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Why can't we talk about other aquarium companies?


Keeg
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I was browsing the forum, saw the guidelines and two of the bullets said "We don't discuss other aquarium related companies both positively or negatively", "links to competitors are prohibited...". Now in my mind I interpret this as, don't talk about any other store besides ours here. But I could also see it as, you can talk about them as in regards to products and location but you can't talk them up or down. I get that the co-op isnt a big brand compared to chain stores, but also because of this, the co-op can't supply everybody's necessities and this guideline feels like it can deny somebody's opportunity to get a solution to their problem. I get that the co-op doesn't want to lose parts of the market, but in places where the co-op might not be able to help should be able to talk freely about their local stores. Don't get me wrong, I love the co-op, absolute favorite store. Can somebody explain this rule to me? Also which way or how to interpret it. 

Edited by Keeg
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From a business sense it makes sense. If they don’t have what you need they may have an alternative to the products you seek or may in the future carry them if they see a demand and they would lose money. It is not feasible  for moderators to look at each post and make a decision if coop could have supplied something and therefore lost money. Police’ing that would be very hard I imagine. It would also get into negativity and become a review of operation type thing I’m guessing.  These are my guesses I am not them so cannot speak with knowledge other than my business background so do not take this as me knowing anything for certain. Just wanted to share my thoughts. 

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@Guppysnail Yeah I get business aspect of it, but it feels more like an attempt to monopolize the market. the co-op started as a small business and I feel like it should be supportive of other newly founded stores. We need a more connected community of fish stores viewing each other as allies rather competition. It would be cool to see other stores making their own page on this forum. 

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I remember the guidelines also saying Amazon links are fine. Unless I'm getting mixed up with another group I'm in. 

I think the rule is to avoid self promotion, or "free advertising".. 

But I've seen Cory talk about products he doesn't sell.  He only wants to sell what he would himself use, which is why he doesn't sell fine sponges. 

There are a lot of products people talk about on here as part of their setup and that isn't available at the co-op.  So I really don't think it's that big a deal.  But I'm not a moderator.... 

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On 8/4/2021 at 5:13 AM, Keeg said:

@Guppysnail Yeah I get business aspect of it, but it feels more like an attempt to monopolize the market. the co-op started as a small business and I feel like it should be supportive of other newly founded stores. We need a more connected community of fish stores viewing each other as allies rather competition. It would be cool to see other stores making their own page on this forum. 

I don't see it as an attempt to monopolize the market.  I see it as the person/company that is paying for this forum doesn't want it to be used to help competitors.  I'd feel the same way.

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Say at Moes (Sorry in advance for be being addicted to tacos and always using it as a reference) they are selling burritos and they have a sign on the front door that says "Buy one get one free at Taco Bell." Do you think you would want to buy at Taco Bell, Or Moes? If you were me I would definitely buy it at Taco Bell because they are the one with the deals so it's basically like saying someone sends a link to a competitor that has a buy one get one free deal on Crypts and Aquarium Co-Op doesen't most likely unless you are a Die Hard Co-Op fan then you will buy the Crypts from the Competitor and soon that website will be booming and aquarium Co-Op sales will go down. Sorry for being super confusing but I hope this makes sense

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On 8/4/2021 at 9:11 AM, JettsPapa said:

 I see it as the person/company that is paying for this forum doesn't want it to be used to help competitors.  I'd feel the same way.

That makes good sense. I see a few reasons it would also make moderating ridiculously hard. I think it's a smart rule.

The one and only glitch I've seen from the rule is that I can't tell people, "No! Don't buy from [Certain Affiliate]. They treated the animals I ordered and myself unethically. It was so bad that I will never order from them again."  I want to give people a heads-up to protect the pets they want and themselves, but I can't warn them. That feels awful every time.

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On 8/4/2021 at 10:11 AM, JettsPapa said:

I don't see it as an attempt to monopolize the market.  I see it as the person/company that is paying for this forum doesn't want it to be used to help competitors.  I'd feel the same way.

I fully understand this viewpoint, however I think it's a bit broader and more complex.

Sometimes helping the competitor is an unintended biproduct of actually helping the customer. In this case...a forum member in need of help, guidance, or a product. And furthermore, helping the competitor may actually help the hobby of the whole, whether it be by healthy competition, or just keeping options open for hobbyists.

The nucleus and primary objective of this forum seem to be about helping the members, and helping one another. If that is indeed the case, then I believe it leaves (or should leave) the rules a bit open to interpretation of intent at hand.

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On 8/4/2021 at 11:23 AM, CalmedByFish said:

That makes good sense. I see a few reasons it would also make moderating ridiculously hard. I think it's a smart rule.

The one and only glitch I've seen from the rule is that I can't tell people, "No! Don't buy from [Certain Affiliate]. They treated the animals I ordered and myself unethically. It was so bad that I will never order from them again."  I want to give people a heads-up to protect the pets they want and themselves, but I can't warn them. That feels awful every time.

That's when you just send them a private message. I have my fave fish stores and the one they promote is not on the list.

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The rules are simple. You can talk about products, you can't talk about where to get them. Everyone can google if they need to. Getting lawyers involved for slander cases, helping competitors. Not warning people around problem vendors etc. All of this is more overhead I don't want to have to pay for.

You don't see the other side of the forum. The hours per day customer service is spending with I can't use the forum how do I do it? Someone on the forum said this, they are wrong. Someone said they like this and it was bad etc.

This is done to keep this forum manageable by my company. If the rules are inhibiting your experience, there are many other forums out on the internet in which you could partake in. We have posted the links we allow, one being Amazon which is the largest retailer in the world. If it's not on there, it's a niche product in which googling the name will get you there.

I don't want to have to comb through 100k posts to remove a company name because a brand partner we want to buy from requires it. I've also had to remove videos we've done in the past where we endorse companies and then they have ots of problems and aren't doing right by the customer. This is a lot of work and completely avoidable if we keep companies and their websites out of it.

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There you have it!

There's a lot that goes in to keeping a forum running smoothly, and I'm ok with the rules if that helps keep this place like it is. A great place to get information and help from some really awesome people. This is one of the best forums I've seen and frequent. Spend a bit of time on facebook to see the opposite side of the spectrum...
 

 

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On 8/4/2021 at 4:37 PM, Cory said:

The rules are simple. You can talk about products, you can't talk about where to get them. Everyone can google if they need to. Getting lawyers involved for slander cases, helping competitors. Not warning people around problem vendors etc. All of this is more overhead I don't want to have to pay for.

You don't see the other side of the forum. The hours per day customer service is spending with I can't use the forum how do I do it? Someone on the forum said this, they are wrong. Someone said they like this and it was bad etc.

This is done to keep this forum manageable by my company. If the rules are inhibiting your experience, there are many other forums out on the internet in which you could partake in. We have posted the links we allow, one being Amazon which is the largest retailer in the world. If it's not on there, it's a niche product in which googling the name will get you there.

I don't want to have to comb through 100k posts to remove a company name because a brand partner we want to buy from requires it. I've also had to remove videos we've done in the past where we endorse companies and then they have ots of problems and aren't doing right by the customer. This is a lot of work and completely avoidable if we keep companies and their websites out of it.

Used to be a Mod/Admin on a Koi forum and even had to flag you once. I don't envy anyone doing similar roles on forums. No matter what you say or do, someone is ticked off. You end up doing what creates the least amount of drama, hassle, and/or legal worries. 

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