We got this email today:
“Dear people of Audio Federation,
I have carefully inspected your CEDIA / T.H.E. Show “show report” section.
I have not found the customary clarification used by publications at both the top and bottom of the page, which clarifies when a column is written by someone with commercial interest (this is normally written in large, readable letters).
Since you are an audio dealership rather than an independent publication, I kindly request that you mention this at the top and bottom of the page. Otherwise, it may confuse readers who will believe that you have no commercial interest in the matter.
I am asking you this as a sign of good faith, with no legal implications at this stage.
Please advise as to your planned course of action.
It was a nice letter, especially considering the overall uncivilized tone of much of the conversation in the audio world these days.
The show report page in question is here:
Do people think it is not obvious that we are a store (there are indeed links at the top and bottom of each page) in our show reports? [For that matter, what about the Blog?]
I mean, we WANT it to be obvious we are a store… People read the report, read about what we hear, see and read what we are like, think perhaps that we might, maybe have a clue, and check us out when they are ready to make the next step in their system building enterprise.
If it is NOT obvious, we could, for example, without being tooooo obnoxious about it…
1. Make the ‘store’ text yellow, keeping the other links white (you know, that section that has: “Home | Magazine | Store | Guides | Blog | Music” )
2. Make all these links larger
3. Make the “* Denotes a product carried by Audio Federation” text larger (Neli says it is quite small on her screen – it is quite fine on mine, but I have IE and FireFox both enlarge the text for me tired ole eyes).
4. Add a large, rotating, blinking, animated image of a shrinking wallet with our logo on it
5. An animation of a Calvin and Hobbs-like Audio Federation branded Transmogrifier Machine with troops of unhappy audiophiles going into the machine on a conveyer belt on one side and coming out the other side with big happy smiles pulling wagons full of audio equipment and LPs and CDs.
6. [OK, we could spend the rest of the day doing these…:-) ]
We just posted this email and some comments on the aforementioned page in the show report, to wit:
“Well, we certainly want people to know that we are a store. And, even though there are links at the top and bottom of 100s and 100s of pages of show reports, perhaps they are not visible enough and some people do not see them? If so, this would suck. So, we will try to resolve this by posting this on the blog and seeing what our readers think would help us get people to know we are a store but without being too obnoxious about it (i.e. there is NOT going to be blinking text saying ‘We are a store’ ‘We are a store’…. ).
And as far as commercial interests in the matter go – I guess some dealerships do ‘trash talk’ their competition, and it kind of tarnishes all dealers as needing to lie to make sales. However, we do have a real commercial interest in going to shows and that is to find the really good shtuff, and talk about it… in our show reports, with you all out there, and with each other. Later we might even try to get it for our store. Most of the product lines we carry were ‘discovered’ at shows. And in general, the more we talk about what we hear at shows, the more people we meet who have also been hearing the same things we do – but they thought they were nuts because they thought they were the only ones who were hearing these things – that there was something wrong with them because they just… weren’t… able… to hear everything as being just won-der-ful. That there are always tradeoffs and some people like making those particular tradeoffs and some don’t.
And… ‘independent publication’? Love to see one of those someday.”
So, what *do* you all think? Another show report, CES 2007, is coming right up, so any decisions we make now will see the light of monitors real soon now.