I frequent the Ford Barn to get info about my Model A and usually look at the model T section to see what is being said
The T section isn't very active but I see numerous posts with questions that have been discussed on the MTFCA site and know that the guys here could quickly give the poster what he is looking for.
My question is - Is it ethical to tell someone on the Ford Barn site to look for the answer on the MTFCA site?
Someone has beaten you to it.
Sometimes I give links to old threads here as an answer at other forums. Then the questioners gets the answer they're asking for without having to go here and ask (unless they want to) - that's ethic enough, I hope
I don't believe helping anyone is unethical unless it is done under handed.
I never thought these two sites were like the "Hatfield's & McCoy's" but maybe some folks do because they were turned off here by unfriendly comments.
This is a hobby that we should all come together to support no matter where the question is posted or answered.
Help is help if someone gives me a comprehensive answer to my question I for one am very happy >
It's not like you are giving away copyrighted material.
No rivalry as far as I know. Never saw a post on any of the 3 sites saying "don't go there".
On top of that if you google a question any of the sites that carry the keywords will pop up. Info is info.
LOL it cracks me up that one of the first posts about visiting the MTFCA site is "Don't mention water pumps or ask what oil to use."
I think when we are working on our old cars or doing research we should seek help from whatever source we can find it from. We should be polite and not invasive or demanding in asking for help but we all had to be taught the knowledge we have by someone who either talked to us or wrote a book or posted an answer somewhere. There is nothing unethical about that.
It is totally unethical to steal the hard work and research of others by violating copyrights and profiting from the hard work of someone else. There is nothing more heartbreaking than to pioneer something new and then have a cheap copy of it offered then by someone else that took no risk and spent no development time or money but just copied it and is selling it cheaper. The T hobby is plagued by "Me too - but cheaper" sources that are of poor quality but drive the original source out. What most fail to realize is that the MTBC sources do not invent anything new but just copy things that others have pointed the way to. They typically do not buy the Ford drawings nor do a proper job but they are amply rewarded for their lack of ethics anyway. One can make a lot of money if not encumbered by integrity or ethics.
I do it all the time, both on Fordbarn and here. If someone has a question about "X" car, truck or tractor here I will often, as others do also, point them in the right direction to Fordbarn or The Smoke Stack etc.
MTBC? I'm not sure what this is.
Hal, it was in John's post. "Me too - but cheaper."
Thanks. I just was not connecting the dots.
John - It's too bad there is not an easy way to recognize the cheap "copycat" stuff. Or, maybe there is and I just don't know it, except in cases where you can examine the item closely first hand and see that it's junk. Problem is, most of what most of us buy is via catalog from the major parts sources. Makes me wonder how much responsibility lies with those "other" parts vendors and how much effort they expend in trying to sell only quality parts. I realize that it must be a problem for the major parts vendors, because if one or more sells the cheap stuff, the other(s) are bound to loose business unless they sell it too, and most "T" guys are going to spend as little as possible and tend to go for the lowest price. I don't mean this as a "plug" John, but the truth is the truth, and I have to say that in my case, I can honestly say that about the only parts I can buy (by catalog) with absolute certainty that they are of the absolute best quality are your parts, because you make them! The others, I'm sure they'd like to have their parts thought of in the same way, but I can see where those other vendors too, have a problem in determining "quality" when taking on the responsibility of adding new products to their line of parts without always knowing if the new product is merely a cheap "copy". Just my thoughts "FWIW",......harold
P.S. Actually, in "proofreading" this, I feel that I'm probably "opening a can of worms" here, but I think I should add one more thought:
Once in awhile, a forum member will complain about a part that he bought via catalog, and quite often, the poor guy is immediately chastised by other forum members for "bashing" a major "T" parts vendor, and saying how lucky we are to have the parts vendors that we have. Well, we "ARE" lucky to have them, however, I believe that we, as "T" parts customers actually have a RESPONSIBILITY to inform vendors when it is felt that a part they bought is of inferior quality. This is actually a service to the Model "T" community as well as to the parts vendor, as the vendors don't always know about the poor quality of a new part they are selling until we tell them. The question then just becomes, what is a tactful and ethical way to do this. (Okay, I'll shut up now)
Just in case I did just "open a can of worms" with what I just wrote, I'm about to leave on a couple hundred mile drive to visit my 96 year old Mom in a care center where she now lives, and I won't be back to "defend myself" (if necessary) until tomorrow, or, very late tonight at the earliest!
There are several vendors and I use more than one. A lot of times, the parts you buy come from the same source, no matter who you bought it from. However, in the instance of multiple manufacturers, some of the vendors will list them both (Or all) with an explanation of why one is better and therefore more expensive, but offer both for you to decide. Then, some of the other vendors, may only offer the less expensive one. It pays to shop around. Not just for best price, but for best quality.
The question is about the ethics of posting a referral to this site or others to answer questions about the cars.
I see nothing wrong with posting a link to pass along public information. In fact, that's more honest than plagiarizing it.
My thoughts exactly, Steve - I'd much rather refer someone to a link than give folks the mistaken impression that I originated the information.
Plus, hopefully, by attaching a link and explaining how I found the information, I can inspire others to do some searching on their own.
Long drifted post here folks, you are forewarned!
Mark is right, we have drifted from the original ethics question--which, IMHO, has been answered already--but this is an "OT" discussion, and the parts issue is (also IMHO)an ethics question.
Parts is not Parts; there are some great differences out there with some of them. Manufacturing a quality part takes research, as John pointed out, and CAPITAL to be able to make the part. Many years ago, when I did have some capital available to me I researched a Model A part that wasn't available, and that many folks didn't know existed, unless they had an unmolested car. I was going to make the part right here in the US, and mostly in my shop, but some 'outsourced' and I had located sources for the fasteners for installing the part, so they would be included. Then there was a "test market" with the local club to see if my instructions were clear and could be easily followed. And then there was the packaging too (plastic sleeve, in my case. Just as I was about to gear up to produce it, one of the "Big Suppliers" listed a similarly-made part in their catalog for less than I could wholesale mine. It was made overseas and didn't come with fasteners & instructions, but there went all my work down the drain (I still have some left overs from the pre-production run here somewhere).
It's a tough biz, and those of us on the forum here would probably, and do likely, buy the better, more expensive parts, but we aren't even 25% of the market--lots of folks out there that "just don't know any better." I once talked to a major manufacturer who told me he sold more parts to hot-rodders & they didn't care about exactness to original. I tried to explain to him that the Hot-Rodders would buy the original stuff AND so would the restorers, which would increase his sales. Fell on deaf ears.
I'll give you a very common, very large-production "bad part" example, and apologize that it's a Model A part. The radiator badge for the Model A ford. A nickel-plate Cloisonne piece that presses into a hole in the radiator shell. The Cloisonne part is pretty close (but still not quite right!), but attached to the back of it is a metal cup that fits in the shell hole, which isn't just a hole, but a stamped opening with sides on it. As you press it in, the rim of the cup is bent towards the emblem, which causes it to press against the sides of the hole, and the spring tension, as well as the sharp edge of the rim holds the emblem in place--for decades on the originals! The repro piece? It comes with the dish rim already bent! They copied a used emblem for their production pattern! If you very carefully straighten the rim with needle nose pliers (so you don't pull the cup off the emblem), it will work like the originals, and stay put. The part has been made like this for Decades, what does it take to get something simple like this corrected?
OK, enough ranting--I won't go into other parts that are dimensionally wrong--and some that are soooo close, but won't work that it makes you cry!
I've probably permanently drifted this thread now, so me culpa.
I think Fred suggested that it may be unethical towards the owners/operators of the Ford Barn site to steer their "patrons" here. I don't think he was questioning how it may, or may not, be unethical towards us, the patrons.
For instance, would it be unethical to stand in the dairy section of Meijers and tell everyone milk is cheaper at Krogers?
When i saw the title to this post i thought it was about how some forum members treated others in the Fake 1909 post!!!!!!!! Bud in Wheeler.
Jerry -- I think your "cheaper milk" analogy is a horse of a different color, since people would be buying the milk. When someone goes to our forum or Fordbarn or the MTFCI forum, they are gathering information, but not paying anything for it.
I know a lot of folks use all 3 of those forums (fora?), and posting a link to another forum would be an easy way to share information without having to make another post about the same thing on another forum. I don't see any reason for members of any free forum to have their feathers ruffled over that.
Jerry is right about my question.
Is it ethical to direct someone away from one site to another ?
The Ford Barn guys have a big following in the A section but it is slow in the T area. Most of the T experts hang out here and there is a significantly higher level of discussion and help.
In some ways this is a bit like the MTFCA - MTCFI forum
When I read the questions in the T section of the Barn I find myself thinking that the answers to these questions and help are on the MTFCA site
I want people to get the best info they can for the sake of the hobby but don't know if it is OK to steer people away from the Barn
Maybe we should ask Al Gore. Didn't he invent all this internet/forum stuff?????
You're still not getting it. I'm not talking about "the members of any free forum", I'm talking about the OWNERS of the forums themselves. Not really the case with this forum, but I suspect Ford Barn is able to get more advertising dollars based on the number of hits they receive. We are "paying" for the forum by our very presence on it and Ford Barn, (I presume), essentially converts that attendance into dollars.
Maybe my presumption of how Ford Barn conducts their business is inaccurate but that's not truly the point here.
Information is information. Since there is no gain to be had by the person referring the person asking the question to a source that does not directly benefit from their inquiry, it is clearly NOT a case of unethical behavior. Since that information is shared without charge or copyright violation no offense was committed, either legally or ethically.
And every time we send someone to Fordbarn with a Model A question from here it's a win-win for both parties.
I figured that the best approach was ask the administrators at the Ford Barn.
This is what I asked -
Many of the questions in the T section can be best answered by the T experts (or have already been answered) on the MTFCA site but I hesitate to send people away from the Barn
What is your policy - feeling about recommending that someone visit the other site when it is appropriate and what would be appropriate?
The reply was strange -
Yeah, I don't really like pointing folks to other sites either... For one, those other sites use obsolete software. It's a matter of time before that content isn't as searchable...
I am now more confused than before!
I am glad he said obsolete software and did not say that we were obsolete!
Like the Bible and the Constitution, that reply is open to interpretation. The only objection he cited is technical (eventual unsearchability), not ethical. I interpret that to mean ethical permission granted.
By the way, there's advertising on the Ford Barn site, but not on its forums. I think most people who use forums go directly to them and skip the home pages, so they (we) don't see the advertising.
The reply from Ford Barn is dead on. The previous MTFCI site used the same forum software as this site. Now it is dead and cannot be searched easily.
There's no ethics on the internet. You cannot click on an "Ethics" button and fix anything like you can with spell check. Ethics resides in individual people.