travel advice & savings
 
SAVE on RAIL PASSES LOWEST PRICES / FREE SHIPPING on orders over $449!
Now use the Trip Planner to:
  • Find and Buy Rail Passes
  • Find and Book Hostels
Already know which Rail Pass you need?
Click here and buy now!
Special Eurotrip Member Savings!
55 replies
When is spam, spam??
ncmickey
ncmickey's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 150
Member: 547
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 42 weeks 6 days ago.

Look at Travelisa’s posts down the page. Clearly spam….am I right? Or just a blog? She accually is an informative poster. Doesnt pimp out that site but just once in a while. What do ya’ll think?

http://www.eurotrip.com/forum/tm.aspx?m=14413&mpage=21

mb
mb's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 1443
Member: 485
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 2 days 22 min ago.

Spam in it’s initial use is to get something.  To sell something or you see people scamming for money.  ie:  “A long lost relative has died and left you all their money.”

Basically it’s like junk mail you get via snail mail trying to solicit you for something.
Buy this, do that, etc.

That being said, some of Travelisa’s info does qualify as spam because she has a link that goes directly to a page on her website that recommends buying a particular soap.  I don’t think the intent is to sell for someone but to help people in buying gifts.  It is still technically spam.

If it is allowed what’s to stop others from making their own websites to push their products.  This is a fine line but I’d rather not have links to unsolicited recommendations of products.  If someone asks, then it would be ok.

Travelisa has some good info on the website and is a contributing member of the forums, so if a link is posted that goes to  an unsolicited product opinion, I’d just edit it out with *******.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 5 days ago.

I concur with MB.
I’ve been seeing more and more “blogs” like this—and they always have comments closed.

mim
mim's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 2362
Member: 235
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 week 17 hours ago.

Yep,

I consider spam any unsolicited promotion of a site that is in some interest to the poster.   I also look at it this way, while she is a great poster, I wouldn’t go on her blog and post a comment to check out the “glamour” thread at eurotrip.com for more info.


I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

Eurotrip Managing Editor

auher
auher's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 595
Member: 103
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 19 weeks ago.

Gotta admit, kinda shocked you guys would consider that SPAM. Don’t know why I’m bothering to weigh in on the subject, just think it’s kinda shocking really. Self promotion of a non-commercial website really doesn’t have any ill effects, does it, esp when the poster is making high quality posts that are relevant to the topic at hand.

mim
mim's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 2362
Member: 235
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 week 17 hours ago.

Auher, please remove your signature.

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

Eurotrip Managing Editor

Seva
Seva's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 741
Member: 91
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 48 weeks ago.

Auher, please keep your signature, cause I can never type the url for “the other site” correctly.

By the way, the dialog between ncmickey and travelista in RE: A GIRL’S guide to GLAMOUR while traveling makes for a fun reading.

IMHO travelista’s post are nearly worthless, she just copies lines from her “blog” and makes claims like “earth is flat,” “don’t pack all of your clothes,” and sometimes “I’m so smart and know it all.” But other then that she’s perfectly harmless, definitely not your typical spammer.
 

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 5 days ago.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: auher

Gotta admit, kinda shocked you guys would consider that SPAM. Don’t know why I’m bothering to weigh in on the subject, just think it’s kinda shocking really. Self promotion of a non-commercial website really doesn’t have any ill effects, does it, esp when the poster is making high quality posts that are relevant to the topic at hand.

I guess there are two ways of looking at it.

One way is that we’re all connected on this vast network, just as posters in blogs (real ones) are, and we all work together for the betterment of all.

The other way is that self promotion of a site, commercial or not, on the back of another site, is lazy and, well, self-promoting. Travelisa is not typical, no.
But what ncmickey linked to sure looked like spam to me.

While I appreciate the idea of a non-commercial website, I do not necessarily equate it with excellence and time well spent simply because it is non-commercial.

Sure, it sucks to have advertising. But to me, “fake” posting and links to someone’s site in sigs is just another way to advertise.
They are both intrusive.

Seva
Seva's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 741
Member: 91
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 48 weeks ago.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: mim
I consider spam any unsolicited promotion of a site that is in some interest to the poster.
Hello everybody! This is the Internet.

Besides, how do you know that OldLady is not really the CEO of German Railways? Perhaps she links to that site in hopes that someone will go and buy tickets. Is there really any way to know for sure that Don does not have any personal interest in any of the gazillion booking website he so helpfully recommends?

I trust you guys to use your good judgment in deciding what is spam and what is not. You can’t make up definitive rules to ban some links in any other way then to ban all of them!

mb
mb's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 1443
Member: 485
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 2 days 22 min ago.

Because people on this site personally know oldlady and Don.
 
Linking to personal webpages/blogs is not spam.  Solicitation of products or services is.  Many people have linked to their travelogue personal webpages. (And I quite enjoy them.)
 
I wouldn’t worry about Travelista.  Her gift ideas do hawk products but I don’t think she is a mad spammer.  Again, if it gets out of hand edit the link to ******* or delete the link from the post.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

Seva
Seva's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 741
Member: 91
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 48 weeks ago.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: MB
Because people on this site personally know oldlady and Don.
OK, bad example. My point only was that Cil’s idea to ban “unsolicited” links in posts was rather extreme. This site always was quite liberal and IMHO is better this was.

auher
auher's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 595
Member: 103
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 19 weeks ago.

You know what? No. I won’t remove it. Fucking ban me if you want.

It’s not because I need the promotion or because I care. I have absolutely no commercial benefit to gain out of this, as I make not a DIME from eTrek.

The reason I’m admimant about this is because back when eTrip was falling apart a few of us cared to try to make something out of eTrek for the care of travel. But at the same time, most of us have still posted and tried to help out as much as we ever can on here because in reality you get more posters and newbies asking travel questions. If I see someone talking about the Balkans, I want to help out – it’s my nature.

So as far as I’m concerned, take it or leave it with me. If I try to login in the future and my account is banned, I’ll know what your decision is.

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 5 days ago.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: MB

Linking to personal webpages/blogs is not spam.  Solicitation of products or services is.  Many people have linked to their travelogue personal webpages. (And I quite enjoy them.)


Of course!
For example, I never delete anything from that IntrepidBerkeley person.
I agree that zero tolerance is basically zero thought.
OTOH
I really do find all the sig/site crap and fake posts intrusive. It’s a hit-and-run technique that adds little to any discussion.
Call it self-less and principled and non-commercial if you will, it sure looks like advertising to me—why can’t it just be in a person’s profile?
Seva, I agree that Eurotrip has always been liberal about this kind of stuff, and the internet is huge and there should be room for all—but then, 7-8, even 3-4 years ago, we never had people taking advantage of it the way we do now.
Maybe a middle ground could be reached: a separate “Marketplace” forum where people can hawk their wares on a one-time basis?


mim
mim's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 2362
Member: 235
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 week 17 hours ago.

Cil is right, and maybe I was a bit rash in labeling travelista’s post spam right away because spam (or anything) isn’t black and white and I trust the moderators to make good decisions. 

As for Auher, I have banned him.  I would be happy to have him back if he emails me and agrees to take down his signature as this is our policy.  In fact, linking to a site whose main goal is to replicate eurotrip is not allowed.

Cil’s marketplace idea is great, but I think we will be addressing this as soon as we launch our new site with an improved link directory open to all.
 

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

Eurotrip Managing Editor

Seva
Seva's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 741
Member: 91
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 48 weeks ago.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: mim

As for Auher, I have banned him. …. In fact, linking to a site whose main goal is to replicate eurotrip is not allowed.

[=”#ff0000”]What a foolish thing to do! Auher is a genuine contributor to the forum, not spammer, and you know it.[/]

eTrack got started when EuroTrip lost almost all of its functionality! It was the most sensible thing to do, even though that other site never got enough momentum. Do you really believe there must never be another travel forum? What’s wrong about linking to it even though (as I personally think) it not as helpful in travel planning.

Does EuroTrip sell some unique product? If so what is it? If not why do you worry about the competition?

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 5 days ago.

Before there ever was a Eurotrek, there was Backpackers.
It struggled, then sputtered when one of its main founders died, Eurotrek happened, and another split-off (not Eurotrek-related) occured.
Regardless, Backpackers did not spam Eurotrip.
It now exists in the form of Backpatters, a name we took from The Herr.
Its members are few, but they are all happy travelers.
I always thought that there was plenty of room on the internet for all sorts of travel messageboards.
There is a travel forum for just about every type of traveler.
I think Eurotrip is less worried about >competition< than threads cluttered with users pimping their own sites—to me it crosses boundaries; it does not feel informational, it feels intrusive.
I don’t know for sure, it is not my call, but it seems to me that when the new Eurotrip site gets going, we can have a spot that links to Eurotrek and other uses’ sites.
I personally do not think it is asking too much to have people leave their own sites out of their sigs. What they do with their profile is up to them.

Seva
Seva's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 741
Member: 91
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 4 years 48 weeks ago.

That’s, to say the least, unexpected.

oldlady
oldlady's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 8
Member: 778
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 2 days 15 hours ago.

Quote:
[blockquote]quote:

ORIGINAL: mim

As for Auher, I have banned him. …. In fact, linking to a site whose main goal is to replicate eurotrip is not allowed.
[/blockquote]
[=”#ff0000”]What a foolish thing to do! Auher is a genuine contributor to the forum, not spammer, and you know it.[/]


I’ve got to agree.  Auher has lots of useful information.  I see no reason to ban Auher altogether just because he created another website.  If he posts spam, advertising or otherwise treads on policy you can delete the specific posts.  Interesting that this website with all it’s commerical links and search engine exposure seems to think tiny, homegrown Eurotrek is a threat.

Quote:
I personally do not think it is asking too much to have people leave their own sites out of their sigs. What they do with their profile is up to them.

While I don’t agree with this bit of policy, did you give Auher the chance to change his signature?

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 5 days ago.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: oldlady


I’ve got to agree.  Auher has lots of useful information.  I see no reason to ban Auher altogether just because he created another website.  If he posts spam, advertising or otherwise treads on policy you can delete the specific posts.  Interesting that this website with all it’s commerical links and search engine exposure seems to think tiny, homegrown Eurotrek is a threat.

Quote:
I personally do not think it is asking too much to have people leave their own sites out of their sigs. What they do with their profile is up to them.

While I don’t agree with this bit of policy, did you give Auher the chance to change his signature?

He was given a chance in this thread, which also contains his reply (post #11.)
AFAIK, it was months ago that Mim asked people to take sites out of their sigs.
He just has not been strenuously enforcing it.
It’s not as if this needs to be a dramatic “Free Auher” situation.


ncmickey
ncmickey's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 150
Member: 547
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 42 weeks 6 days ago.

First off, MIM, you are doing a great job.
 
I didnt expect to start such controversy! It really was an innocent question. I was looking for clarification on that type of post. Looks like I wasnt the only one confused about this type of thing…..
 
 

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 5 days ago.

Poor ncmickey! Smile
I agree that Mim is doing a good job, a really good job, and I also think Auher is a really good guy.
I guess different people have different attitudes about what is or isn’t advertising, and figuring out how to handle it is a work in progress.
Some random thoughts:
I realize that a non-commercial site such as Eurotrek is not relying on ads.
I hate advertising. I hate that stupid REI ad we have here (even though I do happen to like REI.) And I think this article is interesting:
So Many Ads, So Few Clicks
But I’ve never much liked site sigs, either. They definitely feel like spam to me.
I just don’t think that Mim or I or Eurotrip is the Great Satan in this situation.
I think Mim’s plan for a link directory is a good one, and worth waiting for.

mim
mim's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 2362
Member: 235
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 week 17 hours ago.

Thanks for the comments, guys.

I’m not trying to be a bully.  I’ve never had a personal problem with Auher and I’m sure he’s a great guy.  All I’m trying to do is make these forums as clean, uncluttered, and helpful as possible.  If you’ll remember, I never banned Auher when he made posts blatantly advertsing his site — I just asked him to stop, and he did.  I just wish he would continue to respect the rules.

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

Eurotrip Managing Editor

mb
mb's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 1443
Member: 485
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 2 days 22 min ago.

First Mim is right, the rules have to be enforced.  The issue of whether a duplicate site is a threat of not is irrelevant.  Would like to see Auher comply.  He has it bad enough being a Saints fan. 

Quote:

I see no reason to ban Auher altogether just because he created another website.


Auher didn’t create the website he was just promoting it.  See explaination below as to why you can’t do this.

Quote:

eTrack got started when EuroTrip lost almost all of its functionality! It was the most sensible thing to do, even though that other site never got enough momentum. Do you really believe there must never be another travel forum? What’s wrong about linking to it even though (as I personally think) it not as helpful in travel planning.


No one said there couldn’t be another site.  I also do not remember when Eurotrip “lost almost all its functionality!”  I do remember when people wanted some changes made but Eurotrip didn’t comply.  (Changing a website is not that easy of a thing to do.  Design issues, cost, time, etc.)

There have been a couple or three times when a group decided to start their own site.  They started spamming this site with links to their site to pull people over there.  If someone new joined here then a link would be posted to the other site.  Members from the other board would post links to their site so much that it made Contiki look good.  That’s why the links are not allowed.

No need to recruit people.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

mb
mb's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 1443
Member: 485
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 2 days 22 min ago.

And regarding Ci’s comment about the Newbies using the search feature.  I still think the search button should stand out on it’s own.  There are a lot of people who don’t want to take the time to read all the similar looking buttons for this. 

I still think that the login/logout button should be like it was before this design.  Take away the Log Out buttone next to Photo Gallery to give room for a larger and different color search button.

The login button next to the username and password boxes should show “Login” when you are not logged in and then show “Log Out” after you log in like it used to.

I personally think that is more user friendly.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

mim
mim's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 2362
Member: 235
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 week 17 hours ago.

MB, we could use your input on the alpha site as well.  Let me know if you’re interested and we’ll set you up with an account. 


I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

Eurotrip Managing Editor

dwop
dwop's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 164
Member: 2879
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 1 week ago.

Mister ibrahim is in GREAT DISMAY at the banning of mister auther. he is STAND UP GENTLEMEN who visits my great country even if he stays at COMPETITOR HOSTEL.

Power in the hands of the corrupt is absolute we find this with ENVER HOXHA.

Come to albnia friends we will talk this out in LAND OF BLACK EAGLE!

elshamook
elshamook's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 16
Member: 6980
Joined: 12/15/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 17 weeks ago.

Quote:
In fact, linking to a site whose main goal is to replicate eurotrip is not allowed.


Is this some sort of standard eurotrip.com policy? Funny I didn’t see this when I signed up for a new account. Can we get some transparency here folks, or is this a facist dictatorship?

mim
mim's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 2362
Member: 235
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 week 17 hours ago.

The bottom line is:
This website is here for people to discuss travel, not to pimp out their own websites or to be offensive.   I didn’t think this policy needed to be spelled out because for most people this is common sense.   If you don’t agree with this, you have every right to delete your account.   If you don’t abide by this, we have every right to ban you.

Now let’s get back to talking about something a hell of a lot more fun… 

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

Eurotrip Managing Editor

oldlady
oldlady's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 8
Member: 778
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 2 days 15 hours ago.

OK….  IMO, the best answer to MB’s question about travel insurance is a thread on Eurotrek — can I post a link to that, or is that spam????

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 5 days ago.

I guess that depends on the spirit in which it is intended, OldLady.
Since Eurotrek began, people have freely posted links to it here.
For years I have posted links to ProvenceBeyond because it is a good and useful site.
But I don’t have it or any other site in my signature.


mim
mim's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 2362
Member: 235
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 week 17 hours ago.

Since it’s a legit answer to a specific question I don’t see a problem with it.  I think this is all very subjective and, as Cil mentioned, dependent on the intent behind the link.

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

Eurotrip Managing Editor

segacs
segacs's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 663
Member: 615
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 16 weeks ago.

$0.02 from the digital marketing domain…
 
If you want to build your site, you should all be encouraging, not discouraging, reciprocal links to/from other travel sites.  These links will help from an SEO standpoint, bumping you up in the rankings on search and keeping the site relevant.
 
The old notion of competition doesn’t apply in the same way on the web.  The more you open up the platform, the better for you.
 
When I heard you’d banned Auher for promoting etrek, I thought it was ridiculous.  Now, reading your reasons behind it, I think it’s even more ridiculous.  The web is an open platform, and it’s about driving traffic in a holistic way, not about stealing share of a limited pie. 
 
Besides, when this site was in the toilet, full of spam and crashing every second day, Auher started etrek to keep the community alive.  Now that it seems you’ve somewhat rebuilt this site, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be driving traffic to both – and to the host of other quality travel sites out there.  For someone interested in and passionate about travel, the more info the better.
 
Where does it end?  If I post my del.icio.us links for travel for other people to see some of the resources I consult a lot, does that count as spam?  What about if I post a link to my travelogue so people can read about my trip or see my photos when I get back?  Will you ban me for spam for that?
 
It’s time to open up your thinking to fit the online space.  There’s plenty of room for all of us.

segacs
segacs's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 663
Member: 615
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 16 weeks ago.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: mim
Rick Steves just got a little bit cooler…
http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=28,7,17,39

http://www.eurotrip.com/forum/tm.aspx?m=124581
 
Would you consider that spam, mim?  After all, you’re promoting an external website.  Gonna go ahead and ban yourself?
 

mim
mim's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 2362
Member: 235
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 week 17 hours ago.

I’ve read through this thread a few times, and everyone has some really good points.  I’m speaking to to our webmaster and we’ll come up with something that is fair to everyone. 

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

Eurotrip Managing Editor

elshamook
elshamook's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 16
Member: 6980
Joined: 12/15/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 17 weeks ago.

This is very good to see. Clarity & transparency in the site are important.

Who is this elusive webmaster? Who really pulls the strings on this site? Is it some sort of shadowy organization with ties to a large corporation?

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 5 days ago.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: elshamook
Who is this elusive webmaster? Who really pulls the strings on this site? Is it some sort of shadowy organization with ties to a large corporation?

If you read the stickie in the pub, you can learn a lot more. It’s not as mysterious and smoke and mirrors as it seems you’d like to think. Y’all are more into reacting than reading.
Maybe I am wrong, but I get this feeling that there are a few people who will never be able to let go of how Eurotrip was five years ago. We’re never going to get 1999 back, folks.

Quote:
The old notion of competition doesn’t apply in the same way on the web. 

How would you apply Auher’s sig (“independent, non-corporate”) to this statement? I’m curious.
Most sites ask that people at least limit their sigs to once a thread.
Quote:
What about if I post a link to my travelogue so people can read about my trip or see my photos when I get back?  Will you ban me for spam for that?

People do that all the time in Favorite Places, with appreciative results.
Either you just are not really thoroughly reading the site, or y’all are trying to whip up indignation and dissent just for the fun of it.
How sad.

segacs
segacs's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 663
Member: 615
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 16 weeks ago.

Hi Cil.  Nice to see you again.
 
Actually, most BB forum software makes the signature an automatic function so it shows up on most posts.  I participate in a lot of online forums, and people quietly promoting their own noncommercial websites that would presumably be of interest to a lot of people here (like Auher was doing) is pretty much the norm.  The “once a thread” function is more for manual sigs, which are on their way out.
 
And I’m not trying to whip up anything.  You know I used to hang around here all the time.  I figured you’d even remember.  I know that people post links all the time to their travelogues or to sites of interest.  I was merely pointing out that I consider that to be the same level as what Auher got banned for doing.  It’s all just sharing links with the wider travel community, and I think there’s a value in that.
 
I’m not suggesting that the real spammers get a pass.  But you know as well as I do that Auher was a valuable contributor of content around here, and his etrek links were really just the same as my link to my travelogue is, or MiM’s link to Rick Steeves (above), or someone’s link to the train schedule site or to Lonely Planet or to Bootsnall any other resource that eurotrippers might find interesting.

swill
swill's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 691
Member: 5818
Joined: 03/28/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 1 week ago.

i feel like im walking into a lions den on this one. lol

i guess i would be the ‘elusive webmaster’. mim asked me to look at this thread and add my thoughts. since no one in this community knows me other than cil and mim, i will give you a little background as to who i am and how i am associated with eurotrip.

my name is will and i was hired by eurotrip about a year ago to try to help eurotrip get caught up with the current technology. the majority of the site is very out of date and is not user friendly at all. i am here to try to help improve the services to you that eurotrip offers.

that being said, i do not have the travel experience that you all have and i did not witness eurotrip’s growing pains. i am a very new face to this community and my sole purpose is to try to help you by improving the site. i spend virtually no time on the boards because i am busy building the new site, which is very much at a point where your input would be helpful.

so now for the topic at hand; what is spam and how should it be enforced?

i agree with most of what segacs has to say in regards to the web and how the medium is evolving. i also agree with everyone else who has posted in regards to ‘referencing quality content’. i have not been involved with the moderation of spam on the site, so i do not have much reference in terms of what has been classified as spam in the past.

let me first describe what i think is acceptable. the purpose of this site is to help travelers who have questions and to be a solid reference for people researching their travel plans. because of this we MUST allow people to link to outside resources because we cant assume to have the best source of information on all topics. so if eurotrek has an article about something that is better than anything we have and a question is asked about that topic, that article should be referenced. i dont see how this can be considered spam as it is relevant and informative. i also dont mind segacs’s ‘test signature’. it is not a site she (excuse me if i have your gender wrong) owns or runs and she is not trying to promote it for that sites benefit, but instead for the benefit of the people who are reading her posts because it gives context of her knowledge.

so what is unacceptable? i think that promoting a site solely to promote it is not acceptable. auher’s promotion of eurotrek in his signature was not relevant or informative and i feel that our spam policy does need to be enforced, so i do feel that his banning was justified. that being said, i am sorry to see him go and would happily invite him back if he will respect our policy.

this is obviously a fine line and i appreciate that. as a community i think we need to help each other find what is acceptable, and that is basically what this topic is all about. the internet has changed a lot in the past 5 years and there is a lot of quality information in mediums such as blogs and videos. this information needs to be freely accessible to the forum users when it is relevant and constructive. at the same time, we need to make sure that our environment here is kept free of unwanted and unsolicited clutter so we are forced to have a spam policy.

i have subscribed to this thread and i will try to be as helpful as i can.

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

Eurotrip Developer

segacs
segacs's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 663
Member: 615
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 16 weeks ago.

Okay, I’m still curious.
 
Is it just because Auher is one of the people who started etrek that he’s banned for promoting it?
 
If I were to include it in my sig file, keeping in mind that I’m not a webmaster, moderator, or anything other than a regular poster over there, would the same rules apply to me?
 
I think a distinction needs to be made between clear spam (i.e. people promoting things for their own personal gain, to the detriment of the community) and links that the general travel community would find useful.  Personally I believe etrek falls into the latter category.  And that’s not just because they paid me to say it.  (That last bit was a joke, in case you couldn’t tell.)
 
Just asking, cause it still doesn’t seem too clear.
 
Related question: You said my sig file seems OK to you because it helps provide context to my advice.  Let’s take a real-life example in the same vein.  I currently work for one of Canada’s leading digital marketing agencies.  If I were to provide a link within a post to my company’s website or blog, in order to illustrate something I was talking about – for instance, one of the partners at my agency is a well-known blogger and talks a lot about the issues we’re currently discussing on his blog – would that be considered spam?  Pointing to a subject matter expert is okay as long as you don’t happen to work with/for them?
 
I’m just wondering, because I’ve never really encountered a policy like this one anywhere else.  If anything, people who are interested in or passionate about a topic usually welcome as many resources as possible on those topics. 
 
Another example:  I’m a big fan of a band and used to run a fansite for them, and we all posted links to each other’s fansites on our sites and on the official site’s message board, yes, even in our sigs.  We linked to one another using the technologies of the day (remember webrings?) because we all provided content that complemented the other sites, and we liked to visit one another’s sites and draw them into the community. 
 
And this was a decade ago!  Since then, the web has only evolved more and more in an open direction.  And so I’m really wondering what the advantage is for somoene to make a policy that closes it off.
 
Hope nobody’s offended… just continuing the discussion here…

swill
swill's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 691
Member: 5818
Joined: 03/28/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 year 1 week ago.

no offense taken, i appreciate your discussion as we have very similar views on the topic.

in terms of auher’s sig, if you added it to your sig we would ask you to remove it as well. there does seem to be some bad blood between eurotrip and eurotrek and i dont know the whole story behind that, but that is not the reason i dont think it is acceptable. think of it this way; a link is acceptable in a sig if it gives a member who does not know you a better idea why your advice is founded. your sig is a great example of that because i do not know you, yet i can see that you have traveled in a few places that i want to go, so it is relevant information about you and may help me guide my questions for you.

on the flip side, just linking to lonely planet in your sig does not add relevant value. this is not because lonely planet does not have quality information, cause they do, its because it is not in the context of your experience. this is why linking in sig’s is frowned upon unless done correctly.

granted, you bring up a very good point. the current eurotrip site really only has a forum, so if you think that a site is cool and would be something people would be interested in, we dont have a very good place for that yet. it is difficult to differentiate between that and spam in a forum setting unless it is related to a specific question. this is something that i am addressing in the new site by adding sections outside the forums such as ‘links’ and ‘travel tips’ that members can contribute.

in regards of your ‘real life’ example. it is not the fact that you are linking to something that you are affiliated with necessarily, although that is where most of the contention starts to rise because it is assumed that you have a conflict of interests.
so for your first example. we are discussing this topic and your coworker has a blog post that talks about ‘the value of external links in a forum’ (as a contrived example and is not related to travel, but you get the point), then it could be considered a valuable addition to our conversation and would not be considered spam. at the same time, if you were to just link your companies website without referencing that article in context, then that would be considered spam because it does not add value to the discussion. and again, if you had just your companies website in your sig, it is not relevant to your experience or expertise, and would be considered spam. does this make any sense?

in your next example, i would consider that spam. we have a bit of a functionality gap right now in eurotrip, so we dont have an appropriate place for that type of link sharing right now but it is on its way.
as you mentioned before, cross site linking is one way that you can improve your SEO rank. this is only true if the site you are linked to has a higher page rank than you do, or at least is on par. you can actually be penalized for linking to a lot of low quality sites. eurotrip once had a very high page rank and because of that, it was the target of a lot of spam. we are trying to find a balance between quality linking and targeting spam. i am in no way saying that we have a perfect situation here, but we are trying to be reasonable about our approach.

i hope this helps clear things up a bit.


I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

Eurotrip Developer

segacs
segacs's profile picture
Eurotripper
EurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripperEurotripper
Eurotrip Points: 663
Member: 615
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 16 weeks ago.

Hmmm.
 
Well, at this point I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree.  It’s like protectionism versus free trade – two very different approaches that people could argue forever and never convince one another about.
 
I think if you’re looking to build and expand your site, you’re going to have to open it up and not be afraid.  You clearly disagree.  Your site, your choice.
 
I also think that banning people for things like this – especially people who are otherwise active and valuable contributors to the community – is silly and petty.  But again, your site, your choice.
 
I’m gonna head back to the “other” site now.  Maybe you’ll see me around.  Good luck with this one.
 
Waves.

elshamook
elshamook's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 16
Member: 6980
Joined: 12/15/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 17 weeks ago.

Clearly yes this site has fallen into the graveyard of the internet without understanding of this simple web tactics that segacs is glad to explain to you.

I can not understand this kind of ignoriance when even here in Cairo we do these kind of optimizations on daily basis and are more competent than you people.

Anyways, i don’t think this is the right site for me either. Others are much better.

dwop
dwop's profile picture
Traveler
TravelerTravelerTraveler
Eurotrip Points: 164
Member: 2879
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 1 week ago.

I think perhaps i go to other site too, this place make ODOR OF DISCONTENT and remind me of HORRIBLE ERA of ENVER HOXHA

All i try to do, as HONEST MAN OF THE TRADE was promote my hostel for years on this site. In exchange i get KICK IN THE FACE from CORRUPT MANAGEMENT

I know many ESTEEM MEMBER of this site are my friend. MISTER DON, MISTER AUTHER, MISS SEGACS, MISTER HEAVYDRINKER all very good people

i warn you be careful if you come to albANIA NOW LAND OF BLACK EAGLE. If you stay in wrong place you can make find men with SAW and MACHETE in hotel and you dont make want residence there.

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 5 days ago.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: segacs
I also think that banning people for things like this – especially people who are otherwise active and valuable contributors to the community – is silly and petty. 

Hi Segacs, yes I did remember you (actually from Eurotrek.) ::waves back::
A sincere thank you to you for elevating the level of this discussion.

I too participate in other online forums, some of which do not allow sigs whatsoever, let alone once a thread. I don’t see what’s wrong with just having a marketplace/link directory rather than distracting self-promotional site sigs.

To me, Will’s explanation of relevancy also explains the “bad blood” he mentions.
I never wanted there to be bad relations between the two sites; I never thought there should be.
But when it comes to both silliness and pettiness, it goes both ways.
Quietly, without any fuss, in his spare time, Mim has been dealing with the constant, monotonous Heavydrinker/Elias (and who knows who else? just look at this thread) alters.
And IMHO Auher’s sig reads like a self-righteous “look at me” schism instead of a quiet, subtle “let’s all share the travel community” welcome.
This divisive stuff has been going on a long time. It just feels like some (not all!) Eurotrek members visit this site with some sort of personal agenda, and I am not talking about travel.

I like Auher, he is a good guy and valuable contributor (despite how he feels about Italy).[Smile]
And Heavydrinker, when he is not being anti-semitic, can be very funny.
And any others who might be chiming in as alters are, I am sure, a useful contributor when they want to be.
I hope Auher will come back and I hope everyone can get along, but whatever y’all do at Eurotrek is not necessarily going to be the way things are done at Eurotrip.




sunbear
sunbear's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 12
Member: 6990
Joined: 12/18/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 15 weeks ago.

I’ve been reading this one on the sidelines after my banning (MiM, to clue you in, Sunbear=auher).

Never, ever have I had bad blood between MiM and myself. In fact, he, and Swill, the webmaster of mystery weren’t even around back when eTrek started. I, as well as countless others at the time tried to get in touch with some website management to offer our services to moderate, to do anything to keep what was once a VERY valuable travel resource relevant as eTrip has always done a great job getting newbies and having some solid travel discussion.

I’m sorry that my signature was seen as a “look at me” post, or whatever you are calling it. I don’t personally see how mine was any different than ANY other signature out on this site promoting a site. How is the one for an Octoberfest site different, or Travelistas, or Segacs for that matter? We are all just linking RELEVANT travel sites.

Going into all this with the creation of eTrek back in 2005 I said to myself that if it ever stopped being about travel, if it ever stopped being fun, I would be done. That’s my impetus for saying that I am through over here. Why, and please, someone tell me this, should I continue to share my travel knowledge with a hostile community that views what I’m doing as a threat, when not only do I not make $$ out of eTrek, I actually pay money out of my own pocket for any advertising we have done with no rate of return.

I think that eTrip truly once was one of the best travel sites out there for backpacking. I used this resource to plan COUNTLESS early trips. Since that time, however, it has degraded into a shell of it’s former self, with newbies still coming but not staying around more than 3-4 posts.

I’m sorry it has to be like this. I personally have no ill will towards this site, and if I had it my way would love to have a partnership to overall increase travel traffic to our sites and share info as much as would be possible. I, however, now realize that is not possible.

With that, I’m signing off just like Segacs did in this thread. While I’ve been standing on the sidelines before reading and seeing what’s going on in this thread and on the site, I’m instead going to regain those wasted hours in each day and delete it from my bookmarks.

Good luck with whatever you are trying to create here. I’m done

-auher / sunbear / el oso del sol

mim
mim's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 2362
Member: 235
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 1 week 17 hours ago.

I’m sorry you feel this way.  Just for the record:

  • I was a member and moderator here at eurotrip when eurotrek was created.  I became an administrator when I worked with the owners to fix the problems that you speak of.
  • Calling this a “shell of its former self” is a bit harsh and unfair.  A lot of members here have spent their spare time trying to build up this site and it’s a slap in their face.  Also, I’m not sure where you are getting your information when you say that most members are newbies who are staying for 3-4 posts.  I totally disagree.
  • I will admit that when I banned you it may have been a bit rash.  I’m not going to go into the specifics of what is “spam/advertising/good marketing” as it has been discussed at length already in this thread, but at the time it was a straight forward policy.  In fact you acknowledged months ago and seemed to have no problem with it.
I’m sorry that you will be leaving us, but all the best at your site.

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

Eurotrip Managing Editor

oldlady
oldlady's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 8
Member: 778
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 2 days 15 hours ago.

Sorry, accidentally posted 2 versions of this

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 5 days ago.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: sunbear



Never, ever have I had bad blood between MiM and myself.

I
Going into all this with the creation of eTrek back in 2005 I said to myself that if it ever stopped being about travel, if it ever stopped being fun, I would be done. That’s my impetus for saying that I am through over here.

I’m sorry it has to be like this. I personally have no ill will towards this site, and if I had it my way would love to have a partnership to overall increase travel traffic to our sites and share info as much as would be possible. I, however, now realize that is not possible.

With that, I’m signing off just like Segacs did in this thread. While I’ve been standing on the sidelines before reading and seeing what’s going on in this thread and on the site, I’m instead going to regain those wasted hours in each day and delete it from my bookmarks.

Good luck with whatever you are trying to create here. I’m done
-auher / sunbear / el oso del sol

Okay, after reading this, and reading what’s going on at Facebook, I have to ask, are y’all really done with Eurotrip?
When I read about Resistance Tactics and Fight the Power, somehow I don’t get the impression that Etrip has been deleted from any bookmarks.
People—there is so much going on in the world today that really deserves your time and effort!
It really makes me sad to see a meaningful expression such as Fight the Power used in such an immature and petty manner.

oldlady
oldlady's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 8
Member: 778
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 2 days 15 hours ago.

Since MIM felt the necessity to set the record straight, here’s my take on the “record.”

Quote:
I was a member and moderator here at eurotrip when eurotrek was created.  I became an administrator when I worked with the owners to fix the problems that you speak of.
I remember.  I also remember the spam on “transit” and general decline of the site when you didn’t even login for over 2 years.  Then you decided to slam Auher on your very first post after your 2 year disappearance.  Certainly makes this bit of happy talk a bit suspect….
Quote:
I’m sorry that you will be leaving us, but all the best at your site.

You picked this fight and you’ve continued to fight it every time anything negative comes up about this site or anything  positive comes up about Eurotrek.  Eurotrek is not a threat to this site.

Lofton226
Lofton226's profile picture
New Member
New Member
Eurotrip Points: 12
Member: 6995
Joined: 12/19/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 years 17 weeks ago.

Mim said,

Quote:
Calling this a “shell of its former self” is a bit harsh and unfair. A lot of members here have spent their spare time trying to build up this site and it’s a slap in their face.

 
Ha! The only underhanded attack is banning people like auher who built this site. A group of us back in the late 90’s made this place what it was, then some corporation decided to try to profit from our success. That led to the downfall of this place resulting in other homemade sites where we could still be ourselves and have a good time. This site IS a shell of its former self. Eurotrip used to be a place to meet other travelers (I’ve met prbably met nearly 100), exchange information, and have fun. Now it’s just a dry information site with no character whatsoever. Don’t give me any of your ‘attack on all the members of eurotrip have worked on over the past ten plus years’ garbage. That is me and several others. How dare you speak for the people who really put this place on the map!
 
Sorry to repeat myself, but it appears you did as well.

Cil
Cil's profile picture
Moderator
ModeratorModeratorModeratorModeratorModerator
Eurotrip Points: 3061
Member: 220
Joined: 01/03/2007
User offline. Last seen 6 weeks 5 days ago.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Lofton226

Mim said,
Quote:
Calling this a “shell of its former self” is a bit harsh and unfair. A lot of members here have spent their spare time trying to build up this site and it’s a slap in their face.


Ha! The only underhanded attack is banning people like auher who built this site. A group of us back in the late 90’s made this place what it was, then some corporation decided to try to profit from our success. That led to the downfall of this place resulting in other homemade sites where we could still be ourselves and have a good time. This site IS a shell of its former self. Eurotrip used to be a place to meet other travelers (I’ve met prbably met nearly 100), exchange information, and have fun. Now it’s just a dry information site with no character whatsoever. Don’t give me any of your ‘attack on all the members of eurotrip have worked on over the past ten plus years’ garbage. That is me and several others. How dare you speak for the people who really put this place on the map!

Sorry to repeat myself, but it appears you did as well.

heh
Now it’s really like the old days.
No Eurotrip thread would be complete without Lofton and yet another Large Numeric Declaration; I’m surprised you didn’t type out the full list, along with the countries in which the meeting took place.[Smile]

The revolution is now in full fervor, and this puts us pretty much back where we were in late 2002.

Please remember that no evil corporation could have “taken advantage” of “our success” without the full cooperation of Andrew, who developed and sold it.
That’s life in the real world.
I think what I bolded is the crux of the disagreement here, and I don’t have any easy answers to that one.
ETA: We seem to have different standards for how to “be yourselves” and “have a good time.”
It is as if an ideological skirmish has blown up, and cannot be reconciled.
I don’t think Eurotrek is an insidious threat, but I really don’t consider Eurotrip to be The Man.
Everyone would probably benefit if we could work something out, but maybe some are getting more fun out of the “battle”?