Ouddict Forum Changes

Discussion in 'Forum Announcements' started by Ouddict, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Faizal_p

    Faizal_p Resident Artisan

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    I guess we could have some rules regarding what a vendor can say however don't forget even on bn vendors are allowed to have an account. You're just not allowed to promote your own business.
     
    RisingPhoenix likes this.
  2. Grega

    Grega Oud Fan

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    I don't know why. One of the draws of this forum for me is vendor participation.

    As for negative reviews.
    You don't get a lot of bad reviews from me not because I fear the vendors reading that but because I mostly at least enjoy whatever oil/blend I try.

    As for insults.
    Accusing forum members of being in an extreme cult/having only stupid and pointless things to say/posting only to show off (etc etc) is pretty insulting to me.

    I really like that idea about monthly topics. Frankly that would be pretty cool especially if it were more like a debate on a certain topic with vendors and other knowledgeable persons pitching in.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  3. RisingPhoenix

    RisingPhoenix Resident Artisan

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    Yeah - recall how people would FLIP OUT :)Roflmao:) if a vendor said aaaaaaanything that might even hint as a sales pitch? Ouddict really has tried to be more relaxed about it. I think having a Vendor’s Corner has helped quite a bit on this front.

    On the flip side - I totally get it. It can be a challenge answering questions, especially when you have / sell / provide essentially the answer to their question. It’s a fine line, certainly - and I think all us buttheads trying to sell stuff do our best to both acknowledge and respect.

    And as @MzM pointed out - it’s hard to infer too much when reading comments. Helps quite a bit to read the comments with a grain or two (or ten!) of salt :)
     
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  4. Bilalw

    Bilalw Whats this Oud About?

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    You are misquoting me or not grasping what I wrote properly, and assuming the worst. If u can't grasp that we as a forum are a fraction of a percent of the overall population of the planet, we an extreme minority, and the active posters a fraction of that fraction, and their zeal in general almost cultlike, then I am not sure what u think at all? Perhaps u think we are the majority and not an insignificant percentage ? U cannot see that perhaps most outside your bubble would consider your exaggerated reviews and professed love of a single substance extracted from an infected tree bordering on insane? I personally consider such reviews and SOTD postings pretentious and sometimes ostentatious, I don't like to get involved with them, that's my right and I'm entitled to my opinion. If you are insulted by it grow a backbone and go back to your corner and sit and think . Perhaps you need a timeout of your bubble.
     
  5. Grega

    Grega Oud Fan

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    Lol there you go again! Manners are not your strong point. You do not have the license to speak to adult strangers, of whom you know nothing and of whom you make weird assumptions, as if they were your child whom you can send into a corner.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  6. noobie

    noobie Just Arrived

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    Wealth of good information here. Instead of quoting individual lines that I liked, it's worth rereading over and over again. Well said, sir.
     
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  7. jensz

    jensz Administrator Staff Member

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    Lots of good discussion here, but insulting personal remarks threaten to take this off-topic and degrade the conversation into something uncivil. We don't want to have to lock the thread for a time-out. Please.
     
  8. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

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    It’s true that some people have better manners than others.
    I can live with that.
    It’s true that some people post leaning towards their preferred angle.
    I can live with that.
    It’s true that there is a lot of vendor participation in this forum.
    I can live with that.
    But if I have no oud,
    I can’t live with that:Roflmao::Roflmao::Roflmao:
     
    VPhong, Joe King, Ouddict and 4 others like this.
  9. Grega

    Grega Oud Fan

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    :Thumbsup: So true!
     
    Dan likes this.
  10. Grega

    Grega Oud Fan

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    Sorry for going off topic. I say to myself it's not worth it to get into offtopic bickering but my temperament gets the better of me.
     
    jensz likes this.
  11. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

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    I have to give this forum a lot of credit.
    It grew from necessity by Oudlovers who wanted to create a space for fellow Oudlovers to gather and “talk oud” after Basenotes locked the Oudlovers thread,....... even the years of contributions at Basenotes was not accessible.

    It was already proven that oudheads can be a very difficult bunch, but that didn’t stop this forum from hosting us:D:D:D

    I have seen this forum grow in an evolutionary manner, and not from blueprints. So if it is not structured the way some may like it to be, or if it seems to possess attributes that some are not comfortable with, then I beg for their understanding, and if possible, their efforts to be part of this evolution.

    The doors of the Administration are always open to suggestions.

    Let’s see..............
    How many Oud Forums are out there?
    ..........one....two....three........are there more?

    I suggest that we take care of our forum.....
    else we have to scuttle back to BN:eek:
     
    VPhong, jensz, Ouddict and 4 others like this.
  12. Joe King

    Joe King AttitOud

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    I get that vendors are oud lovers too but I agree with @PEARL that there needs to be more separation in order to let consumers feel they can post accurate descriptions be they positive or negative. If you look back through reviews etc how often do you find if a review is a bit negative the vendor will jump in. Actually it is a challenge to find any review that is even slightly negative, I know we all love oud but some stuff aint all that great and some while high quality is not to everyone's taste. If the goal is to have an open forum we need to separate those with a vested interest from the users to enable an environment for free speech (within forum rules of course).
     
    OudGood, Martin, noobie and 5 others like this.
  13. Ouddict

    Ouddict Technical Support

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    Oh dear.... you may or may not notice that I don’t post much on the forum. It’s because I’m quite busy with my personal life and also because I’m focused on giving my time to Ouddict members offline and don’t know how to say no when some one needs help.

    Vendor Shilling and Promotions
    So I was very surprised when @Faizal_p called me today and said that there needs to be a separation between vendor activity and the main boards (outside of the vendor spaces). I was surprised because this is already meant to be the case and obviously some vendors have apparently been over-enthusiastically promoting their wares indirectly on the main boards. This should not be happening and if it has, it’s a failure of the management to monitor the board sufficiently and my personal failure not to make the forum rules clear enough to all.


    Forum Closure
    The issue is that I’m overwhelmed and exhausted. Things like the Rai Munir debacle where forum management did nothing wrong, but have been falsely accused of numerous wrongs by people who haven’t the faintest idea about the situation, have happened as we don’t have the resources to communicate effectively with members. Being very busy means that moderating posts is done at the speed of light and misunderstandings take place, even though in that particular case, I spent (wasted) a week of my time trying to deal with it and thought I had before the whole issue blew up again. So it’s exhausing deal with all this, especially when dealing with rumours based on hearsay and false accusations that spoil the community for everyone. That’s the bottom line.

    I cannot run everything myself as it’s a full time job and to be honest, from the things I’ve heard and read - many of them very disappointing to me personally after the efforts I’ve made over the past three years, at enormous cost to myself financially, in terms of time and reputationally where I was basically trashed and falsely accused by a certain individual, I told @Faizal_p that I really feel like shutting the whole Ouddict operation down and letting people go to Gaharu or Basenotes and enjoy their time there, because running this place is an expensive and generally thankless task.

    Sorry to keep referring to myself, but the reality is that 90% of the running of this forum is done by me and I wish that wasn’t the case, but at the moment, despite my efforts it is.

    I’m going to give it one last go until the end of the year as I have an obligation towards vendors who have paid for operations until then. I will be publishing forum rules within the month to resolve these issues, but the general aim is that the main boards should function like the Basenotes thread where vendors are not allowed to promote their products or shill etc. A couple of vendors in particular have been mentioned as doing this and will be spoken to.

    Forum Funding
    On a related matter, if the forum continues past this year , I’m seriously considering upgrading the marketplace into an eBay type format where members can auction and sell Ouds and charging $5 or a % for each sale for the privilege. In this way, the forum becomes funded by its members rather than vendors.
     
    VPhong, Grega, jensz and 4 others like this.
  14. Ouddict

    Ouddict Technical Support

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    Thanks Curt... your words and support mean a lot more than you might think. This is exactly how it is and yes the door of the admins are always open for suggestions. But for every constructive suggestion we get, we have to deal with literally 100 issues and I wish it was the other way around.
     
  15. noobie

    noobie Just Arrived

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    If it doesn't break forum rules, may we know who are the vendors who have sponsored this forum? For the sake of transparency.
     
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  16. RisingPhoenix

    RisingPhoenix Resident Artisan

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    That would be every Vendor in the Vendor’s corner. It’s all of us that pay for all the expenses and upkeep related to the forum.

    Ouddict is a free space for you guys...but it ain’t free, by any longshot. Costs quite a bit of money to keep this place afloat. There are no paid staff. This isn’t a revenue generating forum. The caveat for this place being free to you - is that is vendors are granted a presence here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    Grega, jensz, Ouddict and 2 others like this.
  17. Ouddict

    Ouddict Technical Support

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    The ones on the banners and vendor spaces
     
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  18. Bilalw

    Bilalw Whats this Oud About?

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    /Inb4bunessecaryban

    Pretty much this is what I'm talking about. Got a different view point , then take it elsewhere. If u don't get on board and tow the line, you are pretty much not welcome around here. Perhaps ouddict you spend too much of your time regulating something which doesn't need to be regulated.

    Got this pm from ouddict:

    Salaam Bilal,
    If you personally don’t see why Oud is a big deal that’s fine, but then maybe an Oud forum isn’t for you. You can still lurk around as many others do and take whatever benefit you want from the forum, but don’t necessarily expect the same privileges then. At the moment it’s a one tier membership, but that’s not always guaranteed and it’s the right of the forum owners to change that.

    So we have all heard what you have had to say and it’s not been moderated as it’s another view, but if you have nothing else to add to the thread, I would appreciate it if you let it go now. Your tone is also not welcome as several members and finally our admin Jensz have pointed out. Alternatively you are welcome to go and start a thread on the “Other Things We Do” and talk about what you are enthusiastic about.

    Regards,
    Nadeem


    You wonder why ppl don't post.
     
    Martin likes this.
  19. Hamza H

    Hamza H Whats this Oud About?

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    I'm busy at the moment. But in the summer (may onwards) I'll be available to oversee this effort with the permission of forum management. I have 2 ideas. One is a detailed wiki. (Long and detailed)

    One is more of a booklet beginners introduction to natural perfumery. But we will focus on oudh. And I'll collate the vendors contributions to keep it concise and simple.

    I.e. what people learn over years should be compiled into a booklet.

    We can even. Start populating the wiki by scouring the forum for previous posts by ASO, IO, AH etc. Without annoying vendors too much and then taking it from there.

    I want it vendor neutral. No subtle promotions.
     
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  20. Ouddict

    Ouddict Technical Support

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    Hmmm... not quite true. It’s natural that a vendor may think this, but the fact is that this forum was free for all from July 2016 to January 2018, after which I did some costing and found I’d spent around $3000 on costs, not to mention my personal time which if it was a full time job, I’d have clocked in 6 months worth of salary. If we had to bring in an outside Xenforo developer, it would have been around $25k to get the forum to where it was back in January 2018, not to mention what work has been done since then. This is all before vendors contributed a single dime.

    The forum was set up to be open and neutral and welcoming to all who wanted an environment that was free from agendas both commercial and non-commercial. For people to just talk about Oud and learn. To do that, you need reliable information and the vendors are part of that equation, but not the only part. It’s an ecosystem and everything has its place. This is not a vendor- free forum, nor is it a vendor-run forum. It’s like a community that has a library where people can sit and learn and discuss in a commercial free environment. It also has a “mall” where people can go to shop. The issue arises when the mall vendors come over to the library and try to inject themselves into that institute. The other issue arises when people expect the mall to function like a library. It doesn’t work that way and both are required. We also have a police station to enforce policy (the admins and mods) and a one-man army to bring out the heavy artillery when things get really out of hand - that’s me :D

    So with regards to funding, yes the vendors currently pay for their vendor areas and the right to have a banner which probably no one takes any notice of anyway :Roflmao:. But I want you all to take the following onboard. Not all vendors have paid. One is struggling financially and owes a lot in fees, but I haven’t thrown him off as he has explained his situation and I do not see the value of vendor presence on this forum as purely being about fees. Of course I have to balance that with being fair to other vendors, but there is flexibility there at my discretion. Agar Aura is another vendor who was given a space but again, never paid anything as he’s apparently been flirting with bankruptcy for the past 3 years. This is despite my knowledge of that vendor making a lot of sales from this platform. Bottom line is that this forum tries to support its vendors as the ones allowed on here accept that they must be aligned with the fair and ethical dealings, honesty and integrity that this forum stands for.

    Vendors paying a fee to operate a space on the forum does not translate into “vendors are therefore paying for the whole forum and have a right to dictate policy.” They can influence it for their legitimate needs. For example, if they want to participate in the OudFest or if they see content that affects their business unfairly - Rai Munir was a case in point, although in that episode the vendor was overruled. Yes folks, vendors are not the source of all evil, but I get this impression that some of you are close to that view and it’s not fair or constructive. Likewise, members on this forum have a right to expect a genuinely commercial-free environment on the main boards and ask the admin to enforce the openly declared policy of commercial neutrality on those boards. To this end, as I’ve already mentioned, I will have to write up clear rules regarding this.

    Now Ouddict is not a perfect environment, but I think it’s a lot better than other places out there. I think it may well be best to eliminate suspicion and these sometime ill-intentioned rumours that this forum somehow has a commercial bent when we have actually tried in every way to maintain a fair balance. The only way that can happen is for members to pay via use of the Marketplace as I certainly won’t be putting $$$ of my personal cash on an annual basis to keep it running and it’s not a sustainable model of operation. If anyone thinks it is, I suggest they put their pure principles into the anvil of practice and see how it goes. If there is sufficient demand for this approach, the vendors will have their banners removed in January 2020, but get their spaces for free in perpetuity and be happy while members will also have a forum that they know is not commercially funded. Win-win for all.
     
    VPhong, MzM, Grega and 3 others like this.

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