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Old 10-05-2007, 09:17 AM   #21
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I've always appreciated the "new neighbor" policy.

When a new neighbor arrives, offering a pleasant welcome and treating them with courtesy is what reasonable people do.

Should the neighbor almost immediately try to sell you on a pyramid scheme, some sort of "investment" scheme, or want to tell you about Amway...put them out with a shovel.

If the neighbor is a nice person and notes that their brother does home renovation and should you be interested, can do work on your house for a discounted rate (and leaves it at that), thats swell.

Someone who is a longtime neighbor who has contributed much to the community and wants to launch a commercial enterprise or offering, such as a book, service, a community service, etc...its reasonable to support them and for them to expect support.

Acting as the devils advocate, if this is a feeler for a process that would allow people trying to sell products and services, without those people having been a contributing member of this society, in order to leverage a little extra profit...I dont think that would be well received.
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Old 10-05-2007, 09:26 AM   #22
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As Rich and Janet says, the problem is the gray zone situations. But that is what moderators are for, to exercise some judgment. You can't write a rule for everything. Posters can report spam or posters that look like they bear watching. Moderators can delete clear spam and ban spammers. Short of that, they can send warnings and edit posts. And I agree with CFB: after someone has been here a while it isn't so bad if they also want to mention some commercial venture they are working on.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:39 AM   #23
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Just to show you that I'm not a hard-hearted man, I will go for the 1 warning rule.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:49 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Andy R View Post
I agree with you all, we don't want the riffraft but this is an age old problem. Just like I might want a dog that does not poop, they don't exist. So not having spammers is going to be impossible. That means we need to decide what to do with them. I can indeed setup an ignore forum function on the New Post link and also prevent posts from certain forums from showing up on the portal page. Then we could setup a forum at the very bottom of the page for them to post their poop. If they don't poop where they are supposed to then they get sent packing.
Once again I am playing devil's advocate here just trying to stress the fact that we always have had spammers and we will continue to have spammers. So this was just an idea.
Other things that I think we should do is be vigilant and educate new members about the rules during the registration that (spamming is NOT allowed). I will change the text in the registration process to be very clear about commercial parties SPAMMING the boards. I think this will help but it's only one piece.
Geez, Andy, is there some kind of problem with the status quo? Are admins or moderators having a tough time figuring out spam and either warning the offenders or sending them packing? Is there anything wrong with the current registration boilerplate or the numerous "read this first" posts that some of us have already put in place?

Are we fixing non-existent problems or just trying to overcomplicate things?
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:50 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Geez, Andy, is there some kind of problem with the status quo? Are admins or moderators having a tough time figuring out spam and either warning the offenders or sending them packing? Is there anything wrong with the current registration boilerplate or the numerous "read this first" posts that some of us have already put in place?

Are we fixing non-existent problems or just trying to overcomplicate things?
I think we are talking about revenue enhancement strategies, not how best to deal with spammers. But "management" would rather beat around the bush.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:27 AM   #26
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AndyR,

If I were king, there would be no special forum and zero tolerance for posting links that the poster can profit from. This would include links in the body of a post or in a person's signature or in their profile.

If I, as an ER.org reader, think highly enough of someone's contributions to the board, and have need of a product or service that they could provide to me, then I can PM them and ask for that information, and they can respond if they want.

Your devil's advocate post above smacks more of arguing with what seemed to me to be a solid consensus. Usually when I play devil's advocate I am asking questions instead of restating my point. I do somewhat appreciate your apparently begrudging acknowledgement that maybe you'll do it the way most here want it, but it strikes me as not listening. That kind of garbage makes me consider leaving.

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Old 10-05-2007, 11:44 AM   #27
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The line between spam and every day self-promotion is often fuzzy. We are likely to have ongoing issues with new users who register, scan or don't read what ever guidelines we have and then post in a somewhat spammy way as an intro. In my short time here I have seen this repeatedly. Some are truly just cruising for business, others are interested in the board, but include a commercial link in their signature, much the way you might include a link or e-mail address in a signature block. Unfortunately, both these kinds of new members are tarred with the same brush and some potentially good members have been driven away to chants of "spammer".
I think you nailed it, Janet. The problem is that it's "fuzzy." And that means we'll have different ideas about who needs to banned. The result is that the membership here often feels the need to police the site themselves rather than letting the moderators exercise their judgement.

So, even if we *should* leave the fuzzy calls to moderators, there's going to be a riot if some poster doesn't pass some self-appointed sitecop's sniff test.

My suggestion would be to explicitly forbid any self-promotion, since that's the ethic here, and let the moderators exercise their judgement in who gets disciplined. Personally, I think the self-appointed sitecops need just as much moderation as the self-promotors, but that's just me.
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:15 PM   #28
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Thanks again for your input. This is not at all about creating another revenue source. Vendor's forums on other forums have worked (I don't make money from them) and I wanted to see if some people wanted to try it out. I do hear you and I am not trying to smack around the consensus, I was just playing devil's advocate to see if the idea got any traction from the other 430 people that have visited in the last day and did not chime in. I am not trying to make something simple complex but I do think it's wise for us to challenge the way we think to look for better solutions over time. We may not always find a better solution but it can't hurt to think through the process and try.
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:41 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Acting as the devils advocate, if this is a feeler for a process that would allow people trying to sell products and services, without those people having been a contributing member of this society, in order to leverage a little extra profit...I dont think that would be well received.
Unfortunately this thought is also uppermost in my mind. Management seems to like this idea- why? Might the new new dog walking area be a revenue generator? If so, I imagine we will be getting it, no matter what we vote. Remember, "this is a private business and the owner can do what ever legal thing he wants".

The most useful fianncial product salespeople who have come by are those who contributed to some thread or other, and mentioned their position, or pointed to a white paper or website. Not everything offered for money is junk-though much of it is I admit. I would think that by destroying trust, letting spammers around might also destroy traffic and capital value of the site.

Still, remember Gresham's Law: Bad whatever drives out good.

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Old 10-05-2007, 01:51 PM   #30
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Unfortunately this thought is also uppermost in my mind. Management seems to like this idea- why? Might the new new dog walking area be a revenue generator? If so, I imagine we will be getting it, no matter what we vote. Remember, "this is a private business and the owner can do what ever legal thing he wants".
Ironically, I see this as an example of the prevailing ethic here. No matter what AndyR contributes to the site, people will distrust his self-interest and view anything he says as having some hidden profit agenda.

Since the prevailing ethic here is obviously "don't even try to exploit me, mofo!" I see that as the reason that self-promotion of any kind should be explicitly banned. It goes against the grain, and the membership gets uptight upon sniffing even the slightest hint of it.
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:58 PM   #31
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I just wanted to reiterate that there is no financial driven motives to this discussion. I hear you and based on the discussion we are not going to have a forum for this. I was just an idea that has worked well on other sites.

I am looking for health insurance now that I am back in the States (I had international coverage from Lloyds while I was abroad) and has an insurance person posted in a forum like this I would have probably given them a call to get a quote. Some people might be looking for an adviser, or some other service. That was part of the logic driving my thoughts.
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:02 PM   #32
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Ironically, I see this as an example of the prevailing ethic here. No matter what AndyR contributes to the site, people will distrust his self-interest and view anything he says as having some hidden profit agenda.

Since the prevailing ethic here is obviously "don't even try to exploit me, mofo!" I see that as the reason that self-promotion of any kind should be explicitly banned. It goes against the grain, and the membership gets uptight upon sniffing even the slightest hint of it.
A subtle observation, Sir.

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Old 10-05-2007, 02:04 PM   #33
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A subtle observation, Sir.
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:07 PM   #34
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I am looking for health insurance now that I am back in the States (I had international coverage from Lloyds while I was abroad) and has an insurance person posted in a forum like this I would have probably given them a call to get a quote. Some people might be looking for an adviser, or some other service. That was part of the logic driving my thoughts.
There was a life and health guy from California who posted for a short while about 3 years ago. I contacted him and he was very helpful. You may be able to find his posts by searching. I bought insurance from a broker in Oregon who is licensed in OR and WA only. He also was very helpful, and has a good website.

I believe I still have this guy's contact info.

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Old 10-05-2007, 04:08 PM   #35
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Did this issue come up because of the Viatical b@$t@rd that posted?
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:42 PM   #36
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nah, it's just something that I wanted to hear your feedback on. The message is loud and clear. So now we can put together a plan to make sure new members know the rules so when they do screw up they can't say "I didn't know".
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:42 PM   #37
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Andy, thanks much for soliciting our input. I like your idea about a specific forum for sales pitches, as long as I can make it disappear for me (not show up in new posts, or on a forum list, or especially searches). A heavy-duty ignore forum feature like that would come in handy for ignoring other forums.

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Old 10-05-2007, 06:34 PM   #38
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So now we can put together a plan to make sure new members know the rules so when they do screw up they can't say "I didn't know".
I thought that had been done already. In fact ignorance of the rules was no excuse for at least the last two years.
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Old 10-06-2007, 09:55 AM   #39
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Andy, since you wanted to hear from others, let me add that I agree with the concensus. No special forum for self promotion, there are plenty of ways to find these ads and services if someone is interested. Le the moderators do their job and of course, other posters always seem to be willing to assist.
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