Lurkin wrote:- how can the mods be better supported by forum members?
Forum members can read and obey the rules.
They can also encourage all other members that are not doing so to do so.
Forum members can also use the report button whenever they see a problem post, instead of replying to it (currently this is one of the big problems with the vendor bashing threads that start out as tests, reviews, or simple vendor/customer problem reports--various members just pile on, instead of leaving it for the mods to remove or edit the extraneous posts that do not belong in the thread).
- should forum members have a greater ability to moderate their own threads (sale threads definitely come to mind)? is this more likely to lead to abuse of privilege or would it be a blessing/relief for mods?
That is a can of worms. :/ No one has "their own" threads. Threads don't belong to anyone, and as long as it is on the topic at hand, anyone is free to post in any thread.
It is certain to be abused, especially by vendors. There are some vendors who have created not-even-thinly-veiled advertising threads outside the for sale section, supposedly for members to "show off" the products they have bought from that vendor, but in reality the vendor uses the thread(s) to post more ads about their products, to make sales to more people, etc. When members post links to other people's products, the vendor complains that "their thread" is being polluted, and demand that these links be removed.
They do not have the right to ask for this, since A) it is not "their" thread, and B) they are already breaking the forum rules by posting their own products in that thread.
*If* the thread in question was in the for-sale section, *then* it would be inappropriate for others to post links to other products within that sale thread.
If everyone had the ability to moderate, posts would jsut vanish or be edited by whoever felt they should. Wikipedia works well enough on that principle, as a fact-collection repository--a discussion forum does not.
- should vendors contribute to pay moderators for the cost of their time/ equipment? Its happened in the past but kinda unofficially. Is it fair to expect vendors to have to pay to play?
No, because then they also will expect extra rights to post ads, etc. probably wherever they feel like.
Once that starts, then it will probably escalate--whoever has more money will pay for more "ad space" or other priveleges, and we end up with an ad-based forum, like we "revolted against" back in 2011, when Grin Tech took over stewardship of the site.
- what about where only one vendor offers a product, its new, and only the vendor knows about it?
That's what the Online Market for sale sections are for: to post products for sale. I don't see what the problem would be?
That's the point of this thread and poll--to determine whether or not the regular membership would prefer to have such ads all over the place, or simply maintain the existing requirement to put such threads in the for sale sections, where anyone that wants to buy something can go look for it.
If products are posted outside the for sale section instead, then what do vendors do for those that go looking in the for sale section to buy something? do they post multiple threads in various forums for each product? If they have to do that, then we also will need to change the rule against posting to multiple forums.
Its in the forum members interest to refer to it, but that's self promotion.
If you mean that it'd be self-promotion for a vendor to post about it outside the sale area, then yes. If you mean for other, unaffiliated, members to do so, then no, it wouldn't. But since we do have the sale area for people to post whatever EV-related products and services they wish, and any member can easily look there for such things, I'm still not sure what the problem is. (But that's why I started this thread...for everyone to discuss it).
- how is it fair if an unaffiliated forum member 'pumps' a vendor? especially if their "disclosed" association is dubious?
It's not--but there's no rule against people posting "I love Vendor A's stuff", any more than there is one against them posting "I hate Vendor B's stuff". There's no way to really know if someone is a shill for or against a vendor, so there's not really a way to make an enforceable rule against such things, other than disallowing ANY promotion of ANY kind by ANYONE, which would make it very difficult to discuss anything here beyond completely DIY solutions.
If no one could ever say who they bought from or what they bought, or link to any product they are not actually selling, that'd be a pretty extreme change, and it would also be just about impossible to enforce without deleting practically every build thread on the forum. :/
- Is there a duty of care expected of vendors to respond to posts which include their name?
Dunno about that--there's nothing wrong with vendors responding to support questions--but if it came down to them needing to promote something they sell to fix the problem, they probably ought to take it to PM's. Then the member with the problem would be able to post the final result, including anything they had to buy to fix it. Then there are no rule violations or ads outside the sale section.
Alternately, removing the rule against that, or modifying it, would enable the vendor to post whatever was "needed" (whether it actually was or not).
If a vendor responds to non-support questions by advertising their products, that's a different thing, and again shouldn't be a public response. If they respond privately and then their answer is posted by the questioner instead, that's like the previous instance--not a problem of spam.
- should vendors be expected to submit information for the wiki/ forum periodically as a means of non-financial contribution?
It'd be nice if they would post technical details, support documents, etc., in teh wiki, though I think it'd probably be proper for them to remove all company names/links/etc from them when they do so. I can't imagine most vendors being willing to do this. (some of them would just look on it as a great way to steal their compettitors' support docs and mark them up as their own).
I don't think we could make it a requirement, though it might be interesting to try. Since we can't even get everyone to read the rules, much less follow them, I doubt it's an enforceable requirement.
That's part of the thing about the for-sale rules: it's pretty easy to enforce a no-ads-of-any-kind-outside-a-specific-section rule. As soon as any gray-area stuff starts to be allowed, it becomes difficult to enforce. As soon as the rules get altered to make the exceptions, it gets more complicated, harder to decide about, and less likely for any particular moderator to act on it.