Forums and Manufacturers: Are they here to help?

I have read several forums where questions have been asked about equipment to the audio community and in a few cases, the manufacturer jumps on the thread in what appears to be damage control. I understand that in some instances the problem may be setup issues, interconnects, ect., but are they really here to help or to raise doubt about what is being said by the consumers?
The manufacturers are just protecting their interests ... good, bad, or otherwise. As long as the maunfacturer discloses his/her identity in the thread, there is no harm or foul done. The reader can determine the rest for himself. It's not that difficult.

Regards, Rich
Sometimes it's damage control, and sometimes it's an opportunity for free promotion and advertising. which (inexplicably to me), the membership doesn't seem to mind apparently.

Sometimes the perps identifies themselves and sometimes not, even after being outed.

Manufacturers/promoters/distributors/retailers etc. need to identify themselves thoroughly whenever "contributing".

Sure - they're here to help - it could happen.
The answer to your question is the same as the answer to almost every other question posed here, "It depends."

Many manufacturers and dealers who answer are genuinely concerned with helping people, regardless of whether that means selling their own products or not. Some, on the other hand, are relentless self-promoters and sneaky, besides.

It's just like all the rest of life, the one most important skill you can develop is to recognize bullshit when you hear it.
Consumers do an amazing job of promoting audiophool products that have little value in improving audible sound -I see manufacturers and sales people need do nothing here but enjoy the chic-ching of the cash register.

Sadly more manufacturers do not speak out against someone of the wildest and most ridiculous claims made on some of these forums. The manufacturers probably recognize a bogus claim from a bonafide one very easily but I expect that they dare not speak out even moderately as in most cases they are vindictively attacked...
At least with manufacturers (when they are identified), you know where they're coming from. Consumers can claim anything--about themselves or about the thing they're commenting on. Half of what they say is wrong, and you don't know which half.
On this subject you have to take the useful with the self-interested to some degree. On balance, I'd rather have most of the manufacturers who've contributed here provide their knowledge and insights, as long as they identify themselves and 'keep it real' by posting in an honest, even-handed way, not attempting to manipulate discussion or overly promote their own viewpoints/products, while answering questions that are asked of them and consenting to participate in give-and-take, back-and-forth exchanges.

As some have found out, any manufacturer who dares to post in the forums runs the risk that they might alienate as easily as impress, or wind up with a no-win argument on their hands. On the other side, there's always the supposition that any publicity is good publicity. I've been told it can be tough not to react badly in response to some of the nonsense that's sometimes said about companies, products, and technologies in an anonymous online environment.

IMO only manufacturers with the right temperment and commitment are well served by venturing into the forum waters; just dipping their toe in, or feeling they must respond to every 'challenge' even if they're not the diplomatic type, is just as bad an idea as entering the forums simply to spread propoganda -- it's asking to get burned. I also think it's probably best for manufacturers not to participate *too* much -- not to try to be 'one of the guys' and yak it up here on 10 threads a day, or to get too humorous too often. A little goes a long way with manufacturer participation, and if they're too ubiquitous or chummy it might give the impression of pandering, so it's wiser to ration commentary and stay mostly on-topic regarding relevence to their own products or areas of expertise. (An exception is posting about music as opposed to gear or tech -- I think manufacturers can post about music just as any member would.)

I know plenty of manufacturers read along while preferring to keep discretion the better part of valor, or maybe some hold a principled belief that it's best not to 'interfere'. And I'm sure there are plenty of others who simply don't have the time to give. But IMO the ones who can do it well potentially help themselves *and* everybody else -- ideally the two aims are not incompatible. I know I'm always left with a more favorable impression of anyone who communicates openly in a worthwhile manner, even if I don't necessarily subscribe to all their ideas.
Well I know you can get just about as much bad info from members commenting on some pretty fine equpment. There are many fine dealers and manufactures contributing here. The printed word excites us/ no matter where it is read. However listening at home to said items it the acid test. So; if you only read and make a decision.. That could be the costly shortcut you don't need.---Yup, I have taken some of these shortcuts from members, mags. and dealers and the product builders themselves. Be careful..It's dangerous out there. Capitalism is everywhere.
Myself, I have seen marketing strategies and those who do damage control as the worst offenders. The best let the gear talk for themselves. I have always had good manufacturers that were a phone call away if I needed to ask a question.

Thanks for the great posts!