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RE: dt harmony-central repeater review

about conflicts of interest and reviews, from the other day:

At 03:51 PM 9/19/2001, you wrote:
>i don't know about that, i just forwarded the info and didn't give it 
>do you mean cause he beta-tested it? i guess you could ask kim if dt had 
>any input into the edp and whether or not a review of his would be 
>considered a conflict (not trying to be weird, just wondering out loud) . 
>. . i don't know the niceties of this.

I think there is a lot of possibility for conflict of interest in this, 
harmony-central makes it pretty easy for that to slip by. I think it is ok 
so long as the reviewer is up-front about their relationship with the 
manufacturer. Then the reader of the review can judge for themselves and 
decide if they find it useful and believable. Ultimately, that is what is 
important, and deceiving people is bad. It is not bad for people with 
useful information or opinions to provide it to the world, and I don't 
think people should have to keep quiet because of whatever position they 
have. They just have to make it clear what that position is.

For example, I am currently troubled by one of the repeater reviews 
submitted to me for the Looper's Delight site. The person did a nice job, 
and responded to my editorial input with a revision. But they also noted 
passing that they were currently negotiating with Electrix for some job or 
business relationship or something. Coincidentally (or not, hard to 
say...), the review was overwhelmingly positive, and the person did not 
want it revealed to the public that they were dealing with Electrix since 
some negotiations weren't closed yet and they feared spoiling the deal. I 
can understand the person's position, but I just don't feel comfortable 
with publishing their review unless I can also provide some disclaimer 
about the person's relationship to Electrix. It would seem deceptive 
otherwise, even if the person does not mean it that way at all. It just 
leaves me wondering how much their desire to get on Electrix' good side is 
coloring their review. They may be completely honest, but people should at 
least have enough information to make that judgement. On harmony-central 
such a review would simply go up on the site unquestioned. (in fact, it 

Similarly, the somewhat anonymous nature of harmony-central leaves other 
reviews in doubt because there is no way to know who wrote it or question 
the person about anything they said. So sometimes you end up being 
suspicious of a review that is perfectly legit, as one Repeater reviewer 
there is of another review that was rather harsh. They suspect the 
guy is from a competitor, which I know they are not since that same person 
sent me a review as well. (I guess that even makes the competitors look 
even when they didn't do anything.)

Or other times people post things that are flat out wrong and there is no 
effective way for the manufacturer to really address it. (as I found while 
reading the repeater reviews there, a couple say some pretty odd things 
about the edp but there is no email address so I can't even ask them about 
it. I'm particularly irked by the guy who says getting support for the edp 
is impossible, when we've been here diligently answering thousands of 
questions for years and there was always phone support available even when 
production was stopped. geez, can't get no respect. :-)

It is what it is I suppose, hopefully people are bright enough to figure 
that out when they read things there.


Kim Flint                     | Looper's Delight
kflint@loopers-delight.com    | http://www.loopers-delight.com