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Sorry guys: I have been away on vacation. I return to discover my mailbox full
of people arguing about what is and is not acceptable on the list.
It seems to me that there is no easy way of defining what is and what is not
marketing material. No-one wants the list swamped with advertising and hard sell
pitches, still less the sort of junk that is churned out in press releases.
On the other hand, I thought one of the prime purposes of the list is to keep
practitioners and those (like me) who observe the scene up to date with the
latest and best practices. If someone asks a "How do I do this?" question and a
manufacturer has the answer, then true it is a marketing response, but more
importantly it communicates useful information. JP is particularly good at doing
exactly that, for instance.
It also seems to me that the readership of the list is intelligent and
streetwise. We all have well-developed bullshit detectors, and are perfectly
capable of making our feelings felt if vendors consistently overstep sensible
limits. Manufacturers will be aware that their prime sales prospects read this
list, and they will not tolerate their e-mail bandwidth being wasted by junk
So, can I humbly propose the following:
1 - definitely no sales pitches
2 - new products, options or changes are allowed to be announced by
manufacturers or vendors once only
3 - interests are declared: if, say, a colorist has a new piece of equipment on
extended loan, beta test or unusually advantageous financing, they should make
that clear in any endorsements
4 - manufacturers and vendors, in responding to threads on the list, should make
their posts informative rather than selling ("With our XYZ-2000 you can achieve
what you want by...", rather than "You need our XYZ-2000 - we'll get a salesman
to call you")
5 - pricing is appropriate in context, although in practice most manufacturers
are very shy of publishing prices because they vary so much around the world
6 - Rob is our arbiter and moderator, and should wield sanctions when they seem
appropriate, for flagrant breaches of this code of conduct
7 - everyone, especially manufacturers, should pay their dues!
If this list sounds familiar, it is (in my words rather than Rob's) the ground
rules which applied when I joined. As far as I am concerned, it ain't broke, so
attempts to fix it are premature.