Forum home BikeRadar team Discuss the website with the team

Forum or Sales Medium?

Mike WillcoxMike Willcox Posts: 1,770
I don't believe that posters on this forum should use it as a means of directing business to whatever is they are selling via a URL on their signatures. IMO it affects their credibility. After all a forum is for debate, information and advice. If that advice includes " I just so happen to have that service or product I recommend" then how can this be right?

Posts

  • Gavin GilbertGavin Gilbert Posts: 4,019
    This crops up from time to time. If the member activly contributes to the forum then what's the problem. There's a huge gulf between blatant spam trying to pass itself off as a post (for instance Scottoiler) and the regular retailing and coaching posters.

    In a few months my signature will contain a URL to a club event I'm promoting. How is this different to a link to a webstore?
  • John StevensonJohn Stevenson Posts: 1,131
    If someone has professional expertise that they use as the basis of advice they give here then we have no problem with them linking to their business websites in their sigs.

    There is a world of difference between contributing to the forum in that way, and simply advertising your wares.

    Contributors are welcome, spammers are not.
    John Stevenson
  • The current policy of accepting sig links to commercial sites is the right one for me provided that the poster is providing valuable input to the forum. I haven't seen any posters behaving in the way you describe, Mike.

    This has been the case for ages on this forum, incl holiday operators and others as well as your friends in the power based training industry.

    It would be totally wrong for posters to promote a particular website, product, etc but disguise the fact that they have a vested interest in that website, product, etc.
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    I don't believe that posters on this forum should use it as a means of directing business to whatever is they are selling via a URL on their signatures. IMO it affects their credibility. After all a forum is for debate, information and advice. If that advice includes " I just so happen to have that service or product I recommend" then how can this be right?
    I think if someone is asking (for example) if a lighter bike will help them ride faster and they get the reply "No, but a good coach will. By the way I'm a coach, see my link below." - that might be overstepping the mark.

    If someone is asking for coaching advice and a coach answers and gives good advice, and there is a link to their business below, that's okay.

    I intend to put one or two links in my signature in the future. I may get round to developing a little cycling website one day and I think it would be reasonable to link to that on a cycling forum.

    I am also developing an online games website and will link to that too. It won't have anything to do with cycling, but some people on here might enjoy my games and they don't have to follow the link if they don't want to.

    I recently gave a detailed answer to a question about choosing a suitable laptop to take on a bicycle tour. If I made money selling computers, I think that it would be fair game to link to my computer business. If my answer to the question was simply "Follow my business link below" that would be pretty unimpressive.

    I've spent a lot of time on the old C+ forum and this one trying to help people out. I'm not a coach, but I can use Google and often search out articles on matters such as hydration or overtraining to help answer peoples' queries. I've organised group rides for forum members (hint: this is the current one :wink: !). I've even had strangers PM me asking for advice on cycling in West Yorkshire and I've sat down and drawn maps for them, and written detailed route sheets. I don't mind doing it because I love cycling and want to be helpful. If in return I can at some point in the future use my posts to help advertise my fledgling business, why shouldn't I?

    I think that Gavin is right. It is all a matter of intent. If it is obvious that the sole reason that someone posts is to make money, they should be treated with the contempt they deserve. If the person is a regular poster and makes a good contribution to the forum, why shouldn't they get some free advertising?
  • nasahapleynasahapley Posts: 717
    I don't believe that posters on this forum should use it as a means of directing business to whatever is they are selling via a URL on their signatures. IMO it affects their credibility. After all a forum is for debate, information and advice. If that advice includes " I just so happen to have that service or product I recommend" then how can this be right?

    So far as I'm concerned the credibility or otherwise of a given forumite depends on their ability to give considered advice or construct an argument in a logical manner and to back up any particularly contentious statements they make with evidence. What they put below the bottom line doesn't come into it.
  • Mike WillcoxMike Willcox Posts: 1,770
    No more than I expected. But if a URL in a signature is acceptable anything goes. If you can't beat them, join them.

    ................................................................................................................................................
    Professional cycle coaching for all levels of Numpties with more money than sense.


    www.powermeters-RU-aving-a-laugh.com
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    You've got a real chip on your shoulder haven't you? Why can't you just pipe down and let us enjoy this forum instead of whining.
  • Mike WillcoxMike Willcox Posts: 1,770
    CherryUp wrote:
    You've got a real chip on your shoulder haven't you? Why can't you just pipe down and let us enjoy this forum instead of whining.


    The answer to the first question is no.

    The answer to the second question is I'll post what I want,when I want, and if you don't like it then tough. There's more on the way so get used to it.


    ................................................................................................................................................

    Professional cycle coaching for Numpties with more money than sense.



    www.cherry_plonker.com
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    No I'm pretty sure you've got a chip on your shoulder just look at your own sig for confirmation. People should be able to have links in their signatures (genuine sites though). A number of people these forums will naturally be in the bike industry and some may well be accredited coaches and so long as they give advice why shouldn't they link to their services.

    The person whom you are refering to, didn't come on the forum and say "i'll tell you what the perfect cadence is if you pay me" instead he made a rather pedantic point that amounted to: cycling is not weight lifting. DUH! Now, as far as I can see, you are not an accredited cycling coach, instead you have had some good results as a cyclist. However, this does not mean you can speak for everyone, whereas qualified coaches can (to a certain extent).
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • SquagglesSquaggles Posts: 875
    Surely you can use your judgement ? Nobody is making you click on any link or buy anything you don't want to . It hardly seems like a big problem to me .
    The UCI are Clowns and Fools
  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,666
    Molehill---> mountain.
    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill
Sign In or Register to comment.