I feel we’re seeing more and more people posting here on BA with the sole purpose of promoting their products, and not engaging with the community otherwise. It’s starting to bother me a bit, and the @moderators have been discussing the issue for a while now. I’d like to check in with the community if this is just us (because we tend to see a lof of these posts as they often go through moderation), so:
How do you feel about the amount of promotional posts on BA?
I think it’s mostly somewhere between ‘not bothered’ and ‘slightly annoying’ at this stage. With it likely largely confined to one section, then it’s much like TV ads or newspaper ads, etc and I just gloss over all that in half a second.
But as you say, you and the mods are getting much more of it in your face, likely from new/inactive accounts, so it looks much bigger then the overall whole.
It’s sort of like watching cable television… It’s very rare that I stop what I’m doing to watch a Great ad on TV. (My favorite is still the Geico Halloween ad “Why can’t we just get in the running car?” Cracks me up every year.) (BTW my Dad was an “Ad Man” in the 60’s & 70’s).
Slightly annoying. As a former Mod of an amazing typophile community, typophile dot com, we would see a ton of these single post accounts drop their ads. Me, I’d nuke them in a heart beat, ha! Why? Because it is sort of abusing the hard work of those who not only own the community, but also because of all those who build the community day-by-day … just to be exploited.
I’m slightly annoyed too, I agree that a forum is a place of discussion, if it’s just about posting commercial content without interacting it’s a kind of spam, that at least might find people interested but nonetheless.
There is already tweeter, artstation or blendernation to look for one way content.
But in the other hand it’s hard to set some rules, and forcing people to interact might make things even worse
Much of the ‘exploiting’ can be avoided if there was a strict rule stating that their accounts will be penalized if the product does not work as advertised. Then there would be the expectation that the product maker is also making use of Blender so as to avoid the impression of a residential solicitor that walks from house to house with a clipboard (with a link to a portfolio). The Blender community then would feel like they are a target audience rather than potential customers seeing an ad.
Thirdly, it would help to have a rule that requires the basic description of the product to be written in plain English rather than something completely loaded with marketing speak (to the point where it obfuscates what the product actually does).
Mostly it doesn’t bother me. I do find “drive by” promotions slightly annoying . That’s when someone joins, makes one post or a few posts, only promote the product or their social media etc. There is no participation in BA otherwise.
“Drive by” commercial promoters should buy an advertisement since they don’t intend to participate in BA. Their posts cheat Bart out of ad money.
At this point all the drive-by artwork posts that get dumped here without commentary or community engagement, solely to be featured and draw people to the creator’s Instagram or Art Station, annoy me still a lot more than other promotional posts, because they’re a lot more numerous. Other promotions don’t generally rise even to “slightly annoying” (with those it really depends how they are presented and whether I find the product interesting).
I don’t think those promo posts are at a level where it gives a false picture of the community to somebody who just drops in here to check us out – that’s the point at which I’d say it’s too much.
I agree, but they never will. In a perfect world where BA had a lot more Patreon subscribers, the site wouldn’t need any ads at all. I beat this drum a lot, but the best way to have less ads is to make the site affordable without them through Patreon support
The cheapest tier is 2 dollars a month- it’s a pittance for any one user, but it adds up quickly towards the monthly cost of the site
I understand people’s need to promote their work and I won’t criticise anyone, I just want to list a few things I’ve noticed:
A lot of Blender AdNet links are dead, you click on the ad and all you get is 404
Sometimes people post 1 image in Finished Projects and a link to their Youtube channel or Blender Market, there’s no wireframe or any other renders, it’s just 1 image purely for promotion.
On a related note, very often 1 image isn’t enough to tell if it’s Blender, AI, Photoshop, or some other software, I always look for at least two renders or a wireframe
Sometimes people post in the gallery just to link to their Artstation page. Which is fair enough, but same deal as above, there’s very little effort other than directing viewers somewhere else
Not a fan of this myself. It would be good to tighten up a external link policy, but that’s a pretty complicated topic with a lot of nuances, edge cases, and loopholes, so that will probably be a long ways off
I’ve done my share of annoying promotion, @Joseph set me straight
Now, though, I agree with @sozap. One-way, promotional stuff is slightly annoying.
“Purely promotional” content is the bad stuff. Because it just throws something at you and…that’s it.
Promotional content that’s not really promotional is much better.
For example, a topic where an artist is trying to solve a problem. They show their progress, then they make an add-on that solves it. If they link to a purchase page for the add-on, that doesn’t bother me.
Or a topic like this one where we’ve watched @Kurtis built an amazing model. If he puts it up for sale, nobody’ll mind a bit of self-promoting. He earned it.
Also education & teaching, in response to someone’s query. I linked to my own demo file in response to someone asking for help learning nodes.
If someone’s first post concerns a new addon they’ve made, I’m usually interested in at least seeing what their post says. I’ve bought more than one addon that I learned about from a post on this forum.
If it’s a model/collection, or texture collection - less so.
None of the above is annoying as someone starting a thread of their thoughts on AI, showing their latest work with AI, pondering the possibilities of AI, or trying to pump up interest in an addon that uses AI.
Hmm this poll seems to evolve into a full discussion thread…
TBH IDK what to choose…slighly annoying but doesn’t bother me… maybe just jump to TLDR…
meant for those cases… ?? Especially couldn’t this part…
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.
extended for …addon/setup/model… and also github, gitlab, blendswap or free on blendermarket or whatever…but payed products are promotion ( expect if the source link is also available and maybe single digit amounts )…
The mentioning of: “as well as a art breakdown” makes it clear for me: “just” posting about something… is:
just doing something for the sake of doing it… ( that’s meaningless but you can’t help those people… best text ever I made this… ) … or
having some promotional intent …
→ to make some money elsewere… → at least help BA a little… it’s a give and take…
A description like:
…doing this and that could be easily done by using the X modifier with an additonal use of a driver Y like so… but to speed this up i made this addon…
So now someone may learn a new trick (or be remindered of it…)… so it would be somekind of doing the community a favor… but not (for the sake of any example): Human game ready basemesh for 39$
( indeed there is a thread about an very advanced human model inclusive skinshader… but it is very informative and also the author talks about some “tricks”… so this is engaging with the community)
So it seems to be that more than a half of the community who voted are okay with it… and the rest don’t care to vote…
( ohh wait… i also didn’t… hmm… but i don’t don’t care… but i can’t vote both… arrghh… i’m loosing my mind …)
Perhaps a certain level of engagement or rank should be required in order to run an ad or just plug a product?
(Professor Emeritus Billy H. Wafflesmith XIV Esq. Certified Legomaniac)
So long as the one-off promotional posts don’t make up a substantial part of the daily traffic here, drowning out the rest of the discussions on the forum with their noise, then I don’t think they’re that much of a problem. They’re nice to have around, because they do occasionally pique my interest, and the ones that don’t are easily ignored.
I can understand why someone signing up just to post what’s basically an advert for their paid addon would irk some people, but from my perspective as an average user, they don’t get in the way at all, so I’m not too bothered by them.