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Old 08-28-2009, 02:52 PM   #1
Robertb
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Dear All:

I am going to be limiting my posts on MobileRead Forum from now on. While I have many friends here I will miss... I think the time has come to tone down my involvement on the forum.

I will still post important events, shipping, and new releases. I just will not work it daily anymore. The constant bickering by people who take offense to my trying to explain features and benefits has gotten out of hand.

I thank all of you for following Astak. You are going to love your devices.

It is just I have finally learned why manufacturers do not get online. The few, unfortunately, impact the many. I am not leaving and will still post but will not get involved daily anymore!
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:45 PM   #2
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Just like everything in life, everything has rules. The internet is constantly evolving, changing, and growing faster than we can follow. And marketing online in this multicultural miasma is much different than marketing in the boardroom or over the phones, or even on prehistoric mainstream media such as newspapers or television.

Each outlet has their own rules. Different rules for different forums, guidelines to follow, specifics for individuals, companies, etc..

Robert, if your job was specifically internet marketing and media, with concentrated devotions to forums and blogs, then with your extensive knowledge and willingness to learn, you would do it well, and you would have very few problems.

However, you've jumped into a huge stormy river with a pair of waterwings. You know how to swim, and the wings help you stay afloat, but the waters will not stop moving. It seems you are constantly fighting the currents. Fighting the rules. Bucking the system, so to speak. In some areas, this can be good, but in a place like MR, the rules are here for a reason. If you can follow them well, then you could make a very strong positive presence here.

Some more things to remember is that sometimes it's simply best to let some things that are said to just go, without comment. People come to forums to learn, to question, and sometimes, simply to vent. If you take up challenges, then you are more likely to alienate someone against your product than you are to bring them into the fold.

That brings up aggressive salesmanship. Sometimes it works, in the right outlet. Forums are definitely NOT the right outlet for such tactics. TV Spot commercials are best used for those, as well as newspaper ads.

This isn't an attack on you personally. You have a great sense of humor, and it's great having our jabs back and forth. But it wasn't your personality or your aggressive sales that got me. I did research. Other people will do research as well. But those who take offense will not even consider your company, even if you cut the price in half.

It's something to consider.

Good luck with the future products, and I look forward to the first week in September!
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:00 AM   #3
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Robert - I have always felt you are a very helpful member on the Astak devices, but I for one absolutely despise pushy sales tactics ... so I will be honest with you that many of your posts do sound like over the top sales pitches and actually devalue the product you are trying to promote.

I am in the market for another reader right now, and one reason I am not taking the Astak Pocket PRO seriously is because of your sales pitches. I am just not sure how much of a filter to put on when reading the description that has been coming from your posts.

I may still consider the Pocket PRO, but I really need to hear some unbiased opinions of other, longtime, MR members whose opinions I can trust.

I follow many many forums, in some of which I do see company representation. However, in almost all these cases the company reps just answer questions and don't do "active marketing". I realize your job is business development, but a forum like MR really isn't the proper place for marketing and advertisement by company reps ... and doing so just distances many members like me from your products.

I would really like to see your stick around and provide helpful answers to people's questions ... but going forward if you are planning on reducing the "marketing & sales" tones in your posts, I REALLY do think you will do a HUGE favor to the Astak products.

Wish you all the best and hope to see your around !
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:47 AM   #4
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I'm new here, but IMO this is a user site, not an advertising site. Robertb is just a corporate representative promoting his product. I don't see a place for someone like that on a forum like this. No offense, but good riddance.
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:03 AM   #5
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No offense, but good riddance.
No offense at all?
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:08 AM   #6
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Best of Robert. I look forward to Astak's 9.7" release.
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:47 AM   #7
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I think (hahah...Ok, but seriously) it's a good thing to have Robertb here, aggressive or not, just in the right place and the right tone.

Maybe with the new Astak forum, and a bit of a tone down it's all for the good..... I really just want to hear about stuff I can't read about on the product webpage....
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:47 AM   #8
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I'm new here, but IMO this is a user site, not an advertising site. Robertb is just a corporate representative promoting his product. I don't see a place for someone like that on a forum like this. No offense, but good riddance.
It seems the negative and derisive posted against Robertb come from those members that own Sony readers. I understand brand loyalty, and that members feel that their device is the best, but I do not see what Robertb has done or said that was way off base than any other mr members.

The only thing about Robertb is that he states right off that he is an Astak employee, unlike the Sony and Amazon trollers that I am sure are on this site bashing the competition. If Sony or Amazon had been more open on their formats, then I would have bought one a long time ago since each has real strong points in their favor.

I think the most important thing anyone should get out of this if they already do no know is that they should take no ones word on any issue put forth on this site or any other without doing their own due diligence on the product they are interested in. I have seen comments about the EZ-Reader that have proved wrong or negative comments about the reader that would make one think it was not readable in certain formats.

Imo Robertb was here for the convenience of mr members that own his product, and many of mr members benefitted from him being here. Did he push his product? Sure he did, but did you know he was a Rep of Astak? Sure you did. Could you then verify his statements? Sure you could and many members did and called him out on it.

I think mr members benefitted more from the information he gave us, then he did from his so called advertisements here. In fact, isn't almost every comment an advertisement pro or con a certain device? You just do not know the person making that comments true connections to that device all the time.

I guess my point in rambling on is that I just do not see what was so wrong with his posts knowing that he is an Astak Rep....
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:34 AM   #9
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Musicman I agree with you 100%. And I will add that I looked for almost 3 months before buying a ereader. I cam to my decision by understanding what I was going to be using my reader for. So that meant that the open formats were going to be the best for me. That does not mean that I should go around and putting down the other ereaders they all have a purpose and that all meet the needs of different groups of people.
I could in the future when my needs change ( I retire) that I would want a different reader) and if that happens then that is also cool.
What I am getting at it that we are not al the same and we all have different taste and needs, we have to learn to live with that in mine.
I am a person that does not force my likes on others and I do not like people that try to push their ways on me.

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Old 08-30-2009, 05:04 PM   #10
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I have found Robert's posts to be refreshing because of his enthusiasm for the Pocket Pro. He has clearly stated what it has to offer. Occasionally he has made a misstatement about eReaders, he has been called out on it, he has verified with his tech people what the situation is, and when he has been found wrong he has apologized and stated clearly what the truth is.

Why an Astak rep should be criticized for his presence on an Astak thread is a mystery to me. I have seen objections to his presence on threads about competitors' models, and if the competitors' supporters wish to criticize him there, go ahead.

I wish every company had a rep here to answer questions and to put his best foot forward. That's an excellent way to compare devices.

It appears to me that Robert's critics have a pre-existing agenda against salespeople. I don't know how things were in alternative systems like the Soviet Union's, but here in America, without salespeople there would be no competition among corporations. And nobody wants to see products developed without competition.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:35 AM   #11
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It appears to me that Robert's critics have a pre-existing agenda against salespeople. I don't know how things were in alternative systems like the Soviet Union's, but here in America, without salespeople there would be no competition among corporations. And nobody wants to see products developed without competition.
I wasn't indicting Capitalism (or salespeople) in my earlier post, but merely stating that a salesperson's opinion of the product he's selling is so biased that it is completely useless to the consumer. If I want to know what car to buy, I consult Consumer Reports, not someone who works at a dealership. My statement also has nothing whatsoever to do with brand loyalty - for all I know it's a fine product he's selling, but I'm not going to take his word for it. Basically, while salespeople may be fine individuals, when it comes to their own product or those of their competitors, they cannot be viewed as a reliable source for information by anyone but the most gullible among us.
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:36 AM   #12
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I think it's good to have somone who supports their products participate in the forums. Sure there are times it can go overboard, but quite frankly, how many other companies have actively listened to what the end user wants. By particpating in places such as these forums and listening to our suggestions and passing them on is a great thing to have to get the kind of device you want, not what a company thinks you want. Some responses do feel like a rehash of the sales pitch, but this forum is where I have found the most info on the Pocket Reader Pro and I like the extra screenshots and responsiveness to questions. And as a soon-to-be Procket Reader Pro owner, I would definitely like to see Robertb continue to actively participate.
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:57 AM   #13
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You make a sound case, Rich. I joined these forums just a week ago because I needed some help with a personal e-reader problem. Ended up pushing my own product -- albeit free to MR members in return for the fun, the company and the generous advice.

It's the 'advice' bit that's impressed me most. I head up the editing team at a small indie publishing house where we're just changing jockeys on the technical side. Already we're working on applying practical advice (especially from Alex) to broaden the range of ebook formats we use.

Anyone here who wants to pop into www.bewrite.net, by the way, can pick any titles they like, drop me a quick email of the book/s they fancy, and I'll immediately send them over free of charge as email attachments. I reckon that's a fair swap for what you chaps and chappettes have so generously given me so far.

Cheers for now. Neil
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