Are Online LIMS Forums Becoming LIMS Shopping Networks?

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If you are a managing member of a LinkedIn forum you can boot people from the group. This right is reserved for managers to handle the unruly or spam posters but it can also be used to squelch dissent or views that run counter to the interests of the forum's management.

In order to understand how forums can guide your decisions in subtle ways I'll offer a story.

I was once at the airport and two fellows came to sit next to me. They started having an interesting conversation about some fabulous business deal. One fellow played the part of the interested but slightly skeptical stranger while the other played the friendly traveler offering advice about the great deal. What these two fellows didn't realize is that I've seen this same shill game played before. I pretended to continue reading my eBook while carefully watching them. It was obvious this little play was for my benefit since the friendly traveler kept trying to gauge my responses to his discussion by slightly turning his head and looking at me. His unbelievable tales of fantastic profits waiting for that lucky individual who 'took a chance' on their business business venture were full of keywords meant to excite the imagination.

This went on for a while with the friendly traveler easily selling the skeptical stranger onto the business offering. When the plane arrived it was no surprise that the friendly traveler came right over to me to introduce himself (I had closed my eBook reader in order to board). My response was a stern, 'no thanks, I'm not interested.' This made the formerly friendly traveler look a bit upset -- kind of like he had been cheated out of his prize. Then he and the formerly skeptical stranger left together.

Why do I bring this up?

This type of confidence game has been going on probably as long as humans have had intelligible speech. One person says something, another individual chimes in with the rehearsed script. Crooks and charlatans have nothing better to do than sit around and think this stuff up. They both appear to come to an agreement not for their own benefit but for the onlookers. It is all a show, a front, a shill or whatever you want to call it -- but realize that it is completely fake.

You can find examples of this in your LIMS forums when certain users try to direct your attention away from certain 'unfavorable' technologies toward others. In fact the distinctions of what is deemed 'good' is actually guided by the fact that certain technologies are preferred by LIMS vendors and their business models. Their staff may be more familiar with that particular technology, or their business relationship with other vendors may demand that they promote the technology even though superior alternatives exist at lower cost.

Why do you think advertisers put their commercials on television to play every 1/2 hour? Because of the repetition! It has an net effect on your psyche. It makes you trust the source, become familiar with the brand, and eventually accept the vendor's messages. If you are frequenting any LIMS online forum and you fail to hear dissenting views on a regular basis then it doesn't represent what is really going on in information technology. You may have simply tuned into someone's commercial television channel -- kind of like the Home Shopping Network.

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Citation: Are Online LIMS Forums Becoming LIMS Shopping Networks?. (2014). Retrieved Wed May 23 11:00:43 2018, from;iid=readMore;go=1390260737