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Unallowed "promo" vs. link within the context of a response

Travel Forums System Talk Unallowed "promo" vs. link within the context of a response

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11. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 8y

It's good to confirm you are who I suggested Martijn. As you see from above (and I think in another thread too) I've been making the suggestion for people in travel/volunteer companies & organisations to be able to register with it clearly shown in their member status that they work for that organisation. This would be for transparency, and so people know if it's an "official" post if you will.

I'm fully aware of IEP as I have previously worked for BUNAC & IEP quite a few years back now - and I support the programs that they and other organisations offer. I'm also with some other people who have been part of BUNAC or worked with BUNAC that think some of the programs offered in the UK are over-priced in comparison to the direct competition for those specific programs.

12. Posted by Lavafalls (Travel Guru 155 posts) 8y

I agree that travel companies or people representing travel companies should be able to post stuff, but it should be clear that they work for a travel company. I know in the wiki guide we have problem with people posting their own hotels. I don't have issues with it as long as they just give the basic information. Let reviews be from third party people. Maybe a similar thing in the forums, they can post what they do and how they do it but not say things like "WE ARE THE BEST!" or go out and bash other people.

13. Posted by fasteddy (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

Sounds a bit draconian esp when other forums like lonely planet allows links. Its meant to be a fun travel forum the odd response with link is hardly shocking behaviour

Umm why not have a seperate forum for companies to post links? That would be a solution!

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 11, 2008, at 11:30 AM by fasteddy ]

14. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

I disagree with letting travel-related companies post links in the open forums. I also disagree with creating a forum to accommodate their links and (virtual) advertising. Call it Draconian, but TP offers several options for those who want to team up, advertise, become affiliates, or whatever. Why have the forums flooded with links? I personally don't know about Lonely Planet as I do not visit their site often. I do know that when a sincere company posts a link, I will contact them about the alternatives available to them before deleting their post. Whether they choose to follow up...

As for the wiki - that's a completely different animal.

15. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4808 posts) 8y

Quoting fasteddy

Its meant to be a fun travel forum the odd response with link is hardly shocking behaviour

The forum is meant to be useful above all other things. If promotional links were allowed, then it wouldn't be the "odd" response, but it'd be 50%+ posts with promotional links (that's not hyperbole either; if I look at how many posts are flagged as promotional nowadays, left unchecked we'd pretty much be there right away), and less than 50% posts by genuine members, rapidly dropping off to zero as they all left because they couldn't be bothered wading through all the spam anymore to find actually interesting content.

Useful links in context are allowed of course, and they add a lot of value - but the "draconian" policy here serves a very real function, and is a major contributor to the forum staying as nice a place as it is.

16. Posted by Araluen (Respected Member 346 posts) 8y

Quoting fasteddy

Sounds a bit draconian esp when other forums like lonely planet allows links. Its meant to be a fun travel forum the odd response with link is hardly shocking behaviour

Umm why not have a seperate forum for companies to post links? That would be a solution!

Actually LPTT do not allow promotional material or advertising and if any one tries it gets pulled pretty quickly. And the members themselves don't like it and usually go to town and have a field day with the OP responsible. A fair bit of sarconal flag waving and rather blunt "suggestions" as to where the OP can go are made, and he/she is left in no uncertain terms as to what everybody thinks.

There is a big difference when a member has asked for information re hostels, tours, visa, etc., and a link is posted.

A travel forum is designed for travellers to help other travellers and will give information based on their experiences. This is done not for financial reasons but from a general willingness to help others. Anybody can go to a website and click on the required boxes and links, but those sites are promoting their product for financial gain because that is the nature of those sites.

Were a travel forum to allow such links, the would-be traveller would be getting information based not on experience or advice from others like themselves, but a company touting its own product.

I would have no hesitation in going by what other members thought and taking their advice. Indeed, I have a trip coming up in two months and where did I go for advice? To the travel forum. Yes, I looked at websites first and gathered some info, but then I go to the forums and ask "What do you think"? "Has anybody done this? What is the best way to see such-and-such?" And you won't get that from any promotional link.

And having a "separate forum" for promotional links rather defeats the purpose of a travel forum n'est ce pas?

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 11, 2008, at 6:49 PM by Whistler 2 ]

17. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 8y

Quoting Isadora

I disagree with letting travel-related companies post links in the open forums. I also disagree with creating a forum to accommodate their links and (virtual) advertising.

I certainly disagree with creating a forum to accommodate links from travel-related companies.

In regards to links from these companies in the existing forums, I'm fine with them if they are very much in reply to the topic at hand and it is clear which company/organisation the poster is from - however I do think that the links I mentioned earlier in this thread by Martijn from IEP on this thread and this thread were perhaps a bit too much when they could have easily been one link to the IEP website (first thread), and one link to the BUNAC website (second thread) with the program names mentioned but not also linked to. It seemed link over-load a bit!

18. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 8y

I don't know about the whole give the spammers their own forum thing at all. Would they even listen, and do people really read these things seriously?

As I seem to do little but live on the internet these days I see the forums here quite often littered with red Spam labels. All quite justified too, that I have seen.

There's nothing more annoying than seeing user 'hotel101', a first time poster, post 5 "this is a great hotel" posts in each forum.

A suggestion I have is that when a moderator marks someone as Spam, it is removed from the forum immediately pending review and maybe an auto email warning them about account suspension etc. I know they never last long anyway. But if you are new to TP and log in to see nothing but 4 or 5 large spam notices then I would shy away a little from TP. Just a suggestion.

Likewise on the wiki. No spam. I think someone mentioned before about a user having to contribute a certain amount to TP before being allow to edit on the Wiki.

The other little grudge I have here on people posting their services is in The Travel Help section, there seems to be a lot of 'Personal' guides etc in their. Don't know if thats it's purpose, I think not, but it bugs me. I went there a few times looking for some travelers that might have gone to a specific place and trawled through a lot of dodgy looking ones that made me quit after a while.

Whistler 2 is right about Lonely Planet, I have been a member there for years. Generally people offering services or direct hotel links without a history are made short work of. In fact I have not seen any spam there for over a year now.

EDIT
Sorry, one point I forgot to mention. What happens to all those accounts that have no entries anywhere? Those spammers for example. Does the account expire after a year of no use? Just wondering as I am sure there must be a cluster of user names building up now.

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 12, 2008, at 12:30 AM by outcast ]

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