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Why Planet Telecom Is NOT Renewing Its Advertising With Boquete.ning.

Did we do the right thing in sharing our decision with the public?  

55 members have voted

  1. 1. Did we do the right thing in sharing our decision with the public?

    • yes, Boquete.ning is a public forum
      50
    • It's a commercial matter that should have been kept private between the parties.
      2
    • I really don't care - don't have a dog in this race.
      3


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Why Planet Telecom is NOT renewing its advertising with Boquete.ning.

We were solicited last night by the owners of Boquete.ning to participate in an advertising program. As current advertisers, we were expecting this, as our ad is set to expire at the end of the year.

My response to them was unequivocal, and with the backing of Planet Telecom's shareholders, we responded, both via email, and on ning itself. Needless to say, our response on ning was quickly removed, and I was... eventually banned from the site. This speaks volumes about JLM's intolerance for dissent, and their absolute desire to control the message at all costs.

Here's what we responded:

We have been following very closely the development of Boquete.ning under the new ownership and management. Thus far, we have seen a vibrant, interesting and useful resource turn into a platitudinous and vacuous forum where all content remotely critical of the changes is treated with immediate censorship and "disappearance" under the guise of moderation. It has become, in our minds, a virtual North Korea. The misguided and expedient efforts to mold the content of ning speak of a general disregard for ning's most precious asset - its contributing members.

Good friends and clients have been banned, others silenced. These are people who have lived here many years, and have contributed richly to both local and expat life in Chiriqui. Moreover, the overall member attitudes towards ning has shifted from "the place to be" to the dustbin of cyber irrelevance, in the inglorious company of Panama-Guide.com, bananamarepublic and others .

It is Voltaire who famously said, "Monsieur l’abbé, je déteste ce que vous écrivez, mais je donnerai ma vie pour que vous puissiez continuer à écrire."
Sadly, JLM Foundation has failed to heed those eternal words - words which encompass our philosophy and values. Whenever our company was criticized on ning or elsewhere, we respond - not with a surreptitious call to Lee to have the critical posts deleted (the vulgarity of such a gesture would be unimaginable), but with our candid explanation and response. This has garnered the respect of the community - and of our clients.

We sincerely believe the new administration bears the responsibility for this deterioration. The advertising asset known as ning, has in our estimation been significantly impaired to a point of no longer being a viable platform for Planet Telecom.

Please remove our ad at the end of the term.

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43 minutes ago, Al Planet Telecom said:

Why Planet Telecom is NOT renewing its advertising with Boquete.ning.

We were solicited last night by the owners of Boquete.ning to participate in an advertising program. As current advertisers, we were expecting this, as our ad is set to expire at the end of the year.

My response to them was unequivocal, and with the backing of Planet Telecom's shareholders, we responded, both via email, and on ning itself. Needless to say, our response on ning was quickly removed, and I was... eventually banned from the site. This speaks volumes about JLM's intolerance for dissent, and their absolute desire to control the message at all costs.

Here's what we responded:

We have been following very closely the development of Boquete.ning under the new ownership and management. Thus far, we have seen a vibrant, interesting and useful resource turn into a platitudinous and vacuous forum where all content remotely critical of the changes is treated with immediate censorship and "disappearance" under the guise of moderation. It has become, in our minds, a virtual North Korea. The misguided and expedient efforts to mold the content of ning speak of a general disregard for ning's most precious asset - its contributing members.

Good friends and clients have been banned, others silenced. These are people who have lived here many years, and have contributed richly to both local and expat life in Chiriqui. Moreover, the overall member attitudes towards ning has shifted from "the place to be" to the dustbin of cyber irrelevance, in the inglorious company of Panama-Guide.com, bananamarepublic and others .

It is Voltaire who famously said, "Monsieur l’abbé, je déteste ce que vous écrivez, mais je donnerai ma vie pour que vous puissiez continuer à écrire."
Sadly, JLM Foundation has failed to heed those eternal words - words which encompass our philosophy and values. Whenever our company was criticized on ning or elsewhere, we respond - not with a surreptitious call to Lee to have the critical posts deleted (the vulgarity of such a gesture would be unimaginable), but with our candid explanation and response. This has garnered the respect of the community - and of our clients.

We sincerely believe the new administration bears the responsibility for this deterioration. The advertising asset known as ning, has in our estimation been significantly impaired to a point of no longer being a viable platform for Planet Telecom.

Please remove our ad at the end of the term.

Al,

There are more than a few issues here, but I'm not going to write a long essay.  Over the last month, I have wondered how the advertisers on Boquete.ning could be a party to blatant acts of censorship and a pettiness that is beyond belief.  Your response tells me about your company's values and principles.  If you hadn't spoken out, it would be easy to assume that Planet Telecom was in agreement with the practices of Boquete.ning's ownership.  I also intend to let at least one other advertiser on Ning know my feelings on this.

Ning is a privately owned site, but it is a public forum with a history of providing service to the community and to people who are considering being a part of it.  Many of us have strong opinions about democratic principles and the importance of free speech.  Some of us had hoped that Ning's management would see the light and return Ning to being a place to get honesty and diversity.  That isn't going to happen.  

I am a Planet Telecom subscriber and I want you to know that your decision meets my expectations for your company.

Woody

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Al,

Very well expressed. We are not Planet Telecom customers but we are going to take a look.

Integrity is vital and looks like you guys have that!

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Thanks Woody. Like I said in the intro, this is something we've been looking at for a long time. But when people like Fran Hogan, Don Ray Williams et al, are banned from the site for saying things that don't mesh with the owner's point of view, there's a problem. I've known Fran since I moved here in 2006, and I've read Don Ray since probably 2004-2005. These are reasonable people with only the best intentions in mind. Both have contributed greatly to well-being of the province. 

I understand that some online behaviour can become problematic, so I can sympathize with the challenge of moderation. Sadly, we need to have some level of control over the more outrageous expressions online. This is where a steady hand at the helm is necessary for people to feel comfortable in the forum - whilst encouraging free expression.

In terms of our decision, we initially bought this ad as part of a Bid4Boquete auction, Lee had donated the ad space, and we bought it, with the $600 fee going to Bid4Boquete. Our feeling was therefore that JLM was not profiting financially from our advertising, so there was no major moral quandary for us. Having said that, the perception among users would be different - and that needed to be reconciled with the fact that we had paid for advertising, and were getting some value from it.

I really appreciate your feedback, and your business.

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Hooray, hooray! What a to-the-point message to ning. Ning is dying on the vine, and advertisers who continue there will be wasting their money.

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This is perhaps the most comprehensive dissection of the *thing yet presented, Sir. May I add my voice to those who admire your principles -- and your grit.

 

Davitt

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Alain, There's always someone who braves being the first when it comes to stepping up and saying what's needed to be said.  Most others keep quiet to remain polite.  I respect, and admire you for being that person.  Ning was an incredibly important source of information while Lee and Fran were at the helm, now it has sunk, and it needs to be known.

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4 hours ago, Woody said:

.......

Ning is a privately owned site, but it is a public forum with a history of providing service to the community and to people who are considering being a part of it.  Many of us have strong opinions about democratic principles and the importance of free speech.  Some of us had hoped that Ning's management would see the light and return Ning to being a place to get honesty and diversity.  That isn't going to happen.  

............

Woody

It is true that Ning is both a privately owned site and a public forum but what is the real value it should offer to companies who advertise there:  traffic!.   How do you get traffic:  by giving real value to the forums.  How do you give real value to the forums: by moderating the forums but not censoring, banning the people who really gave the value the forum had today.   That kind of strategy is not good and it is probable that the site will loose the importance and relevance to the people living in Boquete and the new people coming. 

 

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Al,

You get the honor of being the first member to utilize the polling functionality of this website. Congratulations.

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Interesting twist in this odyssey known as Boquete.Ning. I was on Ning earlier today and saw an interesting posting by the head guy at Planet Telecom - Dave something or other. I suspect that Ning will both banish him to the hinterlands and also delete his posting. He can then proudly wear one of Fran's logos (or are they called icons). Oh well, enough for my ignorance.

So as to capture for perpetuity what Dave wrote on Ning this morning. I did a screen capture. Wouldn't it be nice if all of Ning's sponsors jump ship! I'm wondering why they are still there. Here is Dave's post:

5645f84cd3f20_ScreenShot2015-11-13at8.21

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I believe that the current sponsors/advertisers on Ning are left-overs.   Most probably paid a multi-month (quarterly, semi-annual or annual) fee before JLM took ownership.  This was the case with Planet Telecom, their advertising was paid up through the end of December.   I am giving the current advertisers the benefit of the doubt and assume their accounts have not yet come due for renewal.  Not all will have the courage to stand up for the community like Al did for Planet Telecom but to those who do have my support and respect. 

 

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"Now, they wouldn't let Jack Johnson on board,

They said this ship don't haul no coal,

Fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well ..."

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Lee donated a one year advertisement on NING to Bid 4 Boquete who sold that advertisement and a full (and not insignificant) price. The money received from the sale of that ad was distributed by Bid 4 Boquete to Boquete charities. The fact that NING deleted the ad with still one and a half months left on the contract shows their disregard for the sanctity of contracts, common ethics, and Boquete charities.

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Now THAT"s marketing!

 Maybe when they get the proposed "boots on the ground" moderator (as was announced today) the ad management will make some sense.  B4B is one of the more important charities in this town.  Now IF they were smart, they would offer an apology to Planet Telecom and as well  donate a large ad space to the  B4B cause.   That would be nice.

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2 hours ago, Brundageba said:

Now THAT"s marketing!

 Maybe when they get the proposed "boots on the ground" moderator (as was announced today) the ad management will make some sense.  B4B is one of the more important charities in this town.  Now IF they were smart, they would offer an apology to Planet Telecom and as well  donate a large ad space to the  B4B cause.   That would be nice.

They are so arrogant you can bet that will never happen. They lie about the numbers, they lie about how Lee ran the site like we're a bunch of no nothing idiots and they hide behind fake names or at least don't want you to know who they are so they are not attacked around town (like they are even in town). So much BS it's hard to stomach. But I will stay till they boot me out just so I can take the occasional jab at them. 9_9

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The problem JLM is having is that they are trying to referee a football game from the press box while viewing it through a soda straw. 

They are simply unaware of the plays developing, who the important players are and what they did earlier in the season. They see only a tiny fraction of the communication that goes on here in private email lists, conversations at Sugar & Spice and over cocktails at VE. 

Al and Planet Telecom have been solid contributors to our community for many years. I think it is obvious who the community will support. 

At least Lee and Fran were actual residents here, down in the pits mucking it up with the players and understanding the context of the battles. 

Edited by MarkoBoquete
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For the record, JLM has offered to put our ad back up on Boquete,ning. We politely declined.

We will use future marketing funds to sponsor Lance Armstrong on his next Tour de France competition.

 

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