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Archive 2010 · Using Links on FM
  
 
Steve Tinetti
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p.1 #1 · Using Links on FM


We have a ruling. Here are the words straight from the boss's keyboard in response to my PM to him regarding the issue of linking for SEO traffic.

Hi Steve,

I have received several complaints about this. Promoting other photography sites is not allowed on the boards. This includes blogs, podcasts or anything else technology leads to. Some members ask people to look at their blogs for design purposes. I don't have a problem with that. However, if there is a pattern of always including a link to the blog or "read this article here..." type of posting, we will need to contact the poster and advise that advertising is not allowed (subtle spamming).


So there you have it. If you require further clarification, let me know, but it looks pretty straight forward to me. Regarding my post in the podcast thread, it was my interpretation of the rules as they are stated that no rules were being broken. I was obviously in error and for that I appologize. I have asked for a bullet point in the rules section addressing links and that may be coming, but for now this sticky will have to do. I will leave this thread open as long as we can discuss it in a rational manner. We all know the rules and according to what I just read above, many of us have bent or broken them many times. Let's figure out a way of moving forward.

I have received a few PMs from members feeling guilty of being a tattle tale or a snitch, etc. Forget that stuff. If you see a problem, report it. Keep in mind, reporting a thread sends a PM to not only me but to Fred as well.
Thanks, Steve

Edited by Fred Miranda on Mar 04, 2010 at 04:42 PM



Mar 04, 2010 at 06:20 AM
Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #2 · Using Links on FM


Thanks for looking into it Steve...

My understanding of that is the following. Let me know if I'm misunderstanding:

- Sharing relevant articles, sites or links that are not our own = GOOD
- Linking our own websites in posts = BAD
- Linking other sites that talk about ourselves = BAD

Things I'm not sure about:
- Linking to a site that recognizes another FMer (like an award) = ??
- Linking a review to a product on another site = ??
- Linking a review to a product that we've done (example: My 1D review) = ??

Thanks for your help... Tinetti for president of Luxembourg!!



Mar 04, 2010 at 06:36 AM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #3 · Using Links on FM


Good questions, Tony.


Mar 04, 2010 at 06:51 AM
Matt B.
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p.1 #4 · Using Links on FM


This is just my interpretation Tony, but when I read Fred's & Steve's comments, I walk away with the sense that the answer to your last three questions would be GOOD.

In the spirit of having a forum full of quality participants, I can't imagine any actions like those you mention would be frowned upon or prohibited considering they are the very reason many of us continually visit here.

It seems that the self-promotion stuff is fairly easy to spot when it gets overused, and that's what they want to curtail. For the record I never felt Andy's posts were over the top, but I've seen some posts from others in the past that were.

Edited on Mar 04, 2010 at 03:28 PM · View previous versions



Mar 04, 2010 at 01:39 PM
amonline
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p.1 #5 · Using Links on FM


This is kind of like watching a couple of tattle-tells bully another kid in 6th grade. Seriously. It's sad.

I went through a week's worth of posts and only found two instances where Andy posted a link to his blog. (only ONE the way you guys are griping about) This argument and attack is a little ridiculous and uncalled for.

I understand the rule about posting/promoting a personal "event" in the event area, but this was wedding related just as much as related to any other board. Personally, if I were attending WPPI, I would be glad that he posted this where he did. Big freakin' deal. One forum or another, it still gets posted. The show will be over in no time and this will all have been history - for the next year. It's not like he's giving this workshop every weekend; but if he did and continued to post ads, then I'd see a point. I just think this lynching was a little premature.

Now, about this thread and rule changes... my opinion (and it's just that) is it's even more ridiculous that we cannot link to our blog/site in a post. (if this is indeed true) That's just dumb and I'm fairly sure this would be the only forum on the net with such a rule. What's wrong with saying "see the rest here..." and posting a link? Let's face it, most of us are not going to go clicking "www" just to be faced with having to click through at least a couple more links - and then having to find the blog post, that actually may be old. Kind of stupid, huh? No linking to blog posts or sites would kill a lot of interaction in my opinion. It would probably kill the wedding forum.

The bottom line - if it's such an issue, then let Fred go to Google and turn off the indexing on FM. It's that freakin' simple.

And not linking a site that's talking about us? Again - stupid. If it's a blatant advertising, that's one thing - but in general? Personally, I didn't see anything terribly wrong with Andy's once-a-year promotion. And, what if (insert your fav photog magazine here) puts us on the cover and says we're the best thing since sliced bread? You don't think any one of us wouldn't be proud of that and want to post it? Again, if it's an issue, visit Google and turn off FM indexing. At this rate, you're just going to have buddies PMing each other, asking them "do them a favor" to get around the rule.

So, what is it with some of the members here? I seriously feel like I'm in elementary school sometimes with the way some members act here. Sorry, but it just seems like we have some bullies (and rude smartasses) here. Enough of the dumbass threads and smartass comments already. I found a forum I enjoy participating in, and I gotta see this kind of crap half a dozen times a day? Give it a break. How about an off-topic area for that crap?



Mar 04, 2010 at 02:06 PM
lisy78
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p.1 #6 · Using Links on FM


^
this.

I can't wait to start seeing the "Oh you have to check out George's blog post on bla bla bla bla" or "Johnny's review of the bla bla bla" or "Antonio totally killed it... I checked out his blog here and the rest are worth the click".

Yuck!

If a post is obvious spam the moderators will deal with it (then again, considering FM's application process I doubt real spammers can get in).

If someone is truly adding no value to the forum beyond posting self-promoting links then the moderators can deal with that too.

If you don't like a post you don't reply to it and it sinks to the bottom.



Mar 04, 2010 at 02:15 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #7 · Using Links on FM


Here is my take.
I think starting a thread simply to boast SEO performance is probably not the best thing to do. However, I enjoy many of the reviews, how to posts, complete sets on the blog etc links that are here on FM in the wedding forum and also the people forum.
I think it would be a bad idea to not allow links.
We are all trying to learn and build out business and skill set here. It is also a great place for us to get our images out and get almost get free advertising. If one of us makes a post whether it is a wedding set, engagement set, camera review, etc. and has a link back to our blog I do not see that as a problem. Does it get people to our site...yes... is that smart business....IMO yes. Linking to boast your SEO rating is not really what I would call a shady business practice. Can it be annoying on the forums...yes... but really if you do not like the thread go to another one. I don't understand why people spend so much time arguing here over dumb things like this.
For example: and sorry Tony I am going to use you as an example I hope you don't mind.
Tony posts an abbreviated version of his MK4 review on FM with a link to his blog for the full post.
3/4 of the people on FM see it and say wow what a great chance to see how the MK4 performs blah blah blah lets go check it out.
1/4 of the people are mad because they see a shameless plug to his blog meant to drive up his hits and boast his SEO. A 3 page crap fest ensues and it makes everyone look unfriendly and takes away from a great review that help alot of people.

Now this isn't really how it went but alot of the other threads people get into arguments about are really not that different just a different post and subject matter. We are on the internet people its not hard to get along.

I for one hope that we can still link on our posts. I don't even link but I do enjoy alot of what gets linked because it is interesting and helpful. I think the rule on FM should be:
if you feel like your going to post something to get into an argument over something trivial that really will not effect the price of tea in china... then resist the urge to hit Send Reply!

Anyway I hope everyone has fun at WPPI I wish I could be there!
Doug



Mar 04, 2010 at 03:25 PM
amonline
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p.1 #8 · Using Links on FM


The difference is, Tony doesn't benefit at all from the example you suggested or his other shared reviews/posts. (but I get what you're saying) As a matter of fact, Tony doesn't promote anything on his blog at all that I could find. He could have easily given affiliate links, but he doesn't. He gives great unbiased reviews as far as I'm concerned. I admire that and I surely don't mind him linking to his blog for it. (like yourself... I'm agreeing with you here) Even if he did provide affiliate links on gear that he's helped me decide on, I wouldn't go ballistic about it. So what? It's the least I could do to repay him for his time to write such great info.

However, as you said, we are here to share and learn. I cannot say that for some others... specifically, the actions of a few that this whole topic is revolving around and the origin of it all. One member does sell products on his site that he links to regularly. Another is simply acting like a child with his own SEO responses - which have gotten completely out of hand. It's sad, because I really admire that person's work.

It's just sad that some great photographers we look up to here can act so childish. If this forum needs anything, it's a little more maturity.



Mar 04, 2010 at 03:40 PM
Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #9 · Using Links on FM


I understand where you guys are coming from. I think the problem for Steve and Fred is that these things often just come down to how much tact and self-restraint posters use and that's a very hard thing to qualify with hard rules. After all, Steve and Fred shouldn't have to make judgement calls on every thread.

I appreciate you both bring up my review. I thought for a while about how to post it. On one hand, I didn't want to be seen as driving up blog hits, but on the other hand, I didn't want to post 6,500 words on FM for those who simply wanted to know if I liked it or not. In that case I decided that the way I did it was probably the most helpful move. If that isn't allowed anymore that's fine. Do I think that takes away from the community a little bit? Probably. But on the other hand, it's also meant to stop the blatant SEO stuff that also takes away from the community.

Bottom line: I'm glad I'm not a moderator.



Mar 04, 2010 at 03:51 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #10 · Using Links on FM


amonline wrote:
However, as you said, we are here to share and learn. I cannot say that for some others... specifically, the actions of a few that this whole topic is revolving around and the origin of it all. One member does sell products on his site that he links to regularly. Another is simply acting like a child with his own SEO responses - which have gotten completely out of hand. It's sad, because I really admire that person's work.

It's just sad that some great photographers we look up to here can act so childish. If this forum needs anything, it's
...Show more

Yes I agree maturity is the key.
Doug



Mar 04, 2010 at 03:54 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #11 · Using Links on FM


lisy78 wrote:
so now next time a bride-to-be is browsing the site... sure she may go "boooring technical article" but she might also go "This dude knows his stuff!" and moreover she might see all us FMers comments on the blog and think "wow, look at all those people who know about this stuff... they look up to him"



As a complete side note, yesterday I ran into a former coworker who knows NOTHING about cameras who inexplicably read that entire review and said she enjoyed it. My reaction: 'You are insane and have too much free time'. Thought it was funny.



Mar 04, 2010 at 04:02 PM
Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #12 · Using Links on FM


Lisy, where did your post go? It was good.


Mar 04, 2010 at 04:02 PM
lisy78
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p.1 #13 · Using Links on FM


Tony Hoffer wrote:
Lisy, where did your post go? It was good.


I figured what I wrote should be apparent to most peeps, and I was afraid that someone might mis-interpret me as saying that when you wrote your review your ONLY intention was to drive traffic to your site and benefit from it.

Which was NOT what I wanted to convey.

Apparently based on your reply here you got what I meant... but do I really want to have someone else misinterpret my words in a STICKY post?




Mar 04, 2010 at 04:08 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #14 · Using Links on FM


Tony Hoffer wrote:
Thanks for looking into it Steve...

My understanding of that is the following. Let me know if I'm misunderstanding:

- Sharing relevant articles, sites or links that are not our own = GOOD
- Linking our own websites in posts = BAD
- Linking other sites that talk about ourselves = BAD

Things I'm not sure about:
- Linking to a site that recognizes another FMer (like an award) = ??
- Linking a review to a product on another site = ??
- Linking a review to a product that we've done (example: My 1D review) = ??

Thanks for your help... Tinetti for president of Luxembourg!!
...Show more

Moderating these boards for over eight years made me realized that we must have basic rules and they should be enforced. Although the general rules should apply to all boards, some boards need special attention.The moderators and I try to balance our actions. Rigid intervention takes away freedom of expression and we don't want that. However, if we don't enforce our own basic rules, this site would not be the same.

Although we don't intervene much, we do know most posters and their patterns, and try to keep the boards as civil as possible.
Regarding linking to other sites: As Steve posted above, the general rule is that linking to other photography forums/blogs/etc... is not allowed.
We usually don't interfere if this is done without the intent of self-promotion (linking to your own forum, blog) or if there isn't an abusive pattern.
Hopefully this provides a better understanding of how this board is moderated.

Thanks for your cooperation.
Fred



Mar 04, 2010 at 05:12 PM
maxwell1295
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p.1 #15 · Using Links on FM


So basically linking to your own photography related site is a "no-no"?

That's pretty much how I interpret it. If so, really hurts informative threads that are not of the SEO driven/self-promotional variety. Posts like Tony's review should be allowed since they help with the free sharing of information that goes on around here.

Edited on Mar 04, 2010 at 06:16 PM · View previous versions



Mar 04, 2010 at 05:29 PM
lisy78
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p.1 #16 · Using Links on FM


Maybe I am reading this all wrong but the message I'm getting here is that basically nothing has changed since yesterday.

If you're a contributor to the forum and you're not clearly here just to self-promote, linking that makes sense and in essence adds value to the forum (I would definitely include things like "to see more from the set check the blog" or if you link with a pertinent blog post in response to a question that will probably fly.

I'm sure glad to see Fred also sees the value in not adopting a zero-tolerance policy.

The only unresolved issue would be to determine what constitutes "adds value".

Frankly as I've said before for the not totally flagrant cases allowing yhe democratic process to take place (sucky thread sinks) is probably the best policy. The problem is convincing everyone that That is the case

on a personal, anecdotal note I've benefitted significantly from the ability to link -
in one case I had a few posters follow the
link in a cc request post and offer very useful cc o. Images I hadn't posted
in another case after posting a link (in response to a poster's question about backups) to a blog post I wrote about the subject a viewer pmd me with a streamlining suggestion that I incorporated into my workflow and yhe article




Mar 04, 2010 at 06:08 PM
maxwell1295
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p.1 #17 · Using Links on FM


I read it wrong. You can link to a site.....as long as it's not your own site.


Mar 04, 2010 at 06:17 PM
lisy78
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p.1 #18 · Using Links on FM


maxwell1295 wrote:
I read it wrong. You can link to a site.....as long as it's not your own site.


I'm hoping you still read it wrong

here are some bits from Fred's post:

Although the general rules should apply to all boards, some boards need special attention. .... the general rule is that linking to other photography forums/blogs/etc... is not allowed.
We usually don't interfere if this is done without the intent of self-promotion (linking to your own forum, blog) or if there isn't an abusive pattern.


I'm reading that as the desire not to enforce a zero tolerance policy but rather an encouragement to avoid blatant self-promotion and abusive patterns.

Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I can hope.

Ciao!

nOt liSy



Mar 04, 2010 at 06:35 PM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #19 · Using Links on FM


I think maybe it could still be spelled out a little more clearly.

I'm reading that as: "Continue posting 'view the rest on my blog' links, links to reviews like Tony did, etc... but the rule is there so that if it becomes a problem and someone is blatantly posting something just to promote themselves (spam) or to improve SEO, we can point to the rule and then take action."

Is that about right?



Mar 04, 2010 at 06:55 PM
Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #20 · Using Links on FM


Fred Miranda wrote:
Thanks for your cooperation.
Fred


Seeing Fred quote and respond to me makes me feel like this girl: http://www.hulu.com/watch/131532/jimmy-kimmel-live-justin-bieber#s-p6-sr-i1



Mar 04, 2010 at 06:59 PM
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