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Old 03-14-2012, 07:50 PM   #1
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Community rules question

It's my understanding that this page is the current and correct list of community rules: http://www.irv2.com/forums/misc.php?...ork&page=rules

Can someone explain to me which section of that document prohibits community members, who happen to be professionals or vendors of an rv-related product, from posting links to their business website when the information on the linked page is pertinent to the discussion thread?

joe
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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NO SPAM! Our user base is not a resource to be "mined" by individuals, groups, or businesses, for profit or not for profit. Participants may not post affiliate links or direct others to any pages at their own commercial website or website in which they have a commercial interest unless a commercial account has been established.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
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Sorry, that doesn't answer my question. Which section of the community rules are you referring to?

joe
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:51 PM   #4
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Also:

From the Commercial Member's section:
Quote:
Commercial members may not solicit our membership or advertise except as specifically allowed in these policies or by prior arrangements with SK networks. This includes: posting prices, directing members to phone for more info or directing members to any pages at their own commercial website or website in which they have a commercial interest in, including informational pages.
From the Sponsor's section:
Quote:
Official iRV2.com sponsor members may not solicit our membership or advertise on any of our content except as specifically allowed in these policies or by prior arrangements with SK networks. This includes: posting prices, directing members to phone numbers, informational pages or for more info by directing members to any pages on their own commercial website or website in which they have a commercial interest. Sponsors may however (post information about their products and) answer questions about their product posed by any party that requests the information.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
Sorry, that doesn't answer my question. Which section of the community rules are you referring to?

joe
The section John referred to is in the Be Courteous! section.

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Old 03-14-2012, 09:11 PM   #6
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Lori -

Thank you for identifying the Be Courteous! section. Though I have to say that the prohibition on links to commercial sites seems a bit out of place in this section.

Now, I'm still confused. That section says you can't link to a commercial site unless a commercial account has been established. But your quote above says that even if you are a commercial member, you can't do that. Even Sponsors can't do that. So basically it's never allowed, even for informational pages? That seems to be a serious disservice to the community.

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Old 03-14-2012, 09:31 PM   #7
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Following Joe's comments, do the rules allow a link to an RV dealer, let's say, when someone asks for references? Because, what has been said so far on this thread suggests this is a violation of the rules. Please clarify because this goes on all the time.

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Old 03-14-2012, 09:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
Lori -

Thank you for identifying the Be Courteous! section. Though I have to say that the prohibition on links to commercial sites seems a bit out of place in this section.

Now, I'm still confused. That section says you can't link to a commercial site unless a commercial account has been established. But your quote above says that even if you are a commercial member, you can't do that. Even Sponsors can't do that. So basically it's never allowed, even for informational pages? That seems to be a serious disservice to the community.

joe
You need to read further. Both Commerical Members & Sponsors can link to their website in their signatures. They just can't do it within the posts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by akadeadeye View Post
Following Joe's comments, do the rules allow a link to an RV dealer, let's say, when someone asks for references? Because, what has been said so far on this thread suggests this is a violation of the rules. Please clarify because this goes on all the time.

Don
These rules apply only to members with commercial interests (i.e. stand to make a profit or gain) with the websites. Members with no affiliation to a business may recommend & link to a business/website in posts.

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Old 03-14-2012, 10:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by NLOVNIT View Post
You need to read further. Both Commerical Members & Sponsors can link to their website in their signatures. They just can't do it within the posts.
Which, IMO, seems exactly backward from the intent of the rules. Putting a link to their website in their signature is basically a permanent advertisement. It shows up on any post they make. Conversely, they can't put links to specific informational pages in the threads where it might be most useful.

So here's what seems to happen all the time.

(1) Commercial member has info on their website which is pertinent to the discussion. They say they have such info, and reference the generic URL in their signature.

(2) Some non-commercial member goes looking for the info, finds it, then

(3) posts a reply to the original post with the direct link to the info page.

I've done this myself. Extra effort, extra postings, for what gain?

joe
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
Which, IMO, seems exactly backward from the intent of the rules. Putting a link to their website in their signature is basically a permanent advertisement. It shows up on any post they make. Conversely, they can't put links to specific informational pages in the threads where it might be most useful.

So here's what seems to happen all the time.

(1) Commercial member has info on their website which is pertinent to the discussion. They say they have such info, and reference the generic URL in their signature.

(2) Some non-commercial member goes looking for the info, finds it, then

(3) posts a reply to the original post with the direct link to the info page.

I've done this myself. Extra effort, extra postings, for what gain?

joe
If you have been around forums at all, it might make more sense. Not a knock on you, but the amount of spam that admins have to deal with is out of control.

Lets face it, people dont want other people to post something that drives traffic away from their site and I cant blame them.

If the information is so readily available on your own site there is an easy fix. Copy and paste it in the reply thread and then no link is needed. Pics needed? That too is no problem. Copy the image address and paste it in the proper box and the picture comes up.

Outside of that, the only reason someone wants to post a link is to get people to visit their own site.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:50 AM   #11
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Lori related ? In the past someone may say I'm new to RVing and just bought a tt, and what type of sewer hose should I get. I'll say something like a 10' or a 20' but it's also handy to have the 90 degree elbow at the end. Being new that person may not know what I'm talking about when I say elbow, so I'll hyperlink to the product in question so the person can see exactly what I'm referring to. Just happens to be Bill's company...I'm I in violation???

Or are you saying if Bill (RVupgrades) happened to be posting to that person, he (Bill) can't hyperlink to his own company.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Superslif View Post
r are you saying if Bill (RVupgrades) happened to be posting to that person, he (Bill) can't hyperlink to his own company.
So you folks understand.. Commercial accounts support this forum, they have to PAY to get a commercial account, Thus they are given "Privledges" which you and I do not have (Assuming YOU are not one of them).

But since I have no connection to Bill, I'm not even a customer (yet) I can post a link to his pages. Strange as that may sound.

The reason for this post:

I feel that we should allow a simple URL link an a sig file, Sig files are like billboards... There is a series of fiction books (Lensman series) in one of them he's on another planet screaming down the road in one of their transport pods. This is a windowless vehicle driven by.. Well the people on the planet have physic ability to see out without windows. He sees a bunch of plain black retangles as they go screamind down the road (he's physically linked to the driver) and asks the driver what they are..

Billboards. The driver is filtering them out automatically.. Same as I do when driving. I do that with sig files a lot too.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:27 AM   #13
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To all:

I am a new member to this forum, but not a new member to forums in general. These types of rules are typical in the forum world but that doesn't make them any less frustrating for members like myself.

I have gotten involved with your forum in order to assist your forum members with some questions they have about a particular product which I am a dealer for. My company and quite frankly the whole product line of components that we sell is sold to RV & Marine OEM's, not to the general public. My intentions in my posts are to informative and I am not looking for direct sales.

I am not so naive to understand that their isn't some trickle down from posts I make to my business. In the specific case I am speaking of, by spending some time and posting some direct and accurate information I have been already told that a number of forum members are much more at ease about the fact that my product is employed in their vehicle.

If end customers are a little more happy with my product because of some posts then my OEM's are more likely to consider my product. If the only posts are negative a potential OEM customer is going to have difficulty hearing my sales pitch.

So maybe my situation is rare among suppliers in this industry, but I don't really think so, because I have run up against this issue before. Forum posts about a product tend to start out with a negative comment (or so I have found). Someone is unhappy about this or that and they post it. Generally it is a good thing... brings the topic to the forefront (as it did in my own case on this forum). People start talking about the topic and action gets taken. But the problem is that the forum rules and the site setup don't foster involvement from suppliers like mine.

Let me explain:

1) The first post I did on this forum I did my best to follow all of the rules but it took me way longer to type a reply than it would have taken me to direct your members to a web link that would have explained it all. And yeah, even copying portions of a web site don't always work right. The longer and harder it is for a business person to respond to an issue the less likely such a forum would be to get participation from that person.

2) Having avoided stepping on the rules, one of your forum members a post or 2 later, has spent time searching the web and has now posted links to 2 websites for dealers of the product line we are discussing. One happened to be my old company and a website without the most up to date information. So oddly enough the link to a commercial website gets posted, but by another member. That member had to spend time researching when it all could have been taken care of with a "Link".

3) It is stated above that the answer is to just simply copy and paste the information from the site into your post. That doesn't always work. In one of my later posts I was trying to direct forum members to a software download link. I have the download link on my website and the download is free. I put that link in my post and the forum moderator removed it from my post because I am not a sponsor and thus can't put "Links to my own website" in my post. Problem is, I can not paste the software into the forum.

I could have put a "link to the manufacturer's website" for your members to download the software, also for free, but in doing so, your members would have been sent to a page with multiple different versions of the software and added confusion about what is the right version to download, etc. This "link" would have been within the rules because I wouldn't have been linking to my site, but I find that to be in the gray area because I probably get as much trickle down from that as I do a link to my own website.

4) Sponsors... Lets get right down to it... Within 24 hours of my first post I receive an email from iRV2 Director of Marketing asking me if I wanted information about becoming a sponsor. I gladly said yes and received the information.

Upon reading the information I find that the least expensive option is $100/month (discount if 12 months purchased). It is not based on how many clicks on my add I recieve or anything... just a flat $100/month.

This does not make economic sense for my business. My money would be much better spent on Google adwords or some other search engine advertising. iRV2 marketing people might disagree.

But I can't see spending $1000.00 a year in order to have an add to a confined # of readers to whom I can never sell a direct product, but be able to post links to my website.

Not to mention if I really wanted to work around it I could just create another member login, using a different email address (we all have about 20 these days...right)... and then pretend to be someone else and post a link to my site... (No I didn't do that).

Conclusion:

I understand what the iRV2 staff are trying to accomplish. The rules in this forum are not out of step with the forum world. Every rule has an exception.

But a would like to pose a couple of questions:

1) In today's world of web advertising plans like Google Adwords, is the pricing, structure, and marketing proposals of iRV2 meeting the needs of the potential business/supplier that could really be adding a lot of value to the iRV2 forums?

2) What level of business involvement does the iRV2 member want in their forums? Is the current environment and rules setup to promote that level of input from the business community?

I greatly respect what the iRV2 forum is doing and has accomplished. I wish to be a positive contributing member to the topics at hand.

I don't find the current rules or implementation of the structure to be as straight forward as i would like, but I admit I am only seeing it from 1 side.

Sincerely,

Jim Kelly
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:32 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by TheTourVan View Post
If you have been around forums at all, it might make more sense. Not a knock on you, but the amount of spam that admins have to deal with is out of control.

Lets face it, people dont want other people to post something that drives traffic away from their site and I cant blame them.

If the information is so readily available on your own site there is an easy fix. Copy and paste it in the reply thread and then no link is needed. Pics needed? That too is no problem. Copy the image address and paste it in the proper box and the picture comes up.

Outside of that, the only reason someone wants to post a link is to get people to visit their own site.
Excuse me? Around forums at all? I was running on-line forums (BBS) before the Internet. This rule has no discernible effect on spam postings. There's no less work for moderators.

Reposting the content is an "easy fix". No it's not. Not if the content is at all complex and/or carefully formatted. Reposting with proper formatting and multiple image links is a lot of work.

And since the commercial members get to put a link in their signature, they don't need to post a link just to get people to visit their site.

joe
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