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Forum Moderators: lawman
So far this board has not had a very big problem with people posting commercialized messages. However, as we become more popular, I see the growing need for a policy on url dropping.
I've thought about this issue a great deal both from a user standpoint and from an admin standpoint.
Knowing where to draw the line is very difficult. Where should we draw the line?
On one hand if we allow the open posting of url's in messages, I think we all can imagine the board would become a message spammers paradise. The quality of messages would deteriorate very rapidly to the point you wouldn't want to visit. Afterall, we are all promotion people and are quite good at dropping urls.
On the other, there are times when referencing a url is right on track with the topic at hand.
Lastly, there is the liability and association factor involved. It is users who are placing content on the system. Having to check every url to see that it doesn't lead to an adult or unethical page would be difficult. Nothing is to say the poster might not change the url at a later date.
Looking at other forum systems, I can see some that are far too restrictive, while others are too permissive. Ones that are too restrictive lose many good posters, and ones that are too open end up trashed out with promotional posts.
What happens when open posting of urls is allowed, is that users start to leave posts just to drop urls. Hey, we are promotion people and some of us are experts at the art of url dropping (yes, this includes me).
While formulating a policy on this, I would appreciate user feedback. Remember the comments of United States president Harry S. Truman, ...decisions are made by those who show up.
If on the other hand, like in the text editor discussion, the URL's are relevant and make the discussion more useful and informative AND they are not your own URL then that is ok?
It is really a fine line, there are many "tag teams" out there that promote each other's URL's so as not to promote their own, which just frustrates all the users that are playing nice.
IMO a combination of sound judgement by the moderators and a clearly stated public policy is the key, whether that turns out to be "no url's" whatsoever policy, or ok only if not your own product or service.
>(from the moderators forum) Certainly, moderators should know better than to post blatant adverts for their services.
Well, (he says, as he slips on his Devil's Advocate hat) I'm not even so sure about that. I'm John Q. User, I come to this forum seeking advice on cloaking, I know you guys have the short list. What's wrong with a 'who-does-what' roster of links?
Here's a (dumb/short-sighted?) off-the-cuff idea. What if we allowed regular users to maintain a single post in a similar public thread --an online quickie resume' of sorts? And everyone was asked to simply point to that thread for blatant commercials, and told -up front- that commercial posts would be repointed to this forum without any sort of notice or edit marker.
It would also help build/reinforce a strong profile system, which a good forum should have.
What about info-mercials? Pages maintained by consultants on their own sites that answer questions directly. Take a look at the Sales Tax [webmasterworld.com] thread. What if the link out went to an ecommerce web designer's own page on sales tax issues?
Am I just....completely insane? (Don't answer that..)
I thought this forum had some sort of ranking system...for example, I am a "Junior Member"... which I assume means 'peon'. So, since you already have a "ranking" thing in place, just let the 'non peon' rankings list their urls. I guess that would be Preferred members and Admins.
If another member wants to see someone else's url, they can request it be sent to the email address listed in their profile. That person would have to put an email address in their profile..at least until they received the url.
Peon and Proud! :>
It might have to be taken on a case by case approach by the mods of each cat. This would also mean that there needs to be a bunch more mods or else Brett will be so busy moderating he won't get anything else done.
I would suggest making the tutorial section of the site a seperate entity that doesn't actually link back into the site but only has contact info.
There is also the possibility that we are blowing the situation up bigger than it has to be. Blantant adverts are easy to spot and generally forum regulars will report them to mods pretty quick for deletion.
Pro or not, you have been here a while. My point was someone like you having been on this forum a long time, would "know the rules" of this BB. You are probably not going to post some blatent spammy url. A newbie, on the other hand, not knowing any better, might just do that.
Since the ranking system is already there, and since there is the concern of spam, allowing more previlages based on seniority might be something easy to implement.
Yes? Errr not? Or would that make it more of a pain..?
I agree about the blatant adverts being overblown, but I think that this thread really got its start with what to do with pro's tutorials (because alot of pros are gathering here --for whatever the reason). Not being an SEO pro myself, I like having links out to tutorials if they directly answer the topic. Personally, I think we'll get the best updates in this manner. Many are tired of writing about some items that crop up over and over again, yet would willingly drop in an url to a page maintained on such-and-such subject.
> someone like you having been on this forum a long time, would "know the rules" of this BB. You are probably not going to post some blatent spammy url
A very good point. Actually, a low post count is built into my own spam meter.
I would be willing to host a tutorial site and publish up all the tutorials. I would make it searchable etc and create categories to match the different forums. This might be a good way to do it as it would be more of a neutral site - we could all just say 'pop over to blah blah and check it out'. I would only ask that you let me put up some banners to help cover cost.