I think there is a conflict of interest with so many employees of TMW answering questions on Answers. Are these employee speaking for TMW or not. I think TMW says no, but their post often happen during regular business hours in Natick. Is there any incetive provided by the TMW for employees to answer quesitons? Sometimes the posts in the Wish-list and other places seem like they are official responses from the TMW.
Should all employees of TMW be required to add a disclaimer on their answers? This would be easy if Answers allowed signatures. This would allow us to know if they are just sharing their knowledge of MATLAB or are providing a piece of proprietary, but unprotected, information.
No products are associated with this question.
TMW runs the site, and it pays its employees according to whatever system of salaries and commissions and bonuses that are mutually acceptable to it and its employees.
There are a small number of TWM employees who work directly on the provision of services to the community of MATLAB users as part of their job -- Helen, Lindsay, Randy, and Ned. Those people may post semi-officially because doing so is their direct responsibility.
As far as I have ever heard, the rest of TMW employees post unofficially, as users (or, occasionally, as managers wanting to be sure that a difficulty has been addressed), and I am not aware that they receive any specific payment for doing so. Whether they post "during working hours" is, as far as I am concerned, entirely a matter between they and their managemen.
I would say, though, that IMHO, a company that discouraged its employees from occasionally helping to improve customer satisfaction would tend not to be a company of happy employees.
TMW employees are usually or always advanced MATLAB users. They do not post protected or classified information here or in another forum. Therefore I do not see a reason for a disclaimer.
Sometimes, e.g. the answers in the Wish-list, their posts may be official replies, but formulated by individuals. Fortunately they can and will be edited, if they are not conform with the official opinion of TMW. Therefore I see in any post of a TMW employee, which has not been removed or modified for 48 hours, an official information - with and without disclaimer.
I remember Randy's message, that the keyboard latency of this forum is fixed soon. Although I take this as official information, it was a personal opinion of course, because nobody can take a look in the future. Today I know, that soon means > 4 months in this case. This is one of the rare examples of too early public information provided by TMW. But a disclaimer is not helpful as long as I rely on my savvy.
The two conflicts of interest that I know of are:
("I would like to bring the court's attention to line 6 of (319.8)A(22.4)b, where the punctuation mark is clearly a semi-colon and there is no comma after the following "and", thus making the final clause a strict logical AND rather than a logical OR as so rashly asserted by the opposing counsel. If it pleases your Honor, I will now demonstrate the resulting truth table with this MATLAB GUI...")