Thoughts on Commerce

Discuss the policies of ePlaya here.

Postby AntiM » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:15 pm

Thank you for the clarification.
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Postby Kinetik V » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:17 pm

Having reread the thread and checked the links again what I'm reading looks like a personal attack on AntiM.

I would also strongly suggest that you read Spectabillis's last post again.
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Postby much2naughty2 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:22 pm

AntiM, I like the idea of having a place to find things like lights and costumes for BM, something like Craigslist. In fact, why not craigslist. I don't know if they will consider it, but I submitted a request on craigskist to add Blackrock City, Nevada as a location.

"Blackrock City, Nevada is a seasonal city that peaks at approximately 50,000 people during the month of September. They would like to have a place to buy, sell, and trade items all during the year."

Hope I haven't stepped on toes by doing this, but if so, sorry.....
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Postby AntiM » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:28 pm

Much2, you'd not be stepping on toes here, but the BMORG in SF would likely have something to say about it. Would you be interested in pursuing it officially?
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Postby Kinetik V » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:31 pm

I'm torn here. Commerce is the 800 lb Gorilla in the room....I read the 10 principles about Decommodification and it's all well and good. Then I think of the reality. Stores in Reno with bare shelves, the Wallyworld in Winnemucca stripped of BM essentials, the El-Wire purchased in vast quantities, the Lanceland (We Power the Playa!) generators...and I keep thinking why are they ignoring this? Commerce is all around, the only thing it hasn't done is reached out and bitchslapped Larry's hat off his head. So yeah...I agree there's a need to finally address this. But the eplaya changes at a glacial pace. I'm not sure the change someone is looking for will be possible here.
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Postby much2naughty2 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:34 pm

Sure, but I wouldn't know where to begin. I'm a newbie, remember, by definition completely ignorant of the facts?

I think the original idea for having a place to buy sell or trade really is a great idea for burners. Obviously, there is a disagreement about that being on here. Craigslist seems obvoius if we can get a common place to meet.
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Postby AntiM » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:34 pm

I concur, it must happen at the HQ level.
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Postby Here and there » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:13 pm

spectabillis wrote:
AntiM wrote:yet the org doesnt always have the time and resources to do much, and its not a comfortable or nice situation being the volunteer that delivers news to people who raise concerns and dont agree with the outcome. this often includes not being able to give you a better answer than "no."



Not a problem. Were that the only difficulty that she had presented me with, she would have had my sympathy, as that is a frustrating position to be in. But what you just wrote has nothing to do with the objections I've just raised, which are to her conduct as a poster, not to her compliance with my suggestions. The suggestions are just something that I dashed off. I might very well completely disagree with them, myself, after further thought. I should hope that I would see some disagreement over those from others.

The expectation that I will not be gratuitously fucked with is another matter. Those who won't meet that expectation aren't worth my time.


spectabillis wrote:
Here and There, I will do my best to reply to you in only the most serious way. Thank you for your input on the commerce issue.


and she has always served you well in this capacity,



No, she hasn't, as I've already shown at length. I shouldn't have to rehash that, again. I'm more than slightly annoyed that I was put in the position of having to rehash it in the first place. I should be free to post a few simple suggestions on the board without getting trolled by some evasively dishonest individual who lives to put others on the defensive.


spectabillis wrote:ultimately you dont want to isolate her over it, because she's usually on your side.



Ultimately, I'd like her to go away and never bother me again, but I'm bound to be disappointed in that, I'm sure.

Isolate her? I would not be so unrealistic as to imagine that possible. For me to do that, I'd have to have an audience that wanted to be reasonable and cared about how fairly people were being treated, people to whom the truth made a difference. As we've seen, no such audience exists on this board. ePlaya may have some small value as a place to raise awareness of events or resources, but as a community, it is worthless.

But, of couse, you've said the same, yourself and some would seem to love you back. Now, you seem to want to make peace. It's an understandable wish, as these people seem to have once been your friends, but it's an unwise one. Never try to cross a bridge you've already burned. Especially when it's one that was overdue for demolition, anyway.

With that, I am done with the policy discussion board. I'll decide what, if anything, to do with the rest of ePlaya, later.
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Postby ibdave » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:21 pm

Here and there wrote:
































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Postby ibdave » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:26 pm

much2naughty2 wrote:Sure, but I wouldn't know where to begin. I'm a newbie, remember, by definition completely ignorant of the facts?

I think the original idea for having a place to buy sell or trade really is a great idea for burners. Obviously, there is a disagreement about that being on here. Craigslist seems obvoius if we can get a common place to meet.


m2n, for me my 1st year(1998) was hard, not knowing much of what was a head of me.

Each and every year I build on what learn that year. No easy shopping list or site's to find what works best. Have fun digging into your imagination and find out for the next year.. 8) 8) 8)
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Postby Ranger Genius » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:43 pm

Here and there:

Alright, listen here, you insufferable jackass.

All the slights that you imagine Anti M perpetrated against you in the "bug reports" thread are just that: figments of your hyperactive and clearly uncontrolled imagination.

Allow it to enter into consideration in your foul little mind that the only consistent element in all your unsatisfactory interactions is you. After a while, even the most deluded, paranoid individual has to think "maybe it's me. Maybe I'm the problem." Entertain this possibility now. If everyone around you thinks you're a paranoid, petulant child with painfully apparent mommy issues, they're probably right.

Last edited by Here and there on Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:50 pm; edited 10 times in total. (78 percent)

Also, it's hard to take seriously the opinions of anyone too fucking stupid to assemble their thoughts coherently on any of the first nine tries. Or use the "preview" button for that matter.
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Postby AntiM » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:50 pm

Before Dork beats me to it, as with the bug report thread, any further discussion of anything but commerce on eplaya will result in a lockdown of the thread.

If anyone feels the urge to explore any other matter further, open a new thread in other forums such as Open Discussion.
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Postby mdmf007 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:10 pm

AntiM wrote:Before Dork beats me to it, as with the bug report thread, any further discussion of anything but commerce on eplaya will result in a lockdown of the thread.

If anyone feels the urge to explore any other matter further, open a new thread in other forums such as Open Discussion.



poke - poke....

I like the idea of a commerce zone and have advocated for it regularly. TBTB have other ideas, and thats their right.

BRC on craigslist is a great idea, perhaps "Gerlach, Nevada" if theres drama with BRC being listed.

Im not sure how this thread deteriorated, but it sure did.
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Postby lonestoner916 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:29 pm

mdmf007 wrote:
AntiM wrote:Before Dork beats me to it, as with the bug report thread, any further discussion of anything but commerce on eplaya will result in a lockdown of the thread.

If anyone feels the urge to explore any other matter further, open a new thread in other forums such as Open Discussion.



poke - poke....

I like the idea of a commerce zone and have advocated for it regularly. TBTB have other ideas, and thats their right.

BRC on craigslist is a great idea, perhaps "Gerlach, Nevada" if theres drama with BRC being listed.

Im not sure how this thread deteriorated, but it sure did.


Indeed. I really like the Craigslist idea and wouldn't mind spearheading the project, but I don't see the higher ups in the Borg giving it the green light under any circumstances, even though we ALL know it's total horseshit. I love that you can't buy much and can't sell t-shirts and hippie crystals at the event, but I hate that the mighty Wal-Mart is padding it's pockets when there are small businesses run by Burners who would put the money to better use. Like spending it at Wal-Mart perhaps?? :twisted:
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Postby Kinetik V » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:49 pm

While I've been a WM shopper since they only had 13 stores in the Ozarks, I am ALL FOR doing more to divert money away from Bentonville and putting it in the hands of good people. If such a project gets going I would be more than happy to give it a look and try and spend money there.
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Postby Dork » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:34 am

I'd love to see a burner commerce site, and have even talked to BMORG people about it. The answer has always been no - not on Eplaya or any other part of burningman.com other than that small part where they sell calendars and such. That may change at some point but for now that's the way it is.

There is definitely a market for such a site - I'm surprised one hasn't taken off already.
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Postby much2naughty2 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:42 am

Does anyone know if the phrase "Blackrock City" is trademarked? If not and craigslist approves it as a site, what bases would BMORG have to object?

I understand them wanting to protect and enhance the burningman brand and trademark, not unlike Disney does, for products and logos, but how and why would they stop a burner advertising their used bikes or art car on Craigslist under blackrock city. Their action would have to be against Craigslist, wouldn't it?

I'm a newbie, I admit, but I'm really surprised to hear that people that put 25 years into building such a great idea as Burningman could be such ogers.
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Postby rodiponer » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:31 am

It's better that such a site does not exist.

People already have the choice to buy camping gear at Walmart, REI, Craigslist, a swap meet, or steal it from their relatives garage...

The costumes, funny clothes, and accessories are supposed to reflect the individual. A site that sells these things would, to me, seem like a Halloween store with the little costume sets in plastic bags. Should you be a Cowboy, and get the little hat, vinyl vest, scarf, and plastic rifle? Or the Raver, with the wrap around ski goggles, furry boots, trippy blinkies, and glowing dust mask? Or the Steampunker, with riveted goggles, awesome brass dust mask, and miners head lamp?

However efficient that may be, I think that is a degenerate path, especially for people who are attending for the first time. It may pre-empt their self expression by offering them a set of uniforms for a subculture that they can pick. It reduces self expression to the act of buying a few products and wearing them as a costume.

A church in my neighborhood has a sign-- "Come as you are."

To me Burning Man is a bit of an exercise in resisting our own cultural urges to make things more efficient through our capitalist system. The way we approach problems in our world is to buy our way out of them. We want nearly everything to be reduced to a quick commercial transaction. And if that is not possible, if it is not as easy as clicking a few buttons in one central place, we wonder why this particular instance is different.

Maybe this is too idealistic, but it's different because you are supposed to make it up yourself.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:59 am

I have long advocated for smaller business, especially ones owned by Burners. Though, this is a tentative balance to try and strike and it seems to be a moving target. I think a commerce site would be a good idea, but can see how it could easily backfire as well, but I think if done in the right context, I'd support it.

Rodiponer makes some good points about individuals and personal creativity, too. The best approach I’ve found to date is to seek out and shop with fellow Burners and then refer others to them as well (both here on eplaya and in face to face interactions). Word of mouth advertising. It’s worked for my own personal business, in fact it’s the only form of advertising I’ve used so far. If Burners support each other via word of mouth, it'll spread.

Jack Rabbit Speaks does send out one commerce issue a year with links to Burner-owned businesses like EL Wire suppliers, etc. It’s a good resource that’s helped me numerous times.

I think the Org can, at times, be a bit strong armed about things, but I think I’d rather them be that way as lax, if I had to choose. It’s just a game of cat and mouse and there’s ways around it that show respect to both parties.
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Postby psychedelicsurvivor » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:47 pm

Maybe just a section on the bm site with links lists for categories that are moderated. Enterprising burners could then create a website for the single item sales and submit a request to be put on the links list.
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Postby emily sparkle » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:37 pm

imho, moderation would be challenging as different people have vastly different ideas of commerece.

what if one was:
selling a car that might be good for some welder to create an incredible art car from? make fuzzy pants? need a burner-friendly roommate? got a burner friendly job opportunity? got a bed to rent in your apartment, camp or rv? own a business that sells blinky things at cost? sensible fashionable shoes? dehydrated nummies? own a completely separate business inspired by burning man that has nothing to do with the burn? are a lawyer offering services? are the indian taco people telling you the truck will be at this rest stop this year? selling dvds of boobs on bikes?

lots of things poke peoples commerce buttons. i have a business i'd love other burners to know about -- especially as we move online and are more accessible than our brick and mortar. but the eplaya is not the place to do that. craigslist works, word of mouth is great, hell facebook is even getting noisy on this count, but seems somewhat perfect...
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Postby gyre » Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:49 pm

You can always email me about your business, Emily.

As long as it's businesses owned by burners, I'm okay with that.

And we already mention burner useful products.

I can refer you to a forum that handles polite business well.

And, as I posted somewhere, while personal marketing is superior, it's a two edged sword for companies with a bad product, or that get caught lying by the forum.
I've seen companies made and some destroyed by their interaction on a forum.
And people find it very satisfying to be listened to.

When a product is deemed irrelevant, or obnoxious, they are simply booted.
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Postby AntiM » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:48 am

The key word being "deemed". The moderator making the decision would get slammed. Community making the decision, slammed. It is bad enough now when it is against the rules. While I am for a commerce section, I dread moderating it. I don't like personal attacks and I've gotten some doozies. I have a highly personal stake in this situation as I'm the frontline mod right now. It isn't always pleasant.
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Postby groosh » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:12 pm

I have thought about it and I don't really understand why eplaya wouldn't have a section for "commerce" or deals.

Every single one of us who comes to BM each year buys a bunch of stuff for the event.

It doesn't seem unreasonable to have a section where people can post things like "I found a new manufacturer of EL wire that is selling it for half of what everyone else does." Or "Costco has camelbacks on sale for $5 a dozen." Or even "I have $1500 of Cruise America credit that I will sell for $500."

Personally, I have been doing research into solar systems and so far it seems like there are nearly as many websites for solar equipment as there are for porn on the web. So I know I would likely take advantage of links advertising solar products that other burners had successfully used on the playa.

Commerce, whether you like it or not, is a fact of life. We all buy stuff. The advantage is, as was pointed out, that you have burners moderating the forum and keeping the people posting accountable.

I imagine it won't be long before someone registers a website like www.awesomeplayaclassifiedsitewhereburn ... llshit.net and then starts slipping it into postings on here, craigslist and other sites and then before long it will become the de-facto classified site of burning man.

I am unwavering in the belief that there shouldn't be commerce at burning man.

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Postby AntiM » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:38 pm

You already can refer to vendors and sales. What you can't do is sell your own items here, nor rent things, nor post your craigslist link for your stuff for sale. You can tell people, in the course of a thread that you know of things for sale that are on topic, and to PM you for details.
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Postby tamarakay » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:26 pm

indian tacos?
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Postby moonrise » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:35 pm

This commerce section idea seems like a big headache for the moderators.

Many, many years ago I wrote to Craig and asked for a Lake Tahoe section for craigslist, the population jumps from aprox. 50K to 100k twice a year...Tahoe is considered a "suburb" of Reno, our utilities come from there...anyway, Craig created a Reno/Tahoe combo section to my huge surprise.


Not sure how much control over the list Craig has anymore, but is there a name for the region of Gerlach/Pyramid/TTITD/etc? Just a thought.

Does anyone know, has Craig ever been to Burning Man? He might take special interest...especially if it helped the Gerlach/Empire situation.
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Postby jkisha » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:26 pm

AntiM wrote:The key word being "deemed". The moderator making the decision would get slammed. Community making the decision, slammed. It is bad enough now when it is against the rules. While I am for a commerce section, I dread moderating it. I don't like personal attacks and I've gotten some doozies. I have a highly personal stake in this situation as I'm the frontline mod right now. It isn't always pleasant.


I guess this shouldn't surprise me, but it just does.

Sorry,

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Postby Sham » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:54 am

So if I'm hearing this correctly, if I use the term, "a penny for your thoughts", I could have my post deleted from eplaya?
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Postby actiongrl » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:51 am

Much2...yes, Black Rock City is a registered trademark.

http://www.burningman.com/press/trademarks.html#trademarks

I'm watching this discussion avidly, fwiw. All possibilities should be examined, all decisions should be well-informed - but look how all over the map the opinion is. As of right now, we agree with those who think the ePlaya should remain free of a commerce thread; that's not to say there isn't a reason to listen when others say they'd like a place to communicate with each other about the kinds of things Emily laid out in her post.
more to say, but later when i'm at the office...
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