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Poll & Discussion - What is your impression of the MDC Diapering board? - Page 5

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 #81 of 98
Originally posted by WickidaWitch
Shouldn't something like this be in the Diapering review or the Daily Diaper?
Now THAT is a good point!
post #82 of 98
I'm glad Heather was online last night, looooooooooooooong after I went to bed.

Sharon, I brought up the part of what is considered spam because I felt as though a lot of people were getting nervous and wanted to make it clear that it was NOT the issue. Yes the covert spam is also an issue. If Heather came here and started talking about the store her best friend was opening and posted once a week what special she was running, that would be covert spam. I think we would probably just ban her though, she's not really liked around here anyway.
post #83 of 98
Originally posted by tnrsmom
I think we woud probably just ban her though, she's not really liked around here anyway.

post #84 of 98
post #85 of 98
The only thing "spammish" that I have seen and seemed to stuck out at me was when someone posts something like : " ______ Is open now!!" with an accompanying link.
Other than that I have not noticed anything.
It doesn't bother me though, but I think it is kind of obvious the person is spamming.
post #86 of 98
I've only purchased from two WAHMs. Both are MDC members. One I knew was a member, one I did not until after the sale.

Chances are, the next time I make a purchase it will be from a MDC WAHM because of all the positive posts about them and their products. Who needs to go elsewhere?

If I learn from this board that a certain WAHM has great diapers, great customer service and is a hell of a nice person to boot, all the more reason to support them. I'd much rather put money in the pocket of sometime I know to be kind and caring than someone I've never heard of.

And frankly, I think it's nice that WAHMs support each other instead of trying to "steal" business from one another. I'd rather see some random spam than a WAHM saying that another WAHM's product blows.
post #87 of 98
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your votes and your input. There have been many very good suggestions made which we appreciate. I would like to address a few things mentioned that I thought were excellent points, some in need of clarification and reiterated as a reminder. Sorry for the length but I think these are important issues to cover.

nasty comments in threads when there is spam
We have seen this and yes, agree that it should not be occurring. What should happen is this: ignore it on the board but report it to the moderators. Let us handle it. That's the rules of the board anyway - to not take things into your own hands but rather to report it so we may do so. If a person were to post and ask about spam it would be fine for a member to point her to the rules and tell her about our spam policies. But general spammy posts should simply be reported. I think Lauren's way of PMing the newbie to say welcome and let her know spam is not cool here is fine also and a very nice thing to do. And this:

I really think the nasty notes after spam or perceived spam should be edited as well, and mods who are on the lookout for spam should be on the lookout for those kinds of posts too. I recently saw one, and it's sharp tone made me wince.
Yes, posts made in comment to spam should be edited out as well and I'll remind the moderators to make sure that happens or to remove the posts.

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.
i am a big girl and can make up my own mind about what to buy even if i am spammed (ok i do need you all to tell me it is a good idea, lol). this board is quite rigid with it's rules about spam and about posting. i still love it and all, but it is a little intimidating.
Very true but we have quite a different position. The boards are, by general rule, spam free and we strive to keep them that way. The Diapering board is by far our challenge, due to its very nature of discussing and sharing info about products, so we often struggle with the spam issue. Why is spam such a big concern? It is a fact that the majority of the revenue that comes into the community chest and the board advertising comes from WAHMs. While we protect no one WAHM in particular through the enforcement of our spam policies we do protect MDC in making sure that members advertise their goods and businesses through our permitted advertising - business signature advertising, The Daily Diaper, WAHM Connect, banner ads, and auctions.

Those of you who have been members since September of last year may remember Peggy O'Mara's call for help here on the boards. Mothering, not a cash cow by any means, was struggling financially and MDC was under threat of closure because there simply wasn't enough money to go around to justify the expense of running it. The community was asked to help in whatever way they could - Community Chest donations and advertising were the new additions to the boards then as fundraissing projects to keep MDC open and free for us all. The advertising flopped terribly because, as WAHMs told us, it was not worth the expense to advertise when so many others were getting free advertising through their posts and that of members out to help them spread their word for them. That was the wake up call for us that Diapering needed a close look which resulted in stricter spam guidelines. Once we did that and opened up paths for sincere raves (and rants), our reputation against spam became known and respected, the Diapering board became an extremely popular hangout AND a great place to advertise. This has contributed greatly to MDC's continued existence. While we still are challenged to make ends meet every month and we are facing increasing expenses in the form of a direly needed upgrade we are far better off than we were this month last year and often come close to self sufficiency in creating revenue and paying for the board expenses. We tip our hats to the WAHMs who have chosen to legitimately advertise here at MDC and we must be diligent in preventing those who do not do so from using the board inappropriately for their own advertising benefit or that of others.

if someone asks who sells blah blah blah, I think it is fine for the seller to reply saying they do.
Our guidelines are that a WAHM can reply by PM to that person. Why? Because posting to say I sell this or that, even when she did not initiate the thead, is advertising when it comes from the WAHM herself so the line drawn is very clear and across the board. Even those who pay for advertising are not permitted to post in this manner. While a member could respond to say "Oh, you can get that from babybutts.com" a WAHM should not, whether a paying advertiser or not. And a member should not do it diligently to help advertise for a WAHM, which is why you'll often see some of the members say "You can get it from W, X, Y or Z.com". It keeps things balanced and conveys their intention to share info, not promote one WAHM.

Or in the case of this one:

who doesn't charge tax?" The OP wants to know to help with her diaper buying decisions. Can't a WAHM respond herself to that? it's a legitimate request for info, right?
Same thing. The WAHM can do so privately by PM as the request to be spammed was made by the poster. But spamming one's biz or product on the board is not permitted. So to PM it goes.

There are a lot of auction links, with someone saying "Look at how cute this auction is!" or "Why doesn't anyone buy this?"
This is one of the things we are seeing and keeping a close eye on. It is very very difficult to tell when it is spam for a WAHM friend and when it is just a sincere "Oooh look what I found" which is entirely innocent and a fun part of sharing on the boards (like WickidaWitch mentioned herself doing which is welcomed and not being criticized). We really don't want to get into the business of judging people's intentions and underlying reasons. But we are seeing it a repetitive practice by a few members posting for the same WAHMs and something we must address privately with them. We will not be placing any further stringency in our policies though. No worries there.

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.
If their business is auction based and they have paid for a signature advertising package then it is okay. If you report it we'll check it out.

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.
We can't really know. But if it were a repetitive thing - if a member regularly posts to announce your info then yes, we'd ask for it to stop. It is advertising for you on a regular basis. That's a bit different than one of your newsletter readers coming across a special you're offering this month that excites her and telling her friends here about it.

This is similar:
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.
Just on the face of things it does appear to be spam for you by your friends. YOU wouldn't be to blame for it, But if we came to know that a WAHM had encouraged it, asked for it, or otherwise contributed to it being done we'd want to talk to her about that and ask her friends to refrain from such posting. If we see it occuring with regular devotion by a particular member we will question it with the member privately.

Well, now I am starting to wonder if what I post is spam.

I like to find new wahms and try their products... it's an obsession of mine. I also give them feedback about what I thought of their products....

So, I have recommended their products here too. Of course, I like the wahm... I have given them feedback, so we have emailed back and forth. And, my intention of posting about them is usually for two reasons... so that others can find other products out there, and to help my fellow wahms get their name seen. If I like their products, should I not mention their name?
In general, yes. It is fine to mention their name and the product that you like so much in the context of a discussion. But we do have a responsibility to take note of what we see as repetitive spam by the same member. Why? Because the boards are not meant to be used as free advertising for WAHMs and if your intention is to advertise for her then you are stepping into what we regard as spam. While we tend to be very laid back about this because the Diapering board is so much about sharing info we also have to keep in mind that some posts are with a promotional intent. If you really want to help the WAHM get her name out there do it in a legitimate way that benefits her and MDC - take out a signature ad for a month or 3 or 12 and advertise for her. Post positively for her in the Diapering Reviews. Encourage her to advertise here for herself.

If I have tried another WAHMs product and I like it, why in the world wouldn't I want to tell everyone else what a great experience I had? I think it's too bad you can't spam your own auctions, because sometimes there are well over 1000 diaper listings! It's hard to get your stuff noticed when there are so many auctions to wade through...
You could do so quite appropriately in Diapering Reviews. A member can advertise her auctions (if that is her business venue) by paying for a sig advertisement and posting as a contributing member of the community. But to place it on the boards as a new thread or in a thread of disccussion with the intention to spam members and get the word out for a WAHM friend is inappropriate and entirely against our rules. As one member said: "I look to the Daily Diaper if I want to see direct from the WAHM promotion." And don't forget the Mothering Auctions. We place a banner for the donator in the banner rotation to advertise her donation as well as the advertising she is permitted in the auction listing for her item. It is a very good way for an up and coming WAHM to get noticed for the cost of an item donation.

I believe great service and great products will in time help spread the word. BUT if you can't reach people how can that happen??? I would love to be able to reply to a post asking for spam about a product that I do make or sell. But then again I see the point of having to pay for a sig and then wondering about those that do not but will still post to those spam requests. Kinda not right for those that have paid for the sig package. So I am kida torn. I love the lack of spam but also at times I think for buyers and consumers it would benefit for a bit of rule tweaking..
If someone posts asking for spam the appropriate response for a WAHM is to reply by PM. That addresses the member's request for info and serves the WAHM in gettting the message to the person but at the same time keeps her within our rules. So you can reply, just not on the board.

I do apologize if my opening post created concern and confusion. We do not have any intention of tightening our rules (though we may clarify some of them a bit further so that they are better understood) and we are looking at our application of them and wanted your input so we could see things through your eyes. Often the rules are vague and do not specifically address each and every situation. We have the task of making decisions about some things that do not have an exact rule or guideline. We want to be balanced in doing so and we thank you for sharing and helping us through your comments.
post #88 of 98
I don't have time to read this entire thread so if I'm repeating or bringing up a moot point, please forgive.

I promote the same WAHMs all the time. Why? Because I'm cloth diapering for the first time and haven't bought from several different people. So, those I have purchased from and have been pleased with are the ones I mention over and over. Should I not contribute if I'm just going to say thisone.com and thatone.com again? If I'm not a personal friend of a WAHM, how is this harmful? If I've been burned by a popular WAHM and have found one that I really think could be the next big thing, should I not post praise and links to the new one? (For me, that's much more constructive than discussing my disappointment in everyone else's #1 love.)

This board directly discusses products. I don't think it's unreasonable to see advertising in this forum. I believe this is a slippery slope. If I'm in a group of people talking about a product and someone pipes up, "I make those", I don't think I'd be offended. I certainly wouldn't scream "SPAMMER!" and pop 'em in the nose.

The "check out this auction" and "storeABC stocks today!" threads are the ones I'm most likely to open in my limited amount of time here. I love the auction posts. The threads challenging mamas to find new and lesser known WAHMs are my favorites.

All in all, I really don't see spam in the diapering forum. (Okay, maybe that one time, but I pm'ed the new member and gently let her know that didn't fly here. She's an active and positive spam-free member here now. ) I realize I don't read as much as many others do, but I'd leave it as is. If you cut out links to this and links to that, I may never find anything new or exciting. That would be a disappointment.

ETA: Wow, I can't believe the numbers on the poll. I must be immune to spam because I just don't see it. :
post #89 of 98
Originally posted by lifetapestry
I don't believe another rule is needed and if implemented, would have many more negative consequences than perhaps a few SPAM posts.


Karla, I you took the words right out of my mouth. Everything in yuor post was exactly what I would have said. I myself am not a WAHM yet, am working on it. But I have alot of respect for the ladies who are. I think that if we cannot talk here about the products others make, and how we feel about them, then there isn't much left to talk about, when it comes to CD. JMO

But also, I do agree that there is a point where people need to just realize that they are breaking rules. It's hard to discern what is SPAM and what is not. I personally MDC, and don't really feel this is an overly spammed board by any means. I've been to some where you have to weed through to find a real post, because there is so much SPAM, but I think that is not the case here.

MDC has been a place I have learned to come to to find out anything I need regarding almost any aspect of my life. The people here are wonderful, it's a terrific resource.

Just my 2 cents....lol maybe more like a quarter but..
post #90 of 98
I like things the way they are...

I'm absolutely positive of only one instance of covert spam, although I've suspected others, it happened to be on behalf of a new WAHM that had no reviews yet on her auctions, and when I purchased something from her, and paid via paypal she had (0) after her name, which I think means she hadn't had any paypal transactions either? Anyway, she sure did have about five people (new members, I might add) over here raving repeatedly about her products, when it appeared I was one of her first ever customers! Then it turned out the product wasn't so great after all, but those same five or so people were still repeatedly posting glowing reviews (yeah, like the one I bought was the only one to fall apart so soon?: ). Even if the product had been the best thing since sliced bread, I wouldn't do any more business with this person just on the principle of the matter.
Then, when I had the nerve to post what I honestly thought of the product (with no mention of the shady spam posts on her behalf), she sent me a nasty email about it!

Anyway, I think Heather is right:
If it was just once, I wouldn't notice it, but when it is repetitive it becomes obvious to regular members.
And that's when we should just take it into our own hands to not support such businesses! Simple as that, just don't visit their websites or order products from these people. Or if we are truly offended, pm a moderator, and let them deal with it.
post #91 of 98
Originally posted by SpiralWoman
full disclosure: if a poster is a WAHM, then that should be in their signature, that way everyone knows. whether there is slant or bias is up to the reader to decipher, but disclosure is just standard business ethics, yes?
You have to pay to put your store info. in your signature.

In other words, I think we should keep things just as they are.
I agree!

There's always going to be a grey area, b/c there are always going to be untrustworthy people.

would love to be able to reply to a post asking for spam about a product that I do make or sell.
It is my understanding that you are allowed to PM a response in that case, right?

IMO, from the MDC point of view, all WAHMs should pay a little something bcz the biz they can generate here is pretty good.
Just b/c I'm a member of this community & trying to be a wahm, doesn't mean I have the funds to contribute. KWIM?
post #92 of 98
Originally posted by BabyOsMommy
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.
This is where I stand on this 100%--personally the info I gather about different diapers and diapering products has really helped with my purchasing choices. And of course I have the final choice on that one--
Personally I'd like to see spam allowed here. I checked off the last poll option.:

Edited to add:

Now that I have time to elaborate on this I wanted to offer a somewhat different perspective on this whole "spam" issue. I used to run a cloth diaper business out of my home (I did this for about five years) I sold factory-made diaper covers, two factory made diapers and one WAHM-made diaper as well as a number of clothing items for infants and toddlers which were WAHM-made. This was a way I could make some money while I stayed home with my children (not so I could stay home, because it never got to the point where I was that profitable or even close to it!)and at the same time support other WAHMs and the whole concept of cloth diapering which I believe is best from the environmental standpoint as well as teaching our children values about reusing rather than instilling the throw-away mentality which sadly predominates in our culture.

By the time I purchased the products and had them shipped to me (I did drop shipping wherever possible) purchased the packages supplies to send them out to the customer (using recycled materials wherever possible), paid for my advertising to get many of my customers in the first place, paid for the printing of my little catalog (I actually bartered to off-set the cost of printing), paid the postage to send out the catalog, paid fees two or three times a year to feature these products at birthing & parenting fairs and conferences-- after all this and probably costs I am not mentioning my profit margin was mightly slim. In fact I often wondered if I really made any money at all. This was before I knew how to turn on a computer so I didn't have a website, but I can certainly relate to the costs involved with web-hosting, costs involved with posting auctions for individual items etc.
Anyway ultimately it was a cost issue that pushed me (and three other WAHMs who I helped get started) out of business. Our primary supplier raised the minimum order of the factory-made products to a point we could not continue even if we pooled our orders.

I have spent several years since then pondering various avenues to support my vision of women working at home as a viable alternative. I tried on three occasions to start my business up again unsuccessfully.

I know there are many WAHMs who cannot afford to have an ad here at MDC and are struggling just to get started or keep their businesses going. I know of several who ended up getting jobs outside the home to support thier home based businesses!!! So that is partly why I feel the spam is harmless -- and why in the world does it have to be seen as offensive???? :
(after all the customer can ultimately decide whether to buy or not--you can even choose not to read something you feel is "spam!") and that there is a much larger issue here. I feel strongly that most WAHMs begin working at home in the first place out of a strong desire to stay home with their children and be the primary influence with their children as far as teaching values. This is important in our culture that this desire is still alive and well and I would like to see more support for this. I have read numerous articles in Mothering magazine that support "mother's work" and one article even put a dollar value on the work women do at home, raising their familes which still goes unpaid. Because I feel so strongly that this work should be supported I started two internet message board communities in the past year that allow WAHMs to advertise their businesses for free--at one board I now have nearly 10 WAHM banner ads up and they do not pay me anything. I cover the cost of keeping these boards up and running out of my own pocket and plan to continue to do. Because I cannot afford to advertise these communities at this time, WAHMs have found out about this by word of mouth.

While I am not suggesting that MDC offer something like this on the assumption that this board costs far more to keep going than mine do, I will go as far as to say again, the spam in the diapering boards is harmless imho. It doesn't bother me in the slightest. I only wish I could help more mothers to be SAHMs.
post #93 of 98
I would like to see this thread removed as a sticky on top of the diapering forum. The last message was more than a month ago, the conversation and topic is "stale", I see no meaningful purpose for its continued presence, and it takes up more room than any other sticky or announcement, cluttering up the first page of the diapering forum.

Just a suggestion.
post #94 of 98
Thanks for bringing this to our attention Karla!

Ask and it shall be given . . . :LOL
post #95 of 98
Can there be a sticky with some of the conclusions from this thread and policies? Just because we old timers know what's in here doesn't mean it isn't useful to new members. I know there are rules and guidelines and such, but I think everyone knows that new members don't read them! It's only the poeple who have been here and either been reminded or have looked them up to post in a thread reminding people to keep the peace or something. Besides, it is very diaper specific and I know a lot of members ONLY post in Diapering. Just my suggestion.

If it doesn't get a lot of views, then I would say take it down, but if it does, it was obviously a good idea. I am willing to admit if it was a waste too.
post #96 of 98
Lovely Lauren

This thread's information will certainly be utilized in some fashion for a 'heads-up.' Let me point Cynthia toward yours and Karla's response for review.

Thanks !
post #97 of 98
Originally posted by lifetapestry
I would like to see this thread removed as a sticky on top of the diapering forum. The last message was more than a month ago, the conversation and topic is "stale", I see no meaningful purpose for its continued presence, and it takes up more room than any other sticky or announcement, cluttering up the first page of the diapering forum.

Just a suggestion.
Thanks for your friendly suggestion, Karla. It's always nice when people lend a helpful hand.

Lauren, great suggestion. We have been inspired and are working on some "guideline cliff notes" that will hopefully be easy for everyone to follow.
post #98 of 98
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