📣 New policy on 'self promotion'

Note: we’re aware the policy needs some tweaking/clarification - see this post.

Going forward, you can make up to one self-promotion post a week.

The “one per week” stipulation is “on average”- see the section titled “How Does This Work”.

As Blender continues to get more popular, we’re seeing more and more people come to this forum and treat it as just a platform to promote their products or services, but do not otherwise engage with the community. This is not a healthy dynamic for a forum. This kind of behavior adds very little value to forum members while at the same time it makes the overall experience less pleasant. After observing this for a while and collecting data, we have decided it’s time for a new policy on such posts.

What is self-promotion?

Self-promotion is a post or reply that advertises you. Specifically, this may mean:

Note that we count replies to your self-promotions too as these bump your topic back to the top of the message list.

What isn’t self-promotion?

This does not include links to your social media, or YouTube videos posted in your own #artwork:finished-projects - this is an expected part of sharing an artwork. For example, you post an artwork in #artwork:finished-projects and add a link to your Instagram, as well as a art breakdown video on your YouTube channel. This is not self-promotion, for the sake of this rule.

However, if you make a reply to that topic sharing the model on BlenderMarket, that is self-promotion.

How does this work?

We will delete self promotion posts that exceed the 1/week rule and we encourage forum members to report posts that appear to follow this pattern.

That said, it’s worth noting that exceptions can be made if a user has a high level of community involvement. As said in a reply below:

If you have a good week and you post 3 items, but you also have great community engagement otherwise, and you haven’t been promoting for a while, then I have no problems with it. We will look over a longer 30 period before making any decisions.

What if I need additional promotion?

You can reach out to @bartv if you’re interested in commercial opportunities for promotion, such as site banners or advertising on the Blender AdNet.

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this is very correct, the forum should be like a forum so that artists can communicate and get the best experience :black_heart:

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Hi Bart,

A welcome step, I think. :clap: :clap:

I’m curious though regarding posts in Artwork - specifically Finished Projects. What of the influx of people posting their finished piece, along with just ‘Insta: [link or @###]’ and nothing else; would that fall under self promotion? Often there is no other interaction from the poster, so…

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This is a good question. I think that for the time being, we’ll allow those kinds of posts since we don’t want to discourage anyone from posting their art and we think that the strength of the community here can inspire these people to engage more frequently. However, we’ll keep an eye on it. If it turns out that people are trying to skirt around this policy by using the #artwork:finished-projects category, then we’ll address it there. This is also where you come in. If you start noticing a large number of those kinds of posts, that’s the time to send a DM to @moderators and share with us what you’re seeing.

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Does this also apply to free addons that people post directly as file attachment (no external link)?

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Yes- free vs commercial isn’t really a criteria here, a free add-on uploaded directly is still self promotion (as I understand it, @Fweeb can correct me if that’s wrong)

So, essentially, a person makes a free addon, and decides to share it with the community. They don’t make any money off of it, and they don’t divert BA traffic to another site. 4 days later, they have finished another addon they’d like to share. They have to wait 3 more days until they can? :expressionless:

See Bart’s reply below

Its not meant to be as crazy strict as that, but we want to stop people who post a LOT of promotions. If you have a good week and you post 3 items, but you also have great community engagement otherwise, and you haven’t been promoting for a while, then I have no problems with it.

We will look over a longer 30 period before making any decisions.

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Seems very reasonable!
It’s better than some forums out there flat-out denying the ability, like most subreddits or Facebook groups

awesome work guys :blush:

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You also wouldn’t have the ability to reply to an update like this on those platforms, it’s quite rare for staffs to allow open feedback on policy like this. It’s pretty cool that we have a constructive enough community that we can :grin: with that said, feel free to leave feedback! We will read and consider it, if nothing else, you can know that for sure

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Absolutely!
I guess that’s something inherent with the blender community. Most of us are super open to ideas, super open to adaptation, advice, and improvement. :blush:

But I’m one of those people who posts once a week due to my weekly artwork endeavor, understandably I am open to this idea as it doesn’t harm me.
The only way I can see people getting around this is by linking their previous artwork that has the self-promo on it, which still gives engagement but can be seen as destructive. I am super interested in how people will adapt to this

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Agreed that spam and spam-like activity is at a troublesome level now.

I think these rules are too vague and too broad. Vague, broad, or supernumerous rules lead to more trouble than what they were intended to solve. Wish I had suggestions for better rules but this needs much more work before if it is to be implemented.

Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Maybe some rules can help with this, maybe not, or it’s the wrong cure.

If you do make rules about this then consider member profiles.

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We’ll see how it goes and refine as needed. I’m optimistic that over time we’ll be able to optimize this and arrive at the perfect result :slight_smile:

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So if I post an addon and will receive a feedback, questions about it, I won’t be able to engage in conversation?

Paradoxically, this might encourage less aggressive self-promoters to increase their activity to more closely encroach on this new limit. It’s like the psychological effect achieved when setting the initial asking price during bartering. Just a thought.

As already said:

So if you have a good amount of community engagement beyond self promotions, this will be fine, you can post replies to your add-on without problems. If you only have self promotion posts, then you might be more limited

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Most aggressive self promoters are already well over the limit and have been for many months, according to our data

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Aye Aye Agree!

Fred/K.S