Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby Webdongle » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:17 am

AmyStephen wrote:...
That's the definition of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_mentality
...

en contraire ... allowing users to post links to their own sites would cause the 'crab mentality'. Because then users would be squabbling on whose was a helpful link and whose was mainly for the purpose of 'Self promotion'.



AmyStephen wrote:...
Conversely, you could personally decide to champion the approach to testing that you believe is better, opening a forum thread and driving involvement, answering questions, while allowing another member of the community to contribute in his or her way.
...
I did over 2 years ago https://groups.google.com/d/msg/joomlab ... vT7u_DlZkJ ... the RC packages have been available via the Joomla Updater for a while now. It was not up to me to introduce mass testing of RC's to the forum. The concept of mass testing of RC's was brought to the forum by mbabker ... why he did it and why he suggested a different component I have no idea.

It was then discussed and agreed that the existing method ... of using the Testing channel in the Joomla updater component ... would be continued to be used for testing RC updates. Wiki docs was edited to reflect the method of testing RC updates and a 'sticky' placed in the forum



AmyStephen wrote:...
How is it better to stop him from trying?
...
No one is stopping him from trying. All that is being said that for Victor to start a new thread that promotes his method ... after the the discussion ... detracts from the efforts (of the regular bugsquad members) to consolidate the tests.




AmyStephen wrote:...
...
All those crabs in the bucket could get free if they stopped pulling one another down. It's not fair that one escape! So, they all stay trapped.
...
But this forum is not the platform for 'all those crabs' to get free advertising.




AmyStephen wrote:...
I see no benefit to stopping people from trying to build involvement.
Victors thread did nothing to build involvement with the existing system of testing bugs. It (all be it unintentionally) had everything to do with a component linked to his commercial services. His thread caused this 'crab mentality' to surface.

There are some that want the rule changed because they want free advertising and some because they think it unfair. This whole squabble has come about because of Victor's post and many users are upset because they think he is using his position to get free advertising ... and to circumvent the rules. (I make no allegations ... just pointing out why some people are upset about this)

At its summit meeting in Boston on November 6, 2013, the directors of the Board of Open Source Matters, Inc., admitted two candidates as members of the organization and directors of the board: Victor Drover and Joe Sonne.

Victor joined the board in August as our preferred candidate for Treasurer. His election to the officer role of Treasurer was dependent on recent Bylaws changes, which were voted on earlier that day. Following the bylaws vote and Vic's admission as member and director, in a second motion, the directors appointed Vic to the position of Treasurer
.

http://opensourcematters.org/news.html

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby AmyStephen » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:49 am

Webdongle wrote:It was then discussed and agreed that the existing method ... of using the Testing channel in the Joomla updater component ... would be continued to be used for testing RC updates. Wiki docs was edited to reflect the method of testing RC updates and a 'sticky' placed in the forum

And, people *can* still use the Updater Component. =)

Webdongle wrote:I
AmyStephen wrote:...
How is it better to stop him from trying?
...
No one is stopping him from trying. All that is being said that for Victor to start a new thread that promotes his method ... after the the discussion ... detracts from the efforts (of the regular bugsquad members) to consolidate the tests.


More testers complement the work of the Bug Squad. The shared goal should be to increase testing. Tonie's definitions above are very appropriate for what is and what is not self promotion. Not everyone has to use the same approach -- getting more people involved is a very good thing.

Maybe a trial period of time where the moderators watch the testing effort closely might help? That way, each time a RC comes out everyone knows Vic will create a thread and work to involve community, hopefully sharing stats over time that show involvement, it could be done in a very open way.

In the end, if it helps improve involvement and testing, if the moderators are comfortable that it was done in a way that it benefits the project, if the PLT feels it helps improve the quality of the release, if the Bug Squad manages to get a few new members, then it could be a good model for future community driven effort in the forums.

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby Leftfield » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:26 am

AmyStephen wrote:Change comes because people enable change. In this case, it's not the moderators who are preventing change but they are being used to stop it, due to the rules.
Amy, I Am for a lot of changes but not for the change which will kick us in the back. Moderation would be impossible and this Forum would be spammed. Hard. It is spammed now, with that rule. But you can't see it because a LOT of work has been done on hourly base to prevent it.

1. Anyone asked for statistic about this rule? *How hard our forum is spammed with links and wildest "self promotion"
2. Anyone asked is it plausible to stop spammers if this rule let them link all over?

Already written: this rule is black or white. No middle and noone likes it. Neither Mods. But, in this particular case, it is impossible to break it and find individual solution. Impossible.

Mathematically speaking: when number of spammers go down and number of people who will not abuse this forum raise up, only then the conditions will allow to talk about it. For now the difference is so big, that any chance that this forum works normally is equal to zero.

Is it clear now?

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby alikon » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:41 am

All
please stay on topic
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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby infograf768 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:23 am

leolam wrote:The corresponding forum post I entered has received so far 41.378

This is exactly what I mean:
This link should have been entered fully as
viewtopic.php?f=710&t=793171

We should add a new rule similar to the signature one to prevent this as anything can be hidden behind the term "forum post".
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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby Webdongle » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:00 pm

Leftfield wrote:...
1. Anyone asked for statistic about this rule? *How hard our forum is spammed with links and wildest "self promotion"
2. Anyone asked is it plausible to stop spammers if this rule let them link all over?
...

  1. Never asked because I am constantly reporting spam links(they often get added to old topics I am subscribed to)
  2. Those who don't want the rule changed don't need to because they realise that many of the ones that want it changed will ... link to their site with every chance they get when replying to a thread.


alikon wrote:All
please stay on topic
As far as I can see everyone is staying on topic(since the moderation of some comments) with valid examples to illustrate the point they are trying to make. Even Amy's analogy about crabs in a bucket was on topic ... only she got it the wrong way around. She argued the crabs should be let out of the bucket instead of arguing that they should be kept in the bucket to stop them leaving promotional links all over the site.

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby BenTasker » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:27 pm

This is exactly what I mean:
This link should have been entered fully as
viewtopic.php?f=710&t=793171


I disagree, if it's a link to the Forum it would be much better posted as Forum: Practical Guide Upgrade Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3.x

The link is of no use to anyone if you have to click it to see what it is IMO.

Already written: this rule is black or white. No middle and noone likes it. Neither Mods. But, in this particular case, it is impossible to break it and find individual solution. Impossible.


Nothing is ever impossible. Though whether it's worth the workload is another question, not to mention whether users would like the 'failsafes'. For example we could have a captcha when posting a reply/starting a thread, but I for one would hate it.


This thread makes interesting reading, and I'm not entirely sure where I sit on it (largely on the fence I guess). If you're replying with a link that's relevant to the question (and the information isn't on Joomla docs, or is there but is inaccurate) then I can't see the harm (of course, if the docs. info is inaccurate, I'd also hope you correct it).

If we can't do that, then as others observe, questions tend to go unanswered - if you can answer something in 5 seconds flat with documentation on your site, spending even 10 minutes trying to find the same information elsewhere can feel like a lot of work (I know some of the non-Joomla stuff on my site is impossible to find, everyone else just links to the info).

The flip-side though, is that moderation gets harder and we get squabbles about what is and isn't self-promotion, which will only serve to divide the community. But in return users asking questions might find they get better answers. Whether that's enough to offset the potential consequences I can't decide.

I think there needs to be a grey area though, as an example:

I've done quite a lot of work getting Joomla to work behind reverse-caching-proxies (NGinx and Varnish) as there are various (site-specific) gotchas. Don't often see questions on it, but if I did, the easiest way to answer the question would be to link to the relevant documentation on my site.

Could I add the info to docs.joomla? Sure, but the odds are it would go out of date pretty quickly, and that's essentially doubling my investment of time in documenting what I've found (my site is primarily a resource for me, so all my (public safe) documentation goes on there).

One thing I'm quite unlikely to do, is replicate that information in a forum post, especially as I'd (presumably) have to re-clarify which bits are general, and which are Joomla specific.


What I'm getting at (albeit taking the long way round), is if the question is quite niche is a link not a reasonable option? Ultimately it'd have to come down to a moderators decision.

The last thing I'd say though is (as was observed earlier in the thread):

What happens if the site you've linked to dissappears?

Perhaps an appropriate workaround would be the one used on Stackoverflow/Serverfault - if you want to post a link that's fine, but also post the relevant bits of the content needed to answer the question (i.e. answer the question but credit the source).
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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby Webdongle » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:39 pm

BenTasker wrote:If you're replying with a link that's relevant to the question (and the information isn't on Joomla docs, or is there but is inaccurate) then I can't see the harm
And then when a mod says no it is not a relevant link the OP complains that others have made similar links to their site. Or the mods don't edit the post and other users claim the link is more promotional than helpful. Then we get the squabbling. Also the forum would be full of posts that mods would need to check ... thus increasing their 'work load'.

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby AmyStephen » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:49 pm

Hey Leftfield =)

I do have a sense of how much spam is dropped on this forum on a regular basis. Moderators do a great job of clearing that clutter so that the forums remain a helpful resource for users.

Known community members are a little different in my opinion, though. In order to build a community, people have to take on responsibilities and share solutions to shared problems. So, my suggestion is to try to support some of those initiatives where someone is doing so by viewing it as "contributing", not "self promotion."

I've asked this question on Twitter:
Do you have a rule against "self promoting" to prohibit sharing ones own posts, doc, software in your support forums?


I am not finding any other projects which do this. Generally, the response has been that the communities, through peer feedback, tend to take care of this, if someone's self promotion gets out of hand.

As support moves to resources like Stack Exchange, people seem to find a way organically to share resources and keep self promotion on healthy levels without need for moderation. Many projects have given up project specific forums and use those non-project-specific solutions, instead.

I kind of hate to see that but if it is impossible to empower community so that they can share with each other without all the suspicion and judgement, then moving to shared resources like Stack Exchange is probably a reasonable direction.

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby Webdongle » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:46 pm

AmyStephen wrote:I am not finding any other projects which do this. ...
"Sometimes the majority just means that all the fools are on the same side". Besides which other projects do not have as many users with a company based on the project. Many volunteers in this forum have a business that relies on Joomla.


AmyStephen wrote:... Generally, the response has been that the communities, through peer feedback, tend to take care of this, if someone's self promotion gets out of hand.
Better not to let it get out of hand in the first place than to spend time searching for and squabbling about what is and what isn't self promotion.

AmyStephen wrote:As support moves to resources like Stack Exchange,
Is that an attempt at auto suggestion to try and sway members to your way of thinking (by the fear of loosing forum users) ... or do you know of plans to move support to stack exchange ?

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby NathanHawks » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:16 pm

Joomla has always thrived because the third-party groups which support it, are allowed to grow their own gardens. If Joomla.org is trending towards a wall and denial policy towards those gardens, that's dumb and suicide. I suspect that is not what's happening here, and we can all calm down.

Fact: People who provide support on a long-term basis here, have ulterior (read: animal survival) motives. Sometimes you can say that the more vested those motives, the more helpful they'll be / they've been.

Yes, it's possible to subvert this, which is why I have a suggestion that takes care of it:

1. Implement "Thanks."
Give it a weight system, chained to the current ranking system or its successor. See below for why this is safe.

2. Clean house in the user tables.
There are so many user table entries here whose signal:noise ratio is 0:1 no matter what N is. Delete from user tables where user id is those users, using data from spam reporting.

3. Automate #2 above by protecting users according to #1 above.
Users who are not deleted are valuable. Users who gain user ranks, are more valuable. Users who are voted as being waste, by highly valuable users, are queued for moderator deletion. Users who are deleted, see their posts and votes (and tabulations from votes) deleted.

4. Privilege users with similar logic.
Users who are Thanked by users who are not deleted and who are increasingly valuable, are increasingly privileged/given benefit of doubt.

We invest in Joomla with our time and get credibility for our effort. This, I suspect, was always intended. Y'all are just having trouble having a conversation about it.

PS:

5. Retabulate regularly.
Someone decides to cash in their earned rep and flip to the Dark Side? Welcome to the memory hole, courtesy this site's next cron cycle.

PPS:

6. Be safe.
Additional protections will make this go smoothly: don't delete posts upon retabulation, queue them for moderator handling; provide moderators ways both to nullify spam/thanks reports individually (with logging) in rare Crusader cases, and to downvote a user's ability to flag-as-spam and vote-Thanks in more-common Vindictive Jerk Must Be Allowed To Participate cases; quarantine rejected links instead of deleting them, for protection against moderator collusion/corruption; in short, trust the tabulations and moderators but verify them by reporting to humans; put human eyeballs on the various Delete buttons and make sure everything can be Undeleted in case of the all-too-thinkable.
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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby Webdongle » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:32 pm

@NathanHawks

Creating a hierarchy/privilege system giving some members more rights than others to post self promoting links ... that is a joke yes ? You are trying to highlight the squabbling that would result in the changing of the rule ... yes ?

This forum survives because the mods apply the same rules to all (at least they do their human best to apply them fairly).

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby NathanHawks » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:48 pm

Webdongle wrote:@NathanHawks

Creating a hierarchy/privilege system giving some members more rights than others to post self promoting links ... that is a joke yes ? You are trying to highlight the squabbling that would result in the changing of the rule ... yes ?

This forum survives because the mods apply the same rules to all (at least they do their human best to apply them fairly).


I'm not suggesting an elaborate scheme, no. I'm suggesting a survival period after which one exits probation and is allowed to link the same domain in the body, as they're allowed to link in their sig.

Having reached Guru status I can say the bar should be set higher than Guru status. 500 is too small a number by far to guarantee that N would be high enough to judge a user's intentions toward Joomla.org's link strength/ mind share.
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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby Webdongle » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:17 pm

NathanHawks wrote:...
I'm not suggesting an elaborate scheme, no. I'm suggesting a survival period after which one exits probation and is allowed to link the same domain in the body, as they're allowed to link in their sig.....

To use that system for allowing links in posts is unfair ... and would still lead to the same squabbling between the users that had reached that threshold. It does nothing to define which self promotional links are helpful and which are not.

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby NathanHawks » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:52 pm

Webdongle wrote:
NathanHawks wrote:...
I'm not suggesting an elaborate scheme, no. I'm suggesting a survival period after which one exits probation and is allowed to link the same domain in the body, as they're allowed to link in their sig.....

To use that system for allowing links in posts is unfair ... and would still lead to the same squabbling between the users that had reached that threshold. It does nothing to define which self promotional links are helpful and which are not.

Once a forums-user has proven they are helpful, they gain the ability to post links. Proven helpful = can post links. Not yet proven helpful = cannot post links. Previously helpful but cashing in = links are removed and user loses the privilege. So, I beg to differ, it will be extremely effective in allowing only helpful links. It would allow experienced volunteers to spend less time helping more people.

Is it a service to Joomla's users to shield them from the best help available unless it comes from joomla.org? Is it a service to volunteers to create an environment where every single question has to be answered with a full concierge approach? Appeals to fairness can be made from both sides of the argument.
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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby leolam » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:43 pm

I have to continue this discussion since I am missing the guidance from CLT.

In this discussion I have pointed out a few issues which I consider are "support-stopping" I have been told here in this post I think that the forum rules stand and that linking back to one's own site is considered self-promoting and not allowed.

Despite not agreeing with this I have to accept this being an active member of this community.

However I have recently over the past few weeks reported multiple offenses to this policy and nothing has been done with it by the Global Moderators. The links in the posts are still present and no action is taken.

I like to know where we are at present especially where multiple users with links to their guides and tutorials are allowed seemingly despite being reported (I reported with own objection against the rule).

So can we now finally clarify this since I get really sick of copy/paste a lot of info from our own gws-desk.com website to the forums where others are simply allowed to link back to their website (and I am not talking 'signatures!)

So asking the CLT to define strict standards/rules for all and do not restrict individuals? If I want to reply to a post regarding "How we make strong usernames/passwords" I am not allowed according to the 'rules' to post http://gws-desk.com/tips-and-tricks/usi ... -passwords ........ According to the rules I have to copy/paste that. @ Mods: just an example to make the point!

I can point you to countless posts I have reported over the past 6 weeks with similar links where no action has been taken by Moderation so what is policy at present?

Thanks in advance for a reply from CLT?

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby ozneilau » Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:54 am

Thanks Leo for raising this and sorry for joining the discussion so late.

I had a link to my own website deleted yesterday at viewtopic.php?f=714&t=957620#p3506989 and this has been bothering me.

Bakual wrote:The truth is that people don't go and add the information to docs.joomla.org so they can share the link in the forum post. They just don't answer if they are not allowed to post direct links.

The same with extensions. They rather just leave it to the asker to search the links himself or don't bother to post. Both is not really helpful for the user.
As Bakual points out, if I can't easily share information to answer questions, I'm just not going to bother answering the question.

While the current rules might make it easier for moderators, it's not helping users get answers to their questions which I assume is why we're all here in the first place.

If a strict policy is going to endure (rightly or wrongly), then please please please at the very least change the wording in the rules which currently say:
Posting and making excessive, inappropriate and unnecessary references to your products and websites is self promotion.
If the idea is to reduce moderator effort, the rule needs to expressly point out that links to your own website are not allowed.

Thanks, and if any one's looking for me, I'll be at http://joomla.stackexchange.com

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby Webdongle » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:10 am

Agree
Any posts deemed to be self promotion, advertising, or spam can and will be removed. NO SPAM - NO ADVERTISING eg. Posting and making excessive, inappropriate and unnecessary references to your products and websites is self promotion.
Suggests that self promotional 'references to your products and websites' are allowed to some extent !!!

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby ozneilau » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:29 pm

Webdongle wrote:Agree
Any posts deemed to be self promotion, advertising, or spam can and will be removed. NO SPAM - NO ADVERTISING eg. Posting and making excessive, inappropriate and unnecessary references to your products and websites is self promotion.
Suggests that self promotional 'references to your products and websites' are allowed to some extent !!!

Thanks Kevin,

May I humbly suggest (if as it seems is the current practice), the above rule be changed to:

Any posts deemed to be self promotion, advertising, or spam can and will be removed. NO SPAM - NO ADVERTISING eg. Posting references to your products and websites is self promotion.

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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby sozzled » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:21 pm

Thanks, Neil, for discovering this topic and for your comments. As with most long-standing members of this forum, I've had a couple of messages redacted by the forum moderators for appearing to be "self-promotional" in intent. It's a moot point whether making a reference within the forum to an article on one's own website might intentionally serve some self-promotional purpose or not; it's clearly a case of how other people within the community perceive these things, whether they're reported to the moderators and whether or not the moderators take action as they see is appropriate in the circumstances.

The current rule is
Any posts deemed to be self promotion, advertising, or spam can and will be removed. NO SPAM - NO ADVERTISING eg. Posting and making excessive, inappropriate and unnecessary references to your products and websites is self promotion.
I understand that could be difficult to adjudicate on whether the contents of a message posted on the forum are "advertising" or what can be construed as "excessive" references to one's own website.

Some things would be fairly obvious, however: signage in letters that stands 3 metres tall would, I would contend, be clearly seen as advertising ... and excessive advertising at that.

One of the biggest problems involved in replying to questions asked on the forum is that the subjects are often those that are repeated over and over again and we, who try to steer newcomers towards a background understanding of [often] extremely complex theory, have difficulty wording our replies in ways that suit everyone. So, in order to give these discussions more comprehensive treatment, we write our articles (illustrate them with pictures, slideshows or videos) and, as much as we might like to give the users of the forum direct access to those things, we're hamstrung by the rules of the forum. We're limited to leave breadcrumbs, references to other topics where those questions have been asked (and where they may not have been adequately answered) or the results of Google searches, and hope that people might use their commonsense to search the internet to find what they really need.

The point being, there's nothing common about commonsense.

I agree that there should be some latitude in applying the current rule as it's written, i.e. direct links to one's own [elaborately-written and beautifully choreographed] articles should be tolerated to some extent. By and large, the forum moderators do a pretty decent job. I get along pretty well with them and I really appreciate the difficult (and mostly thankless) task that they've thrown themselves into. Sometimes we don't always agree and sometimes I come off by not "winning" my point. Nothing and no-one is perfect.

The current forum rule(s) about self-promotion are broad enough to allow for the human touch—to accept, or reject, what fits with one's own interpretation—and sometimes it's a case of vive la différence.
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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby ozneilau » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:15 am

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your thoughtful and reasoned input.

I understand too well that moderating a forum is a thankless task, the moderators are unpaid volunteers and sometimes moderators make mistakes. In any case, I am happy to abide by the rules.

The rule change I'm suggesting will make it crystal clear for both moderators and users so this particular rule is not open to interpretation and this should make the moderators job easier.

Hopefully at least some of the moderators are open to constructive criticism as I sincerely doubt I'll be the last person to question the difference between the wording of the rule and how it now seems to be applied.

In the meantime, I am finding the Joomla Stack Exchange forum much more rewarding where good answers are upvoted by the community, moderators are voted in by the community based on their merits and past behaviour, and the rules are evolving based on community consultation.

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sozzled
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Re: Remove or change Self Promoting Forum Rule

Postby sozzled » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:04 am

ozneilau wrote:The rule change I'm suggesting will make it crystal clear for both moderators and users so this particular rule is not open to interpretation and this should make the moderators job easier.
I guess the problem, Neil, is that it won't be long before there's an extension of this additional restriction that will result (in, similarly, making it crystal clear that no advertising, of any kind, will be tolerated within the forum) to remove the ability to link websites—any websites—from forum signatures.

In fact, if we want to eliminate any doubt at all that all non-forum and/or documentation links contained in websites might be construed as "advertising", we could object to anything that references StackIdeas, Google, W3C, etc.

Nah, that's never going to fly! ;D

There'll be differences of opinion, there'll be wins and losses but, as long as the Poms get creamed in Melbourne (and later in Sydney) I'll be content. It's just a matter of [subjective] perspective. Cheers, mate. 8)
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