Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > TalkBoard Topics
Reload this Page >

Can the TB revisit the Commercial links in Signatures issue?

Can the TB revisit the Commercial links in Signatures issue?

 
Old Apr 11, 12, 9:52 am
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
Posts: 44,665
Can the TB revisit the Commercial links in Signatures issue?

I'm beginning to think that commercial links, as well as referral links, affiliate links, and links to blogs that contain affiliate links has gotten out of hand. I'm starting to see them all over the place in the forums I visit.

This is no more than free advertising and/or trolling for new business. FT is now for-profit, and if any entity is going to make money on FT members, well, IMHO, it should be FT itself, or at least a charity that FT supports.

There was a time when signatures could not contain any commercial link, and I was told this was changed several years ago, and I must have missed the discussion about it.

Can this be discussed again?
Mary2e is offline  
Old Apr 11, 12, 10:40 am
  #2  
Moderator: Smoking Lounge; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: SFO, CDG, PBI
Programs: Lifetime (for now) Gold MM, HH Gold, Giving Tootsie Pops to UA employees, & a retired hockey goalie
Posts: 28,345
I agree with you on all points
goalie is offline  
Old Apr 11, 12, 11:03 am
  #3  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: back to my roots in Scotland!
Programs: Tamsin - what else is there to say?
Posts: 47,845
If it's becoming that intrusive, can't you just turn off signatures?

There was little discussion on TB about this change, which was not promulgated by them. The problem of signatures was repeatedly brought to TB, which refused to do anything to clarify/improve the situation - signatures were a massive grey area, where the TOS was unclear and the mods had real difficulty intepreting the TOS. As a result Randy took the decision to change the TOS to allow commercial links, but to limit how these could be displayed.

I have to say, is there a real difference between my signature, drawing attention to two Dos in Edinburgh, and someone else drawing attention to a bar say in the US? Visually they look the same. I don't really see why one is seen as an imposition and one is not. And until recently, I had a signature promoting a charity I am associated with - that also would not have been allowed under the previous rules without getting all kinds of permissions which no-one actually had time to look into the charity to give.

Last edited by Jenbel; Apr 11, 12 at 11:10 am
Jenbel is offline  
Old Apr 11, 12, 11:08 am
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
Posts: 44,665
They're not intrusive, I just don't think FT should be a source of new business or income for people.
Mary2e is offline  
Old Apr 11, 12, 11:13 am
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: back to my roots in Scotland!
Programs: Tamsin - what else is there to say?
Posts: 47,845
Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
They're not intrusive, I just don't think FT should be a source of new business or income for people.
There are limits in place on those who can show signatures - mainly to prevent people signing up just to advertise their companies. Signatures will not appear until you've been on the board a number of days and a number of posts.

We already have a thread in Cbuzz which encourages people to promote their businesses on FT - should we delete this also? (this is clearly a rhetorical OMNI type question as moderation decisions are outwith the scope of TB ).

And shouldn't you take the advice in your own signature?
Jenbel is offline  
Old Apr 11, 12, 11:14 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
Posts: 44,665
That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about all the people with referral and affiliate links in their signatures, plus those with links to their businesses. I'm not talking about new members.
Mary2e is offline  
Old Apr 11, 12, 11:16 am
  #7  
Community Director
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 29,564
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.
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Apr 11, 12, 12:07 pm
  #8  
Moderator: Smoking Lounge; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: SFO, CDG, PBI
Programs: Lifetime (for now) Gold MM, HH Gold, Giving Tootsie Pops to UA employees, & a retired hockey goalie
Posts: 28,345
Originally Posted by Jenbel View Post
There are limits in place on those who can show signatures - mainly to prevent people signing up just to advertise their companies. Signatures will not appear until you've been on the board a number of days and a number of posts.

We already have a thread in Cbuzz which encourages people to promote their businesses on FT - should we delete this also? (this is clearly a rhetorical OMNI type question as moderation decisions are outwith the scope of TB ).

And shouldn't you take the advice in your own signature?
But who enforces/moderates the signatures to ensure they are "in compliance"?

Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
They're not intrusive, I just don't think FT should be a source of new business or income for people.
Agreed

Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about all the people with referral and affiliate links in their signatures, plus those with links to their businesses. I'm not talking about new members.
And again I agree
goalie is offline  
Old Apr 11, 12, 12:12 pm
  #9  
Community Director
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Anywhere warm
Posts: 29,564
Originally Posted by goalie View Post
But who enforces/moderates the signatures to ensure they are "in compliance"?
We have a team of two or three mods each year who serve as our signature committee. This way, we ensure consistency in the guidelines for the signatures - though, of course, there are always tricky ones. The same people look at handles when requested to do so. We recently had a handle reported that was NSFW. Fortunately, we've got UrbanDictionary to refer to for some of us not familiar with current terms, sexual and otherwise. I blush now and again.

Signatures are handled very much on an exception basis. A mod will notice a sig while reading FT and will report it. Or a member will get in touch and ask us to review something and we do.
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Apr 11, 12, 12:39 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Either at the shooting range or anywhere good beer can be found...
Programs: HH Diamond, Priority Club Platinum
Posts: 39,705
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.
My general input on signatures:
  • No referral links to sites where the referrer receives an incentive of some sort for each new referral as we usually have congas for those in S.P.A.M., and if we don't the person should start one
  • No "PM me for a referral to XYZ" as again, we usually have congas for those in S.P.A.M. or the person should start one
  • No "vist my blog for XYZ," be it various offers for points, miles, cheap hotels, cheap airfare, whatever.
  • No advertising for bars, pubs, hotels, restaurants, airlines, pet stores, grocery stores, clothing stores, etc., to mean no commercial advertisements at all.
IMO, referrals should be done in S.P.A.M., in conga fashion. Should one not participate in the conga, they should not be allowed to list their referral in their signature, potentially earning several referrals, when those who play by the rules in S.P.A.M. can only earn one referral. Same concept for the "PM for me a referral," that is very popular, when there is a conga for those sites in S.P.A.M.

I would think that those who were concerned about people "gaming" their post counts by using OMNI games should support a change like that, since currently, many people are "gaming" the referrals.

You might want to read the thread here for additional discussion about referral links in signatures.

Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
We have a team of two or three mods each year who serve as our signature committee. This way, we ensure consistency in the guidelines for the signatures - though, of course, there are always tricky ones. The same people look at handles when requested to do so. We recently had a handle reported that was NSFW. Fortunately, we've got UrbanDictionary to refer to for some of us not familiar with current terms, sexual and otherwise. I blush now and again.

Signatures are handled very much on an exception basis. A mod will notice a sig while reading FT and will report it. Or a member will get in touch and ask us to review something and we do.
It might be helpful to know which mods are on the signature committee each year, so that those who have concerns about a signature can send a PM to them. I realize that we can send a PM to you, but If those who were on the signature committee were listed on the "view forum leaders" link, a PM could be sent to all at once, rather than sending it to you, and you taking the time to forward it.

I doubt many members are aware that there is such a committee, and that rather than RBP'ing something due to a signature, they can contact the committee concerning it, as sending an RBP may or may not actually be communicated to the proper people.
kipper is online now  
Old Apr 11, 12, 1:07 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Home
Programs: AA, Delta, UA & thanks to FTers for my PC Gold!
Posts: 7,635
Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
...I'm starting to see them all over the place in the forums I visit.
You just notice it now, Mary? I've been bugged by it since 2009.

Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
...we ensure consistency in the guidelines for the signatures -
The current guidelines for signatures apparently "outranks" SPAM Forum's, as far as referral links are concerned. When I raised this particular issue, it was too small a potato for either the admin or TB to take it seriously nor form any action.

I personally don't think consistency across all FT TOS and Guidelines is too much to ask. However, I seem to be the minority.

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.
My early input had been falling on deaf ears so I am not going to retype my frustration. I had explained my POVs clearly in this thread:

Referral links in signatures - clarification needed

Last edited by lin821; Apr 11, 12 at 2:47 pm Reason: correction
lin821 is offline  
Old Apr 12, 12, 10:04 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
Posts: 44,665
I just wanted to add something to my original post, as I just noticed a long thread about bloggers and affiliate links.

My post had nothing to do with that at all. I may have read it at the beginning, but after seeing it again today and going to the most recent part of the conversation, people were complaining about affiliate links.

I posted this because I noticed a pretty dramatic increase in the types of links I mentioned over the past few months.

No ulterior motive on my part - I don't even read the blogs.
Mary2e is offline  
Old Apr 14, 12, 4:52 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Thanks for the Memories !!!
Posts: 9,625
Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
We have a team of two or three mods each year who serve as our signature committee. This way, we ensure consistency in the guidelines for the signatures - though, of course, there are always tricky ones. The same people look at handles when requested to do so. We recently had a handle reported that was NSFW. Fortunately, we've got UrbanDictionary to refer to for some of us not familiar with current terms, sexual and otherwise.
Could it be possible to perhaps "farm" this job, and other such jobs, out to a committee(s) made up of "other" volunteers? Perhaps something along the lines of the Ambassador program?
Q Shoe Guy is offline  
Old Apr 14, 12, 5:44 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Argentina
Programs: BAEC/IB
Posts: 37,698
Originally Posted by Jenbel View Post
If it's becoming that intrusive, can't you just turn off signatures?.
I didn't even know such a thing existed.

I can see the OP's point but to be honest I stopped clicking on signature links after finding 99.9% of them very boring.
HIDDY is offline  
Old Apr 16, 12, 9:03 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Either at the shooting range or anywhere good beer can be found...
Programs: HH Diamond, Priority Club Platinum
Posts: 39,705
Originally Posted by Q Shoe Guy View Post
Could it be possible to perhaps "farm" this job, and other such jobs, out to a committee(s) made up of "other" volunteers? Perhaps something along the lines of the Ambassador program?
I like that idea, and it might serve as a good way to involve additional people who want to give back to FT.
kipper is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread