Vendor participation in the forums. What about their friends, insiders, promoters, and influencers? - Page 5

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AssafL

Postby AssafL » May 15, 2019, 4:27 pm

another_jim wrote:600 posts about a due date is ridiculous, even for babies, never mind grinders; unfortunately, I think that's us to blame, not vendors or anyone else.


Vendors have to stand out in a crowd of like products. It is their duty. For some reason men cogitate more about due dates than women seem to. AV forums, watch forums, etc. are full of expecting fathers....

The main forum topics in H-B served a purpose. But as the market grew - it became too noisy.

I think splitting them into manufacturer subtopics allows the mfr to participate (only in their subtopic; within strict rules prohibiting discussing competition, etc.), allows the fanfare and koombiahs to continue unperturbed, and leaves the general topic open to focused performance and enhancing performance talk.

And it avoids that rather artificial split between the "buying tips" "marketplace" "grinders or espresso machines" or even "repair". Sometimes it is difficult to think where a question should fit...
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.

OldNuc

Postby OldNuc » May 15, 2019, 8:41 pm

Grinding to fine with sub forums under a main forum results in dust. I can name several covering other technical topics if you would like to peruse organized confusion.

There was serious discussion over initiating the WATER forum which looks to be a success. I would not expect the same result with an attempt to make multiple sub forums under the general GRINDER forum.

gophish
Sponsor

Postby gophish » May 16, 2019, 12:13 am

HB wrote:From what I understand, you received loaner equipment from Versalab, wrote some reviews, and then promoted them in Versalab M3 Thoughts and Discovery. At a later date, John hired you to handle social media and promotion for Versalab. Based on your recent post history, moderators guessed there was an arrangement, but it wasn't confirmed until some of your posts were flagged as commercial posts and John contacted me offline to confirm you were working on his behalf.
.


I would love to know which posts were flagged. I do not recall ever making a "commercial" post prior to identifying myself and disclosing any relationship with Versalab, which I have done in full transparency since day 1. And, maybe the issue is that, "moderators guessed there was an arrangement," and it was confirmed when someone else contacted you - why not just ask me? I've been a member on here for a number of years, and though I read more than I post, have never acted in violation of the rules (that I was aware of).

I certainly had no idea my posts were flagged, nor was I ever contacted for clarification, question, or suggestion that I might want to provide further transparency to anything that may be interpreted as nefarious.

I get that long time, reputable members are granted more leniency, but it does seem as though if a moderator or one of those granted such leniency were in the same position as myself and/or discussing one of the more favorable topics or products on the board, it is viewed and treated in a different manner. I have no dog in this fight, nor any financial incentive to boost the sales of any product. I fully understand why the rules are present, and that it is a difficult and dynamic situation to facilitate productive but fair communication. And in the nature of the online forum where everyone wants to share their two-cents, these are mine.
Versalab

ira

Postby ira » May 16, 2019, 12:17 am

AssafL wrote:There used to be discussions related to progressions. Incremental understanding in improving the coffee or the process of making coffee. In taste, in coffees, in budgets. H-B was about incremental improvements

Now it is becoming more about excesses. That is the source of the noise. Lots of gear out there - and while I think the "use-upgrade - return" is good for manufacturers - it doesn't help drive the understanding forward.


And partly, the question has changed. Today making good espresso is far easier. Select any decent machine, any one of the ever growing number of far better home grinders than were available when I started, one or an assortment of the ever increasing number of self leveling tampers and distribution tools and one from the current large selection of coffees from many really good roasters, then spend a few hours researching, a week practicing and the odds have become pretty high you'll be able to pull drinkable espresso. So the focus changes to the machines and which ones will make it easier to make or consistently better. Also the number of posters with low post counts is increasing rapidly and so the level of often uninteresting questions is going up dramatically. If only I could figure out how to automatically hide all messages whose subject starts with "which is better", "what's the best ??? for $xxx" or containing "this one better than"

Ira

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decent_espresso

Postby decent_espresso » May 16, 2019, 2:31 am

ira wrote:I point at the closing of the original Decent thread as an example of that. For me that was about the most interesting thread on HB ever and it got closed. For me, that was a sad day on HB.Ira

A sad day for me too, as I think the HB community can rightfully claim to have co-designed the DE1 with me. Several years of conversations on HB produced a machine that was nothing like what it would have been, had it not been for the conversations here, and I'm very thankful for that.

Yes, I was extremely late in shipping a machine, and that rightfully angered a lot of people, which unfortunately also created work for Dan & crew. My apologies for that: I was naive about the time and effort it would take to get a machine designed from scratch, and shipping.

Dan suggested that I start my own forum, which I've done (just for DE1 owners). However, I'd welcome the opportunity to re-engage in product-codesign with the HB community, if that were possible.

-john
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AssafL

Postby AssafL » May 16, 2019, 5:43 am

ira wrote:So the focus changes to the machines and which ones will make it easier to make or consistently better. Also the number of posters with low post counts is increasing rapidly and so the level of often uninteresting questions is going up dramatically. If only I could figure out how to automatically hide all messages whose subject starts with "which is better", "what's the best ??? for $xxx" or containing "this one better than"


This is why I replied to Dan's question in the first place. It seems making coffee is easier today.

But our understanding of how percolation works is still a bit off. There were models, there are newer models and there are many gaps (such as Jim's discussion of why is there a difference in the flavor profile between similar grinders).

The reason I think it would be good to relegate the manufacturers to their own threads is that the endless "waiting for batch 12" or "Mythos XC clima owners threads" are just not interesting from an Espresso perspective.

In a manufacturer focused thread potential buyers, users, even manufacturers and support personnel can help users freely... La Marzocco is a great machine - but why does a Gaggia owner want to wade through "should I buy a Linea or GS/3" or "My boiler developed a leak..." threads.

A Decent Espresso sub forum for users to talk with John would be awesome. exchange recipes, etc. Some of us who turned their machines into profilers may participate as well...

But the key questions: To profile or not to profile, to profile flow or pressure, to stall the pull or not... Those are of interest to all. Pump, levers, gigantic syringe machine owners. Likewise improving EY, distribution, grooming, tamping, etc....

Same with grinders - A Kafatek sub-forum will be a lottery galore! A place for the winners to preen and the losers to ogle their lost piece of heaven. Denis and Chris can nitpick the merits of 68 or 73 of max or min, of the new collar or the collarless adjustments. But little of this is of interest to a VL or Mazzer owner.

However: extraction yield, particle shape, burr geometry and validating alignment are issues that we should discuss for all grinders. Jim's topic is interesting for all!

Same with roasters - there are roast profile questions - and then there are Quest M3 or Alilio operational related questions. The former are interest and maintain interest for quite some time. The latter become mods or software upgrades (or a replaced fuse) and end up as clutter....

Sure - some sub forums will be tumbleweeds - while others fanfare hot tubs. Adding the manufacturer to those threads will allow them to talk with the users, understand the pros and cons and become (hopefully) better....
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.

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Spitz.me

Postby Spitz.me » replying to AssafL » May 16, 2019, 6:55 am

I agree with the idea of having manufacturer sub forums. I imagine I'm not the only one that is really interested to see topics that are specific to the machines I have. My most active topics lately are manufacturer specific and it's usually the case because I come here to mostly read about gear and experience with gear. I'm not a tester or bleeding edge thought leader on coffee. Those topics that push our thinking about coffee forward are interesting, but they're rare and not often why I'm here.

Who cares if some sub forums will be dead? I'm personally not that pleased with a very generic sub forum that sees hundreds of postings a day that can fill up and push new and actually engaging topics to 2nd and 3rd pages just because the topic goes cold for 2 hours.

As a long time forum user that isn't very actively posting I like to come back to topics I'm interested in and wading through all the "unique" recommendation requests and super-specific "needs a pro tradesmen" questions just to find what I'm interested in is somewhat tiring. Yes, you still get them in all the sub forums, but now it's more focused and there's less activity. Less activity isn't a bad thing.
I know I've pulled a great shot when the flavour is 'like a beany taste that tastes like a bean'.

ira

Postby ira » May 16, 2019, 1:33 pm

Spitz.me wrote:I agree with the idea of having manufacturer sub forums. I imagine I'm not the only one that is really interested to see topics that are specific to the machines I have.


There was a time not that long ago when I read every message posted to the board, now it's probably only 5% or 10%. Some days I'm gone for a few hours and there are notifications for unread messages on page 3. What you suggest only make sense to me if there is a way to mark the forum topics I want to see in my list of "Unread Messages." If that still shows all the messages in all the forums, you've just made it all messier. Unless you like to wander the forum only looking at some forum topics, but that's so painfully slow. If I could only say, please never show me the "Niche Zero" thread again. Not that it's not an important product, but all the questions have already been answered and now it's just noise, heck, today it's a thread about Baratza.

I've said this before, but without some way to limit growth and filter all the first post saying stupid things or asking the same question the hundredth time, it will soon just be another CG and then one of us will have to go start ReallySeriousExpresso.com for the people like Jim and AssafL who are still on the quest for better espresso and not wondering if a Hario Slim and a ROC espresso machine are good enough to make god shots.

I wish I knew how to solve the problem, but about the only way is turn on moderated posts for all new members until the prove worthy and that is a burden on the moderators of unimaginable weight. Or maybe just disallow posting for 6 months after registration.

But something has to change or all the good people will leave, that's how this always goes.

Ira

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Spitz.me

Postby Spitz.me » replying to ira » May 16, 2019, 2:24 pm

Ok, call me a novice, but pages of unread messages? We can browse the site by unread posts specifically?

I'm aware that not everyone uses the forums the way I do, but I have a really hard time believing that everyone is really interested in seeing all posts within a general topic, like grinders. In many cases, there are topic headers that are super generic, but they're inevitably specific to a piece of equipment and in many cases there's a specific method to help with the piece of gear. Experts, vendors or people with experience using those machines are more likely to be active if they can more readily focus on posts that they can help with. I think most users are looking for gear specific help and if you're not in the 1% of forum users that can be helpful in almost all cases then it's noise. Forums are full of noise, that'll never end. That's life.

I really like the idea of having an option to never see discussion on certain topics. lol :lol: I'm tired of the "I'm unique, but here's a super obvious list of equipment I need recommendations on with similarly obvious answers." threads.

I think manufacturer specific forums help you with directing your focus and I'd appreciate that. We have a forum on COFFEES for C____ Sake. Come on... Maybe drip coffee or Espresso coffee? Why not? The forum is just littered with stuff I almost never read unless it's in the latest topics list. There's no focus. Coffee, sorry, is not a focus it's way too broad.
I know I've pulled a great shot when the flavour is 'like a beany taste that tastes like a bean'.

ira

Postby ira » May 16, 2019, 3:09 pm

Spitz.me wrote:Ok, call me a novice, but pages of unread messages? We can browse the site by unread posts specifically?


Upper left corner, pick "Menu" and then Unread messages. Don't feel bad, took me 8 years to find it.

Ira