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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Northwest Colorado
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    4,630

    Arrow Web Design and Content vs. The Rules

    I think either some clarification is in order, or perhaps a forum-specific rule. I don't mean to single out one member because this happens all the time, but a current example thread would be:

    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showth...hreadid=419031

    Whereas The Rules states:

    Participants may not post any message that directs others to any pages at their own commercial web site, including informational pages.
    Granted, it's hard to ask for help with the design of one's site, without linking to one's site. However the case could be made that the thread in question is both trolling for forum members and spamming for hosting customers, so I see why that rule exists.

    In the past, I've taken pains to make an "unlinked" version of a page with a temporary URL or made an example of the problem with lorem ipsums and clipart instead of promotional copy and a logo.

    Was that necessary on my part? If so, could some wording to that effect be added somewhere? Should threads posted by hosts for "help with their website" be reported if they link to the host's "live" site instead of a mockup?
    Eric J. Bowman, principal
    Bison Systems Corporation coming soon: a new sig!
    I'm just a poor, unfrozen caveman Webmaster. Your new 'standards' frighten, and confuse me...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    11,222
    That's a tough one to call Eric. The main problem is that you could get around this rule by claiming to be working on a customer's site, when in fact linking to your own. Yeah, you can usually track this stuff down, but it takes time to do it, and when you get a lot of these, you tend to spend more time hunting than participating.

    Maybe make it so that you cannot link your address, which at least kills backlinks? That's a small piece of the benefit that comes with linking, but it's something...

    Let's face it, in most cases, it is impossible to provide assistance without being able to see the live document, and in any cases, it is tough to replicate an issue in generic form for most people, because if you could pinpoint what was causing problems in such a way that you could replicate it, you wouldn't need help solving it

    Here's another issue to consider. What if you have a resource on your own site that addresses an issue or question by another member here? I bring this up because on occasion, I've linked to threads of particular interest elsewhere that could be construed as self-serving. But does this consideration outweigh the value of the information you're giving? I don't know the answer. I think it's judged on a case-by-case basis. Thus far, I haven't had a link removed or received a warning, but I approach this with hesitation every time, knowing I might have the answer for someone, and in the course of giving sincere help, I might be punished.

    At what point do you get so paranoid about people advertising themselves that you cease to be a helpful resource?
    Studio1337___̴ı̴̴̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡̡.__Web Design

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Northwest Colorado
    Posts
    4,630
    Originally posted by the_pm
    ...if you could pinpoint what was causing problems in such a way that you could replicate it, you wouldn't need help solving it ...
    Exactly. Many times, the process of simplifying the problem leads to the answer. Particularly where CSS selector specificity is the culprit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    11,222
    But often, people don't have the knowhow to do this. I totally agree that posts like "how do I get more traffic to www.mysite.com" are obvious spam attempts. But when someone's asking a technical question, it's hard for a lot of people to create a generic version of a problem. I have problems like this myself with really complex layouts. True, sometimes you can solve the problem yourself by decostructing it, but when the problem has to do with unexpected behavior, especially in older browsers, it's tough to come up with the solution out of thin air. For example, you can deconstruct a page that's showing 3-pixel jog, but once you've carefully recreated the problem, you're no closer to having the answer to the problem. It seems like an awful waste of time at that point, when the problem was already available for people to solve, in its live environment.

    So how do you come to others looking for advice on a problem when you're not allowed to show people the problem? And if you allow this, how do you distinguish between spam and legitimate calls for help? Frankly, I don't know the answer; I'm just trying to expand on the question so all facets get consideration.
    Studio1337___̴ı̴̴̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡̡.__Web Design

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