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Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968351 05/29/04 08:09 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by irving:


What about the shill who uses (actually, abuses) this forum to heap praises on a dealer? Should we have a rule that he must also make public his identity?
Well, I am of the opinion that every poster should be transparent in their identity. I am always suspicious of posters with low post counts and hidden identities, especially if they are offering praise or condemnation of anyone or anything.

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968352 05/29/04 10:09 AM
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Lets not get our feathers ruffled by counter suing or striking back. This will create a lynch mob of sorts and an expensive legal war could ensue. I am sure nobody wants to go down this road; I have more pressing things on my agenda, and I am sure you all do, too.
This unmentioned dealer must be reading all this with his head in his hands. I do not think this dealer would be naive enough to pursue further the letter sent to Frank. If people have had first hand experience with a certain dealer, let them tell their story. If other people never met or walked into a dealer's store they should write "my opinion", "no comment", or not write anything at all if they harbor negative feelings. Of course, nice opinions are always welcome:). This should pertain to all dealers, brands, and tuners.
My hunch is that this unmentioned dealer got bad advice from its G.M. who also is the same person that had a run-in with this forum while working at another "DealerDealer". This is probably why Frank got a letter without warning.
I am not intending to defend this dealer and I myself had to seek legal counsel after my requests to remove my name from their Pianoratings site fell on deaf ears. I think that we all tend to let tempers flare and I do not want to risk further escalation of this matter because nobody wins in that situation.
I will still pledge my support to Frank regardless how far it will go but it should not have to go further.


Purveyor of fine Pianos and Organs
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Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968353 05/29/04 10:38 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Christopher James Quinn:
Well, I am of the opinion that every poster should be transparent in their identity. I am always suspicious of posters with low post counts and hidden identities, especially if they are offering praise or condemnation of anyone or anything.
Chris,

You’re a sophisticated member of this forum and you have ample “street smarts”, so I’m not worried that somebody is ever going to pull the wool over your eyes here. But how many visitors to this forum are savvy enough to know to look at post counts or to notice that some posters are transparent while the identities of others are hidden?

There will always be someone who will try to use this forum for his own hidden purposes, there will always be someone who will be fooled by the abuser, but it is hard to devise rules that limit or prevent this. Perhaps the best that we can do is to advise people (with disclaimers and notices and threads like this) as to how this forum should best be used and how it should not be used and then rely on the superb self-policing that goes on here to do the rest.

At first blush, encouraging people to be transparent and to present only facts about dealers rather than hearsay and sentiments makes sense - not because dealers might sue us but because it is perhaps unfair to harm (or promote) them with hearsay and sentiments - especially from people with hidden identities. But then I start thinking about the people who manufacture and rebuild pianos. Whoops! This forum thrives on the exchange of hearsay and sentiments about their products. Are we going to have to be just as fair to them as we are to the dealers? Once we start enforcing (or even just strongly encouraging) fairness and transparency rules for comments about dealers, the piano makers and rebuilders will have the grounds to insist that they get the same treatment. And then this forum is over.

The more we discuss this issue, the clearer it becomes. We should be very careful before doing anything whatsoever to change the forum. A friend in the business sold a beautiful piano to a very demanding client. She truly loved the piano but tried to make it even better by replacing the hammers with ones that she was sure would make the sound of the piano even better than it was. The resulting sound was still good, but in some ways perhaps not as good (at least to her ears) as the sound that she had sacrificed. She ended up selling the piano to Fred. The moral of the story is that if this forum isn’t broken (and it isn’t), we should avoid trying to fix it. Let’s instead build as large a legal defense fund as we need and defend the forum with it. This forum has proven its value; it is well worth defending.


Irving
Faust Harrison Pianos
We sell new Bechsteins, Yamahas, Mason & Hamlins, Brodmanns and W. Hoffmanns, and rebuilt vintage Steinways. All rebuilding is done in our own factory. www.faustharrisonpianos.com
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968354 05/29/04 10:59 AM
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So can I post the Judge's ruling on another case, or not?

Oh - and I am in complete agreement that it should be a hard fast rule that anyone posting who is either a dealer or working for or representing a dealer, or manufacturer, or in any way has a vested interest in selling pianos in any manner, should have to identify themselves under their real name, and show their affiliation.

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968355 05/29/04 11:04 AM
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I thought a judge's ruling was public record, no?

Derick


Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968356 05/29/04 11:15 AM
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Yes, it is. So with no further delay, I'll post it.

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968357 05/29/04 11:31 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Larry:
it should be a hard fast rule that anyone posting who is either a dealer or working for or representing a dealer, or manufacturer, or in any way has a vested interest in selling pianos in any manner, should have to identify themselves under their real name, and show their affiliation.
Larry,

If only life were so simple. What do we do about the dealer or the manufacturer or the someone-else-with-a-vested-interest who assumes a false, hidden, identity - masquerading as a piano buyer or piano lover or whatever? If you can solve this one, I'm with you all the way.

As for posting the court ruling, the only reason to restrain yourself would be if Frank asked you to. Even if he stays mum, should he decide after you put up the post that it makes him uncomfortable, he could always pull it.


Irving
Faust Harrison Pianos
We sell new Bechsteins, Yamahas, Mason & Hamlins, Brodmanns and W. Hoffmanns, and rebuilt vintage Steinways. All rebuilding is done in our own factory. www.faustharrisonpianos.com
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968358 05/29/04 11:52 AM
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If only life were so simple. What do we do about the dealer or the manufacturer or the someone-else-with-a-vested-interest who assumes a false, hidden, identity - masquerading as a piano buyer or piano lover or whatever? If you can solve this one, I'm with you all the way.

I realize that, Irving. You are correct, there's no way to keep people from doing that. The only way I've ever found is for those of us with the "sixth sense" from years of being in the business to smoke them out - something I do quite often, and usually end up in trouble for doing it.... wink

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968359 05/29/04 12:56 PM
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The worst ones around here dont even show up.

They cruise the Forum like a little U-boat and wait for their moment to 'strike'.

Writing those members who are looking for a piano
and/or poisen their hitherto hard gained knowledge to their own advantage.

Any good mine sweepers around with good depth charger abilities?? laugh

Norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968360 05/29/04 01:52 PM
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The (low cost) membership is most likely a good idea, for a variety of financial reasons. We may want though, to enable newbies to post and get help with their initial searches, while not having to become a paying member. Thus, they still get free info.
Later, maybe dependant upon number of posts, email them a paid-membership ?

(Norbert is having visions of Das Boot)


Manitou - Pianist - Technician
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968361 05/29/04 02:54 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by irving:
Chris,

You’re a sophisticated member of this forum and you have ample “street smarts”, so I’m not worried that somebody is ever going to pull the wool over your eyes here. But how many visitors to this forum are savvy enough to know to look at post counts or to notice that some posters are transparent while the identities of others are hidden?

There will always be someone who will try to use this forum for his own hidden purposes, there will always be someone who will be fooled by the abuser, but it is hard to devise rules that limit or prevent this.
Thanks for that compliment Irving!

Agreed. Here's where self-policing often works, like when some regular poster asks another poster to state their affiliations and such.

I am all for self-policing, but as I said earlier I was not even aware that posts here could present a liability to the owner, being used to usenet as I am. So let's make the rules a little clearer and a little more visible, perhaps.

Oh, and BTW that piano with the other hammers was fabulous, I played it quite a bit and forum member 'Musicmagellan' bought it (as you may know).

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968362 05/29/04 04:01 PM
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I am a new member and am so grateful to have found out about Pianoworld.com. I log on nearly every day and have learned so much already about my long longtime passion, the piano. Thank you Frank for looking after this site. We will help where we are able. Tordu

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968363 05/29/04 09:02 PM
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Ditto that, Tordu. I've been in the piano business five years, and it is indeed an ongoing learning experience...and this is a great place to learn.

Irv, you're good at putting the big picture in perspective. I have to agree with you: the Forum is already just about as perfect as we imperfect creatures can make it. More rules and restrictions will probably choke the life out of it, or at best, hobble it.

What makes this forum (and any internet forum) such a scary proposition is the level playing field it provides to every member. Regardless of how ill-advised, immature, dishonest and generally contemptible a person may be, they are nevertheless afforded access to the same acreage of cyberspace as the poster who is knowledgable, experienced, even-handed and discreet.

Anyone can pretend to be anybody, and say anything. Larry, if only we all had your "sixth sense"!

-Jimbo


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Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968364 05/30/04 06:21 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Christopher James Quinn:

Oh, and BTW that piano with the other hammers was fabulous, I played it quite a bit and forum member 'Musicmagellan' bought it (as you may know).
Chris,

One of these days we'll meet at a Forum event or at the store and I'll tell you the whole story behind that piano. For now, all I can say is that it's too bad you didn't get to to hear it before the hammers were changed.


Irving
Faust Harrison Pianos
We sell new Bechsteins, Yamahas, Mason & Hamlins, Brodmanns and W. Hoffmanns, and rebuilt vintage Steinways. All rebuilding is done in our own factory. www.faustharrisonpianos.com
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968365 05/30/04 07:16 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Jimbo:

What makes this forum (and any internet forum) such a scary proposition is the level playing field it provides to every member. Regardless of how ill-advised, immature, dishonest and generally contemptible a person may be, they are nevertheless afforded access to the same acreage of cyberspace as the poster who is knowledgable, experienced, even-handed and discreet.

-Jimbo
Jimbo,

Regarding your concern, which clearly I share, a formal assessment of the past and present dynamics of this forum might be instructive. While it would likley be a herculean task to do this, it wouldn't be so hard to ask the regulars their perceptions. My guess is that most would agree that at least during the time that I've been here:

1. the quality of writing has improved both on the part of certain individuals and in the forum as a whole;

2. the level of seriousness has increased;

3. threads are becoming more focused with significantly less tendency to wander - especially into nonsense;

4. leadership has evolved in various topic areas;

5. the quality of self-policing is as least as good today as it has ever been.

As a consequence, the ill-advised, immature, dishonest and generally contemptible have become less prevelant. The way that this forum has been developing has made it increasingly difficult (not impossible to be sure, but increasingly difficult) for anyone who is inclined to play games here to get away with it.

And there is a snowball effect to all of this. As the forum improves, it becomes more important and influential and serious. As it becomes more important and influential and serious, it attracts better writers and thinkers and leaders and so it becomes even more important and influential and serious.

Of course, we need to always worry that sometimes some devious, contemptable, people will try to take advantage of the forum. But that's just part of the price that we have to pay in order to have it. John Kennedy said that "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance"; it seems that the price of this forum may be eternal vigilance as well - and that's okay. It's well worth the price.

Some day, when the next Mt. Rushmore is carved, right up there along with Kennedy and Martin Luther King there just might be a likeness of Frank.


Irving
Faust Harrison Pianos
We sell new Bechsteins, Yamahas, Mason & Hamlins, Brodmanns and W. Hoffmanns, and rebuilt vintage Steinways. All rebuilding is done in our own factory. www.faustharrisonpianos.com
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968366 05/30/04 07:35 AM
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Originally posted by irving:

One of these days we'll meet at a Forum event or at the store and I'll tell you the whole story behind that piano. For now, all I can say is that it's too bad you didn't get to to hear it before the hammers were changed.
laugh

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968367 05/30/04 08:08 AM
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One of these days we'll meet at a Forum event or at the store and I'll tell you the whole story behind that piano. For now, all I can say is that it's too bad you didn't get to to hear it before the hammers were changed.
Well now that the proverbial cat is out of the bag, let me just mention the following items.

I do know much of the "complete story." I also know Chris knows at least part of it.

I have the original hammers (amazingly) intact just in case I ever want to restore the original sound.

The music teacher who sold the piano replaced it with a restored Grotrian. Interestingly, my piano sounds similar to a Grotrian: the same round tone as standard Estonias but with bite. This piano can growl if I want it to. No value judgment implied. Simply a matter of personal taste.

And, most importantly, I can now openly thank Fred Altenberg as the dealer I praised in another thread without naming him.

I also want to thank Ori Bukai for his highly informative education about pianos in general and the Estonia in particular. (I think Irving might have met Ori sometime in his travels laugh )

Finally, for those who haven't read that other thread, I'll thank Chris again for informing me about this piano at Altenbergs and joining me there, along with Steve Ries, who I also thank here, to audition this as well as other pianos.

I've just exhausted all my thanks for the day. If someone does anything nice for me today, I'll just nod appreciatively in their direction.


(watch this space)
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968368 05/30/04 09:02 AM
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Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.
Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968369 05/30/04 09:07 AM
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I think we all have to realize that web forums have their limitations. For a time, I followed a certain company on the stock market. There was a web message board for investors. Unfortunately a lot of people post incorrect information on there for their own financial interests. Is it illegal? heck, yeah. Is the SEC or Yahoo, which hosts the board doing anything about it? Don't hold your breath. Everything on the internet needs to be taken with a grain of salt. An example hate boards that encourage demagoguery against certain religions or ethnic groups. I am not saying that that sort of thing is here on PW, just that the nature of the internet makes any forum susceptible to misinformation.

Re: Please Be Careful What You Post!
#968370 05/30/04 12:09 PM
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i can't believe i read the whole thing! and no doubt by the time i've posted, there will be two more pages i haven't yet read.

i am a bit mystified as to why frank needs to spend a dime here. no matter what we do, there will probably always be someone who wants to threaten us. there is probably nothing we can do to stop baseless threats. i would think our best defense is to ignore them.

if they are stupid enough to actually pursue a lawsuit, THEN i would jump in and fight like heck. but until that happens, why worry? we haven't broken the law. these people shouldn't be dignified with being taken seriously until they do something that must be taken seriously, jmho.

frank, i realize you may not feel comfortable taking this route until you've consulted your attorney, but i would think that once you fully understand our rights and responsibilities, and have a form letter in hand to send to all future senders of threats, that should be the end of it.

we already practice a very high degree of discretion on these forums. i've seen countless times where people have refused to name a dealer they had a bad experience with, or said they'd have to take it to email. when a dealer has been criticized, people have stated their personal experience, that's all. they have not made broad, unqualified generalizations.

i didn't see the thread in question here, but it doesn't sound like it should have provoked a lawyer's letter. no, i am not an attorney, i am basing what i am writing here on what the attorneys present have written in this thread.

oh, and the other thing i wonder about, frank: since you received this letter by email, and not on an attorney's printed letterhead, is it possible that they didn't even have a lawyer send the letter? perhaps they just sent it themselves and tried to make it look like a lawyer sent it? i think the email thing is highly irregular.

bottom line, i agree with norbert and fred, we don't need to change anything here or dignify these threats with all this attention.

of course, if threats become reality (i.e. frank is served with notice of a lawsuit), that is an entirely different matter. so, since we've agreed we are going to fight any attempts to remove our civil rights and our ability to protect consumers from disreputable dealers, let's fight only when a fight is really required, no?

frank, in the meantime you know you always have my unqualified support. this forum is my online home. smile

and irving, your story about the piano teacher who changed her hammers has me very intrigued. why, if the old hammers were intact, didn't she just put them back on? and does she like the rebuilt grotrian better than her former piano with either set of hammers?


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