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Would LIke To Reccoment a Merchant, But


Scout Schwager
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Its not allowed, per TOS:

No advertising or promotion of specific Second Life merchants, Marketplace listings, products, or services, unless the forum area is specifically for the buying or selling of Second Life products or services, for example, a “for sale” or “wanted” forum. Do not reference other websites offering any product or service.

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Community_Participation_Guidelines

So things like, "Who makes a good mesh head?", "What are good programs for video capture?", "What can I use to edit a photo?", "Where can I find a ....?", "Are there any no-hassle landlords?" etc. Not gonna have any info from me,. Figure it out yourself. 

Scout

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Imo, you are misunderstanding the ToS bit that you quoted. Advertising and promoting is not the same as saying who sells good stuff in answer to somebody's question. It's very common for people to ask such questions, and, as far as I know, there's never been a problem with people answering them with business names, stores, brands, and such. On the other hand, posting something like, "Hey! I just got a <thing> from <place> and it's absolutely brilliant! I thoroughly recommend it." is promoting/advertising, whether you're connected to the seller or not. So if someone asks such a question, you shouldn't have any problems if you answer it genuinely - just like other people do who also have a suitable answer.

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I agree with @Phil Deakins   I know some people were uncomfortable with mentioning names in the Answers section but, at least before we switched to this format, I frequently gave brand- and store names when people asked things like "Where can I find a tool that helps me to make mesh in-world?" or "Can you recommend someone who makes good low prim furniture?".

 

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I agree too.  There is a fuzzy line, though, between helpful information and self-promotion. A thread that starts with a perfectly good question like "Where can I find a tool that helps me to make mesh in-world?" can invite answers that fall into that fuzzy line, like, "I make a great tool that does that.  Visit my shop to see what other handy tools I make for mesh modelers."  Or, farther into the fuzziness, "My shop has the most extensive selection of scripted building tools in SL.  If I don't sell it, it doesn't exist!"  I can't see a good way to mark the boundaries of that fuzzy line except by seeing what sorts of posts the moderators are comfortable with.  When I have the sort of tool that someone's looking for in my own shop, I usually offer search terms that will point to the part of Marketplace where my tool and others like it can be found.

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  • Administrators

Hey Everyone!

I just want to clear this up, if someone is asking for recommendations it is perfectly acceptable to provide them with a list of merchants that you all feel would fit. We are not going to penalize you for being helpful in that manner, in fact, we encourage you to respond to other Residents questions when they ask about things of that nature. Plus I am sure the merchants also appreciate the word of mouth referral.

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1 hour ago, Tommy Linden said:

Hey Everyone!

I just want to clear this up, if someone is asking for recommendations it is perfectly acceptable to provide them with a list of merchants that you all feel would fit. We are not going to penalize you for being helpful in that manner, in fact, we encourage you to respond to other Residents questions when they ask about things of that nature. Plus I am sure the merchants also appreciate the word of mouth referral.

That's the upside, the downside is that if many do it, and it is so easily gamed, it has the potential to become yet another way to spam the forums. 

However if you want to allow it, you should change the forum guidelines to make it clear, as the guidelines say no promoting of businesses except signatures (and of course the land and events forums. And often the employment forum. )

From the Guidelines:

  • Spamming, Solicitation and Advertising: Spamming is not allowed. This includes aggressive self-promotion. No advertising or promotion of specific Second Life merchants, Marketplace listings, products, or services, unless the forum area is specifically for the buying or selling of Second Life products or services, for example, a “for sale” or “wanted” forum. Do not reference other websites offering any product or service. 
Note: It is OK to have a signature line with a link to your Second Life profile or information about your Second Life business.

 

Edited by Pamela Galli
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I think most of us can tell the difference between, on the one hand, "advertising or promotion of specific Second Life merchants" etc and someone giving a genuine answer to a question like, for example, "can anyone recommend someone who makes good mesh hands?"     Since I  buy mesh hands  but don't make them myself, and neither do any of my close friends, I'd certainly feel able to answer that question without risking overstepping the mark.

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There really isn't a way to tell. I could have an alt ask who makes the best kitchens in SL, and another quite convincingly recommend La Galleria. In any case, if recommendations are going to be exceptions to the rule, that needs to be made clear in the guidelines. Then everyone will be playing by the same rules.

Edited by Pamela Galli
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I wouldn't describe having one alt ask about who makes good kitchens and another replying that Pamela Galli does as being particularly aggressive self-promotion.  If you started doing it every day, then that would be different, but if it's done so subtly that no one notices, I don't see the harm.

 

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What if fifty people a day do it? And each of them starts a new thread? Honestly this forum is already so clogged with spam, thank God now I can screen out the land forums, events, wanted, and other thinly disguised spam forums. I don't want to have to see it in GD and all the other forums. 

As the guidelines now stand, it's not just aggressive self promotion but:

"advertising or promotion of specific Second Life merchants, Marketplace listings, products, or services, unless the forum area is specifically for the buying or selling"

 

Edited by Pamela Galli
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6 hours ago, Pamela Galli said:

There really isn't a way to tell. I could have an alt ask who makes the best kitchens in SL, and another quite convincingly recommend La Galleria.

Is that a blatant, but underhanded way of promoting your super-duper kitchens, Pam? (lol j/k). If you did that, and it was accepted as genuine, don't forget that other people will also be answering the question by suggesting other kitchen makers. Yours would be just one of a number of suggestions. And if you brought several alts in to weigh the balance in your favour, it would be spotted. We are quite good at spotting posts like that from previously unknown avatars.

I agree with Innula that we can generally sense what's going on when such questions are asked. We've seen alts being used for the purpose in GD from time to time. They've been spotted, and it's never become a problem. I don't foresee it becoming a problem in the future, though I may be proved to be wrong. So I suggest we do what Tommy said and see how it goes. If it becomes a problem, Tommy & Co. will surely act by changing the rules.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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This is being arbitrary. I made a genuine effort to point out someone doing good work in world, in relation to a particular special interest sub forum here. The post included some criticism (the prices are high). The post violated the TOS and was pulled. There are no words like "Except, but, its of if" in that TOS.  Makes me less likely to contribute knowledge gained from 9 years in world. 

Edited by Scout Schwager
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Was your post in response to a question about who makes the best widgets in SL, or was it an impromptu post about how you thought people might be interested to learn that so-and-so makes really good widgets, though they are a bit expensive?  I think that's one of the important distinctions we need to observe.

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5 hours ago, Phil Deakins said:

Is that a blatant, but underhanded way of promoting your super-duper kitchens, Pam? (lol j/k). If you did that, and it was accepted as genuine, don't forget that other people will also be answering the question by suggesting other kitchen makers. Yours would be just one of a number of suggestions. And if you brought several alts in to weigh the balance in your favour, it would be spotted. We are quite good at spotting posts like that from previously unknown avatars.

I agree with Innula that we can generally sense what's going on when such questions are asked. We've seen alts being used for the purpose in GD from time to time. They've been spotted, and it's never become a problem. I don't foresee it becoming a problem in the future, though I may be proved to be wrong. So I suggest we do what Tommy said and see how it goes. If it becomes a problem, Tommy & Co. will surely act by changing the rules.

It's like spotting copybot stores. Some of us are quite good at it, and some are not. (And then there are the well known stores that do a better job of hiding that fact, and dupe almost everyone but the devoted researchers. )

 

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