"Degree Mills" Argument Dump Thread

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Johnny Aloha, May 3, 2012.

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  1. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I'm bowing out of this conversation now and here is our official stance: Yes, Dr. Bear gets a special pass because of what his work has contributed to degree info. Some may feel this is not fair, and I'm sorry to cause anyone discomfort, but our stance holds.
  2. Wow. Are we serious here people? I'm probably one of the younger people on this site (well used to be at one point) but even I know that this pretty much sums it up. Lets try to stop playing the "it's not fair" card. We are all adults here. You may not find it fair BUT it is real. I don't care if he had held the title of "distinguished" or not, there's no escaping that a lot of the very same things written in those books are interwoven within this site.

    When I first joined this site The Bears Guide was talked about MUCH more than it is now. It was pretty much a reference book here. I could see how a newcomer could have issues with this. The whole thing rubs rough.

    Rather we like to admit it or not the Mod's have their own interpretation of the TOS. A different interpretation from what we think it is doesn't mean they are "twisting" the rules. Lets get this thing back on topic.
  3. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Thank you! :smile:
  4. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    I am curious, Mr. Aloha, since the topic is, of course, of interest to me. Do you see the TOS violation as the mention that the book now exists, or is it that I also told people where they could buy one (including, to be fair, the mega-discount source from which I earn, I think, 15 cents in royalties). (Thanks.)

    Incidentally, when my last edition of Bears Guide came out, DegreeInfo owner Chip and some colleagues had been immensely helpful in researching and updating the database, and the book was mentioned and indeed sold here on DegreeInfo along with a supplementary CD I made for him.

    John Bear
    Author, "The #1 New York Times Bestseller"
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Sounds good to me.
  6. Johnny Aloha

    Johnny Aloha New Member

    Dear John: Thanks for coming back on. I think you might agree that if I cannot ask some respectful questions without upsetting people that speaks more negatively of them than me. To be clear: I don't have you in view.

    To the point of my initial post. The word swirling about my head as I write this is juxtaposition. It seemed noteworthy to me that not a handful of days after Ms. Scott was dismissed your post appeared and was met very differently. As a new poster (but certainly not a newcomer to DI), I'm trying to understand the rules of engagement of this board. Since there is a blanket policy, I was working from the assumption that all would follow the same rules. Clearly that is not the case as SurfDoctor indicated.

    Mega Mahalos!!!

  7. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Yes, everything here is equal...in an unequal sort of way. :smile:
  8. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    In my opinion John Bear (or any other established member of this community but, especially John Bear) should get way more leeway and acceptance in range of posts than someone making their entrance. That seems perfectly fair and reasonable to me even if it is not in the TOS. I am sure that is the same in almost all other forums on the Internet.
  9. Lukeness

    Lukeness Member

    I would think that regardless of who posted the information, it is relevant of value to members and therefore a valuable addition to the forum to should not infringe on the TOS.
  10. dl_mba

    dl_mba Member

    You are right Rich. Being a Distinguished member, he is always welcome to post anything that will be valuable to all the current and new members on this Board.

  11. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator


    This website likely wouldn't even exist, and the argument can be made that DL/online learning wouldn't be nearly as popular as it is now, except for Dr. Bear's books on the subject. Some day, I'm going to sit down and calculate how much money I saved by reading Bear's Guide and learning about CLEP, DANTES, portfolio credit, etc.

    So, yes....he gets a special pass for being the George Washington of DL. Additionally, if another established expert in the field wanted to advertise a DL book, such as if Rich Douglas wrote a book based on his dissertation, they would also get a special pass on advertising. The section of the TOS concerning commercial advertisement is meant for paper writing services and other assorted junk, not highly relevant books written by experts in the field of DL.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't know about "earning a special right." But I do feel there is a clear distinction between posting about something highly relevant to this board (like John's latest) that also has a commercial aspect to it and someone posting an irrelevant commercial pitch. So...

    After I'm done with a project I'm currently working, I might establish a highly relevant (for this board) practice. I'd like to notify its members about it. But I would dearly hope that doing something like that would be open to anyone, not just someone with a "special right." If the post brings value to this community, it should be permitted, no matter who posts it.
  13. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    1) DegreeInfo has partnered with John Bear in previous editions of the book and very well may be again in either this edition or a future edition (I honestly do not know whether or not they are this time).

    2) John Bear is a long-time member who was once even moderator. He was integral to the startup to this site and has shared his great experiences and knowledge here for free for many years. I'd like to think that if I could ever voluntarily contribute that much to a cause that the cause wouldn't in turn ask me to fall in line and be treated like any other Johnny-come-lately.

    3) Dr.Bear literally wrote the book on DL. Notwithstanding that it was he, himself, that posted the information, the information BELONGS on this site- something you agree with. Given your background, if YOU wrote a book then that information belongs on this site as well. If some anonymous poster with dubious credentials decides one month into his tenure here that he can now use DI as his personal marketplace, we would have a different situation entirely.

    4) In other words, John Bear IS DegreeInfo and this site, in case someone neglected to check the url bar any time recently, is DegreeInfo. If anyone is not down with that, there's always the DegreeInfo Complaint Department
  14. I'm really surprised this thread is still going on. To me these are one of those things that are "the facts of life".

    SN. Did you get a bump up to Mod recently Bruce? If so, congrats.
  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    As someone who has banned quite a few people for advertising (as well as other TOS violations) and as someone who has allowed advertising to appear I can tell you how I generally make these decisions.

    If a person comes onto this board strictly for the purpose of advertising, their posted ad is generally moved to the Moderators forum and the person is banned. To me it seems clear that they are here solely for the purpose of advertising, not to become involved in discussions on the topic of distance learning. On the other hand, if an established member makes an announcement of a new business venture, a new book, etc. then I will generally just offer my congratulations and let it slide. To me it is not about being a "distinguished member," it is about being a member who contributes to the general discussion, not just an opportunist seeking to promote a product or service. This was the thinking behind my decision to ban the woman in the example offered by Johnny Aloha. I would also add that using this same criteria I would be happy to see Rich's announcement of his new endeavor on the board, even if it's not especially relevant to DL. The only other example that jumps forward for me is when my friend and sparring partner b4cz28 opened up his new antiques business and told us all about it. Then, there are other grey areas. I have at times simply erased the advertising link from a post, leaving the post in place and leaving the member unbanned. There have also been times when I've let the advertising link in place (because there was some DL relevance) and then sent a PM to the member asking them not to turn their membership into an advertising campaign. I recognize that all this is not strict adherence to the TOS but an interpretation of it's intent. The Moderators are all free to act on their own and most often we do so. This leads to some inevitable inconsistencies. Occasionally we put our heads together to solve a problem or make a decision but it's not the norm. Occasionally we've made mistakes and ended by reversing a decision, re-posting a post, reinstating a banned member but that's not the norm either. Hopefully this clarifies the way that I approach these situations and why I have no problem with Dr. Bear's announcement.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I have no "new endeavor." It was a hypothetical, which I made clear. Perhaps a referral to the Degreeinfo Complaint Department would be appropriate here, too. :rolleyes:
  17. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    You reasoning makes perfect sense. Thanks for all your hard work Kizmet! I appreciate you. :heart:

    Abner :smile:
  18. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    It's not the norm because we usually get it right the first time :eek:uttahere:
  19. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Ay MC! No seas travieso. :evil:

    Abner :smile:
  20. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Yes, I got bumped up back in 2001 when the board was first started....I'm the gray beard of the moderation team! :bandit:
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