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Link Development Forum

Links in your signature on a forum
Marketing Guy

 10:28 am on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi all

Im running a discussion forum and had a thought today:

What implication will having their link in their signature have for my moderators?

In particular, I set up a site (hosted with same company as my site) for one of my moderators. He has over 300 posts, each of which has a link to his site in his signature.

Is this going to be an issue?



creative craig

 10:57 am on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

and had a thought today

Thats news on its own ;)


Marketing Guy

 10:59 am on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Bah! Get back to the forum and do some work! :P

Scott :)


 11:04 am on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was told a long time ago that if I wanted to get wealthy I should hang out with wealthy people, ( I didn't listen ), then at least.

But, if I were starting a forum today I would emulate one of the most successful forums on the web, and WebmasterWorld doesn't do links in sigs, they don't even do sigs.

Marketing Guy

 11:09 am on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeh I thought about it when I was setting the forum up, but in the "widget market" its good for users to have a bit background on other posters, especially mods.

Yes, the profiles could be used for that, but I wanted to try out the sigs for a while! :)

I may have to remove the sigs then.... :(

Cheers for the input!



 1:45 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mr. Marketing Guy you are right to think about this and I agree with digitalghost, remove the sigs. Have you made your profile page all that it could be for both the members as well as visitors?

Itís not that the sigs arenít helpful, particularly with searches. I find links to relevant information from searches that bring up forums and follow the links I find all the time, particularly in topical areas, but Iím just running through.

On a more practical level itís the overkill factor. When you post more than once on a page does your sig link pop up each time?


 1:56 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I became acclimated to sigs on other fora and newsgroups - links to home URLs, contact info, witty (?) quotes, etc.

After hanging out at WebmasterWorld for a while, though, I now find forums that allow lengthy sigs rather bloated in feel. Once you have seen the same quote 20 times, it gets annoying no matter how original it was the first time. Excessive linkage is certainly another concern, although it's a nice thing for the poster if the forum has decent PR.

Before you change your policy, mind if I drop by and contribute a few dozen posts? ;)

Marketing Guy

 3:07 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hehe im glad i took my site out of my profile here! :P

Yeh, I think the sigs are going byebye! :)

Cheers folks


cyril kearney

 3:39 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am definitely for sig lines containing links. I think they help authenticate the writers in any forum. Since no forum is a true cross section and often peopled by cliques (which is not bad per se) it's good to know the affiliation of the comments of the poster.

I'll give you an example. Sometimes negative things are said about certain software products. It would be nice to be able to click on the persons url and see his site to evaluate his comments.

I think comments by people with cutesy-babytalk names make it difficult to evaluate their opinion. How serious should I take a comment from baby-candy-googoo?

I also think that it is a common practice for comments to be made by vendors under the guise of users. If real names and url were used this could be discovered.

Lastly, most of the forum traffic is during business hours. It is perfectly correct to exchange information that furthers the business that's paying your salary. The very least your company should expect is that you are handing out the Internet equivalent of a business-card, your sig line.

Personally, I find that this forum has an anti-business bias so I would seek more opinions than just this forum.

Marketing Guy

 3:46 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Actually my forum doesnīt have that large a business bias - most posts are out of office hours, so it isnt that big a deal.

Plus, users can still include details in their profile.

There is some need for certain users to be able to contact other users, but they can post urls in threads if thatīs the case.

Keep in mind my forum is only a small part of my site, so I have other mechanisms in place for users to get information.

I have removed the signatures from the forum now - so ill see what kinda of impact it has over the next few weeks.



 4:16 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm kind of stumped by the "anti-business bias". I've been under the impression that most posters here are either business owners themselves or work in firms helping other businesses on the web.

I think there is a bias against tacky self-promotion, which isn't quite the same.

Marketing Guy

 4:21 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Eh, roger, there are some of us in this game just for the fun of it you know! ;)

But yeh - perhaps 99% of the members here run there own business, want to one day or work in this profession so I would say the forum certainly isn't anti-business.

Plus, this subject area must be one of the most frequented by spammers, so it is wise to take precautions to maintain the intergity of this forum.



 4:28 pm on Mar 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'd add that sig links aren't always a bad thing - I've seen some newsgroups where experienced posters provide a ton of help to novices, often answering the same questions day after day. I'm sure they occasionally scored a consulting or programming gig from these posts. No doubt part of their motivation was altruistic, but part was certainly mild self promotion. In the case of these newsgroups, the sig file was probably essential to the participation of these experts who provided great free service to other visitors.

Having said that, the crowd here at WebmasterWorld is no less helpful even without sig files. Of course, having a URL in the profile (for those who wish to quietly self-promote) is not a bad substitute.

cyril kearney

 3:44 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

rogerd said:
"I'm kind of stumped by the "anti-business bias". I've been under the impression that most posters here are either business owners themselves or work in firms helping other businesses on the web."

So am I. Here's what gave me that impression. I've found that there is a strong feeling against any form of advertisements. What I've seen is strong comments against html mail, banner ads, any animated ads, flash, sig lines and pop-ups/unders.

Now about 70% of people would strongly prefer TV without any ads and about 40% would strongly prefer the Internet with no advertising. But faced with the alternative of only for-pay TV and the Internet the vast majority of people opt for the free ride where advertising pays the bills.

Now you would think that a group of professionals that work in the business and/or own commercial sites would be more pro-advertising, wouldn't you?

I think what we see here is just a reflection of the overall IT problem where the techies have an ivory tower mentaliity and don't align themselves with their companies business interests.


 4:03 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Now you would think that a group of professionals that work in the business and/or own commercial sites would be more pro-advertising, wouldn't you?

We do, we just don't like ANNOYING advertisements. Seems other people are catching up to our anti-annoying ad sentiment, in fact, resentment for intrusive ads is growing faster on the web than in any other medium.



 4:12 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Now you would think that a group of professionals that work in the business and/or own commercial sites would be more pro-advertising, wouldn't you?

Some major advertisers who spend in excess of $100,000 per month for 1 website are members here, so your thery just doesnt go down with me.

I am not against advertising or business,

just against BAD Advertising and BAD business.

to be frank most people in the so called real world of online advertising would not know their ROI from their Axx.

Webmasterworld has people who with a very small ad budget have managed to beat big multimillion $$$ companies, so if thats anti-business in your opinion, I am shocked!


cyril kearney

 5:17 am on Mar 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

The media buyers do understand ROI. They often express frustration with their IT departments that can not capture the underlining statistics for them.

Thousand page logs are not actionable. Media buys need to know things like: of the 100,000 banner ads we bought from XXX, how many people bought anything and how much did they spend.

Too many webmasters are gathering statistics on which browser are people using rather than answering the question 'are we manking money?'.

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