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post #3 of Old 03-01-2009
Glad I found Sailnet
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A short history of the last month or two:

A well known sailboat manufacturer threatened sailnet with a lawsuit if they did not pull critical posts. That pushed sailnet to eliminate a thread on this manufacturer that detailed how their hulls failed. Very serious issue. Very serious lawyers attacking sailnet. This was seen by some as Sailnet "caving-in", and by others as a good business decision considering how expensive a lawsuit can be. For the former, a lot of people thought this was going to far, since people's lives are on the line. Camraderie stopped moderating as a result.

As a work-around, people started posting positive-only things about this manufacturer, something about "double speak" and 1984 Orwell. (I read the book too long ago to remember if that was really double-speak.) Something about this particular sailboat manufacturer having a really good oil filter.

Fast forward a few weeks. Alex spent a lot of time on write-ups of what he saw at Strictly Sail Chicago a few weeks ago. It was very informative - you felt like you were there, and that you had Alex's experienced eye. Based on the above, Sailnet had to implement a new policy that all critical posts are not allowed. They pulled Alex's work, apparently without telling him.

So there was a mass exodus to another forum which was simply not ready for the frank discussions that a forum-mature group was suddenly bringing to it. The forum just did not have that maturity. Some said the moderator was masquerading as other users, which lent a feeling of "this is not really a forum, it's some guy pretending to have a forum". The moderator there banned a ton of people in one fell swoop. Really a big loss to him, because he was handed the most active sailing forum members in the world, and on a silver platter. He "drove away the golden goose".

So Alex did two things, 1) the class-act that he is, he kept his support for what sailnet was going through. He stayed with Sailnet. And 2) he created his own sailing forum with the support of CK and Cam. With the name, it has an attitude that you can say anything. The off-topic is partitioned off so that you have to ask for access, just so you know that anything can be said there. It's free speech with a warning that says: caution, free speech ahead.

Bottom-line is that you'll see Alex here and you'll see him over there.

No manufacturer can stand long when they threaten their target audience. That has to be doubly true in this economy. So maybe I'm an optimist, but I think sailnet will revert to allowing real opinions and facts on products again, once the lawsuit threat has passed. But the credibility of sailnet and other forums has declined. (Hey if it can happen here, it can hapen to other forums, right?) Alex's forum seems to have side-stepped that criticism due to the nature of it birth and the irreverence of it's owner.

Hope that helps.


Edit: It's Anything Sailing Forums - Powered by vBulletin. Somehow I typed the wrong address before.

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
The best minds discuss sailing (and a little bit of politics). I don't know why. It's a mystery!

Last edited by Bene505; 03-01-2009 at 07:23 PM.
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