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#1 Francois Dumas

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 08:45 PM

Not an interesting question for many of you, I am sure. Or maybe it is? Here's my continuous dilemma, one that I face on a daily basis, and have done so ever since I started working for simFlight (and simMarket).
Also one that I have so far managed to work with pretty well, supported by my friend and business partner Miguel.

SimFlight is a NEWS web site bringing you independent news about flight simulation, and aviation topics. And one of the agreements its owner and I had from the start is that I would have total freedom in deciding about WHAT gets written on the simFlight sites. Except for some minor things, because simFlight gets paid out of the profit that simMarket makes, and hence depends on simMarket's health. So obviously and logically there is a mutual and open interest to make new products on simMarket KNOWN to the readers. The exception of free news publishing is hence that simMarket news gets priority and is always on.

Fair enough.

And since I run an add-on publishing company myself, I use my 'powers' to promote that company and its products too, of course. In the end, ALL of the important 'news sites' work the same way. Not one of them is financed by a wealthy backer who doesn't expect anything in return. They are either part of a company with an interest, or sponsored by one (or more). No exceptions. And no surprises to any of you, I am sure.
Marketing is good. YOU want to know what products become available, when they do, as much as I do.

But... here's the rub.
I am also a writer, a journalist (I started my working career at a major newspaper even), an active flightsimmer myself and yes, a grumpy person at times. Like now.
So, I want to be able to tell you that something is rubbish when I see it. That is in YOUR interest, since you don't want to spend your hard earned cash on crap products.
And I also want to be able to tell you when I am smitten by a product. I am passionate about flightsimming, or I wouldn't have spent more than 35 years in this business, and I want to convey that passion. Including news of other passionate people or products. Not just sell it.

But it is in simFlight's interest too.
We want to continue to be seen as an honest publication (or at least I do).
Of course we (our editors and me) can be opinionated. We all have our preferences. You know that. So you take that into account when making up your own mind about stuff we write. At least I hope you do.

But in essence simFlight does NOT sell you golden shit. In essence, it doesn not even wants to report on such, although it sometimes does, sometimes unknowingly.

So where is this going?
Well, I am 'okay' with it all as long as we can keep simFlight's sites OBJECTIVE. And the 'breadth' of that objectivity is in the eye of the beholder, obviously.
So far I have been able to. Even though I do marketing services for a number of companies in the industry, not the least that of simMarket.

But if that becomes impossible, if I can't PRINT my editor's opinion on certain things anymore, if there appears to be too large of a gap between reporting and advertising, if simFlight would become a mere billboard for just any product that wants to be sold..... then it would mean a downgrading of the publication and loss of its actual value to the hobby.
In my humble opinion.

It would mean I'd have to set up a totally new service where I could again write JUST what I would find interesting. A service that would not be sponsored or financed by ANY party with a vested interest in what I would write. A place where nobody would tell me what NOT to write, especially!
You would then only see my writings as a 'supplier' of 'news' in my role as marketing director for other companies, NOT as a news editor and NOT as a reporter.

For objective news and (maybe not so objective) opinion you would then have to add a new link to your bookmarks.

Maybe Grumpy's FS News?

Actually, that ball is not in my court right now...... :?
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#2 CBris

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 05:41 AM

With you all the way there...

Objective reporting will not always be complimentary. Some new products really don't deserve favourable comments and "boyish enthusiasm" can sometimes run away with us in the other direction. Just as "conflicting interests" may be seen by some readers. (i.e. plugging your own brand...) But even so, you can still buy those "bad" products on simMarket - you can't say fairer than that.

I envy you the freedom to write though. I had it for a whie, but now that I am back at work (and I have to go get ready for today's efforts real soon) I find that there isn't enough time to support you, the hobby, the reviews pages, or even my own website. But there are some models out there I would like to be grumpy about too.

Personally - I like the current style on the dotcom home page and think you are doing a reasonable job. As far as biasing your own FSaddon stuff occasionally - well hey, it all gets sold on simMarket anyway, so "the boss" cannot object. It's all money in his pocket ;)

The biggest problem is a grumpy editor AND grumpy readers all at loggerheads. That crowd of people often referred to as "they" also seem to think that "they" have a say in the writing that gets published on "their" news site. Like grumping about farm simulators, bus simulators and train simulators being reported on "their" flight sim site.

If I had a grump about simFlight network, I'd grump about the localised forum pages - now this is personal subjective grumpiness here - because they tend to take a line that is contrary to the dotcom's lead. Take the German forum for instance. They don't like the above mentioned "boyish" reporting. They want to be very German about it. Their attitude is more "Times" than "Sun" (or to put it in German - more Die Welt than Bild). And of course they also have a very biased reporting pro the German magazine FlightXpress - now that really is in conflict with simMarket. No? Or does FlightXpress pay for the privilege of having their forum co-hosted on the simFlight forum servers?

Grump enough? ;)

But then again - "The views of forum contributors do not necessarily express the views of the publisher" is a sensible caveat.

:wink: you really need a "tongue in cheek" smiley here...
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#3 GaryGB

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 06:10 PM

And as if it wasn't challenging enough to wear several hats at once, having complex interconnections of one's personal responsibilities and business interests with associated and incidental revenue streams, the USA Federal Trade Commission now seems to be reaching out to the internet (not just print, radio and TV !).

They intend to levy fines of $ 11,000 per incident for undisclosed advertising via Blogs, IIUC ? :shock:

See especially § 255.5 Disclosure of material connections:

http://www.ftc.gov/o...05revguides.pdf

http://www.ftc.gov/o.../endortest.shtm


And apparently "Anonymity on message boards is out under the new Guides. If you promote your employer’s product on a message board, you should disclose the fact of your employment."

http://www.consumera...log.cl-you.html


Horrors ! :evil:

We can't have the Internet (as the last great frontier of civilization) regulated by all these lawmen, now... can we ? :lol:

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#4 CBris

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 06:40 PM

Bloody Nora!

Wow! I had better go and check my various reviews and make sure I check the endorsements I gave...
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#5 Francois Dumas

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 07:54 PM

We'll make an 'underground internet'..... good thing I decided to stop being employed some time ago now... and I ain't going back either ! :lol:
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#6 peterhayes

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 03:55 AM

Francois mon brave mon vieux
This is the ultimate dilemma for the honest man and I can only offer:
From the grumpy manual for outer mongolian oldies: "You cannot serve both God and Mammon" Even though Mammon is a really nice chap.
Its always an issue when you want to write objectively (that is to you) about something which may damage your corporate or even personal image.
It must happen in the newspaper industry quite a lot especially as they have diversified into multimedia companies, and knowing if you criticize say a TV show, that that crticism could affect the bottom line of your company. Phone David Frost, he should be able to offer some advice here.
I don't think that there will ever be an easy answer to this one. I would hope that I would always (or I'd like to think that I would) err on the side of integrity. - But who knows!
I also believe that if you write the "truth" as you perceive it, but without malice, there would very little damage that you would inflict in the long-term. (Watergate).
There's an old proverb (I'm full of these) "Don't cross your bridges before you come to them" and that may be the best option to follow here, unless you've already penned the piece that will cause your world, as you know it, to stop spinning..
I think that we should start an independent magazine, called something like "GrumpBoy" or "Grumpstler" where we can write what we want (in a grumpy fashion) and include centrefold pictures of Grumpbunny's at play.
This is not a new problem, I'll leave with a Shakespearian quote which sums it up adequately: “And this above all unto thine own self be true and it shall follow as the day the night - thou can'st not then be false to any man.” -
Grumplestiltskin
The most biased reviewer to have virtually flown on the planet.
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#7 Francois Dumas

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 08:30 AM

Many thanks Peter.

And maybe GTMA !? (Great Minds Think Alike).

I already bought FSGrumpy.com and GrumpyTales.com.

To be continued....... :lol:
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#8 CBris

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 09:45 AM

Ah, so the website is coming? And what about the T-shirt or even the recipe book?

I can see it all now... T-shirts depicting famous grumpy men in hats and in the recipe book...

Stew and grumplings
Apple grumble pie
Hot cross buns
Crème growlee
...

There's even a place for Grumpy pilgrimages... Moana Lua on Hawaii ("Moana Lua" being the ancient grumple words for "Moans a lot")
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#9 tim arnot

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 10:21 AM

I already bought FSGrumpy.com and GrumpyTales.com.


Bugger! Missed an opportunity! :lol:
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#10 GaryGB

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 08:27 PM

Ah, so the website is coming? And what about the T-shirt or even the recipe book?

I can see it all now... T-shirts depicting famous grumpy men in hats and in the recipe book...

Stew and grumplings
Apple grumble pie
Hot cross buns
Crème growlee

Don't forget the "Frown 'N Serve" - Precooked Breakfast Sausage casserole ! :lol:

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#11 peterhayes

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 09:00 PM

Dear Eager Brimmer
There has to be a S & M section (Sullen and Melancholy) as supplied by the Marquis de Rude;
A MILF section? (Madness Integrating Lassitude and Failure)
A Grumpy garden section by Percy Grumper
Drinks section featuring Grumptails eg Grump Punch
An insult section - I've been Grumped.
I wanna learn the Grumba - better than the lambada!
Grumplestiltskin
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#12 Francois Dumas

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 09:21 PM

:lol: :lol:

Oops, can't laugh, am supposed to be grumpy.
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#13 CBris

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 07:13 AM

Does some other admin want to checkout and chuckout oceanroups org (the post above) (pseudo members)

But to hit the topic of this thread again... sort of...

Guess who's facing a copyrights fight of sorts? Yep - me! I dared paint a livery and failed to get permission. Well, actually I did get permission from the plane's owner but apparently he wasn't the registered copyright holder of the livery.

And more surprising - neither was the artist who painted the livery or the owner of the plane who commissioned that livery (the plane was under three owners in that skin - one of them made the effort to register it).

So once more a warning to the community - the copyrights issue is still active! This goes to modellers and painters alike.

On the other hand - I have reached an amicable agreement and the paint may be going back online. But I do know of other modelers and painters who are going to have big problems.
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#14 Francois Dumas

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:38 AM

Is this the Toucan again ????
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#15 CBris

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 09:00 AM

All sorted... this issue was the Viper paint. As for the Turbo toucan - that has been resolved too.
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