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Topic: Love Romance Passion

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Subject: Love Romance Passion
Date Posted: 12/17/2008 12:21 AM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2008
Posts: 77
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***This post has been edited by PBS.   While we understand that the poster means no harm, the post advertises a commercial blog that has advertising on it.  See the Help Center excerpts posted by members below to explain this further.***

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Kiera, you might want to be aware of PBS's rules about advertising in their user forums.  This is from the Help Center:

Advertisement or solicitation is not permitted in any member-contributed content on PBS, including the Discussion Forums and members' Forum sigs on PBS. (This does not include "advertising" your PBS bookshelf in the Book Bazaar.)

We will remove any links or other material which actively solicit for a commercial (or nonprofit) purpose. It is okay (an exception to the no-commercial-links policy)  to include a link to your personal webpage in your forum sig or public profile, even if your webpage is your business webpage; but there must be no accompanying soliciting text with the link. No links to other swapping sites, or any commercial sites, may appear in any member-contributed content on PBS--not in Forum sigs, nor Forum posts, nor PBS Profiles, nor PMs, nor the Eclectic Pen, nor Reviews or Book Tags.

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 12:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Do romance/review blogs count?  I would never have thought of them in the context of the site rules on advertising & all that.  I mean, we post links to review blogs all the time, we just don't happen to own any of them:P  I can't see any reason why they'd mind, but I really have no idea whether they actually would or not:P

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 1:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Kim, the part that makes me think that this post would be included in the policy is this (the bolding is mine): "It is okay (an exception to the no-commercial-links policy)  to include a link to your personal webpage in your forum sig or public profile, even if your webpage is your business webpage; but there must be no accompanying soliciting text with the link."  I have seen people called out on this before in other forums, and I don't want to see anyone get into trouble, so wanted to warn the OP before that happens.  I know we post links all the time- but we are not promoting our own websites/blogs, which is what the rules warn against.  If one of the TGs want to jump in here and clarify, that would be great- I just tend to be pretty conservative with the rules and err on the side of caution.

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Oh, I agree, Lesley that we should err on the side of caution, and I'd like to see a clarification on it too.  I suppose they could have a problem with it, but I have to admit that I'd be somewhat disappointed in them if they did:P  The reasoning behind that is probably more philosophical than anything else though.  I look at "advertising" of romance review blogs or solicitations for possible reviews & reviewers as part of what I think of as romance reader networking, and it's something that in a way I consider sacrosanct.  It's like the questions we've seen regarding whether or not so-called "unprofessional reviews" posted on romance blogs & at Amazon have any value.  Well, they do to readers.  I think romance readers in particular are rather clubby:P  We hang out in various genre related forums & on review blogs to share information and opinions, and we're really the driving force behind their continued existence.  We create the demand for this information to be readily available online.  People who create the blogs & websites are responding to the demand, but they're also part of our network; people who recognize that need, and we all have a similar objective for being wherever it is we "hang out" on the net.  We want to know who to read, what to spend our money on & where to find it, and the more sources we have for getting that information, the better.  I can't see that as being at cross-purposes with PBS's interests.  I don't think that review blogs qualify as commercial websites.  They're more of an informative nature.  We still have to go out and find the books we receive information on, and PBS is obviously one of the sources we use.  Plus, any one of us could join a review blog team at any time, and I'd hate to think that PBS rules would prohibit us from posting links to the site & our book reviews.  Something like that would seem to fly in the face of the reason we're all hanging out in this forum to begin with.  Anyway, just MHO.  I truly have no idea whether they'd have a problem with it or not, but I suppose I could contact them with a very discreet inquiry.  I see no conflict of interest, but it's entirely possible they might not see it that way.



Last Edited on: 12/17/08 1:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/17/2008 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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The problem is that the policy is vague and open to interpretation, and the result is that in some situations it is ok, and in others, people get slammed for it.  I have also seen people get into trouble for talking about Twitter and posting it anywhere other than in their signature line.  I wish they would clarify some things about what they consider to be "solicitation".  It does seem reasonable to allow blog links and promotion, but they have not said anywhere that I am aware of that that is ok.  If you want to PM them and ask about this, I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate the clarification, and I'd be happy to be proven wrong about my interpretation of PBS rules.

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I will.  I have some errands to run & I have to get kids from school, but I'll start by messaging a TG later this afternoon & let everyone know what I hear back.

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2008
Posts: 77
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I'm sorry if the post offended anyone. I was just trying to introduce myself and say hi to the community. I apologize for any breach of rules, it certainly wasn't my intent.

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Kiera, no offense is taken at all by the posters here in this forum- all I wanted to do was warn you that you may be violating their rules.  Looks like I was right, and I wish I wasn't, because this type of post is actually helpful to those of us who frequent this forum.  It's too bad that a line cannot be drawn to differentiate this and actual *commercial* solicitations- but I don't get to make the rules, sigh.  Anyway please don't think that you offended any of us- you didn't.  Good luck with your project, and please feel free to hang out with us here if you like- any romance lover is always welcome.

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Eileen is double-checking on it, but it looks like it might be in no-no territory, yeah, which I think is a shame, but that's neither here nor there.  It's not one of the easiest rules to sort out - obviously:P  But don't take anything said here like you did some awful thing or whatever.  We were just trying to sort it out, and that's really all there is to it.  There are other things posted all the time that don't draw any attention and that I think qualify more as "advertising", but I also tend to see advertising in almost strictly commercial terms, and that's really not always the case.  Anyway, welcome to the forum, Kiera.  And I'm pretty positive you didn't offend anyone at all, so please don't feel that you did.  We may not have made the best 1st impression, but I swear, we're all actually very nice, welcoming people, and we're glad to have you:P

*ETA:  Well, nix what I said about double-checking, because I just saw the initial post & realized that PBS edited it.  Anyway, I didn't mean to make a fuss & get this edited, or cause anyone to feel badly.  I feel bad now for saying anything, but I was sorta hoping that a romance blog wouldn't be considered a commercial website.  I didn't even think about there being advertising there.  My bad:P



Last Edited on: 12/17/08 11:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/18/2008 12:05 AM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2008
Posts: 77
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Gone now. Oh well.

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 1:18 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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can a link be put in the siggy line?

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 2:13 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,339
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Yes, but it should just say "link": "It is okay (an exception to the no-commercial-links policy)  to include a link to your personal webpage in your forum sig or public profile, even if your webpage is your business webpage; but there must be no accompanying soliciting text with the link."

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Well, I feel bad too Kim- but I have a feeling that PBS would have noticed and edited it anyway, with the number of tour guides we have around.  I think it's better to let people know when they are unknowingly doing something against the rules, because if they end up posting in multiple forums, it will look worse for them.

I do think Kiera would do well to put a link in her signature in case others want to check it out, and if you Google the title of this thread plus "review blog", the blog is one of the first listed.  Now hopefully *I* haven't violated any PBS policy by saying that!

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 10:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I don't think you did, but what do I know:P  In this case, I think it was the advertising that was at the blog site, and the links to books for sale, etc.  In other words, I think we're still okay linking to AAR, Dear Author, Smart Bitches, etc. in our posts, and I doubt they have a problem with that anyway, so much as they just wouldn't want us doing any advertising for any of those sites here - which I totally understand.

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2008
Posts: 77
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So the signature can't have any text? That doesn't make sense. Why would anybody click something that just said, Link? You'd have no idea what you could possibly getting yourself into by clicking something so very vague.



Last Edited on: 12/18/08 2:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/18/2008 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2008
Posts: 77
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Dear Author and Smart Bitches both have advertising on their blog - their ad links are text in most cases but additionally sometimes with images too. In SB's case they have image ads at the side of their blog. Not saying that I don't have ads/promotional material on my blog, mine are google adwords and some Amazon links. Also AAR is looking to add ads again and DA is planning on Sony ads in the near future. Do you think the problem lies with the fact that it was "self" promoting on my part? I could see where they wouldn't want that. But if someone linked to me in the forums that wasn't me would that be a problem? It shouldn't be, my blog is no worse in advertising gigs than other blogs in and/or outside of romance blogs.



Last Edited on: 12/18/08 2:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/18/2008 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Excellent questions, Keira, and I don't know the answers- so you might want to PM one of the Tour Guides or go on the Live Help chat to ask there.  This is getting into that fuzzy, vague area that gets confusing, so it's best to get an answer from someone qualified to give it.  I hope you find out, and I am sure that we would all like to know as well whether we'd get into trouble posting links to blogs and such as part of a discussion- so please let us know if you do get some answers.

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 376
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I'm guessing the difference is - if one of us linked to a specific post on your blog as illustration of something we were saying, not with the words GO SEE THIS BLOG YOU'LL LIKE IT but maybe something like "this reviewer thought such and such about this book" with a link to a specific review for instance - that seems to be ok. That wouldn't be me advertising your blog - just me illustrating a point. That's how I link to SB and DA and AAR - like links to the AAR top 100, as an illustration of books a lot of romance readers rated highly, or links to a funny post at a blog - anybody remember the hysterical book that several blog authors contributed a chapter each, something about a Greek billionaire's secretary? LOL!

I read your original post before TPTB edited it, and in a way I'd have to say I thought it was "hawking" your blog in general, which could be seen as possibly advertising. I'm not taking sides or having an opinion about whether or not your post should or should not have been allowed, just saying maybe that's the difference I guess.

 

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I think pretty much what Melinda said.  We do link up to romance blogs and sites frequently, but the links are generally to specific things on the site like reviews, articles, interviews & such.  Nobody ever links up to anything just for the sake of advertising a site they belong to or do reviews for.  I personally liked the idea of review blogs & site owners posting here and asking if anyone wanted to join their review teams, because I think the more reviews available "out there" in cyberspace - especially those written by buddies & people whose tastes in books I'm familiar with - the better.  However, I don't think PBS would have a problem with you, Keira, or any other blog owner asking PBS buddies on an individual basis - through private messages or whatever - if they'd like to contribute reviews to your sites, nor do I think they'd have any problems with any of us saying we were reviewing for whatever blog.  I've seen this many times as well, and nobody ever seemed to have an issue with it.  I think you're probably right about promoting the blogs themselves.  Again, I could be wrong about that, but we can always find out through trial & error:P

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I remember the big fight in club member's thoughts a well back with people putting links to the etsy site where they were selling crafts..they had to change the links to make them less specific somehow or other...

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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There's always a fight in that forum.  Which is why I avoid it like the plague:P