Jaobrien, agree that solutions are tricky, agree that Phil and TC and SJ's contributions here are key, agree that we all have to be adults and do our own filtering. But here's a solution I mentioned above:
Originally Posted by beyond
...why don't you just stop pushing skis you sell in so many places in so many ways? In your last post you even had to drop a hint about next year's even greater Blizzards. And Nordicas and Dynastars, which I assume Start Haus also will just happen to carry because, well they're great skis to cherry pick.
Notice I'm not saying he should withdraw, just that he doesn't have to be so everywhere all the time about a few skis he happens to sell.
Another approach is to keep talking, but get more even handed. Here's Whiteroom on the Cochise and Girish, he owns both but doesn't sell either, far as I know, : http://www.epicski.com/t/101637/2012-blizzard-cochise/120. He has a longer comparo elsewhere I couldn't find that again is very even handed, finds pros and cons in each. Similarly, Dawgcatching did great comparisons of the BMX98 and the Bonafide, the Cochise and the 108. Far as I know he sells all of them, but managed to avoid sounding like he was ranking them, more of a sense that each had its own feel and own strengths. Sierra Jim used to do that too, and all of us used to talk him up as someone you could trust for balanced info. Put another way, retailers traditionally have been very careful to not appear to have favorites, even if they did. They've emphasized comparisons that dwell on a number of skis. That changed, in a big way, with the Bonafide thread. We've moved into "best" / "game changer" rubric, in threads about individual skis. By their construction, these engender multiple posts about that one ski, repetitive buzz.
A last approach is to just keep at it, cheer about whatever you want to, but Epic puts a blurb by your name that makes it clear who you work for. "Sponsor" etc. are too vague for the average cruiser coming here to read about skis. If Wasatchback's avatar said, "Blizzard rep," and Phil's said "Start Haus," and Whiteroom's said "SkierShop," we responsible adults might have more info from which to make our decisions, no? And Phil's also "Gear and Review Editor," y'know, which might cramp the Start Haus logo.
Which brings up an interesting issue: Who is "Epic?" Who are the "Administrators?" Far as I know there's a server and a tech guy or two, but maybe Phil and TC run this place now from a laptop in Reno. Or maybe nothing like that, Phil and TC were suckered into graduating from mods to editors because they love it here, and there are these silent Higher Powers who gaze disinterestedly on our threads and cannot be bothered about conflict of interest issues. I used to be a newspaper reporter, and if something like this came up in a letter, you could be damn sure the Managing Editor, or maybe the Editor in Chief would have something to say. Perhaps they already have and I didn't realize it. Or more likely, I'm just perceived as the village idiot who'll go away soon enough.
And BTW, it isn't just me that feels there's a conflict of interest issue. I'm just public about it...
Edited by beyond - 11/30/11 at 10:53pm