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Why Don't Some Forums Allow Signature Linking?

     
4:19 am on Jun 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hello everyone!

I'm not sure actually is this is the right discussion board for me to discuss this.

I'm jutst curious why some forums don't allow signature linking.

I'm rying to build a forum for our company now but I'm still not into this phase - allowing/disallowing signature linking. Is this related to the coding?

Help guys.

epithet

10:38 am on June 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You may find that allowing signature links encourages spammers to post rubbish in yor forums. There are automated programs that allow them to do this.
3:44 pm on June 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Some forums do that to discourage self promotion, or people making lots of minimal posts just to get their links scattered about the forum. Another reason is the cluttered appearance they can give a forum. I've seen some forums that allow sigs with images, animations, links, quotations, etc. - this can be distracting, and they take up a lot of space. Someone's "I agree completely!" post fills up half the screen, and reading a long thread gets tiring.

Some forums have features that allow the sig to be displayed only the first time a member posts in a thread, or that allow members to disable viewing of signatures.

It's really a forum philosophy issue, not a technical one. Will the forum allow self linking in messages? Do you expect some members to aggressively self promote? Will other members be bothered if they see a lot of links?

9:58 am on June 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I perfectly understand.

I am just curious because I am presently building a forum for our company and I'm already in this part -- to allow or disallow signature linking.

Maybe I would just allow not more than 2 lines of signature for each member, perhaps after several posts. However, I will really remove any post that would advertise or promote something about one's own site or services.

Do you think this is OK guys?

By the way I'm still not convinced why signature linking is a big NO NO in some forums.

Thanks.

epithet

7:39 pm on June 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm in the processing of writing my own forums, and I've decided to cut out the signature section. For nothing more than to reduce page clutter. Just my two cents.
7:28 am on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Is that so aghill?

I have another question by the way, which forum gets more popularity? The one that allows signature linking or the one that does not?

Maybe from the replies to this question I could finally decide what to do with this stuff.

Thanks.

epithet

5:50 am on June 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's just self experience.

If you want have your own experience, build your forum and let everyone adds links. Then, six month later you will say for yourself "Hummmm... they told me it..."

5:55 am on June 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Do you think that other users like seeing the same signatures over and over again? Probably not. I don't.

Perhaps you should make a signature closer to the meaning of the word and either define a fixed format (i.e. enter full name, enter website url, enter 30 character message and have it shown in a fixed unobtrusive format), or perhaps specify that every signature must be a scanned or photographed image of a signature, 200px x 50px dimension in JPEG.

The latter sounds rather interesting to me and would be something memorable about your forum - that posts had signatures in the paper-sense.

9:02 am on June 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have another question by the way, which forum gets more popularity? The one that allows signature linking or the one that does not?

A forum with signatures is definitely more popular with spammers - even if you use nofollow (spammers aren't too bright).

Honest folk generally don't mind either way, unless it's an SEO forum, in which case one or two people will go on and on endlessly about the injustice of it all (even with nofollow - see above).

But you need to do what's right for your forum; I'd go with my 'gut feeling' (I can tell you like them!), but be prepared to rethink later - be clear in your guidelines that all that kinda stuff will be up for review, especially if abused.

Some would argue to start with the minimum, as taking it away later will doubtless enrage those one or two folk. Personally, I'd not worry; no committed member would leave because excess spam forced you to change ... again, your forum, your decision.

Good Luck!

[edited by: Quadrille at 9:04 am (utc) on June 23, 2006]

9:04 am on June 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I cut sigs out of all of my forums a long time ago to reduce the clutter that Roger mentions.

Haven't looked back - the site is just so much cleaner and easier to use.

TJ

10:09 am on June 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hmmmm I suppose majority says NO SIGNATURE LINKING because it solicits spammers.

Actually I wanted to opt for something that allows signatures because I want to gather more people who would at least find some forum friends who might as well be interested with their sites because of the very useful answer they ave given to another member.

epithet

10:20 am on June 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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User Profile pages can always have a homepage URL
8:57 am on June 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hmmm how about if I allow up to two lines of signature for each member? Then perhaps a special section for spams -- promos, advertisements, and other announcements. Also, will this not ruin my entire forum in the long run?

epithet

10:24 am on June 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Then perhaps a special section for spams -- promos, advertisements, and other announcements.

Do you really want that at all? It depends on the nature of the forum of course, but personally I've always found it easier to maintain high quality and high signal to noise by simply not allowing spam/promos in the first place.

Also, will this not ruin my entire forum in the long run?

Which bit are you referring to? If you're referring to having sigs, then personally I wouldn't do it. Again it depends on the nature of the forum, but it tends to lower quality (more so if sigs can use HTML) and raise noise. It's just screen clutter.

TJ

1:59 pm on June 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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how about if I allow up to two lines of signature for each member? Then perhaps a special section for spams -- promos, advertisements, and other announcements. Also, will this not ruin my entire forum in the long run?
If you want a spammers forum, then that would be right on the nail; but if you want a forum that is there and appreciated for the quality of its discussion, then you have it back to front.

People will sign up anywhere for a link (even a nofollow or javascript link) - that doesn't guarantee a scintillating discussion, in fact, most will register and never post a second time.

If you plan to signatures as a marketing incentive, then I fear you are not heading for a successful forum.

Sorry to be blunt, but I'm one who would never join a froum where there are scores of new members making "hello this a great forum" posts - and no-one discussing the issue.

But that's OK - you wouldn't want me as a member ;)

9:13 am on June 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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OK i've actually come up with something that agrees to all of your opinions. I made sure that during the coding, no spams no signatures and no advertisements allowed. OK now guys?

Now I'm thinking of some ways how to code for some posts to appear as sent by somebody anomymous...I want this badly because I am actually working on a forum that would serve as our way to communicate with our superiors in a highly democratic way not autocratic.

epithet

9:31 am on June 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like a good choice for the forum signatures

some posts to appear as sent by somebody anomymous

I might suggest that you have a tickbox for 'send this as an annoymous user' when a logged-in member sends a message. You don't want to allow anyone to spam the board without registering...
6:45 am on June 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So if I have this tickbox vince, anybody's identity who posts in my forum will remain anonymous FOREVER? Is this applicable even when that somebody has a public profile entered in my forum's CP?

epithet