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Old 11-20-2010, 12:29 AM   #1
The BoidSmith
Proposed changes to the BOI

Some concerns with the BOI have been:

1. Unjustified smearing of the name of individuals with unwarranted bad guy threads.
2. Oftentimes biased posts because of past transactions of individuals/companies objects of the thread.
3. Flame wars between members when taking sides.
4. Participants give “bad karma” as result of unpopular opinions.
5. Participants judge individuals/companies object of threads because their unwillingness to post and defend themselves.

What’s proposed?

1. No individual/company name will be posted by the thread initiator at the start of the discussion.
2. Posting names or information that enables readers identify the individual/company object of the thread will result in warning points.
3. Each thread contains a poll where membership are able to vote along the lines of:
a. The seller’s at fault.
b. The buyer ‘s at fault
c. No fault from either party
d. Both are at fault
e. Not enough information to draw a conclusion

4. Once a certain number of votes have been casted (predetermined, i.e. 30 or…) it’s the opinion of the majority that decides whose fault it is.

5. The thread originator then chooses the title from three options*:


a. Bad experience
b. Good experience
c. You decide


* Current Bad/Good Guy labels are misleading, as they judge the person and not the action. Using the word “experience” instead separates the issue at hand from the person’s character. It is possible for someone to have a bad experience with the best in the industry and vice versa, and it might be unfair and misleading to label them good or bad guys (particularly when it’s just one thread). This has proven to be an issue on several occasions. This change will also reduce problems created when a poster labels “good guy” a person/company with past bad transactions. This is also happening on a more or less permanent basis.


6. The title choice by the originator has to reflect the opinion of the majority of the voters or the use of “you decide” if the viewpoint of the majority conflicts with his/hers.

7. The thread originator then sends a message to the moderatos with the title, if he/she refuses to do so or doesn’t do it on a timely fashion then the title is posted based on the opinion of the majority of the voting membership.

8. The thread title only includes the name of the individual/company and the choice of three of the three qualifiers ( i.e. John Herpman, Bad Experience). There will be no adjectives affixed (i.e. “thief”, “con-artist”, etc.).

Among the benefits of the proposal:

1. It does not require reprogramming (and its associated cost).

2. No-one knows initially the name of the party addressed in the thread and thus there is unbiased discussion and decision.

3. The use of a poll ensures the opinion is also voiced by those that usually don’t participate of threads because of fear of retaliation.

4. Threads become more “civil” as posters don’t know who they are talking about.

5. Chances of litigation to the site are reduced.

6. Membership feedback before posting the thread title gives the initiator additional perspectives to ponder before doing irreparable damage to the image of another individual/company.

7. Increased sense of ownership by members that generally don’t post as they also contribute to the discussion with their vote.


Potential drawbacks:

1. The decision of who’s at fault might be slowed down depending on the speed of the membership vote.

2. People might wait until they know the name involved before expressing their opinion.
 
Old 11-20-2010, 12:48 AM   #2
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by The BoidSmith View Post
What’s proposed?
7. The thread originator then sends a message to the moderatos with the title, if he/she refuses to do so or doesn’t do it on a timely fashion then the title is posted based on the opinion of the majority of the voting membership.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The BoidSmith View Post
Among the benefits of the proposal:
5. Chances of litigation to the site are reduced.
Anyone who alters any thread then becomes a co-author of that thread. Neither myself nor any of the moderators will be willing to accept that legal liability.

Sorry, but this appears to be the backbone of your proposal, and this alone shoots it right out of the water.

And before you think of an alternative, no, the BOI cannot remain opened to editing by the membership, the reason for which should be obvious to most people.

Without going into much detail right now, sorry, but your proposal is 180 degrees out of phase concerning WHY the BOI was set up in the first place. In some cases, time will be of the essence to stop a bad guy in his or her tracks, and all the while people are debating a theoretical situation without names attached, people will unknowingly be getting scammed. There is a very recent case on the BOI where several people saved some substantial money because the BOI uncovered a scam and they were actually able to cancel payments that were enroute to the scammer. It doesn't get much more "time essence" than that!
 
Old 11-20-2010, 12:54 AM   #3
hhmoore
One major drawback, Dan, is that your proposal makes for a one sided story - Since the other party cannot be identified, they cannot post on their own behalf until after a decision is made. How often is it seen that among the first questions asked is "Has ______ been notified of this thread"? Taking the other party out of the equation means we have to take the OPs version as our only point of reference....personally, I think that could lead to even more problems.
There are some interesting thoughts, though (going back to finish looking them over, now)
 
Old 11-20-2010, 12:54 AM   #4
Dennis Hultman
Dan, in order for any of that to work it would have to be a biased one party report to examine. The target wouldn't be able to address it because you wouldn't know who they are. One side would get to present evidence of there choosing until all the members vote and condemn the person with no rebuttal. Information couldn't be obtained to verify what the person reporting is truthful.

In the end we find the seller/buyer at fault and then let him /her in on the fact that the majority here find them guilty.

How can one have a informed opinion while not hearing from both parties? How can both parties participate and give their views without being identified?
 
Old 11-20-2010, 12:55 AM   #5
Dennis Hultman
LOL, both posted at the same time but thinking along the same lines.
 
Old 11-20-2010, 01:04 AM   #6
The BoidSmith
Quote:
Originally Posted by hhmoore View Post
One major drawback, Dan, is that your proposal makes for a one sided story - Since the other party cannot be identified, they cannot post on their own behalf until after a decision is made. How often is it seen that among the first questions asked is "Has ______ been notified of this thread"? Taking the other party out of the equation means we have to take the OPs version as our only point of reference....personally, I think that could lead to even more problems.
There are some interesting thoughts, though (going back to finish looking them over, now)
Yes, good point. The problem is that the notification right now looks more like a desire to draw blood than looking for faireness. It's far from perfect but thanks for taking the time to look at it.

Best,

Dan
 
Old 11-20-2010, 01:06 AM   #7
The BoidSmith
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Hultman View Post
Dan, in order for any of that to work it would have to be a biased one party report to examine. The target wouldn't be able to address it because you wouldn't know who they are. One side would get to present evidence of there choosing until all the members vote and condemn the person with no rebuttal. Information couldn't be obtained to verify what the person reporting is truthful.

In the end we find the seller/buyer at fault and then let him /her in on the fact that the majority here find them guilty.

How can one have a informed opinion while not hearing from both parties? How can both parties participate and give their views without being identified?
Yes, the same point Harald made, and a good one indeed. I'll think more about it, there has to be away around it. Thanks Dennis.

Best,

Dan
 
Old 11-20-2010, 10:42 AM   #8
The BoidSmith
Modifications to the proposed changes

The following modification addresses the concerns of "speed", "having both sides present in the discussion", and "the site administrators modifying the thread title":

The initiator starts a thread with the name of the company and one of the qualifiers:

a. Bad experience
b. Good experience
c. You decide

No other comments are allowed.

2. The thread contains a poll where membership votes along the lines of:

a. The seller’s at fault.
b. The buyer ‘s at fault
c. No fault from either party
d. Both are at fault
e. Not enough information to draw a conclusion

3. The title choice by the originator now reflects his experience without stating this individual/company is a bad or good guy right from the start. He just had an experience and could be a fluke or not depending on what's the final outcome. The opinion of the majority of the voters is what in fact determines the outcome.

The advantage of this is that as any reader has at the start of the thread a summary of maybe dozens of pages of discussion, an an extended opinion from previous readers. At a glimpse (speed is of the essence here) he can determine if in fact this was or not a bad experience, for example 80 percent voted bad experience. He can then choose to go for more information by reading maybe 35 pages of the thread but if he wants to draw a quick conclusion there it is in front of him. This addresses the concern voiced that sometimes they have to wade through hundred of irrelevant posts before really getting something out of it.

Benefits:

1. It does not require reprogramming.

2. The use of a poll ensures the opinion is also voiced by those that usually don’t participate of threads because of fear of retaliation.

3. Threads become more “civil” as this is just a bad experience and could be an isolated incidence. This decreases the chances of litigation as anyone can have a bad experience even with a seller of stellar reputation.

4. There is an increased sense of ownership by members that generally don’t post as they also contribute to the discussion with their vote. This opinion is very important as it addresses the voiced concern that the same individuals always participate in the discussions. Yes, the discussion will still be there, but now they are accompanied by the vote of anyone, those that frequently post and those that seldom or never do.
 
Old 11-20-2010, 10:45 AM   #9
The BoidSmith
The advantage of this is that as any reader has at the start of the thread a summary of maybe dozens of pages of discussion, an an extended opinion from previous readers.

should have read:

The advantage of this is that any reader has at the start of the thread a summary of maybe dozens of pages of discussion, and an extended opinion from previous readers.
 
Old 11-20-2010, 11:48 AM   #10
Lucille
Quote:
Originally Posted by The BoidSmith View Post
Some concerns with the BOI have been:

1. Unjustified smearing of the name of individuals with unwarranted bad guy threads.
2. Oftentimes biased posts because of past transactions of individuals/companies objects of the thread.
3. Flame wars between members when taking sides.
4. Participants give “bad karma” as result of unpopular opinions.
5. Participants judge individuals/companies object of threads because their unwillingness to post and defend themselves.

.
True, there are misplaced 'Bad Guy' threads in my opinion, from time to time. But it usually doesn't take much reading through a thread to see this. The readers are quick to point out an unfair or misplaced judgment on the part of the OP.
When I read comments, I take into account who is making the comments, some posters are given more weight by me than others. It is not a democratic process- those whose opinions I value have more weight although of course well written, rational responses are always given weight.

The site is travelling in a direction that makes the BOI more professional. People no longer need to fear as they did in the past, a blatant ad hominem attack because there is much less tolerance now for that kind of rudeness. This means that more people may participate and post their experiences, ideas and opinions.

Sometimes, threads do get long; but it is the very interplay of comments and ideas that helps a prospective reader/purchaser choose whether he wants to spend his money with a particular vendor.

If it's not broke, don't fix it.
 

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