all members must use real identities

about coffeed.com

Postby Jimmy Oneschuk on Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:37 am

For me, its a credibility issue. In the early days of coffeed, I knew everyone in some capacity - but since then coffeed has grown. I appreciate at the very least, using real names, but that alone does not give you enough information to actual 'professionally locate' a person, whether they're a shop owner, barista, roaster, consultant, food scientist or representative for an equipment company.
Jimmy Oneschuk
 
Posts: 664
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 3:34 pm
Location: Saskatoon
full name: Jimmy Oneschuk
company: Museo
: espressolab.ca

Postby Alistair Durie on Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:59 am

onocoffee wrote:Hey, I'm from America. I'm getting used to living in a Police State under a Dictatorship.


Hey, my condolences, but look: we have about 150 members here and only 2 of them have said they don't like the rule 3 months after it was made. The policy was put out for opinion last year and it took a while for me to make a decision which came after very clear positive feedback on the idea.

Steve & Jay, do you have some suggestions of how we can make this board a better place rather than making a stink about this? I'm sure you can make yourselves more useful, really.
Alistair Durie
Elysian Coffee | photos | tweets
Alistair Durie
admin
 
Posts: 1002
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:59 am
Location: Vancouver Canada
full name: Alistair Durie
company: Elysian Coffee
: www.elysiancoffee.com
: www.coffeed.com

Postby onocoffee on Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:33 pm

Alistair-

You know that I've ALWAYS been against this notion of listing the company name.

And from my perspective, "making a stink" is what Coffeed is about. Otherwise, we'd all be serving crappy commodity grade coffee from cheap brewers and espresso machines.
Jay Caragay

Lono
new explorations in coffee + cuisine.
onocoffee
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:30 pm
Location: Towson, MD
full name: Jay Caragay
company: spiral jetty
: www.sprocoffee.com
: onocoffee.blogspot.com

Postby Jason Haeger on Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:24 pm

alistair wrote:Hey, my condolences, but look: we have about 150 members here and only 2 of them have said they don't like the rule 3 months after it was made.

How many of those 150 have activated accounts? I see a whole lot of 0 postcounts on the memberlist.
Jason Haeger
 
Posts: 558
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:07 am
Location: Allen, TX
full name: Jason Haeger
company: AJ Coffee Company | EspressoTrainer.com
: http://www.ajcoffeeco.com

Postby Alistair Durie on Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:17 am

there are currently about 160 activated accounts.
Alistair Durie
admin
 
Posts: 1002
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 1:59 am
Location: Vancouver Canada
full name: Alistair Durie
company: Elysian Coffee
: www.elysiancoffee.com
: www.coffeed.com

Postby Jim Schulman on Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:22 pm

One occasion when people might want to communicate anonymously, and when it also serves a legitimate purpose, is to either do some whistle blowing, or to advocate an opinion so unpopular and controversial that it could hurt her or his career.

Such posts would not require a permanent hidden identity and could be done indirectly, by emailing the message to an administrator, who would then post it. Since a piece like this would require the board's editorial approval in any case, this work around would not be a limitation.

Other than this classic "anonymous source" chestnut; I can't think of any non-defamatory motives for hiding ones identity. But if there are other good reasons, a policy of disclosing ones identity should make room for them.
Jim Schulman
coffeecuppers.com
Jim Schulman
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:56 am
Location: Chicago

Postby Tim Dominick on Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:26 am

jim_schulman wrote:One occasion when people might want to communicate anonymously, and when it also serves a legitimate purpose, is to either do some whistle blowing, or to advocate an opinion so unpopular and controversial that it could hurt her or his career.


Whistle blowing on a forum? Not likely.

As for opinions, if you can't put your name on it why bother having one?
Tim Dominick
 
Posts: 410
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: Moonstone Beach
full name: Tim Dominick
company: Sacred Grounds Coffee
: www.sacred-grounds.com

Postby Jaime van Schyndel on Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:02 am

jim_schulman wrote:Other than this classic "anonymous source" chestnut; I can't think of any non-defamatory motives for hiding ones identity. But if there are other good reasons, a policy of disclosing ones identity should make room for them.

On a side note:
What bothers me is when I see some cheeky home user try to take shots at a pro, justified or not. It's not really cute because pros have to worry about the rep of their company and can't get into shouting matches. In essence, they have to be diplomatic even when the appropriate response would be, 'what the hell do you know?'
It's like listening to... no, wait... I know nothing about classical music quotes...
Cambridge, MA 02138
http://www.barismo.com/
Jaime van Schyndel
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2006 7:58 am
Location: Cambridge, MA

Postby nick on Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:16 am

Good post, Jaime. Something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Hope I'm/we're not threadjacking with this tangent...

The ultimate definition of "community" is a group of people with something in common. In this, communities of every sort represent an opportunity for meaningful human interaction, sharing, growing, etc., so long as the common-thread in the community is never forgotten. When the "tie that binds" is in the forefront of minds, awesome things can come of communities. When that commonality is forgotten or over-shadowed too much, the community breaks down and you're left with a group of people who don't care about each other, with nothing left to do but argue and fight.

I think that coffeed emerging from the (apparent) ashes of the old BGA forum, or home-barista.com emerging from the CoffeeGeek forums illustrates what can happen... in the hopes of increasing the odds that true community will persist, our coffee-related forums are becoming more and more specialized out there. The more specialized the group, the greater chance that community will survive. No guarantees though.

The other variable is that there is, for a strong community, a minimum investment requirement for it to thrive. That's why the study-group will be, I believe, amazing... the investment is high, so the return will be high. The more casual, one post every six-months people there are here, the greater the risk to the community long-term. That's why my vote, I think from the beginning, was for Alistair to close off (if only mostly) coffee.com forum to active members-only viewing and participation. Otherwise, our community becomes an MTV reality show of sorts, with all of this passion and emotion on display for anyone to tune in to. It sort of cheapens the value, in my opinion. Just my opinion though.

My hope for the coffeed community is just that: that nobody ever forgets, casually or otherwise, what brings (or should bring) everyone together here. There's something great that can be created out of what seems to be nothing, when well-intentioned people come together. If that can be more than just lip-service, then great.

Unfortunately, in the "free-speech" obsessed culture that we live in, there are fewer and fewer environments where such decorum and productive discourse exists anymore.
nick
 
Posts: 1335
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: San Francisco, Coffeefornia
full name: Nicholas Cho
company: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
: http://nickcho.com
: http://wreckingballcoffee.com/

Postby Matthew Brinski on Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:58 pm

nick wrote: ... That's why my vote, I think from the beginning, was for Alistair to close off (if only mostly) coffee.com forum to active members-only viewing and participation. Otherwise, our community becomes an MTV reality show of sorts, with all of this passion and emotion on display for anyone to tune in to. It sort of cheapens the value, in my opinion.


I hope that any possibility of coffeed to be closed to all but "active" users/posters never happens. I post here infrequently due to the caliber of professionals and discussions on the boards. However, I do visit and digest the valuable information found here on a daily basis. I have done so religously before I was a registered member. Its content, in my opinion, is unparalleled by other forums. I understand the motivation to protect this forum's current state, but I believe that the current accountability/safeguards such as "real identity" and "invite only" protect the forum from BS posters to an adequate extent. If people tune into this forum to view the passion and emotion that is "on display", let them do so as long as the passion is legitimate. Hopefully, they will learn a good thing or two about GOOD COFFEE. All respect to you Nick.
Matthew Brinski
(non-affiliated)
Matthew Brinski
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 6:12 pm
Location: Colorado
full name: Matthew Brinski
company: non-affiliated

Postby Peter G on Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:30 pm

I believe that a special kind of conversation happens when people are among "family". Everyone knows who you are, and so you have to be true to yourself and you have to be accountable to what you say or do. On the other hand, since you are comfortable and supported by the others in your group, you can take risks and engage in thought experiments, which you might hesitate to do in public for fear of being taken out of context.

It is for this reason that I am in strong favor of 1) full biographical and contact info for all coffeed participants (thanks for making this requirement, alistair, I think it is awesome) and 2) members-only posting and reading.

I will say that I have sometimes censored myself somewhat, because I know that many anonymous people have access to reading this forum. I would have been more frank on many subjects if I knew that the only people reading were on the coffeed memberlist.

pg
Peter Giuliano
Specialty Coffee Association of America
Peter G
 
Posts: 367
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:11 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
full name: Peter Giuliano
company: Specialty Coffee Association of America

Postby Steve on Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:07 am

2) members-only posting and reading.

I will say that I have sometimes censored myself somewhat, because I know that many anonymous people have access to reading this forum. I would have been more frank on many subjects if I knew that the only people reading were on the coffeed memberlist.


I cant believe it but I'm going to disagree with the great Peter G!

I don't think that the forum should be shut of from everyone but members, the main reason you never know who the next member might be (apart from Alistair of course). Speak freely and openly, but remember your words are there for a lot longer than any piece of paper might be. And its amazing how often some of the things I wrote a few years ago come back to bite me on my bum.

Also I've been told by customers how amazing they think this forum is (I didn't tell them honest, I blame a couple of guys on some podcast). They would never post, but love to read what you guys have to say on coffee matters. All good for education and shareing.

Now I'm off to lie down and get of having an opinion I don't share with Peter :)
Stephen Leighton
http://www.hasbean.co.uk
Steve
 
Posts: 185
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:42 pm
Location: Stafford United Kingdom

Postby td on Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:35 am

Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Stand tall, and stand by your words. If you are unwilling or unable to express your true opinion, then your opinion has no value because it cannot be trusted as it cannot be adequately evaluated.

True anonymity is for those too weak to speak openly, or whose intentions are sleazy, outside of social norms or just downright nefarious. Pedophiles, pornographers, political operatives, social climbers and gossips all rely on anonymity to ply their dirty little trades. Is this how professionals should conduct business?
-T.D. Davis
td
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:22 am
Location: Clearwater, Fl
full name: Terry Davis
company: Ambex
: http://www.ambexroasters.com/

Postby aaronblanco on Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:46 am

agree completely about allowing lurkers. i'm sure alistair knows how many unique hits this forum gets: folks who have heard and are here to bask in the deep resource pools. heck, tons of "members" on here don't read/post, so what's the difference?
Aaron Blanco, Invincible Coffee Spirit
aaronblanco
 
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:33 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
full name: Aaron Blanco
company: The Brown Coffee Company
: browncoffeeco.com
: Twitter: @browncoffeeco

Postby Jim Schulman on Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:14 pm

td wrote:True anonymity is for those too weak to speak openly, or whose intentions are sleazy, outside of social norms or just downright nefarious. Pedophiles, pornographers, political operatives, social climbers and gossips all rely on anonymity to ply their dirty little trades. Is this how professionals should conduct business?


... And Madison, Hamilton & Jay writing the Federalist Papers (as a sounding board to see how shocked people were going to be with the new constitution). Lots of pamphlets in the early 1600s advoctating modern science and medicine, and late 1600s through mid 1700s advocating democracy, now attributed to Descartes, Spinoza, Montesqueue, Voltaire and various other titans of the time who weren't quite heroic enough to want to get exectuted. Not to mention Deep Throat or the fellow at Reynolds Tobacco. There are several good reasons for anonymity; although as I said before, I'm not sure whether they apply to this forum.

Here's a case, completely fictional: an importer or roaster, concluding that their customers mostly can't tell the difference, starts cutting their lots with some cheap, inoffensively mild coffee. Would you want an employee to blow the whistle? Would you want the person to to be protected by posting anonymously and implying a customer discovered the fraud?

It seems to me this issue is better served by discussing cases like this than by asserting everyone who wants anonymity is a degenerate.
Jim Schulman
coffeecuppers.com
Jim Schulman
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:56 am
Location: Chicago

Postby Brent on Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:09 pm

I am happy enough in the spam age for members only to see my contact email details, and don't have a problem with someone firing a specific question that is not relevant to a public discussion my way - ie Jay asking for financial system advise SPECIFIC to his business. Hell that stuffs boring anyway :) To think that the ONLY conversation going on between people is in the public forum is naive.

However, when it comes to anonimity, I can't see a productive reason for it - controversial idea? bring it on, controversy leads to learning, so even if I contend that stale coffee is best, and through discussion back track, we have all been challenged and learn more about the topic of freshness (did someone say freezing coffee? :) ) Besides, as I, and most others, have a reasonably trackable posting history, you have more chance of plotting how I made the wrong assumption, so any counter post will be more helpful for all.

If it's anonymous because it's slander, then do we need to hear it? It comes with no context, as no one knows who said it, and it probably places the forum at higher risk, because the complaint would then have to be dealt with by Alistair as owner, who I am sure has better things to do...

For those posts that may slip into the never zone, perhaps a members only area for that sort of frank discussion? Similar to the study group (which I unfortunately simply do not have the time to join)

Just my thoughts
Brent
Brent
 
Posts: 461
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:23 pm
Location: New Zealand
full name: Brent
company: .

Postby td on Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:20 pm

Jim,

And what if that fictional employee lied?

It is more than ridiculous to compare the on-line communication world of today (and I believe that anonymity on-line was the subject) with the written word of 2 or even 3 hundred years ago.

Deep Throat, whatever overall good may have come from his actions was arguably leaking for his own personal and political agenda. Additionally, as is often the case, his actions and those of the Washington Post had unforeseen and unintended consequences and have led to a credibility crisis for the press as they paved the way for more widespread use of "anonymous sources", and have helped cheapen our politcal culture as well.

Additionally, I believe that your scenario proved my first point which was that those too weak to speak in the open are but one type of person wishing for anonymity. And at some point, as was the case with the RJR whistleblower they will be forced into the sunlight so that all may judge and evaluate their actions, openly. As is the case with all of us.

Let me reiterate- those seeking anonymity in open discussions are either too weak (economically, emotionally, professionally, or personally) or have ulterior motives for hiding behind the curtain.

So, I ask again- Is this how professionals should conduct business?
-T.D. Davis
td
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:22 am
Location: Clearwater, Fl
full name: Terry Davis
company: Ambex
: http://www.ambexroasters.com/

Postby Jim Schulman on Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:55 pm

td wrote:Jim,

And what if that fictional employee lied?


It's easier to lie anonymously; but if someone makes a charge of some sort, anonymous or not, it has to be considered and proven. That process is the same either way.

Let me reiterate- those seeking anonymity in open discussions are either too weak (economically, emotionally, professionally, or personally) or have ulterior motives for hiding behind the curtain.

So, I ask again- Is this how professionals should conduct business?


The basic argument is that an anonymous post lessens its credibility. I find this hugely ironic. The usenet, where these types of posts began, started in academia, and in early days, anonymity was the both the norm and considered far more ethical. It prevented well known people from throwing their weight around and others from sucking up. It allowed each post to be considered solely on its merits

The reasoning was identical to that of academic journals, where submitted articles have all reference to authorship removed and are vetted by anonymous referees. This ensures the article is considered solely on its merits

The danger of non-anonymity on board like this is the same as in academic journals. Instead of posts being judged on their own merit, they are judged by the person posting. Then the most influential people pontificate, the rest sing hallelujah, and nobody ever learns a thing.
Jim Schulman
coffeecuppers.com
Jim Schulman
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:56 am
Location: Chicago

Postby Peter G on Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:40 pm

One good reason to have a members-only board would be that when Terry Davis compares you to a pedophile you could tell him to f&*k off without using those inconvenient symbols.


But seriously, I find that there is some real merit to closed-door discussions. It's the same reason that, sometimes, you close the door at work. It gives you more flexibility to be innovative, risk-taking, and vulnerable. For example: if I was having a quality problem with a particular coffee, I might be hesitant to post a question about it on a public forum. It would be possible for a unethical competitor to take my post out of context and say "See? Peter has quality problems". The nice thing about knowing who your audience is; it gives everyone an increased sense of responsibility, including the reader.

All the same, I love this forum and I am very thankful to have it. Thanks, guys.

Peter
Peter Giuliano
Specialty Coffee Association of America
Peter G
 
Posts: 367
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:11 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
full name: Peter Giuliano
company: Specialty Coffee Association of America

Postby nick on Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:43 pm

As usual with forum-discourse, we're talking about two different things here:
1) anonymous posting vs. "real identities required"
2) a truly members-only/closed forum (with the threads visible to members only) vs. forum with closed membership (requiring "referrals") but with threads available for the world to see.

There are a few advocating a lifting of the "real identities required" thing, but PeterG and I are talking about the benefits of the "truly members-only read and post" forum. "But I want to be able to read what everyone's writing!" is, in my opinion, a purely self-interested statement.

Maybe using the study-group forum (group participants only) as the closed group might be one stop-gap solution of sorts.
nick
 
Posts: 1335
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: San Francisco, Coffeefornia
full name: Nicholas Cho
company: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
: http://nickcho.com
: http://wreckingballcoffee.com/

Postby Matt Riddle on Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:57 am

I feel that the "real identities" part of membership here is truly a valuable thing. If we do want this to be a community of professionals in our industry, I think it's important that we know who everyone is and not just assuming based on username. I've also found on other forums that I'm a member of that having real names offers up a sense of togetherness and "real world" interaction.
I hate when I meet someone for the first time and only know them by their online handle...what the heck do you call them? Even when they tell you their name, you are obviously more familiar with their username and it is the more natural thing to call them...maybe that's just me.

As for the whistle-blowing, there are PLENTY of places on the internet to engage in that sort of behavior anonymously, even in the small circle of Specialty Coffee-specific sites and forums. I don't think that really has it's place here. Again, it's a community. We'll have debates, but in the end it's truly about growing together. If you can't find a way to address the issue with your name attached, then it doesn't really seem worth it.

Member's Only? Well, there can be only one jacket and that belongs to the BGA. Where do you draw the line on membership? With RG and BG there is an obvious separation. Here, if it's based on referral, it will end up that almost everyone registered becomes a "member" since we all probably know someone who could refer us.
Matt Riddle
Intelligeesta
Matt Riddle
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:48 am
Location: Chicago, IL
full name: Matt Riddle
company: Intelligentsia Coffee
: http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com

Postby td on Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:19 am

First off- I did not compare anyone to a pedophile.

Secondly, Peter you can tell me to f&*k off anytime- even if by proxy.

Thirdly- Jim we are hardly academics, as much as many of us would like to believe so. Most of us here are business owners or are the key principles in the companies we work for.

Fouthly, I get real confused when people seem to argue both sides of an issue. To those of you that have come down on both sides of this very simple issue: Do you not have an opinion? Do you just like to argue ad infinitum? Do you have such little faith in your own beliefs and opinions that they can constantly be swayed? How are the rest of us supposed to respect your opinions when they are so lightly held?

Finally, Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Stand tall, and stand by your words. Try and be clear, direct and succinct. This is how discussions are advanced. Professionals should conduct their business (including discussions) in an open and transparent manner.
-T.D. Davis
td
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:22 am
Location: Clearwater, Fl
full name: Terry Davis
company: Ambex
: http://www.ambexroasters.com/

Postby SL28ave on Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:46 am

td wrote:Fouthly, I get real confused when people seem to argue both sides of an issue. To those of you that have come down on both sides of this very simple issue: Do you not have an opinion? Do you just like to argue ad infinitum? Do you have such little faith in your own beliefs and opinions that they can constantly be swayed? How are the rest of us supposed to respect your opinions when they are so lightly held?

Finally, Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Stand tall, and stand by your words. Try and be clear, direct and succinct. This is how discussions are advanced. Professionals should conduct their business (including discussions) in an open and transparent manner.


Yes sir. I mean, no sir. Or actually, people who stand too tall can be scary :cry: ! Nothing wrong with some humility now and then.

And in order to not devolve this thread I'll give my opinion: everyone should be identified with no anonymity, and, of lesser importance, coffeed shouldn't be closed to the public.
-Peter Lynagh
SL28ave
 
Posts: 326
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 6:27 am
Location: MD
full name: Peter Lynagh
company: student

Postby nick on Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:45 am

Terry, it's easy for you to say. It's also easy for folks like Caragay to say... even MORE easy for folks like mikep, Marshall Fuss, AndyS, and other enthusiasts to say. Heck, same goes for me.

Not so easy for some others. Freedom of speech is a right. Freedom of speech with nobody to answer to is a luxury that only a few enjoy, in certain situations.

Apples to oranges, my friend.

Sometimes, as I mentioned to a friend last week, Superman can't keep fighting the bad guy because the bad guy just (as always happens in the story) pushed a bus full of screaming people over the edge of the cliff, and Superman is obligated (by choice, but also by circumstance) to go after the bus. There are some out there who have more people to answer to than others do, and a different set of purposes for being here.

Everyone ends up being the bad-guy sometimes, but if you are, and you push the bus over the cliff, don't wonder where Superman ran off to and criticize him for not continuing the fight the way you think it should be fought.
nick
 
Posts: 1335
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:15 pm
Location: San Francisco, Coffeefornia
full name: Nicholas Cho
company: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
: http://nickcho.com
: http://wreckingballcoffee.com/

Postby td on Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:25 am

Actually, Nick- It is often very difficult to say what you believe and it is almost always easier to tell people what they want to hear.

As an equipment manufacturer perhaps no one is more at risk of damaging their business by posting honestly- than myself- no one that I have to answer to, please. I have over 600 customers and 15 employees and I have to answer to each and every one of them. Who's freedom are you talking about? Your customers, or potential customers are not on this board. Some of mine are. So, I do not post lightly. Nor generally do I engage in the celebrity aspects of this board.

On an aside, freedom of speech is in fact a right- but, that isn't really the issue here- is it?

In an open forum where I am unable to ascertain your frame of mind through body language or, even in the context of a physical discussion. Why wouldn't I want you to say exactly what you mean? Whether I wish to hear it or not, is irrelevant.

Superman, Batman or the Green Hornet aside, Once again, professionals should hold their discussions in as transparent a manner as possible.

Anonymity is for sissies!
-T.D. Davis
td
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:22 am
Location: Clearwater, Fl
full name: Terry Davis
company: Ambex
: http://www.ambexroasters.com/

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests