Here I need to clarify what are the 'standard guidelines' for answering a question referring to your own tool/solution, that you yourself created, which is indeed related the problem raised in the question.
First I have already searched the help text and seen Link to my company tool? but the issue that there is a difference between a standard policy and a moderator's opinion and consistency across different moderators' actions. I am saying this as I have recently experienced, in my view, inconsistent reactions from the moderators.
The question is If your answer is relevant to the question but is referring to a solution that you have created then what are the guidelines for the following scenarios?
- published the solution as open source (codeplex, codeproject etc)
- published it as a utility you created on your blog
- published it as a product for free
- published it as a product but not free
The dilemma I am in is you truly believe the solution that you have created can help the users facing related issue but if you refer to it then
- you have to disclose that you own it
- or do not disclose you own it but as if they were some third party tools…
I can understand naturally we would go for option 1 but in my recent experiences with two moderators, as I understood, option 1 could mean you are marketing your solution.
So I am basically interested in finding some standard policy guidelines (ideally should be the part of help text). thanks, Hassan
——— more details if you are interested to read further -----
I like to give some context to the above scenario where I had issues dealing with two moderators. First as I know (from Google) this forum has its own business model. the owners are providing a free service but also make profit by some-other ways, however I believe moderatos work voluntary (which I highly regard).
In summary I and my partner have just released a free tool and I posted some answers lately where I believed our tool could help, but things didn't go well, here is a brief summary of timeline of events.
- I posted two answers referring to our tool, fully disclosing that it is our product, mentioning the name of the company that we released under the answers lasted about two weeks, no issues
- I posted another 4 answers a few days ago and yes made a mistake by not mentioning it was our product (if I had to hide this then I shouldn’t have mentioned in the first two posts)
- now if you trust me, (as I cannot prove) I came back in an hour as I relasied I didn’t mention my association, as I was editing the answers (literally I inserted ‘I and my partner created’) and saw deletion notifications. Not only the recent for answers were deleted but also the first two, giving the same reason
"Undisclosed advertising is not allowed. I will remove your answers mentioning this product. Robert Lindgren “
- I looked for the options to contact Robert, couldn’t reply to his comment as he had closed the thread, could not find an option to chat, however found the linkedin link in his profile, sent a message there (message attached below), tried my best to understand the situation and admitting my mistake but also asked why the first two answers were deleted where the deletion reason given was not valid, and that I intended to repost after addressing his concerns.
Did’t post anything, received the reply next day which was in Swedish, I translated using google and it was
"Thank you for your concern, but I'm not interested in just that.”
of course I didn’t get it, what he was exactly referring to by ‘that’? couldn’t reply back as he declined any further communication in linkedin (Did he think I was a recruiter, did he read my message? did Google translate it wrong..?)
- Anyways I posted another answer (to a relevant question that had zero answers), fully disclosing my association. I checked next day and my answer was upvoted, very encouraging
- I posted another answer on the same lines to another question where my solution could help. Now things got interesting this time, both of my posts were deleted by SPDoctor and the reason was
"Sorry, but this is going too far. By all means suggest that there are third party tools in general, but this is just promoting your browser extension”
I was just looking at my screen, was feeling aren’t the moderators behaving in a cowboyish style? sorry if it offends but I myself did feel offended, cannot communicate back, conflicting views, communication is not clear ( in the absence of clear policy guidelines).
So decided now I had to come here. From my side our tool is not dependent on StackExchange, however I came here as a community forum and genuinely wanted to help but I think I was taken otherwise.
I am always happy to accept my mistakes, fix them and move forward but I am sorry to say the moderators actions were not helping. With power comes the responsibility, I understand they are doing their best to protect this forum from spammers but they should also be considerate. For instance, my profile name is my real name, if I wanted to sneak in, then after spending 20 years in the field of IT I knew how this could be done but I myself do not like those tactics by online marketers.
Anyways, I didn’t want to come here, tried to communicate back, failed so I thought to raise this matter here, so that in future it can help others.
Ref: My email
"Hi ----, Sorry for contacting you here on linked in, but couldn't find a way to communicate on StackExchange. This is in regards to deletion of my comments regarding my product ---, I can understand your concern and they were valid but there are a few things which I believe have been overlooked, so wanted to clarify.
I had posted a couple of comments a few weeks ago, where I mentioned in the very first sentence that we owned this product "Knowing how difficult it is, navigating in SharePoint,we aimed to come-up with a solution too. Finally after months of efforts this weekend we have released"... those comments were also deleted.
Honestly after posting the comments today, I thought the same thing that this time I didn't mention my associate, came back after an hour and as I was editing my new comments I say the deletion notifications. Anyways it as indeed a lapse on my side.
If I had to conceal my identity then I won't using my real name, plus as per the point 1 above had mentioned in the previous posts it was our product, we all know how easy to find these associations if some-one is using his real name.
Last but not the least, we spent about two years in coming up with --, we indeed wanted to help the SharePoint users, and that's why I went to StackExchange to find people facing issues where our solution could help.
Hope it clarifies, the things, I intend to repost the comments and this time will be explicit in mentioning that I am the creator of this product. Best Regards”
“Tack för omtanken, men jag är inte intresserad av just detta."
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