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Discussion Starter #1
Correct me if I'm wrong, but...

Currently, I believe no external links are allowed. While I agree the forums should not be spammed with commercial nonsense, I think members should have the right to post external links to their own websites or points they find interesting in their signatures.

I see tons of people devoting energy and effort to support DF, I think they should be allowed to post a link in their signature to maybe their LinkedIn/MySpace/Facebook or even their private/commercial website they own.

While I understand DF is a non-profit organization, it still collects money through banners and ads. While I'm sure these are posted to support the maintenance of this website (I understand bandwidth and hardware requirements for something like this), these profits are dependent on visitors and driven by the community.

If the community works for DF, I think the favour should be returned and allow members to post their links on DF.

Of course, links would have to be within reason and still be subject to spam controllers.

My .02
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The public does not own DF so the public has no say. Just like any private enterprise you are free to protest with your feet.
I never said the public owns DF, nor am I saying I'm ready to rally the troops over such an issue?

All I'm saying is that, out of courtesy, members should be allowed to post links to what they see fit provided they are appropriate.

But to answer directly to your post, the public does not own DF, but without the public DF cannot exist. Social sites can't exist without their members, so in a way, the public does own DF. ;)
 

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I would be happy if they let us have custom titles under our user names , for say senior users . I PMed an admin about it but never got a reply :(
 

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I was told a long time ago by a mod that linking to my personal site was OK. We don't sell anything...it's just about our dogs. Maybe that's changed, but I've not read anything. I'll remove if necessary....
 

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While I understand DF is a non-profit organization
Who told you that?

DF is a business and is supported by paid advertisers. Rules regarding redirects and spam are established by the administrators, on behalf of the owners, and enforced by the moderators.

Every once-in-a-while, somebody gets the idea that a publicly accessible forum is some kind of democracy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Who told you that?

DF is a business and is supported by paid advertisers. Rules regarding redirects and spam are established by the administrators, on behalf of the owners, and enforced by the moderators.

Every once-in-a-while, somebody gets the idea that a publicly accessible forum is some kind of democracy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Ok I stand corrected.

That doesn't change anything though. I never assumed DF is a democracy, but since there is a suggestions area I thought I could post my suggestion.
 

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I never said the public owns DF, nor am I saying I'm ready to rally the troops over such an issue?

All I'm saying is that, out of courtesy, members should be allowed to post links to what they see fit provided they are appropriate.

But to answer directly to your post, the public does not own DF, but without the public DF cannot exist. Social sites can't exist without their members, so in a way, the public does own DF. ;)
No, the public does not own DF. The ability of its membership to influence its existence does not imply ownership. Suggestions are one thing but when you claim a right it is no longer is a suggestion but a demand.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No, the public does not own DF. The ability of its membership to influence its existence does not imply ownership. Suggestions are one thing but when you claim a right it is no longer is a suggestion but a demand.
Look, what you say is true. I'm not arguing that. The whole "ownership due to members" is being blown out of proportion anyway. I was only replying directly to your post for arguments sake, saying that "in a way" it does - but not literally. So yes, looking at it from your perspective thats correct. Also, I don't claim its a demand anywhere.

So moving on back on topic, I'm not demanding anything be changed. All I'm saying is that it would be nice, as a courtesy for DF to help its members out and allow people to post their blogs/websites/myspace profiles in their signature.

This help this place to become more animated and personal through allowing members to express themselves and "connect" on a more personal level. Plus I'd be curious what people do outside of DF, whether its dog related or not. Those are the things that build a community.

This is the first forum that I have participated that discourages links to be placed in signatures. Yes, I know - "DF does not have to be like other forums". However, I almost think this may be in DF's advantage.
 

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I almost think this may be in DF's advantage.
The forum administrators (not to be confused with moderators) disagree.

The forum is supported by paid advertisers. You are right. Without members there would be no forum, and some individuals may chose not to join or participate if they can't post links to their blog, website or whatever. Quite a few, though, have indicated that they prefer a spam-free site.

Without advertisers, who may be justifiably peeved if they are paying for ads when others are posting them for free, there would be no forum at all.

Many of the links that we delete are simply redirects to other sites and you may wonder what the problem is with those. From a practical standpoint, allowing those would be a little like running (free) ads for ABC on NBC. It doesn't even matter if the link is to a commercial site. If it directs traffic away from DF, it's counter-productive.

There are a handful of members who have requested, and received, permission to post a link to a non-competing, non-commercial site. Those exceptions are rarely granted and we simply don't have the manpower to review all the requests received - especially since permission has to be given by the administrator - not a moderator.

It's perfectly okay to make suggestions - as long as they don't turn into arguments.
 

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If you want to link to your site there are proper channels to go through. I don't really see why this is such a radical idea...

You wouldn't be allowed to go to McDonalds and distribute pamphlets about Burger King would you? Even further, you probably wouldn't be allowed to distribute them for Matress Giant either, a completely non competing company, unless you paid a fee to McD's for the use of their space.

Advertising on DF is not like holding up a sign along the highway, it's like holding up a sign inside the actual store.

Anyone who is interested in your site can easily be PM'd the address. For the rest of us, put the name of your kennel or whatever in your sig, and I'll ask if I'm actually interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Ok, I read both of your points and I somewhat agree, but still aren't 100% there.

1. Without advertisers, who may be justifiably peeved if they are paying for ads when others are posting them for free, there would be no forum at all.

2. Many of the links that we delete are simply redirects to other sites and you may wonder what the problem is with those. From a practical standpoint, allowing those would be a little like running (free) ads for ABC on NBC. It doesn't even matter if the link is to a commercial site. 3. If it directs traffic away from DF, it's counter-productive.
1. Advertisers pay for a spot, but do not contribute to the community. They obtain a spot through money, where as members contribute content. Either way, someone has to contribute something... there really isen't that much difference. And while a members time may not be monetary, we all know time = money, and because DF thrives on content, your members are essentially working for free to provide you with content that you then use to attract advertisers.

2. I disagree. 99% of the links won't be to another "dog forum" website. So you're not advertising McDonalds in a Wendy's. Also, TV advertising is different. When you watch a show, you work for the TV channel. They provide the content, you provide your attention and watch ads. At the end, the advertiser pays to have their ads viewed, the TV show provides content, and contribute time to watch the ads. So when you watch TV its not really free, you are working for your shows. Everyone contributes something. This is not how DF works.

If you put an editorial into a newspaper, they will allow you to put your name and potentially a website into the article. You provide the content, they are thankful, and give you exposure. Both parties win. Same if you get on the news. If they deem you an expert in a topic, you can be on the news, tell your story, and in return for giving them content they post your name and website.

I would understand the whole "no private links" if DF contributed a significant amount of content. Maybe loads of articles, downloads, etc. But most of the DF content is community driven by members who devote their time for free.

3. That's debatable. Its not always a disadvantage for people to move away from DF. Though I don't want to write a book, and you are partially right so I'm going to leave this point out and give it to you.


I don't really see why this is such a radical idea...
The radical idea is that any forum I have been on has allowed these links. Look at quickbooks.ca, a business allows their community members to post links to anything they want. Why would they do that? Because they understand that their community section is driven by people, and allow flexibility as a returned favour for users devoting their free time to the forums.

The "radical idea" here is that any social networking site works on this concept. Do you think people answer professional questions on LinkedIn for fun? No, loads of them want the exposure, and have others look at their profile to potentially see them as an expert in the field. They give the answer, and potentially gain something in return.

Advertising on DF is not like holding up a sign along the highway, it's like holding up a sign inside the actual store.
I don't think thats correct. Posting a new topic saying "Visit my website here" and providing links would be like handing out brochures. A signature is a unique part of each members ID. I would say its more like wearing a corporate T-Shirt into McDonalds. Nobody cares, they are just happy I am giving them money.

For the rest of us, put the name of your kennel or whatever in your sig, and I'll ask if I'm actually interested.
Whats the difference between posting an ad and having it in your signature graphic?

So at the end of the day, this may not be a big issue. But if I'm going to contribute content to a forum, put my time into answering questions and potentially making video tutorials, then I would at least like to have a link where people can view my materials.

I believe in give/take. DF right now is only taking.

1. I devote my time to look at DF ads (paid sponsors)
2. I devote my time making posts, answering
3. Sharing news and ideas
4. Making video tutorials

But at the end, I can't even post a link to my graphic website to potentially have a reward for my time. Not that I would make money anyway, DF'ers aren't interesting in web design or w/e. The point is that I don't even have an option if I wanted to waste my time with a signature ad.

But even aside of commercial links, members can't even post their blogs or other personal websites they don't make money on. Sure, maybe they can through your "proper channels", but I don't agree they should have to go through that. That's my "opinion" though, so lets leave that part be.

Looking at it like that, I am questioning my membership at DF. Would it be enough to quit? No, I like the community, I'm just very surprised at this portion of things.
 
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