kaled - 10:33 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)
In the following, I am making a general point not picking an argument.
The test isn't
"Is this person connected with the site being promoted"
"Is a site being promoted"
So, logically, if I were to create a great site that solves all sorts of problems, no one would be allowed to link to it in case it was seen as promotion - that's nuts!
Symbiosis - look it up. I can't tell you where to look it up, you'll have to figure that out yourself. I would tell you what to google for, but I'm not really supposed to do that either!
If a site provides a good answer to a genuine question then linking to it should be permitted - that's how the web works. I find it extraordinary that people don't get this. Even if the site in question gets some benefit - that's absolutely fine - you'd understand that if you knew what symbiosis meant, but unfortunately I can't point you in the right direction.
OK, explaining the meaning of a word is a simple problem but there are some really complex problems out there. Consider the age-old problem of a fixed navigation area...
This is generally frowned upon but is that because no one figured out how to do it right or is it because it's somehow bad for users. Personally, I think it's the former. So, if someone asks how to solve this problem, should I
a) Link out to a site that explains roughly how to do it but leaves some problems unsolved
b) Link out to my site that explains in detail how to do it and solves all but one problem. I have considered publishing my solution but haven't actually done so yet.
c) Steal content from one or more sites and post it
d) Suggest a few search terms (i.e. create a vague link)
e) Explain to the user that I'm not permitted to answer the question, even though I know how.
f) Mail a link to the user.
If a site provides answers to questions then it is entitled to some benefit. That benefit could be considered by some people to be promotion - that's fine - symbiosis - look it up (if you know where to do so).