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New policy with respect to advertisements

Discussion in 'ScubaBoard Site News' started by Diver0001, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

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    Business sponsors have unlimited access to the hot-deals forum, which is intended to be used as a platform for advertising and is where this ad is located. I see nothing wrong here.

    Look.... We have not opened up the gates to spamming but realistically it makes sense for businesses to reach out to their target audience using Scubaboard. This development fits with the owner's philosophy of gradually loosening the reigns and enabling businesses to connect with potential customers in a way that suits a discussion board format and provided that it doesn't become dominating. This is a process that has been ongoing since Pete took over the board so there is nothing new here.

    What we're allowing is for users (they do not need to be business sponsors) to post relevant offers in forums that are not in the green zone and do not have their own marketplace on an occasional basis.

    In fact, this is happening already since it does not fit the description of spam. The only difference here is that we've announced it because we were noticing that some users were confused as the rules.

    As always, if you feel that someone is going too far then we would like you to report it. Nobody wants this to turn into the scuba-advertising-board. It is, and will always be, a forum for users.

    R..
     
  2. DCBC

    DCBC Banned

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    I certainly am not offended if a retailer writes a post on one of his products, accompanied by a sales pitch. What I don't think is appropriate, is for that same retailer (who isn't identified as such) writing a post about how great a product is and failing to disclose his vested interest.

    SB is a forum that provides independent information and advice to those seeking it. Its users often gain knowledge through discussion and it's important that an effort be made to identify the perspective in-which these various opinions are made. I believe this can partially be accomplished by the Instructor or Vendor identification of the Poster.
     
  3. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    55,833
    23,175
    113
    Dude, that's in the Hot Deals forum. Only advertisers and Business Sponsors can start a thread in there and it's all about Hot Deals. Why would we restrict that?

    Here's some history. We started out fourteen years ago not allowing businesses on ScubaBoard at all. Users could post about a trip, a class or a good deal but only if they weren't the business. Businesses found ways around that and moderating who was or was not a business was nigh to impossible. Ergo, we created "Trips and Marketplace" forums that were open to all businesses and non businesses alike. A year and a half ago, we realized that while they served their purpose, they were still causing us issues by making navigation even more complex. So, we all we did was to move all the posts into the parent forum and delete the "Trips and Market Place" forums. We've had no problems with this so far. However, a number of people did not read the rule changes and the mods decided to re-announce this.

    A note to those wanting to take advantage of this: tread lightly. The ToS is a great starting point, but they are only our rules of engagement. You can still be well within the ToS and piss off your target audience. People come here to have a conversation: not to be sold to. If your time here is perceived as only being driven by a desire to sell, I would suggest that you will do more harm than good. Banner ads are a better choice than cleverly disguised ads. A far, far better approach is simply to interact and stop trying to sell. When someone asks about what mask is best, tell them what YOU dive, not what you sell. This is especially true for the Sub Forums in the Scuba Diving Central. Make sure that you use the appropriate forum for your offerings like the various gear marketplaces (they still exist) or your local geographical forum. Limit how often you post in those areas as well. If you simply flood a section, you can bet that others will start avoiding it. This bears repeating: People come here to have a conversation: not to be sold to. Respect that and you'll do well.
     
    Shasta_man, SeaHorse81 and awap like this.
  4. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,879
    8,582
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    It has taken me a while to figure this out but unless I am mistaken I think I have. For example a diver asks about a regulator. Coming in and saying "buy this from me.because it is the best" over and over is not cool. But if I come on and say something like "well, based on your needs I recommend a sealed diaphragm with adustable second that has a proven record for performance in those types of dives. One that is easy to obtain service or parts for and is a good value. There are any number of regs that fit that and I just happen to sell one that fits all of them as well." That would seem to be ok.
    Or as I just did not too long ago when someone asked about good reading material for new divers. Did I recommend my book? Of course, along with both of Doppler's, Gravers Scuba Diving, and a few others.
    You have no idea how many times I want to come on here and plug something that will benefit me. And there are times when I do cross the line. And get told about it. Usually they are right. Sometimes I don't agree but rules are rules. There have been times though when those rules have been a shade or two of grey.


    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
     
  5. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    55,833
    23,175
    113
    I vehemently and completely agree with this. :D We sometimes get dive ops creating a sock puppet to talk about how great they are like they were a customer. Quite often the mods figure this out and delete them. However, if the users figure this out, you've lost all credibility and more importantly, their trust. Be transparent. Be honest. Be completely guileless in your posts. Trust is easily lost and it's quite hard to re-establish. Protect your integrity. If in doubt, ask me in a PM or right here.
     
    DreaminOfSand&Salt likes this.
  6. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

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    The Dutch have a saying that translates to "trust comes by foot and leaves by horse".

    Every entrepreneur should make this their mantra. It wouldn't be in the best interests of any business to flood the forums with advertising to the point that people started disliking them.

    R..
     
  7. soccerrefjason

    soccerrefjason Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Near Daytona Beach Florida
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    Wait a min... you have a book?


     
    Steve_C, PhilaDallas and gypsyjim like this.
  8. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,879
    8,582
    113
    See how good I am at observing this policy? :)
    in my sig line. Pm sent.

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
     
  9. nimoh

    nimoh Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Rochester, MN
    3,455
    1,689
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    Just a suggestion but perhaps regulating the way advertisements are posted. 30 different colors in text, blinking text gets really old after a while.

    then again, perhaps it is self regulating since I know there is a ScubaPro dealer that will never get me to click on a link in their signature :)
     
  10. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood MSDT

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: NA
    6,374
    1,289
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    Ooo....well played!
     

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