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Chockstone Forum - Chockstone Feedback

Provide Feedback About This Website

Poll Option Votes Graph
Yes - always (spam) 1
2% 
Yes - only if someone requests product information 2
3% 
Yes - only if someone requests product availabilty 0
 
Yes - both 2 & 3 25
42% 
Yes - but only by Personal Message function 1
2% 
No 10
17% 
Yes - only if sponsorship is disclosed in reply 20
34% 

 Page 2 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 75
Author
Advertising or Information?
climbingjac
13/07/2005
2:52:43 PM
I would feel very silly including a statement that I am sponsored in multiple posts. It seems a bit arrogant. Personally, I wouldn't recommend a product if I didn't like it Ė whether I paid for it or otherwise. Part of my role as a sponsored climber is to evaluate products and provide feedback Ė whether it be positive. Negative feedback on a product may lead my sponsor to cease stocking the product Ė or to providing the feedback to the manufacturer such that it can be considered in designs of future products.

That said, I can understand how some people may prefer to know that a recommendation is coming from someone who is in fact sponsored. As such, perhaps a discrete symbol should appear against the userids of sponsored people??

nmonteith
13/07/2005
2:53:42 PM
I just added another option that many people have requested or suggested.
"Yes - only if sponsorship is disclosed in reply"
Re-vote if you like.
jiminy cricket
13/07/2005
2:57:47 PM
In science we are allowed to publish research funded or part funded by pharmaceutical companies, but it is mandatory that the funding source is disclosed in the publication. If such research was not allowed in peer reviewed journals the pool of publically available knowledge would be noticeably smaller. I can't see what the difference is in this case. Why not just require a sponsored climber to mention who sponsors them if they want to comment on a product? I'd personally like to hear the opinion of sponsored climbers on gear as they are obviously more experienced than many of us.

Jim

nmonteith
13/07/2005
3:01:34 PM
On 13/07/2005 climbingjac wrote:
>I would feel very silly including a statement that I am sponsored in multiple
>posts. It seems a bit arrogant.

Why would it be arrogant? It lets newbies know that everything is not quite what it might seem at face
value.

> Personally, I wouldn't recommend a product
>if I didn't like it Ė whether I paid for it or otherwise.

Would you give negative feedback on Chockstone about a product that your sponsor stocks?

>perhaps a discrete symbol should appear against the userids of sponsored
>people??

That doesn't sound very workable. People are sponsored for seperate things. Having a blanket 'I am
sponsored' statement still won't help anyone filter out the spam from the ligitimate comments. You
need to mention that the product you are talking about is a sponsored product. You need to do this
every time as people come and go on this forum.
dalai
13/07/2005
3:05:40 PM
On 13/07/2005 climbingjac wrote:

>Negative feedback on a product may lead my sponsor to
>cease stocking the product Ė or to providing the feedback to the manufacturer
>such that it can be considered in designs of future products.

But would you post your negative comments about the product on a public forum also whilst they are still stocking it?

As Neil says...minefield...

Edit - Neil - quicker on the keyboard

IdratherbeclimbingM9
13/07/2005
3:06:17 PM
On 13/07/2005 dalai wrote:
>Hex, stop logging in as M8!!

LOL, love it!

>Yes - only if someone requests product information
>Yes - only if someone requests product availabilty

So, if I ask a question; "Who knows about 'X' and where do I get it?"
Does this open the door for eleventyfour suppliers to post saying hear! here!

I agree with nmonteith
>we can't have an open slather policy regarding advertising. In my opinion this forum will be worse off if everyone can start posting 'pay for comment' style messages.
mockmockmock
13/07/2005
3:11:45 PM
Nice balanced post Dalai.

The not readily available comment worries me, does this mean if shop P for example does not stock the item but shop R does... I can say "hey R has this stuff for 25 bucks" but sponsored climber ( from ANY sponosors shop ), G can not?

How are you to determine the difference between advert and editorial? That seems like a question I have heard before somewhere, and with bigger sheep stations than a 300 dollar rope.

There are a couple of shops I buy from, not on line, who give me up to 20% off either as friends I have known for a long time, as a member of their buying club or as a negotiated price . If I mention these places and not being a ' sponsored' climber, this would still be advertising. Perhaps I should be mentioning that I don't buy at retail for that purchase.


* fine print, any similarity to real or dead entities is almost co-incidental!*




[retro editied for thought process]

nmonteith
13/07/2005
3:16:53 PM
On 13/07/2005 M8iswhereitsat wrote:

>>Yes - only if someone requests product information
>>Yes - only if someone requests product availabilty
>So, if I ask a question; "Who knows about 'X' and where do I get it?"
>Does this open the door for eleventyfour suppliers to post saying hear!
>here!

Exactly. For example, Mountain Designs has 33 stores (at last count) in Australia. If everyone of them
started posting their gear 'recommendations' then this forum would be overwhelmed with Spam. So far
the problem has only been with two or so retailers and their sponsored climbers - but if we let the bag
open then we can expect a lot more unsolicited advertising content.

Mike
13/07/2005
4:03:13 PM
On 13/07/2005 M8iswhereitsat wrote:
>So, if I ask a question; "Who knows about 'X' and where do I get it?"
>Does this open the door for eleventyfour suppliers to post saying hear!
>here!

Yep.

My vote goes to a zero retail SPAM policy, whether this comes from the retailer themselves, sponsored climbers, or the average person. Exceptions being: If someone asks about a product, it would be appropriate to rave about favourite brands, and mention manufacturers. If someone asks about where best to buy it, it would be appropriate to point them here:
http://www.chockstone.org/links.asp#AusRetail
(If a website wants to be included on this list, they need only ask).

You'll notice that Chockstone's sponsor does not post gear recommendations, even though he is well qualified technically.

Sneaky retailers will often frequent forums saying anything they can to get a free mention or a link. It all drives business towards them. Links are especially prized, because they also increase search engine rankings, driving further business their way. On forums that permit user signatures, they'll often put a commercial link in their sig file for this reason.

Whatever SPAM rules are decided on, they need to primarily keep happy both this sites sponsor (who keeps us on the air by paying the hosting fees) and the moderators (who donate their time for free).

manacubus
13/07/2005
4:30:07 PM
For the record, Iím sponsored by Pinnacle Sports. Iím definitely a pretty average climber, but I love climbing and do a lot of it, and thatís why they decided to sponsor me. I get shoes, a rope, and a set allowance that I can use to buy some of their products each year. I donít get money. This is my second year of sponsorship.

I am also the webmaster of qurank.com and have been for longer than Chockstone has been alive. I rarely censor posts, and have never had cause to censor a commercial, climbing-related post. Mountain Designs have never logged on to qurank to post their latest specials. I tend to believe the so-called flood of climbing-related spam you supposedly have to deal with doesn't exist.

I much prefer to believe that Chockstone has its back to the wall in a sponsorship arrangement that leads to members posts being edited or deleted in a Nazi-style manner if they contain anything that might "be in conflict with the site sponsor". Thatís why I have declined all offers (and there have been many) of sponsorship for qurank.

I have never to my knowledge plugged a product I didn't fully believe in, or given bad advice on a forum. My reputation is solid and has been built up over years of posting. Why should I not be able to talk about climbing products on a climbing website, regardless of if I buy the products or receive them from a sponsorship? Incidentally, I talk just as much about products I purchase (e.g. Aliens).

Am I the only one who finds censorship of genuine posts distasteful? The good old concept of free speech comes to mind.

Jac and I both are long-term, positive contributors to Chockstone, and itís our reputations that are at stake for making any comments we make. Weíre well aware of this. Most people realise this and would rate the worth of our comments accordingly. This is the case with any Chockstone member.

Bottom line, as long as itís on topic, each of us should be able to say anything we like on Chockstone. As soon as you start implementing rules on who can say what and when, weíve entered a dictatorship.

Edit: I am perfectly willing to include in my User Profile that I am sponsored. I have chosen not to because it sounds dicky!

adski
13/07/2005
4:59:36 PM
"FunkyShoes are awesome, but If I had to pay for them I'd use something else"
- a sponsored climber comment I'd like to see!

:-P

I love the usability of this forum and lack of signatures, having 'sponsored climber disclaimers' would be ugly, arrogant and a few other things. Using a special icon could be construed that their views and opinions are owned by their sponsor at the time. It's too similar to a Moderator in my view. Minefield indeed!
climbingjac
13/07/2005
5:12:29 PM
On 13/07/2005 nmonteith wrote:
>Why would it be arrogant? It lets newbies know that everything is not
>quite what it might seem at face value.

It definitely sounds arrogant. And it most certainly serves to make people feels as though they are not equal. An unfortunate side-effect that I have noticed in some people through their reluctance to chat about their weekend at the crag for fear their efforts don't stack up or something. (I hate that!!)

>Would you give negative feedback on Chockstone about a product that your
>sponsor stocks?

If I felt it was relevant to an already-active topic, yes. Conversly it would of course be very poor taste for me to start a brand new topic of my own titled "Product X is crap!"

>>perhaps a discrete symbol should appear against the userids of sponsored
>>people??
>That doesn't sound very workable. People are sponsored for seperate things.

Pity, it was just a suggestion. They key word in my suggestion was "discrete". Some "discrete" way of marking onself as a sponsored person would be preferable to trumpeting it in every post. Also remember that in order to do so I'd have to say "I am sponsored by Pinnacle Sports" which is an advertisement in its own right...

Mike
13/07/2005
5:16:35 PM
On 13/07/2005 manacubus wrote:
>Bottom line, as long as itís on topic, each of us should be able to say
>anything we like on Chockstone.

See:
http://www.chockstone.org/Forum/Forum.asp?Action=Help&Topic=SPAM

Even in the years before Chockstone had a sponser I was deleting all the retail SPAM posts, and there was quite a bit of it, a lot of it from overseas. I get hundreds of SPAM emails in my in box every day. Fortunately our mail server deletes 99% of it. Here on chockstone it requires a mod to hit the kill button, but the theory is no different.

This is a moderated site. It tells you such when you register. Advertising your wares here in order to profit from the work of Chockstone authors and contributors is unacceptable. If you don't like it, go elsewhere.

I'm not saying you can't rave about products you've used, and paint the forum with links to manufacturers websites, provided someone asks a specific question, then it's not unsolicited. The grey areas is mentioning retailers. I've already stated why, and anyone capable of understanding the concept of advertising will get it.

It's a bit like "bolts next to trad placements". Sure there are always exceptions, but people understand rules like "never" a lot easier than "yeah, but maybe...".

I say zero SPAM. Then there is no grey area. If that means your freedom of speech is impacted, then so be it. You're also not allowed to launch personal attacks on other members. Do you feel that threatens your freedom as well? If so you are free to not use Chockstone at all.

Here are examples of SPAM that should be deleted without pause:

1. Come and visit www.myproductsarebest.com.au for the cheapest prices
2. Where can I get this odd piece of protection?
Reply: Well if you visit www.myproductsarebest.com.au we have them on special.

Here is an acceptable message:
1. Anybody used this odd piece of protection?
Reply: Yeah, its great. Made by XYZ.
2. Where can I get this odd piece of protection?
Reply: Try your local retailer, or if they don't have it, try the yellow pages or the retailers listed on the Links page of this site.

nmonteith
13/07/2005
5:17:05 PM
On 13/07/2005 climbingjac wrote:
>Pity, it was just a suggestion. They key word in my suggestion was "discrete".
> Some "discrete" way of marking onself as a sponsored person would be preferable
>to trumpeting it in every post. Also remember that in order to do so I'd
>have to say "I am sponsored by Pinnacle Sports" which is an advertisement
>in its own right...

No, you just need to say you are sponsored. Thats it. No need to plug the sponsor.

nmonteith
13/07/2005
5:25:20 PM
I think sponsored climbers need to appreciate that there are negatives to being affiliated with a company
commercially. This is one of the negatives. If you don't like the rules at Chockstone then either ditch the
sponsor or don't post information about products that your sponsor sells on Chockstone. You can't have
it both ways. Your sponsors have their own web sites, with fantastic information, stories ect. Keep your
reviews and recommendations to that website - not Chockstone.

The Elk
13/07/2005
5:32:04 PM
MINEFIELD!
Relax kiddies!

nmonteith
13/07/2005
5:46:17 PM
I have recieved several emails today - most with similar content to this anonymous one....

"some of their posts have been absolutely blatant plugs for pinnacle. made me chuckle "

These are your friends saying this guys. To an outsider it appears very blatent.
climbingjac
13/07/2005
5:47:25 PM
So far only 6 people out of 31 want to exclude the opinions of sponsored climbers from threads. The remaining 29 seem to be keen to leverage our knowledge in some shape or form.....

nmonteith
13/07/2005
6:03:37 PM
Out of 1246 members I hardly call this a landslide! When it reaches 100 people it might be worth
something as statistics.
climberman
13/07/2005
7:12:09 PM
On 13/07/2005 nmonteith wrote:
"I think sponsored climbers need to appreciate that there are negatives
to being affiliated with a company commercially. This is one of the negatives. If you don't like the rules at Chockstone then either ditch the sponsor or don't post information about products that your sponsor sells on Chockstone. You can't have it both ways. Your sponsors have their own web sites, with fantastic information, stories ect. Keep your reviews and recommendations to that website - not Chockstone."

I kind of agree with this. As a mug punter, who knows only who a few of the folks on here are even as 'real world' names, I'd expect sponsored climbers to respond to a climbing equipment related query with an honest opinion on the worth of the product at hand, but with an aknowledgement of their sponsorship.

Reasonable people understand that you have probably only accepted sponsorship from suppliers/products you believe in. It assists in transparency for all involved if you just say what other interests you have. It also says to me though that you probably climb well and widely enough to have a good idea on product, rather than being a twelve year old inexperienced nethead who has only gymclimbed commenting on new cam brands: so as well as being something of a drag, aknowledging your sponsorship will be something of a benefit. Restraint and honesty will also do you well in your commercial climbing life in the long run. Grandstanding is best left for boxers.

For instance, if we were discussing backcountry skiing and I said "Root me, this site: www.users.bigpond.com/vertica is AWESOME and the bible on backcountry routes in NSW", it'd be remiss of me not to mention that I wrote it... But that also allows me to have a certain insight (or bias !) as to what that website (read: product) can/did/tried to do. That website IS awesome though.

Retailers ? Naaahhh, f--- em. Any idiot can find a retailer on the street or on the net. Though good specials stumbled across by punters I think should be mentioned, and an HONEST appraisal of any retail experience can be beneficial to all - but bitchin in the kitchen is best avoided unless you have already failed to resolve an issue with the firm involved before posting your problems here, and they were f---wits.

 Page 2 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 75
There are 75 messages in this topic.

 

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