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is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and how?

LALove

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
934
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

clgwli|1295381508|2825962 said:
Lula|1295379986|2825941 said:
kenny|1295378258|2825927 said:
Who is more likely to be "biased", a vendor who makes money influencing potential customers, or people who educate because of their love of diamonds?
You choose.
I think they can both be biased; the bias make take different forms, though.

ETA: Lol,just read Jen's post -- great post, Jen!
I agree with this (it was easier to quote this than both yours and Jen's post!)

I just posted on the asscher thread that I am shocked that people are pushing other vendors the way they did. I admit I am. It bugs me to see it. I thought I even read somewhere about how we should be careful NOT to do that.

Both groups will have agendas and reasons for their bias. I have my own here towards DBL because have had great service. I've bought more recently than I ever thought I would just because I like what I see.

I am sure many are that way though about other places.

I am curious who owns this place really though. I wonder if certain vendors are given free reign more than others because of who they are and how much they pay or get out of this. But I am cynical and assume there are way more hidden agendas with both vendors and consumers than there probably are. Particularly since that issue with BGD earlier.
What issue? I'm curious.
 

JustSaying

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
13
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

About 10 hours ago I wrote a very lengthy post which brought up specific points, provided links, and was a response to Lula. I posted it, saw it on here before I logged off but now notice that it's gone. It's been deleted. Why is that? That further makes me question if these discussions are actually allowed here.

Some of you mention your bad experience with B&M, me too! yet acknowledge that many PS online vendors have a B&M shop too. Lets not kid ourselves, both B&M and online vendors are really one and the same. Like it or not they are both attempting to purchase diamonds at the lowest price that they can find and resell that stone at the highest markup that they can get away with (or should I say the consumer lets them get away with) This site and the reviews that customers provide, are part of what allows them to designate what can and cannot be the highest markup limit that they can get away with. While online vendors provide more options and at times are in opposition of B&M stores, but have you ever heard the saying "your enemies enemy is not always your friend" ?? lets not kid ourselves by acting like B&M vendors and online vendors are so different. Their motives are one and the same, to assume that they don't both try to on some levels get away with ripping customers off is a joke. To assume that their prices only go up due to increases in metal prices and NOT because of rave reviews on this site is also ignorant and not logical. While I cannot prove my assertions and am wiling to admit that I am wrong, does not mean that the premise that's being presented here is also true.

Lula claims that whenever humans are involved a bias will exist, there's no way to get around. I call BS on that, it's not one or the other. Using a quantitative term in order to prove your point is a categorical logical fallacy. Not buying it. I am sorry but how familiar are you with online internet forums? there is direct and indirect bias. What you said sounds exactly like what RD and some others used to say about ASET and beauty being in the eye of the beholder.

In addition you make the comparison of a newspaper media to this site. Again, that's a false analogy/comparison fallacy. In order to compare two things you need to ensure that two things being compared are similar when it comes to the crucial and specific aspects that's being discussed. Are you saying that PS is like newspaper media? in other words a business that sells advertising space? AKA like network and cable TV stations? because in those instances it's pretty clear to most that we're being sold something and are being "marketed" to. Or are you saying that it's a consumer advocacy site? Do you realize that it can't be both at the same time? There are so many logical fallacies in what you wrote that I find it pointless to break down simple logical inductive OR deductive reasoning to you. I'll just encourage you to go here and read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Logical_fallacies

Once again, I have an issue with this site being called a consumer advocacy site when the first thing you see when you come here are advertisements and the diamond search (aka selling diamonds by preferred vendors)

I can provide you with numerous links to actual consumer advocacy sites and not ONE of them has advertising or in bed the way that this site is with the vendors.

I would honestly like to know answers to my questions. Who owns this site? do they make a profit from the advertisements and diamond search of preferred vendors? Are the profits ONLY used to run the site or is there additional profit generated that goes BEYOND just paying and running for the site? if this is a site that generates a profit it cannot be called a consumer advocacy site. Just like The Knot can't be called a consumer advocacy site simply because it has open forums, some educational articles, and customer reviews.

Have fun deleting my post again. It speaks volumes
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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55,537
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

I have not noticed any deleted posts on this thread, but perhaps it was when I wasn't watching?

I think common sense tells me that advertisers pay to advertise here and the site is a profit-making business for whomever owns it. That was my assumption from day one and doesn't bother me. I've read thousands of posts on here and do not believe there is a problem with fake posts or shill posts. I would have been gone long ago.

This site allows us to tell the good and the bad about any vendor. Each vendor has people who are fans because of good experiences, yet they are not protected from bad reviews either. I like buying from these vendors because they have a very good reason to keep customers happy. There are frequently mentioned vendors who are not paid advertisers and that is allowed...Jewels by Erica Grace, Maytal Hannah, Van Craeynest, and Brian Gavin are just a few that come to mind.

I would agree that there was a problem if all posts recommending non-advertising vendors were deleted. But they are freely allowed! So to me, it IS a consumer advocacy site. Yes, it is a profit making business, but consumers are allowed to speak freely about their good and bad experiences, appraisers and jewelers lend their expertise, and anyone who stays here and reads long enough learns a lot more than the typical sales person in jewelry stores!

(Just wanted to add that I agree with David that there have been positive changes with the new ownership.)

Not sure why you are so upset???? :confused:
 

D&T

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Your post maybe deleted if a poster reports your post there is a "report concern" button. You come across very angry and downright rude! :angryfire: especially the portion directed at Lula!

Good Grief - go take a chill pill and come back :rolleyes:
 

Gypsy

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

I am a pretty frequent poster on Rocky Talky and like to think that I help folks who come on here find what *they* need.

I recommend quite a few BM's in the Bay Area (where I live) when asked. Among those I recommend are Langs Antiques, Darren McClung, and Joe Escobar. I also recommend Spitz for minor repairs and for browsing... though I feel their prices can be high. In LA I recommend Singlestone and 23rd Avenue Jewelers (both BMs)

For pave, I recommend Leon with reservations, Bridget Durnell (not a PS vendor), Maytal Hannah (also not a Ps vendor), and Ocean Pearlman (ditto).

For other work I recommend JBEG, BGD (not PS vendors) and also Etienne Perret (not PS vendor) as well as some Etsy vendors (depending on the project).

Fancy diamonds are the one area where I do tend to recommend PS vendors, just because they are VERY hard to shop for and having a jeweler with a good eye who can back up their thoughts with ASET and pics is invaluable. GOG, ERD and JA are three vendors I recommend most frequently for those.

I like to think I am a pretty typical PSer. I am not a shill. I make no money off of the recommendations I make or the posts I post. I get no discounts that any other PSer can't get as well. And I get no freebies or kick backs.

I challenge the owners when I feel they are out of line, I challenge other posters when they are out of line. And I respect those who challenge me if I am out of line.

I've been on PS for 5 years, and while I can say there have been instances of shilling or where someone's actions have threatened the standing of this site as a consumer advocacy site... those threats are usually dealt with quite quickly and with the goal of preserving PS as a site that promotes advocacy.

I do miss the vendors (like Paul, and Wink and John P) that used to post here more often. I think having vendors contriubute is awesome.

And I don't think the advertising sways most PSer when recommending goods to newbies. It is enough that a business is aware of PS and is aware that maintaining a good reputation is good for thier business. That allows PS to provide a check in the event that anything goes wrong. I know that I do not consider, even for a second, whether a vendor advertises on PS when I recommend them. But I do consider whether or not a vendor values this forum's good opinon. They are two distinct thing. As a matter of fact I have not recommended many of the advertising PS vendors at all.

I have also encouraged two newbies to cautiously buy from EBAY of all places in the last couple of weeks. Giving them advice about appraisers and feedback and pictures.

My point is. I like to think that I have integrity when I post on RT. I like to think that I have a reputation on RT for being helpful and thoughtful.

My OWN reputation matters to me. And I know other Posters that feel that way. Most people that last on PS have a sense of personal integrity that doesn't ALLOW for them to be shills. That's what makes PS great.

And I think that's what your post isn't taking into account.
 

zoebartlett

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Just Sayin' -- Why don't you hit the "Report Concern" button and ask some of your questions to Andrey directly?
 

Lula

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

I'm sorry you don't like my analogies; it's been years since I took a college debate course. But thank you for the wikipedia link. I consider wikipedia one of the most reliable and unbiased sources on the web.

I don't understand what you are so angry about.
All I have to say at this point is, it's a free country; start your own dang consumer advocacy site if you don't like this one.
 

JustSaying

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

haha I'm not one bit angry and have simply stopped reading this forum. this is my last reply until someone actually answers the questions that I asked. I doubt it will happen, but I'll give the forum owners the benefit of the doubt.

As I wrote in the first post that I made, I didn't make a post to have a circle jerk about this issue. In the very last parapgraph of my post I said that I simply want an answer to the questions I asked. And they are very specific questions that can be answered without getting into a debate. If most of you don't know the answer to the question just say I DO NOT KNOW, without turning this into a discussion of if an answer should even exist. LOL. I am not interested in a debate about the issue, just want to know for myself so I know what I am getting when I come here.

Since I've stopped coming to this forum as much, I've found some really great gemology forums where people in the trade have lively discussion amongst themselves and challenge each other. I don't trust vendors, and I've learned the most about these topics by reading the gemology forums especially when they hold each other accountable. Think back to about a year and a half ago, do you know how many posted here? I'm honestly bummed out after seeing some great posters leave over the years, sick of seeing person after person ask questions that are ignored, only to be steered in the direction of the 10 acronyms. Just two days ago someone clearly posted here asking for a help to find a jeweler somewhere in the Midwest. Not ONE person actually gave a single vendor, they were ignored and steered to the same old. That's messed up.

I know for a fact that MANY people reading this very thread are AFRAID to post what they are actually thinking. I know that for a fact, many of you old timers have said it in private or from other usernames. You know this is not a consumer advocacy site, do something to change it. Here's my one and last piece of advice for this site to stop being a "for profit" site and actually become a consumer advocacy site. Do with it as you please, Keep on keeping on...

Instead of a generic "here are some random designers and jewelers who posted their own picture and wrote their own bio" without a single forum users review, posted on a CONSUMER ADVOCACY site like this: **link removed by moderator. please do not post links to websites that may infect your computer** why not create an actual extensive database w/ reviews? why not use the jeweler location section to create something that actually WORKS without missing/broken links that's similar to YELP. Users must post with their forum name w/ a picture of their jewels and provide a very basic review and star system. Since a lot of advertising money is coming in, shouldn't this site be a bit more USER friendly and easier to maneuver without having to post thread after thread of the same thing which generates response after response from users chanting the same 10 vendor acronyms over and over again??

Start a simple and detailed review section that's similar to YELP and make sure it's on the first page instead of the search engine that's designed to GENERATE PROFIT and does not do ANYTHING towards consumer advocacy. Start with a simple criteria and expand on it, this way EACH and every user actually can express themselves. It's transparent and we can see who is trying to push whichever company. And consumers can look at reviews in an easier way than going through the cumbersome search feature (which also sucks by the way) before making their post.

Name of company:
Location:
Craftsmanship:
Customer Service:
Turnaround time:
Online/Email/Tech friendly
Updating custom made orders along the provide
Providing ASET images:
Pictures of what you bought:

Again, in the title of this site it says CONSUMER ADVOCACY. If a HUGE diamond search engine (like the one taking up most of the first web page of this site) can be created, shouldn't the CONSUMER ADVOCACY aspect deserve just as much attention and space? Many of us here are very tech savvy and I'm sure would have no problem donating our time in order to create the page. But I think that it should also be included on the first page of this site instead of the diamond search engine which looks just like Blue Nile's and every other VENDOR whose trying to sell something and make a profit.
 

LALove

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
934
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

I found your first post interesting and was curious to find out the answers - just for the sake of curiosity.

The answers don't really matter to me personally though. Whether or not a vendor who advertises here owns the entire site and makes billions off of it doesn't change the fact that, because of everyone who has and does take the time to post/help here, I learned enough to find and purchase gorgeous diamonds at very competitive prices (mainly through vendors who have positive reviews here but do not advertise here). I also avoided being duped into purchasing not very great diamonds at not very great prices through use of the data here and help from PSers.

I have no issue with your first post but your latest post is crossing the line into very poor taste (where you decided to insult Lula). If you really do want answers/opinions/ideas then I suggest you get your manners back in.
 

JustSaying

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
13
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Lula|1295393109|2826124 said:
it's a free country; start your own dang consumer advocacy site if you don't like this one.
"Why are you protesting/signing a petition/campaigning for X,Y,Z/Informing consumers about the dangers of X,Y,Z? if you don't like American just leave!"

Weak. Peace


Gypsy -- you, Kenny, CLL, and even Yessi and others (I think I spelled all of your names wrong btw) are an exception, but not the norm. I miss the old timers, you know who I am talking about. People who actually broke down the basics and explained things without once mentioning a vendor, or when they did they mentioned a wide variety of vendors which provided the novice consumer with CHOICES. I miss Paul, Wink and John P too.
 

D&T

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Lula|1295393109|2826124 said:
I'm sorry you don't like my analogies; it's been years since I took a college debate course. But thank you for the wikipedia link. I consider wikipedia one of the most reliable and unbiased sources on the web.

I don't understand what you are so angry about.
All I have to say at this point is, it's a free country; start your own dang consumer advocacy site if you don't like this one.


yes, and please tell me how you plan to fund those, moderate, and if it expands, and too large for you to upkeep, how you plan to pay your employee, overhead costs and also put food on your table?
 

Echidna

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
723
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

JustSaying|1295389674|2826064 said:
I would honestly like to know answers to my questions. Who owns this site? do they make a profit from the advertisements and diamond search of preferred vendors? Are the profits ONLY used to run the site or is there additional profit generated that goes BEYOND just paying and running for the site?
JS, members of this site cannot answer these questions for you because we are not in a position to know the answer. Only a select group of people know the true ins and outs of PS ownership and profits. Your questions need to be directed to them.

I think *most* people acknowledge that even advocacy sites require an income in order to exist. PS is a business and needs to at least have its costs covered. It may well have started for advocacy reasons and then been on-sold due to the profit it generates but this is speculation. We cannot tell you and frankly the business owners are under no obligation to reveal this (as denverappraiser notes).

I understand your concerns about a site marketing itself as a "consumer advocate" if in fact they are not. While I understand your points, I think you need to look further than just diamond sales. In my opinion, the coloured stone-ers are truly consumer advocates. They recommend a wide range of artisans (e.g. cutters, stock setting sellers, bespoke jewellers, etc.) across different geographic locations and budgets. To my knowledge, none of these vendors pay for those recommendations and all of them are held to account for their product given the less objective nature of coloured stones. Have you spent much time in this subforum? Do you consider this to be consumer advocacy?
 

JustSaying

Rough_Rock
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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

D&T|1295393498|2826132 said:
Lula|1295393109|2826124 said:
I'm sorry you don't like my analogies; it's been years since I took a college debate course. But thank you for the wikipedia link. I consider wikipedia one of the most reliable and unbiased sources on the web.

I don't understand what you are so angry about.
All I have to say at this point is, it's a free country; start your own dang consumer advocacy site if you don't like this one.


yes, and please tell me how you plan to fund those, moderate, and if it expands, and too large for you to upkeep, how you plan to pay your employee, overhead costs and also put food on your table?
you are saying that Garry H, of Holloway Diamonds and owner of this site, needs this site to keep food on the table?

I don't care about the basic overhead cost. That's all fine and good. Again, use your basic reading comprehension skills that i'm sure you attained at some point in life to read what I wrote. I asked if this site makes a PROFIT. In order to make a profit one has to make MORE money than what's needed to cover basic overhead need to pay employees a living wage, provide benefits, and pay for the day to day management of the site. Is there additional money made? Consumer Advocacy sites are NOT for profit sites. Please re-read the questions I asked in my FIRST post, not a single person has actually answered them.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 4, 2010
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9,667
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

1) How was PS started? who created it? were there always advertisements on this site or did it only start once the site gained more of a following? who maintains this site? Garry H? what\'s his relation to these vendors? Garry\'s picture is in his icon, no? so while it says he does not sell to PS users how can that be? if the vendors know who he is and he most likely sells back and forth to them. I really don\'t care that vendors post or talk on here, I could care less about that. They can write and post as much as I want. I don\'t really care about the imaging ASET/HCA/Ideal scope/beauty is in the eye of the beholder issue/fiasco exhibited in the 16 page thread above... what concerns me is the advertising that occurs and finding out if the the posters who post the most happen to work for someone these vendors and therefore lead the discussions, and have allowed some vendors to make a name for themselves due to mob mentality. I really have no idea of knowing if you work for one of these vendors or not... especially when I have a banner on the top and bottom of the screen flashing a million times reminding me to buy the \"perfect\" diamond from so and so.

Paul answered this pretty well.

2) How much income is generated via the sites advertisement and how is it spent? Is this someones business and are actual people making money off of running this site?

again, as other posters have mentioned, this question should be directed at admin (but I doubt they would answer it?) none of us can answer this question.

3) Do any posters actually work for PS but also post under regular names? or do all individuals working for PS and/or affiliated with a vendor announce themselves?

it is forum policy for all individuals working for PS and/or affiliated with a vendor to announce themselves.

4) Are there any other consumer advocacy sites similar to this one that don\'t allow advertising to take place?

I am not sure. You mentioned yelp! which has advertising. I doubt that a large site like this could exist without advertising, but again,
I do not know all of the consumer advocacy sites or their policies.
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
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6,628
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

JustSaying|1295394175|2826141 said:
I asked if this site makes a PROFIT. In order to make a profit one has to make MORE money than what's needed to cover basic overhead need to pay employees a living wage, provide benefits, and pay for the day to day management of the site. Is there additional money made? Consumer Advocacy sites are NOT for profit sites. Please re-read the questions I asked in my FIRST post, not a single person has actually answered them.
I can't answer your question about the amount of PROFIT this site makes. Your question makes you sound as though you believe that non-profits either should not make money above operating costs or you believe it is illegal/unethical for them to do so. Non-profits are legally allowed to make PROFITS. They are prohibited from distributing those profits in ways that for-profit orgs can. Non-profit revenue must be used to further the organization's mission. So your question should be "how are PS profits used/distributed?" if you are trying to make a solid case that PS is not a proper or legal consumer advocacy site.
 

Gypsy

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

I've always operated under the assumption that site makes a profit for it's owners. It's a for-profit site for the owners. At least, that's the impression I've always gotten.

But it is a for profit site that would not make anything at all without it's non-profit posters. LOL. Thank you for your kind remarks about me. But there are many, like Gecko and slg, and others who also do a tremendous job on here that were not named (and I know how hard it is to come up with a comprehensive list, and god knows my additions aren't comprehensive).

PS is ultimately a business for it's owners.

But it's not for the members who are the heart of PS. And yes, we've lost many and I MISS THEM very much. But we get new members daily as well.

If you liked PS the way it was, the way I did as well, then stay and teach others how to be good members. Teach by example. That's what I always hope I am doing when posting.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

I think several of us said it is our understanding that this site is for-profit. I don't think that is a secret. The banner ads and vendor listings surely aren't free or the list would be endless, don't you think?

You said: "Just two days ago someone clearly posted here asking for a help to find a jeweler somewhere in the Midwest. Not ONE person actually gave a single vendor, they were ignored and steered to the same old. That's messed up."

My answer: GUESS WHAT??? I don't know of a single one to recommend!!! So if I had replied, I'd share the information I have from my own experience, and that is that I can get a better quality at a better price from particular vendors I learned about here!

You did the same thing in reference to an asscher thread. Jonathan is good at evaluating asschers and has a track record of finding good ones, so what is wrong with steering someone in that direction? That's where I'd go if I wanted one!

Are you perhaps a jeweler that is upset that this site gives lots of references to certain vendors? I can't think of any other reason you'd be so mad.
 

Echidna

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

diamondseeker2006|1295395267|2826159 said:
You said: "Just two days ago someone clearly posted here asking for a help to find a jeweler somewhere in the Midwest. Not ONE person actually gave a single vendor, they were ignored and steered to the same old. That's messed up."

My answer: GUESS WHAT??? I don't know of a single one to recommend!!! So if I had replied, I'd share the information I have from my own experience...
Big ditto here. Please remember that PS is an international forum with international members.
 

Echidna

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Gypsy|1295395126|2826158 said:
If you liked PS the way it was, the way I did as well, then stay and teach others how to be good members. Teach by example. That's what I always hope I am doing when posting.
I love your perspective on this, Gypsy. As a newer member I really appreciate your leadership and independent, thoughtful advice.
 

Gypsy

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Echidna|1295395635|2826167 said:
Gypsy|1295395126|2826158 said:
If you liked PS the way it was, the way I did as well, then stay and teach others how to be good members. Teach by example. That's what I always hope I am doing when posting.
I love your perspective on this, Gypsy. As a newer member I really appreciate your leadership and independent, thoughtful advice.
I've always enjoyed your thoughtful posts Echinda (and your cute AV!). Thank you very much.
 

yssie

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

my v. short 2c, as others have already better said everything else I'm thinking: if PS is to serve in any way as a source of diamond and gemstone education tradesmember participation is vital. A consumer-only forum simply could not have the depth of perspective that only years of active, hands-on experience borne of passion for the subject yields.
 

JustSaying

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Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

diamondseeker2006 - yes, I was doing work late last night. I posted the message at 4:20ish AM, went to bed and woke up around 9:30. Post deleted.

Btw Denverappraiser, it's funny that you mentioned that someone should do an academic research/study on PS and the secret investors. The reason I made this post was after I hung out with a friend who is finishing his MBA at USC. He used this site to get some information before buying an engagement ring for his partner. He's the one that posed similar questions when I hung out with him on Saturday, I realized that I couldn't really answer what he was asking.

Now that you mention it I think it would be fun for him to start digging and doing a bit of research. He's really into wikileaks and getting background information behind investment banking groups. I'm going to give him a call tonight. I won't be posting here that much but if he comes up with anything I'll come back with some info.

Denverappraiser - you also compare yourself ot this site and say that you don't have to open your financial books. That's fine and dandy, but you are a vendor and do not claim to run a consumer advocacy site. Again, these comparisons are not valid. Both you, Gypsy and others mention that this site can be both for profit and a consumer advocacy site and that everyone knows that. I do have to disagree with that. Everyone does NOT know that this site is by Garry Holloway and a group of private investors who might or might not be the vendors that are constantly promoted on this site. The average novice consumer DOES NOT know that. If anything seeing that it says "consumer advocacy" in the title and seeing how active it is, makes it easier for them to actually assume that this site was created and being run by members and members alone... like many REAL consumer advocacy sites who even have a rotating steering committee made up of site members. By definition it cannot be both at the same time. it's one or the other. It's just that simple. If you look at my first post you'll notice I said I have a problem with "Consumer Advocacy" being used in the title. It's not the case. Many of you have now acknowledged that it's a for profit just like THE KNOT, MakeupAlley, etc. this is a site run by God knows which vendors, which allows for a Message board/forum to exist in order to create a sense of community and further the look of it being a "consumer advocacy" site... all while banners of the same group are advertised and where mainly paid vendors are promoted.

Call it what it is. It is no shape, way, or form a consumer advocacy site. Individual members might be consumer advocates but the site itself is not a consumer advocacy site based on the simple fact that it's a for profit site.

Again, how many actual consumer advocacy sites do you guys go to? I can post numerous ones that are just as effective, allow advertising or whatever else to generate enough income to run the site, but that's it. You cannot be a for profit website and a consumer advocacy site at the same time. Not possible.
 

missydebby

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1,815
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Know what's so fun about OP? He asks questions, demands you answer them the way he expects. (Hey control freak, we can answer any dayum way we want.)

Oh I also totally loveeeee when people threaten not to come back into the conversation and and can only hold their tongue for like 1 response.
 

JustSaying

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
13
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Yssie|1295396073|2826173 said:
my v. short 2c, as others have already better said everything else I'm thinking: if PS is to serve in any way as a source of diamond and gemstone education tradesmember participation is vital. A consumer-only forum simply could not have the depth of perspective that only years of active, hands-on experience borne of passion for the subject can yield.
I NEVER once said that vendors should not post. in fact I said the opposite in my VERY first post. Please read it. I specifically said "I do not care if vendors post or not"

After leaving this site I actually began to read more and more sites that are primarily run by vendors and gemologists having fights back and forth about various science/research in their trade. I LIKE that. Those sites don't promote themselves as THE LARGEST DIAMOND CONSUMER ADVOCACY SITE. The problem is not with vendors posting, stirring things, coming off ignorant, etc.

That is not my issue.

My issue is w/ the way the site promotes itself and basic unanswered questions that MANY other consumer advocacy sites are upfront about.

If this site is a FOR PROFIT site, it cannot be a consumer advocacy site at the same time. That is a contradiction BY DEFINITION.

BTW, the way you answer most posts is perfectly fine. You are one of the few people who actually explains the science and research behind what you promote. MOST of the others on this site do not do that.

Also it's nice to see that you talk about winning auctions, and Gypsy mentioning Ebay sellers and just other stuff in general. It's just refreshing and not so dogmatic.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
20,233
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

JustSaying|1295396686|2826181 said:
Yssie|1295396073|2826173 said:
my v. short 2c, as others have already better said everything else I'm thinking: if PS is to serve in any way as a source of diamond and gemstone education tradesmember participation is vital. A consumer-only forum simply could not have the depth of perspective that only years of active, hands-on experience borne of passion for the subject can yield.
I NEVER once said that vendors should not post. in fact I said the opposite in my VERY first post. Please read it. I specifically said "I do not care if vendors post or not"

After leaving this site I actually began to read more and more sites that are primarily run by vendors and gemologists having fights back and forth about various science/research in their trade. I LIKE that. The problem is not with vendors posting, stirring things, coming off ignorant, etc.

That is not my issue.

My issue is w/ the way the site promotes itself and basic unanswered questions that MANY other consumer advocacy sites are upfront about.

If this site is a FOR PROFIT site, it cannot be a consumer advocacy site at the same time. That is a contradiction BY DEFINITION.
My implication was that I don't care if being allowed to advertise is the incentive to coax tradespeople into posting here - should've made that clear. A helpful post that creates or resolves some discussion is a helpful post regardless of whether it is made out of altruism or in the hopes of building/maintaining a reputation conducive to making sales in this niche of the market.
 

HopeDream

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
2,146
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Dear JustSaying,
I have this thread and your investigation into the organizational and economic framework of PS with interest.

I notice that when you write about consumer advocacy you seem to assume that advocacy is irrevocably linked with some form of altruism and that a consumer advocacy group should be inherently non-profit and transparent in its business model.

I admire your viewpoint, but on investigation into the definition of advocacy I find those points lacking:

Advocacy:
The act or process of advocating or supporting a cause or proposal (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocacy)
Active support of an idea or cause etc.; especially the act of pleading or arguing for something (wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)

Advocate: 1: one that pleads the cause of another; specifically : one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court
2: one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal
(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocate show=0&t=1295394585)
1: recommend: push for something; "The travel agent recommended strongly that we not travel on Thanksgiving Day"
2: a person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea
3: preach: speak, plead, or argue in favour of; "The doctor advocated a smoking ban in the entire house"
4: a lawyer who pleads cases in court (wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)

I think at PS we do advocate (lobby for) for the consumption of diamonds, the expansion of diamond education, and that consumers should get the best deal they can find given the information available. If someone has a bad experience with a vendor, and posts about it here, PS members will support the consumer and demand an appropriate response from the vendor.

There IS bias - PS consumers tend to advocate for and demand precision cut, highly documented stones (stones that fall in the top 1% of all the diamonds produced for the consumer market). Few vendors (BM and online alike) take the time to search out and acquire those top tier stones for their inventories. Of the vendors that do seek out top stones, few have a readily accessible online presence, or post their inventories online. The ones that do get our business.

As consumers we are lazy and want shopping to be easy. Would you rather surf the web a little, and compare hundreds of diamonds with a few clicks of your mouse, or spend time calling around to / visiting all the diamond vendors in your area to see what inventory they have that fits your criteria?

When PS users are able to link to a stone that everyone can see it's much easier to have a discussion about the rock's good and bad points (as opposed to " I saw a 1.5ct J VS2 at my local B&M for 8k... whaddaya think?)

This is why the PS Vendor "gene pool" is small.

I hope you find the information you're looking for!
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
6,628
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

So would you're issue be resolved if, instead of "consumer advocate site" the banner said something like "consumer education site"?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

This isn't the first post that has called into question PS's slogan of being a "consumer advocacy site". I think it's a valid question.

Do I think that PS has a whole is a consumer advocacy site. Yes, despite the fact that it makes a profit. Because I know that PS would be nothing without it's members. The knot is still fun without members (and I stopped posting on there many months before my wedding because the forums were mean and nasty). The members on this site are what keep it 'honest'. Do I think PS is at risk for losing the right to call itself a consumer advocacy site? Yes, in fact with it's recent actions against an non-advertising vendor I was sure that this place was going to turn into a shill site.

But the members spoke up and provided a check to the actions of the owners. And the owners apologized (grudgingly, but still). And that, right there, is why I still post here and still think this is a consumer advocacy site, though since it has come up again and again, perhaps the title should be reconsidered.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

Matata|1295397095|2826190 said:
So would you're issue be resolved if, instead of "consumer advocate site" the banner said something like "consumer education site"?
I like this idea. And feel it might be more accurate for the new PS.

I don't think that advocacy is tied to non-profit. Most advocates in our country are critics, news reporters and... lawyers. All of whom get paid to be advocates.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,630
Re: is PS biased? a real advocay site? who started it and ho

I can't answer any of your questions but I view things slightly differently:

I'm really not sure why it should matter if this site makes a profit or not? Surely, most businesses (in whatever form) make some form of profit and demand time to administer? I can't think of a reason why somebody would run this site purely for the love of it when you consider its size. However, I do understand the consumer advocacy angle and how that could be viewed as a contradiction. I can only categorically state that no vendor has gained any business from me that I hadn't gone to before finding this site!

Just for the record, I'm one of the few posters outside the US. I do feel there is a US bias - which would be natural since most contributors are based there. Is there a bias towards certain diamond vendors? Yes. For example, if somebody asks where to look in the UK for a diamond, the UK posters tend to get over-ridden with cries of "it's cheaper to buy and import from the US". That is categorically not the case if you know where to look in the UK! People are trying to be helpful but I do agree when a new (unknown) vendor is mentioned they do tend to be over-ruled by the majority. It's not a huge issue though. People make up their own minds!

What I have picked up from reading many threads is that the specific diamond vendors you mentioned are generally recommended because they provide a consistently high quality service. If you read for long enough you'll also see threads where they've also slipped up! To err is human!

There are some posters who clearly have an affinity with a specific vendor because they're long standing customers. That happens on every single forum and is a fact of life. On occasion Vendors send in "posters" with the sole aim of giving the company praise in the hope of pointing them in their direction. One company used at least 3 or 4 different plants on the colored stone forum about a year ago. It was so obvious and they were challenged. Mysteriously they disappeared! Sometimes unbiased consumer pressure wins the day!

Having said that, if you look at the Colored Stone forum section, you'll see that even long established vendors can be given a hard time if the posters feel their prices are too high, their products are sub-standard, etc etc. Generally speaking, when posters ask for help they are pointed in numerous directions. There may be a handful that crop up more than others but not excessively so.

Whether you agree with how this forum is set up or not, it is, on the whole, a superb site to find information. I once bought a diamond (an Asscher cut) and asked for people to comment so I could learn more. It was too late if they had said it was horrible because I'd already bought it! However the responses were clear, concise and I did indeed learn from their comments. So for every "help me find a diamond" post there are others that don't get pointed in the direction of the vendors you've mentioned and are purely asking for advice.

Sorry not to have answered any of your questions but thought it was important to put the view of a normal, run of the mill contributor with absolutely no affinity to any vendor whatsoever!
 
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