option. If any one would like to discuss this off line further, PM or email me, and I will be happy to debate till the cows come home.
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Old 07-08-2002, 02:02 PM
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Default Product Representatives- "Forum Moderator"- Oxymoron?

Hang on here. Lets take a step back and look at the big picture.
The manufacturer's direct support forum is just that. Direct support. Users are asked not to interfere so that AMC's replies, or any other direct support forum and it's rep., are not hindered or countered. It is HER forum just as Hitec's forum is Mike's and JR's is Danny's. I guess I look at those forums as separate entities within the confines of RCU. They are someone elses' backyards that I have permission to walk in but not play in.
It would seem ethically responsible to not slam, debase, or otherwise contradict a manufacturer in it's own forum but in the forum of the user's choice of equipment. An E-mail or PM to the party(s) involved would be my first course of action.
Of course one can't exclaim how much better, for example, JR's radio is than Futaba's in the Futaba forum.
As we are all human we are prone to errors. If AMC, Danny, or Mike makes a mistake so be it. The road to correction is only a few key-strokes away.
I, for one, am grateful these people have taken the time to answer our questions to the best of their abilities and would be rather sore if any one of them decided to vacate this site because of inconsiderate people.

Remember, opinions are free but good advise from those in-the-know generally isn't. Try going to a certified auto mechanic that you don't know personally and ask him specifics as to how to replace the rocker arms in your V8 and see what he says.

I am by no means pointing fingers or making accusations. I'm just looking at it from a different perspective and voicing my opinion. The examples I provided above are purely fictional and do not reflect postings made by anyone.

Jeff
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Old 07-08-2002, 02:25 PM
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Default Ann Marie

I have to clearly state that Ann Marie is a complete and valuable asset to RCU. She is there to deal with questions about the products that she sells and represents, and it has been my experiance that Great Planes takes care of bussiness on all fronts. As for the issue of deleted and edited posts, I cannot speak for for Ann Marie as to the whys and where fors, however I would ask one question. Did you contact Great Planes directly with your concerns and problems? Was your post concerning the troubles that you were having factual or just a rant to vent your frustrations? There have been many posts in the forums that have clearly stated how upset the poster was about a Great Planes problem and when they are advised to contact Great Planes directly, they updated thier post with just how Great Planes was going out of the way to make things right. This is not a perfect world we live in and sometimes we as consumers do buy something that is not right or does not work. It is the true measure of any company when it comes to dealing with these issue's and I have nothing but positive comments about Great Planes and the way they handled my problems. How many other companies have put up post's stating they made a mistake with the kits or the plan's and posted the solution on line? I really like the idea that Ann Marie and the other company reps are just a post away from any question that I might have about a problem with a specfic product. It is this spirit that makes RCU and all the Reps a valuable asset, one that I use on a regular basis. Thanks Dave.
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Old 07-08-2002, 03:56 PM
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Default Some of you guys just have way too much time on your hands

Really!
Steve and Mike have the gyst of it. That's reality. Not sure what to make of the rest of it?
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Old 07-08-2002, 04:01 PM
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Default Product Representatives- "Forum Moderator"- Oxymoron?

Jazz got it right.....

If I understand Injun correctly, he is talking about the manufacturers forum. The rules for that forum state that it is for only direct contact. Us "regular folk" aren't supposed to be providing advice, etc.

You can always start another thread which can only be edited, deleted, modified, by the other moderators.

Mike
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Old 07-08-2002, 04:18 PM
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Default Product Representatives- "Forum Moderator"- Oxymoron?

First, as the user above points out the direct support forums are ALL subsets of RCU. The support reps in there only have the ability to edit/delete or request this be done in their own forums. For obvious reasons this is necessary at times and we can all think of several examples. The support reps ability to edit/delete outside of their forums is non existent.

Second, the support personnel are clearly identified and not hiding under usernames or aliases so a user knows what bias if any the info they get should be considered under if they feel they need to do that.

Third, not a single company has been turned down from providing a direct support forum here and that will be policy. All manufacturers who have asked or been asked to participate here to help users are accepted without any conditions. They do not pay us for the support forums but merely do it as an additional customer service/support outlet to help the modelers.

Lastly...let's talk about bias and responsibility to advertisers. Right now and for months we haven't been advertising for the Hobbico/GP/Futaba/Tower conglomerate so we don't owe them anything or vice versa. We never advertised for JR, YS Engines, OS Engines, Supertigre, Hitec Radios, turbine makers and so on. So for those who question us being "nice" to those who advertise here that at this time that is obviously not the case. It is out of respect for the companies and individuals that we try to keep unsubstantiated negative comments off the forum as the damage to a company or person can be large and is many times unfounded.

I've been involved in killing posts/threads for claims made that were 1000% totally untrue so I know what this is all about. There will be times where we may edit/delete where there is some truth to it but we try to research it and gather facts. Many times it is difficult to do but I assure each of you that the moderators and myself are all just regular guys just like you. Nothing special about us and we all want the same thing which is to get the highest level of accurate information out to the users and I'll admit and so will the moderators that the system isn't perfect but everyone tries their sincerest best so RCU is a great place for us RC nuts to hang our hat.

As far as the direct support forums are concerned they are there to answer questions and provide tech support. Not marketing questions stating how something should be or how you want it. This is tech support. Much of what gets knocked out of those forums is running into opinions or disagreement on marketing or product design which again should be taken up with the companies marketing department or brought up in other forums here.
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