This whole discussion has been built around the words "neversummer shoved down your throat". First SW tried to add in some kind of causal chain that im implying an orchestrated bias. When i showed you its not the case, but the forums, now youre trying to argue that secretly by the dint of posting it on a thread (a thread referring to the forums neversummer bias) that it was an easy insinuation to arrive at. Its not. Youre making it up. I told you what i said, ive clarified it. Twisting what i said to suit your own narrative is a way to DEFLECT the point, (as is asking me to provide evidence for a point i never in fact made). To be honest, the further this is going, the more uncomfortable its getting. You asked (and apparently welcome) reasonable debate on the matter, but ive been nothing but reasonable and yet keep having you guys try and put words in my mouth or make me say something so you can dismiss the point.
Now lets get to the next point of actual bias in the very act of tying yourselves so closely to Neversummer:
There is going to be a perceptual problem of serious bias in tying yourselves so directly with neversummer. Whether or not you think you wont personally be biased, is by the by. The proof is in the eating. Having a section of the forums completely devoted to one brand pretty much makes the case in itself to be honest, but its a cheap shot... fair... but cheap.
Your issue is how to address this in a rational, calm and reflective manner. Instead youre "orchestrating" (jsut so we're clear, this is a parodic use of the term), some kind of some kind of siege mentality. And lashing out because i had the temerity to not agree with you and was careful to articulate my points rationally and without abuse (i believe those were the terms of the discussion you guys set out in the thread announcing this?). Instead SW first built a straw man to argue against and then spent most of his post calling people who disagree with him a bunch of names. Now you, realising maybe that im right, and that i said no such thing, are trying to weedle back in this argument with some kind of Mrs Doyle line of argument: "come on, admit it! go on go on go on!"
Just accept theres an issue here. Maybe, i dunno, follow my lead and make an argument about bias and the general incapacity for the lack of bias, and offer assurances that you guys will do your best to make it fair and open and go out of your ways to not make this a massive defining feature of the site (which youve already shown isnt the case by the way with a) the announcement, b) the section on neversummer, (cf, the point on WHY people are looking to demo neversummer boards just as an FYI) and c) the mad defensiveness that anyone could even claim that this site had a long and established connection with neversummer... er... something about boards being designed and built in consultation with people on this site... from the very blurb on the announcement. Try not to get so worked up because i disagree that tying yourself into one brand somehow helps you prove your neutrality and impartiality.
I should stress, i choose my words very carefully, so before you leap on that last sentence again, you might want to re-read it. It doesnt mean that youll become more biased, it means it doesnt help your case that youll somehow become any less biased.
As for whether youll become MORE biased, i leave that in the hands of time and your ability to actually slag off the boards you were consulted about in the design process. I also expect Blauvelt to trash ride and complain that his berzerker is POS.
Really though, am i going mad? Is there none of you that actually grasps what im saying here and can articulate a balanced and thoughtful awareness of the issues this throws up in relation to the sites overriding objective (i assume) as a source of unbiased and fair information? Is no one capable of addressing this and acknowledging the complications whilst also articulating a rational and sound way of dealing with the nuance of the overriding issue? Im not being a jerk here. Theres an issue. The sites always been a bit neversummer intensive... as i say, i didnt start the thread, i contributed to it on page 9. And it was 9 pages of people saying "noooo! dont be silly!" You helped them design new boards, this has been a long standing relationship. Only now its formalized and much more in the open. Of course theres an issue. Of course you should have to defend against potential bias. Of course you should have to explain why and how its not going to impact your neutrality. Of course Neversummer should attempt to show they have no impact and will not set conditions.
And of course the people reading those reviews should be allowed to read them with a much sharper and more cynical eye than we might have a year ago when the relationship was a little more opaque. Its not a wild point. Its pretty humdrum to be honest.
If suddenly you guys were promoting Nitro thatd be fine. No one would bat an eyelid, in fact itd help offset a lot of the neversummer hype on these forums *lets not pretend your opinion is going to carry the same weight as joe blogs after all). Indeed you were promoting any other brand at all this wouldnt even be an issue. And i promise you this isnt hating on neversummer. I like their boards. But its the very brand thats had the most connections to this site in the last three or four years and its the very brand that seems to get the most noise on these forums. Now you have 15 or so of the loudest people on the site ready to talk all about neversummer. Come on now? Surely you can see that for a site professing its absolute neutrality, this doesnt help your case much. Whether it hurts it is to be decided, but its not helping it.
You raise a lot of legitimate concerns, and if I were coming in here as a part time member, or the casual lurker, I'd share them as well. But don't think these concerns weren't already considered throughout the conception of this 'design team' idea. Before you make blanket assumptions about the individuals on the team, why don't you wait for our reviews and determine how legitimate each of our opinions are on a case by case basis. Who knows, maybe I'll think one of my fellow team members is completely bullshitting too. I find it a little offensive that without knowing any of us you're assuming each of our opinions are going to be influenced by a blind allegiance to the brand. If you're on the same board that I'm reviewing I welcome your opinion in my discussion thread. If you think I'm bullshitting call me out. NS is looking for honesty. They've had their brand bashed for several different reasons and instead of whining about it they've listened to what people want out of them and improved upon it.