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My business cards are in the number two position. Spreading business cards around is like chumming the waters. Real business comes in from them time after time.
It strikes me that we are doing ourselves a disservice by not including a signature line with our urls. It is a very professional thing to refer business to associates. By and large we are closing off this avenue under the current rules.
I see myself over and over again responding to posts in a generic way and not being able to cite my own product.
However, since no one is a forum member of the products that compete with me, people are free to mention these products by name and even give out the url. (Please understand that the products mentioned are certainly better know than mine.)
I don't see this as my problem only; I can't see why professional webmasters and small business owners would want to cloak their own identity and allow their competitors urls to be discussed and recommended.
Sure I know that I can read someone's profile and get information on him or her but this forum's practice leaves me puzzled.
Knowing which company the poster is from allows me at ascess the persons post. Are they saying glowing things about Linus while working for Red Hat is an example.
Does anyone else see this as a business issue?
I've spent a lot of time at other forums that have a more liberal sig policy, and without exception, they all have a much higher amount of tag-team drive-by type posts that have no value other than providing promotion for a specific product. These types of posts can be quite harmful to new users who aren't aware of the true intent of the post.
Not allowing blatant self promotion in these forums forces those who show up initially interested in just picking up some new business, to have to stick around and contribute on a regular basis. If you do that, you build a level of credibility and people will view your profile. If you're not willing to do that, then the board is better off.
I actually think you are a perfect example of why it's a better system. Your original post [webmasterworld.com] Was in the forum that directly relates to what you do and the original question was about issues directly related to your product. Since then, you've contributed many quality posts across several forums, which have been beneficial to many people. Can you honestly say that would have happened if you were able to drop a plug in your original post that sent people to your site?
Your answer very well could be yes, and I certainly wouldn't question it if it were, but the reality is that in most cases, the answer is no. This board has a ton of quality members who originally showed up to promote, but ended up sticking around, and that's good for everyone involved.
I can accept this. I get value from this board and expect that many others do too.
Over and over my direct competition has their urls included in posts. But I can not include mine.
So the guys not posting to this board have a built-in advantage over the guys that are.
I know it must hurt to see the competition getting drops and recommendations, but I have to agree with the "official line" here. If we were allowed to include URLs in sigs, I suspect this board would rapidly degenerate into another URL drop-off point. You can have your URL in your profile (and I know I flick through many of the listed sites, and I suspect many others do too), but if one could do it, everyone could, and a lot of the good stuff would get drowned out. Result: you still wouldnt get the result you want, cos everyone you want to target would leave
If you want to improve the visibility of your own products, talk to the mods about it. If there is a valid reason why your product is better than X or Y and you dont abuse their goodwill, they may allow you to post promotion for yourself every now and again.
The other solution I think would be to involve some of the "power-posters" with your products. If you hand out some 3 or 6 month demos to the top 10 or 20 bods here, and the service and results are good, you may start to see your URL being dropped along with your competitors.
I know there are certain names I ALWAYS pay attention to, and if you could get a selection of them to agree to roadtest your stuff, and to talk about the results that should have the desired effect.
People here are interested in getting "the edge". If you can supply it, you will get the mentions, I'm sure
The answer would be a bad one.
I take what people say in this forum as honest and sound advice it may not always be correct but i believe it to honest.
PS I always check peoples profiles just incase ;)