Question about Current Diaper Guidelines - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-14-2003, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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WAHMs and Diaper Mommas . . . Cynthia and I need your thoughts on a subject that has come up more than once in the last few weeks. This is something that concerns all of us and so please take the time to place a thoughtful answer based on how you would like to see us move forward regarding this matter.

Background
In our current Diapering Forum Guidelines it asks that WAHMs please DO NOT reply to a thread that discusses a product. This came up following many complaints that members felt uncomfortable when they posted about a product, knowing the WAHM was a member and usually posted in reply. On more than one occasion a thread was over a customer service/shipping issue or likewise. As a result, we now disallow discussion from WAHMs to members and removed discussion from members about a WAHMs' service specifically - although information about product can still be discussed. We have asked for reviews about anything other than products be placed in our Diapering Review Forum.

As of late it has been voiced that WAHMs are not wanting to frequent our boards b/c they do not have any recourse . . . if someone states something false about their product or has a specific question regarding their product they feel their hands are tied to respond. They do not want to respond via PM b/c they feel that it doesn't 'touch' the members that view the thread and do not post to the thread and would be time consuming to PM all those that did respond.

So, here's the question.

Would you guys like for WAHMs to be able to respond to threads regarding their own product? Why or why not? Please be specific and candid (tactfully candid, that is). We are a board of WAHMs and non-WAHMs and we need to work to meet the community's needs to the best of our ability.

Thanks all - we'll be !
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Old 07-14-2003, 07:39 PM
 
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Personally, I would like them to be able to respond. If I have an issue with something, I think it's a great bonus to get feedback from the WAHM and also from others that may have dealt with the same or similar issue. Also, if I've had trouble contacting the WAHM, it's possible she's just not getting my emails for some reason or had something urgent come up and just innocently forgot. It would be nice for her to feel free to respond to me here if we haven't been able to get in touch some other way. I also feel it's important to hear both sides of the story before rushing to judgement.
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Old 07-14-2003, 07:43 PM
 
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I would love if wahms could respond. It'll also show their true colors. If they are someone who is respectable then they will remain calm and be factual and not flip out. Does this make sense? I have a splitting headache.
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Old 07-14-2003, 07:49 PM
 
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I also think that WAHM should be able to respond.
There's no better way of getting a good response than to get it straight from the source, IMO.
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Old 07-14-2003, 07:50 PM
 
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I don't think its "fair" for WAHM not to be able to defend themselves.
I am not sure how to approach this since we all have rights to free speech and can and should be able to freely express how we feel.
I do think that a two sided discussion is best though.

Of course in an ideal world no one would complain without first contacting the WAHM to try to resolve it.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 07-14-2003, 07:57 PM
 
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I think WAHM should be able to respond. I think it is a forum and they have the right to answer questions about their products. I think sometimes people get very personal and it is not ment to be that way. I vote- YES let the WAHM post!!!!!!

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Old 07-14-2003, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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amarasmom You said . . . I don't think its "fair" for WAHM not to be able to defend themselves. Do you mean support their product or answer questions regarding it? We are still not wanting to host discussions between members and WAHMs that are 'defensive' in nature - as in customer service issues, shipping and the like. These can be addressed in the Review Forum. We do not want back and forth arguments between WAHMs and members - that is definitely something that would be pulled and requested to go to PM or email.
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:13 PM
 
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yes please open the threads to discussion on both sides. if i smell defensiveness from either poster of a thread i just click "Back" on my toolbar and ignore the coversation and just head off to diapering review venues if i want to get a varied opinion on product info.

just my NSHO.
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:19 PM
 
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I vote yay - let them reply!

I agree with Meghan!
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:29 PM
 
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I would like for them to be able to reply
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:31 PM
 
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I think the WAHMs should be able to respond and defend their products and/or service if something is being questioned.

The only thing I don't think should be allowed is spam from a WAHM.
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:34 PM
 
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I'm a little concerned that if someone posts a question about a particular item (ex. "What's a good fitted diaper?") that they'll be flooded with "buy mine, it's great" answers from WAHMs rather than other diaper users with less self-interested opinions. I'd hate for this forum to become self-promotional, which might discourage other diaper users from giving candid, unbiased opinions.
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:40 PM
 
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I would like to see WAHMs be able to respond. I think it would actually prevent problems instead of exacerbating them. It might cut down on speculation, etc. if the WAHM could just respond, instead of having half a dozen people saying what they "think" she might say, kwim?

And I agree with whomever said it's best to hear both sides before passing judgement, too.

Half-marathon running Mommy to 3 spunky girls and 1 sweet boy. Spending my days and nights where my kids need me most- at home with them!!

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Old 07-14-2003, 08:41 PM
 
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I agree with the majority here, I think they should be able to speak up. Especially if they are active members of this community. I would like to think I could ask a question of a WAHM on the public board. I don't like the feeling of having to be so careful lately tip-toeing around. I bet it is even harder for the WAHMs feeling they can't participate in certain threads. I can't articulate very well why exactly I feel this way but the suppression of real thoughts and questions and answers has gotten frustrating.
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:44 PM
 
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I was going to just say "yes, I'd like to see both sides of the issue in order to make my own informed decision on the matter as long as the discussion remains cordial" But after reading what Jane said, I also think WAHM response in this respect should be limited to questions about their specific product, and definitely not self-promotional (unless the poster asks for SPAM, then it should be via PM instead of reply to the entire forum).

edited to add that I also think it is important that WAHMs continue to grace us with their experience and expertise on all subjects diapering-related, I just don't want them plugging their product(s) unless someone asks specifically for info on that particular product.
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:53 PM
 
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I'm going to go against the majority and say I don't feel comfortable w/a wahm responding to posts about her product. In the past the couple of times I witnessed it, it appeared to me as if the wahm posted after people were complaining about a diaper as if to say "here I am" which makes me uncomfortable being candid about a product.

This is the only place that I know of on the web where I can be totally honest about how a diapering product works for me w/out the worry that the wahm is going to come on and make me feel uncomfortable with comments like "I have many customers who love my product" or something along those lines.

Also I thought the wahms who come here are here to discuss their experiences w/diapering, not to defend their products. Atleast the ones who post on a regular basis. jmo
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Old 07-14-2003, 08:53 PM
 
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As a wahm I have very mixed feelings on this.
I really like the board the way it is. I like the lack of spam and the lack of defensive and argumentative posts.

But that being said, ok I'll give an example. Today Melanie posted about her PUL being stinky. I posted, apologized to you first in case in needed to be removed. But I didn't post to resolve the issue really but to more ask about the issue because it was something I had actually not heard about before.
I was leary about posting my question but then I really wanted to knwo and thought the answer could be helpful not only to me but to others.

There have been times when I have wanted to post to some one to do a simpe stripping but have not done so. I personally know my diaper better than everyone else and I would sometimes like the ability to say "hey try this" or "do that" or even contact me off list. Even though many people say contact Linda they don't always think I am accessible. Or I have had someone recently post someone and she said she sat there waiting for me to reply and help her but she did not realize I couldn't reply.


I think being "allowed" to post in the above situations should be allowed. BUT if the email is in regards to an issue regarding a product I don't think it should be allowed. I think that it would in turn creat a cat fight, then other members would become unwilling to post problems.
Just look at Meghan's post yesterday. It would go along the same lines, but rather then receiving a private email which most people were against they would run the risk of a public issue and be less likely to post.

Maybe, and I know this would create more work for you, but maybe if a wahm feels the need to post regarding an issue she could send you a pm and have it ok'd.
I've just seen it one some other boards, the attacks and would hate for that to happen here.

I really like this board and the atmosphere of the board and would hate to see a change that may ruin that.
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:00 PM
 
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I also wanted to add, if wahm's are able to defend their products then you end up w/people who don't post except to threads about their product and imo that's not really fair either.
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:07 PM
 
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I am a bit up in the air about this. Sometimes I think it would be fair for a wahm to defend her product or help those have issues with a product, but I also think I would more apprehensive about posting about products. I like Linda's idea about pming you (heather) about it first. I don't want to see our boards get catty. I guess I really don't want it. I love our boards the way they are.
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:16 PM
 
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WAHMs should be able to reply. I agree that responding via PM is unsatisfactory because the whole thread is viewable while individual PMs are not. So a WAHM who satisfies the OP then must rely on the OP to come back and say "Hey, she fixed the problem, all is groovy." Many people would come and do that but it only takes a few "bad" posts to turn off potential customers, so one person apparently left hanging by the WAHM (who is in actuality all better now, but just neglected to come back and say so in her thread) could adversely affect the WAHM's biz since her hands are tied in regards to posting rules.

Does that make sense?
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by melaniewb
I think the WAHMs should be able to respond and defend their products and/or service if something is being questioned.

The only thing I don't think should be allowed is spam from a WAHM.
Yes, we agree that WAHMs should be able to respond to defend both products and/or service, however we only allow for service-oriented posts in Diapering Reviews so that a thread doesn't start being a WAHM-bash. The threads posted to the Review forum are moderated, so we can ensure tactfulness. The WAHM can respond there as well.

This is with regards to product and WAHMs being able to point out if something is described incorrectly or if perhaps answer a momma's question that has been given faulty information.
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:32 PM
 
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Quote:
This is with regards to product and WAHMs being able to point out if something is described incorrectly or if perhaps answer a momma's question that has been given faulty information.

In this instance then I think that wahm should be allowed to respond as long as they are not trying to sell an item.
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:35 PM
 
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I think people should say what they think and should stand behind their words. However, in reality, people will censor themselves with a stronger WAHM focus and we'll see less candor. Wish they were bold enough not to. They certainly will stand up and condemn nestle or pampers...but it's harder when there's a person behind the name. A lot of us need practice at how to criticize in a polite, respectful way. And we know, as Becka points out, we have people who used to only visit in order to rebutt. I hate that. But at least it's more honest than sending ambassadors, which is the only option open to people now, and honestly, is probably what I would do in some egregious cases if I were a WAHM. It's nice to think everyone would take the high road...some things are not worth responding to, but a small WAHM is understandably protective of her reputation. But diaper preferences and fit are very personal, and not every diaper is right for every customer. And we have all seen unreasonable customers around here as well. I'd like to think getting people to stick to the facts, and heading off threads that turn into challenge/rebuttal/response/rebuttal which just makes both parties look bad.

I am very split on this, which is rare because generally I find MDC overly restrictive. I think I come down on the side of WAHM participation, with strong oversight. We know there will be both customers and WAHM who will behave badly. But it just reflects poorly on them.

I also think WAHM should be able to reveal who they are in non spam circumstances. I think it's too cloudy for many less active users to not know who someone is because they're not a paid sig person, as long as it is not a public spam response. (the recent thread of "who's who" should have had links IMO.)

I'm still pondering this...sorry if it's not very articulate today.

I'm still startled from the "Diaper Country" segragation. And hoping someone'll make the activism posts disappear from "view new posts" since they annoy me. Hopeless, I know.
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes Linda, as you said - not spamming. A WAHM still could not respond to a thread that says, "I'm looking for a pocket diaper . . . who sells the best ones." You may want to post , but obviously that is spamming.

However, if a member posts, "AAACCKK! I can't get this smell out of my Happy Heiny - what can I do? Is this normal?" You would then be able to write, "Oh that has happened before . . . first you do 'this' and then 'that' . . "

Constructive Chat/Problem Solving/Peaceful clarification . . . that sort of thing.
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:40 PM
 
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I have to say, I kind of think it's best for WAHMS to not be able to post specific replies to specific problems. I understand that this could cause some "bad press" about them, if the issue is resolved but the OP doesn't rectify it on the boards. But, IRL when we have problems with a business, we don't be sure and tell everyone to disregard our complaints because it's been fixed.

I understand that this makes the boards "one sided" but I think it would help the non-wahms to feel more welcome to bring their problems here, without fear of the WAHM getting involved publically.

Perhaps though, we could encourage people to bring problems with a SPECIFIC WAHM to the Review boards, where it should be ok for a WAHM, or anyone to "rebutal" a complaint.

Heather, I'm sure you'll come up with a great solution though!
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Clarity . . . what you stated is - in essence - a good outline of what the struggle has been from the perspective of the members and from the mod/admin. team.

:LOL Activism extracted from 'View New Posts'? eh? :LOL
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:41 PM
 
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I am an infrequent poster to this board, but a long time lurker. I am personally not comfortable having WAHMs respond in threads as a WAHM. (I do love having their input as been there, done that cloth diapering mamas!)

Here's why I feel this way. When someone has a question or mentions a diaper and the WAHM responds, that thread then becomes about the WAHM and her diaper as opposed to about the OP's question. I have seen this happen many times, including in a recent thread.

So while it may seem on the surface that giving WAHMs the ability to respond to posts would be helpful, I truly believe that it would actually not be conducive to discussion.

Just my 2 cents.

New WOHM to DD8 and DD3
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:43 PM
 
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I think that would be wonderful if we could. I have seen people give advice for my diapers that I wouldn't personally give and I have wanted to SHOUT no you don't have to do that. That's ridiculus just do this, same or better results, less time, energy, and frustration.
I think this would make some who feel MDC is too restrictive a bit happy but it will also help maintain the non-spam integrity of the board.
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:44 PM
 
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question answering, exactly. We lose SUCH a valuable resource by not allowing that. We know a lot of questions don't get answered when the board goes so quick. Sharing the load I'm all for. I'll stick to the boiling and germs questions.
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:04 PM
 
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I think they should be able to respond....sorta like if you get negative feedback on eBay you are able to respond to the comment.

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