A link post from TMS

This is still not a huge problem but we’ve got another example of a link post that I think would be helpful to discuss and decide whether it the sort of thing we want to encourage or discourage.

Wagner Landgraf (@wlandgraf) posted a link to their latest blog article about TMS Web Core.

Things I like about the post

  • posted to the third party category :white_check_mark:
  • Wagner has also been a welcome new contributor to the forum in recent weeks. :white_check_mark:
  • The content of the link is somewhat relevant to some recent topics of discussion. :white_check_mark:
  • Wagner has taken note of Malcolm’s suggestion of trying to spark a discussion :white_check_mark:,

I’d argue though that last one is pretty much the sort of token effort I expected posters would make, just adding to the end of their post an open ended question…

My big problem with Wagner’s post though is that it is TMS marketing and fairly blatant marketing at that. :moneybag: It may be built on top of good technical content but it is still marketing, posted by a TMS employee.

If companies like TMS, Embarcadero and our own local companies like NexusDB, CodePartners and The Continuity Group are allowed to post content like this, they probably should be paying for it and the post labelled as advertising.

From time to time members of ADUG have advertised new releases and etc. Myself included.
So far I do not believe there has been a problem.

1 Like

I think we need to keep in mind the different dynamics of a private mailing list vs a public web forum.

Yes on the old mailing list there were half a dozen or so companies/individuals who announced new releases of their products, but that number stayed pretty static for decades, because unless you were closely associated with ADUG you didn’t really even know the mailing list existed.

That’s not going to be the case with the web forum. Sooner or later it will become an issue and to be fair to all involved we should develop a policy before it does.

Out of habit I think most of us probably have the forum set in mailing list mode, sending us emails for every post. We most likely have email rules to stop ADUG emails going to spam, and are in the habit of at least flicking through all of them.

That’s a pretty privileged position for an email to have. To be frank, if third party marketing materials start arriving in my inbox via that privileged channel I’m not going to be impressed. I would tolerate it though if the volume was guaranteed to be low, they were clearly labelled and I knew that ADUG was benefiting financially from it.

I think we need to draw a distinction between ADUG members asking

  1. “how to” questions re. 3’rd party products, or

  2. things like "has anyone got this working in XYZ Com’s version 9900 ?, and

  3. posts by product vendors promoting their products.

Where someone asks “can you refer me to a Enterprise Web Server technology that implements OAuth verion 99” then I’m guessing that certain response types from Vendors may be problematic, depending how the question is answered.

Also, all posts would ideally contribute to community knowledge rather that be purely for product marketing purposes.

I completely agree with Lachlan that this is a topic we should be aware of and manage well, and I don’t believe we should tolerate members who ARE ONLY HERE in order to promote their commercial products (that statement is in NO WAY DIRECTED TOWARDS ANY OF OUR CURRENT MEMBERS by the way).

If you are in mailing list mode and don’t want emails from a specific category, you can try ‘muting’ that category. This way you can be selective in which categories you get mail from.

So if there are too many posts in the Third Party category that you think are just selling posts, mute the category and you won’t see them. You can read the category on the forum to see if you have missed anything important.

I’d prefer not to have do that. Hopefully the Third Party category continues to have more posts from members asking for help with third party components than posts from third vendors. It would be nice to be able to continue treating those posts as first class posts rather than posts I get to later.

I’m less worried about that situation than vendors initiating whole new topics (like these recent examples). Most of the time vendors giving an off the cuff response to a question provide fairly decent answers.

Sue, I wonder if it might be of value to have a NEW topic set up for ObjectPascal related product promotion posts from vendors. That way interested members could do things like asking questions.

Just a thought (may be rubbish :slight_smile: ).

To be fair, the topic heading does say ‘Announcements and general questions about third party products.’

If this needs to be further refined then that is another subject, and the reason we have a Site-Feedback category.

There will be times when third party announcements are validly posted here. Things like new releases that may interest people who might not find out by other ways for some time.

Hey that’s where we are now and what we’re doing :wink:

I think that’s a good idea - create a new category just for 3rd party announcements and keep the existing one for those wanting to ask questions. This would then make it easy to block advertisements without missing out on seeing questions being asked by members.

I think that’s a better way to go than my suggestion of billing vendors for posts. Split “Third Party” into

  • Third Party Announcements
  • Third Party Questions

Adding “Questions” should make it very clear to everyone which third party category to choose when creating new topics.

I just looked into this and I don’t think it’s a viable course of action for most users as long as the Third Party category includes both member and vendor posts. The Discourse help for the Mute Categories option states:

You will not be notified of anything about new topics in these categories, and they will not appear on the categories or latest pages.

Exactly. I meant to imply that this was a good thing to raise here.

It is a good thought and will be raised at the committee meeting. Some other ideas may also come up in this discussion.

Speaking as a vendor, I think this is a good idea. Have a specific place for vendor announcements that users can choose to ignore if they wish. Allow for vendor input in the questions forum but clearly label that one as being strict on the no ads policy.

Please allow me to comment, as I’m directly involved. First, please be aware I don’t feel entitled to suggest or “vote” for anything, since I"m obviously fairly new to the forum.

I posted this after seeing the discussion about Serge’s post, and even commented there. I thought it would be a “less problematic” post than Serge’s due to the points mentioned by @Lachlan, but it was also a kind of “test”, out of own curiosity.

First, I personally try to respect every forum I participate and don’t flood it with marketing material of my own. I’m not sure what is the impression of you guys about TMS in this sense, but I don’t see ourselves as marketers. I don’t think there is anywhere where you can say “TMS is flooding there” and even our own mail newsletters are much less common than average (e.g., Embarcadero).

Second, I don’t like seeing 3rd party announcements in forum myself, when they are too much and are not of my interest. I agree with @Lachlan. But mostly, when it feels like “automatic”, when it looks like it’s a robot posting: post and go.

The problem with 3rd part posts is that some people appreciate it, because I think it’s valid technical content like anything else. It’s a way to know what’s going on over there, the technical options available, and without false modesty, TMS is doing really cool things. For some people that only follows this forum, it’s valuable content. That was the reason I posted this one, because I thought it’s a really cool blog post, it’s not like a regular “Hey, another released version X.Y of product Foo with this new feature”.

Well, I wrote a lot and didn’t say anything. Sorry about that. :slight_smile: Well, I’m here, I’m not a robot, but I will refrain from posting “news” from TMS until you guys decide if it’s 100% ok and how to do it.


Me too. I was a bit surprised to be called out in this.

@wlandgraf I’m sorry you were the test subject, it was obvious you were trying to do the right thing which I think everyone appreciates.

The biggest issue is that we don’t have our policies straight yet and we’re making this up a bit as we go. This is a new forum but not a new community. Prior to starting this forum ADUG operated on a mailing list which had been going for over 20 years. Your post and Serge’s are bringing up issues that we hadn’t really had to consider back when we were fairly private and hidden community.

I agree your post was interesting and based on valid technical content but at its core it’s a case study designed to sell licenses of TMS products. I wasn’t trying to infer that TMS was flooding us or anywhere else with marketing material, rather I was just bringing this issue to a head so in the future we would be ready to take a consistent approach with all third party vendors without annoying our members.

It sounds like the committee is meeting in a few weeks and will most likely come up with a policy on how we handle these issues going forward. Whatever they decide, you’ve been a really welcome addition and I hope you stick around.

1 Like

I was just trying to be fair and not exclusively pile onto TMS, so I called out everyone including myself with The Continuity Group.

I’ve since been convinced by the suggestions of others that splitting the Third Party group is a simpler solution that will probably have much the same effect.