I don't post much in these parts, and there has always been a lot of discusson over on glitter devoted to this topic. I thought I'd post this here as well:
(Based upon a true story) Once upon a time a well-loved and much admired small business owner was approached for business advice. As this often happens, she offered advice when she could. Of course, some hard-earned info is not easily parted with, and most seeking advice understand this. She politely responded in a helpful way, while still protecting her own interests.
Unfortunately, one particular person seeking advice didn't get what they were after, and decided to dispense with professional practices by saying very nasty and untrue things about the well-known and well-loved designer, in the spirit of sour grapes.
Oops! The unpleasant comments have reached mutual friends and associates of the dear, sweet designer. Double oops! Some of these associates used to do business with the person making wreckless and unkind comments. Sentiment is rising, voluntarily, that maybe this is not a person to do business with.
Is it worth it to ruin your own reputation (for the designer's reputation is platinum) over info you could find on your own, if you just did the same hard work as the well-loved designer? Hmmm...
(oh, and I'm not the designer in the story)
There are many grey areas when it comes to approaching a business owner for advice. It's a sensitive area, but most of us in this here DIY movement are more willing to share info among each other than traditional businesses. But, there is still 'proprietary info' that you don't want to part with.
This is always a good topic for discussion. I just wanted to make the point that trash-talking is never, ever a smart move. But you already knew that.