Saying Goodbye to Writing Free Advice for DPReview

Posted Jul. 5th, 2017 by Daniel J. Cox

Saying Goodbye to Writing Free Advice for DPReview

Many of you may have come to know me and my Blog by way of my 1212 posts on DPReview, most of them on the Micro Four Thirds forum. I had long been a fan of the DPReview site, I’ve mentioned their web forums nearly 40 times over the years in my Blog posts. But twice in that time, once in February 2015 and again recently on June 22, 2017, I apparently crossed the line and became too commercial by putting links back to this Blog in my DPReview posts. Apparently, I violated paragraph #9 in the Forums Rules based on the message I received from Mako2011. Mako2011, not sure whether it’s a him or a her, has the power to act as judge, jury, and executioner, and so he’s killed off any of my further participation in the DPReview Forums. Oh well, such is life.

I find it strange in this day and time–Internet everything–that DPReview is so concerned about one of their members offering links to their Blog. Mako2011 writes in my banishment note to headquarters, “User has recently started another 7 threads promoting and pushing folks to his site….offers paid tours, referral links, and such.” Amazing, they pay nothing for my time and efforts and yet they’re uptight one of their readers might make their way to my website? I’m guessing Mako2011 didn’t bother to check to see that our Photo Tours are invitational only and they’re virtually sold out through 2018. It certainly wasn’t clients for photo tours I was trolling for. Their rules are pretty ridiculous really, but I have to say they have that prerogative.

In a message to Mako2011, I asked what the reason was for such an unwavering rule and he/she wrote back, “The rules are strict due in part, as I understand it, because of the Amazon relationship.”  I wonder how many cameras I’ve sold for Amazon due to my suggestions on gear and photography? Like I said earlier–in this world of Internet everything–DPReview is very shortsighted if they think my participation on the forums isn’t helping them make money through their camera sales via Amazon. Very strange indeed.

So after two years of writing 1212 posts for DPReview, I’ve come to realize my second banishment is most likely a good thing. Why? Because I spent a lot of time writing for an entity that obviously had no interest in what I was offering. My punishment has made me realize I could have been using my time much more wisely by writing more for the readers of this Blog. So with my current banishment in place, I’ll now have more time to do what I should have been doing all along, spending my writing time here. “Welcome home Dan.” “Thank you, great to be home, now please pass the bread and water.” 👹

Great Alternatives for Photo News Other Than DPReview


Photo District News

Imaging Resource

Ugly Hedgehog Photography Forum

Support Your Local Camera Dealer if Possible

One last thought. If the comment from my DPReview Judge is true, that links back to my site are restricted due to Amazon making this rule, then I say, even more reason to support your local dealer. To that end, I can suggest two great camera stores I use in Bozeman that are happy to ship and have no sales tax. Contact info below.

Bozeman Camera
Contact: Marshal Lewis

F11 Photographic Supply
Contact: Marsha Phillips

Update 7/30/2017

I thought I would update everybody regarding my DPReview banishment. Yesterday, a DPReview reader must have visited this Blog and found the above post about my DPReview punishment. In response, that person started a new thread, on DPReview, detailing what they read here and began a new discussion. Last time I looked earlier today, the thread had accumulated three full pages and was about to go to a fourth page. Many comments were very supportive but others suggested good ridence to me. Something similar to “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass”. Many seemed surprised to find out that DPReview is owned by Amazon. Anyway, the conversation was picking up steam so I shared it on the NE Facebook Page. A couple of hours later I came back to the check on it and began seeing comments on FB suggesting the thread had been deleted. So I clicked on the thread link myself and sure enough, the screen shot below shows us all that DPReview apparently didn’t like this discussion either.

Seems this topic was getting too much coverage? You can click on the image above to ask them why this was removed if you’re interested. I sure would like to know why they continue to practice feel so threatened.


Add Your Voice!
There are 32 comments on this post…
  1. ViisshnuOn Mar. 11th, 2018 (1 week ago)

    Some moderators think that they are gods. I have had the same thing happen to me on reddit. My blog is completely self funded and does not feature a single ad. I don’t sell, tours or workshops or seminars or anything. It’s funny they don’t even check the blog first. Amazon/dpreview attitude is very typical to big businesses. You and I don’t matter to them. Sad, but true.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 11th, 2018 (1 week ago)

      Agree. Not a huge deal, just more time for doing things directly for my readers. DPReview is so full of fluff and blather. Not much of a loss in my opinion. Thanks for joining the conversation.

  2. Martin OcandoOn Jul. 31st, 2017 (8 months ago)

    Hi Daniel,

    I’m a moderator for DPReview m43 forum, and quite frankly, I have no recollection of any interaction with you, or issuing any kind of warning about your signature links, nor any PM exchange of any kind, in any of the forums that I moderate (All of the Olympus and Panasonic fora, plus m43, Pentax and Mac forum too). Your experience with one of our moderators is unfortunate, but I want to make it very clear that not all moderators are created equal, and is unfair to be all put together in the same bag of cats.
    On the almost 7 years that I’ve been moderating for DPReview, I think I’ve issued a permanent ban twice or three times at most, other than the casual spammers, but regular writers that failed to follow the rules. For me, it has to be a really obnoxious person that fails to follow rules deliberately, causing all kinds of trouble, that I feel there is no point to keep warning them and trying to come to reason, issuing several 7 day bans. At the end, and after much deliberation, I issue the permanent ban. And just to confirm, I even ask in our moderator’s private forum for advice. So, I don’t take banning lightly.

    Simply linking our own website is pretty standard in any DPReview profile, so I don’t see that as a violation of the forum rules, but I haven’t seen the posts you made that the other moderator considered they were.
    But all in all, there is a procedure to follow, before announcing to the world that all hope is lost in DPReview; and that is writing to the administrators. Even contacting other mods can also help.
    For me, and for our forum, I think is really sad that anyone will avoid posting, simply because he was harassed by somebody else, either another member or a moderator. So, in my opinion, that has to be addressed.

    And as a message to all of your followers, who also had similar experiences, I urge you to do the same, contact the admins, and try to resolve the issues that way. We have the power to delete threads or issue bans in the forums we moderate, but not in others, so we are not all that powerful. And we do fail or make mistakes from time to time, and is just human to err, but also takes courage to recognize your mistakes, and take corrective actions. I’ve done it myself in several occasions during my moderation.

    As you may or may not be aware, we are contributing moderators, meaning we are not in DPR’s payroll. So, we do this out of simple love for photography, or for the manufacturer that we support, or simply because we love to help. At least that’s why I do what I do, and why I moderate 6 forums.

    Regarding the forum content, I would say that it has its moments. When there is a new gear announcement, it usually attract trolls that surface to just do what they do. But we try to do the best job we can to keep everyone in check, and the forum fun and useful. If we failed with a specific issue, is because we missed it, or our fellow members didn’t warned us. The complain button is very useful for us, as it calls our attention, and help use do our job. But I’d also say that, most of the time, the forum is very useful. I’ve learned a ton of stuff from it, in my almost 13 years as a member.

    Really hope you can figure out your issue, and have you back soon.

    Kind regards,

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 31st, 2017 (8 months ago)

      Hi Martin. I appreciate your input. I don’t recall any dealings with you either. I tried to check but unfortunately, I’m not seeing many of my older posts, maybe more than I originally thought have been deleted by moderators? Who knows in this world where obviously even DPReview seems to have things it wants to hide. Your procedure for banning somebody seems pretty fair. You might want to share your process with Mako2011 who did none of the things you suggested.

      The truly ironic part of all of this is that the reason I was banned was due to a post I put up on the Feedback Forums. My Feedback was a question akking why it was so diffiuclt to create links in our signatures. I wanted to add a link to my web site, Facebook page, Instagram and others. All posted in the Feedback section for goodness sake. I didn’t think this was anything even conected to the General Forums. Mako2011 came at me in what I felt was a very hostile manner and in turn I gave it right back. He then threatened to ban me and I replied “Ban Away”.

      You mention that, “there is a procedure to follow, before announcing to the world that all hope is lost in DPReview” where you suggest I contact other moderators etc. Quite frankly, I dont have the time or desire to search out a reasonable person who might have a different view. To be totally honest, being a voice on DPReviw does nothing for me other than make me feel like I’m being helpful. If my input isn’t viewed that way, then I’m not going to spend even more time trying to convince someone otherwise. Life is just too short.

      Thaks for taking the time to add your voice to the Blog. This is where I should be spending my time and I would be honored if you come back oftern to join our converstaion. I can promise I will always be fair and reasonable.

    • Martin OcandoOn Jul. 31st, 2017 (8 months ago)

      Well, actually my advice was to contact the admins directly, and tell them your experience with the moderator. That’s the way to challenge a moderator action, and to seek help from the site ruling parties. I only mentioned contacting other moderators, as it happened to me previously, when someone had a problem with another mod, and I simply helped that person forward their request to the admins. As I mentioned, we have limited power, and only the admins can solve such an issue, in case is rightly demonstrated that it was wrong in the first place.
      Anyway, I see that you already made your mind, and I truly feel sorry for what happened. I also feel that your article might cause more harm than good to the DPR community, being a public person as yourself. But there is nothing I can do in that regard.

      I just want to leave you with a final thought: Far away from judging a moderation action, as I don’t have all the facts, I can say that we are not perfect, but not all is lost in DPR. There are still very civilized fora, and there are always obnoxious people trying to stir trouble, or turn the conversation their way. There has always been, and there will always be. Is the way it is on public forums. Our job is 24/7, and we have to deal with our daily lives as well.

      BTW, thanks for the invitation to your blog. I’ll be happy to contribute from time to time.


    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 31st, 2017 (8 months ago)

      Thanks for the additional thoughts Martin. I’m always open to professional dialog. Great to have you as part of the community.

  3. Simon JoinsonOn Jul. 30th, 2017 (8 months ago)

    Did it ever occur to you to contact the admins of the site?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 30th, 2017 (8 months ago)

      I did. They banned me.

    • Martin OcandoOn Jul. 31st, 2017 (8 months ago)

      Simon refers to using the feedback link at the bottom of the page to contact the site administrators directly, instead of reaching out for the moderator who banned you.

  4. Donald Van PattenOn Jul. 30th, 2017 (8 months ago)

    Yeah DPR I guess has to have rules or it would be a calamity. I have 2 strikes against me also. Both silly things with no recourse other than what I do, ignore the whole site. I spend a total of about 5 minutes a day on there now and find that a minute or two too many. It used to be the Thing for me, but now just a shell of its past glory.

    So glad to see you have Seen the Light and moved on in life. Sort of like a breath of fresh air. I know the feeling LoL.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 30th, 2017 (8 months ago)

      I do realize they need rules but having a link to a persons web site is ridiculous in today’s world. There has to be some benefit of interacting with the public for those of us who are willing to offer advice and support for free.

  5. Jeff HarrisOn Jul. 30th, 2017 (8 months ago)

    Hi Dan,
    I’ve always enjoyed your posts on the M4/3 forum @ dpreview.
    Idiotic rules. Their loss. Good choice on your part.

    The level of everything has plummeted there over the past several years. I spend very little time there and always wonder why I bother.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 30th, 2017 (8 months ago)

      Thanks Jeff, It’s been a good decision. Only so much time in life. I appreciate your support and hope I can keep up with all the Blog entails.

  6. Grzzl/BeruOn Jul. 30th, 2017 (8 months ago)

    I am sorry to hear that. I am DPReview member for 15 years now (different names because of technical issues). In the early years it was a nice community, but it is hardened lately and i am visiting more and more less often. Sometimes i forget it’s existence.

    Thanks for your contributions, i’ll wil be following your blog.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 30th, 2017 (8 months ago)

      Thanks for your support Grzzl. Hope to be able to keep up with it all.

  7. MacOn Jul. 29th, 2017 (8 months ago)

    From reading your blog post here and the comments posted on DPR (about you leaving) this separation will be good for all involved.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 30th, 2017 (8 months ago)

      Thanks, Mac, I think😉. Either way, I appreciate you stopping by and adding your voice.

  8. Frank StarkOn Jul. 29th, 2017 (8 months ago)

    Sorry not to be able to get your perspective on the m4/3rds forum in Future. I like your idea of promoting brick and mortar stores. For one in Canada I recommend BJ Photolabs in Waterloo Ontario, a small family owned business with excellent service and good prices. Canadian prices can sometimes be an advantage for Americans, and sometimes not. Their shipping is prompt.

    Will keep my eye on this site

    Good luck in the future.


    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 29th, 2017 (8 months ago)

      Thaks Frank, pass the word if you feel inclined. It’s all good, only so much time in one’s life to try and communicate effectively. I’m excited to stick with the Blog for a more consistent message and ability to reach out to my readers. Thaks for stopping by and adding your voice.

  9. ironbarkOn Jul. 16th, 2017 (8 months ago)

    DPReview isn’t as good as it used to be. I appreciate your reviews and comments.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 17th, 2017 (8 months ago)

      I appreciate your input. I still have some respect for DPReview but their policy of being so strict with regular, quality contributors is very strange.

  10. GarySOn Jul. 11th, 2017 (8 months ago)

    Dan – Your contributions to DPReview have been much appreciated. Their loss is our gain as you will spend a little more time here? I’ve been a lurker on DPReview on and off for many years with my recent lurking interest in the Four Thirds cameras and photography. As mentioned above, I have noticed on DPReview, and some other non photography sites, that the level of civil exchange of ideas and opinions has changed towards the confrontational/dope slap at times. One does not learn from those exchanges. Welcome home !

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 11th, 2017 (8 months ago)

      Thanks for your input Gary. Since giving up on DPReview I’ve had a great time working on several new in-depth posts for here on Blog. Having made the decision to give up writing for the forums has made me realize how much time that took away from my won Blog. Hopefully, we can keep this all interesting and add folks to the community. I appreciate hearing your kind comments and support. Let me know if you have questions.

  11. DeanOn Jul. 8th, 2017 (8 months ago)

    Boo to DPR! ‘Neough said!

  12. Léon SorianoOn Jul. 7th, 2017 (9 months ago)

    There is always a day when the old and at times sick Simba leaves the pride. Standing strong, full of energy and respected, the new Baba Simba takes over. The pride moves on into the future
    Welcome boss
    Léon & Maud

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 7th, 2017 (9 months ago)

      Simba Leon🦁

      It’s so great to hear from you again! We’ve missed your input. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insight. Hope you and Maude are well. Hope to shoot with you again, the sooner the better.

  13. Bill BurkholderOn Jul. 6th, 2017 (9 months ago)

    Their loss… Dan, corporate lawyers rule everything. Once a company like Amazon gets its fingers into a pie like dpreview, they become hooks and tentacles. Their legal staff will encourage all sorts of brainless restrictions, all in the name of preserving their revenue streams, or what they THINK are potential revenue streams.

    Yes, dpreview has gone downhill since Phil Askey left. He started a great thing, but like all great things started by visionaries, when they leave, things tend to drift away from the original appeal…

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 6th, 2017 (9 months ago)

      Thaks for your input Bill. Great to hear from our readers.

  14. Portrait of Jane Scott Norris

    JaneOn Jul. 5th, 2017 (9 months ago)

    Dan, it’s their loss. I was a big fan of DPReview in its first years (it started in the UK in the early days of digital, then moved to Seattle). I used to check there religiously but for several years now I have not because it changed so much.

    Appreciate all your work in sharing your knowledge and will continue to follow you here – home where you belong 🙂

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 5th, 2017 (9 months ago)

      Thanks for the kind words Jane.

  15. Dennis LindenOn Jul. 5th, 2017 (9 months ago)

    It seems to me that in the early days, DPR was mostly a forum where real people exchanged views and did offer advice on technical Digital Camera’s primarily because it was a new technology and there were many unanswered questions. However, for the last several years I have come to question it’s purpose, other than as a gateway for Amazon. I don’t however understand why it otherwise exists today. Reading the forum posts is something I stopped doing some time ago when any moron with an internet connection could come on and troll there. The level of personal insult based on misunderstanding or mis-statement or just plane contrary thinking is, well, revolting and harmful. There should actually be a Surgeon Generals disclaimer that reading the forums may be harmful to your opinion of your fellow man.

    Trust me, your new found time can far better be used here.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 5th, 2017 (9 months ago)

      Well put Dennis. I have to say, I took some serious shellackings over the years with readers suggesting I had no idea what the heck I was talking about. Some comments so nasty it’s hard to believe. I had more than one of my professional peers ask me why the heck I was interested in taking such abuse. My response was always, “Hey, there are many others that are good people and very civil, why should they pay for the ones that are mean and nasty. I grew up with four sisters, I can handle a good shellacking. Not a problem🙃” But that’s over with now and I’m excited to dedicate more time here on the Blog. Thanks for your input.

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