Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.


with 10 comments

There’s a thread on B&B that, in spite of my best efforts, became acrimonious. The last post, before the moderator locked the thread, included this:

Being one of those three I can now say that it seems that you are way too invested in this blade being represented as something it is not. Why is that Michael? Is it that the vendor who sells this blade also sells your “book”? Is this about profit and gain wrapped up in the guise of “helping the newcomer”? I don’t know.

There are a couple of misleading implications here. I requested that either the moderator (who wrote the above) or the overall forum leader post a correction, but I got a refusal: “The thread is locked, it’s old news — let’s move on.” Since it’s my good name at issue here, I want to make sure the correct information is available.

First, as the forum leader well knows, Razor and Brush no longer sells my book. R&B did sell it at one time, but there were objections to my linking to R&B (and its blade sampler packs, for example) because R&B sold the book. So I asked Giovanni to discontinue selling it, and he agreed, and I so informed the forum leader and asked him to let the moderators know. So: the vendor who sells the Treet Blue Special blade does not, in fact, sell my book.

Second, the only representation I have ever made about the blade is that it works well for me, a statement that always includes things like “for me,” “YMMV,” and the like. As I have repeatedly noted, different shavers experience the same brand of blade quite differently—which is why we have sampler packs in the first place.

And in the thread, you’ll note that several other shavers have the same experience with the blade as I. None of us were representing the blade as anything other than a blade that works well for us, YMMV.

As a point of interest, so far I’m still in the red on the book—which, like B&B, is primarily a labor of love. It would be nice to make some money on it—I have nothing against making money—but I’m not holding my breath.

I really don’t know what made this particular pot boil over, but it did. So it goes. But I did not want the final word to be an inaccurate accusation damaging to my own reputation.

Sorry for this. Back to our regularly scheduled programming now.

Written by Leisureguy

1 September 2007 at 4:49 pm

Posted in Shaving

10 Responses

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  1. And now that thread seems to have vanished.



    1 September 2007 at 9:10 pm

  2. One of the main reasons I stopped visiting B&B. The moderators have made it an old boys club with specific values and agendas they push, with detriment, to the forefront.

    The same reason two other names at B&B started their own websites. Anyway, I now simply subscribe to the Shave Mall RSS feed, and watch for a deal here and there.

    And of course read your shave posts daily. I find the Treet Blade on par with the feather, if not better. I even dusted off my login to post it in the B&B review area. After reading the rest of the posts, I had my fill of B&B for the remainder of the year.

    Keep up with your open and honest posts. Feel free to continue to tout the good products that work for you and point out in a delicate manner, as you always do, the lesser products. I’ll be here reading it with, I imagine, many other one-time B&B readers.

    -Steven (wa_bacchus on B&B)



    1 September 2007 at 9:50 pm

  3. It is strange that while Mama Bear sells your book (autographed copies no less), nobody over at B&B (to my knowledge) ever slurred you about a conflict of interest when you said something good about her products.

    It is strange that the reviewer of the Treet Blue Specials proclaimed in the body of the review that he was a professional blade tester. Which brand(s), I know not but if Treet was not one of them, that sure seems like a conflict of interest. Unmentioned & unnoted by anyone of course. The “blade tester” clause also has a clear ‘implication’ that any of us non-pro’s “opinions” don’t count and are without “value”, so if we get a great shave off a slurred & slighted blade we must just be either fooling ourselves or be id’jitz.

    After that review, I revisited the Treet Blue Specials for 3 shaves last week. The 1st 2 shaves yielded an excellent result. The 3rd shave yielded a superb result.

    Several of the moderators at B&B have demonstrated a total lack of “moderation”, they have a pattern of slurring, mocking & casting aspersions at regular members (read “nobodies” in their eyes). Too bad there doesn’t seem to be a Moderate Moderator over there who might be inclined to “ban” a couple of the very abusive Moderators at that site.



    2 September 2007 at 8:15 am

  4. Mama Bear and Em’s Place both decided to continue selling the book when I told them I was getting complaints about linking to vendors who sold the book—and you’re right, I didn’t seem to get complaints about them, only about Razor and Brush. Odd. But I was glad that Razor and Brush did discontinue selling the book, since I do like to link to ALL vendors of blade sampler packets—the more brands a shaver tries, the more likely he is to find several that work well for him.

    I also noted the “professional blade tester” thing. I didn’t even know that there was such a profession. Maybe he has one of these and works as freelance.

    I note, BTW, that the machine can be rented. It would be interesting to see the relative sharpness of various blades, but I’m not sure it would tell us much about how individual shavers respond to the blade. Given the great variation of response to any given blade, I have to believe that there’s something other than sharpness at work.



    2 September 2007 at 8:31 am

  5. While I really like the “format” of B&B the ugly slurring & lying about regular members by certain moderators has gotten out of hand to the extent that
    I’ve just sent the following feedback to B&B:


    Please remove my membership from the roll. I’ve noticed a certain pattern of slurring & abuse against regular members by too many of the sites moderators.

    Moderators should be “moderate”. Members should be valued, not denigrated.

    Each Moderator seems to be autonomous, which can be good or which can be bad, very bad. Moderation by senior or Emeritus moderators of certain moderators would certainly seem to be in order; but I doubt that will happen.

    For a site that prides itself on civility, Moderators should be the most civil of all. Sadly, for some, that is not the case.

    Over&Out, hyperwarp



    2 September 2007 at 8:33 am

  6. You should consider suing them for defamation of character given the slurs about trying to sell books via linking to R&B WHEN they knew that wasn’t true & that at a certain point you’d asked R&B to discontinue vending your book & the Mod’s at B&B were aware of that.

    If you have a buddy who is a lawyer or know one who’d take it on contingency (so it won’t hurt you financially) a suit would be a hoot. Imagine subpoenaing their “internal” emails & communications to learn what is really going on “behind the scenes” over there !!! Were these defamatory attacks (which have been on-going for awhile) “co-ordinated”, purposeful & intentional? I’ve got a hunch that may be the case.

    A suit, even if it had no result, would certainly Keep Them Busy and perhaps even get them to examine themselves which I don’t they do & which would be a good thing for them to do.

    The Founding Mod’s really need to search within themselves and ask themselves if this is where they wanted to “go” when they put the time & effort into launching the site. If defamation of character assaults on their members was not part of the founding “vision” then they need to ponder where they went off the rails. Several Moderators need to be “banned” by
    Founding Mod’s. Is there a document guidelining Moderator behaviour over there? If not, there should be for the benefit of future “new” moderators.

    Now, my 2nd item is concerning your personal habits…ie- Not Shaving On Sunday. That is your right & your choice (albeit a Bad Choice). So if you insist on Shaveless Sundays, I’m would appreciate it (& sure other blog readers would also) if you would at least post What you would have had for a Shave of Sunday if you would have shaved !!! LOL



    2 September 2007 at 9:16 am

  7. I think I’m satisfied with the correction. And I think, based on the comments above, on other shaving forums, and in emails and PMs I’ve received, that there is a lack of support for their actions in this case. So, we’ll just go forward from here. Obviously, though, I won’t be able to participate in B&B. So it goes.

    Regarding the Sunday shave… see new post.



    2 September 2007 at 9:20 am

  8. Although I can’t go back to the original thread at B&B, I remember the moderator/reviewer being very insulting when it was implied that he might be biased. He basically said [I paraphrase] that anyone who questioned his objectivity was not very bright. This of course is the height of ignorance about the nature of bias in any testing situation. As a scientist, I can confirm that even when all test conditions are controlled for, the issue of researcher bias is a paramount concern, and one we take great pains to try to control…”control” being the operative word, because no research can ever be totally free of bias. Hence we have double-blind studies where neither the researcher not the investigator know which product is being tested. Even those who eventually analyze the data don’t know which results pertain to which test condition. So, as a final word, I can paraphrase another great expression….”If you want to soar like an eagle, stop flying with turkeys”.



    2 September 2007 at 3:52 pm

  9. How could you possibly be “in the red” writing a book? This makes no sense, unless you are factoring all of your shaving gear as “research expenses.”


    Joseph Shmidt

    3 September 2007 at 11:44 pm

  10. Several things enter into it. First, I purchased a good number of books as review copies and to send to shaving vendors and to family and friends. There was that cost and the associated postage. Also, to get distribution to the on-line retailers (Amazon et al.) costs $100. (See this Distribution FAQs for the process and fees.) Once a book has entered distribution, making a change costs $80. I’ve paid that 3 times, most recently to remove the B&B quotations (which, I suspect, were allowable under fair use, but I wanted to continue to cooperate). I set the price of the book was set as low as I could, so the royalty is not great, particularly for sales through Amazon, where various cuts are taken along the way. Finally, the sales volume is not high. Altogether, just over 300 copies have gone out, and that includes the complimentary and review copies mentioned above.

    Still, as I said, it’s a labor of love. I’m book-oriented, and it seemed desirable to me that there should be a reference and guide book for the guy who’s just starting to think about traditional shaving. Plus I like to explain things. Plus it’s a good retirement hobby.

    My thought was that the book would see its primary use as something given by a traditional shaver to a friend or relative who’s expressed interest (or who might express interest 🙂 ). If the book were ever reviewed in some Sunday Style section, I might get a little bump in sales from guys with no connection to the network (and thus the book includes links to all the shaving forums and reference sites), but that’s not likely to happen. But, who knows?



    4 September 2007 at 8:05 am

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