Policy: the Technorama Q&A Facebook Page

The Community Radio Q&A Facebook page is here and is an initiative of Technorama Incorporated in conjunction with the CBAA.   The aim of the page is to provide a forum where questions can be asked, and answers can be given.

Operational note

If you have applied for access to the Q&A site and haven’t been granted access, did you answer the three questions? Did you get a reminder to answer the three questions?
If all else is good but your request hasn’t been answered, please drop a line to [email protected] because Facebook does occasionally do strange things.

But there are two other outcomes which are just as important as getting answers to questions:

  1. consolidation of our community and
  2. creation of a safe room for open discussion.

Those are two very strong reasons why the group is CLOSED… not because we want the discussion to be in secret from the rest of the world, but so that we have visibility over the way discussion happens, so that contributors have identified their credentials for being in the room, and so that there’s no hidden lurking.  All our lurkers are known!

The site will work best if there are no holds and no restrictions on discussion – especially in terms of honesty.   It’s important that we can be as specific as necessary, and that answers can be truthful and open.  We need to be able to talk pricing, value, positives, negatives, and applicability without fear or favour.   For example:

Q:  has anyone used the XYZ CD player, and how did you find it?
A:  we purchased five of them and they underperformed to the extent that we needed to change them all.   The JKL function didn’t work, and the PQR knob repeatedly broke.  The agent was not helpful and refused to support us or provide a refund.   Not recommended.


Q:  what’s the best way to set up a transmitter and link?
A:  we used the Brand A PA and exciter pair but for $20 more why not use the Brand A PA with a Brand B exciter.  The combo is excellent and your SNR will improve by 2dB.  We’re considering the changeover.

Some policy

To ensure those conversations can  happen openly, we’ve adopted important guidelines.

Everyone who asks, or is invited, to join the group is required to respond to three questions:

  1. What is your involvement with Community Broadcasting (or any media)?
  2. Describe your broadcast technology experience (might be none or lots)?
  3. What would you like to get from and do with the Q&A (might be active but lurking is OK)?

Participation in the group is tacit acceptance of some important principles:

  1. All opinions are valuable.   Facts are even more valuable
  2. Negative experiences are just as important as positive experiences – and both need to be based on accurate reporting.  Uncontrolled whining is discouraged, and might be pruned.
  3. Vendors are encouraged to offer help, but NOT to spruik, advertise specific product, or engage in blatant marketing.
  4. Allegiances and conflicts need to be expressed as part of an answer
  5. If you think a responder (including an admin) needs recalibrating (for whatever reason) that should happen gently.  Maybe even offline.
  6. Robust debate is good.   Flaming is not.
  7. Anyone may ask for a commercial solution to a problem (eg: a quote), but the commercial discussion needs to be conducted somewhere else

A few vendors have asked if it’s OK to offer a product solution to a problem as part of the discussion.  In general the answer is “yes”, but this is not the place for a price list.  Use the discussion to establish contact, qualify the discussion online (maybe) but then take commercial specifics offline.

Open discussion, even with negatives, works for everyone, and especially vendors.   You might think that a vendor won’t want their product dissed in public.   And they won’t; there’s no justification for capricious denigration (ie:  slagging off for no good reason).   However if a product is truly working badly, the smart vendor is the first person who wants to know.  Everyone wins from reasoned praise and criticism.  In the case of praise: the vendor gains selling points and a reference, and in the case of criticism: future objections are out in the open and can be addressed.

At the end of the day, just be guided by the big rule:

Play fair!!  Or go home.

Last updated:  13Jun2018