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admin

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 12:28 PM    Post subject: Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

Hello All.. sorry for the long post.

Since the beginning of this site I've been proud to be a part of the Travis Bean Guitar community. I've made many friends and had great conversations (usually over email) with many of you. I've always prided myself for writing back as much as possible to all the people that have contacted me via the contact form. Sometimes these are notes of encouragement and support to the site, sometimes they're complaints and if so, I try to address each one as fairly as possible. Sometimes they don't go your way, and when they don't I try to explain those as well.

It's important to understand that we have a community here and with that, it's hard to lay down black and white ground rules to maintain fairness and to not cause conflict between members. In the beginning of June (after receiving so many email complaints about posting rules) I created a thread called "Remember when Beans were fun..."

http://www.travisbeanguit.....fuseaction/forum.view.htm

This thread, I wanted to express my disappointment, and to find means where the community would be involved with forum policies. With this thread, we were able to decide the rules on open offers, forum behaviour and the non-allowance of exposing other people's personal information within posts. We were having a good run. Now the we're facing the issues of the 'grey' areas at hand. In the last two weeks, I've been getting emails complaining about various threads. Emails stating that the thread hints at 'this', or subtly says 'that'. I'm also getting emails discussing 'tone'.. and sadly, we're not talking about guitar tone, but the tone of thread or post. Now as the site administrator I have to walk this razor line. What is allowed? What is insulting? What is breaking the rules?

As you can see, these are grey areas and are 100% subject to opinion and the context of how they're read. So again, I would like to put this out to the community and see what we can do to improve this. I always wanted to maintain a 'open' forum, since these could be interpreted either way, I personally feel it could too restrictive. When it's like this one person is happy that a post is removed, and the other is quite upset. With me in the middle, I need to have a clear explanation.

Remember, we cannot have double standards. If a rule is applied, then it has to apply for everyone. Also, the rules need to be above personal feelings of other members.

I also want to take this opportunity to address a few other things. It was recently stated that my handling of some policies shows that I might not care about Beans. Also, it has been brought to my attention that certain collectors or collectors believe that I might be in the 'pocket' of other collectors.

In regards to the first item. I can only laugh at this. The amount of time, money and devotion I've put into TravisBeanGuitars.com over the years is massive. I only have one Bean, a Standard, but I literally love that guitar. I still remember the day I received it, and how it completely changed my life. I use to say, musical life, but that's inaccurate. Every time I hold that guitar I feel the work the guys put into it. It has a soul. As a musician, I feel like I need to improve my game to match the level of musician the guitar deserves. Sadly, I have a long way to go, but at least I keep trying.

I created this site because I wanted a site that could bring others that felt the same as me in one place. Where we could share, buy and experience Beans in a community environment. My #1 priority with the site is simple. It's not about helping collectors. It's not about helping someone new find their first Bean. It's not about exposing guitar players that just learned of this guitar. It's not about helping people sell their Beans.

It's about preserving the history of the instruments.

Now preserving the history could help with those other points... and those other points are important and are addressed. But I wanted to give respect that the guitar deserves. A place where IT can be known to the world. Where the work of the guys at TBG can be truly appreciated and shared. I look at the photo gallery (which was way over due) and the database, and say there are some happy Bean owners out there, and they want to share what they have. We can all see the work and craftsmanship of these guys, even though it's through a computer screen, but the appreciation is obviously had by all who have contributed over the years.

So the counter that statement. I do care about Beans. More than most can imagine.

Now onto the second item. It has been stated that a few collectors think that this site is in the pocket of other collectors. I have a feeling that whatever I say will not matter to those individuals that are accusing me or this site, but this is untrue. It's quite hard for me to not take this harshly, since I do think of myself as honest and with integrity. But those of you who don't know me, you would not be able to make that observation, so I can understand. With this post and the previous one mentioned above, it should be clear that I'm trying to establish a policy that is fair to everyone and a policy that is assembled by the community. If this is the sentiment or opinion of everyone, then the simplest move would be to remove the forum, since this seems to be where all the complaints are stemming from. I do NOT want to go down this route, since there are many useful threads and discussions that happen, and only a few 'bad' ones that cause problems. It is disappointing that some individuals feel this way. I'm not sure how to remedy this problem in a fair and balanced way, but hopefully it'll be clear that.

I'm requesting that we keep this thread polite and productive. If you have suggestions please let me know here. I will not reply to any personal emails relating to this subject. If you have a thought or concern, please post here. Please refrain from pointing fingers. I did not single anyone out (by name or by forum handle) or single out any posts (with the exception of mine as a reference to the previous policy discussion), and I hope that everyone can follow as I did. Remember, if you're upset or have issues, here is your opportunity to address it. I have faith that in the end, we'll ALL agree on a solution and policy that we can all stand by. I can't do this alone people, so we need to act as a community!

Thanks!
admin

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ggates

Joined:
05 May 2006
Posts: 96
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 12:57 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

A thought...Keep the forum open only to those posting photos or information about the guitars, or needing information about repairs and the like. Any offers for guitars or parts for sale, or open (or thinly veiled) offers to buy should be removed by the admin. I would extend this to ebay listing notifications as well. We all know how to find Beans on ebay.

We all know how much this site means to you for having created it, and to us for it's amazing resources. And since I should only speak for myself, I personally and publicly thank you for your hard work, and for having to put up with all of this superfluous nonsense that has emerged as a result of the growing pains experienced as Beans start to find their respect in the vintage guitar world, and the jealousies that follow it.

Perhaps another enthusiast could start a Bean website with a forum that includes buying and selling - My money says it will degenerate quickly into acrimony and jealousy. And its' true value would be revealed in short order.

Thank you for your efforts and patience!

Gregory C. Gates

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ggates

Joined:
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Posts: 96
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 1:28 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

Another consideration...all guitars listed in the database must include photos. A second list of unidentified Beans could be created, but must include details about the guitar. Any listing currently indicating only a serial number but no finish or other information should be purged. It is a databse after all.

GG

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admin

Joined:
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Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 2:15 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

@ggates

"Another consideration...all guitars listed in the database must include photos. A second list of unidentified Beans could be created, but must include details about the guitar. Any listing currently indicating only a serial number but no finish or other information should be purged. It is a database after all."

I'm going to respectfully disagree here. I think we would like to have photos for each record, but unfortunately getting photos from individuals can sometimes be difficult. This has drastically improved over the last year or so. Secondly, the database was created to get a 'rough' account of Beans that left TBG... this would eventually include all of Obe's guitar records and already includes Jodi's original list. Unfortunately, both of those sources have incomplete data at times. I understand that this could mean that the guitar may not exist, but since there was a previous reference, I think it would be good to note it.

Since we're talking database, maybe an advanced search function is something you're looking for, then you could query whatever you'd like. Complete data, photos, currently owned, etc.

We should get back on topic though. The issue is about forum policy and how to improve that situation for the better.

Thanks!
admin

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admin

Joined:
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Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 2:35 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

@ggates

"A thought...Keep the forum open only to those posting photos or information about the guitars, or needing information about repairs and the like. Any offers for guitars or parts for sale, or open (or thinly veiled) offers to buy should be removed by the admin. I would extend this to ebay listing notifications as well. We all know how to find Beans on ebay."

I think we'll run into definition problem here. Only individuals that post photos or information about guitars or individuals needing information about repairs and the like? How do you handle follow up posts? How would general interest questions be handled? How do you define 'thinly veiled'? These are the questions I need to ask myself with every post. As you can see, it can get tricky on what is okay and what is not.

The eBay posts are interesting. I know based on many emails over the last few years that this is useful information, more specifically for historic value. A person can come here and quickly assess the value of the market (in the ebay-sense). Also, this is beneficial for others that see 'suspicious' activity in relation with Bean auction. They can question an auction or note something interesting about the item. It think this is valuable information since it's public. I know people know how to find Beans on eBay, but people are clearly interested in these auctions. The 'Views' count in the 'Beans For Sale' board shows this.

Thanks!
admin

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ggates

Joined:
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Posts: 96
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 3:14 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

Admin:

"I think we'll run into definition problem here. Only individuals that post photos or information about guitars or individuals needing information about repairs and the like? How do you handle follow up posts? How would general interest questions be handled? How do you define 'thinly veiled'? These are the questions I need to ask myself with every post. As you can see, it can get tricky on what is okay and what is not."


No reason that follow ups would not be able to post. Also no reason that general info would not be able to post - Did I state something that is unclear?

All posts regarding buying or selling is banned. Any post referring to an amount being offered, or any whisper of dollars including statements about whether someone pays the most, etc...is edited. This would have to include information regarding dollars on ebay. The market database is great - but the information referenced is post sale. Ebay listings for historical purposes are fine - especially as regards photos, but mentioning prices, opening bids, reserves etc. should all be dropped.

GG


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GregBailey

Joined:
04 Feb 2008
Posts: 50
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 4:02 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

"A thought...Keep the forum open only to those posting photos or information about the guitars, or needing information about repairs and the like."

Am I correct in thinking this would exclude people who do not actually own Beans? It's just a question, I'm in no way throwing stones. I've been watching and contributing to this furum for a few years now and I've never owned a TB guitar. If people like myself are excluded, we may never get an original TB guitar. I know, they will always be available on eBay, but if we aren't included, believe me, a lot of people will loose interest in the guitars and go on to something else, like Kramers or something.

I agree, the furum should be about TB guitars and info about them and not a bunch fighting, name calling or whatever. I do know this behavior has been going on for years now. It does need to stop, I think 99% of the people on here would enjoy it more with out the problems cropping up.

Greg Bailey

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admin

Joined:
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Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 4:10 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

Greg

I'm in agreement with you. I know of many people that have contributed or posted threads that don't have photos, Beans, etc. I'm hoping this thread will provide some solutions. I do appreciate ggates and you for posting. Let's keep it up!

Thanks!
admin

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ggates

Joined:
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Posts: 96
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 4:11 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

Never said you had to post photos or be an owner to contribute or post. What I said was posts should be about photos of the guitars, or information about the guitars, or repair information about the guitars, or questions about the guitars.

The common thread being about the guitars. Not about buying and selling, not about how much someone will offer, not about how much someone paid etc.

GG

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charlie

Joined:
06 Jan 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 4:19 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

Hang in there! Anything you decide is fine...remember it is YOUR forum. I appreciate the fact that this place exists and I think your emphasis on the history of these guitars is highly commendable. Perhaps you are too kind when it comes to editing posts. Other forums have editors that do whatever they want and if someone does not like it ...TOUGH SHIT. When in doubt, toss it out. Let the whiners whine. Historical documentation always requires separating the wheat from the chaff.

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gtrshp

Joined:
01 Feb 2008
Posts: 21
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 4:55 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

the forums should be completely open to all posts related to TBs. we already have an acceptable use policy that states: "No personal attacks against other members of the forum. Posts may be deleted or edited by moderators. Repeated offenses may result in banishment." enforce that with a suspension for the first offense, and a banishment if the behavior continues.

I don't mind the threads that turn into volleys of personal attacks. it gives useful information as to the maturity and/or intelligence of various users. plus they are sometimes funny. but if you, as the Admin and owner of this site, don't like these posts, just enforce the simple policy you have in place. If you attempt to modify the policy to further control the content posted, there will be more grey areas for which you will need to rule on for acceptable use. big PITA for you, the admin.

as for posting of prices (GG raised an objection), what does it matter? why should it be a secret? in my opinion,
discussions of the price and/or ebay auctions is a benefit to anyone with a genuine interest in TBs, be them newbies or original bean owners. there are legitimate reasons to let value, resale, and replacement costs be valid topics (ex. "I've owned this Bean since 1994, what should I insure it for as a line item on my homeowners insurance?") the posts should stand and be permitted.

perhaps 'for sale' and 'wanted' posts should be a single posts with no follow ups allowed, but only if it can enforced by the software. If its a manual effort by the Admin, then forget it. some of the follow up posts to 'for sale' posts have indeed been informative.

I like the database as it is. I'd like to see it extended to include pot date codes. if its too difficult to modify the database, maybe a second smaller database to record that info. perhaps that database (if its a 2nd one) should, in fact, require a picture of the control cavity.



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ggates

Joined:
05 May 2006
Posts: 96
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 5:09 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

"as for posting of prices (GG raised an objection), what does it matter? why should it be a secret? in my opinion,
discussions of the price and/or ebay auctions is a benefit to anyone with a genuine interest in TBs, be them newbies or original bean owners. there are legitimate reasons to let value, resale, and replacement costs be valid topics (ex. "I've owned this Bean since 1994, what should I insure it for as a line item on my homeowners insurance?") the posts should stand and be permitted."



The final sale prices don't bother me at all - I completely agree they should be made known and if possible should include more than just ebay sales whenever possible. The once constant and now subtle barrage of open offers to pay more than anyone else are what are offensive and in many cases the genesis of much of the hostility, and in fact the very reason the the forum rules were changed in the first place.

GG

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admin

Joined:
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Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 5:31 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

Thanks gtrshp and charlie

gtrship. I agree with you on the selling amounts. I thinks it's good info. I think the policy of price and 'buying' is where it gets bad. Since that leads to a perpetual post... or advertisement for the buyer/collectors.

There are two issues related with this.
1. Should buyer posts be restricted to guitars only.. and not parts? ie: I'm looking for a saddle? Where do we draw a line here? I've been enforcing guitars and cases, but left smaller items. Or do we pull the plug on all 'want to buy' on anything TB related?

2. Now, the second problem is how are posts worded. Where do we draw a line here. It's obvious to say no 'I want to buy Beans', but what about the post where person says, 'gee, I really like Standards'. This would could be 'thinly veiled' as stating a person who wants a Bean. Or contact requests.. 'Anyone with a extra pole piece/saddle please contact me.' Again, one person will inevitably say that this person is fishing for saddles, while the person might be asking about how to replace a spring in the pole piece?

ggates like this information to be historical.. so post-sale, but I personally think showing an auction when it's up, is just as useful.

I liked your idea about single post on Sale the sale board. That could be worked into the system, but I see problems if there needs to be follow ups, etc.

I agree that more moderation or forum policies could create more grey areas and further avenues to 'work the system'

Another concept is to flag posts. If a post falls in the 'grey' area and I allowed it initially, it could be flagged by the community. If it is flagged x number of times (each member can get one vote / post) then the post or thread is removed. I can override a post and still remove it if I feel that it violates the rules, so we don't need to rely strictly with the vote system. We could restrict voting to members that have x number of posts related to their profile to prevent people creating new accounts just to vote. Possibly even provide comments/reason, but the vote is anonymous.

Issues with this... how many flags justify removal. Since this is a system where users can remove posts, there will surely be attempts to abuse it. How many posts in a persons profile gives them the ability to flag?

All this sounds like PITA.. but want to throw it out there.

Thanks!
admin

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rlrlrl

Joined:
24 Dec 2007
Posts: 260
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 11:04 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

Admin, I don't want to make too much work for you, but what if buying/selling requests were all made directly to you, and then you could post them on behalf of our various members? I do think that the fair exchange of these instruments is part of what makes the community, and that it is nice when we are able to sell to each other, instead of to random dealers on ebay.

The greatest problem, in a larger sense, is that we don't all share the same sense of values (personal, worldly), and that when certain members think they are just speaking their minds, their words are interpreted as personal attacks by other members.... and vice versa. That just sort of goes with the terrain. This is the interweb and there's bound to be misinterpretation, and bound to be abuse as well. I wish it weren't that way, but it's better to have an imperfect community than no community at all.

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frankNbeans

Joined:
18 Jul 2008
Posts: 12
PostPosted: 07/29/2008 at 11:29 PM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

i think disputes between members should be settled with a battle rap! that or we should build some type of "thunder dome"

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BoulderBean

Joined:
04 Feb 2004
Posts: 309
PostPosted: 07/30/2008 at 9:55 AM    Post subject: RE:Help with Forum Policies (PLEASE READ) link

Hi Beaners,

I've been on vacation with my family in Europe so I missed the past few weeks. I wanted to respond the our Admin's rather heartfelt initial post on this thread.

As I have said before this web site is a huge benefit to all Bean freaks and those beyond. It is one of the best guitar resources on the web and we should do whatever it takes to keep it going strong.

It pisses me off that some "collectors" could possibly think that our Admin is somehow in cahoots with other collectors. That is BS and anyone who has participated in this forum for some time should know that. Admin is a fair, honest, straight shooter. He cares deeply about Beans and music and anyone who accuses him of favoritism isn't in full control of their faculties.

I have been impressed by the change in tone that has occurred since the "Remember when Beans were fun...." thread. By and large people have been civil and the policies established seem reasonable. I rely on our Admin to police the posts and delete anything that crosses the line. Since I'm a firm believe in free speech I hope he doesn't ever have to wield that power.

Regarding the sales, prices, etc. - the marketplace is one of the things that makes Beans interesting. This site absolutely should keep track of prices and sales as it does now. It's fine with me to ban outright sales on the site. We do have E-Bay,Craig's List and various other vintage guitar sales sites. This site can simply track those.

Admin - please know that there are people like me who really appreciate what you are doing and fully support the way you have managed this site. Keep up the good work. Don't let the bastards drag you down!

Cheers,

Peter

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