Your comment is tantamount to my walking into your new center in Irvineand complaining, after you pull down flyers I have posted on your walls- loudly and to everyone who might be in your showroom at the time -that you won't let me sell competitive products in your place of business.
Furthermore, imagine my walking in and, when a prospective customer asks a question about a Pomati (or some other brand you sell) machine, I start talking up the virtues of a brand you don't sell.
What would your reaction be? I don't think you'd be very happy. You'd probably usher me out of your place of business and demand that I never come back. And, as the business owner,you would be within your rights to do so.
TheChocolateLife is my on-line place of business. It may be a small business in terms of the revenue it generates, but it's a huge business in terms of global reach and influence. My perception is that you want to unfairly take advantage of my place of business by not abiding by policies you and I have discussed offline.
Qzina is a multi-million dollar business and I have a policy on TheChocolateLife that businesses that are in the business of selling products and services to confectioners and chocolate makers have to pay to promote them. We discussed this last summer in Washington, DC when we met during the Fancy Food Show.
You are right, I did delete several posts where you promoted the Pomati tempering machines you are now representing. BUT - I did it BEFORE I had a relationship with FBM. I deleted the posts because the content was inappropriate in the context of the original poster's question. I believe that I wrote you an e-mail at the time, explaining why.
You will see that I am NOT "censoring" Mr Bauwerarts' responses because he is actually an employee of Selmi and is responding to questions about Selmi machines. The same is true for responses from Brian Donaghy, who used to be employed by Tomric, the US dealer for Selmi.
You will notice, if you care to look, that there have been several recent discussions about ChocoMa and Perfect tempering and enrobing machines. You will also notice that I have featured ALL of the Qzina Institute classes and events at your new school ... all the way forward to October. (I also do this for BAKON.)
What I object to, Richard, is your perception that I owe you anything. You are attempting to reach the members of my community to sell them products and services. It is my policy to ask companies like Qzina to pay me a very modest amount for granting access. I do this so I don't have to clutter up the site with advertising banners that are irrelevant and intrusive.
I have no objections if you respond to direct questions about Pomati machines. I have no objections if you supply answers to technical questions about other tempering machines and say how Pomati does things differently. In other words, I have no objections if what you post is relevant and adds value to the discussion at hand. I do object if you see your response primarily as an opportunity to sell - or cross-sell - something.
If you want to promote Pomati or any other brand(s) Qzina represents then I respectfully request that you comply with my commercial policies. You can promote any and all Qzinaproducts - in the Classifieds. Classified ads cost $10 each or $100/year for up to 1 post per week. Or you can take out a Member Marketplace ad and/or Sponsor a group. You can also work with me to provide things of value to ChocolateLife members that compensate me via success fees. I would have no problem if you and I organized a series of classes in Irvine, we jointly promoted them, and I was compensated to give the classes. We talked about this specifically last summer, but I didn't pursue it because you wanted me to assume 100% of the costs and risk for promoting "my" events at your school (ignoring the fact that I would be promoting your school at the same time).
It's clear that you want to reach ChocolateLife members because you recognize that the community is a valuable one that's very highly focused and contains a large number of potential customers. What I want to be equally clear about is that I have worked very hard over the past four years growing TheChocolateLife to its current position and scope, and over the prior seven years on chocophile.com and on my writing and promoting my book, Discover Chocolate. Qzina is a business that you have worked very hard to grow. I know, from talking with you directly, that you are very careful not to let other people and companies "take advantage" of the hard work you've done without your being compensated appropriately.
All I ask is that you think of TheChocolateLife - and me - in the same light. I cannot, and will not, allow you to take advantage of TheChocolateLife to grow your business without directly recognizing - in monetary terms - the value of my business and my expertise, experience, and network, personally. And I object to your characterization of me publicly and without any notice as being a really cheap shot.
Membership in the community is free and voluntary. If you don't want to play by the house rules, you are free to not participate in the community.
PS.For your information, I do list the companies I have financial relationships with right on the home page of TheChocolateLife immediately under the Groups section at the top. It may not have been obvious enough, so I edited it to make it more obvious.
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/