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New rules: overt commercialism from industry members


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#1 echeng

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 06:20 PM

Hello, community -

Wetpixel has been a vibrant venue for the discussion of underwater imagery for nearly ten years. We have always been somewhat unique because we are a place where industry members mingle openly with non-industry members.

Recently, a few industry members have crossed the line of commercialism, so we are putting in some strict rules for industry members to follow. Ideally, every member would be 100% objective, but this is simply not the case. When one industry member is allowed to post something self-promoting, it brings down Wetpixel's integrity and causes other industry members to complain. Unfortunately, the only solution is to implement a double standard. This does not affect non-industry members.

Starting now, overtly commercial posts from industry members will be deleted without warning.

Industry members, here are some guidelines to help you keep your posts within policy:

- In your area of commercial endeavor, only factual posts and support posts are allowed. So if you are a housing manufacturer or retailer, you can post opinions about diving destinations, but not opinions about any underwater housing on the market (including your own).

- No product announcements. All product announcements must be made via press release on the front page by contacting Wetpixel. Note that non-industry members *can* post links to announcements. Sorry, but this is how it is going to have to be.

- No inventory announcements (e.g. "Strobe XX is in stock!").

- No reviews of your own product.

- No unsolicited sales contact with forum members via the Wetpixel personal message system. Replies or support enquiries can still be communicated via PM, although in the later case, you are encouraged to do so via the forum where others can share in your knowledge and experience. (added 03/21/12)

All members can help us to keep Wetpixel on track by reporting commercial posts. Thank you for your time!

As always, if you have any questions, concerns or comments, please voice them here.
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#2 Canuck

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 08:45 PM

I'm not sure about this one Eric. I don't have a lot of time to surf multiple sites, so I count on the forums here and at DDN for info. I rarely visit the front page here, I jump straight to the forum. I appreciate that I can see the latest in housings and other product info in the forum. It is one stop shopping for me. I will really miss seeing some of those commercial posts that i currently find to be of interest.

Could you perhaps instead create a forum for overtly commercial posts? Those who don't want to look don't have to. Those who do can still benefit from having the commercial post available for questions, comments, and information.

John Davies
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#3 Scubatooth

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 11:35 PM

ill second Canucks comments.

Considering some of the information that was posted by Gene and Maurico is what was nuked. That information on using the tokina 10-17FE on FF canon cameras was very beneficial to me (and others i imagine) at what i was looking at but dont have the time or money do test all of the combos.

There input and test data was very helpful, so what if there direct links to the manufacture. Have them put a disclaimer in there signature or something, the nuking was a bit rash.

#4 Paul Kay

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 02:19 AM

Eric

You are of course perfectly correct to state your rules on commercialism in posts! I do though sometimes find it tricky to determine just where the line should be drawn - if you look at (my) post 16 in http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=36515, I tried to explain the the S45 viewfinder (which I did state that I both use and sell) is by necessity large and heavy because it provides an extremely bright view and the large components needed mean that the cost is high. This is because I have been asked about this many times and wetpixel is a useful place to explain just why the S45 is big, heavy and expensive. I see this as factual information, but it could all too easily be regarded as commercial promotion (I still don't know whether it might fit a Nauticam though!). How do you feel about such a post? Is it benign enough?

If I'm really objective about stuff that has been posted on wetpixel, I'd say that most viewers will pick up on what they feel to be commercially acceptable and what is not and the influence that this will have can be negative as well as positive, at least that's my feeling. I find overtly commercial posts to be off-putting but the tone of posting usually indicates whether or not it is intended to be helpful or promotional.
Paul Kay, Canon EOS5D/5DII, SEACAM/S45, 15, 24L, 60/2.8 (+Ext12II) & 100/2.8 Macros - UK/Ireland Seacam Sales underseacameras & marinewildlife & paulkayphotography & welshmarinefish

#5 AmiGIra

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 07:47 AM

Hi,
My name is Anita and my boss has asked me to look for judges for a Film Fesitval our company holds.
May I do that here? If so can somebody tell me where would be best.
Thank you as I did not want to overstep what you have going on,
all the best,
anita

Hello, community -

Wetpixel has been a vibrant venue for the discussion of underwater imagery for nearly ten years. We have always been somewhat unique because we are a place where industry members mingle openly with non-industry members.

Recently, a few industry members have crossed the line of commercialism, so we are putting in some strict rules for industry members to follow. Ideally, every member would be 100% objective, but this is simply not the case. When one industry member is allowed to post something self-promoting, it brings down Wetpixel's integrity and causes other industry members to complain. Unfortunately, the only solution is to implement a double standard. This does not affect non-industry members.

Starting now, overtly commercial posts from industry members will be deleted without warning.

Industry members, here are some guidelines to help you keep your posts within policy:

- In your area of commercial endeavor, only factual posts and support posts are allowed. So if you are a housing manufacturer or retailer, you can post opinions about diving destinations, but not opinions about any underwater housing on the market (including your own).

- No product announcements. All product announcements must be made via press release on the front page by contacting Wetpixel. Note that non-industry members *can* post links to announcements. Sorry, but this is how it is going to have to be.

- No inventory announcements (e.g. "Strobe XX is in stock!").

- No reviews of your own product.

All members can help us to keep Wetpixel on track by reporting commercial posts. Thank you for your time!

As always, if you have any questions, concerns or comments, please voice them here.



#6 echeng

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 03:34 PM

Unfortunately, this is the sort of thing that is difficult to figure out. But we've reached a point where there is just far too much of it going on, so we have to put a stop to it.

I have a few tips for helping to keep up with all of the content at Wetpixel:

1. Learn how to use RSS. RSS is a huge time saver! A good starting point is Google Reader (http://google.com/reader). You can add all the webpages you read, and it will tell you when there are new posts.

2. Bookmark the following URL, which is the "new posts" URL at the Wetpixel forums. Once you click on "View New Posts," the URL changes so it's too late to bookmark it.

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?act=Search&CODE=getnew

I understand that the forums are the first place people go, even for news, but it is just too complicated to allow it in the public forum area. In a future revision, we will investigate having industry members sign up to be able to post their own press releases in a commercial forum.

More thoughts? We're listening...
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#7 echeng

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 03:38 PM

You are of course perfectly correct to state your rules on commercialism in posts! I do though sometimes find it tricky to determine just where the line should be drawn - if you look at (my) post 16 in http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=36515, I tried to explain the the S45 viewfinder (which I did state that I both use and sell) is by necessity large and heavy because it provides an extremely bright view and the large components needed mean that the cost is high. This is because I have been asked about this many times and wetpixel is a useful place to explain just why the S45 is big, heavy and expensive. I see this as factual information, but it could all too easily be regarded as commercial promotion (I still don't know whether it might fit a Nauticam though!). How do you feel about such a post? Is it benign enough?


Paul -- I think support posts are fine, as long as the information is factual and RELATED. We've had some industry folks jump in and push their products in threads about other products, and this is not OK.

If I'm really objective about stuff that has been posted on wetpixel, I'd say that most viewers will pick up on what they feel to be commercially acceptable and what is not...


Agreed, but we do get complaints behind the scenes from other industry members. This formalization of the rules is as much for the public face of of the forum as it is for what we deal with behind the scenes.
eric cheng
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#8 bmyates

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 04:33 PM

Eric,

First, I think you have every right to do this, and that the judgment call as to what is a violation should be at the sole discretion of you (and the other Wetpixel moderators).

However, I think some commercial posts - product announcements in particular - can be really useful, and hate to see them disappear. I suppose what will happen is that some non-commercial Wetpixeler will post the announcement when they hear about it. But will that still be deleted because it might appear to be promoting that brand/dealer/product? Or is this ONLY going to apply to commercial posters?

I personally like the idea of having a commercial forum to handle all of the stuff you're banning so people can read or ignore it, but it will be obvious that it is promotional in nature. Then, when you run across something in a thread that fits the ban description, you could just move it from that thread to the commercial forum, rather than deleting it altogether(?).

Bruce Yates
www.UnderwaterReflections.com
Canon 5DMkII in Aquatica, 1DsMkII in Seacam, G15 in RecSea...Inon Z240's...too many lenses
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damned fool about it." WC Fields


#9 echeng

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 12:25 AM

However, I think some commercial posts - product announcements in particular - can be really useful, and hate to see them disappear. I suppose what will happen is that some non-commercial Wetpixeler will post the announcement when they hear about it. But will that still be deleted because it might appear to be promoting that brand/dealer/product? Or is this ONLY going to apply to commercial posters?


Yes, some non-commercial Wetpixeler will post a link to the announcement on the forum (which is fine), or the companies will use our news contact page (or email address) to submit press releases, which will get posted to the front page.

The issue is that industry members cannot be unbiased about their products; press releases are almost always riddled with subjective descriptions, since they are written to sell.

I understand that this can be useful, but it the current method is broken.
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
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#10 Viz'art

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 07:36 AM

I feel I should comment as part of this has been instigated by me, it started with Mauricio Handler posting on a Mini Dome that he got for is last trip, anybody who know Mauricio knows that he either love or hate something and is rarely content on "it's OK" kind of statement, this was interpreted as a commercial post, and subsequently yanked off the forum, to this I objected, since I felt that Mauricio is not an employee of Aquatica, but one of our dealer, had purchased and paid for this dome for is personal use, was entitled to his opinion and did not try and recruit people into buying this mini dome through him.

Also I notified the moderators that I did see attempt at fishing in some threads and felt that this was insidious and something I frown upon. This being said I do feel that product announcement by either us or any of our competitors are pretty obvious and that members will be savvy enough to understand that if I do a press release, I am likely to write up in a way as to highlight my products. Doubtless that saying “this overweight, ill designed housing is likely to flood at certain depth and sorry if these things where not placed appropriately and will conflict with this or that when used with those…” would gather business for any of us manufacturers. That is for users to point out and for us to let them express themselves.

I’m ok if the moderators feel there is a need to have a separate forum for products announcements or that they get posted on the front page, as long as the content of the press release is not altered then fine. I still think that labeling the post “Product Announcement or Press Release” ought to be sufficient to put it in the relative forum it belongs to.

As for posting from manufacturing member of the industry, I couldn’t agree more, we need to be respectful and bring more than just our needs for business to the forum. Post by Chris on the Sigma 8-16mm are educative and do bring knowledge to the forum, one as to remember that we might be manufacturing, distributing or selling housings and their derivatives, but if we are here on this forum, I would like to think that me and my esteem colleagues of the industry are not here for petty profit only, those that I have the pleasure to know in this business are knowledgeable and actually quite enthusiastic about underwater photography themselves and would/will bring valuable info not only on their products, but on underwater photography in general. It would be sad to curtail this input.
Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

www.vizart.ca

www.aquatica.ca

Aquatica Pro Digital housings for D-300s, AF 10-20mm, AF 10-17mm, AF 14MM, AF 17-35mm, af 17-70mm, AF 20MM, AF 60MM, AF 105MM, 2x Ikelite Ds 160, and TLC arms exclusively

#11 echeng

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:28 AM

Folks: there is a new forum category that imports front page posts. More information here:
http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=36933
eric cheng
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#12 skeggartphoto

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:46 AM

Hi there,

Please allow me to introduce myself as i have just registered here for the first time. My name is Tim and i am a semi-pro underwater photographer and videogropher.
Having just read this post i thought i would ask if i can ask for advice on where to find a particular housing or if anyone would would possibly have one for sale etc! Would this deemed as breaking any conventions for your site?
Kind regards
Tim


Hello, community -

Wetpixel has been a vibrant venue for the discussion of underwater imagery for nearly ten years. We have always been somewhat unique because we are a place where industry members mingle openly with non-industry members.

Recently, a few industry members have crossed the line of commercialism, so we are putting in some strict rules for industry members to follow. Ideally, every member would be 100% objective, but this is simply not the case. When one industry member is allowed to post something self-promoting, it brings down Wetpixel's integrity and causes other industry members to complain. Unfortunately, the only solution is to implement a double standard. This does not affect non-industry members.

Starting now, overtly commercial posts from industry members will be deleted without warning.

Industry members, here are some guidelines to help you keep your posts within policy:

- In your area of commercial endeavor, only factual posts and support posts are allowed. So if you are a housing manufacturer or retailer, you can post opinions about diving destinations, but not opinions about any underwater housing on the market (including your own).

- No product announcements. All product announcements must be made via press release on the front page by contacting Wetpixel. Note that non-industry members *can* post links to announcements. Sorry, but this is how it is going to have to be.

- No inventory announcements (e.g. "Strobe XX is in stock!").

- No reviews of your own product.

- No unsolicited sales contact with forum members via the Wetpixel personal message system. Replies or support enquiries can still be communicated via PM, although in the later case, you are encouraged to do so via the forum where others can share in your knowledge and experience. (added 03/21/12)

All members can help us to keep Wetpixel on track by reporting commercial posts. Thank you for your time!

As always, if you have any questions, concerns or comments, please voice them here.



#13 Viz'art

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:45 AM

Tim, not at all, you are not breaking any convention to my knowledge, there is a classified section on the website and many dealer advertise on the top and side bar, without trying to write regulation here, the idea behind this post is for any manufacturer or dealer to just go and toot their own horn, or for that matter suggesting a product when they have a direct tie to it, (like I would with Aquatica, Or CP with Nauticam and many of the dealers on the forums) in another, what you want from us, the industry member, is information and not a sales pitch :), so I suggest you visit the section related to your needs and just ask away, individual members are and should be entitled to their own opinion, industry members, IMO should not intervene in these type of questions. Their jobs is to inform you, should you have specific questions regarding their products and their compatibillities, not to voice opinion on others or their own products.
Jean Bruneau / Aquatica Technical Advisor

www.vizart.ca

www.aquatica.ca

Aquatica Pro Digital housings for D-300s, AF 10-20mm, AF 10-17mm, AF 14MM, AF 17-35mm, af 17-70mm, AF 20MM, AF 60MM, AF 105MM, 2x Ikelite Ds 160, and TLC arms exclusively

#14 adamhanlon

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:49 AM

Hi Tim,

Just to echo Jean's reply.

You can post adverts about your equipment requirements, ask for advice or sell your personal used equipment like anyone else.

What you can't do, is advertise your picture/video sales or photographic services!

Welcome to Wetpixel!

Adam

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