hermann

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Everything posted by hermann

  1. hermann

    A reminder of the Forum Rules

    Kevin, no doubt there are sites out there with great information, and I do very often bend the rules in the case of a site where I know there is good content and the intent of posting the link is not for self-promotion by the site owner. However, lately my willingness to be flexible has been somewhat abused, so I have no choice but to fall back on the Forum Rules. As for "being the owner and what I say goes", that is actually not true. I try to manage the site based on my perceived needs of the Diamond Review community as a whole, because without our members, "what I say" is irrelevant.
  2. hermann

    A reminder of the Forum Rules

    Read our FAQ (click on the link located at the bottom of every single page). In our FAQ, we explain very clearly what we do, how we do it, and how we make money doing it. The information is laid open for everyone to see. Not everybody else does that, in fact most others do not. Rather than police other sites' disclosure practices, I just choose not to allow links to them unless they are already well known and recognized.
  3. hermann

    Brian's thread

    FYI, I changed the name of this thread from the very misleading: "Diamond Tips and Advice, What to look for and prices..." to "Brian's thread"
  4. hermann

    Brian's thread

    Brian, I saw the pictures as well before you took it down. It is definitely the same picture. Whatever "hostilities" you sense are based on an allegation that to me looks very well founded. Copyright infringement is a serious issue and a serious crime. I ask that you immediately perform some level of due diligence on all the images and all other material on your site, including all your tutorial text, and remove all material that is not your own creation or properly licensed from its original author. Anything short of this is a serious crime. Go to your local video store and rent any movie, then read the FBI warning at the beginning. That's copyright infringement, and all those penalties apply on the web just as much as they apply to movies. At this point, Feydakin could likely put together a lawsuit against you if he chose to do so, not to mention criminal penalties and charges that could be filed against you by your district attorney. That's the reality. You need to stop what you're doing, apologize profusely to Feydakin, and make absolutely positively sure there isn't a single image or snippet of text on your website that doesn't belong to you or is not properly licensed. There is another important point to be made. You are losing credibility very quickly. It started out with the conflicted advice you are providing to consumers; you and I exchanged a few private emails about this issue. Now it's this allegation of copyright infringement. The online world is a place where every word you write and every action you take 1) gets completely analyzed by millions of very smart people, and 2) gets memorialized forever. For the sake of maintaining your personal reputation and credibility, I suggest you take a breath and consider all the implications -- legal and ethical -- before you post or write further, and before you continue attempting to build a venture online. Otherwise you may end up digging a hole (even with good intentions) that you may never be able to get out of. And as for your "status" on Diamond.info, I normally try to stay out of conversations and let the facts and personalities speak for themselves. But when someone transgresses against a valued and highly respected member of our community such as Feydakin, I do take issue. Please take the steps I've suggested in this message in order to avoid future problems. Hermann
  5. hermann

    Brian's thread

    No, Diamond.info does not advertise and does not pay any form of referral fee to anyone. All our traffic comes from "word of mouth" and from search engines.
  6. hermann

    Brian's thread

    Hi Neil, Brian and I have been having an offline discussion for the past few days that was sparked by his initial post. The bottom line here is that he is referring people to sellers where, in some cases, he receives a commission. He stated this himself in the middle of his last post: While there is nothing wrong with getting paid for providing a valuable service, I do think it's important to be upfront when you are assuming the role of the "trusted advisor" while simultaneously a conflict of interest exists. I'm glad to see Brian has been stepped up to the important responsibility of communicating the potential conflict, and hope that in the future he makes that clear when he provides advise to consumers who visit Diamond.info (just as we do in our FAQ, which can be viewed by clicking on the link at the bottom of each and every page within Diamond.Info). As to his diamond database, I'm still not 100% sure I understand how it works. However, Brian and I have been discussing the possibility of him just referring people to Diamond.info's, since ours works quite well already and has been proven to be valuable to hundreds of thousands of consumers over the past several years. Cheers, Hermann
  7. hermann

    SELLING: 1.51 PRINCESS DIAMOND SOLITAIRE RING

    Thanks for the clarification, and good luck selling this beautiful ring!
  8. hermann

    SELLING: 1.51 PRINCESS DIAMOND SOLITAIRE RING

    Are you a dealer or a private individual trying to offload a single ring? If the former, please note that the Jewelry Classifieds section is for individuals only. I'll let this ride for a few days but please contact me privately to confirm that you are an individual, and if you're not, please delete this thread.
  9. hermann

    The ferret maneuver

    Sounds like a clever maneuver, and we wish you good luck with it!
  10. hermann

    Where have all the users gone?

    Just got back from enjoying a glorious day outside Barry, we do have a FAQ section and it is fairly well labeled. In fact, before people are allowed to ask questions, they are directed to the FAQs, which is perhaps why there are fewer questions than before: The Rock - FAQ As for the traffic, it does appear we have many more lurkers than ever before. If you look at the 'Views' stats that appear next to each thread, you will note that the more interesting-looking threads are being viewed 200-300 times on average after a few weeks. And the FAQ threads are in the double-digits, with the "how do you tell a real from a fake" at 8000+ views to date. In general it does feel like most of the basic questions have been beaten to death. It'd be nice to have a few more non-expert regulars; enthusiasts, if you will, to ask and discuss the more in-depth issues. I was at JCK 2 weeks ago and there is a lot going on in our industry that is not being discussed here.
  11. hermann

    Where have all the users gone?

    Not surprisingly, the "find online jeweler" and forum receive the most traffic, with "find online jeweler" slightly ahead of the forum. Everything else is way way way low in comparison. I suspect many people are out there enjoying the summer rather than clicking away in front of their computer. Today's an absolutely gorgeous day here in Northern California
  12. hermann

    Where have all the users gone?

    I've noticed the drop-off in forum activity. Curious thing is, the actual amount of traffic to the site continues to increase steadily, and is at a seasonally-adjusted all-time high! Makes me wonder, perhaps all the questions have been answered? So far as the experts go, I am very very grateful and happy with you and the other regular experts here. To me it's just the right number of experts, and the quality of replies and thoughtfulness couldn't be higher. I do wish more consumers would tap into their vast knowledge. As for the redesign, it is coming before the end of the summer. I got held up with other 'life events' (got married, bought a house, etc.) but am now working in earnest on them.
  13. hermann

    Find Online Jeweler

    A very fair request. I was going to read each message to be modified prior to making any changes, just to make sure all original context was kept, but I do think an administrative note in a different color and clearly being different from the original text is much more respectful of each author. Thanks for raising the flag, and for proposing a very workable solution.
  14. hermann

    Find Online Jeweler

    Hi Neil, Thanks for the suggestions! There are changes on the way that will address items #1-#3; look for those right around JCK. When the button label is changed, I will also do a massive 'search & replace' on the forum to update all messages that refer to that button. As for #4, even if their information turned up on the database (which is difficult as you stated), it would be buried as there are 300,000+ other listings there. Therefore, I do think it's best to keep that separate. I think the best we can do there is offer guidelines on how to post a compelling offer, and let them choose to follow those guidelines or not. Hermann
  15. hermann

    The day approaches -- size of diamond

    Hey! Let's keep it clean!
  16. hermann

    cushion cut

    Megan/David, thanks for the input on this topic. I too have noticed we have a gap in coverage regarding cushion cut. So.... let's make this thread drip with info on cushion cuts and afterwards I'll memorialize it by moving it to the FAQ section!
  17. hermann

    My late wife's Tiffany & Co. Wedding rings

    Sorry for the misunderstanding, I moved it back "The rock" which is where you originally posted. If you want the entire thread deleted pls send me a personal message.
  18. hermann

    Pictures

    Gents, 300x300 it is... Have a great weekend! Hermann
  19. hermann

    Pictures

    Steve, unfortunately it is easy enough to "steal" an image regardless of where it originates, whether it be your server's or Diamond.info's or anyone else's. All the thief needs to do is right-click on the image, save it to their hard drive, and post it wherever they want. I wish there was a foolproof way to control piracy but unfortunately there is none. Plus, there is still the virus problem with WMF that is going around. In any case, I just figured out how to disable the tag and have done so for new posts (old posts, including that poor car :], are grandfathered). Neil, I have increased the thumbnail size to 150x150. I'm hesitant to go any higher out of pity for those poor souls who still use dial-up. I poked around and asked tech support, and unfortunately my version of the software does not allow more than 1 attachment. I believe the new version does; when the upgrade occurs (later this year) that will be rolled in. Thanks for the suggestions!
  20. hermann

    Pictures

    YES! There are two ways to post pictures. The first (and preferred way) is to include them in your message as an attachment. Images that get added to the message this way are re-rendered by our unix server, which means that there is a strong likelihood of filtering out any viruses or other nasty things. Here is an example of a thread that contains many such pictures: http://www.diamond.info/forum/index.php?showtopic=1443 The second and less preferred way is to link in an image as Feydakin did on this thread. There are two problems with this approach: 1) The images are not hosted here, but on the submitter's designated server. If that server goes down or the image is removed, the image disappears from here as well and you get a broken link. Over time, all old messages containing pictures lose the pictures. 2) Since the images are not hosted here, there is a potential for viruses like the current WMF that is going around. I would actually like to disable this latter method but haven't figured out how to do this in the current version of the forum software.
  21. hermann

    Advice on micropave setting anyone?

    DirtCheapDiamonds.com is a subsidiary of James Allen, who are Verified Jewelers on this site and post here frequently. You should run a search and see what turns up. Good luck!
  22. hermann

    How do I reply! Help!

    There should be a button labeled "Add Reply" along the right side of the screen.
  23. hermann

    diamonds professional and forums

    That's true, as long as people stay within boundaries of mutual respect, ethics, the law, conflict-of-interest, and other such considerations. Left completely uncontrolled, any forum quickly becomes spam, and becomes useless for anyone. It's the almighty Tragedy of the Commons. Here at Diamond.Info, I endeavor to 'police' this forum in a manner that is consistent with the Forum Rules. They are posted for everyone to read -- look at the top left of your screen. The last thing I want is to disenfranchise some well-meaning contributor by arbitrarily deleting his or her messages like what happened to David. With the Forum Rules, all users know what to expect and can decide for themselves 1) whether to contribute, and 2) whether to heed advice given in the forum. You are right that there are some forums out there, which shall remain nameless, that are run by dealers strictly to promote themselves. This is ok if the agenda is fully disclosed, but unfortunately, it rarely is.
  24. hermann

    diamonds professional and forums

    I believe most jewelry professionals participate in POLYGON which is a closed forum only for the jewelry trade. You have to demonstrate credentials in order to read it or participate in it. The main difference between the Diamond.Info forum and everyone else out there is that we do not allow advertising on the forums. I feel this allows all professionals and consumers to participate without having to worry about their contributions being displayed alongside their competitors' ads.
  25. hermann

    My late wife's Tiffany & Co. Wedding rings

    This is terrible, my condolescences for your loss. I have moved your post to the Jewelry Classifieds section to ensure that more people read your message.