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This 181 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 181 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 > >   posting off  
Get rid of the draconian policy on URLs and mentioning products
rogoff

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 10:54 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

firstly let me just say that i think Webmaster World is a great source of really useful info. however, i actually stopped using it so much because of the overbearing policy on URLs and mentioning 3rd party products. i know it's difficult to figure out if people are unscrupulously promoting their products. but, please use better judgment on the new site. in the past, my posts have been edited when i was clearly not promoting a product. yes, i mentioned it because my question was a technical issue to do with the product!

also, it's actually very useful to see a discussion about the relative merits of shopping cart A versus shopping cart B. and just because i post about this doesn't mean i'm promoting either one. you just need to use better, more sensible judgments in my opinion. (by the way, those aren't real products so you don't have to edit this ;)

 

nigassma

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 4:59 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here's a thought, why can't we as a community help the moderators by flagging links as spam? I mean, we are a community right?

Every forum of communication out there self moderates these days. Over at Digg we seem to be able to handle ourselves civilly when it comes to linking to products or things we find useful.

Now some would find that Digg is a not a community lead discussion, but rather one lead by power users, but the issue lies in the spamming right? Whenever I open a new story and one comment is obvious spam (BUY SHOES HERE!) the community does a pretty good job at burying, reporting and blocking that user to oblivion.

hughmac

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 5:07 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Its a tricky one, this is an authority site for me and i don't come here unless im researching a problem, the latest one being the Google mayday update. I usually go to the w-----r forum where the atmosphere is lighter if i can put it that way. This is a difficult site for a newbie to participate and feel at home in but how to make it more sociable and still retain its authority status is a difficult question to answer. Certainly my thanks go's to those people who provide those technical answers across a diverse range of subjects that i seem to need so often nowadays and i am greatly appreciative of their help. On balance perhaps its just fine as it is :)

freejung

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 5:36 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Disagree with the OP. Keep the policy tight. If this board gets overrun with spam, it's all over.

The tight policy is what has kept this forum clean and useful. We come here precisely because we feel we can trust the information not to have a marketing slant.

Jesse_Smith

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 6:01 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Any one worried about SPAM or thinking it would make it harder on the moderators obviously has never seen the 'report msg' link to the left that any one can report.

None of the other major webmaster forums are so harsh with URLs. Maybe that's why they grow in activity and WebmasterWorld tanks in activity, with WebmasterWorld being so strict. New members come along...and lot's of times get chewed out for posting a non-spammy URL. And then they go away.

One solution is just not allowing URLs until say 20 posts have been made.

proboscis

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 6:34 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)




Are there really that many mysterious new products that people actually can't find on google? Most people here are pretty savvy when it comes to searching...or as mentioned just pm.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 6:38 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd say keep the published policy on URLs, however once you've been here a while you'll see that you can post some sensible URLs to obvious useful resources. There's not a total ban on URLs, just a policy to link only to things which will still likely be there in five years time. This makes the content useful to future readers, not just the small number of people who originally participated in the thread.

jsherrod

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 6:57 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I like the no links policy but just like anything else in life, there are two sides to every story.

In 99% of cases, I think no links is perfect. Any changes would lead to lots of frustration to everyone.

But discussions about hosting, tools, code examples, blog posts and very specific information that is tied to very specific URLs should be given a second thought. Maybe those discussions fall into a different bucket that is tightly moderated, no-followed yet free and open for those wishing to have genuine dialog.

webaddict

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 7:02 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I came into this thread to gripe about the draconian policy on URLs. On the surface, I think it's old fashioned, lame and makes things not as smooth.

With that said though, after reading through the comments, I have to agree, just keep it the way it is. Keep blocking URLs and actual product mentions so that everyone stays neutral. Greed is a nasty thing and it seems to get a hold of anyone at different times in their life.

Let's keep this the cleanest most respected forum. Yes, a bit stodgy but the best.

Solution? Provide a section just for people to promote or talk about products, use links and all that wonderful collection of "needs." Make sure it's all no-follow and let them spam the hell out of it if the want, well, within reason. :P

Sincerely,
webaddict

Quadrille

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 7:16 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

"Provide a section just for people to promote or talk about products, use links and all that wonderful collection of "needs." Make sure it's all no-follow and let them spam the hell out of it if they want"

There's already a forum where they can do that (and do). I choose not to advertize them here ;o)

davelms

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 7:20 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I prefer the current policy over any of the alternative proposals.

jchampliaud

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 7:23 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I prefer the current policy over any of the alternative proposals.


I agree. The current policy is the best.

tiori

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 7:33 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think that URL's should be allowed.
Take a look at the web in general.
Where would we be without links?

Maybe a lot of the people who use webmaster world are brilliant and can read between the lines and are masters at searching Google, but I for one, am not.

So allow the URL's and if some one abuses it, then take action against that person. Not everyone.

Digmen1

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 7:50 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Why not have a forum where people can offer their services.
There is another forum that does this and I use it all the time.

This forum does tend to be a bit elitist !

But yes we need to keep out all the spammers
And the people that keep asking how can they make money on the internet ! (we all want to do that !)

gpilling

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 7:59 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I like the no links policy for the most part. I do think that a non-functioning link or URL should be allowed. If I post something that has http;//exampleofaninterestinglink,com and it is not live (meaning you would have to cut and paste it) and it is relevant to the discussion, there is no SEO benefit (I know some would argue that) and the conversation can continue.

The other strategy of "just google 'left handed widget' and it is the .net domain" is sometimes allowed and sometimes not by the moderator. If this is the allowable strategy then I would like it to be consistently allowed.

For the most part, thinking in widgets and example.com was challenging in the beginning but I now find it useful. It helps bridge the gap between someone elses experience selling cosmetics and mine selling auto parts. We just need clearer rules on how to communicate a URL publicly.

Jasp

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 8:13 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

thinking in widgets and example.com was challenging in the beginning but I now find it useful


I gave up posting because I found it far to difficult to formulate my questions in terms of generics. What I might come up with would probably be totally unintelligible anyway.

Webmaster World seems to want to be an island, with no references to anything outside its own four very rectangular walls.

KenB

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 8:14 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

At times the URL ban can be annoying, but in general I do think it helps maintain the quality around here.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 8:14 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have yet to see a case where posting a URL would have resulted in better advise or insight on any given topic.

There is no reason to post URLs unless they are to an authoritative website as an example.... W3, JQuery, YUI and things like that should be fine, but I don't need to see the front page of your website to see the problem.

Another reason I am for a strict URL policy is that people become lazy when they ask for help. I would rather have someone post the pertinent code and explain the problem then post an URL and ask "what is wrong with my nav?"

It isn't draconian to enforce rules that make sense.

[edited by: Demaestro at 8:17 pm (utc) on May 26, 2010]

isorg

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 8:16 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Keep it tight and strict :-)

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 11:29 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

This forum does tend to be a bit elitist !


Far cry from professionalism to elitist.

Those that normally cry elitist just don't want to follow the simple rules and can't stand the fact that they can't drop links like drunken sailors.

There are plenty of places out there you can drop links, and it's just full of links with no value, no professionalism, just a free-for-all of "what's in it for me me me".

Over 90% of the time I find technical answers to my Google queries bring me right back to good old WebmasterWorld and if that makes it elitist, then they're doing it right.

wyweb



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 11:40 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

How do you determine what's a legit link to a source that's useful to the discussion or simply a link drop from some guestbook spammer? Now you're asking the mods to take the time to actually investigate each link and then make a determination as to its validity. Do that and mistakes will almost certainly be made and the bitching and whining will only increase.

You can't have it all. Give a little bit here and you'll lose a little bit there.

I do NOT want to see WW become another carbon copy of the dozens of other webmaster forums out there. I'm hearing people say it's this draconian policy that keeps them away. Well I'd like to go on record as saying it's that same draconian policy that keeps me coming back.

Summarize what's on the other end of the link. Get creative. I don't have to see it. Tell me what's there. Get descriptive.

Oh wait a minute.. that's too much work.

COlarry

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 11:51 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

On balance, I would not change the URL policy, but I would allow mention of a company without an active link. If you can talk about Windows v. Mac OS, I would think - by way of example - you could mention "Acme" hosting when it has proved to be a good company. (Mods, I swear this is a fictitious company!)

nigassma

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 12:00 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

How do you determine what's a legit link to a source that's useful to the discussion or simply a link drop from some guestbook spammer?


Simple let the community flag a comment. If you have a thread that has been viewed 350 times and 200 people flagged a comment for spam, then you can go ahead and assume that the comment is spam.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 12:06 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Users are lazy. It is quite likely that no-one would report the spam.

On the other hand, what of the moderators if they were receiving, let's say 1000 or 100 or 50 spam reports per day. Are they to be chained to this forum to deal with that?

Logician

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 12:09 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree - it's the reason I don't bother with this site. If I can't post links like I can on every other forum site I use (and that's quite a lot) then I'm out of here.
The number of people stating agreement with this idealistic policy is highly misleading, since the dissenters have long ago voted with their feet.
If you're not prepared to run this system the way all the others are run, then it will continue to be the little-used backwater that it is now.

nigassma

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 12:19 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Users are lazy. It is quite likely that no-one would report the spam.


I disagree. If your users are loyal (see digg) they will report spam all day long. I think you need to build brand loyalty. Today was the most I have posted on this site in years (maybe since 2005/06). I'd be willing to become loyal again if WW was able to convince me that they were working towards building a better community.

frontpage

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 12:21 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have yet to see a case where posting a URL would have resulted in better advise or insight on any given topic.


I can give you a recent one.

In the thread about Facebook privacy, someone posted a link to a website that is using the Facebook API to reveal the private contents of Facebook postings to demonstrate the giantic privacy hole in most posters settings. In addition, the link included a Facebook security audit information for people seeking to secure their profiles.

And of course, the link was deleted.

wyweb



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 12:28 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

If I can't post links like I can on every other forum site I use (and that's quite a lot) then I'm out of here.

Links to what? What is it exactly that you even need to post a link to?

it's the reason I don't bother with this site

Sorry to lose your contribution Logician. You would have obviously been a valued member.

rogerd

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 12:29 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Users will report spam, and WebmasterWorld is busy enough that most spam will get spotted in a timely manner.

The tricky part is defining spam. Say I've got a paid SEO tool I'm trying to promote, and I link to a helpful article on the tool site. Or even direct a user looking for such a tool directly to my tool's features page. Helpful to the user? Probably. Spammy looking to many others? Probably.

Having moderated this and other forums for many years, I've learned it's often impossible to determine intent (helpful vs. promotional vs. both). That's why some forums have a strict TOS page - it prevents a lot of arguments and pleading.

The real question is, would WebmasterWorld members tolerate an increase in somewhat questionable links for the benefits that those links confer? I can see both sides...

wyweb



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 12:29 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

someone posted a link to a website that is using the Facebook API to reveal the private contents of Facebook postings to demonstrate the giantic privacy hole in most posters settings.

And you can't see why this was deleted? You're serious, right?

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 12:32 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you have a thread that has been viewed 350 times and 200 people flagged a comment for spam, then you can go ahead and assume that the comment is spam.


That doesn't always work though because people cheat the system to remove what they consider unpopular speech.

Although I wonder at what point you throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4139367 posted 12:39 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have yet to see a case where posting a URL would have resulted in better advice or insight on any given topic.



I can give you a recent one.

In the thread about Facebook privacy, someone posted a link to a website that is using the Facebook API to reveal the private contents of Facebook postings to demonstrate the giantic privacy hole in most posters settings. In addition, the link included a Facebook security audit information for people seeking to secure their profiles.

And of course, the link was deleted.


Maybe I am missing it but I don't understand how the link made the advice or insight any better.

Their point couldn't be made by simply outlining all the facts, what added value to the discussion did the link add?

If the link was to an article on the BBC website that did a story on it then that would be allowed because it adds value and a source to the story.

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