I'm posting this in a public thread because I'm a little bit annoyed with Field Nation and I want them to know what they are doing is hurting their brand. I was involved in a discussion in which a tech asked about a company called ZoeComm
. I was interested because I had not heard of them before and wanted to add them to the National Contractor and Platform Directory, which, of course, is basically just a directory.
I left the discussion to do show prep for an interview for an episode of The Force Field Podcast. When I returned, I noticed the discussion was removed for some reason that wasn't really explained.
There was an ongoing discussion in the same group about Barrister, and the OP asked a similar question about its legitimacy. Apparently there was nothing wrong with this discussion, because it had been active for awhile and it was still there.
I find it interesting that companies like Barrister can be discussed all day on FN and it's fine, but an equally relevant discussion about an FN Buyer from a tech who has a legitimate concern gets removed with a cookie cutter explanation from the system. I'm not stupid, of course. I know why it's different. That's what bothers me. While I understand why that censorship exists, I find it somewhat ironic and more than a little disingenuous.
I don't like my own posts removed when I haven't violated any rules, and I take it somewhat personally. Who doesn't get upset when their posts are removed? I've certainly heard it here. But, I didn't break their rules. I never put down their buyer or spoke ill of them. My own inquiry was a legitimate one, and I had every right to ask. I don't recall any other comments that violated the rules, either. In fact, at that point the discussion had drifted more towards the purpose of the directory than FN's buyer. So what happened?
I've been accused of censorship here in the forums, but I always went to great lengths to avoid it. The goal was never to censor anyone, only to keep the forums clean of posts that clearly and aggregiously violated the rules, to prevent hurting other members and keep the peace. Those who have accused me of censorship in these forums have NO idea what censorship really is. If you want to witness real censorship in action, go to any of the OnForce pages or groups on any of the social networks. They have no qualms about letting the techs know what they really think of their opinions and how much they value their feedback. If there is something wrong inside their little bubble, they don't want to hear it, and they will let you know by censoring your post.
Dell did that for years and it didn't work well for them. Customers would post negative comments in their forums. When a company receives too many negative comments they assume it means there is something wrong with their customers. No, it means something is wrong with the customers' perception of their company or brand. Something is wrong that needs to be fixed. Deleting posts won't fix the problem, but it will do two other things that WILL hurt their brand- first, it will upset the customer even more, and second, it will create the perception that the company isn't listening and doesn't want to fix the problem.
If Field Nation wants to protect their reputation and their brand, they need to learn how to take and handle the negative feedback about their buyers in a productive manner. I know companies don't like negative feedback, but that's still valuable feedback. The customer, or in this case, the tech, is trying to tell you something. If you really care about your own company's brand and reputation, you will stop and listen. It is the wise and ethical thing to do.
Simply deleting topics tells the techs you don't care, and that's only going to hurt your brand.