The Chocolate Life

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Askinosie Davao: The first cacao from the Philippines in over 25 years - and a mea culpa

On Friday, January 30th, Askinosie Chocolate officially introduced their newest origin bar - Davao 77% made with beans from the Philippines. (Official press release. Article in Philippine Star newspaper. Article in Manila Standard. Review on ChocolateNote by ChocolateLife member Casey. Zingerman's February Newsletter (scroll down).)

Come again? Wasn't there already a forum thread on this? Where did it go?

I am re-posting the news of the release on the bar because the original poster ("B") decided to leave TheChocolateLife and when he did all of the content he contributed was deleted automatically by Ning (whose software I use for this site) including any comments to forum threads and blogs he started. Those of you who read the previous thread might have noticed that I posted a very strong reply to one of the comments "B" made in followup to his original post. Yesterday, after about an hour on the phone and after several thousand words of e-mail back and forth over the past week, "B" decided he no longer wanted to be a member of TheChocolateLife.

I am sad that he decided to leave, and so I decided to use this as a learning opportunity for the entire community.

I did come down hard on "B" because I was privy to information none of the rest of you had. I wrote what I did because I received a complaint from Shawn. In hindsight it was unfair to "B" to respond as I did in public - in essence violating my own rule against flaming by appearing to over-react. Normally, my approach is to deal with issues like this one completely and totally privately and I also sent a private communication to "B". Without going into any detail about why Shawn complained, I will say that I was very angry that TheChocolateLife was being used to publicly air a grievance "B" felt he had against Askinosie.

Even after an hour on the phone and a half-dozen e-mails back and forth with "B", I still have no idea why he felt he was entitled to feel the way he did and why that entitled him to act the way he did.

I know why I responded the way I did, but that does not excuse my response, so I am apologizing to "B" and to everyone else here on TheChocolateLife for doing exactly what "B" did - which was to air a private disagreement publicly.

Moderating TheChocolateLife is a delicate balance. Those of you who have been members for any length of time know that I only engage in removing content from or revoking membership to TheChocolateLife as a very last resort, and never without trying to engage all of the parties involved in an attempt to mediate the issues privately - even when content clearly goes against the spirit of the "Golden Rules for Posting." At the same time, I work diligently to ensure that the site is not used for SPAM purposes - to promote products and businesses that have nothing to do with chocolate.

That remains my commitment to TheChocolateLife community because I know that the only way for members to feel comfortable contributing is to know that their contributions are valued equally. While I may be "an" expert on some aspects of chocolate, I am not "the" expert on everything chocolate. I know what I know - and I know that it's only a small part of the delightfully wonderful world of chocolate. The success of TheChocolateLife depends on my knowing that I don't and can't know everything about chocolate and welcoming everyone who wants to share. Every day on TheChocolateLife I learn something new from members who do me the courtesy and honor of sharing their passion for chocolate with me and with the world.

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Stick with it, Clay - your efforts are appreciated. We can all get cross and want to take our ball home and not play anymore sometimes but few of us have to be so consistent in public.


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