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Thread: The New Marketplace Rules are Too Restrictive

  1. #201

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    Re: The New Marketplace Rules are Too Restrictive

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    Really? Not even close IMHO.
    Okay, maybe I was exaggerating on that point.

  2. #202

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    Re: The New Marketplace Rules are Too Restrictive

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Graves View Post
    Can we refrain from our own personal motivations and our opinions about those and return to the original PROBLEM of over-moderation?

    '
    Jim, the problem isn't over-moderation, its people who complain about rules in a forum that has little to do with this site's purpose.

    I'm sorry that my comments on why I sell bothered you. They were in response to an earlier post. I suppose I could have said that when I sell photographic equipment I'm not an altruist. As an economist, I'm dispose to think that sellers in general aren't altruists but since this is a statement about how people behave I could well be mistaken.

  3. #203
    Jim Graves Jim Graves's Avatar
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    Re: The New Marketplace Rules are Too Restrictive

    Dan ... I thought your post was fine.

    If "over-moderation" is not the right term ... maybe "over-control" is.

    It seems like a few are disconcerted and suddenly "fixes" are required.

    If the current set of restrictions were the first we'd seen I wouldn't be here writing. The latest is just that ... the latest ... in what seems to be an ever increasing ratcheting down ... for no good reason.

  4. #204
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    Re: The New Marketplace Rules are Too Restrictive

    I think we have to recognize that the moderation of the for-sale forum isn't much different than it ever was, though the rules for that forum have indeed changed over the years.

    Here's what used to happen: People complained with other people posted comments in the threads, and asked us to delete those comments. It was worse if the transaction resulted in problems, when they wanted to air their grievances in those threads, resulting in heated arguments and accusations leveled at the mods of either squelching it or allowing it or both, depending on whose ox was being gored. The Advisories forum was our answer to that, providing a place for people to discuss these issues (positive and negative) outside the for-sale forum. Those issues have greatly diminished as a result.

    People, particularly those who had zero intention of actually buying the thing, used to challenge the seller's price. This happened routinely, and caused a great deal of complaining. One of the chief complainers is one of our most famous laissez-faire departees, near as I can remember. We prohibited such as being de facto rude quite a ffew years ago, before I was a mod, but the temptation to correct an unrealistic price remains seductive.

    Then we attracted more people who saw their role on this forum primarily as a seller of stuff, and they know that bumping is how they keep an item at the top of the list. But there's only room for a few at the top of the list, so there was a core of sellers would would try to out-bump each other. This utterly crowded out those who didn't want to play that game, and just wanted to occasionally sell something to their friends on the forum. Some of the bumpers got around that by posting vacuous statements, or getting friends to. We could have a forum where the same 20 listings dominate Page One forever, with 100 people trying to be one of those 20, but we decided, popularly with more folks here than some of you might realize, to eliminate bumping. First, we did it by rule, but that didn't work. Now, we have combined that solution with the next problem's solution.

    People used to get into such extended discussions about equipment in for-sale forums that the listing itself was lost in the discussion. People complained about that consistently, and I mean consistently. We've tried many formulas to control that urge, all of which were unsuccessful until the most recent one. We have to admit that whatever the motive, the argument that the intent was the good of the community is hard to prove. Clearly, some habitual commenters simply liked to opine about stuff. I've done that enough myself to know the symptoms. But whose job is it to correct some perceived flaw or inadequacy in a sales listing? We have to admit that the commenters were not infallible, and often enough that supplemental information proved to be incorrect or as misleading as what it purported to clarify. Certainly, there are many of good will who want the sales forum to be like a chat around the water cooler, but they were outnumbered, or at least out-complained, by those who really didn't want it to be that at all.

    We used to get many, many complaints about those who were clearly operating a store, when our guidelines prohibited dealers. We corrected that by opening the sales forum up to small dealers, but requiring them to act more like individuals rather than dealers.

    We remain open to threads like this, where a few people pillory the moderators, making the most negative possible interpretation of what they perceive, and then accuse the mods of making snarky remarks when we refute their conclusions with as much humor as we can muster. So, we are not allowed to actually participate in the forum in the way that many regular members routinely do? Or is saying it that way also snarky? Threads like these have resulted in changes in this forum over the years, often in the direction our most thoughtful members suggested. For example, there have been a couple of threads in the Lounge recently that would have been closed with many deletions in the not-too-distant past that we let ride because they remained cordial. Thank you, by the way, for keeping them cordial.

    We used to have people on this forum who would lapse into manic rants and rages over sales transactions, and in some cases threaten legal action. Some of these people called moderators on the phone to berate them in person. One guy created a Craigslist ad in another city offering to sell one of my valuable musical instruments for pennies, with my home phone number shown. Please do not believe that the moderators only dish it out. In fact, the moderators try very hard to be as open as possible, and this thread is evidence of that. Few or none of these concerned what the mods did, but what they perceived the mods allowed others to do.

    I participate in many forums, and have moderated a few. This forum by far allows people to air their grievances concerning moderation, and by far writes and applies its rules the most consistently. In most forums, the mods just delete without explanation to the deletees. We heard you when you complained that deletions were not well enough explained, and we have worked on that. The sorts of behaviors above would result in banning-without-recourse on many forums. In fact, on all the forums in which I participate. We try hard to explain the reasoning behind our moderation, but those who disagree with something we've done don't always accept those explanations in the good faith we intend. In other forums, that problem is avoided: There are rarely if ever any explanations. Some seem to equate having no rules with being democratic, and in the classical definition of the term (i.e., mob rule), perhaps that is true. But the most successful forum in which I participate is at best described as a benevolent dictatorship, which ranges between flame wars filled with ad hominem attacks to people suddenly having the word "banned" appear under their name, with no evidence of the reason why, and with any questioning of it certain to have the same result. One forum that operates this way is certainly the largest forum in the world on its particular topic, and larger than us by orders of magnitude.

    I have a pretty thick skin and usually can ignore insults, and usually I assume they are intended in good humor even when few others would. But occasionally someone gets past my defenses and they get the response they so clearly wanted to get, and then use it against me, accusing me of being adversarial with the members. Before I was a mod, I was quite a bit more adversarial than I am now, yet nobody seemed to mind, and it didn't prevent them from saying what a worthy fellow I was when I agreed to become a mod.

    We have to recognize that people are people, with good and bad qualities, some of which are two sides of the same coin. We can take the bad with the good, and believe me, the mods do that more than some of you might realize. Every person who is a moderator was a long-time and respected member here, but becoming a moderator makes us less able to participate. When I became a moderator, one person who I respect deeply suggested that it was a good thing, because maybe as a mod I would post less often. Oooookaaaaay.

    By the way, when I became a moderator, one of the old hands on the moderating staff at the time was pretty adamant that the only proper thing to do with the for-sale forum was to get rid of it. None of the current mods hold that view.

    Rick "who seems to have a better memory than some about 'the good old days'" Denney

  5. #205

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    Re: The New Marketplace Rules are Too Restrictive

    I hope not Leigh and Fishbulb....
    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    And I totally agree with your assessment and prediction.
    - Leigh
    thank you for sharing more words on this Rick, Always nice to see more of the picture and context.
    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    I think we have to recognize that the moderation of the for-sale forum isn't much different than it ever was, though the rules for that forum have indeed changed over the years.

    Here's what used to happen: ...

    I'm hopeful for more good discussions across the forum in the future, and to settling into the way things are now.
    ~nicholas
    lifeofstawa
    stawastawa at gmail

  6. #206

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    Re: The New Marketplace Rules are Too Restrictive

    Rick,

    Thanks for providing an insight into the reasoning. Unfortunately, I am still of the opinion that the changes are a tad too restrictive and don't turn this part of the otherwise great forum to the better. vBulletin allows for blocking a thread for a certain amount of time before the original poster is allowed to reply (read: bump the thread). For example the German dslr-forum.de is making good use of this. There is no discussion in a thread (as only the TO is able to respond) and bumping is limited to once per week.

    The big advantage for the seller is to adjust the price to the demand (or reality) if necessary and to resurface the offer at the same time. Now, you just re-issue the same offer as a new one, "delete" the old one, which is a waste of time and lacks transparency (history) for a potential buyer.

    If you visit the dslr-forum.de you may also take a look at how they handle (declare) "sold" items. This could be another area for improvement.

    BR

  7. #207
    sepiareverb's Avatar
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    Re: The New Marketplace Rules are Too Restrictive

    I just sold a bunch of 810 film holders on apug. Didn't even consider listing them here. The radiation is working, the tumor of FS is shrinking.

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