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Can the TB revisit the Commercial links in Signatures issue?

Can the TB revisit the Commercial links in Signatures issue?

 

Old May 9, 12, 5:25 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by kipper
Shouldn't we try to help the community, not allow a few to reap all of the benefits?
Please provide proof to show that is actually happening. I've asked over and over and over again for it, and so far you've been unable to provide. I've pointed out that I had (that I know of) one response to my signature when I asked for support for a charity. The ball is in your court to provide any evidence which would suggest that this is a an actual problem, rather than you just not liking the situation.

Also, please feel free to provide your evidence to contradict my experience on the Sig committee which would suggest you are right and I am incorrect about the level of work which monitoring signatures entails, and how your request would apparently not increase the work load of those mods for no discernible benefit. I am left wondering, if this is such a rampant problem as some have suggested, why it would also be such a small problem that the workload would be minimal Are some of you overstating the problem to encourage a rule change, or are you understating the problem to try and counter the problem about the mod workload for no real benefit? It certainly appears like you are making arguments which appear to be contradictory.

Until you can answer those two points, I doubt this debate is ever going to get beyond you saying 'I think this should happen' or 'I don't like this happening', and neither of those are good reasons to change the rules of FT.
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Old May 10, 12, 7:10 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Jenbel View Post
Please provide proof to show that is actually happening. I've asked over and over and over again for it, and so far you've been unable to provide. I've pointed out that I had (that I know of) one response to my signature when I asked for support for a charity. The ball is in your court to provide any evidence which would suggest that this is a an actual problem, rather than you just not liking the situation.

Also, please feel free to provide your evidence to contradict my experience on the Sig committee which would suggest you are right and I am incorrect about the level of work which monitoring signatures entails, and how your request would apparently not increase the work load of those mods for no discernible benefit. I am left wondering, if this is such a rampant problem as some have suggested, why it would also be such a small problem that the workload would be minimal Are some of you overstating the problem to encourage a rule change, or are you understating the problem to try and counter the problem about the mod workload for no real benefit? It certainly appears like you are making arguments which appear to be contradictory.

Until you can answer those two points, I doubt this debate is ever going to get beyond you saying 'I think this should happen' or 'I don't like this happening', and neither of those are good reasons to change the rules of FT.
You want me to prove something that requires people to step up and admit they're reaping a benefit from it, when if they admit that they are, it adds fuel to the fire to do away with it. Most people would probably either decline to answer, or would suggest that if they received a benefit, it was a small one, in the hopes of cooling the issue. I don't think there really is a way to prove or disprove it in either direction, unless there's a way to monitor clicks on links in signatures without asking people to self-report.

Considering that moderator actions, including apparently, the names of those on the signature committee, are private, how could anyone, other than moderators provide evidence on anything dealing with moderator actions? I am suggesting that if the names of those on the signature committee were public, it would be very easy for members, upon seeing a signature with a referral link, to send a message to those moderators. Upon viewing the signature, it should be a fairly standard PM to that member stating something like, "Your signature is in violation of our TOS as it contains a referral link. Please remove it. Failure to do so can result in XYZ punishment." Then, it's a simple search and check in a few days to ensure compliance, or discipline escalates. I'd bet you could even cut and paste the same PM to each person in violation, minimizing the time you'd need to spend typing each PM. Not a lot of extra work, unless moderators put the time into checking every signature themselves. However, if you follow a correct it when caught method, it's a few minutes each time you're on FT, probably. Oh, the horror of spending a few extra minutes doing work!

Likewise, you failed to answer my question--Why do you argue against further limiting moderators, but then argue against giving moderators additional power, other than you don't want to do the extra work?
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Old Jul 17, 12, 10:27 am
  #48  
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Last night, while a the UNITED HKG mistake thread was temporarily locked, the signature that announced the lock included a link to MilePoint.

It looked like this:
***thread temporally closed***
__________________
FM Stats | MilePoint <hotlinked>
Naughty Airlines? Naughty Banks?
Without commenting on the relative wisdom of temporarily closing a thread at during a period of high activity (as that is not the purview of the TB, is a TOS violation, etc) my concern (and it is a deep concern) is that while the thread was temporarily closed, people were being directed to another commercial site.

Think of this from the perspective of a poster, because there were approximately 1200 posters logged on to the MP forum when this occurred:

You are actively following breaking news and are having a conversation about it.

Suddenly without warning the thread is temporarily locked.

Ok, you are frustrated, but whatever.

Wait!

What is that under the announcement that the thread is temporarily locked....a link to 'MilePoint'...interesting...let's go there. Hey, look, a copycat website with a copycat thread! Awesome. I don't ever need to go back to FT.

It is rather ridiculous that the very last thing on that thread for 30-40 minutes last night during the height of activity while the thread was locked was a link to a competing web site.

I see that the last post on the locked thread no longer has a sig line that contains a link to MP.

And while I am gratified that the barn door was closed after the stampede, I still would like to see this issue addressed on a systemic rather than one-off basis so this sort of ridiculousness does not happen again.

So I am highly motivated to see links in sig lines regulated in some manner, at the very least to prohibit links to competing IBBs.

Last edited by kokonutz; Jul 17, 12 at 10:33 am
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Old Jul 17, 12, 10:53 am
  #49  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Last night, while a the UNITED HKG mistake thread was temporarily locked, the signature that announced the lock included a link to MilePoint.

It looked like this:


Without commenting on the relative wisdom of temporarily closing a thread at during a period of high activity (as that is not the purview of the TB, is a TOS violation, etc) my concern (and it is a deep concern) is that while the thread was temporarily closed, people were being directed to another commercial site.

Think of this from the perspective of a poster, because there were approximately 1200 posters logged on to the MP forum when this occurred:

You are actively following breaking news and are having a conversation about it.

Suddenly without warning the thread is temporarily locked.

Ok, you are frustrated, but whatever.

Wait!

What is that under the announcement that the thread is temporarily locked....a link to 'MilePoint'...interesting...let's go there. Hey, look, a copycat website with a copycat thread! Awesome. I don't ever need to go back to FT.

It is rather ridiculous that the very last thing on that thread for 30-40 minutes last night during the height of activity while the thread was locked was a link to a competing web site.

I see that the last post on the locked thread no longer has a sig line that contains a link to MP.

And while I am gratified that the barn door was closed after the stampede, I still would like to see this issue addressed on a systemic rather than one-off basis so this sort of ridiculousness does not happen again.

So I am highly motivated to see links in sig lines regulated in some manner, at the very least to prohibit links to competing IBBs.
I can understand your frustration.

What about simply banning links that point somewhere other than FT in signatures?
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Old Jul 17, 12, 11:16 am
  #50  
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
What about simply banning links that point somewhere other than FT in signatures?
Playing devil's advocate for a moment - what if someone is doing a charity run & has posted in Flyertalk Cares, but decides to post a link directing to their follow me or donate here. Same w/ Kiva etc. There are a # of links that might not be competitive in nature - ie, someone posts a link to their travel photography site.

I understand koko's frustration & I do think signatures need to be addressed & koko gives a good reason why. Having said that, I'm not totally convinced that no links is the answer (just as I'm not totally convinced allowing all links is the answer).

Presumably the Community Director's committee re: the subject is following this thread - or hopefully they are.

Cheers.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 11:29 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
Playing devil's advocate for a moment - what if someone is doing a charity run & has posted in Flyertalk Cares, but decides to post a link directing to their follow me or donate here. Same w/ Kiva etc. There are a # of links that might not be competitive in nature - ie, someone posts a link to their travel photography site.

I understand koko's frustration & I do think signatures need to be addressed & koko gives a good reason why. Having said that, I'm not totally convinced that no links is the answer (just as I'm not totally convinced allowing all links is the answer).

Presumably the Community Director's committee re: the subject is following this thread - or hopefully they are.

Cheers.
They could post a link to their FT thread about the event or the Kiva thread, rather than linking directly to a charity event or to Kiva.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 12:13 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
So I am highly motivated to see links in sig lines regulated in some manner, at the very least to prohibit links to competing IBBs.
Would you include prohibiting links to various blogs that have discussion threads, too? Why limit it to just another frequent flyer forum? How can you prohibit one and not the other? Don't those bloggers make money off their sites, too?
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Old Jul 17, 12, 12:15 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
What about simply banning links that point somewhere other than FT in signatures?
So a link to my non-commercial photo site (not a single ad there) should be banned? Don't like that idea.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 12:18 pm
  #54  
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
Playing devil's advocate for a moment - what if someone is doing a charity run & has posted in Flyertalk Cares, but decides to post a link directing to their follow me or donate here. Same w/ Kiva etc. There are a # of links that might not be competitive in nature - ie, someone posts a link to their travel photography site.

I understand koko's frustration & I do think signatures need to be addressed & koko gives a good reason why. Having said that, I'm not totally convinced that no links is the answer (just as I'm not totally convinced allowing all links is the answer).

Presumably the Community Director's committee re: the subject is following this thread - or hopefully they are.

Cheers.
I agree with both of your points and perhaps turning off of all signatures and having a global review done? Yeah I know, it's a b!thc of a project but kokonutz addresses a very valid point and concern-and if I may add, not only another competitive site but also various blogs which are "signature linked" which are offering services where the "blog holder" gets revenue from folks visiting their blog and/or from the services offered on said blog
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Old Jul 17, 12, 12:27 pm
  #55  
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Originally Posted by goalie View Post
I agree with both of your points and perhaps turning off of all signatures and having a global review done?
Turning off signatures is not a solution. It's a way to avoid dealing with the issue that was raised here 3 months ago. Come back to the table with some options and let the membership offer input. Also, decide "who" will be tasked with enforcing the regulations you come up with.

Let me take you back to the discussion of the news article posting policy about 5-6 years back. The Talk Board came out with a policy on where to post, and the moderators were not obligated to follow it. Are you going to task moderators with enforcing a signature policy you create? Will you have moderator buy-in to whatever you come up with?

Personally, unless the link is offensive in some manner (like to an X-rated site), I think we can make our own decisions what to click on or not.

As to the revenue generated at a linked site, is your concern that they're depriving Internet Brands from advertising income? Why should the Talk Board be concerned about revenue generated at other sites that are linked in a signature line?
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Old Jul 17, 12, 12:32 pm
  #56  
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
We have a small team working on a rewrite of the FyerTalk guidelines. The signature policy is being examined for the reasons that you give. Input is welcome.
So is this something the Talk Board really needs to spend any time on?
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Old Jul 17, 12, 12:44 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post

As to the revenue generated at a linked site, is your concern that they're depriving Internet Brands from advertising income? Why should the Talk Board be concerned about revenue generated at other sites that are linked in a signature line?
I couldn't care less about IB's revenue.

I care about losing posters to competing sites when threads are closed and the very last thing on that closed thread is a link to a directly competing site.

There were a LOT of brand new posters in the HKG thread (and yes, I did go out of my way to welcome them to FT! ). Do we really want to direct those new folks away from FT like that?!

Or as my wife put it last night: "Holy crap. first truly fascinating thread on FT in some time and it gets locked with a link to MilePoint being the last thing in the locked thread...as a member of the TB are you guys TRYING to lose posters?"

This needs fixed, as they say in Pittsburgh.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 12:57 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
Turning off signatures is not a solution. It's a way to avoid dealing with the issue that was raised here 3 months ago. Come back to the table with some options and let the membership offer input. Also, decide "who" will be tasked with enforcing the regulations you come up with.

Let me take you back to the discussion of the news article posting policy about 5-6 years back. The Talk Board came out with a policy on where to post, and the moderators were not obligated to follow it. Are you going to task moderators with enforcing a signature policy you create? Will you have moderator buy-in to whatever you come up with?

Personally, unless the link is offensive in some manner (like to an X-rated site), I think we can make our own decisions what to click on or not.

As to the revenue generated at a linked site, is your concern that they're depriving Internet Brands from advertising income? Why should the Talk Board be concerned about revenue generated at other sites that are linked in a signature line?
I realize that any change is going to upset some people; however not enacting some form of change is also going to upset some people.

As far as if a link is offensive in some manner, oftentimes, it's not known that it's offensive until someone has already clicked on it, at which point, they may be offended and are outraged that there was no policy in place to prevent that sort of thing.

Since you seem to not like any of the suggestions thus far (turning off signatures completely for a period of time to review them, banning links to non-FT threads, or banning links to competing IBB's), what do you suggest? How would you solve the problem of commercial links in signatures, some directing users to competing sites?

In regards to your travel photos, there's a whole forum devoted to travel photography on FT. I'd think that links to your photos could and should be posted there to share with more people.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 1:43 pm
  #59  
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That thread was, fortunately, temporarily closed for maintenance and ultimate splitting into two threads to better serve the members. The specific thread issue seems to have been quickly resolved, and is not so much a topic for this Forum.

The germane issue here continues to be whether and how commercial links in signatures should be regulated on FT, and defining what a commercial link consists of.

Thanks!

JDiver, Moderator
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Old Jul 17, 12, 1:54 pm
  #60  
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Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
I'm not totally convinced that no links is the answer (just as I'm not totally convinced allowing all links is the answer).
Agree with Sharon. There has to be a better solution than allowing nothing at all but that is just MHO.
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