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Thursday, August 09, 2007
Input Wanted! What matters most to you: information or membership?
Given the fact that I have faced some rejection towards certain pieces of information, I have to ask this question:
What matters more to you? The information a person holds and is able and willing to share or their being part of a certain commercial organization?
Let's take a general topic, such as email security for end users, more precisely, best practices for those using email as a business tool, not caring much about how things happen after they push the send ore receive button. Would you like to receive the advices a messaging solutions expert can give or would you care more about his working for the X company that provides commercial antispam solutions. Is his experience rendered irrelevant by the fact his company sells something when his view is free and stays away from marketing skims?

Yes, he states his position to explain why he has an opinion or recommendation on the subject in the first place. But would you trade relevant tips and trick to keep the ears of your audience clear from hearing a company name?

I am really anxious to hear what you have to say!

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posted by Alina @ 4:55 PM  
  • At 8/10/2007 1:17 PM, Blogger utnapistim said…

    As I see it, an expert might lose some credibility by representing a company, especially when you know they are trying to sell you the company products.

    Also, if the company track-record is poor in that area, that will affect the speaker's credibility (what do you know more of? the credibility of the speaker, or the credibility of the company he represents?)

    That said if it's only advice, then bring it on!

    Especially if he's open about it and the reasons for his advice are common sense (even if you wouldn't have thought about it by yourself).

    Objectively, I don't think I'd leave an expert opinion out, because of whom the speaker stands for.

    Subjectively? Depends on the case: for example, if I had a Microsoft representative recommend me a MS email suite (to go with your example) as secure, I'd consider it a sales pitch, even if the speaker would be a recognized security expert. If, on the other hand, I had Bruce Schneier recommend me an email suite as secure (developed by is company) I'd go with it and dismiss out of hand the offer from Microsoft.

    In the end, I guess it's just a matter of establishing trust.

  • At 8/10/2007 1:29 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Utnapistim, thanks for the input. I am not speaking about promotions and sales, or a product presentation. I am speaking about general topics, such as spam prevention best practices or advice and how tos for beginners or those less familiar with a certain field. From what I understand after reading your post, you'd be interested in what that person has to say. Am I right?

  • At 8/13/2007 11:10 AM, Anonymous Mihaela Lica said…

    Well, what's the use of membership without information? Why should I become a member of something that brings me no value?

  • At 8/13/2007 11:53 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Mig, think of this: a Microsoft employee talking about security issues with Linux fans. He might have the information, but some of the Linux fans will still reject it because of him being a MS representative.

    A similar example, open software promoters rejecting information from proprietary software developers. In my opinion, not a very smart choice. Information is more important than its source, as long as it is correct.

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Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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