Policy on promotional posts

#1

Hi, everyone! I hope this is the right board for this question:

Some of you know that I’ve been posting periodically (and due for an update, in fact, which I’ll write up soon) to ask for advice and give progress reports about what’s turning into a sauces and condiments subscription box company that will start taking orders for subscriptions fairly soon. My partner and I will need some help in choosing between a few possible names for the company and have also started talking about the idea of doing an Indiegogo campaign. Would it be OK for me to link to sites where people can subscribe to our boxes or participate in an Indiegogo campaign and promote them in the existing thread about the company, or in new, clearly-marked threads (no more than one per topic)?

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#2

Here’s a link to the rules page: Forum Rules and Guidelines

Here’s the relevant part:

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#3

Thanks a lot. I don’t expect any of these things to be any problem, as I would never be anything but frank in stating that a post about our company was about our company, and I would make sure to keep such posts in the most appropriate place. So far, that’s seemed to be the “Cooking, Cookbooks, Ingredients” board. My remarks about New York restaurants and such would continue to be my own personal views, and I expect no conflicts of interest on those, as restaurants are not among our target customers, though of course we wouldn’t refuse to sell a subscription to a restaurateur or restaurant chef if they wanted to subscribe.

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#4

Ii think this is the part that makes your ‘advertising’ your subscriptions problematic.

“ If you are a professional baker, you are encouraged to offer your expertise in baking, but please don’t direct readers to your baking product or bakery. Advertisement of products and services should not be integrated into posts.”

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#5

Maybe I’m wrong, but my reading is that what that means is that if you do promote something, do it frankly in its own thread and not in the context of an ostensibly informative post about something other than the product itself. In other words, for example, don’t start a thread that’s generically about hot sauces and then slip a promotional post about your hot sauce subscription into that thread. I appreciate that policy, too, because we don’t want people to be manipulative like that. I’ve been a consumer my entire life and I’m only now starting a business; I resent manipulative (that is, typical) or dishonest advertising as much as anyone else. Also, there’s a difference between promoting (by mentioning and encouraging people to check out if they wish) a website or an Indiegogo campaign and advertising a product in the annoying way advertisers typically do that.

I guess the other thing is that I’ve been posting progress reports on the work my partner and I have been doing to prepare ourselves for launch and have called on other Hungry Onion members to give suggestions and gotten some good feedback. I’m not done posting reports and asking for advice and suggestions, and I think some members will be interested in seeing the company’s website when we’re ready to publicize it.

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#6

Pan, I’m not in charge of this site and don’t suggest I know exactly how to interpret the policies. You posted a question and I saw that nobody had responded so I offered my take. I suggest that you just post what you want. If it’s against site policy I’m sure someone else will tell you. Post away.

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#7

@sck
It’s better you let us know the policy when you have time.

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#8

I think if a member who has been discussing starting a business with the community for a while, if the member provides a mention as an FYI of ‘this is the result of the conversation’, then it may be less of a promotion and fit in the context of the discussion. Now repeated mention of said business after that is a promotion. If a member who comes in out of the blue and start referring to a business, then its promotion. It all depends on the context and the tone.

Remember, Hungry Onion makes a conscious decision not to accept advertising so the platform can be free of promotional content. So similar standard applies to posts as well.

  • Informational - ‘Is it true?’ Posts should be of informational nature. Please disclose any conflict of interest. Please no
  • promotional posts on behalf of products, services, restaurants,

Members asked similar questions in the past and in general I told them probably best to leave any promotions and intent to promote out of the posts. The challenge is many members are in the food business. So posts with obvious business mentions are going to be interpreted by some of your fellow members as ‘if he/ she can do it, why not I?’ And then everyone gets upset at the volunteer mods for perceived double standard if the action/ treatment gets too nuanced. Since we have day jobs generally its a grey area we’d rather not go.

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#9

Thanks a lot for that feedback. I’ll do my level best to avoid promotion, and as a moderator for Wikivoyage, the Wiki travel guide, I certainly know how tiring it is to deal with inveterate touters.

Let me know if my latest post in this thread - Great non-mass produced condiments - is any kind of problem and whether it would be a problem for me to follow up in the future by posting a link to the company website for anyone who has followed that thread and might be interested, without otherwise promoting it in any way. I don’t know if we’ll do an Indiegogo campaign or not, so that’s not a live issue, but if we do one, would it be OK to simply link it, stating that we’re doing one? If any of these things are against policy, I’ll respect that.

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#10

Your site. Your rules. Your opinion. I have no skin in the game except for a probably overly sensitive feeling on this. In this age of social media marketing people build businesses with a mere mention of their ‘product’ wherever they can. It’s just a time investment to get the name out there in as many places/ways as they can. With search engines it’s not even absolutely necessary to state the url. Just let your name, your product name, or even just a succinct description of the product (if it’s unique enough) and interested folks can search you out.

I have nothing against entrepreneurship. I admire it. But I do think one if the good things about this board is that users can’t abuse the privilege of being part of the community. The term ‘domino effect’ comes to mind. Tip over a seemingly innocent piece and they may all go down. Just sayin’.

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#11

Sure, policy is whatever the moderators set. Whatever it is, I’ll respect it. I’m part of this community, not here only to tell people about a company I’ve started.

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#12

Thanks for your question.

HO generally doesn’t want any visible advertising, if we allow one, then the others will keep coming and do the same. Recently, we have a lot of newbies signing up each day spamming.

As for your case, since you are doing it like a walk through of a member gathering ideas and slowly evolving and trying to establish a new company, it is interesting for the members to read this. As for indigogo link, I think it is better you should just do it on your profile or answer people’s queries in private messages rather than explicitly posting the link.

Thanks for your understanding, and hope this help.

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#13

Thank you. Yes, I understand and I’m happy to comply with this in the best interest of the site. I’m not really sure how to add such information to my profile, though.

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