OT - Moderators - Qs about advertising products in-forumgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Greetings Y2K preppers (and non-preppers)!
OddOne here, with a few questions about the TB2K forum's official rules concerning advertising of products. Since I saw nothing in writing about this, I suppose a post might be apropos. If no official decision exists, perhaps this could be a way to gauge the general opinion on the idea as people respond to the thread to indicate if what I ask about is acceptable or not. (Hint, hint.)
The scoop is that I will shortly be in a position to begin production of some white LED products that might be extremely useful in moderate to severe Y2K scenarios (and mild ones as well if you only lose power for a while, etc.) I will also be coordinating another LED bulk-buy soon when I purchase the LEDs for these products, possibly running through the month of August. (A new thread on that will be forthcoming next week once I'm set up to start the fun of LED bulk-buy #2. So get ready, all you what want white LEDs!)
I would like to offer some of the white LED products for sale to the TB2K forum visitors and regulars first, since everyone that has been friendly at all has been so much so toward me. I don't, however, want to fly against any rules concerning commercial actions on the forum because it's just not cool and not how I do business. Therefore I'd like to inquire about whether it would be acceptable according to current forum policy for me to offer the products here first, with discounts to the TB2K folks that order as a thank-you for their inspiration regarding the potential nightmare that looms before us all. (Yes, I'm a borderline doomer, but I expect Y2K will be more of a domino causing other, more severe, troubles than anything else.) I would also like to create a thread to propose a few possible product ideas and the ones that people express interest in would be considered for production. Until I get word one way or another, anyone interested in hearing about the products or the LED bulk-buy will need to E-mail me directly as I won't mention specifics until I know everyone's cool with me blabbing about them in-forum. (My given E-mail address works. Usually.)
Guess this is a good opportunity to state, or create if necessary, the forum policies regarding advertising of products by their producers.
Many thanks, TB2K! Now, where'd I put that LED datasheet...
"That's MISTER white LED gdget-making freak to you!"
-- OddOne (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 19, 1999
O O, can you describe what LED's are and what they do? Thanks
-- KoFE (your@town.USA), July 19, 1999.
No problem, KoFe. Here goes...
LEDs are Light-Emitting Diodes. Basically it's a smallish electronic device that has a small chip in it that can emit light. LEDs exist in lots of colors (most spectrum colors except violet, and infrared) and in many different power and brightness levels from barely visible panel-mount indicators to the red laser diodes found in laser pointers.
LEDs are finally available that produce more or less white light, and they are remarkably efficient and rugged. They're also pretty darn bright, which means that the incandescent lightbulb finally has competition as far as light, portable lighting sources (flashlights, etc.) are concerned. They are also pretty expensive, $ 1.60 each in thousand quantities when ordered directly from Nichia, one of the few manufacturers of white LEDs.
It's a very basic "nutshell" explanation I know, but it'll give you gist without getting all technical and boring. If you'd like more detailed info, E-mail me from a working address and I'll be happy to go into more detail without typing up forum bandwidth. :-)
-- OddOne (email@example.com), July 19, 1999.
1) I've seen IR LED's in some interesting placs which don't probably qualify for "General Use". 2) Speaking ONLY for MYSELF as a member of the Mod. Team, I have no problem with putting your stuff up here. I would probably be even MORE accepting of a link to a website, than a post here, but....
Just as long as you CLEARLY indicate that you are indeed in this as a business and not a charity (ie you plan to sell 'em for more than it cost to make 'em).
BUT Your best bet is to e-mail the Sysop at the address at the bottom of the page and see what she has to say.
-- Chuck, a night driver (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 20, 1999.
OddOne--Would rather you provide a link to your web-site, and not use the Forum for sales pitches. Now, if you choose to start a thread about the merits of different light source, and just happen to mention what you have, that's a bit different.
Don't really WANT to have to develop forum "guidelines" for every contingency. The line from the prep forum will be added here, though:
We ask that vendors refrain from posting direct information about their products and services
-- Sysop (email@example.com), July 20, 1999.
The MIT server behind the forum database is a university (non-profit) function, so the rule of the game don't allow the server itself (P. Greenspun group) to run commercial functions from the university's machines.
However, the readers and writers here (locally in the forum) are not directly restricted by that rule; BUT - in their hatred and passion to convert new readers, the trolls have used, and will almost certainly will continue their public and behind-the-scenes campaign to shut down the forum.
One of the trolls most important propagandistic tricks is to accuse EVERYBODY who encourages preparing for uncertainity of profiteering and panic-mongering, of stirring up panic so they can sell things. (Seems a bit ridiculous on the face of it - if everybody who encourages preparation is trying to sell something, even those of us who aren't, then wouldn't their only customers be everybody in the preparation business? So - if the trolls are right, then our only customers are the people preparing, and we'd end up only selling to ourselves! That in itself means "we" could pose no threat to the public perception - particularly since some 35-4-% of the public already intend on making some basic effort to prepare their families.)
Therefore, I'd recommend not "pushing" the issue, but rather be honest about giving one or more "Sources for ...." or "Contacts found for ...." in the title and giving a link in the message itself. The user is then responsible for printing the thread, and of following up.
Simply NOT giving information for fear of being considered "advertising" is equally wrong - For example, since I was not aware of the energy savings of white LED's until you wrote about them, and since even small 12vdc flourescent lamps at the RV dealers are $55.00 to $80.00 dollars each, I'd miss the opportunity to solve a lighting problem, to waste a good deal of energy trying to light rooms, and waste a considerable amount of money for a poor emergency solution without your original and following threads.
On the other hand, blatant advertising for a web site, such as the Rev. Kwong did several times, isn't appropriate either; and almost all users are uncomfortable seeing that in the forum. Follow your instinctive feeling, and inform the public, but don't advertise.
-- Robert A Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 20, 1999.
"blatant advertising for a web site, such as the Rev. Kwong did several times, isn't appropriate either; and almost all users are uncomfortable seeing that in the forum"
Robert, I think youd be surprised at the kinds of things that the users of this forum are comfortable with.
No comment as yet from you on these issues. This is a disappointment to me. I've always noted you as one of the more moderate and thoughtful regulars here. Oh well.
-- W0lv3r1n3 (W0lv3r1n3@yahoo.com), July 20, 1999.
Please note that OddOne also carries a description on how to make your own from a busted lightbulb, a resistor and a LED. He doesn't make a penny off of that. (My wife and I did the photos, and we don't make money off it, either.)
OddOne also put together the LED buy and risked his own money, and far as I know he made no profit on the sale of LEDs. His only profit has been on the modules he manufactures (again, far as I know).
If this is for profit, he sounds like a lousy businessman. Guess I do, too.
-- bw (email@example.com), July 20, 1999.
Odd one-- you also mention:
" I would also like to create a thread to propose a few possible product ideas and the ones that people express interest in would be considered for production. "
That doesn't strike me as blatant advertising-- seems like it would be in-line with dispersing and collecting info especially related to preps. Perhaps you can gather enough feedback to make production considerations, then post your feedback results and link back to your site at the 'ordering' time.
Just call me "deer in headlights" at the thought of ohms, volts, series and parallel. Darn, should have used "deer in headlights" for my nick instead of...
-- winter wondering (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 20, 1999.
Wow, I didn't expect to get THIS much activity from this post! Certainly didn't expect to have enough to warrant having to join my own conversation. But I feel the need, so here goes...
Regarding what Robert Cook said...
Very valid point regarding who ultimately runs the machines the forums run on. I didn't plan to be aggressive or in-your-face. I despise pushy salespeople and hard-sell tactics are an automatic "you lose" to me, so my thoughts were to be low-key about it and provide information to everyone in addition to slipping in a link to the read advertising, etc. After all, if it's not at least to some degree a service to the Y2k preparation and awareness communities, it's too blatantly commercial to be permissible here.
On to bw's comments...
bw is correct in that the white LED website I have posted doesn't earn me squat. It's there as a community service. His article detailing in pictures how he converted a flange-base flashlight bulb to LED probably hasn't earned him a dime either.
The products I referred to are definitely for-profit, although I do intend (and have several times today alone, as several people will probably attest) to help out with information and suggestions and so forth, sans cost, in the interest of getting info out to whoever needs it as well. I simply finally found the means and way to get paid to do what I love to do: build things. Admittedly it won't be much pay, but eh... That aside, I will be slipping into debt just to have a go at this. (Meaning that if Y2K does take down the financial system, I'll be happy.)
With regard to the last LED bulk-buy, the only profit I made from it was about twenty bucks, the amount of extra money kind folks slipped in with their orders as a thank-you. Everyone was charged only what their parts cost to buy and ship. (The products I allude to, on the other hand, will carry some markup obviously.)
Finally, I'm not sure whether to be flattered or offended by bw's "lousy businessman" comment. [grin] I'll assume he's referring to the info I hand out for free, etc. In reality I'm a well-respected self-employed businessman, one of the best web designers in my area and a programmer whose products are out there in the retail channel for the buying. But here, I'm just another guy that has concerns that Y2K will bring bad tidings.
And now, winter wondering's turn...
That's the basic idea. If anyone wanted to contribute to such a discussion and wanted to discuss having something made, I'd be happy to talk with them via E-mail about it. (I debated doing a custom-build service, and who knows, maybe that will come from the discussions on what white LED products the "we" of the forum would like to see.)
If Cory is interested I'd be happy to fire him a few articles on white LEDs and using them for lighting applications for his WRP. I've already dropped him some E-mail to that effect, but if anyone else thinks the subject would be good WRP-fodder, let him know. :-) (If the E-mail I received today on this post alone is any indication, he's gonna get flooded with mail...)
He's got a white LED and he knows how ta use it...
-- OddOne (email@example.com), July 20, 1999.