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Thread: Moderation - our policy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Moderation - our policy

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    Occasionally but rarely we moderate or edit or decline contributions here. But lightly; members usually self-regulate. Harbeth UK and our members invest much time and effort into this Group. A primary requirement and common thread amongst members here is the ownership and use of Harbeth speakers. Let's be clear that this User Group exist solely to promote Harbeth made products. It is a Manufacturer's Forum. Recommendations and criticism about loudspeakers not made by Harbeth are not what this group exists for. Audition and decide for yourself what you prefer. As Alan says. 'we exist in a consumer democracy'.

    Harbeth is a technology-based product as Alan stated here:

    "... If you want the Harbeth sound you have to buy Harbeth speakers.There are no direct equivalents when clarity and detail are paramount as an audition will expose."

    Please respect the effort that is put into this Manufacturer's Group so that it can remain self-regulating.

    Thank you

    Harbeth Administrator

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Lightbulb Moderation of the HUG, going forward


    Just a reminder - The Harbeth User Group is a Manufacturer's Forum operated and run by the Harbeth UK factory. This means that it is the official voice of the design and manufacturing operation at Harbeth UK.

    Most subjects that enhance your appreciation of quality audio, increase your understanding of Britain and the environment around Harbeth are welcome here. Detailed discussion of other loudspeakers brands are obviously not appropriate in this Harbeth Manufacture's Forum.

    Harbeth is a commercial business operating in a competitive environment. It is unreasonable to ask Harbeth to explain or justifying their sales, marketing or any other private corporate policy in a public forum read internationally. Discussing 'special editions' is an example of a commercially sensitive subject. If Harbeth UK responds to customer request to make market-specific versions of any Harbeth model then we will do so if it enhances customer satisfaction and fulfills our corporate goals. We apologise if those special editions are not available in your country.

    Full moderation was reluctantly applied in June 2010. Very few general messages are rejected by the Moderators (although they may be edited for layout etc.).

    COMMERCIALLY SENSITIVE INFORMATION: Requests for what Harbeth UK considers to be "commercially sensitive information" will not be permitted here and will be rejected by the Moderators without warning. This HUG is only one of many Harbeth forums around the world, but as the official forum run by the Harbeth UK design/factory, there is obviously a limit to what we can discuss here in an open, public forum.

    General messages meeting the above criteria remain welcome as always.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    South of England, UK

    Default An overview of the role of the Harbth User Group ....

    It's about three weeks since Moderation was turned on here at the HUG and my last log-in. In that time, our youngest has achieved a First Class Honours Degree in Marketing, the factory has been closed for two weeks shutdown, I've learned how to write command scripts to program our production line audio testers to perform more comprehensive testing and I've squeezed the equivalent of about an extra day a week of productivity.

    I've had a chance to read through comments about Moderation and to take soundings from other Forums and to talk to our Moderators and others about the messages that have passed their eyes. Taking a step backwards for a moment, my personal dilemma is that I value free speech, but as first and foremost a businessman running a for-profit business (= my only pension possibility) there is an uncomfortable zone between permitting reasonable questions and need to protect the Harbeth brand (and its sales channels) by inhibiting discuss of what business people call "commercially sensitive information". It astonished me that further questioning about what constituted "commercially sensitive information" was posted and as to why production numbers of a certain model fell into that category, and that in turn led to questions about why Harbeth made special editions. Imagine how that poor fellow in Hong Kong must feel having proudly photographed and uploaded pictures of his new P3ESR the day he bought them to have a whirlwind of questions about the 'limited edition' stickers on the rear panel, when every pair we've supplied to Hong Kong since launch 12 months ago was the identical special edition - and absolutely no secret.

    That led to questions about global pricing policy and my failure to convey the facts of business life. So for the sake of total clarity (repeating myself yet again), this is our manifesto:

    1. We are a commercial, for-profit business. What we do is make high quality loudspeakers, for profit using parts sourced from selected suppliers around the world that fully meet our Requirements of quality, quantity and price.
    2. Everything we do, be it as communication, production or promotion is to strengthen our brand globally fulfilling (1) above to the maximum
    3. We are structured for the long-term. We intend to be in business in twenty years
    4. We must maximise our profit and constrain our costs to effectively compete in the audio market and to remain independent and viable
    5. We listen to our customers and if possible, make market-specific products for them at additional cost
    6. We do not take any particular interest in local pricing policy outside the UK as we assume that all our distributors have similar brand objectives to (1), (2), (3), (4) above. In short, we judge by their growing orders that they understand their market.

    As I said clearly and with feeling in the YouTube video (here, again) it doesn't matter a jot what I as an individual believe about this or that 'special'. My thoughts are here though for all to read. As we have never, ever made any claims that a 'special' is better than the standard product we are acting in good faith (and consistent with (1) etc. above) providing what the customer demand and wants. We are far, far too busy to have the time or interest making standard products with a twelve month lead time to sit around dreaming up new ways of teasing money from customers with pumped-up claims for 'specials' which always slow-down production and which we invariably under-cost. But if we are approached, we do our best to dissuade, but if forced, we will always try and accommodate the customer. With two marketing professionals in one household, you wouldn't expect anything else would you?

    It is a fact that despite the small and relatively silent number of members here, every word written is translated into various languages and poured over in detail. The influence of the HUG outside the HUG is immeasurably greater than in it, and I am acutely aware that there are issues which we just cannot discuss on a number of grounds if, amongst other things, we are to maintain our brand as a strong independent force. Those subjects and the reasons for my concern I cannot lay in front of you publicly but you should believe me, successful niche brands are always on someone's radar.

    Where do we go from here? Frankly, I do not wish to be put in the position I have been maneuvered into in a completely open HUG forum again, of contributing a simply vast amount of time and effort (and even love) to be forced to justify myself, my products, my staff or my company. I agree that Moderation is not as smooth as we'd hoped, but that's because we were unable to share the Moderation load with our members - only three of which (reluctantly) stepped forward. But I do not feel comfortable with returning to a completely open free-for-all, not when I feel I have contributed almost all there is to say over 1800+ posts in four and a half years.

    One proposal by NAIM is to moderate by stealth - that is, postings are permitted but inspected some hours after posting and if they do not meet the forum's criteria are deleted, no questions, no explanation, no apologies. And as NAIM say, no arguments from the community; NAIM's position is final, non-negotiable. That would mean that requests for or statements about "commercially sensitive information" would be silently weeded out. And that's really the best idea we have at this time.

    But perhaps more importantly, is with me taking a back-seat how the HUG could drift into discussions about peripheral subjects such as cables, spikes and the rest which are not necessarily subjects which strengthen the Harbeth brand (enhance (1-5) above) or interest our pragmatic users. That can't be allowed to happen.

    One thing is for sure - I can't wind the clock back to the completely unregulated situation pre-mid June. We need more thinking time.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Exclamation Cables, and their selection and use here on the HUG

    Discussion about cables on the Harbeth User Group

    Harbeth does not make cables and has no intention of doing so as they are such an emotive subject. We do not wish to provide space and a discussion platform on the HUG to promote a product we are unable to supply.

    Any posts concerning cables and interconnects are unlikely to pass Moderation unless they approach the subject objectively. Thank you for your understanding.

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