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Lee......policy on posting personal advertisement debate...

by John Robie / July 16, 2005 1:38 AM PDT
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I only use a link
by TONI H / July 16, 2005 1:51 AM PDT

directly to a resolution to a computer problem on my site, John. I don't just post a link to my homepage and let them 'figure it out' from there. This had always been the policy before with ZDNET and assumed it had carried over to CNET. I only posted my homepage in SE so some of the members there could view it for me and let me know if they had problems...I haven't done so since it first went up, and I don't use it in my signature as I viewed that to be 'advertising' or 'spam' from the old rules.

From what I understand from Lee, he sees no reason for members not being able to post their website....I have real strong issues with that and fear it sets a dangerous precedent to members...especially newer ones.

They come to CNET for help and literally have to be trusting as hell in order to follow instructions from complete strangers. Can you imagine those trusting souls clicking a link in somebody's reply or signature and ending up with spyware, popups, viruses, browser helper objects, porn, hijackings, etc? I am totally against using links to vague homepages for those reasons....I would much prefer the old rules of 'do no harm' by linking ONLY to the actual page on a site that will resolve the problem the person is having since for copyright reasons we aren't allowed to copy/paste those instructions to our replies. It's rough enough on newbies traveling unknown terrority without CNET members tossing them in with the sharks, too.


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by taboma. / July 18, 2005 2:22 PM PDT
In reply to: I only use a link

Toni, (One of my favorite Guys) from our CNET group,
NICE POST! 100% right on as usual! Sorry to be late posting on this issue back to you.
You always have so much to offer on your forums. Proper links and ideas. Always welcomed.
Toni, do not worry about the OLD ZDNET and OLD ZINGERS trying to insult you. You are doing a great job here.
Toni, you could be making $200 per hour as a consultant.
Ask Bob Proffitt. He will tell you of your worth. I can also.
Toni, Keep up the good work and do not pay attention to
OLD Zingers!

Kevin Smith

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This is your second "zinger"
by John Robie / July 18, 2005 3:07 PM PDT
In reply to: Link

to me in so many days that I now take as a direct attack.
The first was
twisting my words so you could take a shot at Lee.
I am from the old ZDNet, but NOT an OLD ZINGER trying to insult Toni Hackler. We have known each other for many years and a newcomer like you throwing ZINGERS attempting to wedge is out of line. LAY OFF KEVIN SMITH!

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John, no longer accepting email
by Ray Harinec / July 19, 2005 6:22 AM PDT

in your profile??? Just wanted to wonder why you are getting zinged. Sounded like a simple rational posts by you.

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Thanks Ray, I did not turn it off and
by John Robie / July 19, 2005 7:12 AM PDT

did not know that. Just checked and had the CNet email feature reinstated. Perhaps it automatically disconnects if you get bad words in a filter or spam posts??

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You have an automatic
by TONI H / July 19, 2005 8:26 AM PDT

limit set on how many messages you can receive in a month. Once it exceeds that limit, it shuts off until next month can bump that limit up to whatever you personally want to allow inside your profile editing area.


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by John Robie / July 19, 2005 10:05 AM PDT
In reply to: You have an automatic

Yes, but I've only had about 6 messages total from people I have dealth with concerning PC help over a couple months and I had it set for 10 messages. Upped it to 25 messages, just in case.

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No problem here, John
by taboma. / July 20, 2005 1:55 PM PDT

John, No problem with you at all. Like most of your posts generally. I like Toni a lot and her suggestions. Haven't known Toni as long as you have and that's the truth.
Still like to read your posts, John.
Znet is old and long gone. CNET is new. That's what I implied to Toni. Fact is fact.


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(NT) (NT) Understand, thanks Toni.
by John Robie / July 19, 2005 5:33 AM PDT
In reply to: I only use a link
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Look what I just got. . .
by Coryphaeus / July 16, 2005 2:02 AM PDT
Good afternoon Wayne.
The CNET logo posted on your Website was just brought to my attention.
We appreciate your linking to our Web site, but must insist that it is done within our corporate regulations.
Please remove the CNET logo from your Website effective immediately.
I also notice a portion called ''CNET faces''.
Please explain the CNET brand's name use in this feature.
I look forward to hearing back from you to confirm that the CNET logo has been removed and would be happy to provide you with our corporate guidelines.
Susannah Hagey
Editorial Development Coordinator
415.344.2154 phone
415.344.1214 fax| 235 2nd Street | 4th floor
San Francisco, CA, 94105


I removed the logo/link. But I have an email from Lee giving permission. I forwarded the letter to Lee and am awaiting a reply. I asked Susannah who brought it to her attention and told her I removed the logo/link. I'm waiting on her reply but she probably doesn't work on weekends. Here is something interesing from one of the other members

The faces have been there for about four years, and the link on my site has been there since November 2004.
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I have observed over the years that
by Ray Harinec / July 16, 2005 2:18 AM PDT

if anyone posted a generic link to their website it was removed by the Mods. The link was allowable if it pointed directly to an item that discussed or offered solutions for the specific problem brought up by the post.

Then along came the "special permission" given to Wayne. At that I complained that he didn't provide a link to the photos only. He did for a liittle while and then blatently went to the full forum link with ungodly huge fonts, and now with his signature on every post..

That is setting a terrible precedent. If everyone starts posting the personal site as a signature, the technical sites will represent a direct conflict of interest with CNET's technical forums, and dilute the forum content.

Providing the site info in the Profiles is an excellent compromise. Let's limit it to that.

I hope the heck that Lee or CNET stops this crap.

If one checks posts made by Toni, she always links to the specific page or section discussing the problem. Basically the same as when Robert et al Mods post a google link.

That rule makes sense.

There is zero reason that that Wayne can't limit his link directly to the photos only.

I don't see Robert Proffitt getting any special favors to promote his business, and he may well be the most valuable knowledge base in the forums.

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This member has a history.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 16, 2005 8:54 AM PDT

They have rarely or never posted any reply that didn't include their links or note their book.

-> We toasted many such posts since it's a free ride to get google to rachet their name/site up a few notches for free.

As such, toss them out and move on.


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And what is his particular history Bob..
by John Robie / July 16, 2005 9:36 AM PDT

I couldn't find it?

Some Mod just pulled his post without any comment from Lee. How undemocratic or "HITLER" like.

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Well Bob,
by John Robie / July 16, 2005 10:51 AM PDT

just checked his CNet posting history and he has made 70 posts, all in the Home Audio & Video Forum except the 3-4 in this topic Desktop Forum thread since he started posting here June 9, 2005.
Yes, he had this in just about all his posts:

"How to Build a Home Theatre PC Guide coming soon/check out"

Not a sole said anything to him about it his advertising. He apologized when it was called to his attention just today in the Desktop Forum. All he needs (needed)is for someone to tell him how the "cow eats the cabbage" on his posting. Deleting his posts, especially the long good one he made, was not necessary.
So, all his other 68+ posts should be deleted...huh?

The guy can be of good help to the forums, hope he isn't discouraged. Did you also see the comments of Ray concerning

"Reading the originators reply here, gives much insight, and certainly reveals he is very much an asset to these forums."

"I very seldom go to the desktop forum. Hope to see you in the Computer Help, Hardware, and Newbies forum as a provider of great help."

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It's a form of SPAM.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 16, 2005 1:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Well Bob,

SPAM is discouraged, plain and simple. It's in the forum policy so it's not up to me. We've seen this before and the posts just vanish.


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Regarding these moderators and policies
by slmosqueda / July 17, 2005 3:12 AM PDT
In reply to: It's a form of SPAM.


As I said in my other posts which were wiped out, I am new to these forums. I have honestly been helping members on these forums with the most accurate information as I could possibly contribute.

I included my contact information (without reading the forums policies), company name (because I feel people who read this information may feel comfortable with knowing you do this as a living) and my ebook information because I fealt I was providing solid enough help and info that someone may feel I had good information and might like the book (which is not ready for purchase now anyway) in the future.

I understand everyones view on SPAM. I hate it as much as anyone else. I sincerely felt that as long as I was providing solid info to anyone I responded to, there was no harm in letting them or anyone else know what I do for a living. However, posting BS to everyone for the sole purpose for advertising "my own forum" (Which Mr.Proffitt so quickly squashed yesterday, good job.) or product/service is SPAM.

To be quite honest, I think the policies are rediculous that specify you cannot advertise your business while providing solid help and info. After all, ALL OF OUR TIME is worth something. And as long as we are actually PROVIDING solid information to those who request it, (FOR FREE) there should be nothing wrong with this. In my opinion.

Otherwise, we are basically working for CNET for free while they sell their services on our hard work and research to help these individuals. Whether they are selling services/products/affiliate links/advertisements they are making money off of our hard work. Sorry, but it is true.

Why do I respond and help people on these forums. Two reasons, one to help people and two it keeps me sharp and constantly researching new topics that are issues for the common people out there that DO NOT DO THIS FOR A LIVING.

As I said in the other posts that were wiped out, I will do what is in the best interest of the forum. Now that I am fully aware of the POLICIES.

That said, I did email a moderator on Friday for clarification of what I was doing. I still have not heard back from him (he lives in Canada). I also read the Policies on Friday. Point: I was proactive in finding out if what I was doing was wrong. I still have not gotten a response from a moderator, all I get, is to read a post from someone who is appears to be "greater than all" who says, "As such, toss them out and move on."

Quite frankly, if I was not actually helping people, I would have an ill feeling about these forums. John and Ray have been very helpful and I respect them.

Now I must contemplate whether I to continue to participate in a forum where moderators won't even address one, or "move on" to another forum and help them build their forum.

Take Care,

Shawn Mosqueda
WireSmart LLC (oops!)

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That Oops is about right.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 17, 2005 4:15 AM PDT

There were a few that abused the forums with links to their sites in hopes that their google ratings would rise, but you can understand why that is frowned on.

Just review the forum policies and have fun,


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In your own words
by TONI H / July 17, 2005 4:28 AM PDT

CNET is in business to make money....and they CHARGE companies to advertise on their site. Take a look on this page alone. Did you think it was all gratis?

Now....take into consideration that you, on a personal level, feel you can advertise your company/services/ and/orwebsite, why would you think as a 'company owner' that you should be allowed to do that for free in an open forum which would/could drum up that otherwise wouldn't be available to you? Are you more special than Dell or Sony or Motorola (just to name the ones on this current page that I'm looking at right now as I type this)?

Being a member of CNET doesn't automatically give you rights that you haven't purchased. The fact that you volunteer your information to other members that might need your services is no different than what the rest of us have been doing here (and in the former ZDNET Forums before CNET purchased it) since the day the doors officially opened. The whole concept of these forums was that people could come on-line and get FREE computer help advice.....the concept did NOT include having those people be barraged with links to other members' services that may or may not be in direct competition with the CNET Forums. The concept also did NOT include having members be subjected to a sales pitch for services and/or products from authors of those items. Telemarketing is NOT a feature of CNET and it never has been. Figure out how to drum up business the same way others have had to......

I've advertised in local newspapers, put fliers out in stores and restaurants, donated systems to Social Services for foster kids and local schools to give away to needy kids, and word of mouth through those sources, friends, and family members. I pay for my own website with free computer help tips and drivers for download in order to have a popup-free and spam-free site for the convenience of any stranger who wanders in because every one of them is a potential customer.....however, I don't even mention on my site that I build custom computers although I could since it belongs to me. I haven't yet submitted my site to the various search engines because it isn't complete yet, but I'll be doing that next.

I do not post links in the CNET forums to drive people to my homepage and then let them sort through the whole thing trying to locate the help they need. If I have a page already up that is directly going to help them solve the problem, I link to that specific page only......and that's how it's always been done here. I don't even mention in the post that the site I'm linking to is my own....I would also consider that to be advertising/spam and I won't subject the members to that. As far as I'm concerned, mentioning that a link is to your own website to drive up stats or drum up business is merely an ego trip, and most of the members at CNET volunteer their help and experience because they have compassion for newbies not because they want to feed their egos.

We rarely get a thank you for the help...and we don't expect one because that isn't the bottom line for us. When we do get a thanks, most times we are remembering how grateful we were for the help we got here from other members long ago (and continue to get). If you can't understand that concept and your feelings are hurt over the fact that CNET won't allow you to advertise for free and that will be your deciding factor on whether you stick around here, then you are definitely better off to find another forum to hang around in. We don't have time to deal with egos, when we have members who need our concentration and effort every day.


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I am afraid you missed my point...
by slmosqueda / July 17, 2005 6:15 AM PDT
In reply to: In your own words


While you picked up on a ton of other points I made, mainly speaking of for profit activities, you missed the two points I made towars the end of my post.

I do this to help other members. I have NEVER made a profit off of the help I provide, as don't you.

The issue I had was with the mods that were quick to yank posts but were unwilling to contact me or speak to me directly. As if I was posting for the mere purpose of advertising and treating me as if I were a Spammer! John saw it and commented.

I have stated and will state again, I will do what is in the best interest of forums, I am not that EGOtistical. Sorry to burst your theory. I have made several posts today. I did not include a plug for my book or a link to my company's homepage. Like I said, I am not that shallow.

I think I have stated my arguement well enough and am done.

Thank you for responding, I think.

Take care,

Shawn Mosqueda

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Oh, and one more thought...
by slmosqueda / July 17, 2005 6:33 AM PDT

If we are not allowed to plug our sites or business, wouldn't it be more in tune with CNETs TOS to simply copy and paste your article or page in the message body of a post? And then of course make sure there are no hints of your site unless someone views your profile? Whether you are making money or not with your site, it is still advertising.

"If I have a page already up that is directly going to help them solve the problem, I link to that specific page only......and that's how it's always been done here. I don't even mention in the post that the site I'm linking to is my own....I would also consider that to be advertising/spam"

This too could be in direct competition with CNET, as they provide free classes. Not to get to picky, I just think that copying and pasting would be just as effective. Then everyone who stumbles past thest posts will be able to get the info they need without leaving the forums. Everyone benefits.

"most of the members at CNET volunteer their help and experience because they have compassion for newbies not because they want to feed their egos."

Like I said before, I have not charged anyone for the FREE info I have provided. I have been volunteering, like you. I simply did not know the policies at that time and posted my info.

Nuff said.

Take care,

Shawn Mosqueda

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Another reminder you can put
by Ray Harinec / July 17, 2005 6:54 AM PDT

some of your info into your profile by editing it, and you probably should enable email in the profile. You can set limits on the number allowed per month.

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OK...I'm lost..........
by TONI H / July 16, 2005 8:27 PM PDT

This subthread refers to a 'member with a history' but evidently the member's post must have already been deleted, with only Bob's and John's replies sticking behind as a broken discussion.

Just a heads


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Now a third ATTACK by you....
by John Robie / July 18, 2005 3:34 PM PDT

this time a FLAMING post trying to start trouble like a TROL would do.

FYI there is not and never has been feud or problem with me and Bob or Toni. You are just a trouble maker as it is now very apparent we (you and me) dislike each other.

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by jonah jones / July 18, 2005 8:27 PM PDT

assuming you mis-spelled Hitler, i think your sorry *** needs banning "Kevin"!!!!

FYI....JR just so happens to be one of the good guys....


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HITLER. Webster's Dictionary
by taboma. / July 20, 2005 2:44 PM PDT

Jonah, This is all too silly.
Sorry my post was tossed. I never received the notice that my post was tossed. Usually I receive a polite warning.
In today's day and age one must never refer to Hitlar? or Hitler-Like at all. No matter what! Anyone that does has probably in fact, lost it!
Jonah, I cannot remember what I said to John in the first place. The message was zinged off the site. Must have something to do with the old Zdnet site.

Oh, well. Back to more important and currant issues.

Jonah, did you hear that Peter, Mrmacfixit has been made a Modorator? Great news and I sent Bob Proffitt an email thanking Bob for doing so. I also suggested to Bob to make an announcement on this Forum Feedback announcing such. (Have to wait for that one.)
I did send Peter a personal email congratulating him. Personnaly, I think that Peter knows more about Macs than just about anyone out there. And, Do not forget the PC's. Just brilliant!

Jonah, nice to hear from you and keep up your posts.
Thanks, and talk with you later?


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My 2 pennyworth
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 18, 2005 11:02 PM PDT

I am coming into this thread late, so I perhaps have missed some of the nuances of it although I have read all the posts.

It seems to me that there are two rules.

1 ? ?Our policy on linking to other forums is pretty simple. Members may link to any other site that provides information that helps answer another member's question or is just of general interest to members of that particular forum.''.

That seems fairly clear. Any link to another web site forum can be given, provided the link contains information/advice that is relevant to the thread, or of general interest to that forum.

2 - ?However, people are always welcome to link to any online resource, whether it's on our site or any other site, in order to share useful information with fellow members?.

So, clearly again, articles on other web sites that helps the thread in some way can be linked to.

The situation becomes less clear when a generic link is provided for a members site where advice or guidance may or may not be easily or readily available. There doesn't appear to be specific guidance in the Forum Policies about that, except where such a link is germane to the question being asked or advice being sought. Anything else may be considered advertising, or spam.

The difficulty is the ?shade of grey? of the Policy. Rules are always going to include shades of grey, unless the rule writers want to attempt to include every possible permutation of what is allowed and what is not, but this would leave a policy that is very complicated and difficult to read. Therefore, simple and clear is the best way to construct a rule, and as far as I can see these rules conform to that criteria. The rules do not allow for signatures that link to another web site, unless the web site is germane to the thread. The rules do not allow links to other web sites, unless the links relate to the question on hand, or the advice being sought, or to the subject being discussed in the thread.

I don?t see that anything else should be acceptable.


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Congrats on the Moderator status, Mark
by TONI H / July 19, 2005 12:05 AM PDT
In reply to: My 2 pennyworth

It's been long overdue.....


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Re: My 2 pennyworth
by John Robie / July 19, 2005 2:45 AM PDT
In reply to: My 2 pennyworth

Hi Mark,

Congratulations on the new red M. I've read many of your fine posts helping people.

The TOS matter was resolved and I had posted the specific CNet policy on ''Posting Advertisements'' in the 'thread'. The gentleman in question has now been following the CNet policy.

Thanks for your post.

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Many thanks Toni and John
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 19, 2005 8:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: My 2 pennyworth

your comments are much appreciated. I hope I can continue to help in a small way.


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Pennyworth or
by taboma. / July 20, 2005 3:02 PM PDT
In reply to: My 2 pennyworth

Mark, I wanted to go to the British pound key in place of the cent mark. Late at night, sorry. Good Post.

Congratulations are in order for you also. Hip, Hip, HORRAY!


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