Author Topic: For the robot building community  (Read 819 times)

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Offline kendallc81Topic starter

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For the robot building community
« on: September 20, 2012, 08:49:33 PM »
My name is Kendall and I have something that's fairly sensitive to discuss, but if you read my entire post you will see that I, being a frequent forum user myself, fully understand forum etiquette and am fully respecting it. 

I own a tech company which I will not identify here, and so that my intentions are clear, my company's identity can only be seen by the moderators and owner who can see it by the extension on my email address to verify that my statements are legitimate. The benefit of the few users I could try to siphon with this single thread is very minimal to my company. Our intention is to create a long term relationship that we believe will be mutually beneficial for both this forum's owner, the community and ourselves. The only way our platform will be revealed is if the forum owner decides to allow the arrangement.

Now with that said, my company is a completely new kind of social platform that, while not replacing the hobby forum, does dramatically innovate certain aspects of it and therefore appeals to the same audience. Forums are for groups to speak together as a whole. Our platform is for people to create more engaging one-on-one relationships based upon similar activities, passions and interests. Unlike any other company making innovations in social networking, our platform was conceived one-hundred percent with diehard hobbyist in mind and will change the way hobbyists interact online. At the bottom of this post is a link to an anonymous Flickr image of our landing page, with blocked out names, to help explain our platform and so that you can see that this is something new and highly unique.

Over the next year my company will be visiting various conferences and expos for robot building as well as other hobbies. We will also be advertising on many forums such as this one. The only problem is, our platform is designed for all hobbies, and we currently can only focus our budget towards the most receptive hobby communities. So it first needs to be established if the robot building community is one of those communities. If it is, we intend to advertise on this site and if that is all we end up doing, that is fine. My strongest reason for approaching this forum, though, involves the forum owner and a potential partnership beyond a simple sponsorship of which we are confident will be well received. So if the forum owner will contact me we can discuss the matter further.

Eventually, one way or the other, many people in the robot building community will discover our company. But in the social space, the tone is often set by the earliest adopters, and we know that the forum community is the most upstanding and most knowledgeable kind of user to set the best tone within our own robot building community. 

I hope that this isn't seen as a typical attempt to spam and won't be automatically dismissed as something that should be kicked. I'm requesting that decision to be left to the forum owner after they have heard what we are proposing. We want to be completely above board in our actions here, and once everything is revealed you will see that we are not a typical company in how radically and controversially pro-user and pro-fairness we are in our policies and practices. 

Ask me any questions other than my company's identity and I will answer as transparently as possible.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8300/8007806673_40b07d57c5_b.jpg

Offline Soeren

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Re: For the robot building community
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2012, 07:24:16 AM »
Hi,

My name is Kendall and I have something that's fairly sensitive to discuss,
What's sensitive about it?


I own a tech company which I will not identify here,
No need to, it's easy to find for anybody with even the smallest bit of net.savvy, but why the secrecy??
Give me a very good reason not to post your company name, or I will, as I hate the idea of secrecy for secrecys sake - usally ulterior motives are the reason.


mutually beneficial for [...] ourselves.
Your emphasize on the lack of ads on your site (although your FAQ and "Terms of Service" are rather self contradicting on that) and that you try to paint a pretty picture of yourself as the guy who just wanna help everyone, doesn't rhime well with a company that needs a positive bottom line.


Is this just step one, where you gather intel, which your terms says you can use in any way you see fit at a later date (and forever), or is the advertising that you wanna send to each users email the real profit area?

Honesty is the only way to run a business and however you wanna describe your site, a business it is.


The only way our platform will be revealed is if the forum owner decides to allow the arrangement.
Trying to hide something like that is futile (and points to a certain lack of smartness) and unless there's something really bad lined up, why try to hide it at all?
Had I created something that I found to be the best thing since sliced bread, I'd shout it's name from the highest mountains (or get someone do it - I dislike heights ;))


Eventually, one way or the other, many people in the robot building community will discover our company.
Yeah, took me about 5 seconds ;)


But in the social space, the tone is often set by the earliest adopters, and we know that the forum community is the most upstanding and most knowledgeable kind of user to set the best tone within our own robot building community.
Set by the first adopters, changed by the next wave, which always gets people to talk about the "good old days".

But hey, I can see that you're just trying to urge people to jump on the train before it leaves the station - You seem to be out of synch with the changes that happens everywhere when new users appear in numbers - even Usenet is a faint shadow of what it used to be for that reason.


I'm requesting that decision to be left to the forum owner after they have heard what we are proposing.
So, pay the owner and muffle up Joe Random - too bad it doesn't work that way - you should have contacted Admin by email instead, if you want the clandestine angle.


[...] and once everything is revealed you will see [...] how radically and controversially pro-user and pro-fairness we are in our policies and practices.

A few examples of "how radically and controversially pro-user and pro-fairness we are in our policies and practices."

Quote from: Your Privacy Policy
we may use your email address or other personal information to send transactional or marketing messages to you

Quote from: Your Terms of Service
For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your Content. However, by submitting Content to XXX, you hereby grant XXX a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and XXX's (and its successors' and affiliates') business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. [...]
The above licenses granted by you in user comments you submit are perpetual and irrevocable
That's really your take on "pro-user and pro-fairness" - ?

The only difference between existing web fora and your approach is, as I see it, that you want to profit from peoples interest - how do you think it's different?


Ask me any questions other than my company's identity and I will answer as transparently as possible.
Answer the above in a form that truly convinces me not to post your company's identity here, on boardgamegeek, on atvgunracks.com and where else you may choose to post this...
Information wants to be free!
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline kendallc81Topic starter

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Re: For the robot building community
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 01:06:36 PM »
@Soeron

It is not secrecy as much as it is not breaking the heart of a policy to not get free advertising through a bulletin board. Think if I had said our name. Then it would be no doubt seen as spam straight away. Take away the motive for spam (traffic) and it seems to make the intentions clear that it is not spam. If you are one of the moderators and don't see a problem with it, though, I'd be happy to show people my site directly to get better feedback.

As far as net savvy. We have approached 25 forums now and only one has figured out how to find us. That only happened moments ago, so we are learning.

Concerning our terms that you quoted. That is just standard issue protections so that if you send someone an email that you need to send them that they can't sue you. It doesn't mean that we will be sending email to advertise especially if like use you don't use ads.

There are no ads. At all. The only thing commercial you will ever see is the objects you asked to be associated with. Companies can not promote themselves in any way. Manufacturers literally have no means to provide us with money, directly or indirectly. And resellers on pay us through us referring sales to them after we have sent the sale. We push nothing on to anyone in any way.

We also do not sell users data in any way or ever access their data else in any way. We are a hermetically sealed contain on a deserted island, informationally or big data speaking.

We promise these two things to our user in a way no one else ever has, by legally binding ourselves (and any future company who could acquire us) to these promises with our own legal documentation to the point that if we were ever to break either of these promises our company would be fined so heavily by the FTC that it would go under the next day. We have spoken with the FTC in person about this. With our net we have made for ourselves to prove our honesty, the fines are 5000 dollars a day a user PER infraction. You can do the math.

We do this to show our users that we are telling them the truth when we say that the experience is free. Monetarily free (no subscription), informationally free (no big data), and even mentally free (not ads bugging you).


Offline Soeren

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Re: For the robot building community
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 05:57:49 PM »
Hi,

It is not secrecy as much as it is not breaking the [...]
OK, seems a valid reason for someone not familiar with this board. However, you won't see me as a customer or get any referred with the Terms you uphold - I'd rather play fiddle with the horned one, that way I have a chance - signing up with you, I grants you rights even beyond my lifetime!


If you are one of the moderators and don't see a problem with it, though, I'd be happy to show people my site directly to get better feedback.
I'm not, only Admin does the moderation here.


As far as net savvy. We have approached 25 forums now and only one has figured out how to find us. That only happened moments ago, so we are learning.
You mean besides me? Actually it may be a lack of interest - I still haven't seen any evidence that your concept is different from a web fora?

You claim that, at typical social networking sites, you befriend lots of people who don't share your interests and you're going to change that, but web fora have done this since the dawn of the web (and usenet for so much longer), but since both started before the expression "social networking" was coined, most people don't count them as such, even though they're the mother of subject oriented social networking - so, besides trying to be a sort of portal for all hobbies imaginable (which in my book may make it harder to find specific info) and doing it in this "show me your fridge, so that I know what to sell you" way, how do you think it differs from fora with a precise description, rather than a dumbing down with pictures?

A picture of a hand drill don't really tell me what peoples interest is - could be drilling, paint stirring, wire twisting, sharpening or a multitude of other stuff, while a written description is hard to mis-read.


And resellers on pay us through us referring sales to them after we have sent the sale. We push nothing on to anyone in any way.
No ads and no emails to the users - I wonder how you hope to refer anyone then?


We also do not sell users data in any way or ever access their data else in any way. We are a hermetically sealed contain on a deserted island, informationally or big data speaking.

We promise these two things to our user in a way no one else ever has, by legally binding ourselves (and any future company who could acquire us) to these promises with our own legal documentation to the point that if we were ever to break either of these promises our company would be fined so heavily by the FTC that it would go under the next day.
It isn't in the Terms of Service and it's easy to make a lot of promises in a web forum - put t in the terms of service if you really want to be believed.


We do this to show our users that we are telling them the truth when we say that the experience is free. Monetarily free (no subscription), informationally free (no big data), and even mentally free (not ads bugging you).
No, you just say this in a place (here) where it doesn't have any legal implications if/when you abandon such promises.
Ante up and put it where it matters ;D
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline kendallc81Topic starter

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Re: For the robot building community
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2012, 06:15:57 PM »
@Soeren

You are correct that forums have always done this forever and yet they still don't do it user friendly enough for much of the web to use them. There are forums for topics as obscure as scotch tape and yet less than 5% of web users ever use a forum.

This is exactly like how only a tiny percentage of people had "smart" phones before the iPhone. There had been smartphones for nearly as many years as there had been a cellphone in the hands of anyone other than executives. And yet Apple made the cumbersome easy. Then everyone had a smartphone.

I didn't say we would never send our users email. I simply said that we would not abuse it. The policy simply keeps people from suing for a single email.

I should specify about the ads that we will not have ads for other companies inside our platform. That's not to say that we won't advertise ourselves elsewhere.

The no ads or selling data is in our terms because a privacy policy is part of your terms of service. That is why it is addressed in the terms as a link to the full document. We have some of the best lawyer in the business (Hunton and Williams) and our terms were drawn up by one of the most famous names in tech legal.

In addition to this I have spoken with one of the top policy creators in the FTC myself and laid out what we are doing and not only did she say it was innovative, but that it was binding so strongly that if we are wrong in that honesty is valuable, then it is suicide.

So you can believe me when I say we are bound. The other standard language in our terms is mainly just to have the boiler plate protections from all of the random things people have sued companies for in the past.

The rule of thumb is, if you state something clearly in your privacy policy so much so that an average person reasonably thinks X from it. If you do Y you will suffer fines. Facebook sells people's data but they don't promise that they will not. We are promising with no unclear terms that we will never use any content loaded onto our site for an market research or advertising purposes and that we will never place an ad on the site. When it is that black and white, you are bound. You can ask an attorney or the FTC yourself on that one.

 


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