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Poll & Discussion - What is your impression of the MDC Diapering board?

Poll Results: What is your impression of the MDC Diapering board?

Poll expired: Oct 31, 2003 This is a multiple choice poll
  • 12% (32)
    The Diapering board seems to be spam-free
  • 34% (90)
    I occasionally suspect a post of being spam
  • 2% (7)
    I often see spam on the Diapering board
  • 30% (78)
    Some members spam for each other or for their friends
  • 19% (51)
    Let the boards be spammed - it doesn't bother me!!
258 Total Votes  
post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 
Hello Diapering mamas!

I first want to thank all of you for what you contribute to MDC in the way of participation, signature and banner advertising, donations, DDDDCs, reviews, and all around general helpfulness you provide for the many mamas new to cloth diapering.

I have a topic I'd like to discuss with you all. In reviewing our policies and guidelines we find ourselves concentrating on spam. At the request of our members and based on MDC's own general policies we have tried to uphold a spam-free atmosphere and feel that we have been fairly successful in doing so. However, we have also noticed what seems to be repetitive covert spam by some members on behalf of others. In reviewing our policies we are questioning this issue - if it is what it seems to be - and thought it might be a good idea to get the input of the Diapering community, so that we may benefit from your perceptions and opinions.

So please, take a moment of your time to vote and, if you wish, contribute your thoughts and feelings about this important issue in a reply (I've allowed multiple chice in the voting). If you have something to say for or against our spam policies or in general about our guidelines for board participation please do so, keeping in mind our desire for a comfortable and respectful atmosphere and general posting rules. Nothing identifying persons or companies. Things of that nature can be sent to me privately.
post #2 of 98
Well, I see a lot of recommendations in the Diapering Forum for products. Sometimes I know that the person recommending the product is the maker's friend, but I really don't see a problem with that. I buy stuff from my WAHM friends from MDC. Like, just the other day I got an awesome soaker from an mdc mamma. I *adore* it and want to share with all my friends here. Should I not post about it because she is also my friend? Do I have to keep quiet about the dipes I get from WAHM friends just because they are my friends? I think I would never be able to post about new products because I really only buy stuff from MDC WAHMs, and on the off chance I buy from a non MDC WAHM, I tell them in any email correspondence about the boards and invite them to join.

I would feel very put out if we were not allowed to praise a product of one of our friends- I would have a lot less fun in this forum, since half the fun is listing the fun stuff we have or want or like, etc. Even when I buy stuff off the TP I am 10 times more likely to buy an MDC mamma's product, part of it is because when I get it and love it, I can come support a fellow MDC WAHM. I think that coming into the boards as an outsider and posting spam is innappropriate, like say if WAHM ABC's best friend XYZ isn't an active member and s/he joins just to post spam, then that would be really innapprorpriate--- *but* I do think we could sniff that one out for ourselves and the WAHM who encouraged a friend to do that would end up looking bac b/c of it. That's why I think it happens so rarely- WAHMs know that they are gonna look bad if they have someone spam for them and it looks cheesy, kwim?

One thing I don't like is seeing MDC mammas post nasty comments in threads when there is spam. Many mammas are new to this board and they don't know they can't spam. There is a popular alternative mamma board that does allow spam, and many members there are members here. Sometimes their MDC friends refer them here and they don't know- i see that a lot- - and they post something or other that comes of spammy- or is outright spam, and someone tears them down. I think that is just silly. When I see people spamming I pm them and tell them the rules in a way that is nice and friendly, so they know I'm looking out for them, since spam is read so negatively here. We should look out for each other, not get snarky when newbies to MDC, or newbies to the diapering forum mess up.

Anyway, I'm up really late- or early as the case may very well be, so before my post starts getting too loopy I better go get some
post #3 of 98
Thread Starter 
Just clarify a bit for voting purposes...

Spam is defined, for the purposes of this discussion and poll, intentional solicitation of a product for increasing sales for oneself or for someone else. It is not a post to share one's sincere praise of a product. It is intentional advertising with no real intent to offer beneficial information.

In the case of option 4 - "Some members spam for each other or for their friends" - what we are seeing, or at least what we are perceiving is that someone needs a boost in sales or some attention directed toward their auctions so a post is made to draw attention to it (with a link) by another member-friend.
post #4 of 98
Lauren, posting about something that you personally purchased and enjoyed is OK. I also can relate to what you are saying about friends. We do become a close knit group here. However if WAHM STU were to e-mail you and say "Business is slow, would you talk about me/ link my auction", we would hope you would say no.

Make sense?
post #5 of 98
Oh totally!

(Did I like, just totally reveal my valley girl accent or something???)
post #6 of 98
I have often seen posts where it is obvious to me that someone is posting for someone else and it's spam. It doesn't actually bother me though, because I am free to check out the site or not, free to buy or not.
post #7 of 98
I do *not* like SPAM.

I have no idea who knows who as far as WAHMs go. Until I began looking into cloth diapering and frequenting MDC, I had no idea that the term WAHM existed or that there were internet *malls* devoted to the products of WAHMs.

I guess now that I think about it, I have read messages which seemed to have a whiff of SPAM to them. I guess I'm not experienced enough to tell, with certainty, which messages are sincere and which are just there to boost someone's sales.

I have a low tolerance for any SPAM. I would hope I haven't made purchases from anyone encouraging others to SPAM for them.

That being said, I MDC! I feel very much at home here. I have no problems following MDC guidelines as written. I haven't found them to be too restrictive or difficult to understand.
post #8 of 98
aren't there the rules to read before joining that discuss spam? but, who reads *everything before they accept. But, then when you get up here and do it, you get slammed and I guess then you shoulda read the rules. I don't agree with the nastiness. Its just not called for when *anyone breaks *any rule, it could be they forgot! I agree with Lauren, folks joining for the purpose of spamming someone else isn't right. : I couldn't *sell my way out of a paper bag,that's not my personality, so that spam rubs me the wrong way. Now, if you've got an MDC mama who is an up and coming WAHM, I think its supportive for it to be announced here, even more so, if you have tried they're products, and you have a rave, isn't that what this forum is for? But, yeah, when you've got an obvious friend, I understand. If it was widely known that I was best friends with an MDC member and I came to spam her, that would be kinda cheesy IMO. Ok...I feel like I caught the ramble bug from Lauren, :LOL Hittin submit!
post #9 of 98
I have to agree with everything Lauren said.

I don't want to see a thread that says I sell blah blah blah, but if someone asks who sells blah blah blah, I think it is fine for the seller to reply saying they do.
I think its ok too to promote a friends product if your doing it because you really like it. When we see a post for a rave and its from a member that has only a few or this was their first post, and then there are several more posts from brand new members as well, that is annoying, but I hope they will stick around and become active members.
post #10 of 98
I see what I perceive to be as a LOT of spam. There are a lot of auction links, with someone saying "Look at how cute this auction is!" or "Why doesn't anyone buy this?" Someone may say that the auction is not theirs, but there is no way to verify that, nor is there any way to verify that the auction isn't spam. Most likely, long time members here legitimately saw something they thought others would be interested in, but I do often think others' intentions may be suspect.

There are people right now with auction links in their signatures, and that drives me nuts. I'm not sure if that's against the rules, as it appears as if they've paid the advertising fee to have a link to their business in the signature, but I've also noticed additional ebay auction links in these same people's signatures. I consider that to be spam.

I personally believe we should eliminate all auction links, as it's too difficult to tell if they're spam or not.
post #11 of 98
Okay my main concern with this kind of 'rule' is how to tell what is spam and what isn't? I, for instance have a newsletter that informs people of sales/stocking/auctions and such, subscribed to the newsletter are friends, customers, and customers I consider friends now. If I were to announce by newsletter that I was having a sale on such and such and one of my 'friends' were to post about it here, would that be spam? I usually include a snippet about sharing the word in my newsletter but don't ask them to post here (or anywhere) about it. I figure if people like the product enough they will talk about it in their own time, but how would anyone know if it were just posted of someones free will or if it was 'spam'? Since it isn't the WAHM posting it, it would be very difficult to seperate the two without banning all linking to deals or whatever.

I have had friends that when talking to them about something come straight away and post it to every diapering board the can find, I haven't asked them to do this, but they spam it for me because they 1)like the products (they all have quite a few of my things and 2)they think they are helping spread the word and boosting sales. This isn't something I personally should be punished for now is it? Not to mention I have found that that type of spam doesn't seem to work at all. What works as far as boosting sales is having good product, having good customer service and well my Signature advertising has helped a lot as well.

ramble ramble ramble Lauren's diareaha of the fingers () is contagious~
post #12 of 98
Another side on the issue: I agree, because I guess there *isn't a way to verify, unless their auction name is recognizable. But, then again, someone might point you to something that *is so cute and you like! But, there *have been some that have been quite suspect, here recently! I would hate to see them eliminated all together.....
post #13 of 98
I think it is very hard to judge someone else's actions, or intent, and I think this board is relatively spam free, so I say, let things be. I like to hear about new products, and often the first people to try a new product are going to be the WAHM's friends. I see no problem with the way things are going, although, I agree with others, I hate when someone "spams" and gets "ripped a new one" for it, since we truly do not know the person's intent, if they were a repeat offender with spam, then I would think that could be taken care of by the mods. (or ignored )
post #14 of 98
This is such a tough question, I think. On the one hand, I like having a "spam-free" board. But, I don't want it to go so far that people are afraid to recommend or give their opinion on something because it might be interpreted as spam. I guess I'm happy with WAHMs not being allowed to spam themselves, but I think it would be difficult to police friends spamming on behalf of them.

One thing to note is that when I see someone's recommendation for a place, that doesn't automatically mean I'm going to buy something there. I know that what works wonderfully for some doesn't work at all for others. I know the materials and style that work best for me, and so if the place has that and the price seems reasonable, I might give it a try.

I love seeing people's recommendations and checking out new places. There are LOTS of places I'd never have gone without those recommendations. I'd hate to see that kind of thing go down because people are afraid they might be spamming.

I only have one WAHM I keep in touch with somewhat. I guess you could say we're friends, though we've never met or talked except through email. I came to keep in touch with her because I genuinely love her products and they work well for us. I hope when I recommend her that isn't seen as spam. She has NEVER asked me to post anything (and if she did, I would lose respect for her as a WAHM). When I recommend her, it's because I have truly used and loved the product, not because she's a friend.

I know there's no guarantee that everyone has innocent intentions when they post, but as veganmamma said, I would hope that everyone here could see through blatant spam attempts. If there is evidence (not just suspicion) that a WAHM has specifically asked a member to spam, by all means get rid of it, but the rest I think we can all weed through and decide for ourselves.

I'm not a WAHM, so I speak from a consumer's perspective, but I'm comfortable with the guidelines as they are. I don't think I'd want them to get any more restricted, though. And I'm glad that we clarified the guidelines a while back so WAHMs can answer direct questions about their product. I think there are plenty of boards out there, so you can find what suits your taste or needs if MDC isn't fulfilling it. MDC is a wonderful information resource and I think it's also great for spotting the newest "trends" in diapering. :LOL If I'm looking for spam, I can either post here saying "spam me!" or I can look for other "spam-friendly" boards.

Wow, I think that's one of the longest posts I've ever done here! Thanks Cynthia for bringing this up for discussion. I'm looking forward to reading the other responses.
post #15 of 98
mellow spamming for a friend doesn't bother me when a direct question is asked. I just don't like the blantant ones and would prefer to keep the board clean of those.
post #16 of 98
I see what I perceive to be as a LOT of spam. There are a lot of auction links, with someone saying "Look at how cute this auction is!" or "Why doesn't anyone buy this?" Someone may say that the auction is not theirs, but there is no way to verify that, nor is there any way to verify that the auction isn't spam. Most likely, long time members here legitimately saw something they thought others would be interested in, but I do often think others' intentions may be suspect.
I did this just the other day. I didn't know it was called spamming. I posted the link cause I thought the item was cute and wanted to share.
I have also when brought up by someone else asking praised a wahm's stuff(even shared my pics). I thought I was just giving my opinion. I wasn't spamming for anyone.
I'll be more careful of what I have to say now....
post #17 of 98
A couple of weeks ago or so, I thought that a post in response to "favorite diapers" was a SPAM, because the author was naming her own products but not identifying herself as the former or current maker of those products. This kind of blatent self-promotion is what the moderators of this board should be most concerned about.

Lots of people here love certain products and recommend them at every opportunity. Some of these people may be personal friends with the people that make them (but that doesn't make their enjoyment of the products any less). If a WAHM or anybody (e.g. posts in the trading post are somtimes linked, as are ebay or other auctions) asks others to SPAM, then s/he should be banned from the Boards.

But I don't believe that you can determine the difference between a post where somebody else is truly spamming as opposed to sincerely recommending a product or posting an unusual or cute auction, or anything else. You may "suspect", but I don't believe you can know. I also believe that if you try to make rules about what's "acceptable" other spamming and nonacceptable other spamming, that you will be wrong the vast majority of the time, probably in both directions: you will miss "clever" other spamming and you will mistakenly "accuse" well meaning people of spamming.

On this second point (on accusations), if you devise another rule and attempt to enforce it, your accusations will create a chilly climate here for discussion. People will start being afraid to recommend or talk about products and people who have been wrongly "spanked" will have hurt feelings and that will spill out into the board(s) and/or cause people to leave.

So, yes, I believe there probably is some wrongful "spamming" on this Board. Maybe some people do ask others to SPAM for them, and maybe some well meaning people SPAM for their WAHM friends a little more than they would if they weren't friends.

But I believe it would also be wrong for you to attempt to censor this type of SPAMing, because you cannot be accurate in your determinations. Right now, the rule is very clear-- you can't SPAM yourself, but you can talk or link or praise anybody's else's products to your heart's content. That's a very clear rule and one that makes sense here. I don't believe another rule is needed and if implemented, would have many more negative consequences than perhaps a few SPAM posts.

post #18 of 98
I like that this board is not an all out spam fest.

I imagine my being a new WAHM makes my feedback seem subjective. Still my posting habits have not changed much from when I was not a WAHM. I do feel as though every post I make is going to be under suspicion and speculation now That bothers me. This was my 'home' and I feel as though I am perhaps no longer welcome like before. I would hate to see guildlines that would mean WAHMs can no longer post in diapering

I however, do not like insincerity. Unethical situations really bug me. I hate that feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when I feel as though I am being 'played' by someone. I do not want to see posts like this. How do you know insincerity for sure, though? You really cannot know for sure can you? Look how many posts there are for SOS and Fuzbaby. Obviously these businesses need no boosting, however, who is to say that friends of these WAHMs aren't starting these threads or participating in these threads. There is no real way to know at all. If these WAHMs had never been mentioned on this board I know I would never have spent the hundreds (yes hundreds ) of dollars on their products that I have. Many WAHMs do have friends here. Many WAHMs have meet eacxh other and their customers. That is what makes being a diaper WAHM so special I think.

I do like knowing about new WAHMs and products and auctions I might not have seen unless they had been pointed out to me. I love seeing someone else's fluffy mail! I love sewing someone else's stash! This is so much fun for me.

If someone can come up with fair, black and white guidelines on what is spam and what isn't I am all for it, however, I don't really believe there is any way to do this completely and fairly.
post #19 of 98
hmmmm, well, since I haven't been around for very long, I'm not sure if my opinion counts, but....

I think there is a very fine line between spam and just innocent information.

If I saw posts like, "Check out my auctions" or "I'm having a sale" yadda yadda, I would be very put off. It doesn't bother me, but this being a non-spam board, it would bother me.

On the other hand, I see many posts that say... "(insert name of store here) is stocked!" or "Check out this cute auction!" And this is where one would wonder where the line is... I think this is people who really like the stores and want others to know .... just sharing information. I think it is part of the "hyena mindset" that when a store opens for instock items, they want to flock over.... I have no issues with that.

Also, when somebody plugs a newer wahm, I do run over there and buy something from them. I believe in supporting my fellow wahms, and love trying out other peoples creations. So.. since I am also a wahm, should I not mention other wahms? But... I never mention myself, even when somebody is looking for something that I carry! I may actually direct them to another wahm, because I know that she carries that item.

So, if I mention another wahm, I am not making any money or anything off of this mention... is that spam?

I would be very sad if wahms weren't allowed to mention other wahms, because I think that us pulling for each other and enjoying each others products gives us a strong sense of community. I'm so non-competitive... I just prefer for all of us to be successful, and when I really like another wahms product, I want to tell everybody about it!

And here is my other perspective... as a fairly new member of this community, I wasn't aware that there was a problem with spam! I have honestly thought that every post was just hyenas at their best, sharing their finds. Maybe I am just naive.

nak - and still managing to type out a book!

post #20 of 98
I love when mamas reccomend a diaper or tell us how well a certain diaper worked for them. I have found several great diapers that way! It is sort of like the veteran hyena mamas passing their tried-and-true info on to us newbies.

I don't mind when a mama posts a link to a great new site or an auction. I can always check it out and decide for myself if it is something I want to buy. However, I do know what you mean about slightly spammy posts. Sometimes I' not sure if someone is posting a link to a site/auction because it is, in fact, a great product or if they are friendly with the seller. That is when I go and chek out the diaper for myself and make my own descision.

I think it would be a shame if we couldn't rave about great diapers on this site and post links. I have gotten so many great diapers (that I would have never known about) from links here on MDC.

I like to think that when a mom posts a link she is posting it because she truly does like the diaper. Not because she is friends with the seller.
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