I just posted up some WHV info that included links here:
The links were snipped out.
I started to copy/paste the info from the site it was linking to, but then remembered I've been told not to do that by a web friend.
I've never had links snipped before. I came to travellerspoint because, while there are more questions to answer on the thorntree forum, the aggressive vibe there is a bit disheartening to witness. I've been making time to answer thorntree questions for three years now, and still do it on a weekly basis. I've made time for travellerspoint once a month. This snipping experience reduces my enthusiasm to spend time participating in the travellerspoint forum. I genuinely want to help other travelers, and I've never posted a link that wasn't helpful and pertaining directly to the question asked.
I'm sure the travellerspoint moderators were/are themselves answering forum questions at some point in their lives and can appreciate the time and effort that goes in to composing thoughtful, helpful answers. I just wanted to give the feedback that the heavy moderation (which I've seen repeatedly here... mostly in cases where it seems someone probably linked to thorntree) is discouraging for the half of the forum crowd passing on knowledge gained over the years. Or... I guess I should speak for myself... maybe it is only discouraging to me? I can understand not wanting to link to your forum competitors, but I am surprised at links being disallowed to info that answers questions thoroughly and directly and a job site I found in Australia that was truly awesome.
Thanks for your time. I know mods have hard jobs, digging through endless data and offensive spam and linking. I appreciate what you do!
FWIW, I was the moderator who snipped these particular links. (You left out a third link, where another moderator independently reached a similar conclusion on action to take, though I was involved in bringing it to their attention.) If there had been just a single thread, I probably would've let it through (as I've done in the past), but with three posts right after each other, all linking to that same website, I felt it crossed the line of "purpose of posting is to promote a website", which, yes, is interpreted very strictly here.
I do agree that your posts are helpful, and these links are in the grey zone, but Travellerspoint has the policy that for "new" members, we just don't allow anything in the grey zone, finding it extremely important to keep these forums for and by regular travellers. There's a really large amount of people in the travel industry who would love to promote their businesses on these forums and abuse any leeway a grey zone would give them.
For what it's worth, we do not - as a policy, nor that I'm aware of - snip links to competitors of travellerspoint, except if we believe such links are posted by people directly involved with those competitors. Thorntree is not linked to that often that I'm aware of, but there's lots of links to travelfish, tripadvisor, etc, and all of those remain as they are - as long as we believe that it's just regular travellers posting the links.
It's quite possible, by the way, that I've drifted over too far in my interpretation of when to snip links, so thank you (and I mean that seriously) for bringing this up, and letting us know that it discourages participation for you. It's good to every so often re-examine our practices, and see if everyone is still roughly acting in the same manner with how we interpret and apply the rules. Ultimately Peter, the admin, is the final arbiter of what goes here, but he does give us moderators a lot of leeway, and it's been a good long time since this has been a topic for discussion.
[ Edit: Edited on 07-Sep-2015, at 09:32 by Sander ]
Hey there! Thanks for your time and for listening.
I'll brainstorm on ways to stay out of the grey area.
I can see how providing the same link several times might look like spam or promotion, even when it's essentially the same answer because the questions are so similar? Here's what I think is my conundrum... I look for questions in forums I'm most knowledgeable about - SE Asia, Australia, US, NZ, and some peripheral places - sometimes Indo, Europe, etc. I guess - given the "link once" guideline - once I've answered a question that results in me referring someone to any site, I will maybe avoid answering further questions in that topic area until the next time I drop by travellerspoint? Or maybe refer the askers of questions in future threads back to other traveller's point threads that have the answer to their questions?
Thanks again for engaging!
p.s. - sorry I missed the third link. I subscribe to threads to follow the discussion and answer follow up questions... that one hadn't come to my attention as no one else has posted yet.
I had a look at at least one of your posts. I can't remember if I decided to snip the one I reviewed now, but it was a definitely in the grey area. We do get people promoting sites with exactly threads like yours and with not a large post history on Travellerspoint yet, it was pretty hard to decide which action to take in your case. It did seem genuine enough to me, but then when the same link gets repeated it starts to seem less genuine.
In time, the more you are a recognised forum regular around here, the less likely it is that a link would be snipped.
I honestly wish we didn't have to be so suspicious of people, but we face a very difficult job avoiding spam on this forum and a tough approach to links has seemingly worked quite well for us over the years. The downside is the somewhat harsh impression it can give to genuine contributors.
p.s. I don't think we've ever snipped a link to Thorntree!
Fair enough! Thanks for the response. I'll try to come around a little more often.
p.s. Sorry about my incorrect assumption re: Thorntree! When I've seen snipped comments linked to a stock explanation that I remember being something along the lines of "we don't need this resource referenced, we can answer questions on our own forum" - I always wondered what got blocked. Made some educated guesses that were clearly wrong. My apologies!
Answers which consist of not much more than a link to further reading on another site would probably result in an edit like that. I've seen quite a few bloggers try to promote posts of theirs that way for example. We generally want the threads to be standalone reading with the answers available directly in the thread.
Copy! I can understand that perspective.