Re: consultant entries that will be removed unless they "pong"
On 7/15/05, Marc Haber <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 15, 2005 at 05:53:30PM -0700, Michael K. Edwards wrote:
> > Thomas has probably heard, and taken note of, the concern that many
> > free-lance Debian consultants are on an academic year schedule and
> > less responsive during the summer. If he thinks they should be given
> > a bye until September, that's fine; if he thinks they should be
> > dropped and can re-request listing in September, that's fine too.
> That is only realistic once the processing time for -consultants
> listings has dropped significantly from the "> 3 months" that seems to
> currently be the case.
Fair enough. I think I wrote something to the effect of "a modicum of
time and energy, consistently over years" earlier.
In any case, quantity of listings is not the only goal that matters;
it does not bother me that any given vendor only recommends a few VARs
and consultancies as long as I have a reasonable spectrum of "good,
fast, cheap -- pick two" to choose from. It is kind of nice to have
some indication of which, if any, of these criteria any given entry is
likely to fit.
I can think offhand of three selection methods that have been known to
work to some degree: minimalist solicitation of paid advertisements
(Yellow Pages); minimalist peer review (Chambers of Commerce, Rotary,
Soroptimists, Freemasons, etc.); and minimalist collation of customer
reviews (Better Business Bureau and the successful online markets such
as eBay, Amazon, Alibris, and ResellerRatings -- the last being my
favorite way to evaluate an online seller of, say, camera equipment).
Notice the pattern there. The only one of these likely to work for
Debian is the BBB model (list on request after a very basic reality
check, delist on complaint or on non-response).
When vendor or product selection matters to me, I like to consult all
three models, since that's the only way I'm going to get decent
information about what combination of "good, fast, cheap" I am likely
to encounter. Failure to advertise is not a good sign about breadth
of customer base and project turnover, i. e., they may not be fast.
Failure to be recognized among peers as a worthy competitor suggests
they may not be good. And failure to be on balance positively
reviewed by customers suggests they may not be cheap for what they
deliver, since for better or for worse nothing is more certain to
generate complaints than customers feeling like they could have paid