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A large part of our community may also be members of StackOverflow, Programmers, or just happen to be software developers.

If I answer a question and recommend software that I, personally, am somehow associated with, should I be transparent about my association with that software?

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Absolutely!

If you don't, that's almost the very definition of spam. Make sure you reveal your association with the software up front, openly, and clearly.

Of course, also make sure that you aren't trying to oversell your product, and fairly state the pros and cons of it. And it's a good idea to make sure your software actually does what's asked for in the question, of course.

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    Let me punctuate this by stating unequivocally — Yes, if you have any affiliation at all with a service or product you are recommending, you absolutely must disclose your affiliation in the text of your post. This is required, particularly on a site like this, or you may find your post(s) removed summarily. – Robert Cartaino Feb 5 '14 at 19:01
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YES, you need to be transparent. This is a policy that is common to all Stack Exchange sites. Quoting the help center:

What kind of behavior is expected of users?

(…)

Avoid overt self-promotion.

The community tends to vote down overt self-promotion and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, that’s okay. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers.

If a large percentage of your posts include a mention of your product or website, you're probably here for the wrong reasons.

As this site is more prone than most to potential spam, astroturfing and other excessive promotion, our stance on self-promotion has to be especially strict. Quoting the ground rules:

Answering recommendation questions

(…) Answers that contain little more than a link will be deleted without question, comment or other ceremony. Additionally, our policy on excessive self-promotion will be even more heavily enforced on the site. If you're asked to stop promoting a product that you're affiliated with by a moderator or community manager - you need to stop, or you'll likely be asked to leave the site. Spam filters will be adjusted accordingly - so be careful.

If you work on a product, be it free, gratis or proprietary - it's fine to recommend it to people opportunistically provided that you include full disclosure of your involvement with the product. If more than a small percentage of your posts mentions your product, we're probably going to need to have a talk.

Good answers on this site will be in the form of honest testimonials that share first hand experience with something and why it meets the needs of the asker.

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