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I've been noticing...

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  • I've been noticing...


    I've been silent up until now, and don't want to dampen the liveliness of this board. But I have to say that over the past two months, I've seen more postings that are of a stealth commercial nature, and that's not fair to either myself as publisher of the magazine and host of the board, or to our paying sponsors.

    I'll only make the statement once, but if you're looking to promote a commercial enterprise, there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. I'm not going to single anyone out, but all things have an associated cost and posts meant to generate publicity through this free forum are definitely taking advantage of the situation. As much as I appreciate our members posting her and enriching the koi community in general, I have a problem with people "freeloading" and gaining exposure by making posts look like innocent questions or announcements. I especially have a problem when I spend very late nights working on Koi-Bito after returning from my 60+ hour a week day job, and seeing that some are taking advantage of the good nature of the community we've built without contributing to it's upkeep in a fashion commensurate with the gains being sought especially makes me less than happy.

    Sorry to have to post this, but this sort of thing isn't allowed on other forums, and if you'd like us to help you promote your business, you're always welcome to mail me privately any time.

    And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
    Last edited by Brian; 11-10-2004, 12:25 AM.
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

    Miyabi Koi Farm[/B]
  • #2

    In true fashion, you've told it "like it is" and I commend you for your straight forwardness.
    I realize there are those who will always look to take advantage in any society
    and that's too bad.
    I hope your notice will either encourage them to seek an advert or limit their
    exposure to direct answers to questions.
    I think they know who they are and will be convicted by their own sense of right and wrong!
    Dick Benbow


    • #3

      This is an interesting discussion Brian commercialization of a board. I find this to be the most informative board on Koi that I visit and I definitely like it the best. I guess there is a bit of commercialization and self promotion but I don't really see it as a problem. I would be great to see more advertising here too from your perspective to help support the board. But I honestly don't see serious efforts by many to commecialize their own business here. Yes many of us do have Koi related business including myself and that is the nature of this board many of us have a more advanced view of the industry than newbies to koi. That is what makes this site more interesting. What specifically can we do to help you support and maintain this board. Yes I do subscibe to your magazine and likely most of us do. In closing what would you like to see happen specifically. It would be great if you could be more specific. I think we can handle direct frank discussion we don't have to take it personally.
      The perfect koi is always one purchase or spawning away!


      • #4

        Well said Brian, you're not the only one who's noticed that.

        rgds BERN
        South East Koi Club


        • #5

          What are the specifics? Thats what I want to know? I was just curious about this thread..
          The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.


          • #6

            Nicely worded Brian. A difficult subject to identify and then set up a workable set of guidelines. May I suggest a look at the way Koi Vet is handling this issue? They have even set up a section Titled commercials. It is permitted to discuss manufacturers but not retailers. Where to buy is handled by private e-mail. The post by the individual from China would meet these guidelines. This policy allows the discussion of products and breeders. And even with these guidelines the process is a continual learning one.

            I understand your concerns and fully support your actions.



            • #7

              Promotion? What is promotion...I guess with anything else in the world nothing is free. From people naming their Koi Clubs, Koi Dealers and Products. Anyways who cares?...Maybe some...that's why it's been silent around. So silent you could hear the fish talking. Well anyways, got to get back to work to help this hobby me making money..1. I can buy "Koi" or "Products" 2. The dealer gets paid. 3. Dealer pays breeders for product..Anyways, I have never seen a hobbyist make $20K USD a year in this hobby. Well serious hobbyist anyways.

              "Private Hobbyist who cares only about winning!"
              The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.


              • #8

                Good for you Brian. Fair is fair. No need to be doormat for anyone.

                The keepers of the hobby itself should be the hobbyists. They are kept however in a limited world of hear-say and out of date TFH publications without the input of professionals. There in lies the rub- who will give honest information and who will use the environment of doe eye innocents with a fist full of $$$ to promote business?

                ZNA said it best when they suggested that the relationship between business and amateur communities should be one of mutual benefit. But like the school yard play ground not everyone plays by the rules or even with a basic level of ethics.

                I think that any time you see a hobby built around high price purchases with huge markups, you attract two basic personality types to the business end- 1) those looking to run wild like a kid in a candy store and, 2) those loving the hobby but needing to support the habit through a little innocent wheeling and dealing.

                It is most common now to see dozens and dozens of backyard dealers trying to be both hobbyists and dealers. And I’m sure they see no harm in cruising the boards as they don’t see themselves as a Peter Waddington or a Kodoma. So I think these indiscretions are pretty innocent as these folks don’t see themselves as business people- just hobbyists that sell fish!!! LOL

                As for the guys who are promoting their current dealers because they are simply enthralled with that particular dealer at the moment, I don’t think that can be regulated. It’s human nature- “ my dealer and my Japanese breeder is the best” kinda thing?

                I honestly think the violators are made up of the professional cheat, the innocent newbie dealer and the uninformed backyard hobbyist/dealer- some will need some guidance- others need the ‘hammer’…



                • #9

                  My thoughts are 2 fold on this issue. Brian has a valid point, the commercial side of the hobby is getting free publicity, even advertising on the board in a subtle way.

                  However, I see the board as an avenue for learning and sharing amongst koi people. For example, members often post pics of their koi on the board. Can't avoid the subject of who the breeder is and where it was purchased. This is a part of learning for me. Another area would be in the mechanical or equipment side of things. When we talk of filtration, the components, design, maker, etc. names are often brought up. Is this a subtle form of free advertising or just sharing of info?

                  So, how should we go about sharing our info without mentioning names of dealers, manufacturers, breeders, etc. thus avoiding the commercial/advertising side of the hobby?


                  • #10

                    I think we need to get back to having fun....This board is just a tease for each coming issue. We all know the magazine is bi-monthly and what do we have in between each month...This Board!!! Yes we tend to mention Dealers, Breeders and some super dupa cleaner. We are the test base for everything this hobby has to offer, we have the right to tell it how it is! Without us the hobbyist, this hobby isn't where it is now...
                    I think we should stop an think about were are the new hobbyist to push this thing in the next couple of years? Looks to me we have too much OLD BLOOD in this hobby!!! Need some NEW BLOOD....
                    The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.


                    • #11

                      Most things in our world evolve and succeed by give and take, mutual back scratching. YES, posters should keep promotions in good taste, AND board hosts should not be too militant in their policing of the boards. Very few chat boards on the web are there purely for "free" enjoyment,... most are wings of commercial sites, and most sell banner ads, and the number of "hits" a board gets is a stat that is used to SELL ads to potential advertisers,... this brings income in to the board host, and it brings repeat viewership. NOW, if all the posters were to go away from a board the board would have no way of functioning, and would have no value. The board host himself would have to answer ALL questions posted himself, and would have to have a lot of free time, and would have to have an incredible knowledge base.

                      SO, each and every poster to these web boards is a "player", an "actor", an "entertainer", that gives their time and their knowledge, or just their presence freely - if there were a "Poster's Union" each poster would get a check every time a banner ad were sold. So, there truly is a give and take that makes this new system work. Yes, once in a while some of us get out of hand, but not often, and we other posters generally will cry "foul" when something is blatant. Yes, the "hammer" is incredibly effective.

                      I think we all have to be careful that we are not too sensitive though that we see everything as commercial. Many of us live and sleep Koi, and are also in business at different levels, we're not always pitching something, BUT are simply sharing something close to us with friends that "get it" or friends that enjoy the same things as we do. Koi keeping is a specialized hobby, and many of us, in business or not, have to look on a worldly scale just to find others that we can talk to on the same level.

                      One of the "plagues" of being in the business is that I feel that I can not talk to anyone openly and freely, or I can't show them a Koi "just for fun" without them thinking I'm trying to sell them something. It's difficult.

                      Best Wishes,
                      Brady Brandwood


                      • #12

                        Well said Brady!


                        • #13

                          I've got to second that statement.



                          • #14

                            Brady, wonderfully put, thank you.

                            Kind Regards, Terri
                            Backyard Puddle


                            • #15

                              Brady: Talk!! Your posts are among the most informative on the web ... no matter which board you select. I hope some day to have enough personal knowledge to be able to discuss Showa with you in a way meaningful to you (like which type of Sumi is better in warm climates? ). But that's years away. In the meantime, please do not censor yourself.

                              Oh, how I wish there was a Niigata breeder hooked on koi boards who could chime in with their perspective on Hi development.... in English! Maybe some day Oomo could be inocculated with the "koi board virus" ... that's the one computer virus I don't mind.


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