Surprise! I am going to post. This probably makes me look weak. Go ahead and attack me with giant emoticons if you think it does. But the discussion that we having RIGHT NOW in this thread is the discussion I was told would lead to this thread being locked or deleted, and that is part of the reason I gave up. Since the thread hasn't been locked or deleted yet, I will respond.
For all the insinuations that I am some kind of socialist or communist, I am neither. I think capitalism is wonderful. I love people being rewarded based on the merit of their work and not for lobbying the right people or giving out the right bribes. The latter is crony capitalism, and I hate it. The proposal I made - the proposal that I was forbidden to talk about on this forum - is what I think is a logical market based mechanism for letting reviewers do their work while removing perverse incentives for reviewers and manufacturers to concentrate on PR.
Whether you think individual reviewers can control their biases or not (I think studies have shown that this is doubtful), I think you can agree that if there is an overall incentive to create more positive reviews, this exposes manufacturers to less scrutiny about their products. A less critical and accountable environment allows for large manufacturers to manipulate the market by providing review units to selected opinion leaders. It also allows them to introduce products that are increasingly expensive because reviewers benefit from a mutual relationship where both parties gain visibility for talking about products that would otherwise be unaffordable. It means that the stronger companies are the ones that have better PR and not better products, it is crony capitalism, and I hate it.
Crowdsourcing is not a perfect solution, but I think it is a BETTER solution because consumers have more of a desire than manufacturers to see negative reviews, and crowdsourcing makes the reviewer responsive to consumers and not manufacturers.
An aggregated pool of money is fine, but again that is open to all kinds of infighting and corruption. I don't have all the solutions. As I stated in my original post, I wanted to move the community towards thinking about crowdfunding as a possible solution, and I wanted to start a thread TALKING about alternative models. My original post was not a pitch or a money grab. I stated in my post and I will state again, I think there are many reviewers who I think do a better job than I do and who I think deserve the direct support of the community. And we don't know what will work unless we begin a community discussion about it.
I am upset about the moderation of my comments because I am trying to propose a progressive solution, and I was moderated not because I am a scammer or a spammer, but because the moderators took the opinion that my solution has no merit and therefore not worth the potential risk of discussion. The moderators indeed have a mandate to address spam and scams. But nothing of the sort has yet occurred unless you believe that I am patient zero, so I would view their moderation decisions partly as a way of curbing a potentially uncomfortable discussion.
Why is the conversation uncomfortable? Because the same argument made for crowdfunding reviewers is the same argument for why Head Fi itself should be crowdfunded. I have become increasingly upset at seeing Head Fi become a place for advertorial disguised as information. From the constant positive reviews featured on the front page to the suppression on discussions of objective tests, to the unaccountable closed door moderation decisions, to the failure of moderators to enforce rules that dictate that reviewers must disclose how they receive review units and on what basis. I am sure that from the early days Jude has worked very hard to make the forum what it is today and that has involved a lot of painstaking work establishing relationships with sponsors. But at the same time I think these incentives have caused Head Fi to become a place that is more responsive to sponsors interests than the community.
You can disagree with me and that is fine and that is why I wanted to talk about this in the first place. I offered numerous times to Jude to reformat my piece so that no mention of my own personal interest was made. The end result is that I started a discussion with no suggested solutions and now I am being called a wrecker or a crybaby. Aside from these personal attacks, I think my proposal has merit and should be openly discussed. If it can't be openly discussed because of moderation decisions, then so be it. But if that's the case then I do not see how it is good for me to in some small way sustain a organisation that I believe distorts the market.
Edited by a_recording - 6/30/14 at 11:16pm