3

So far I haven't see any guidelines on how we want to deal with promoting your own content. Some questions that come to mind are:

  • Any etiquette we should follow?
  • Is it OK to link to your own blog to provide background information
    to an answer?
  • Is it OK to mention your own extensions?
  • Should there be a distinction between freely available and commercial extensions?
5

Straight from the FAQ; this is network policy:

May I promote products or websites I am affiliated with here?

Be careful, because the community frowns on overt self-promotion and tends to vote it down and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers.

If a huge percentage of your posts include a mention of your product or website, you're probably here for the wrong reasons. Our advertising rates are quite reasonable; contact our ad sales team for details. We also offer free community promotion ads for open source projects and non-profit organizations.

  • I used the word promote on purpose to get some additional views into this discussion. One thing that is very common with Magento is that you need to post the contents of a lot of files to outline a solution. In my view this site is not the best tool for sharing lots of code so it would be easier to link to an online repository or blog with download optios. This site could then be used to discuss the merits of the linked content. But we as community might also decide that copying everything to here is the way to go. – Kristof at Fooman Jan 25 '13 at 17:52
3

I can't give a definitive answer but I imagine that as long as the content promoted is a legitimate and useful reference towards the answer then I see no reason why not.

I don't think a single link answer is appropriate - it needs at least a sentence of why you're providing the link.

If I happen to have written a blog post on the exact subject the poster has asked about then it would make sense for me to link it up rather than copy & paste all the content into my answer.

Likewise if an extension link is a suitable answer to a 'how do I do this?' type question then it should be allowed - as long as there's a line of text with it such as:

"This free extension does what you're asking for: http://...."

That's my opinion anyway :)

  • I would have agreed with you, but with many a slapped wrist on SO and SF - with the comment "...Link rot...". Thereafter, I soon started to include quotes or entire re-formatted documents of my own work in answers. I argued about duplication of the internet - but that's not a key concern over here. Retention of information is. – Ben Lessani - Sonassi Feb 1 '13 at 11:26
  • ...indeed. There are a lot of valuable resources that may fail to exist if a prominent member of the community were hit by a bus. – pspahn Feb 5 '13 at 0:39
3

The first rule of promoting your own work in answers is to first, answer the question. If, links or references to other stuff aside, the answer is incomplete or unhelpful, it shouldn't be posted - and if it appears to be just a thin excuse to promote your own work or send folks elsewhere, then it's spam.

The second rule: be clear about your connection to things you link to. If you wrote it, say so. If you host it, say that. If your wife's brother plays golf with the guy who wrote it, you probably don't need to say that - but if that's the reason you're posting it, you might want to re-think that.

And of course, don't ever just use the site as a way to promote something, even if you're diligent about following all the rules while doing so. This just looks shady.

The FAQ spells all of this out pretty clearly.

  • Some good advice in here. What I am hoping to get out of this discussion is if we want the Magento stackoverflow community to be inclusive of other Magento community efforts - sometimes it is plain easier to link to a github repository for example - than what seems to be the stackoverflow favored approach of copying the whole solution onto here. – Kristof at Fooman Jan 25 '13 at 17:27
  • 2
    If the solution to the problem stated is a project on Github, then the purpose of an answer is to explain how it can be used to solve the problem. – Shog9 Jan 25 '13 at 17:36

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