help removing topic & abuse of power
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Joined: March 3, 2002
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help removing topic & abuse of power
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Posted on Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:05 am
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could someone help remove the topic that cynake locked in the knitting circle forum? it is insulting to an upstanding member who didn't realize she was doing something wrong. i tried, but in the moderator page the pages 80, 79 and 78 all returned invalid sessions for me.

also, cynake, please do not do anything of this nature again. if you disagree with something, ask about it, or just delete the thread entirely and contact the member via PM. appearantly she has asked you to delete the thread and you have ignored her request.

people have advertised sales here in the past, and so few people do it no one bothers about it. the threads are rarely replied to and they are quickly sifted to the bottom of the list. (or ignored altogether.)

if this truely is a great rule violation, would you mind siting the rule for me? it would appear somewhere in our content policy, if anywhere. you could also site some other precedent that might possibly give you this authority...

i will suggest that punitive action be taken against -you- if you overstep your authority again. frankly MAIL could lose both you and i as admins and feel no loss.

kim


PSA: remember to stretch.
3.o is fixing everything.

Joined: November 20, 2003
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Posted on Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:29 am
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It is done. I also agree with you kim. If I have anything more to say it will be private.

Joined: April 15, 2002
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Re: help removing topic & abuse of power
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Posted on Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:03 am
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sakredchao wrote:
Also, cynake, please do not do anything of this nature again. if you disagree with something, ask about it, or just delete the thread entirely and contact the member via PM. appearantly she has asked you to delete the thread and you have ignored her request.


That's, interesting advice to give me. If I disagree, ask about it, don't just act? What did you just do here?

I wasn't aware that a moderator had to ask anyone's permission to moderate a topic that was against forum policy.

I did *not* ignore her request.

First, I edited the thread.

Second, I immediately afterwards posted a private message to her telling her why her message was moderated and the concerns I had with advertising.

Third, I answered 3 or 4 messages of hers, reviewed her request, and denied it. I did not ignore it, I disagreed with it, and I explained why. Believe it or not, I have these things called reasons, for acting the way I do.

Fourth, I offered that she re-read the post I made, without assuming there were bad intentions behind it, and if after doing so, if she still thought it was an embarrasment, that I would post a follow-up to further clairify her position and further stress that the post was not intended to shame her, only to adhere to (and mention) the rule and policy.

I recieved no further reply. I assume since you so suddenly took issue with this that she then contacted you and convinced you right quick.

Quote:
people have advertised sales here in the past, and so few people do it no one bothers about it. the threads are rarely replied to and they are quickly sifted to the bottom of the list. (or ignored altogether.)


People advertising in the past does not mean it was okay then. It means it slipped by then, or it was a lot more minor of an incident. The fact that forum abuses generally dissapear after a while doesn't make it any better. Part of her reasoning for why it was okay was because she saw someone else do something similiar recently, and figured hers was no worse.

You've always campaigned hard for ZERO comercialism, any at all. Even if it would help pay MAIL's bills.

When a thread was created specifically as an unsolicited business advertisement, yes, I thought that it should be moderated.

I had reasoning, I went into details with Shelly as to why it was important that I acted how I did, and took efforts to minimize any negative side-effects on her side, which I also saw as negative.

Quote:
if this truely is a great rule violation, would you mind siting the rule for me? it would appear somewhere in our content policy, if anywhere. you could also site some other precedent that might possibly give you this authority...


What might possibly give me the authority to moderate a thread? Maybe that I'm *a moderator*? When I see things out of line, I'm to moderate them. That's a responsibility, not something I use to push people around with.

Is anything "truely a great violation"? Since when do we let everything slip by unless it's life or death?

What gives you the authority to immediately declare me acting on my responsibilities an "Abuse Of Power", go behind my back and over my head to immediately overrule my actions without even asking me what the deal was, then accuse me of overstepping *my* authority?

I'm accountable for my actions. I'm accountable to the membership and the BOD. This wasn't an abuse of power. This was a use of power. A good use, that made the community better. That's why we have moderators.

It's not like I suspended her accout for making a spelling mistake. I locked a thread that was an ad post, and explained why.

It's not a personal attack, I don't know her at all and had no opinion on her. Though, I wasn't going to show favortism either. I also explained that even if, say Jon of TRL, who's our finance minister and BOD member, posted a new thread on MAIL announcing what TRL had on sale, that I would have moderated that too. Same as if, say, Charles at DC would spam the knitting circle with an ad of his own. At the very least, talks of sales and deals should stay in the Chat forum, not posted to the Knitting circle just because the most people read there.

Quote:
i will suggest that punitive action be taken against -you- if you overstep your authority again.


Heh. What *punitive* action would you like to take Kim? I'm a vollunteer. I put *my* time into the site to help *it*. I don't even chainmaille that much. What do I get out of this besides a good feeling for helping make something better? What's punative action going to be? Making me put more work into the site?

Gimme a break.

And for christsakes, even if you disagree, at least support your fellow BOD member's decisions until you at least find out what their reasoning was. You don't need to start a thread telling everyone what an ass you think I am without even having asked two words of explanation from me.

I'm not an idiot. I didn't wake up this morning and decide that today would be a good day to pick someone on MAIL and harass them just for kicks. I've used moderation powers, what, *2* times in the last year and a bit? 3 maybe?

Joined: March 3, 2002
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Posted on Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:25 pm
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did you happen to notice that martin was actually -selling- things in the knitting circle a couple of threads away? and bumping it..

i'll go back and read your post when i have an hour to spare.

kim


PSA: remember to stretch.
3.o is fixing everything.

Joined: November 20, 2003
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Posted on Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:31 pm
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Other than saying that I would have handled the situation a bit differently, I won't join the fight. I don't feel like either side is totally in the right.

More importantly, I think we should have something about advertising written into the charter. There indeed is nothing at all. I don't feel like every form of advertising should be 100% strictly banned. It may sound like cheapening, but I would go with a rough set of rules something like:

1. Anything (commercial) OT, not maille related, is considered spam and immediately deleted.

2. Professional business advertisments by the proprietor or employee is prohibited (it would feel like a market in here, unless we want a separate forum for that). Also, personal sites to sell things can go in links, not the forum.

3. Informative references to third party sales are allowed. I don't know what the post in question was, but I would consider it ok for a mailler to say on the board "Hey, I found some company selling this wire or doodads cheap! They might be gone soon." That's because they're just trying to help maillers, not promote business. Remember there was a thread like that before about the silver stuff for free with just a shipping charge? No one cared, it was more about informing maillers of a good deal.

Joined: November 23, 2002
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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:43 am
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As Tesserex said, no side is entirely right, it never is in these situations.

as for the additions to the charter, i agree. should a member wish to promote their own site, they can apply for a link, not put a 'sale' thread in the Knitting Circle.

While we are all voulenteers, we also must remain responsable to the public we serve in our voulenteering; this means that we must hold to certain ethical standards and remain indifferent when it comes to opinions on the membership. just because i don't like (insert name here) does not mean that i should treat them any differently than (insert name here) whom i do like.

I personally have never found the need to close, lock or edit a thread thus far (either someone beats me to it or there is nothing wrong), but i would say that in the situation described, i would have deleted the thread rather than locking it, because if if violates rules, (which i am not going to read or cite at this time) it should not be left locked and available, especially if it causes stress or harm to the membership.

yes, i'm not as active here as i would like, and i need to update my submissions badly (have a bunch more) but that makes me no less responsable to the public should i have taken an action which is disargeeable.

so, i reserve judgement when it comes to this situation, i cannot support either side.
however, if something like this happens again, with any of our staff, i suggest the person in question be held responsable for their actions and be treated accordingly.


thousands of rings, sure chance of slip 'n jab, what are we watin' for?

Joined: April 15, 2002
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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:01 am
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Tesserex wrote:
More importantly, I think we should have something about advertising written into the charter. There indeed is nothing at all. I don't feel like every form of advertising should be 100% strictly banned.


I'm in agreement. We've had longstanding no comercialism policy here, it's strongly voiced every time we even lean in that direction. We have no trade forum because we've decided that is not to occur here. Even a forum to leave supplier feedback was met with strong opposition. As it turns out, it's not actually a written rule (though if we're throwing books, "Off-Topic" can be stretched to apply to ads), though as I've been told, it's much more than just an unwritten rule. It was a founding principle. I wasn't around for MAIL's original creation, 5 or whenever years ago, I joined ship about a month after, but, that's what I've been told.

I already have about 15 pages worth of commentary written up, from when I explained my actions to various people who inquiered what's wrong and why. I'll quote as briefly as possible.

Here's my take. "Unsolicited comercial advertising", should be banned, as a start.

Which, I'll take a moment to define:

Unsolicited means it was not asked for. For example, I like pizza, and I eat a lot of it, and I like to pay less for pizza. But Pizza Hut, Dominos, Little Caesars, Panago, etc, putting junkmail in my mailbox, or finding my email addy and emailling me, or calling me up and asking if I want pizza, is still just as unsolicited as it was if I hated pizza. Solicited would be if I asked Pizza Hut to call me at the end of the month with their best deal on pizza.

Comercial means for a profit. Or, even, for a motive (like a chairity would have, even though they're non-profit, though we might an exception).

Advertising is where you talk about your company and try to garner business/donations, or publicity.

This is independant of whether: 1) It comes from an active, good-standing member, 2) It involves chainmaille in some way, and 3) It might be beneficial to a few members. At the very least, that belongs in the Chat forum only.

An example of what this is NOT: Someone says "Where is a good place to buy cheap copper?". That's a legit question. You reply with "Hey, I sell copper. Here's my website." Even though it's completely shameless, it *IS* solicited, so, it's a legit answer. In general, one would let your customers and other word of mouth speak for you, since those are actual opinions, rather than a sales pitch. General good ediquette would be to not be so shameless, and you might have members telling you to shut up and stop always running around promoting yourself, but, unless it gets really bad, it's not mod criteria.

Another example of what it's not? People beaming with pride, talking about their work. Unless it's a salespitch, (and even then, if people use some tact, I have no problem).

I'm a participant on a knife forum. There, people often want to talk to/about very specific knife makers or dealers (who're also members). Example, someone hears rumours of a knife maker coming out with a new product line, and they heard it'll be this or that new bearing system. It's very exciting, and it serves the community to allow the businesses to reply and give details and talk. It even serves the community for those businesses to post about new developments.

Not so much the case here, because we're not maille collectors looking to buy products with features, we're *all* fabricators and artists. Anyway, the rule there (which works very well) is that you can't do business there. You generally avoid talking about prices, or doing actual dealing on the forums. Sometimes it makes sense to do that anyway. There's very few problems with bending rules, since it tends to be (somewhat wealthy) collector gentlemen with manners, reputation and good judgement, not high school kids and hippy bohemian crowd of artists like we have here. It doesn't suit us nearly as much to bend the rules, since this community focuses on art creation, not product purchasing. Still, if talked about, a good rule is no business dealing, no prices.

....

Example #2: The Femaillers callender. That was: 1) A group project by maillers, 2) A chairity effort, and 3) In circumstances where they needed help from the community, because the community let them down and didn't fill orders. Even then.. it was posted only in the Chat forum, and only after private consultation to an admin and an admin discussion checking first. *That* situation is about as close to bending the rules as we should get.

.....

Example #3: Is there a difference between someone mentioning a garage-sale type of event, and a business avertisement? In my opinion yes. There is a difference in magnetude. There is a difference in frequency. There is a difference in future consequences if allowed.

Consider a community-funded and run library. Someone with a card that comes in once or twice a week, one day posts a notice by the doors that they just have too many books, and are getting rid of a bunch so they can afford new ones, so, if anyone wants them, to come and grab them. That's not a good thing, but, meh, no big deal, and it's a community member and it's all a close community. They'd probably let it slide.

Then, say, a rep from Barnes & Noble comes in, who also has a card and comes in once or twice a week, sees that notice and decides "Hey, that is no different than me advertising here.", and comes and puts up posters in study rooms and on the walls by the checkout line, announcing their sales. Well, it's about books, and, it's a sale, right? So what's the problem?

Then say Amazon, Chapters, etc reps come by, see the B&N posters, and figure "Hey, there's an ad. We can put ads up here? Great. That'll be a great way to target our consumerbase. We'll do direct marketing too!" and they put up ads in rooms and hire people with a box full of books to approach people in the library, or people reading or browsing for books, "Hi, I see you're browsing murder mysteries. I'm from UglyBooks and we have this new best-seller called Stupid MysteryBook, it's only $10.95, would you like to buy a copy today?" Why not?

Then have this be noticed by smaller people in the industry, authors, people who sell writing guides, speech coaches, etc, who see "Wait, if those big names can do this, why can't I?" so they try to get their foot in the door by the same method. Soon, everyone's advertising everything, just to break even with their competitors.

Almost immediately down that line, the library stops being a better place to be by those things being allowed. Towards the end of that line, the library stops being somewhere people want to be at all. And at each step, the previous step does not look any different.

Magnetude, frequency, and consequences.

Consider also, that library chatter in the real world among patrons is different from posted ads, but it's not distinguishable on a net forum. On a net forum, all discussion is post-based, so you bump into ads just by trying to be in a discussion. There's hairsplitting involved as to whether talking about a sale is discussion, or posting an ad. Then add in that we can't catch everything and are inconsistent.

Well, we've recentely let some of the first type of occurances slip, and it has already, directly, caused a jump to the second type.

.....

Example #4: There's grey area if someone else notices your sale and decides to post a thread on it, grey because it's still rather comercial.

If we allow people to point out others having sales, it will take all of two seconds for businesses to figure out all they have to do is have their advertising masqueraded as innocent postings, by getting a friend to "notice" and post it for them. It gets pretty damned easy to circumvent the rule. But, difficult to make a judgment call on.

....


The easiest thing would be to ban everything, then mods would have no hard decisions to make, or explanations to give. I don't want to do that. Unfortunately, that means any decision a mod makes is going to piss people off, because they don't see any difference between what they did and what was allowed in other circumstances.

That's part of being a moderator. To read a situation, consider the impact of acting or not acting, making a judgement call, then being responsible for your actions.

I think a model similiar to our language laws is best. To be left intentionally vague. It gives moderators a chance to use their own judgement rather than have to define every possible incident. That also means that we have to support our moderators when they make those decisions, not jump to conclusions and spit in their faces.

1) No unsolicited comercial advertising.
2) By-the-way advertising possibly okay, subject to moderator judgement whether it was "coincidental".
3) You can get away with a link in your signiture, (pending moderator judgement, if it's out of control you'll be asked to modify it, like anything else).
4) You can get away with pretty much anything you want in your profile.
5) No links/ads in gallery images, only a copyright name watermark. Same goes for weaves.
6) All other incidents subject to moderator interpretation. Light touch prefered. Act only when necessary.
7) We don't let things slip by until they're at a disaster level. We also don't reward or encourage the people who *start* making something a problem by letting them get away with it until everyone else hops onboard before dealing with it.
Uber Member standing, how much they help MAIL, how much they link to MAIL, how much they've contributed, BOD status, etc, does not grant anyone special exception. It might be useful for examining their motives, but it doesn't justify bending rules.

Having good rules in place will go 90% of the way towards doing the work for us. If people think they can get away with something, they'll try. If they see they can't, they won't bother trying. The best rules are the ones that are fair, but never need to be enforced.

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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:06 am
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i received a PM from shelley stating her distress. that she did not understand the rules, because we have none as yet. yes, i took action on it.

my opposition to commercialism has been not officially advertising for one company over another. we all basically know who would get the slot, and that's not fair to the little guys. i am opposed to showing favoritism one way or another. doing what was done to shelley and ignoring martins' thread, to me, is showing favoritism.

just politely telling a person, "hey this is against the rules, please don't do it." is enough. there was no repeat offense. she wasn't even given a chance to publicly appologize for posting it, which she is very sorry she did, now that she realizes she broke an unstated taboo.

i did not see your post as "minimizing any negative side effects on her side", but rather the opposite.

my response to this issue was inappropriate. simply getting the thread deleted and talking to you via PM would probably have been better than what i did. i treated you like you treated her, almost to the letter. and that makes me in the wrong, as well.

i still disagree with how you handled the moderation. but also with how i handled it. i have received a couple PMs stating that they were glad an admin defended shelley in this. i think something did need to be done. i choose to do it in a condemning way, which was inappropriate. i appologize.

the idea has been tossed around before about some sort of trade circle, or bizzare bizzare. perhaps it's time for that.

kim


PSA: remember to stretch.
3.o is fixing everything.

Joined: March 3, 2002
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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:17 am
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all the libraries i use have a place where people can sell stuff, related to books or not. personal business or not. there is a special, localized place for this information. it never annoys me, and sometimes i have used these notices to purchase land. sometimes i read them and lauigh, "you've got to be kidding me, that's ridiculous." but then i get a belly laugh. everyone wins.

kim


PSA: remember to stretch.
3.o is fixing everything.

Joined: November 23, 2002
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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:02 pm
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Well, on the note against advertising.

I would like to add an addendum to the purposed change to the charter; reading as this.

One time sales of raw materials by individuals in limited quantities will be allowed under the following conditions;
-They do not violate other forum rules
-These sales are used to clear out limited ammounts of raw materials or equipment and are not used to make personal profit; any thread judged by the MAIL staff to be inviolation of this will be closed without notice. These should be considered 'garage sales', and should be treated as such.
-Raw materials being sold must not not be sold above market value; this is at the descretion of the MAIL moderators
- raw materials shall include; loose rings, coils and wire, clasps, beads and other findings. any material that is 'partially assembled' shall not be sold or mentioned.
-equipment shall be in 'like new' or 'used' condition. no sales of new items will be permited. Equipment is defined as, mandrils, pliers, saws, cutters, snips or other such tools. no jigs or other such home-made equipment shall be sold.
-repeated 'garage' type sales by any member will be closed down and the poster may face punitive action.

It is understood that if a moderator feels that such a sale violates any of the above rules or any MAIL policies, it will be closed down without notice and the poster will be notified. repeted offenses will result in punitive action.

Any user sale used to promote a commercial site will be closed down immediately and the poster will be subject to punitive action, which may include the denial of futher sale threads, temporary or even permanent removal of that user account, dependant on previous history and severity of the adverisment.

MAIL, it's Administrators , Moderatiors and/or BOD will not be held responsable for any problems between sellers or buyers. By posting any such thread or engaging in business with any of the membership over the internet, you fully accept the inherrent risks associated with such things.


thousands of rings, sure chance of slip 'n jab, what are we watin' for?

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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:57 pm
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I like that. The below market value thing is okay because a lot of things I see are people who find junk wire for free and sell it so they still profit, both parties gain from it.

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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:09 pm
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Hey guys,

Couldn't we eliminate the gray area by adding a commercial/trading forum, and leave it at that? Any advertising, be it full-on commercial, non-profit, or even charity could go there, and anyone who didn't want to see it could avoid the forum entirely...

Seems like it would eliminate the problem entirely.

Even if you don't think that's the way to go (and I wouldn't entirely disagree if you did), I would suggest editing the content policy, rather than the charter, since a) we wouldn't have to take a membership-wide vote, and b) I'm not sure this should be enshrined in the document that defines our organization, since future BOD's might find a good reason for allowing a little controlled commercialism (i.e. a trading forum).

Blaise


"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."

— George Bernard Shaw
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Posted on Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:27 pm
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that is a good idea, one of the other forums i have had limited time to frequent as of late

www.mcarterbrown.com, has a 'sale' and 'wanted' section. i kinda classify them in the same area as MAIL, because they serve a limited interest group.

the only thing i do not want to see is blatant comercialism. i have no problem with someone posting 'look at the great deal i got, anybody want some' or ' look here, this site has X at a grea price right now'

i absolutely do not want to see shame-less comercial plugs for retailers. it's one thing for a third party to go 'hey, look at this' it's another for a business like TRL (just as an example, because that's what i can think of) to post saying "we're having a sale on XXX XXX and XXX at $XX.XX'

this opens up a grey area, but i'm willing to use my better judgement and be wrong some of the time, rather than try and enforce a rule against any form of trading or sale


thousands of rings, sure chance of slip 'n jab, what are we watin' for?

Joined: November 20, 2003
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Posted on Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:57 am
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I wish I were the kind of person like Blaise and Dragorlad who could just stay out of the argument but I think it's really getting out of hand. I don't agree with Kim repeating the offense either, but Cynake:

#1. Although I agree that edit/lock is better than delete, your post should have been shorter, more like "This post was deleted for advertising, which is not acceptable here." I don't remember much, but it seemed like the length and authoritve tone made the offense sound much worse than it was, and the first thing I thought, BEFORE this thread existed, was "wow, I'd be embarrassed if I were her..." so yes, you DID cause that effect even if you tried to minimize it.

#2. I see your threatening to suspend an account for further offense a little... unusual. We know that wouldn't happen, but even if it did, I think suspensions require a bit of discussion first. I've only seen one human account suspension in my time here and it was a lot worse than this. I think we treat things a little more casually than you. Doesn't make either way better though.

#3. You're right. We aren't in junior high anymore. So why don't you grow up and learn to forgive? Kim apologizes for how he treated you in this case, amidst the conflict, and you threw it back in his face, and frankly, I'm finally growing weary of your holier-than-thou attitude.

Quote:
I didn't make *any* mistake.


Wow, real humble and adult of you.

Quote:
Yeah, appology not accepted.


Once again, real mature there. /sarcasm

Quote:
...or do I endevour to follow letter and spirit of the regulations set up in the charter?...


or in this case, the letter and spirit of what some of us just vaguely assumed since there is nothing in the charter on which to base a reaction. No one said there's account suspension on second offense of advertising. It sounds like you just made that up.

I really wish I could be impartial on this but reading Kim's posts, only a little of the first one seems less than level-headed.

Total change of subject: I'm also in favor of a separate trading forum. That would solve everything it seems. I can't imagine it getting clogged with anything we can't flush out.

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Posted on Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:24 am
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I?ve been following this from a distance, but WTH? Might as well jump in with both feet ? even if they may both wind up in my mouth? Rolling Eyes

Since I bought my Vanagon Westfalia camper I?ve been spending a good bit of time at TheSamba.com, which is one of many Volkswagen specific websites. They have boards much like ours and a gallery that seems more like TRL?s. They also have a fairly major sell your car and parts and wanted-to-buy advertising area. The vast majority of ?for sale? listings are individuals looking to sell their vans, though there are commercial businesses that list cars for sale as well. (I?ve been hanging around in the Vanagon area and so can?t really comment on the other areas.) I haven?t read their policies and I don?t know the technicalities behind it, but it seems to work well for that community. Structured the way it is they may even get a cut of each sale. I don't know, but it's certainly a possibility.

That?s one way of handling things.

Another might be to ban sales all together, add a statement to that effect in the content policy, and include a referral to TRL?s Trading Room and leave it at that. Then when a ?for sale? thread gets started it gets yanked and a kindly worded PM sent to the poster pointing out this policy.

I don?t have strong feelings either way, though I would like to see it codified whichever way we decide to go.


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go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
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