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Guidelines Quick Byte


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#1 Jeannie McClelland

Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:56 AM

Hi Fellow Forum Members,

Time for another thrilling episode of ISN Quick Bytes. These short posts are intended to clarify important points and serve as a helpful reminder. They may also help you to understand why certain things have been edited or even deleted in their entirety.

This first series deals with the Forum Guidelines (which, of course, you read and set to memory when you joined the Forums). The guidelines are always only a click away at the left of the purple toolbar at the top of every Forum page.

In the introduction, we are reminded that: This forum is a free service of the International Scleroderma Network (ISN) at www.sclero.org. The ISN is a nonprofit international patient and medical organization that delivers top notch research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses. All of these guidelines support the ISN's international and nonprofit mission.

Sales and Recruiting To minimize intrusive sales pitches, we only mention specific organizations, websites, products, brands or stores that are listed on our main www.sclero.org website. We use generic terms like "hand lotion" or "baby shampoo" or just bypass the topic altogether.

Hah! This is a goody. Just imagine this posting:

"Hi 'Itching in Minnesota', I'm really sorry you're so itchy. I know just the thing that will help, though. Have you tried ItchNoMore from Snake Oil Medications? It's great stuff. I know it seems expensive, but if you send me an email, I'll send you the link where you can get a good discount if you order 10 or more tubs and they even give you free shipping. I love it and use it all the time on me, the hubby, and the dog. It's so great we even changed the dog's name from Scratch to Spot. Big hugs, Ima Salesman"

Oh my~ Let's see, Ima's given you a brand name, a company name, and has tried to hook you into emailing her. The stuff sounds like it might work, so you break the kids' piggy banks and order the 10 tubs (after all you get free shipping, how can you go wrong?). A month has gone by and the only thing that you've gotten is a LOT of spam! Hmmm, Ima's email address doesn't work any more and the website is gone, gone, gone. You do a web search just in case they have a new site and hey, the only hit is an article saying Snake Oil Medications is being investigated by every government agency except the Federal Aviation Administration. :angry:

So, so sorry Ima, your post got deleted by the Forum's ever vigilant moderators!

Or how about this one?

But surely mentioning the brand name of my shoes or over-the-counter antacid isn't hurting anything -- it's obvious I'm not trying to sell anything. :huh:

Well, you see, naming the brands implies the site's endorsement of a particular brand, which may or may not be better than a similar brand or generic product. Also, that could open the door to every manufacturer in the world wanting an endorsement too. Wouldn't you really rather have an advertisement free Forum? It is OK to mention specific products when they are included in site articles such as Biotene products in the section on Scleroderma Dental Involvement.

Here’s that link again for those of you who just can’t wait for the next Guidelines Quick Byte to arrive: Forum Guidelines (link found in the purple toolbar on every Forum page).

Best wishes and happy posting,
Jeannie McClelland
(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services
(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Manager
(Retired) ISN Blog Manager
(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide
(Retired) ISN Artist
International Scleroderma Network