Inspired by this question I saw over in the "First answer" que at SO, I can see the possibility of people coming to this website simply to advertise their product. Should this be allowed, and if not, how do we tell if it's advertising or if they're genuinely trying to help?


2 Answers 2


Excellent question.

Every site that serves the need of a producer will be ripe picking for them to come in and suggest sells.

What we've done on [dba.se] is to ask them to only share their links to their software as part of a comprehensive usage strategy on our site. If every answer they provide is a link to their software, we're not happy to have them, and will actually ban them often. But if they provide a link to their product maybe 1 in 10 posts, and the rest of the time they just provide solid helpful answers, I'm good with letting them be.

However, something to keep in mind is this: they are perfectly able to keep their links to their products in their profile. That is a perfectly reasonable solution to "I want people to be able to find my software". Good. Provide good answers and people will ask "where can I get something" and you don't have to linkbait them every time.

  • What do you mean by "part of a comprehensive usage strategy on our site"? Also, please link the related meta.dba.se discussions.
    – Pacerier
    May 21, 2015 at 9:22
  • @Pacerier I really felt like I described it in my post. We encourage them to post links as part of an active use strategy. Posting many personal-content links and little content = "unwelcome user". Posting some personal-content links and much actual answer content = "welcome user". Most o the communication has been 1:1 in mod mail or in chat, very rarely on meta.
    – jcolebrand
    May 21, 2015 at 15:11
  • Ic, but this site is fundamentally a "recommendation" site. In other sites personal-content links are unwelcomed because they have little to do with the actual answer, but in this site, the actual answer would be the recommendation. How does the strategy "posting many personal-content links and little content = unwelcome user, posting some personal-content links and much actual answer content = welcome user", apply when personal-content links are synonymous with actual answer content?
    – Pacerier
    May 24, 2015 at 13:20
  • I ... apparently did not respond to Pace 7.5 years ago, but there was a clear answer here for the picking: The long-tail effect of this website is that the answers on our site should be self-contained. A lot of sites that existed 7 or 5 or 10 years ago (SO posts) are defunct while SO continues to run smooth. Or the links have changed (hello jquery, MS, others). So the answers should contain enough information to be standalone without requiring click-throughs for the "meat and potatoes"
    – jcolebrand
    Dec 6, 2022 at 22:36

People abusing this are probably going to be outed pretty quickly by:

  • Mostly mediocre answers
  • More than a small percentage of their posts promotes their software
  • They answer questions suggesting software that really at best tangentially relates to the question

They tend to turn up rather quickly, and we're going to be taking a close to zero tolerance policy when it comes to excessive self-promotion because it's one of the biggest problems that questions like this tend to generate.

If you see something fishy, flag it - we'll take a look.

  • A bit off topic, but how do you already have a diamond? I thought you needed 2k for beta sites...
    – Jon
    Feb 5, 2014 at 17:33
  • I'm a Stack Exchange community manager, I work here :)
    – Tim Post
    Feb 5, 2014 at 17:38
  • 1
    As in, get paid?
    – Jon
    Feb 5, 2014 at 17:39
  • Yes. See my profile. Community managers are the moderators on brand new sites, until we can identify and appoint good moderators from within the community to see the site through its beta phase. This normally happens soon after we go public.
    – Tim Post
    Feb 5, 2014 at 17:42

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