Ok I think I must be a very bad girl.
Apparently it is a bad thing to have blog links in your signature. It’s advertising. Whether Parents.com tells you outright in their TOS or not (and let me tell you after searching it up one side and right back down the other, there is NO SECTION FOR ADVERTISING clearly marked out in the TOS).
But I guess if you put anything other than your little darlings pictures up in your signature your a bad parent and get a virtual slap on the wrists and your posts deleted.
WHATEVER. (Big Eye Roll)
Here’s the problem: Because I listed my blogs in my signature I MUST BE SELLING SOMETHING. Ummm no, if I was selling something I would link to a website clearly listing my writing services and fees (which I don’t even have yet).
Do I make money from my blogs? Occasionally but I do not promote my blogs for income (unless I am applying for a blogging gig). So I have to wonder what their definition of a blog that is primarily commercial in nature – That could make anyone who does product reviews, (like Mommy Know How), technology blogs about the latest gadgets (I know too many of those to start listing individual ones so think of your own favorites), or even a blog with adsense on it a commercial blog.
Originally I was sent an email yesterday letting me know that my links were considered advertising as per their TOS.
today I received another email letting me know that they are reviewing their policy as to how blog linking should be allowed and that my links will be allowed. Good for them! But still… it comes after giving me a terrible first impression of their site.
Whatever. (Again with the eye roll). I’ve never seen a forum (and I like to say I get around a little *wink*) that says NO BLOG LINKING IN YOUR SIGNATURE. Hell if that was the case, half the people who read this, would have never found me and I would have never found half of you. It also would make nearly all of the bloggers on the forums that I visit in some hot water as well since just about everyone has a link to their blog, whether it is monitized or not.
Here’s my view on blog links in forum signatures: If you start making people remove blog links then you run the risk of pissing off a large part of your forum members. If you begin saying that people can have links as long as the blogs are not commercial in nature, then you have to start monitoring each blog link and figure out what makes a blog commercial.
I moderate three forums on cafemom.com and I allow blog links as well as links to wah business sites in signatures. I know I am only one person and I don’t have the time to police everyone with links in their signature. Nor do I want to. As long as you aren’t coming into the forums with requests to "check out my great money making opportunity", or to offer people a deal if they order from you, then I don’t see a problem with linking in signatures. We are all adults (for the most part) and we can choose to check out the links or not.
I think that not allowing links in signatures sets communities up not to fail, but to leave out a potentially huge portion of the Internet community and hinder some great conversations.
Even though I can keep my links, I am not sure how I feel about the community and the way things were handled (starting with
shoot first and ask questions later mentality deleting my post before warning me about their vague and changing rules).
What about you? How important is it to you to be able to link your sites (be it commercial or personal) to your forum signatures?