There’s a longer post about this on the blog:
Basically, do you want to see brands or small independent retailers represented on the forum? One brand requested access to the forum, and I casually chatted with another about whether they would be interested.
This is all after one or two ToolGuyd commenters or forum members also suggested the idea.
I think as long as its explicit who they are it could be good, and as long as it doesn’t begin to cause anyone to have to censor themselves too much.
I would think something like an AMA style thread could be cool.
My reply on the blog:
April 22, 2016 at 8:00 am
I like the overall idea and understand your reservations. Spitballing here…… Maybe a ToS specifically designed for “official” tool reps that expressly states a no social media clause? Add additional moderator privileges (with specific moderator guidelines)? Again just spitballing. I really do like the idea of interacting with reps and product managers.
I think interaction with manufacturers and vendors would be great for everyone as long as people play by the rules. I can see good dialog back and forth leading to new tools and improvements to existing tools on the manufacturer side and the possibility of a vendor or two expanding their product lines to meet needs of their customers. I agree - no social media since the last thing I want to see here is a regurgitation of my Facebook feed.
Yes, if it was contained to strict threads, don’t want to see retailers spamming every post, also no links or distractions like Facebook, Twitter and the like.
Representing yes, but not dictating
it’s a tricky line to run so I see your concern.
I mean right now your site is fairly well respected as being unbiased and not compromising to the testing. Such that most of us solidly know there isn’t a maker selling a product review.
Even the few times you had a vendor give you equipment to review as always you state it upfront and in a informational manner.
So having a spot for vendor reps does potentially color that. I think it if was over here in discussion only - they were not allowed to buy into the system as a “supporter” it might be OK and stay good. But you run the risk of that branching out - especially as you start to have “store sales” etc.
I’m cautiously for it. But only on the discussion side and like above - no social media.
I would love to see manufacturer reps post here!
What’s new, whats in the pipeline, what improvements we would like to see, what new tools we think we need etc
I would say that it depends on the reps themselves. Bosch NA reps are completely out of touch and talking with them is generally a waste of time. Most of the Milwaukee reps I’ve talked to have been excellent.
I’m on other forums where it has taken time to recognize who is a shill and who is a company rep so I agree with some that these users must be clearly marked as company reps.