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I know people don't like to post product names in the forum
I have been wondering about this. Sometimes I find a really good free or cheap product that I want to tell people about, but I am afraid that people would resent having "advertisements" (these are, of course, products that I have no personal interest in). What do people think. Do you want to hear about "excellent free PHP editor" that few people know about, or do you want to avoid going down that road?
So rather than trying to decide which is which, the moderators often prefer to accept none. An imperfect solution, but is there a better one?
I personally would say a software mention is OK, if:
1. You're not directly affiliated with the product.
2. It's a freeware or shareware title... except for the occassional threads discussing the finer points of one of the "big name" software packages. (I don't think anyone here could get "busted" for self-promtion discussing PhotoShop or FrontPage.)
2. You mention the software title, but don't leave a link (especially to commercial titles)... people can search for the title, and that way you avoid "endorsing" a specific retailer or website.
3. You actually give enough information in the post to make it useful... nothing gets "snipped" quicker than a one line post with nothing but a URL...
Just my two cents. ;)
it becomes impossibly difficult to weed out the true "you need to try this" posts from the "I need to make this plug to boost my pagerank, but I'll make it look like a legitimate posting" posts.
Those posts do take some checking out, particularly checking to see if the person has a connection with the product - and that can be very time-consuming. Especially if there are several like it in a thread. I personally check them out whether or not a URL is posted, because name-dropping is a technique used for branding purposes, to get people familiar with the name.
ergophobe, it's not always so much the initial recommendation that's the problem, and I'm sure yours would be just fine, but that downstream in a particular thread someone else, or others, will come along and post for reasons of promotion or solicitation; it's been known to happen. Then the whole thread goes sour, which is a shame.
I can't remember it happening with hardware or certain types of software, but there are other types of things that can be persistent trouble spots - for example, certain types of software or scripts, hosting, domain registration, online tools. And certain of the forums are more prone than others.
So rather than trying to decide which is which, the moderators often prefer to accept none.
That's about the bottom line, though it can't hurt to send a stickymail asking what they think about a particular one.
(edited by: Marcia at 9:59 am (utc) on May 21, 2002)
-member a: check out this cool software http..
-member b: that software is so bad, it smells like week old fish.
-member c: Yes, it really does suck more than a hoover.
-member d: HEY, that;s MY software buddy....
And here we go with the author back tracking a referral and having to defend his product. We've see that one atleast 50 times.
The problem with it are both from a stand point of spam, (where A and D actually a tag team?), and the unseen legal problem of the occasional slander or libel (most c&d's relate to software or commercial services).
Where to draw the line? It's a question we wrestle with constantly. We like to take a hands off approach to moderating where possible. What we run into is the same trouble search engines have: what is spam and how do you identify it? Everytime we come up with a set definition, someone figures out a way around it in short order.
We aren't perfect, and will make mistakes from time to time identifying it, and dealing with it.
With specific regard to software, 100% freeware clean (no spyware/leechware..etc) products are generally not a problem.
Mostly! thanks for recognizing the situation. That education factor does more than anything we could ever do from a policy standpoint.
If those were posted sure enough someone will post a script from their site that's SELLING stuff. Next thing we know someone will post a "FREE" product that isn't - free download to try maybe, but then how much, when it's really shareware.
It only takes a few to spoil it for everyone, and actually rob them of what could be so valuable for all of us to share. THAT is why I hate spammers.
Well, I'm glad I asked in the Community Center before getting screamed (typed??) at in some other forum.