Later On

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

Banned again: Shave Nook this time

with 48 comments

[Update below. -LG]

I really don’t get it, but so it goes:

Your forum account is currently banned.
Ban Reason: unauthorized promotional activity
Ban will be lifted: Never

What I did: I had decided to disengage somewhat from Wicked Edge, and join in the conversation at Shave Nook. I wanted more discussion, less drama. Also, now that Wicked Edge has well over 70,000 subscribers, new posts just plummet out of sight, pushed down by even newer posts, which makes it difficult to have an on-going discussion of a topic. As we like to say, it’s not like it was in the old days. 🙂

I posted a couple of things—a post on using the two dimensions of comfort and efficiency to describe razor feel and performance, and yesterday a post about Ginger’s Garden aftershave, since it was new to me and impressive.

I found a post about how, with the weak Euro, the Plisson Synthetic with an acetate handle could be ordered directly from Plisson for €33, a bargain, and the post included a link. So I ordered one, now on the way. (Their web site has an English-language option right up to check out, then it’s French all the way.)

To return the favor, I thought I would tell about Shaver Heaven, my own recent discovery. I described the soap and the lather quality, quoted the ingredients and noted it was vegan, and provided links to sources: first Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements, where I had discovered it, and then also to Shave Revolution (US) and Italian Barber (Canada), both of which also carry it. (I figured that since some don’t want to buy from PAA, I would provide a US alternative.)

The post was immediately pulled because it was deemed by the mods to be “advertising,” and the mod sending it thanked me for understanding—a thanks that was premature, since I didn’t understand at all.

I asked why my post was “advertising.” Since I linked to multiple vendors, I clearly wasn’t advertising a vendor, and I made the post in the first place to point out an excellent soap, and I thought part of the idea of the forum was to discuss new product discoveries: describe them, say where they could be found, etc.

I got a reply that emphasized that the decision of the mods is final, and that the rule I violated is that a post can have only one link to a vendor. I did read the rules for posting, and that rule is definitely not included—and it seems an odd rule. If I am talking about some great product, providing three links (US, Canada, and UK) seems totally reasonable to me, but that would violate this secret rule. Also I broke another rule: you cannot link to a banned vendor—but since there is no list of banned vendors, I have no idea how you’re to follow that rule even if you know the rule exists. I did not know that PAA was a banned vendor, and I did not know that one could not link to banned vendors since that rule also is not in the published list of rules. So I violated a second secret rule.

This made no sense to me, so I sent a private message to a mod who had welcomed me back, asking for some guidance. I was uneasy about sudden new (and unpublished) rules springing out of the woodwork, and feared that I was violating some other secret rule simply in trying to understand what the rules are.

Apparently I did. A lifetime ban for one post in which I expressed my enthusiasm for a new soap I discovered, and unfortunately provided the reader with links to a choice of vendors.

I truly do not get it, and I am surprised that secret (unpublished and unmentioned) rules can be used so drastically.

So it goes. And, of course, I never received a response to my private message sent in an effort to understand what was required. I did mention a couple of other vendors I might link to and ask whether they were banned (and how was I to know whether a vendor was banned or not?), and I also asked whether it is okay to name several vendors of a product, providing that I linked to only one (because of the US/Canada/UK situation). And whether a banned vendor could be named or whether that, too, was not allowed.

Now I see (in the ban message quoted above) that I could have somehow secured authorization to mention products (I assume that’s what is meant by “promotional activity”), but how I would know that such authorization is needed, much less how to secure it, is completely unclear to me.

I was a little shocked to see the ban message when I went to check my private messages for a response from Johnny, and I will never know whether I got one.

On the whole, a board that is so hair-trigger to impose lifetime bans (after welcoming my new participation), particularly for breaking rules that they keep a secret, is probably better avoided in any event. But I am saddened a bit. I had thought Shave Nook would be a place for drama-free discussion. Obviously not.

I thought I would document this since when I mentioned I am banned for life from B&B people want to know why. Well, I’m now banned for life from Shave Nook for one post that violated rules that were never published (and thus secret) and that, to my mind, don’t make much sense.

Weird.

UPDATE: I heard from Phil Huntsinger of Bullgoose Shaving, and Shave Nook is essentially the forum supported by Bullgoose Shaving, though Phil is not involved in the day-to-day operations—and understandably so: he has a business to run. So he does not know any details of my being banned—or even, I gather, that I had been banned. However, he doesn’t believe that I could be banned for links in a post. He speculated that it might have been for arguing with moderators or administrators, which can get you banned, and wondered whether I was cooperative when I was sent PMs.

A few thoughts: First, the reason giving for banning was not “Arguing with a moderator” but rather “Unauthorized promotional activity.” So arguing with a moderator is not a reason for the ban.

Second, I did not argue with a moderator (as I understand “argument”). I did ask questions and point out that the site rules did not include the rules I was told I had violated. I was asking a question—not arguing.

Third, the rules do not include a rule against arguing with (or asking questions of) moderators. If asking questions of a moderator is a banning offense (with no warning or appeal), then it seems to me that rule should be prominently displayed: the punishment is severe, so the warning should be clear.

Finally, because the moderators do not share their reasons or their reasoning, one is left in the dark. The messages I got were about having links to three vendors in one post, with the notification that the moderators considered that quite clearly as “advertising.” The stated reason for the banning was “Unauthorized promotional activity”, and the only thing that was communicated to me was the notification that my post was being deleted for violating (unpublished) rules. So that’s why I can only assume that the three-links-in-one-post offense was the reason for the lifetime ban.

Judges issue opinions to show their reasoning and how their decisions are consistent with and based upon precedents. Moderators simply act—without warning in this case—and use rules that are not communicated to members. (Interesting reading in this connection.) But I am happy to offer the moderators a chance to explain their reasons and clarify their decision, and if I receive a response, I’ll add it to this post here:

Response from moderators: [to be posted when received]

UPDATE again: After ruminating on this for a while, I can see how moderators might move in this direction if they want to make decisions and not have to explain their reasons and reasoning: remove a post and if the person posting says anything, ban him for life. Then you don’t have to deal with it. Indeed, any time someone raises an issue that you don’t want to deal with, ban him for life. (I’m reminded of the Red Queen in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and her hair-trigger, “Off with his head!”).

We know of that power tends to corrupt, and that power without any accountability, with no need to explain actions—that is, absolute power—is probably even more corrupting. Lacking accountability and with absolute power, the temptation to issue a lifetime ban to squelch any dissent—especially since anyone who objects can also be banned for life—is irresistible and (it seems) becomes a habit, an accepted way of dealing with the members. On the whole, I don’t think that’s a good direction, but it does make for a very docile and orderly forum.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 March 2015 at 9:54 am

Posted in Shaving

48 Responses

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  1. I am a steady reader of shave nook and have seen many posts such as the posts you describe and cannot understand why they chose to ban you.You know,some folks take our ‘hobby’ a little too seriously. I feel your posts were perfectly fine and ‘legal’. To be frank,I started with you and I and for my money(in the words of Cole Porter) You”re the tops.

    RonL

    25 March 2015 at 10:16 am

  2. What’s so strange is that it happened so suddenly, without any real explanation or attempt to work it out, and it was based on violating rules that are not included in the rules for posting—i.e., secret rules. I sent my PM to Johnny, who has seemed decent enough, but of course if he has replied I will never know it: I cannot access my PMs, since that would require logging it.

    It’s so strange to me. I really find myself unable to grasp the seriousness of the offense: I linked to three vendors who sell a product I found to be good? That’s so bad that it requires an immediate lifetime ban?

    I actually thought I was a contributing member, but I guess the mods don’t see it that way. And, obviously, there is no appeal. Very odd, and yet nowadays somehow American.

    UPDATE: @ RonL BTW, I think it would be unwise to ask the mods or post a comment seeking information about this new rule or ask for clarifications. I imagine the result is that you, too, would be banned. Here’s an interesting read.

    LeisureGuy

    25 March 2015 at 10:22 am

  3. You’re a wretched heathen (LOL). Luckily, DEA, SWAT, NYPD, etc. did not
    shatter your door, take you into restrictive custody, or much, much worse.

    BIGCHRONO

    25 March 2015 at 10:40 am

  4. And the local PD did not “seize” all my stuff. I am, BTW, very pleased that New Mexico has take legislative steps to stamp out the scourge of civil asset forfeiture, which has been turning our government into a police state—literally, since in many states the police get the proceeds of taking stuff from those innocent of any crime.

    LeisureGuy

    25 March 2015 at 10:49 am

  5. That’s why LeisureGuy is now my only source of shaving info. There is too much weirdness associated with all those forums. I do not understand why we have become so adverse to spirited discussion.

    tedschade

    25 March 2015 at 11:03 am

  6. I had an interesting example on Wicked Edge very recently. It was a discussion of whether a slant or an open-comb razor is more effective against thick stubble (with, of course, the ATT S2 serving as a confounding example: both slant and open comb). I had mentioned that the slant’s advantage becomes more obvious the thicker and tougher the beard, so that a person with an easily cut beard might not notice any advantage at all.

    And sure enough someone quickly said that the slant offers no advantage, pretty clearly speaking from his own personal experience. I explained why in theory it does (that shearing force cuts more easily than compressive force, and thus the Gillette slide works better than regular cutting—as does a slant) and that many men with very heavy beards had reported great improvement in their shaving by using a slant, but he wasn’t buying it.

    Finally, I said that it is tremendously difficult to believe that our own experience is not universal, thus the men who write of some brand of blades, “Brand X is trash—don’t even try them.” Clearly Brand X did not work for them, and they cannot grasp that the same brand works extremely well for some others. It cannot, in their mind: they’ve tried it.

    And both theoretically and by observed reports, the slant clearly does help some, especially men with sensitive skin who have beards that resist cutting.

    And he responded by asking why I was trying to “discredit” him. I was astonished: I was presenting arguments to show that the statement “slants offer no advantage to anyone” is false, and at the same time trying to offer an explanation of why he believed the statement.

    I think he simply had no experience in argument. He didn’t understand the process of reasoning together, and to him my disagreeing—and, apparently worse, disagreeing based on evidence—-was some sort of personal attack on his credibility, as though we should simply accept whatever statement he makes because he’s “credible,” not because he offers evidence and reasoned argument.

    It was about that time I decided to perhaps seek another venue more open to reasoned discussion. Obviously, Shave Nook is not it. 🙂

    LeisureGuy

    25 March 2015 at 11:19 am

  7. So much for the free exchange of info and ideas and help for us newbies. Thanks for your shaving post. I learn lots from it and find worthy products to try.

    William Bettis

    25 March 2015 at 12:11 pm

  8. I judge a man by his enemies. You sir, have my full respect!

    Larry

    25 March 2015 at 12:40 pm

  9. Yeah, I’m still a little stunned, but I went out for a sushi lunch. Something about eating raw fish makes the world look better (in contrast? 🙂 ). Lesson learned, for all the good it does. It really would have been helpful if their (explicit, written rules had included things like:

    * more than one link in a post to a vendor will result in a lifetime ban.

    * linking to any vendor in the list below will result in a lifetime ban.

    and perhap:

    * attempting to learn why a post was taken down will result in a lifetime ban.

    As I recall, Bullgoose Shaving at one time was the sponsor of the forum. I wonder whether Phil Huntsinger knows what’s going on. I’ll email him a link to this. Perhaps he will respond. Indeed, I would love it if the mods or a representative of the mods could explain what’s going on and their reasoning.

    LeisureGuy

    25 March 2015 at 12:41 pm

  10. Michael – I’m appalled to hear what happened. So many of us have looked to you for your unbiased opinions – you’ve helped a lot of one-time first-timers explore options with greater visibility into potential outcomes. That the site in question provided little or no transparency into their decision-making indicates other factors at play – one could surmise disagreement within the ranks, only to be resolved as the loudest voice (or stick) reigned supreme.

    With the exponential growth of wet shaving popularity, comes the exponential growth of odd or just mean-spirited behaviors. I closely echo Ted’s comment – this site is becoming my primary source for reliable data on all things shaving (although I do visit Mantic and some of the other blogs as well). Thanks for all you do.

    toddster64

    25 March 2015 at 12:46 pm

  11. You are number one in my book. I have gotten a lot of information on shaving between your book and web site and w-e. I think when you are one of the top guys there are always people who will try to knock you down a notch. I hope you stay with W.-E. Keep up the good work.

    Rick M

    25 March 2015 at 1:01 pm

  12. Thank you both very much. Your encouragement and support is heartening. I also cheered myself up by going out for a sushi lunch. Something about eating raw fish (sashimi: no rice: low carb) makes life seem better, perhaps in contrast? 🙂 Truthfully, hamachi sashimi is among life’s great pleasures, though cuttlefish with tobiko is not to be sneezed at.

    LeisureGuy

    25 March 2015 at 1:14 pm

  13. Here is my unsettling experience with WickedEdge. A newbie asked how you know when it’s time to change your blade. I responded by saying “when it stops giving you good shaves.” Holy hell rained down on me for that answer. I guess I was expected to correctly guess which blade and what type of beard the asker has in order to give him a definitive answer. Life’s too short. (See the Epictetus quote from earlier today. Words to live by.)

    tedschade

    25 March 2015 at 1:34 pm

  14. “No good deed goes unpunished”!

    Larry

    25 March 2015 at 1:52 pm

  15. @tedscade Change the blade when the shave is no longer satisfactory is my standard answer. Something’s going a little wrong there. I suppose people want definite answers rather than going by their own experience: “Tell me what to think” sort of thing. That might also account for the rise of authoritarianism in various places.

    LeisureGuy

    25 March 2015 at 1:54 pm

  16. This is definitely a reflection on the mods and on inflexibility, not a reflection on you. I am about your age, Michael, and FWIW I say life’s too short and my remaining time is at a premium — so move on.

    Craig

    25 March 2015 at 2:42 pm

  17. Dumb rules. Stupid really, in this case, since they are ‘secret’. Petty and immature.
    Wet shaving is about the products outside of mass market. If you can’t talk about and refer people to the products that you enjoy then what the hell can you talk about!
    Shame on you rule makers and mods at Shave Nook! My opinion of you is that you are egomaniacal brats!
    Sorry this happened to you Michael.

    Detail Man

    25 March 2015 at 2:54 pm

  18. Leisure Guy is my go to source for information and with questions. Thank you, keep up the good work!

    Mike

    25 March 2015 at 3:13 pm

  19. Congrats Michael, I’m envious! I’m a member at both B&B and TSN – and I believe both are far too uptight and stuffy with these ridiculous rules. I get very little useful information from reading everyone’s drastically different opinions on an infinite number of products, techniques, resources, etc…it’s mildly entertaining at best. The mods who have vested interests in the vendors who support those two forums are fiercely protective of their old boys club. F them.Your book on the other hand, is fantastic, and your opinions are trusted. Keep up the great work!

    Frank

    25 March 2015 at 4:51 pm

  20. Just for the heck of it I checked on Shave Nook and found your reply re:An alternative to razor feel ,ect. posted on 3/2/2015 and where your name is listed a line has been placed through it.

    RonL

    25 March 2015 at 4:53 pm

  21. @ Frank: Thanks for the support. Yeah, once forums become profit-making enterprises, they change somewhat. The secrecy and opacity bother me though. And no warnings! Just “Break a rule and your banned forever.” That’s very draconian it seems to me, especially if the rule is a secret. It seems more that for some reason the mods really did not want me there and found an excuse to get rid of me.

    @RonL: Interesting. Probably that’s just an indication that I’ve been banned. I can’t actually see anything in the forum: if I go to ShaveNook.com, I’m totally locked out. That seems a little mean-spirited, but of course we don’t have any idea of the reasons.

    LeisureGuy

    25 March 2015 at 5:05 pm

  22. I wonder if there is more to this than meets the eye. On 3-11-15, mod andrewsjs18 wrote the following: “If you’re receiving a message about being banned from the site, this is most likely an erroneous warning. Clear your browser’s cache & cookies and keep checking back on the site.We made some DNS changes last night that should clear up this issue on its own.”

    Michael – could it possibly be that an erroneous ban warning has happened to you. How about cleaing your cache and cookies? Perhaps I am seeing the world too optimistically. On the otherhand, perhaps this is what is is. Food for thought.

    Craig

    25 March 2015 at 5:21 pm

  23. To rephrase a Grouch Marx quote, ” Any shaver forum that wouldn’t have you as a member is not one that I would join,”
    It appears time for a truly democratic shaver forum. May I suggest “Leisure Guy’s DE Forum”.

    Chris R

    25 March 2015 at 6:05 pm

  24. On, interesting. I did not see that. It would be wonderful if it was just a software glitch from the upgrade. I’ll give it a try.

    Cleared cache and cookies, still get the banned message. I think it’s real, but unfortunately no way I can check and I would not recommend that anyone ask—that would undoubtedly violate some secret rule and could result in your own banning. And unfortunately, I’m not joking. When I was banned on B&B, Paul of Connaught Shaving spoke up in my defense, and he was immediately banned. Mods like to exercise their power, I’ve noticed.

    LeisureGuy

    25 March 2015 at 6:08 pm

  25. I’m actually sort of thinking about it, but also realizing it could be an enormous headache and time sink.

    LeisureGuy

    25 March 2015 at 6:10 pm

  26. Michael, you’re always welcome at ShavingScience:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/ShavingScience/

    Undocumented rules and having to walk on eggshells at the other forums is the prime reason why I created ShavingScience. If it wasn’t for the frustrations, I would have simply asked for a subforum for science-ish discussions.

    The only user banned on ShavingScience so far was an idiot who created an obviously fake user account and immediately after creating it posted a crude personal attack against me. And even then I posted it to the mod team for their consensus….

    I’ve also hidden a post that was simply a picture that said something like “straight razors rule!”, but I didn’t delete it, and I replied back that I have nothing against straights … but that I try to keep the level of conversation at a higher level than “straights rule!”…..

    So come on over all if you’re interested. Traffic hasn’t grown at the rate I’ve desired … so I’m pretty open to modifying the scope of the forum if anyone has suggestions or ideas they’d like to try out. The only firm rules are keeping posts meaningful and keeping debates rational, polite, and transparent. Super-extreme situations aside, as long as people keep things polite, nobody is going to get banned from ShavingScience for linking to other sites, or asking questions about the forum.

    Best,
    Shawn

    shawnsel

    25 March 2015 at 6:34 pm

  27. I am sure there would be other “persona non grata” shaver luminaries, similarly treated by such forums, who may well be attracted to the idea of a truly independent DE forum. I can think of a few. I do not belong to any such forum but would, if managed properly, without bias and by well known personalities. There is a need to offer an alternative. I would be more than happy to contribute in any way my more than 50 years of
    “brush and blade shaving” from my neck of the woods to the “Brush and Blade Forum”.

    Chris R

    25 March 2015 at 6:48 pm

  28. @Chris R: /r/ShavingScience is a truly independent shaving forum. I receive no money or freebies from any shaving-related company or group. I have a good day job, my values mean something to me, and I don’t need more stress in my life … so I wouldn’t accept remuneration if it was offered to me….

    I’m not against profit-making posts or users (or possibly even moderators) … but they would all have to keep their commercial interests fully transparent … and keep their contributions meaningful (more than just unsubstantiated marketing hype).

    Come check it out, and please post ideas for improvements.

    Cheers,
    Shawn

    shawnsel

    25 March 2015 at 6:59 pm

  29. Interesting. I will check it out. One of my main interests at this point is an environment of civility. It’s getting scarce.

    LeisureGuy

    25 March 2015 at 7:19 pm

  30. I’m committed to keeping things polite… and I’ll welcome as many ethical and transparent moderators as it takes to keep ShavingScience a place of civility.

    I mean … you know I enjoy a good debate! But there isn’t any reason that a debate can’t also stay respectful.

    shawnsel

    25 March 2015 at 7:24 pm

  31. Being helpful on a forum that is supposedly in existence to be helpful – lifetime ban. Posting nothing more than “+1” every other day … sounds like an interesting experiment.

    Of course, there may be an unwritten rule about that. So increment with every posting: “+1”, “+2”, … “+99”.

    Sometimes things are so preposterous, you have to laugh and leave them behind.

    Royal

    25 March 2015 at 10:54 pm

  32. Noli spurios te contundere

    Larry

    26 March 2015 at 3:33 am

  33. hey LG
    Been following your blog after reading your digital book for a year or so now. Terrible news to hear about (another) ban for you. Seems totally out of line with what ought to be fair and reasonable conduct amongst gentlemen and ladies.
    I’ve been (and am) a part of W_E and other Reddit communities, Facebook groups and Shaving forums. Reddit tends to repeat and nothing stays still. Facebook is always what’s “now” and is a constant “feed” of information. I believe that the shaving forums are still the best repository of information and where good discussions on shaving can take place.
    My main shaving forum currently is Paste and Cut which is open-to-all but aimed for shavers in Australia and NZ. It’s small (about 200 members) but personable and friendly. (It’s also been around longer than the Shave Nook as it started early 2012!) The things about Aussies is that they are very genuine and laid back. Drama is what we watch on TV and not on the forum. Plenty of banter on all of life.
    Anyway, if you want to join a piece of shaving paradise DownUnder then swing by and say hi. No need to take a 12 hour plane flight! 😉
    Cheers. Don’t let this news keep a good bloke like yourself down.

    Filobiblic

    26 March 2015 at 6:45 am

  34. @Filobiblic – Why, thank you very much, both for offering a new venue and for offering encouragement and support. I’m also delighted to learn of the forum’s existence, since I can include it in the new (and likely final) edition of the book. I’ve signed up, and now I’ll see if I can last the week—I was banned in just two days on Shave Nook. 🙂

    Yeah, I don’t do much Facebook, though I do check it from time to time for news of my eldest and first two grandsons. There’s something about the format and way it presents (or, more often, doesn’t present) new posts that I dislike, and also how it tries to create an isolated environment.

    And you’re right about Reddit—now that Wicked_Edge is over 70,000 members, the posts just plummet out of sight, pushed down by new entries, so that a sustained discussion is pretty much impossible. That indeed is why I went to Shave Nook: sustained discussion without drama. And it’s why I’m now checking out paste-and-cut.com.au.

    LeisureGuy

    26 March 2015 at 9:24 am

  35. Sustainable discussions is a good point. If anyone has good success with a non-reddit, truly independent shaving forum where honest and civil users don’t have to walk on eggshells to avoid being banned … I’d consider moving ShavingScience into a subforum of their platforum.

    That said, perhaps reddit may come up with further options to avoid issue of new posts going into oblivion if they don’t receive a fast and steady stream of upvotes on the main thread….

    shawnsel

    26 March 2015 at 11:42 am

  36. My observation from Wicked_Edge is that even posts with a large number of upvotes (over 200, say) tend to be pushed down off the main page in 3-4 days.

    I’m registered now at paste-and-cut.com.au, but still lack permissions to post. I’ve contacted them for information on how to acquire the permissions, but of course the time difference delays a response.

    LeisureGuy

    26 March 2015 at 12:09 pm

  37. Funny thing – as an Australian I never thought of searching for an Aussie shave forum. I used your link and spent an enjoyable and comfortable hour or so reading all the “G’day mate” posts. I too have joined –
    my first shaver forum. Like you, I’m waiting for an acceptance email before I can post/receive messages.
    The Australians will treat you right as we always look after our mates! Shavers or otherwise.

    Chris R

    26 March 2015 at 7:11 pm

  38. I’m kind of surprised (in a good way) that you dropped by P&C. 😀
    The permissions will come with a few more comments (and a few “likes” are needed as well – they are kind of like “I agree” or “I think that’s great”). It’s more working out how to open the gate, than waiting for Fort Knox to undo all those locks…
    I hope you enjoy the discussions and are able to tolerate the Aussie sense of humour… (y)

    Filobiblic

    26 March 2015 at 7:15 pm

  39. It’s a shame that control freaks frequently tend to gravitate towards forum moderator type positions. Like many of us, I don’t want to be told what to think, who to deal with, or what does/doesn’t align with my personal values and ethics. I also find lack of the lack of transparency described by LG disingenuous and arrogant.

    I will continue to read your blog Leisureguy, because I enjoy it and get value from it.

    +1 to Paste and Cut – a little oasis of easygoing discussion and shaving camaraderie amidst a sea of drama, noise and lack of respect…

    Draco Noir

    26 March 2015 at 11:43 pm

  40. I have been banned for life by B&B also. I had the audacity to disagree with Joel years ago. It was personal. I was banned for life from SRP for reasons similar to yours. It started as a two week ban on my web site participation as a vendor. When I felt the ban was wrong and told the moderators they take themselves way to seriously; it turned into a lifetime ban. Of course the fact that at the time I was competition for Lynn Abrams business (Straight Razor Designs), had nothing to do with it I am sure.

    After reading what happened to you at Shave Nook I decided not to participate there. I never could have conceived of people involved with straight razor/shaving forums being so small and petty. I have “met” a multitude of great people who were and are my customers so it isn’t most people involved with wet shaving; it is the sad people who have a personal “empire” as a moderator on a web forum. They are to be pitied.

    John Crowley

    10 September 2016 at 6:48 pm

  41. One problem with a forum run by a vendor is the obvious conflict of interest. That was what I liked about SMF, and that’s what I like about Wicked_Edge: not run by a vendor. That of course doesn’t make it necessarily trouble-free, but it does remove the conflict of interest.

    LeisureGuy

    10 September 2016 at 7:00 pm

  42. Hello,
    I also received a permanent ban from Shave Nook after I had a discussion with a moderator in which I questioned the definition of what a gentleman was. The term “gentleman” is thrown around so often, yet some of the people there and acted like jerks. I called one of the members on this subject and the moderator got involved . No vulgarity and no rudeness on my part. The funny thing is, I didn’t receive the permanent ban until I made a purchase from Bullgoose, where I offhandedly mentioned my displeasure with the way the moderators ran the forum. I did not know he was heavily involved in the forum. The part that bothers me is that he used my personal information from my purchase to set up the ban. This was extremely unethical and unprofessional. Stay away from the shave nook and bullgoose.

    Joe Edwards

    4 October 2016 at 11:56 am

  43. Some forums are more relaxed than others, I can’t see how a chap making recommendations should be banned. I was going to sign up for that site but won’t bother now. I see you have joined The Shaving Room. Come and share as many recommendations as you like there. It is a very relaxed forum as is the other UK forum Against the Grain. I am also very fond of The Shaving Den US based forum.

    matteob

    2 November 2016 at 7:36 am

  44. Banning a chap for making recommendations? That is just ridiculous I would say good riddance. I was going to join that forum but won’t bother now. I see you are on The Shaving Room. Come and make as many recommendations as you want there. You make get embroiled in healthy debate and be prepared for a lot of banter however you certainly will not get banned: very laid back.

    matteob

    2 November 2016 at 7:38 am

  45. @ matteob. I’m enjoying The Shaving Room and will doubtless gradually increase my participation. I didn’t know about Against the Grain. Thanks for pointing it out, and I’ll add it to the list. And I’m enjoying very much my foray in The Shaving Room with my poll and discussion on slant razors. I’ve found it quite rewarding as well, in terms of new insights.

    LeisureGuy

    2 November 2016 at 9:50 am

  46. Greek word of the day: megalomania (Big + Crazy in Greek)

    Zach Plevritis

    30 December 2016 at 12:39 am

  47. I have been banned from forums as well. It always appeared to me to be a monetary issue. If you mentioned (praised) products that were available from the forums paid advertisers, you were golden.

    Mention a product that was only available from a “non paying” vendor, and your toast.

    Many forums have become businesses and they survive via the lemming principle in my opinion. Get people in and sell them product from vendors that pay cash for the promotion. They all jump off of their selected cliff, and only their selected cliff.

    It’s segmenting the community into little forum tribes that throw rocks at each other….while the new folks search for a tribe to accept them.

    It’s rather sad really, and it’s one of the reasons I believe that reddit skyrocketed into existence. It’s also my opinion that it’s one of the reasons that people flocked to the various Facebook communities as well.

    Personally, I’m surprised they let you post at all seeing as how you have an online blogging presence and voice opinions about things and are thus a “vendor”. That’s what several did to me…however if I paid a “vendor fee”…well then I was ok….as long as I didn’t break any rules!

    Oh, and no refunds!

    brushnsoapnblade

    30 December 2016 at 2:27 am

  48. @ brushnsoapnblade: That is an interesting thought, and certainly is consistent with how receiving money can affect judgment (cf. politics with many politicians taking positions that are contrary to facts but consistent with the contributions they receive from industry lobbyists).

    LeisureGuy

    30 December 2016 at 6:22 am


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