📣 New policy on 'self promotion'

This is an excellent concern that I’m not qualified to answer. I’m going to pass the mike to @bartv here :slight_smile: that is say, this goes beyond the team of what’s already been said, and I’ve been exclusively repeating or rephrasing what’s been said here. I’m not in a position to offer interpretations, that’s definitely site owner territory

And vocal people are usually just a fraction of all the people who will read or be affected by the rules and stop or refrain from posting at all. General intention of the rule is IMO great, but it’s carpet bombing approach to the problem. The other problem of this rule is already highlighted in the thread: exceptions are already discussed and allowed. Not a great policy if at the beginning it needs exceptions from it, right?

To be honest, I don’t have constructive idea how to better address the issue though…

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I’m not aware of any policies on this site that don’t have exceptions. Policy without room for exception is, to my way or thinking, 100% going to fail and fall short. That’s just me, though.

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In all honesty, I’m not engaged in the parts of the forum where I would see a need to reinforce them. I am with you if you say that’s the case, but now the rules basically say they are at moderators discretion ( meaning: rather vague). I would assume vibrant long running threads should be exempt. New threads would be the culprit, I assume, so more heavy moderation on those should prevent long running threads from becoming a promotion thread, right?

Sure, sure, definitely keep human decision making. It’s more that if users are unsure whether or not a rule applies, they’ll refrain for the sake of caution. Unless they are the culprits themselves, I guess.

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A lot of topics in this category got thousands of replies, are we supposed to not share news about our products in our own product topics?

for example this:

or all HardOps/Machin3 topic

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How else did these addons develop to become so popular? Through user engagement. And add-on makes do need to notify their followers of critical bugfixes or of implementations of new features that they ironed out with the community in an earlier discussion.
That’s my experience on the subject.

E: In fact I mostly use the forums for these addon topics, to keep up with development and ask/ engage with the devs. Without that, you’ll be bleeding forumusers when not careful imo.
E2: So please let’s finetune the rules so the policy would be enacted more naturally without the potentially negative side-effects.

This seems like a good way to think about it:

But again, I would encourage you all with concerns to hold tight and give Bart a chance to address them

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Hey folks! The only reason we do this is to reduce some abuse we’ve been seeing. Obviously we need to refine our policy - don’t worry, we will update it as needed and we’ll make sure the examples above will be fine.

We’ll need some time to refine this, and it’s Sunday evening so I’ll get back to this later this week.

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That’s a pretty nice way of dealing with a difficult situation. Hooray for making it!
Looking foward to how you implement it.
Some difficult stuff, Im actually interested.
Getting people to talk is hard.

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Regarding this issue, if anyone should require legal assistance, I would like to offer my services at…

I’m kidding. I think this is a good policy so that BA.org doesn’t wind up becoming a sea of Blender-related advertising with little actual content in between to keep our attention. Much like television.

I also like how tolerant you are being about it. Most places would simply delete and ban.

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From glancing down this thread and those that are doubtful, I think the idea is to just keep promotional and problematic posts to a minimum. It’s a common trend on many forums to just keep posting and linking to your own works (paid addons, courses, models, etc) with every other reply. From what I can gather, they’re simply trying to curb that and asking people to be a bit more considerate. It’s not a free for all bilboard after all.

It simply applies to promotional posts/threads.

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I trust @bartv. For something like this to be needed implies the severity of the underlying issue. I know he generally wants to target promo dumps, but, and this has been stated several times in the thread already, the policy itself felt very restrictive and the exceptions to the policy felt very handwavy.

To be honest, I had written a fairly heated comment this weekend, but I decided to wait, because what eventually became an edit to OP was what I felt was going to happen anyway, and my comment wouldn’t have been useful.

Over the past years I’ve been working on a non-commercial addon out of pure passion and have been contemplating on a public release on BA, but the lack of defined constraints in the policy made me think twice, because the policy in its current form requires me to read between the lines, when I obviously shouldn’t be :slight_smile:

I tend to spend most of my time in python support, and while I do enjoy it, there may go weeks between my posts and I wouldn’t call my self particularly involved, certainly not by the high community involvement metric, which was my gripe.

I hope to see a more refined list of what’s considered self-promotions and what’s not, preferably with examples, what intervals, type of posts, actions (liking, flagging posts, etc.) and categories are considered great community involvement. How are those three words, in the context of the policy, meaningfully quantified?

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perhaps we can rate the ‘karma’ of a post.

(people helping get positive karma, people perceive as trying to take are awarded negative karma?)

It’s by design that this is up to the staff to enforce, not users. A Reddit-esque free-for-all popularity contest is not really in the spirit of this site

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yeah, I would have it be a moderation crew thing

Please do so.

Disclaimer: I am not a moderator, but I do trust those who are.

From what I understand in your case there should not be any problem with this new policy.

It does not sound as if you will be posting continuous new threads with just self promotion links.

From your profile it is easy to see that you do engage with the community in a positive way.

The new policy aims to restrict the amount of “abusive” self promotion posts, not to ban all kinds of self promotion. Bart has already stated that it is flexible. If it was a strict interpretation just posting a render could be considered self promotion!

There are many commercial addons that have thriving threads, hard opps etc I do not think they are “abusive”

Would anyone consider Chris Jones’s Human Progress thread as “abusive self promotion”? I am sure they would not.

I think we can trust Bart and the rest of the mods on this.

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That thread is crazy busy! I’m not even sure what it’s supposed to be about but I get the feeling it’s a guy who is trying to work on his character model(s). If he’s trying to sell or commercialise those models, then it’s no longer a Work In Progress and it shouldn’t even be there, which renders the discussion about promoting himself moot. There is a policy of sorts on here where they ask people who are selling things to add the #commercial tag as well.

I think what’s needed is an example. When I ran a forum (years ago now,) I used to get people literally posting adverts about their products and services and it was the only thing they ever contributed. It was a major annoyance and I had to implement a policy similar to this. The moderators are really not fussed about day-to-day “mini-adverts” where you post a link to something that you (or someone else) has done as long as it’s relevant, accessible and you’ve explained what the link actually is and how to access the information. I don’t think anyone is going to complain about about you mentioning addon’s you’ve built for example, as long as the addon you’ve mentioned actually solves their particular problem. They also don’t want you talking about your addon to be the only reason you interact with people on the site.

At the very least, that’s my understanding of this situation. I think it’s being overthought on both sides - the admins might be over-explaining it and the user-base might be mis-interpreting. I hope this is a good “piggy in the middle” view to the matter.

I should probably point out I’m not a moderator too :smiley:

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It’s not terribly hard to find an example- I’m not going to call anyone out specifically, because that would be unethical, but go look through #support:tutorials-tips-and-tricks and see if you can find any users that post something self-promotional many times a month and don’t engage with the community at all beyond that. (You can.) I’m personally aware of multiple users that follow this pattern and have been doing so for a long time.

There’s a clear difference between this kind of behavior and providing support for an add-on, @iceythe I’d encourage you to try this exercise and see what I mean. With a bit of exploration, you can easily see both why this policy is necessary and why there’s so much nuance needed for it.

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You’re right. I was gonna type up an example but I decided against it in the end. I should’ve probably taken that line out :sweat_smile:

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