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To spam or not to spam...?

Travel Forums System Talk To spam or not to spam...?

1. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

"Stay at our hotel it's the best in the country!" or "Can you help me by sending a $5,000 cheque?" is easy enough to pick out as spam.

But I'm such a fence-sitter when it comes to one-time posters who talk about their fantastic experience with such-and-such company and provide a link - and then another one-time poster writes "Oh yeah, me too!". Is it spam? Is it legit? There's something slimy about it - at least the out-and-out spammers are being honest.

Is there an established etiquitte for this type of thing? I don't want to insult or dismiss someone who's honestly sharing their experience - but I really, really hate it when someone tries to pull a fast one.

2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

Unfortunately I can say from experience that any one time poster that posts something about how great some place is, is nearly without exception spamming in some way (advertising, getting something out of it or the more serious forms which involve links trying to gain credit card details etc. etc.). Your example is a typical camouflage technique. Another one is slightly more subtle and goes like this; 'does anyone know a great place in Amsterdam?' type question which is then answered a day or two later by themselves with a 'by the way, I found this great place xxx '

That's also why, even if it might not be spamming, we tend to delete all first time posters posts that are somewhere in the 'grey area'. If the posters are legit, they'll stay around and end up posting a lot more. If they aren't, we never hear anything from them again anyway

3. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

A good example was the spanish school in Bolivia post which probably inspired your post and has now been removed

Either way, spam or not, it breaks the TP forum rules so can be deleted without further notice .... yes, I am harsh sometimes!

4. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

I will have to watch for this I guess. When people ask me about places i have stayed in Russia I generally try to put a link up and say it was good or bad.

Kind of on the same... topic... I suppose, how does one get listed in your accomodation area? My mom is starting up a guesthouse/traditional cooking place in Spain, do you get your lists from other lists or make your own? I imagine it would be great to get listed here.

5. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

Coming from you Brendan, it wouldn't be deleted or even edited probably. There are some benefits to being a member that has posted a lot... :) When you see them, you'll know them I think. You get a feel for it pretty quick and certain posts just 'feel' wrong!

Regarding being listed in the accommodation area. I wish we owned that system :) The guesthouse/bed and breakfast area is probably where your mom would want to be listed. We use information provided to us by a company called bookhostels (hostelworld is their main site). To get listed, have your mom fill in this form and submit it. It's free to be listed, the booking agency only takes a cut when a booking is made (availability and pricing is controlled by the accommodation management) and part of that cut is then shared with TP - if that's where the booking originated from (they have several thousand partner sites so it could be from all over). Anyway, if you fill in the form, a customer service rep from the booking agency should be in touch with all the details. If you run into any probs (there have been some issues with that form lately), let me know and I'll have someone contact her.

6. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

Thank you very much Sam! I appreciate it!

7. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Quoting Sam I Am

Another one is slightly more subtle and goes like this; 'does anyone know a great place in Amsterdam?' type question which is then answered a day or two later by themselves with a 'by the way, I found this great place xxx '

Yes, does are the ones that I have "spam" in the past. If you look at the profile, sometimes is the same name (using different IDs) or similar last names (such as husband and wife, brother and sister...or father and son, or...ok I will be quiet now).

8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Quoting Sam I Am

Coming from you Brendan, it wouldn't be deleted or even edited probably. There are some benefits to being a member that has posted a lot... :) When you see them, you'll know them I think. You get a feel for it pretty quick and certain posts just 'feel' wrong!

Regarding being listed in the accommodation area. I wish we owned that system :) The guesthouse/bed and breakfast area is probably where your mom would want to be listed. We use information provided to us by a company called bookhostels (hostelworld is their main site). To get listed, have your mom fill in this form and submit it. It's free to be listed, the booking agency only takes a cut when a booking is made (availability and pricing is controlled by the accommodation management) and part of that cut is then shared with TP - if that's where the booking originated from (they have several thousand partner sites so it could be from all over). Anyway, if you fill in the form, a customer service rep from the booking agency should be in touch with all the details. If you run into any probs (there have been some issues with that form lately), let me know and I'll have someone contact her.

Thanks for asking Brendan, and answering this question Sam. We were wondering about this subject. A family that we know very well has a B&B in our area and are very involved with promoting the different activities available around us (festivals, etc.). We thought TP would be a good place for them since they already have a growing international clientele and work hard to bring "tourist" trade into our little corner of the world. I was going to place a link to them in the NA forum, but thought it would be inappropriate and/or deleted. I will pass this information on to them.

Thanks!
Mrs. Isa

9. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

Not only is it slighly spammy, it also fades away into oblivion pretty quickly when it's a forum post. Whereas in the b&b area it will stay as long as they remain signed up with the provider and keep availability up.... and of course it actually results in bookings as people generally end up on those pages when they are looking for accommodation in that particular area ;)

10. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Thanks, Sam. I will hit that spam button much more liberally now. Watch out, Brendan!! ;)