>Censorship at CreativeCow.net

>Update: A few hours after I posted this, CC closed my account via this email:

You have been unsubscribed from the Creative Cow newsletter. We’re sorry to see you go.
Please note that any associated accounts at CreativeCOW.net have also been closed.

Update 2: Even more sites have been found to be blocked.

Update 3: It seems that they have IP-filtered out our entire IP range, so now they have effectively blocked 2,500 people in the broadcasting business from participating in their forums. Guess who’s loosing on that deal… :)

Original post:
One of the biggest online forums for media creators, creativecow.net, is automatically censoring posts that contain the names of (what they perceive as) competitive sites and forums. If you post anything that contains any of the words (sometimes even without the top domain):

…you’ll get an error message indicating that there is a technical malfunction. I find it dishonest to have this type of filtering, and especially dislike the fact the user is shown an error message that hides the fact that the administrators are trying to stop users from finding out about other sites.

CreativeCow makes money from ads, and their revenue is directly generated by the users that in their free time and without payment add content to the forums.

Sure, they can block anything they want. What is so appalling is doing it so it appears to be a technical error, and then closing accounts and IP-blocking people for discussing their practices.

I seldom visit their forums myself, as they are too slow, and the fact that you can’t subscribe to forums and threads via email is a killer for me (just like the forums at pixelcorps and fxphd, unfortunately.)

So, skip the Cow, they’re yesterday’s forum, and visit any of the ones above instead.

Thanks to Mel Matsuoka for the tip.

- Jonas

81 Responses to >Censorship at CreativeCow.net

  1. Blair

    >That’s pretty shameful.

    I hate CreativeCow’s forum system anyway. DVXuser is where it’s at.

  2. Mike Seymour

    >Hey just so you know – fxphd has no advertising – our position on not getting forums posts via email is just that we have not done it yet – not that we wont :-)
    I would hate you to think we were holding out on you for any other reason :-)

    Mike Seymour
    co-founder fxguide.com and fxphd.com

  3. Anonymous

    >More banned urls/company names at creative Cow:

    toolfarm
    digitalproductionbuzz (phil hodgetts’ site/podcast)
    creativemac

    it is also a prtty safe assumption that ALL DigitalMediaNet sites are banned at the Cow.

  4. Jonas Hummelstrand

    >Mike,

    I know, I’ve been a member since day 1, and since you don’t have any advertising I hope you can enable the email subscription in the future.

  5. marijneken

    >Wow, who would have thought that in this day and age someone would implement such censorship. This sort of puts them on a black list for me. Especially due to the part that they’re dishonest about it and make it look like an error.

  6. Alan Shisko

    >Did they honestly think that someone wouldn’t figure it out eventually? And for a site that relies on (freely given) user-generated content (forum posts & replies), the disingenuousness of both the approach and the execution is really quite staggering.

    Begs the question: what else is being censored?

  7. RCampos

    >As an active member of both PixelCorps and fxphd.com, I’m very pleased to see how such a censorship isn’t tolerated by the community and I truly believe there is no other alternative besides boycotting the cow. What a shame.

  8. Ko

    >This is unfortunate – and I’ve experienced it first hand (being banned).
    Despite numerous offers to help, I was told I would only have my ban lifted it I posted with them exclusively.

    I wouldn’t give up my PixelCorps membership to post at a single forum.

    :(

  9. Rob Birnholz

    >What’s even more appalling is that you were banned for comments on your own blog! Which I suppose makes the official Cow policy “anyone is welcome, as long as you never say anything negative about us anywhere.”

    Too bad for them, your comments, Jonas (here and elsewhere), are always very helpful and much appreciated.

  10. Motionworks

    >I too was banned over a year ago after numerous years of helping out on the AE and Zaxwerks Forums because I chose not to be exclusive.

    JD

    John Dickinson
    Motionworks

  11. Todd Kopriva

    >The Cow has lost a very good resource, Jonas (and John and Ko and Alan and Mel…). Fight the good fight.

    [These views are my own, and not necessarily those of my employer, Adobe Systems Incorporated.]

  12. Ken Burstonia

    >The COW is a business and has always been very up-front that it censors posts. In fact, in the last newsletter, Tim Wilson has a whole section in his letter about censorship and posts filters. Tim’s column is in the article about 12 years and is at http://newsletters.creativecow.net/newsletters/2007/06-19/index.html

    It isn’t as if the COW has tried to hide this.

    Ken Burstona

  13. Mel Matsuoka

    >Ken Burstona:

    You don’t really get it, do you?

    This isn’t an objection to the fact that it’s a business. It’s an objection to the deception, lack of respect and disingenuousness that they are showing to thier users. The CreativeCow simply would not exist if it weren’t for the very people and companies who they now seem fit to “ban”.

    Read my original post on AE list, if you’d like further clarity on why this is so offensive:

    http://media-motion.tv:8100/Lists/AE-List/Message/8885.html

  14. BJ

    >Tim Wilson has a whole section in his letter about censorship and posts filters. [...] It isn’t as if the COW has tried to hide this.

    All I could find there was a note that the forums were moderated. Nothing about not being allowed to mention other forums, or not being allowed to mention products “from suppliers that should pay to advertise on the COW if they want their products to be mentioned,” as I was told by Ron when I inquired about why my posts had been refused.

    The impression is certainly that they are trying to hide this, as this fact is not mentioned anywhere on the site.

    I can understand that they are nervous about their business after putting in everything they own, but they should have learned from history that this kind of “censorship with good intentions” has always backfired.

    If they scrapped the censorship, I can only believe that their page view count would increase to the point where they could get more money for their ads.

    Of course some of these suppliers would post product news for free (as they greatly fear), but I still think the net effect would be financially positive.

  15. Mel Matsuoka

    >wouldnt you know it…looks like they’ve now banned my i.p. address at the server level.

    I can view “www.creativecow.net” in several browsers i’ve tried, but now “forums.creativecow.net” refuses my connections.

    I then fired up Parallels, and tried it with IE7 and Firefox…still blocked.

    I then tried it from a totally different computer on my network…yep, still blocked.

    BUT…when I tried accessing the site from that same connection, but instead using the Torpark browser, “forums.creativecow.net” came up with no problem.

    So they are clearly trying to hardcore block me now…as if that will actually do anything to silence me or the numerous others out there who are now shining a light on this sad state of affairs.

  16. Anonymous

    >here is more sites blocked/banned by creativecow

    vasst.com
    dmnforums.com

  17. Mel Matsuoka

    >Frank Capria has posted a great perspective on this issue over on his blog:

    http://www.capria.tv/2007/06/24/the-cow-groans/

    He is 200% correct.

    This isn’t an issue about whether forum moderation is good or bad. Nor is it (as Ron Lindeboom has correctly argued in numerous flamefests on the Cow in the past years) a debate about “free speech”. Of course there is no such thing as “free speech” on a private forum. But there’s a clear difference between banning people on your forum because they’re being disruptive, rude assholes, and banning them because they genuinely want to help someone find a solution to a problem the are having.

    Of course you have the right to ban or censor anyone you want. But just becuase you have the “right” to do something, it doesn’t make you any less of an asshole when you do it.

    What is going on at the Cow hurts the community at large, because it breeds distrust between the very people who we see at tradeshows and even in our own hometowns. And it also willfully promulgates ignorance, just for the sake of making a buck.

  18. Anonymous

    >I’d be surprised if the banning tactic works for them. A few hundred disgruntled emails to their advertisers might wake the Cow up.

    It almost seems like someone over there is off their medicine. Seriously – their course of action may come from a very defensive / paranoid mindset that may indicate a mental illness.

  19. Anonymous

    >I’ve been wondering about this sometimes.

    With the requirement that a single person (later a few people) read every single post in all forums manually pretty much around the clock, one could wonder about the presence of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), or conceivably NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder).

    If that were the case, we should feel a lot of sympathy for them.

  20. Alan Shisko

    >(sorry ’bout removing my post: I realized that I had replied to a post having mis-read the original text in it’s entirety. Please continue on :)

  21. Allan White

    >I find their forum system very difficult to use; it’s frustrating. It’s kind of an ugly neighborhood, at least functionally and visually.

    I had a SAN vendor tell me that they didn’t feel like running their own support forum for their products because they felt like the Cow forums were sufficient. Shenanigans like this aren’t going to help vendors, when users feel threatened or paranoid when posting.

    What makes the Cow’s paranoia so arresting is the Stalinist mindset – fearing even competitors’ names and tossing users without even so much as an explanation. Mad Cow!

    Our names are being recorded here! Better go check my Cow account…

  22. Aharon Rabinowitz

    >Wow – this is all very interesting from an academic perspective, but let’s talk real world.

    Creative Cow is a business with a brand and identity. It offers a service to the public at no cost to them. It is able to do this through advertising. Helping the competition or companies that support

    How many of you are bothered by the fact that Apple will do anything it can to push adobe out of the video market by forcing you to buy every one of their video products at once. Apple will do anything to keep the competition off their machines. Even strike a deal with Google that gets rid of Flash on YouTube. Apple will do anything in its power to corner the video market, and even though they have never come out and said: “We want to knock Adobe out of this game,” or put anything like that on their site, no one says they’re hiding something. It’s just big business. Why should you care? They have a lot of money and will just keep throwing money at the problem.

    But Creative Cow is a small business with BIG costs. And if a major corporation will do whatever it can to protect itself from the competition, why shouldn’t a small business?

    To put some things in perspective – Things that hurt a web-based business:

    - Advertising the competition
    - Giving free publicity to people that don’t advertise with you, but that do advertise with the competition
    - Allowing people to drive traffic away from the site by posting certain info
    - Helping people and companies who have caused monetary damage to that business in the past
    - Promoting websites that don’t share the same ideals or goals
    - Giving access to anyone who actively lambastes it (in or outside of the company’s domain).

    None of us know what goes on behind the scenes. None of us knows what conversations or relationships have developed over the years. And those that do know will only share what little information helps distort this argument in their favor – I don’t want to be guilty of that, which is why I won’t comment about many of the sites that have been posted as banned, even though I know that there is more than just a “competition” issue here.

    Even if I disagreed with the COW’s policy of blocking out the competition (which I absolutely don’t), It’s not my place to say that’s it’s wrong for them to block mention of any site – I get a lot out of Creative Cow without having to pay anything. So do thousands upon thousands of other people. If you were paying for a service, you *might* have an argument, but in this case, you really don’t.

    The expectation of getting something for nothing is ridiculous, and even though you pretty much get that at creative cow (free software support or advice 24 hours a day), you have to expect that they will run the business in the way that best helps them to function and keep doing what they do. Anything else is unrealistic.

    Also, to clarify – My understanding is that it’s not that all posts with certain URL’s are blocked. Some URL’s are fully blocked, while others are screened – based on content they are approved or denied.

    And as far as turning off your account – do you really believe that any other forum site would let you keep your account after publicly attacking them without even checking your facts, considering their side of it or even talking to them first?

    Put aside the question of whether you are wrong or right about your accusations. That expectation is ridiculous.

    Maybe you like to help people that treat you badly, but I don’t. You shot first and asked questions later, and you can’t expect them not to do the same.

    So to put it very plainly, it’s not about free speech, it’s about paying the bills. And sometimes that means fighting the competition. If you have a problem with that, then Take your Mac, iPod, and all of your Apple and Adobe software and throw it in the trash.

    Look, I don’t know you, and I genuinely don’t wish any bad on you. But you put something out here that needs addressing because that a lot of what’s being said here is unfounded or unfair. It isn’t meant to be insulting, but at the same time it needs saying.

    Anyone who knows me at all, knows I prefer to stay out of this stuff, but I couldn’t keep quiet while these comments were being made.

    Best,

    Aharon Rabinowitz
    Creative Cow member since ‘01

  23. Anonymous

    >Heh heh, exactly. Why not just turn off someone’s account you don’t like, instead of hearing them out? “Turning off the mic” sure works great over at fair and balanced places like Fox News. Think it’s probably time to amend the Cow rules a little though:

    “If you even mention a competing site we want to pretend doesn’t exist, we will block and ban you so fast your head will spin.”

    Perhaps that would make things a little more clear to would-be new members what sort of “forum” they’re actually signing up for.

  24. B-Scene Films

    >Apple does not ban accounts from their discussion forums for referencing competing products and or sites.

    Your comparison is not Apples to Apples here – More Apples to Cows. Sorry, could not resist – But the above statement is still true.

    CC is free to run their business and site as they see fit. More power to em. We, as consumers of their site are just as free to express our dismay at their policies by posting elsewhere about it or not using the site in protest or whatever floats your boat.

  25. Cheno

    >Funny, when I try to register with my real name it tells me that the Bessie has detected manure. I mean, Chenoweth – hard to spell Welsh word but hardly one that merits the use of an air freshener or gloves and shovel.

    Anyone care to set up a mass email list that can go to vendors? I’d sign.

  26. Anonymous

    >This has long been a COW practice, stemming back to the first days.
    It was common for the owner to edit your words and replace them with his own, too.
    Creative COW was bragging at NAB 07 about how big they are and the millions in revenue they’re receiving. They might not be Panasonic, but they’re not as small as any of the businesses they’re banning. So Aharon, you can’t draw that card. I call CowCrap on that. The COW is evil. it used to be a good place with good moderators. Now, most of em’ are whores to whose corporate identities they moderate for.
    DMN has too much advertising, but at least they don’t ban you for stuff.
    DVXUser is sweet. DVinfo.net is heavily moderated but they do it well. Toolfarm podcasts rock (Keith!) and Pixelcorps is happening. Time for the barn to be burned. Glad to hearsomeone finally has the balls to speak out. Chenoweth, set up a mailer and we’ll sign, along with our IT staff. We were banned from the COW for talking about software.

  27. Mel Matsuoka

    >OK Aharon,

    Thanks for speaking your mind on this…I was curious what your thoughts on it were.

    Let’s discuss your post, point by point:


    Creative Cow is a business with a brand and identity. It offers a service to the public at no cost to them. It is able to do this through advertising.

    This is a moot point. It isn’t what people are arguing against or objecting to, as you’d know if you’d read the postings here and on the AE-List.


    How many of you are bothered by the fact that Apple will do anything it can to push adobe out of the video market by forcing you to buy every one of their video products at once. Apple will do anything to keep the competition off their machines. Even strike a deal with Google that gets rid of Flash on YouTube

    Your last point is pure FUD, Aharon, and you know it. Apple did not “strike a deal” with Google to get rid of Flash. They struck a deal with Google/Youtube to make the video content available as H264 streams compatible with the AppleTV. H264, in case you didn’t know, is an industry standard, open format that can play on ALL devices that support the codec, unlike Flash Video, which is about as closed a format as RealVideo is/was.If anything, Apple is helping to open up the market to it’s own competitors, as it basically has done by selling DRM-free music on the iTunes Music Store.

    But regardless of that, your analogy is misguided. Apple does nothing to stop you from installing Adobe products onto thier systems. In fact, it regularly makes updates to the OS which specifically improve compatibility and performance of Adobe’s products with OSX. Apple could easily lock out its competitors (as Microsoft has unsuccessfully attempted in the past), but it doesn’t, because the short term advantage they would gain is far outweighed by the general disdain that users would harbor against them because their personal choice is being stifiled.

    You mentioned “the real world”? The real world is inherently open. People want/need to freely communicate with each other and disseminate information about things. Even moreso online. And they will, regardless of the barriers you try to put in front of them to stop them from doing so. The members of The Cow are also members of numerous other online communities, most of which have no problem with people posting information about “other” sites, including the Cow. By openly criticizing and publicizing the Cow’s policy of pre-emptive censorship, it gives people the opportunity to make an informed decision on whether or not to promote The Cow in non-Cow forums. The Cow can’t have it both ways, either they are appreciative of the community at large or not. And their actions make it abundantly clear that they are not.


    even though they have never come out and said: “We want to knock Adobe out of this game,” or put anything like that on their site, no one says they’re hiding something. It’s just big busines

    Again, a very misguided analogy. Apple sells hardware and software. That’s all they do. They make no claim to trying to cultivate a “community” of users that enriches their creative lives. Nor do they rely on the freely given wisdom of thousands of people who post to their forums in order to make their site attractive to advertisers. The Creative Cow does. May I remind you what the letters “COW” stand for again?

    If anything, Ron & Co. are seeking to build a “Gated Community of the World”. No thanks. There are way too many good people and sites out there who are more far sighted and gracious than that to waste my time on further contributing to the Cow.


    But Creative Cow is a small business with BIG costs. And if a major corporation will do whatever it can to protect itself from the competition, why shouldn’t a small business?

    Again, you’re fighting a straw man. That’s not the argument here.


    None of us know what goes on behind the scenes. None of us knows what conversations or relationships have developed over the years. And those that do know will only share what little information helps distort this argument in their favor – I don’t want to be guilty of that, which is why I won’t comment about many of the sites that have been posted as banned, even though I know that there is more than just a “competition” issue here.

    Actions speak louder than words, Aharon. Yes, you’re right, nobody knows EVERYTHING that goes on behind the scenes. But when the overwhelming majority of very trustworthy, high profile, “household names” in our community (including Chris & Trish Meyer, Dean Velez, Brian Mafitt, Ko Maruyama, John Dickinson etc) have stepped up in the past 36 hours to basically corroborate all the negative information about the Cow, well…any intelligent, moral person would have to at least sit back and question whether there’s something to it. In fact, Aharon, you are pretty much the only person I’ve seen so far (besides the zero-Google-hits “Ken Burstona” who commented eariler) who has defended the Cow or been largely positive about them. Maybe you’re one of the exceedingly rare people who have had nothing but positive dealings with the Cow, but I would wager that has more to do with the fact that you sell a Cow branded product–The Particle Illusion Fusion training DVD (which, by the way, I have purchased with my own, non-company funds, and is an absolutely fantastic training DVD)–so it’s in their best interest to not screw around with you like they obviously have done to so many others.

    In the meantime, Ron and the “behind the scenes” people at the Cow have banned the accounts and company names/URLs of numerous people who have been instrumental to the growth and success of thier site, and who have been faithful contributors to the community at large. Even going so far as to banning–at the server level–both Jonas’ and my own i.p. blocks. These are not the actions of an upstanding, honest, community oriented organization, Aharon. It’s the actions of a frightened, paranoid corporation which does not want to have any aspect of its behavior questioned or scrutinized by it’s own otherwise-upstanding members. In other areas of life, we would call this a “cult”.


    Even if I disagreed with the COW’s policy of blocking out the competition (which I absolutely don’t), It’s not my place to say that’s it’s wrong for them to block mention of any site – I get a lot out of Creative Cow without having to pay anything. So do thousands upon thousands of other people. If you were paying for a service, you *might* have an argument, but in this case, you really don’t.

    Again, you’re fighting a straw man. Ron and Co. can do whatever they damned well please in terms of running their business. But it is absolutely “my/your place” to criticize a company’s business practices if there is something to be rightfully criticized. Even moreso when it’s at the expense of the time and goodwill of the people it claims to be serving. And quadruply so when the company flat out lies to you.


    The expectation of getting something for nothing is ridiculous, and even though you pretty much get that at creative cow (free software support or advice 24 hours a day), you have to expect that they will run the business in the way that best helps them to function and keep doing what they do. Anything else is unrealistic.

    Straw man argument.


    Also, to clarify – My understanding is that it’s not that all posts with certain URL’s are blocked. Some URL’s are fully blocked, while others are screened – based on content they are approved or denied.

    I found this to be true. Words like “total training” and “DVgarage” are screened. But a significant number of others are outright blocked at the HTTP POST’ing level, regardless of the context in which the word is used in. And then the site lies to you by claiming that your post didn’t go through because there was an error with their server “mechanism”. At least those annoying corporate and library internet filtering software packages have the decency to tell you why you were blocked (regardless of if the reason is valid or not). The Cow doesn’t even have the decency to do that.


    And as far as turning off your account – do you really believe that any other forum site would let you keep your account after publicly attacking them without even checking your facts, considering their side of it or even talking to them first?

    I checked the facts, Aharon, as did many others. And I did consider their side. If you read the original posts, you’d know that the issue is not about Ron’s right to make a buck. And I don’t consider what I wrote an “attack”, more than it is a scathing–albeit even handed–criticism. When you learn that a community which you’ve freely contributed to for 6 years with no expectation of any form of compensation (other than providing a place for honest, intelligent discourse) is actively shunning and blinding it’s own users to the very people, companies and organizations which helped it succeed in the first place..well, you tend to get a bit perturbed.


    Maybe you like to help people that treat you badly, but I don’t. You shot first and asked questions later, and you can’t expect them not to do the same.

    Correction. The Cow “shot first”, and doesn’t even give you the opportunity to question the actions it took. As i mentioned in my original post to AE-List, I can recall numerous instances when I’ve spent a significant amount of time typing up a response to someone’s question in one of the Cow forums, only to have “Bessie” repeatedly abort the posting because there was allegedly some sort of technical error…after which I just gave up and was never able to give assistance to the original poster. I don’t know about you, Aharon, but realizing now that The Cow basically pre-emptively gagged me without having the decency or honesty to tell me that it’s doing just that is, well…downright offensive.


    So to put it very plainly, it’s not about free speech, it’s about paying the bills. And sometimes that means fighting the competition.

    But you don’t seem to get it…the Cow, like you, is fighting an army of straw men. Explain to me how it is that events like the Media Motion Ball or FCPUG Supermeet at NAB can even exist were it not for the fact that the people and companies who show their faces there realize that they don’t live in their own little bubble, and that their customers are also their competitor’s customers? It’s very naive and myopic to think that you can be the center of the universe for whatever market you’re trying to serve. You WILL fail and alienate your customers if you act like you do. Even the ever-stubborn Steve Jobs clued into this truth when he said that “in order for Apple to win, Microsoft doesn’t have to lose”.

    When my company is faced with a potential job that we cannot take on–whether it’s in issue of scheduling, talent or equipment–we don’t let the client fend for themselves. We actually refer them to our competitors. Yes, we are competing with them, but the reality is, we all live under the same creative roof, and we are here to provide solutions to people. The short term satisfaction we might gain by suppressing the existence of our competitors to our clients is far outweighed by the benefits that a spirit of cooperation, goodwill and respect for fellow colleagues brings in the mid-to-long term.


    If you have a problem with that, then Take your Mac, iPod, and all of your Apple and Adobe software and throw it in the trash.

    Again, you’re making a fallacious analogy.

    None of this would be an issue if The Cow didn’t pretend to be a come-one, come all “community”. in true communities you don’t have to fear retribution for giving honest, sincere opinions or assistance to others. At the Cow, you do. That makes it worthy of criticism and censure, in my opinion.

    Sincerely,
    Mel Matsuoka
    (also a Cow member since 2001, as well as a WWUG member before that)

  28. Aharon Rabinowitz

    >I respect guys like Ko and John – and they know it because they know me personally. They also know that I hate getting involved with this sort of stuff.

    Mel, you seem like a levelheaded guy. And while you have points to make that I may or may not agree with, you’re comments at least seem well thought out and tempered. Unfortunately, a lot of the people responding are slamming the cow with comments like “The Cow is Evil” or “The Cow has OCD” or other nonsense, and it’s to those people that I am responding to first and foremost.

    Mel, You can’t take the moral high ground here while not commenting on those ridiculous statements. Just because they aren’t against you, doesn’t make them true. In the same way you expect me as a “Moral and intelligent person” to ask questions, I’d ask that you realize that the many of people chiming in here (and that will chime in) are on your “side” of the issue, but are not actually agreeing with your line of thinking.

    In the end, these are my thoughts, – As someone who’s major goal here has always been to give back the community (because lord knows I am not getting rich off of my tutorials, podcasts and DVD’s, despite what you may think) –especially to the beginners: I can reach and help the most people through Creative Cow. Plain and simple.

    The cow for all these arguments does a lot of good, and helps a lot of people (I saw you acknowledge that in the AE list), and I feel I need to reiterate that point, especially in the face of so many “respected” people coming out against it, with not a kind word to say.

    Mel, I can’t argue with you. Not because I don’t have what to say -I just don’t have it in me to go on with this. I don’t want to start talking trash about people, and I would have to, to make my points. It’s really not my nature to be involved in these things, and I wish I had just kept my mouth shut because I’m sure people will walk away thinking that I am either an idiot, jerk, or just have my head in the clouds.

    If I sound like I’m playing at being a nice guy while not having to respond – ask Jon and Ko about me and they’ll tell you this just isn’t my thing.

    I guess I’m just really surprised at the amount of energy being directed towards an entity that most people here don’t seem to like or care about. If the Cow is no big deal, as so many people seem to claim here, why waste the time?

    Aharon

  29. Mel Matsuoka

    >Aharon,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to all this. Your willingness to respond publically amidst the throngs of Cow hatas shows much spine and character. That’s really all anyone is asking for out of Ron, et. al. Have the balls to be open and up front, and you’ll come out looking much better than you would by showering your detractors with napalm.

    I fully understand and respect your desire to just move on from all this. I tend to have a Perry Mason complex sometimes, and an innate tendency to speak out loudly against things that promote bullshit and injustice at the expense of decent people. I truly, honestly have no tolerance for bullshit, disingenuousness and deception, especially when real, genuine, good people are involved. And sometimes I won’t shut up about it until someone else pulls me back down to earth. But I truly respect you Aharon, and I have indeed corresponded with people who know you personally who, although they are still on “my” side of the fence regarding this issue, have all testified to your character and honesty in nothing but positive ways. I respect your decision to just move on and just let the cards fall where they may.

    For the record, I find the remarks about Cow leaders “not taking their meds” or real suggestions that there may be mental imbalance there to be very uncalled for. It trivializes mental illness (as someone who suffers from depression my own self), and degrades the discussion to an ad hominem level which isn’t very constructive.

    I guess I didn’t feel the need to condemn those statements, because frankly, I would think most rational, intelligent people would take those comments for what they were: stupid jokes born out of very real frustration and anger.

  30. Anonymous

    >Wow!

    This thread was just brought to my attention this evening and I have to say it is interesting reading.

    I am a leader on the Premiere Pro forum at the COW and I am hoping to cement that relationship even more in the future. I have done a review or two for the COW and was never edited or censored in any way. I submitted the reviews and they accepted them.

    I get upwards of 25,000 visits each month to my little website dedicated to links upon links upon links. And the COW has never stopped any reference to my site. I have links to some of the sites listed in this thread, and I will be visiting the other sites to see if I need to add those links. (Reading threads is where I find the best links.) Yes, I know, I don’t get lots of new links from the COW. So what? There are other places to get them

    I am known more for being a packrat of links and information than for my talent. I basically have very little talent, except for a technical capability. Certainly nothing artistic. I am just pretty good at finding answers to problems.

    I am not one to criticize the way someone runs their business. There are lots of choices available to everyone, and how you get your information is up to you. I get the feeling that there are some emotional scars around here, and that’s a shame.

    But the COW is certainly not evil. I am not exclusive, never have been, and I have not been banned. I am certainly disappointed that people would make comments about the mental status of the Lindebooms, and then not sign their name. That is just plain cowardice. (I was previewing this response and saw that Mel beat me to it, so kudos to Mel for speaking out on this issue.) I don’t have a Google account so I will sign on as Anonymous, but add my name and URL at the bottom of this response.

    I like being able to see my posts in red, and I like seeing which posts I have already read. I am not a huge fan of the COW format, but it works OK for me.

    As for a name like “Chenoweth” being a problem, perhaps an email to the operators of the site might resolve it nicely? Did you even try?

    Yes, I have a friend whose site was banned from my profile. It took me a while to figure out why my profile would no longer save when I changed it. I’ll live. My friend will live. Some sites that sell advertising (mine does not directly do so) are correctly seen as competition. This isn’t “Miracle on 34th Street” where Macy’s sends customers to Gimbels. Should it be? I don’t know, but that isn’t up to me and I am not at all sure that I care.

    I have to agree with Aharon. Why waste time moaning about a site you disagree with? Aren’t there sites you like better? Why waste the energy and the hit to your inner peace?

    My site is a bit stale at the moment because I am working up to changing over to a system where PC and Mac get equal billing with the advent of the newly supported Adobe products on the Mac. But I think you may find the links I refer to, and more.

    Steven Gotz
    http://www.stevengotz.com

  31. Anonymous

    >It’s all about how Ron sees you and what he had for breakfast that day (I hear he manically eats frootloops, seriously).
    I posted about a friend and his company making great training products, I’ve been a member of the Cow since the first day when they left the WWUG. My friend started the Vegas community on the Cow.
    I was banned immediately for trying to post my friends name and company. Many good friends of mine have been banned for being associated with his company.
    Yes, I nicely wrote the moderators/owners of the COW to reinstate my membership. It was ignored. Same with other persons who wrote. Several moderators were kicked off for associating with my friend’s company, a company he no longer owns but still associates with closely.
    It’s not free speech, but neither is it honorable, honest, or ethical, I believe. To see Brian Maffit and the Meyer’s gone speaks volumes as to how badly this has turned. I know Brian, Chris, Trish, Kino, Rich, Bob, and so many others that are now banned…
    Steven says “why be bothered about a community you don’t like…I don’t like going to Target on weekends either, but I see a lot of my friends there, so it’s worth the trip. I like hearing their stories of the week, so it’s worth the hellious screaming children in the aisle. The COW was kinda like that. The place I hated to go but enjoyed reading others experiences and learning from them. It would be best if some publisher just bought them out. Their magazine is nothing but whored articles to support the ads anyway. Could have been great, instead of over-controlled mediocrity.
    Moreover, we see these people at trade events, and it seems like the head moo monger is becoming successful in pitting one side of the industry at another. Divide and conquer, after all. :-/
    My wife is still a member of the COW, so I don’t want to see her put out to pasture too. She works for one of the COW advertisers, so it would be very bad on her career. Ron would be vindictive, we’ve all already seen that behavior. This is one reason to “take the hit to my inner peace.” I know there is a guy out there that has a “bullet” with my name on it.
    I too hope this marks the beginnings of the end for the barn.

  32. Anonymous

    >Your wife is a member. Great. You are afraid that you are so important that she might lose that right if you name yourself, but you have no trouble with her losing that right by the COW going under?

    Nonsense to me, but if it makes sense to you, I am happy for you.

    I have met Brian, and Chris and Trish. They are some of my favorite instructors. I was thrilled to win a T-Shirt from the Meyer’s at one of their seminars in Dallas for answering a question correctly. And I was explaining something to someone at a DVExpo a few years ago and realized Brian was listening to me. Surreal. I had spent many hours watching his tutorials and the idea that he would be listening to me was just over-the-top.

    The COW is not the only place to get good information. Just my favorite.

    The magazine is young. I don’t see the articles as anything but an extension of the forums and online tutorials. There is nothing “whored” about them. As more writers begin to be featured, the writing will be more varied. It takes time, but I like the magazine. I like having things to read on airplanes when I am not allowed to use electronic devices.

    And what the hell difference does it make what Ron eats for Christ’s sake? How is that at all relevant to anything? Is it because you think the name of the food makes a good description of his mental state? How childish is that?

    Somehow I doubt that your participation is worth the price of the bullet with your anonymous name on it. Perhaps, but I doubt it.

    I am a forum rat. I crawl around looking for scraps of information, and I answer questions to pay back the favors and information I have gathered when in need of information myself. I will admit I am a bit addicted to answering questions. I like helping. It feels good. People say “Thank You” and send me emails saying “Thank You” and I like it. I must admit that.

    What I don’t need is a lot of negative vibs on the forums I read. If the Lindebooms and Tim Wilson and the others keep the forums civil, then I am happy. If they disallow a few links, I can live with that. If they ever ban me, I will be a bit put off but life will go on. I am certainly not looking to be banned, and as I said, I am hoping to get even more involved, but it is all just a kharma thing, and if feels like you are digging a hole of resentment and crawling into it. For what purpose? It doesn’t sound like you are supporting your wife. It sounds like you are trying to cut one of the legs off of her stool.

    Steven Gotz

  33. Stephen Schleicher

    >I was banned from the cow over three years ago because I was linking to tutorials on my own site that were relevant to the questions being asked. My primary reason for being banned as Ron later told me, was because of my then relationship with Digital Media Net – or “The Site That Shall Not Be Named” according to Ron.

    The sad/funny thing is – everyone who is unsubscribing from the newletter will never be unsubscribed. I’ve been on Ron’s butt for three years to remove me, and yet every time he says I’ve been removed, I keep getting the newsletter.

    Stephen Schleicher
    http://www.stephenschleicher.com
    http://www.majorspoilers.com
    http://www.coolnessroundup.com

  34. Anonymous

    >Hmmm. I just went to DMNForums.com and searched for “creativecow.net” and found 574 posts, then I searched for “creative cow” and found 672.

    Evidently they could care less if legitimate users talk about other sites.

  35. Cheno

    >I’m sure you’ll find this with every other forum community out there.

    For the Cow sympathizers… i’m not out to bash the Cow but I do find this behavior rather peculiar and very typical of companies that fail because of elitist mentalities. I’ve been banned now for a few years I’d imagine and it was because of my brief association with the DMN. For the Cow to think that everyone associated with members and/or contributors of other forums are evil is purely BS, but so will be the demise of a “world order community”. Wow.. COW backwards… that would rather dominate than contribute.

    I’ve made a life without the Cow and believe to be better off with communities that support the media industries in general, plus I don’t have to watch out for COW pies.

  36. Jeff Patterson

    >Censoring content can be justified as a business decision, sure. It’s Ron’s site, and he has the right to run it as he wishes.

    But I do find the censorship unacceptable, and I’ll steer clear of the site in the future. That’s my right.

    If enough users feel the same way, censorship turns out to be a bad business decision. I find it hard to believe that the benefits really outweigh the potential cost.

    Jeff Patterson

  37. Sao_Bento

    >@ Aharon Rabinowitz
    Creative Cow member since ‘01

    Call it what you want, it’s great for places like mograph.net. We’ve picked up a few former cow mods who left over this kind of crap. Now they help people for free at a site that has no ads and doesn’t censor anything. BTW – our URL is banned from the Cow too, even though we’re truly independent, with no advertising.

  38. peter ralph

    >I was sent a link to this thread by someone who suggested that I should not post blog entries on the COW because of the “unAmerican” censorship.

    Well restricting the right of a business owner to make business decisions is also unAmerican.

    I was pleased to be able to help out at the COW after, from what I could tell, Ron & Kathy were treated very shabbily by the new owners at WWUG/DMN.

    I stopped moderating and started blogging basically because I wanted more control over my conversations.

    Leave the COW for DMNforums? Better do it quick. According to Alexa DMNforums.com has lost 54% of its traffic over the last 3 months.

    The real question about nixing links to competing sites is whether it makes sense from a business point of view.

  39. Anonymous

    >We we need to figure out is how many sites are affected…

    cgnetworks/cgsociety?
    cgchannel?

    etc…

    Just collect the site names (without making a stink in public or on Creative Cow)…and we’ll see what we can do about it.

    To be clear…

    Do not try to stir something up about this…

    Unorganized attacks will do nothing and make it more difficult to have a more organized response…

    What we need is information…with the least amount of blips on the radar as possible.

    Who else is blocked?

    Give me this and as little public upset as possible and we’ll respond in an appropriate and organized manner.

    a

    __________________
    Alex Lindsay – PixelCorps

  40. Anonymous

    >Peter, better check DMNForums Alexa rating again. They changed their url to forums.digitalmedianet.com a few months ago, which is probably why the Alexa rating dropped DMNForums.com only gets a single hit before redirecting there. So that alexa rating is useless. But then again, some people think all Alexa ratings are useless! :)

  41. KGB

    >The key to good business is having a product that its users are happy with. By censoring posts and banning users you are removing that happiness. Thus, even though no one is mentioning competitors in their posts anymore, the users are flocking to them nevertheless.

    I think that OCD came up because of the bizarre nature of this whole thing. Its business suicide, not a clever way to keep your Ad revenue up.

  42. Anonymous

    >

    Don’t get too riled up.

    There are many ways to solve issues like this…

    We’ll have some fun with the situation… we just need a little time to organize the process.

    This is an area in which I have some skill…trust me…we just need to gather data quietly.

    I need the data by end of Tuesday…find as many blocked sites as possible…

    Don’t sweat it or get too bent out of shape. Just gather data.

    a

    _________________________
    Alex Lindsay – PixelCorps

  43. govinda

    >Alex, alerting his militia of Zimbabwe, too funny.

    In answer, mograph.net is blocked, of course, as sao_bento has said.

    The thing that’d open a lot of peoples’ eyes is if Peder Norrby defected.

  44. Anonymous

    >Just in case anyone is wondering, the idiot who is posting as “Alex Lindsay – Pixelcorps” is NOT Alex.

  45. Anonymous

    >I will admit I’m more than a little frustrated that a member posted my comments on an external forum from a private forum (the Pixel Corps)…

    We’re not really going to do anything about it directly. I think it’s their right to run their forums the way they want. I think it’s silly to run it that way…but I don’t really care that much…It’s not a forum I go to or really pay much attention to. I don’t see any reason to change this. We did use the process to let the members have a design challenge and blow off some steam. I think that will be the extent of it…unless we get a really good design (Banned from the Cow).

    Alex Lindsay
    Pixel Corps

  46. jayse

    >Alex – we will come up with something good. LoL

    And govinda (mograph rawks) – Peder Norrby had a forum (in which I was previous co-leader with Peder) – but his main trapcode forum is just skinned, yet is really the cow forum – which I thought was pretty smart of Ron and Kathlyn – and works well.

    i’ll write my cow experience in a bit

    jayse hansen
    http://www.xeler8r.com
    http://www.jayse.us

  47. jayse

    >The cow is not evil… Aharon’s right in a lot of what he’s saying – especially in that several respected people have retracted some of the negative comments. This does get a bit ridiculous – even if you dislike their policies and practices.

    My cow experience.

    I started as a After Effects tutorial writer in 2001 when they were just growing. Kathlyn asked me to keep my tutorials that I wrote for them exclusive. I understood. Not a problem.

    Later with my training videos Ron was upset that I didn’t mention the cow in my resource pages. This was also understandable – as it had just slipped my mind – and the cow was sending lots of people my way. I corrected it gladly.

    When I opened http://www.xeler8r.com Kathlyn immediately wrote asking my plans for it – forums? Advertisers? My answer was no – i was too busy designing and working, xeler8r is just a place to drop some lessons.

    In each case I was amazed at how quickly they knew of things and contacted me to ask if I was competing. They almost knew my plans before I did! I was just impressed.

    They also offered really good deals for books/DVD’s articles, tutorials etc. Better, even, than some of the publishers I’ve worked with. They’re reasoning? Advertising. They wanted to use my work to advertise the Cow. They were also tired of hearing about authors getting screwed by publishers. Sounded nice to me. I just didn’t have the time.

    All this seemed to me to just show they were REALLY on the ball with growing their business and I respect that.

    To this day – I am allowed to have my xeler8r banner in all my posts (advertising, which I do not pay for, btw. This is just Ron and Kathlyn’s way of thanking me for the work I’ve done for them) and this links to my site.

    I think they are paranoid – they are working insanely hard to keep afloat – and of course they’re mentally unstable! They made a COW for heaven’s sake! ;-) But sometimes that’s what it takes to make something insanely huge like that.

    Now – as far as if this is the right way to stay afloat? – in my humblest of opinions, not really. It’s just burning too many important bridges with too many people that made the Cow what it is today.

    I also dislike thinking that there might be an answer tutorial to a problem someone has – and I can’t post a link.

    I hate drama – Like Aharon – so the thought of really having to watch everything you say and do or you’ll be banned is appalling to me.

    Was I banned from the cow? I’m not sure really… and that bothers me too. I went against most leaders at that time who said they were tired of answering newbie questions. I said the calf idea was not a good one, and the phrase RTFM was just an excuse for a leader to act elitist and cut down people seeking advice. (which is kind of the point of a forum, in my mind.)

    I think this lead to me being ejected from the leader list immediately. I never got any more mails. I thought that was pretty stupid. But it was also a saving grace: I didn’t have time for it anyway.

    That’s just politics sometimes. I don’t think the cow is evil. (ok, maybe their horrid programing and design is – but not the cow itself) I just think they made a few more-than-serious errors here and just opened their user base’s eyes to other forums out there that may be better.

    I spend most of my time in Pixelcorps now – but also like mograph.net (if you can laugh at designer’s over-inflated and under-deserved egos of course.)

    I’m sure there’s many other great forums out there as well – and I feel all should be explored…

    In the end, though – none of us are perfect, and the cow is made by people who aren’t perfect either. Maybe they made a HUGE mistake in this – but they deserve a chance to defend it, change it, whatever they see fit. Let’s remember that before we get too ‘holier than cow’.

    // jayse
    http://www.jayse.us
    http://www.xeler8r.com

    ‘holier than cow’ line credit goes to josh, btw. ^_^

  48. Anonymous

    >I think AEnhancers.com is gone too

  49. Anonymous

    >Perhaps “Proudly Banned from the Cow’ will become a seal of quality? If it’s good enough to scare off Bessie, it must be great info.

  50. Anonymous

    >The “Holier Than COW” goes back nearly four years, first heard (I believe) from either David Hague or Douglas Spotted Eagle, when they were banned from the CC. Someone (Earl Foote?) made a joke about having Tshirts made up with that slogan on it.

  51. denny

    >I think the COW is going to be going down fast. They have lost almost everyone who knew what they were talking about and their blogs!!! They have to be kidding Their aleaa figures show a drop of 10% in the last 3 months.

  52. Allan White

    >Looks like Tim @ Cow has posted a response to these issues.

  53. Anonymous

    >Kind of fishy, how “Anonymous” usually posts comments that are direct copies of posts from other forums.

  54. Anonymous

    >I am the VP and Group Publisher for StudioDaily.com. Prior to that I used to run the DV Group, and DV Expo for 10 years. Never, ever, have we even thought of not allowing folks to link elsewhere. In fact, in designing StudioDaily.com, we said from the get go that when we do a story, or comments on a product, we’d like to link to the competition as much as possible. From a business perspective, it works. If readers feel they can go to Studiodaily.com and get not only great info, but lead them to other great info, they’re likely to visit often.

    Honestly, I am shocked that Ron has taken this approach. There are some great sites out there, and I can personally attest that omitting links to other sites is a mistake of giant proportions.

    Should sites be monitored? yes. There are many reasons for that. But policed for free speech?

    There is some great info on the internet and thinking you live in a vacuum is silly. Yes I manage StudioDaily.com and Film & Video.com, but I can also recommend other good sites online:

    hdforindies, shoot-edit.com,dv.com, there are also many, many other sites and great training areas online.

    Personally I don’t agree with Ron’s decision. In my view it’s a blow towards the good of the community. In the end, it will likely be better for all of his competitors.

    Sgentry@accessintel.com

  55. SBG

    >>>Looks like Tim @ Cow has posted a response to these issues.< <

    Not much of a response considering they directly told their own mods to quit posting “competitors” urls. The foundation of their business model clearly emphasizes paranoia, not logistics.

  56. Anonymous

    >Is that response Tim wrote for real? I don’t see where he addresses blocking “competing” site URLS and banning folks for mentioning them. His profanity filter argument is completely unrelated bs…

  57. Anonymous

    >It is unfortunate that Tim’s response is not entirely candid.
    >>The COW has banned individuals/businesses with a vengeance.
    >>The COW bans businesses and/or individuals from whom they feel don’t support them or compete with them.
    >>The COW consistently has prevented discussion of people, manufacturers, communities or products whom they don’t like.
    Why have such high profile people either walked away or been banned? There are reasons, and they’re not as simple as Tim tries to make it out to be.
    Drama at every turn.Paranoia in every shadow.
    Obviously the COW can do whatever it wants; it’s a business. But don’t try to write it off with quarter-truths. It smells of mint laid over manure.
    Are the community members there really so grateful to have their knowledge meted out to them like treats for a dog? The COW controls what they see and limits access to meaningful discussion.
    When you see big names (and very intelligent, rational individuals) such as the Meyers, Brian, Ko, Rich, Bob, etc all walking away from the COW, it speaks loudly of the weakening underpinnings of the COW.
    Moderation is a very good thing as forums like DVInfo.net, DVXUser, 2Pop, StudioDaily, DV.com etc demonstrate. Those forums are filled with “signal” and not “noise.” They’re careful about what is posted and what isn’t. They’re honest about moderation, and the moderators leave notes about why posts are moderated. To my knowledge, their moderators have never replaced a posters words with their own, nor have they banned specific manufacturers, products, nor websites from being mentioned (maybe they have, but I’m unaware of it).
    It’s not as simple as keeping signal to noise to an optimal level. It’s an exercise of power.

  58. Allan White

    >BTW – I was merely reporting that the Cow’s response was posted. I wasn’t commenting on the validity of the “response”.

    S. Gentry’s comments ring true for me. Trusting your users, treating them with respect, and maintaining respectful, even positive relationships with competitors pays you back many times over.

  59. Anonymous

    >I think this is beginning to look somewhat significant for the COW. Ron needs to initiate some real damage control pronto.

    I doubt 90% of users care, but the COW advertisers come from a small pool.

  60. Anonymous

    >I delt with Ron more than once. He is ” damage “and “CONROL” freak wrapped into one.

  61. Anonymous

    >To: Sgentry@accessintel.com:

    Man, that’s too funny.

    “I’m shocked that Ron has taken this approach…”

    Hee hee. Everyone has known about this for almost 2 years. You call yourself a journalist?

    I think it’s more likely that you’re just being opportunistic by coming in here to slam creative cow now that everyone else is doing it. It’s great excuse for you to bash the only magazine that competes with you – even if yours is considerably better.

    Up until now, you had to keep quiet or seem like you were petty. But of course, now we all know that you are.

    To: everyone else:

    This whole thing has become a joke.

    Nobody’s even mentioning that Chris Meyer and Brian Maffit (our trustworthy household names) were forced to retract their statements against creative cow when it was shown that they were wrong or lying. Check the AE list. They admitted that they didn’t even check the facts themselves. Nor did they apologize for the false statements. We got: “oops.”

    Not that the cow hasn’t done something reprehensible, or deserve to be put out to pasture (pun intended), but all I see is a bunch a of people taking an opportunity to jump on the “bash the cow” truck to further their own reputation or income.

    Good going respected leaders! You all suck. You all pretend to care about us so much but instead you are trying to further your reputations at the expense of others.

    I can’t wait until I build up my name enough so I can be a self-righteous asshole too.

    I encourage my fellow “followers” (as opposed to leaders) to look at the way this is going and ask what the point is, and to question who really benefits from any of this?

    -CountZero

  62. Anonymous

    >Just for the record… somebody above said:

    “Moderation is a very good thing as forums like… DV.com etc demonstrate.”

    Dv.com has no moderation at all. Some decent articles but their forums are a complete waste of time, dominated by a few wing-nut conspiracy theorist losers like “DeanT” who rails about “Newists” and other stupid tinfoil hat nonsense. If DV.com actually was moderated, it would be a decent place to visit.

    Sorry not related to the COW but just had to set the record straight about the total garbage at the DV.com forums.

  63. Anonymous

    >-CountZero,

    You said that Chris Meyer and Brian Maffit “were forced to retract their statements against creative cow when it was shown that they were wrong or lying. Check the AE list. They admitted that they didn’t even check the facts themselves. Nor did they apologize for the false statements. We got: “oops.””

    I did see a retraction only by Brian, but I can also see how numerous filters might give a false positive.

    But I didn’t see any “oops” or any evidence that they were lying. I don’t know them personally or even care too (I must look like a troll), but they’ve kindly given me good free advice online since ’94 or’95.

    To intimate lying is unsavory.

    By the way, Scott Gentry is suite not a journalist.

    Your truly,

    Snowcrash

  64. Anonymous

    >-CountZero,

    You need help.

  65. Anonymous

    >A really sad fact in S. Schleichers’ case… This was not necessary in any way. Schleicher (as many others later like rabinowitz, kramer, the list goes on…) was my first online mentor as i started in this business. With all their engagement to build tutorials (and later Video Tutorials) they helped thousands of users to loose fear and find their way practically. Spending hours of private time. All for free! I do not believe that any of them do this just to profile themselves.

    Many sites – as in this case creative cow does – providing free space financing it with advertisment.
    Shure, the methods they use to ban any source which disturbing their own business from running, is far by criminal and as it has been said: in the end its just the question who is losing that deal…

    I dont like the cow´s forum too. It´s annoying to read them because the whole structure is just pain.
    I still visit Podcasts and Tutorials.

    What really annoys me is the fact that there are thousands of posts about unsolved workaround problems and bugs for any software, the big companies do like to advertise their own stuff but do they read about the reported problems their software make? Do they solve these probems immediately?
    They beat out unfinished software because they have to keep business running before other do earlier. And then beat out the next upgrade for hundreds of dollars with new features and still leaving a bunch of troubles inside.
    That´s the saddest fact in this whole business and i really start hating them because they keep me just solving problems instead of letting my creativity flow with no boundaries.

    sad, sad.

  66. Anonymous

    >Wow.
    Wild thread, thanks for posting the blog.

    Ron Lindeboom is a crankcase. If you didn’t know, your not a member of the COW. Before Reagan was president, Ron would have been put away in a mental ward.

    “Scott Gentry is a suite, not a journalist?” WTF does that mean?

  67. Anonymous

    >Sorry for the typo. He’s a suit. That’s to say not quite Big Brother, but wannabe enough to be willing to play along until the cash runs out or the enterprise is run into the ground.

    As far as the Cow, Ron and wife made a decent container for sharing and exposure considering their skills. The whole episode is a good indicator at where things are at in this little industry, and even the web in general.

  68. Anonymous

    >”The whole episode is a good indicator at where things are at in this little industry, and even the web in general.”

    Down the drain?

  69. Anonymous

    >Buried in Tim’s statement is the implication that the site blockers have been removed. Can anyone confirm this?

  70. Anonymous

    >Buried in Tim’s statement is the implication that the site blockers have been removed. Can anyone confirm this?

    It’s confirmed that several business names/products/sites are still blocked from being posted on the COW. They may have removed some banned domains, but not all.
    Cool blog, BTW.

  71. Anonymous

    >I am not a long time Cow member, having just started using it a little less than a year ago. I’m probably the kind of use they want, however, in that I have made numerous purchases as a result of advertisements or recomendations on their site.

    The fact that they are censoring the people I look to for help is disturbing and makes me wonder if that is why so many questions go unanswered.

    This whole things leaves a bad taste with me and while I’ll probably still visit the site for the tutorials, I’m done posting there and reading their forums.

    Yes, they have a right to moderate in any way they see fit and I have a right to disagree with what they are doing and stop supporting the site while those policies are still in effect.

    I also have the right to let the companies I do business with know that I’m unhappy about what’s going on and I won’t be buying any more of their products as long as they continue to advertise on the COW while those policies are in effect.

  72. Anonymous

    >I haven’t been frequenting the Cow forums for very long, but in the time that I have, I’ve seen many of the supposedly-banned sites linked to in forum replies. Seems to me that this whole blog is just a Cow-bashing exercise by a group of former friends of the Cow.

  73. Jonas Hummelstrand

    >Dear “anonymous,”

    Thanks for your comment about “this whole blog.” Had you looked around the other posts you’d have noticed that I normally write about other things than Internet censorship.

    I think you need to make up your own mind based on your own experience of CreativeCow, however the discussion here and elsewhere made them change their attitude towards external links. I remain skeptical, but haven’t visited the site after the closed my account, so I can’t really tell how and if they have changed after the summer of 2007.

  74. Todd_Kopriva

    >Add me to the list of people on the grey list. My posts are now being moderated.

  75. Jonas Hummelstrand

    >Wow, I thought this topic was dead, but apparently they continue.

    As long as they’re open about it, they can do anything they want with their own site…

  76. Anonymous

    >I just want to express my sincere empathy with Jonas, over this matter. It seems that CreativeCow.net, and especially Ron Lindeboom, the owner, is grossly nasty to their forum members.

    He closed my account without so much as a warning (well, AFTER closing it he wrote me a vague e-mail), but I can tell you that the trigger was probably my asking bloggers who own the new XDCam EX about the audio frequency response. CreativeCow must have been given orders from Sony to hush me up because of my exposing the awful audio on the HVR-V1U last year.

    You can read MY beef with CreativeCow here:

    http://members.tripod.com/JapanRadio/

    Good riddance to the Cow. Some of those people (not all) are not only impolite, they are downright technically WRONG and spreading false information.

  77. danap@dvinfonetsceptic.com

    >Well, as a censorship victim of Chris Hurd’s arbitrary and despotic “moderation” at dvinfo.net, I disagree that dvinfo.net is a good site. It is a cleverly run site, hiding at all cost vested interests in business and repressing many opinions and discussions which do not fit in Mr. Chris Hurd’s profile. Moreover all these USA based video and film forums form some kind of (not that) discrete “alliance” protecting each other business (dvxuser.com, CreativeCow, dvinfo.net etc.), so it becomes impossible to whistleblow directly on this sites.
    As a countermeasure I have established a fully independent blog The DVInfo.net Sceptic at http://www.dvinfonetsceptic.com. you are welcome to contribute and discuss these issues there too. There will be no censure.

  78. Anonymous

    >I posted on the CC forum 1. To help others and 2. To let people know about my FREE tutorial site

    I was not aware that they had a fascist view on linking to other sites and was never told this but now simply cannot get onto their site

    Well that is their loss…..

  79. joeri

    >Thank you for this post.
    I will now resign from creative cow as it’s no longer a trustwordy source of information.
    If only answers that “suits fit” are allowed ( And I dont mean filtering out swear words but also words that could hold a solution to the problem ) then I cannot longer trust the answers.

    As to banning people that made the profits possible in the first place: Start writting bills for all the posts you made, as clearly its not a forum but a “bussiness” and your postings should be compensated according journalists norms.

  80. JC

    >This is all very interesting. On a lark, I thought I'd google "Ron Lindeboom problem"… wow, the search results are plentiful.

    In a nutshell, I was libeled a day ago on the Cow's boards, by Lindeboom himself.

    1 and 1/2 months ago, I posted a notice within my own job available posting, to please not respond unless you are really serious. A number of people had responded to my initial post, applying for the job, then flaked within a couple weeks. (A job that was a 4-figure job, for 20-30 seconds of motion graphics.)

    I wasn't rude in my posting, but was a bit annoyed that so many of the Cow's responders would be flakes. And in this economy. Given I was on "Moderate" anyway, if Cow didn't like my post, they wouldn't let it go through.

    But they did. However, someone on the Admin side interspersed surly comments within my post, identified by "Cow's Admin Response:"

    Fine. I hadn't been back to ever see these. Then, I get notified of a new post to the thread and go look. This is now 45-50 days later. Lo and Behold, Ron Lindeboom posts himself, railing against me and libeling me. I email him privately, asking him what the issue is, and why are you libeling me?

    He's upset, because: a) someone voted on my thread (or post) and give it a "kudos" or a 5 star rating (I don't even know what these are), so he's pissed off at that; b) he claims he emailed me privately after my initial post 45 days ago, and that he reprimanded me in that email; and c) I posted his reprimanding email at CC.

    What??? I wish "b" were true, I'd love to see his "reprimand" of me for my innocuous posting. And… if he really did send me an email that shows him in a bad light, how could I ever get this posted at CC? I'm on "Moderate," who there would allow this post to go through?

    This man will not reason; all attempts to reason/inquire/clear up by email only result in more anger and personal attacks from him. He will not admit he's mistaking me or this situation for something else (or maybe he's just crazy?). And he will not return a phone call (yes, I called his office to try to straighten out this apparent misunderstanding).

    Obviously, he's got a problem. I stand by this post, and have emails to back this up. I actually wished I had cached the post at CC he libeled me on, but he removed it within a couple hours and deleted the entire thread. And then banned me.

    Whatever his problem is, be it psychological issues, ego issues, insecurity issues, or a combination of these… it's a real shame. It's a disservice to the creative community at CC, but thankfully, there are other places to go to post job opportunities, etc.

    JC

  81. Anonymous

    >Yep, the truth will out.
    As you can see, these comments already span 3 years!
    I'm the latest victim of creative cow's cowpats.
    I had a post up there, trying to get some advice.
    I had about 2 answers. I didn't feel there was any real need for me to respond any more to that post. But later on, I decided to add to that post, to defend my position on certain points that were brought up by the two respondents, and also, in a way, to say that I had followed their advice (to an extent).
    Next thing you know, my post was "deactivated".
    WTF? There was no reason to deactivate my post.
    Just more proof of cc's strange behaviour and unreasonable reactions.