What If Everyone Did It?

(Richard Millington) #1

Originally published at: https://www.feverbee.com/everyone/
We recently removed a post from FeverBee Experts.

The post wasn’t too bad. One member felt information from a personal blog would be relevant to the broader community so posted a link to it.

Was it useful information to the community? Quite possibly.

Should we have allowed it to remain? Probably not.

Our yardstick on these decisions is what if everyone did it? If everyone shared blog posts to external sites without any filter the community becomes a LinkedIn/Twitter wasteland of links. It becomes impossible to filter for quality.

If, however, everyone shares the same information within relevant discussions instead, then everyone benefits. That’s a valuable contribution to the group. And if there aren’t relevant discussions, the information wasn’t relevant in the first place.

There are other systems too. We could let each member share one great external post a month, or put forward their links for a quality review before posting. Both take up more resources than we have.

So for now we use the simple metric - what if everyone did it?

(Darren Gough) #2

We (former role) used to allow referral / personal links on one board/place. Hence people knew what to expect when they went in there, but it kept it off the rest of the community. Worked reasonably well and the community self regulated if someone tried to get around the rules by posting outside this area.

(Rob Bosch) #3

You mention the ‘just-dump-a-link’ habit. I absolutely agree with deleting those on the spot. They do not contribute to the forum discussion and only take members from the forums. Something you want to avoid!
I would only allow external links if they are part of an actual discussion to support that discussion.

Even on LinkedIn I mark that kind of ‘topics’ as spam. In my own LI group I deleted them, just because of the mentioned reason.

(KiheiMan) #4

If you are referring to the post I entered a little while back, a few observations are probably worthwhile:

  • The post was not sending anyone to a “personal blog”. Rather it was in a “professional” blog sponsored by Jive Software, Blogs: Social Business.

  • The perspective or fit-for-purpose of a community probably needs to be taken in to account. Here at Feverbee Experts, while there is no explicit indication for what it is all about, the Feverbee home page says “Practical tips to build online communities”. Since the blog post in question is a thought leadership series about incorporating “ideas”, there was a genuine desire to share this with everyone in the Feverbee Experts community.

  • Since Feverbee is a purported promoter and thought leader in the community industry, instead of removing the information I would have hoped that it would have jumped on the bandwagon and simply create a new category or home for such articles.

Using our own communities as an example, had someone posted a similar article concerning the use of our products we would not have blinked an eyelash at the activity since it was in the context of the purpose of the community, use of the product and something many community users would have had benefit from reading, absorbing and acting upon.

Full circle back to What If Everyone Did It?, again if it was my post exemplified here, it does not embody the consternation associated with the question. I fundamentally agree that if everyone did something then you need to ask this question. I fundamentally disagree that the specific post is something everyone would do.

(Rob Bosch) #5

I don’t think you should take the topic as personal as you do now. IF it is referring to your post, you could have posted your personal view and support that view with the link to the post. That would encourage discussion HERE instead of taking people off the forums.

(KiheiMan) #6

No worries Rob, and I don’t take this personally - just expressing an opinion (we NY’ers have that tendency :wink:). I can’t remember the exact wording I used, but I did try to construct it as a view (maybe I can try to do that better in the future).

Update: When I look at what I posted in LinkedIn (which I think I may have copied to put here), I see how if I had removed the promotion on the top that it may have passed acid test here.

(Richard Millington) #7

I don’t think many of the stories I publish are based exactly on a 100%
true event.

Our clients would be pretty peeved if I began publicly sharing confidential
information. So I tend to change or adapt them either to exemplify the
point I’m trying to make, hide the identity of the subject(s), or just to
make it read better (usually much shorter) than the full account.

Yes, many posts are inspired by true events (this one almost certainly
was), but to quote Carly, this song isn’t about you :slight_smile:

(Nick Emmett) #8

This is a fun one, and without having seen the post, I guess difficult to appreciate the context fully. Had it been a post about the blog article then I totally get it. If it was a contextual reference, intended on supporting a topic being made during the post, then it’s a little more tenuous probably. I’ve refrained several times from posting links to a blog post I’ve written that puts across my views - I try to choose to almost re-articulate myself (perhaps even contradict) as it makes for more interesting reading in the context of the blog post - why take some one away from what they’re reading?

Does that need to be explicit in the FAQ here - I’m not so sure. As it says there, we’re all Community Professionals and as such we generally know the drill.

I guess the long and short is - in a community you have moderators and admins and you trust them to do the right thing. Fair play. It’s like Barak Obama said to a heckler once, as he had him escorted from a press conference in the White House - “My house , My rules”.

(Richard Millington) #9

The other thing I’m aware of here is the hypocrisy in us having a broad
rule against promoting links to our own blog posts, yet having a system
designed to post mine in here on a daily basis.

I was considering not doing it anymore. Many don’t generate a lot of

Any thoughts?

(Nick Emmett) #10

I think that’s a different thing @richard_millington - it’s your site. I expect to see those in here and, regardless of how many comments they get, sometimes they at least get some - and it’s good to have the ability to have a discussion around the topics you write about, if we so desire. also, I read them here as I come here more often than I do the main site. If you didn’t post them here, there’s a good chance I might miss them. I’m sure others would be the same.

I think if you had a personal blog that you posted to, separate to the Feverbee site, then that would be different .

(KiheiMan) #11

I agree with @Nick_Emmett - if you (Richard) had a blog here that would eradicate what you call hypocrisy (I’m not so sure I would term it something that strong since, and to the same point Nick made, it’s your site). With blogs, I don’t think you will get any more or less comments you get now but what I think it will do is give you a better platform and not be commingled in the conversation.

Also remember, whether intended or not - perception can be everything.

(Sarah Hawk) #12

Great topic! It’s something that Rich and I have discussed a bit lately and I am firmly in your camp @Nick_Emmett – both in the sense that it’s not hypocritical (in fact the opposite – it’s expected) to post and promote content on your own site, and that having the articles here on Discourse definitely adds value for a percentage of our audience.

I had considered only posting Rich’s articles to Discourse if they get a comment, but the stats demonstrate that enough people read them here (rather than the homepage) so I changed my mind.

Regarding the wider topic – and your comments @RobOracle – I think the line in the sand for me is fairly clear. Links are absolutely fine if they directly answer a question or provide a requested resource. They are also fine as “further reading or more info” at the end of an explanation. They’re not so great if they are essentially the entire purpose of a post. I read your blog post Rob, and it was great. I would love to see you discuss some of those ideas here, and if it generates an interesting discussion and people want to read more, then a link would be appropriate. My goal is obviously to stimulate discussion here rather than offsite.

(Alessio Fattorini) #13

Totally agree, I do the same.

(Richard Millington) #14

Do you read them via notification or do you visit here daily and just click?

(Alessio Fattorini) #15

The latter, I visit almost daily

(Nick Emmett) #16

It varies for me - sometimes through notification, sometimes via Twitter but usually because I have a window/tab always open to the site so get the refreshed version of the site. If the notification pops up whilst I’m here then I’ll usually read it right then.

(Richard Millington) #17

so you keep the site open all day?

…if only we could get everyone else to do that :slight_smile:

(Nick Emmett) #18

Basically yes - I’m a bit of hoarder so almost always keep open tabs and windows that I want to use the most often! Feverbee is one of those. :smile:

(Gear Buzz) #19

Favicon notification badges

After Hawk’s podcast interview with Patrick @ iFroggy we have been
experimenting with Favicon badges. But we found they messed up our jquery
drop down menu’s so disabled them today - tomorrow is another day for the
developer tasked with it. Fingers crossed we can get them live again! I
love them! Thanks Hawk!

Show your developer(s) this http://lab.ejci.net/favico.js/

(Sarah Hawk) #20

Totally welcome. :smile: