FUNDRAISERS

Discuss the policies of ePlaya here.

FUNDRAISERS

Postby AntiM » Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:11 pm

There are always questions about who may advertise their fundraisers, what is acceptable and what crosses the line into commerce. There aren't many specific rules, some guidelines would be invaluable. I know there's some who think it should be everything or nothing, well, that's open for discussion also, but I'd hate to be that restrictive in this community. Some of the fundraising events are spectacular, and should be see by the larger community. Yes? No? Why?

I've suggested creating s sticky, which would likely be posted in regionals and events. What makes an event which sells admission tickets allowable or not?

I have some ideas, and this is the rough outline of my sticky suggestions:

1. All auctions, raffles and sales are NOT allowed on eplaya as fundraisers.

2. Allowed fundraisers must be participatory group events.

3.. Registered theme camps, mutant vehicles and art installations which have received approval may advertise their local fundraisers.* Regional events may also announce their event here.

4. All fundraisers are subject to review by the moderators. (I know, but goes without saying is why we're here now).

5. Fundraisers for individual burners in need of assistance are allowed, please ask first as these will be accepted on a case by case basis. This does NOT mean burners who need to get to the playa, it means helping our burner family recover from personal disaster or illness and injury. Such fundraising should be done off the eplaya, but links and a description may be provided.

6. An event which is primarily for private profit may not be posted on eplaya. No business promotions under the guise of fundraising.

* on number three, I'm thinking placed and approved because we do need some limits on who may use the eplaya to promote an event. Obviously, there's some great events which benefit camps and other installations, and enrich the playa experience.

** This is slippery, and I don't quit know how I'd suggest the wording. We're affiliated with camp so and so, is a far cry from this is raises funds for camp so and so to be on the playa. We support XYZ artists is different from Artist Suchnsuch is bringing this art to the playa.

Thoughts? helpful suggestions? constructive criticism? general mayhem?
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Postby Ron » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:34 am

I'd suggest we make any rules we have on this topic as basic, easy, and limited as possible. The more rules we make the more opportunity exists for either loopholes to be created and/or our own biases to be put into policy effect. Neither are particularly good options, IMHO.

So I'd start by identifying the objective of this policy. Seems like our goal here is to make a rule that allows for fundraising for "good causes," while still preserving the ban on outright commercial speech, yeah? Can we agree that is our goal?

If so I think we should get out of the business of evaluating the form of the fundraiser. We may not like raffles, auctions, or sales but they are often part of the kind of events you list that we would approve of. After all don't a high percentage of those "participatory group events," include sales of drinks as their primary method of raising cash? My own camp just hosted a poker tournament (to raise money for our art on playa) where we included a raffle, why should that mean we couldn't use eplaya to get the word out? If we limit the form of the fundraisers we'll be creating a bias towards a certain kind of event, and I'm not sure that's a good idea.

So I'd simplify the rules a bit to look something like this.

1. Fundraisers for Burn specific projects are allowed if held by registered theme camps, or the creators of Org listed art pieces. (I'd drop the art cars from the list because we don't have a way of easily confirming that an art car has been registered with the org in the way we do either theme camps or large pieces of art.)

2. Fundraisers for charity are allowed. (I'd open this one up a bit more so that raising money for individual burners who have had some bad time isn't preferred over raising some money for Doctors without Borders, say)

3. All fundraiser announcements must be pre-approved by X, where X is a specific list of moderators who volunteer for the job.

And that's it. Thanks for getting the ball rolling on this, AntiM, it's a sticky topic for sure. I'd ask that folk who reply include their idea of what the goal for this policy should be as agreeing on that will make the creation of the policy itself much more easy.

Thoughts?

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Postby MikeVDS » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:01 am

Simple is good. As Ron said, there is always an exception to the rules. If someone is struggling getting a project together and wants help, I see no problem with them posting a link to their page with their work schedule, things they need and things they are selling to try to finish things up. On the other hand, no matter how noble and burnerific the cause, It'd be quite annoying if they start 30 posts with links to different e-bay auctions because they are trying to raise money. You guys do a pretty good job with things as is. Thanks.
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Postby capjbadger » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:20 am

Ron wrote:1. Fundraisers for Burn specific projects are allowed if held by registered theme camps, or the creators of Org listed art pieces. (I'd drop the art cars from the list because we don't have a way of easily confirming that an art car has been registered with the org in the way we do either theme camps or large pieces of art.)

What if they are an unregistered camp/art piece/etc or they need to do their fundraiser before registraion happens?
And why not "art cars/mutant vehicles"? They are registered too...

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Postby AntiM » Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:47 pm

I do agree, the fewer rules the better.

On art cars, well, that is sticky because so many of them fall through. Case by case? Of course, it is all case by case.

I'm sorry, but I feel unregistered camps will just have to bite the bullet. I may be in Hushville, and I certainly could use funds for the Home for Wayward Art, yet I still don't feel I should be fundraising on eplaya. Allow unregistered camps AND auctions/sales? Bad, bad combination. You'd have people shilling all kinds of crap under the guide of bringing their camp to the playa. I feel the people who put in the hard work to be registered and placed should get the privilege.

I'm still leery of auctions and sales even if they occur at fundraiser events. They just feel so wrong in this venue, I feel that's apples and oranges. Participatory events occur off the playa, so should sales/raffles/auctions.
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Postby capjbadger » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:06 pm

AntiM wrote:I'm still leery of auctions and sales even if they occur at fundraiser events. They just feel so wrong in this venue, I feel that's apples and oranges. Participatory events occur off the playa, so should sales/raffles/auctions.

Agreed. I do not feel like this is an appropriate place for advertising.

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Postby Archantael » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:25 pm

IMHO:
1: This board is owned and operated by the BM LLC.
2: Any event or purpose that serves their direct needs should be supported.
2a: That would include fundraisers for the regionals since they are directly linked to the parent organization.
3: Anything organized or adminstered by individuals or non-LLC groups like theme camps, art cars, etc should find another forum to ask for donations.

If the board gets opened up to fundraisers for anyone that wants to bring a gussied up golf cart with a simple strand of $2 Wal-Mart Giftmas lights on it and wants to have it subsidized you'll end up with a moderator's nightmare again. Hopefully it won't come to pass.
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Postby capjbadger » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:39 pm

Where would something like the "Fishy" situation fall?

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Postby MikeVDS » Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:17 pm

I doubt anyone minds the whole Fishy thing. That's just supporting one of e-playas well known members who had a tragic situation. If you had to make rules it would probably be against those rules, but if no one cares then some things should just be left alone.
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Postby Archantael » Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:50 pm

capjbadger wrote:Where would something like the "Fishy" situation fall?

Badger


With Fishy's situation the majority of the active posters on the board felt compelled to act and to help someone in need. When you get a genuine response like that going on, it's best to step out of the way or run with it...IMHO. If there was ever an exception to the rules...that would be it.
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Postby AntiM » Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:33 pm

Fishy is why I lean toward charitable fundraisers for eplayans we know. Or a mention of "so-and-so was injured, if you want to help, go here" and a link.

The board may belong to the BM LLC, but we the community still have it in our hands. (SSSSHHHHH!) I do believe registered theme camps and placed art should make the fundraiser cut. If we moderate who and what, we can keep the problems to a minimum. I'm still waffling over mutant vehicles.

If we see abuse, we can change policy, it's a fluid process, yes?
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Postby Dork » Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:07 pm

Personally I don't even like the fundraiser event posts because the line between them and some random music or arts event is so blurry. We have no way to verify the money taken in will enable some cool thing to happen on the playa. I suppose ideally we'd have a better way for people to filter out the regional stuff so that only people who wanted to see event listings for a particular place would see them. As it is now, when you search for new posts you get everything.

I don't like for sale listings for two reasons - first, if we let everything through it would be a mess. Too much crap to wade through. If we try to determine whether it's being sold as part of a worthy fundraiser it will just create hassles and hard feelings.

Ticket sales are a tough one - we've been letting them go and nobody's complaining, though technically they're against the rules.
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Postby AntiM » Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:14 pm

Yes, but ticket sales make sense because they are such a specific burn item and the main site offers them. I agree, it should say except for ticket sales in the community guidelines.

The index does say regionals and events. Do we need a definition of events?

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Postby MikeVDS » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:18 pm

I do believe registered theme camps and placed art should make the fundraiser cut. If we moderate who and what, we can keep the problems to a minimum. I'm still waffling over mutant vehicles.


I don't see why anything specific shouldn't make the cut. There is a difference between if the La Contessa team had drawn up plans to build a new galleon and posted a link to their page, mentioning their links to fund raising items, and someone saying they want to build their "snazzy mobile, please check out their e-bay auction to help them build it." To me there is a big difference between introducing or showing off a project and mentioning a fund raiser, than just posting a link to things for sale.
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Postby Lassen Forge » Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:36 am

IMO...

I think that posts sellig something or auctioning something should be out out. IF someone has a site with a fundraiser on it, and puts something here to point to that site where the fundraiser is, kewl. But it shouldn't be here, per the no commerce clause.

It's hard nose but it's the way it was written.

So... for example...

"Come see the progress on rebuilding the Contessa. To learn more, go to www.savethecontessa.com" is OK. No commerce. Now, the Savethecontessa site could be selling t shirts, used PBR cans, ashes, playa dust, whatever - but that's there, not here.

Conversely - "We're having an auction to raise funds to rebuild the contessa on 2-7-06, you can log in to buy all kinds of nifty stuff at..." isn't. That's commerce and marketing.

See the dif? Promoting a site isn't commerce, promoting a sales or money gen event is.

Tickets? It's the orgs board so if they want to allow a ticket board (which is a needed service and is much better than having a private party take it over with the resulting potential for scammery) so be it. Same with RideShare, etc.They can set and bend the rules - it's their property.

As to emergency charitible or assistance stuff (Katrina, Fishie, etc.) the ability to make and have rare exceptions should be available to be made. The key is *is it an emergency", "Does it better the spirit of the burn", and "Is it being used as a shill to generate commerce"? The whole spirit of giving and gifting is part of the Burner Culture, and I tend to think posts and requests in that light are way acceptable. Again, this would be on a case by case basis, determinable either by the org or by the mods, to keep the spambots and salesslime out.

Again, this is my opinion, none of it holds water, and my actions may not even reflect that, but it's how I feel - not as a moderator, but as a burner and poster here.

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Postby capjbadger » Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:37 am

Beautifully put as always Sue *claps* :)
Out - Selling directly on the eplaya (exception made for tickets of course)
In - Links pointing to a project info site containing fundraiser info as well (with mod oversite to filter out the spam crap of course. :) )

AnitM wrote:I'm still waffling over mutant vehicles.

Why? How is a mutant vehicle any less "art" than a them camp or large art project? Are you saying that if (for easy example) La Contessa wanted to hold a fundraiser to build a cool huge stationary ship in their camp, that that would fly, but if they wanted to make the same ship mobile, that suddenly it's not ok? I don't see how the art being moblie or not should be a deciding factor. Hell, if anything, more props should be given to someone that puts all the extra work in to make the art mobile.



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Postby AntiM » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:26 am

capjbadger wrote:Beautifully put as always Sue *claps* :)
AnitM wrote:I'm still waffling over mutant vehicles.

Why? How is a mutant vehicle any less "art" than a them camp or large art project? Are you saying that if (for easy example) La Contessa wanted to hold a fundraiser to build a cool huge stationary ship in their camp, that that would fly, but if they wanted to make the same ship mobile, that suddenly it's not ok? I don't see how the art being moblie or not should be a deciding factor. Hell, if anything, more props should be given to someone that puts all the extra work in to make the art mobile.

Badger


Unfounded personal bias no doubt.
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Postby Ron » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:37 am

Heh. Not to be pedantic or anything, but can we agree the purpose of this policy is to allow for fundraisers that we like to be advertised on the eplaya?

:)

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Postby capjbadger » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:42 am

AntiM wrote:Unfounded personal bias no doubt.

Seen one too many burlapped golfcart "art cars" eh? ;)

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Postby AntiM » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:20 am

Nope, been hassled and gas fumed and nearly run over by big art cars while trying to find a place to park the four-wheeled bike at the Temple burn. We skipped it entirely last year, I had to choose between sage and weed fumes or art car fumes. We went back to camp and had sex instead.
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Postby kikidelosfeliz » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:53 pm

Regarding art car fumes and rudeness:

Anti-M said: "We went back to camp and had sex instead." Generally an excellent plan!

But isn't there some way of differentiating between fundraising for genuine work of art cars (behaviour aside), and naked golf carts (of which I saw quite a few).

P.S. While we're at it, can someone get a message to the BORG that motorized scooters suck?
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Postby Rat Bastard » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:41 pm

Isn't BM ticket sales, ice, coffee, cappaccino, energy drinks, BM calenders, BM DVDs commerce? I can understand a company like Burning Man not wanting competitors advertising wares on their site but it seems to diminish the efforts of eplaya as a tool to bring the burner community together if it's not all inclusive of all burner related things and needs.

What these policies say is it's ok for Larry Harvey to sell stuff but not anyone else. Even if it's for a good cause, fundraiser, charity, art, community, regional etc. And placing a commitee in charge to decide what is and isn't ok based on whether the poster is "established" or not is simply judgmental. For instance, the DMV doesn't judge the artfulness of a MV, just if it's mutated enough. If it's too many posts for the 100 or so of us that surf these boards regularly to sift through, why not make a seperate section for it. Very few people read the lost and found. But it's there, in it's own little space, not clogging up the more trafficed sections.

I agree that selling your car etc is not appropriate. But I do think things like "I'm broke, send me money so I can go this year" and "I need dough to finish my art car" are fine. It will all iron it's self out with each types own success or lack there of. As soon as people realize that they're not getting money for a ticket, people won't post that anymore. Just like it doesn't pay to put some things on eBay. So people stopped doing it.

And before too many people cry and whine about golf carts here's a clue. Many of those are staff vehicles used by BM staff, rangers, BLM, Larry etc. Somewhere between 50 and 80 of em. The others that are poorly decorated if at all are handicapped ones. The DMV DOES NOT license golf carts with xmas lights unless it falls under one of the above categories. The DMV deserves a lot of credit for what it does. Everyone seems to dispise them yet very few actually get involved to cure their woes. If you do see one of these and it's lack of display pisses you off, I urge you to look on it's rear for a DMV license. You should at least see that it has a staff or handicapped license and/or day/night license. If so, shut up, eat your pie and move on. If it doesn't, shut up, notify a ranger and let them handle it. The lame ass illigally driven golf cart will get impounded, fined and ejected from the event. Which is much more fun then getting in a fight with some yahoo thinking the rules don't apply to them.
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Postby AntiM » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:43 pm

Bump, because this is under discussion again.

A commerce zone? A fundraiser zone? All segregated and alone, like Lost and found?
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Postby smash » Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:36 pm

I think camp fundraisers (including raffles and auctions) should be allowed on ePlaya...

1. Camp fundraisers are allowed on Burning Man led email lists, and announce lists, and the Ranger lists, and in Jack Rabbit Speaks... Why is THIS venue, which happens to be on the Burning Man website, any different?

2. Insisting that we pretend the entire experience from end-to-end is gift-economy-only sets up a class system where those who are rich or local get all the benefits. My camp is based in NYC and it costs us MUCH more money than the SF camps to get our dome and 16 sofas and sound equipment and generator out to Burning Man every year. We're not bitching about the cost, but it is a reality... Cause none of the Smoochdomers are rich (and in fact, many of us struggle just to get ourselves out there each year) but we're incredibly dedicated, enthusiastic and willing to work our asses off to build something that we consider to be a gift to the on-playa community...

3. Events by their very nature are local, but raffles, auctions and services can be based anywhere... The Smoochdome threw 3 big fundraiser parties in NYC this year, is it really good for the entire burner population of the world to get those announcements? They're local events. The promotions make sense to stay local. Our sofa raffle however, which has a real-world, on-playa reward, totally makes sense to have a broader audience. And why shouldn't the Burning Man website be the vehicle for that?
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Commerce on eplaya?

Postby notthatdave » Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:05 pm

I think this raises the question of what kind of experience is eplaya trying to create... Is it actually supposed to be an "on playa" experience, translated into a forum online? In that case, it should be all about how cool the blinkies are, and how lame the temple is this year (or whatever), and it should include absolutely no commercial information whatsoever. OR, is eplaya trying to be a tool for burners to use to get their act together to get to the playa? To prepare, get what they need, get information, etc. In that case, some commercial content, under certain circumstances, makes sense--even if it's just the url to get the best dust goggles, or whatever.

Burning Man itself isn't a non-commercial event... it's a decommodified event. The distinction is very important. Burning Man, is, in fact, a for profit corporation that sells tickets, and that brings a significant amount of commercial activity to Northern Nevada in August and September every year. What Burning Man does is puts a bubble around commerce, saying "You can have whatever kind of hedonistic orgy of capitalist consumption you want in Reno, just don't bring it up Route 447 with you!" At the gates, all transactions must stop. It's a gift economy now. Your experience is not for sale, because you've already paid for it.

So, where in the continuum of commerce does eplaya exist? On the New York City regional lists, we've struck a very simple rule about commerce... On the discussion list, anything goes, but anything that is obviously an advertisement for a commercial venture is going to be flamed by everyone. And, on the announce list, anything that goes out must be demonstrably associated with Burning Man in some way (as in, an art project or theme camp fundraiser, a Burning Man official event, etc.). This seems to work pretty well for us.

But what about eplaya? If it's really like the playa, then take anything that has a price tag on it, at any point downstream or upstream, and ban it. Or if it's a tool to help people find and get to the playa, then really you should let people recommend stuff that's useful, and you should let theme camps and art projects raise money to bring more cool shit to Burning Man.

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Postby AntiM » Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:34 pm

If the eplaya were the playa, we'd not indulge in all the snark disguised as tough love, would we?
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Postby capjbadger » Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:42 am

I find it kinda funny how you've changed your view on this in a year. ;)

AntiM wrote:1. All auctions, raffles and sales are NOT allowed on eplaya as fundraisers.


As the TOS currently stands, things like the "couch raffle" are not allowed. If we think it should be allowed, then change the TOS.

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Postby Ron » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:16 am

"We must be very careful because if we don't know where we are going we just might get there."

I'd propose that until we get some idea of *why* we want a policy, and what goals we have with it, we'll continue spinning our conversational wheels, year after year, and not get anywhere.

For example we might agree that, "It is the goal of the eplaya commerce policy to eliminate all commercial content that is not directly related to fundraising for theme camps and artistic projects at an official burningman event." Or we might agree that, "It is the goal of the eplaya commerce policy to eliminate all commercial content." Or any number of other things. But until we get a big picture that we can agree on, the details will continue to elude us, I'd bet.

So, having said that, what's the current problem that you're hoping to address with a new policy? What would a perfect eplaya (in regards to this topic) look like? How would you know if your new commerice policy was a success? Once we get answers to these questions, and related ones, the rest will be easy. Until then, progress will continue to be elusive, seems to me.

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Postby AntiM » Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:17 am

Perspectives change, Badger. The TOS isn't something the mods can touch as far as I know.

Good points, Ron. What do we want for/from the eplaya? I've never entirely viewed eplaya as a reflection of the playa. it rather has a life of it's own. So, I've been thinking. A dangerous activity, that.

I feel eplaya should make connecting with other burners pleasant and useful. No commerce is simple when it comes to outright sales, simple to spot, easy to decide. The grey areas of fundraising and transportation seem to be the problem this year. I don't have much of a problem with them; I'd rather be easy than hard-nosed as a service to burners who genuinely want to connect with other burners and get art, theimselves and thier shit to the playa.

I'd be good with a fundraiser section which was self-contained, as Lost and Found is. That way those who thought fundraising was a waste of their time and money wouldn't have to view the posts. As for content of the posts, I'd be willing to be hands off unless it were illegal.

Transportation is a grey area. I know the "real" rideshare board is frustrating, eplaya is a good alternative, or an additional resource. Rideshares for stuff ... I don' t have a problem with it, but apparently some folks do. I think it is okay because it facilitates getting burners to the playa. Commerce? Maybe, most of the folks I contacted aren't making a profit. A matter of ideals vs. practicality? Perhaps.

An independent fundraising/transportation to the playa forum? That would solve the grey areas, yes? No? I think it would make the eplaya more useful to more burners. If something objectionable sneaks through, we aren't going to die.

No direct commerce, that is doable. Classifieds would be useful, but it seems these wouldn't be popular from what I've seen on the commerce discussion thread.
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Postby gyre » Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:57 am

I would like to see classifieds of an informal sort.
I see no problem in keeping this from becoming an area abused for commercial outsiders.
I am on a forum that does this and it causes few issues.
When someone is a problem, they are generally ignored.

I am going to be selling and giving away a lot of stuff and I would like to make it available to burners first.
That isn't really practical now.
I would also like to patronize burners when I can, so I would like to see a place for burners to list their professions.

What's the problem?
If I don't like something, I don't look at it or spend my money.
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