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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    Arrow What's in a Signature?

    This topic has been playing on my mind for some time - ever since reading a link about the new update on signatures on this forum I began to reflect on my own usage of the signature option. I have only ever used it for a simple quirky one liner but I see many members use this option to promote their businesses or blogs or whatever they wish...

    I post on SP because I enjoy the forums and avail of the indepth help/information/tutorials and knowledge that is available here for free and it is why I am still a member to this day - with this in mind, I would never promote my business or blog or anything through the forums as I would view this as "piggybacking" SP for hits, visits, etc...

    I can see the attraction to many users out there to avail of any way to direct free traffic to their website etc but to me this way just does not sit right with me - surely the option on profile information to include "about you" or "your website" is enough for any member to state their website without having to include links left, right and center to get traffic to their websites? So, my question really is why do you use the signature option, am I the only person who does not promote their site/blog through SP?

    Another issue for me around this topic would be the association of my member name "mizwizzy" and my professional business! I see alot of members on here with their businesses displayed on their signatures or references to it and I wonder does it not bother you that you could be known as ur member name by potential customers instead of ur business name? Cached on google? To me, it seems a bit unprofessional BUT then again it depends on your screen name also - perhaps im the only one who thinks this?

    Anyway, just thought I'd get the ball rolling on this topic, would really like to hear other opinions on this

  2. #2
    Is Still Alive silver trophybronze trophy RetroNetro's Avatar
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    I post on SP because I like it too.

    Signatures are not bad, it's that the few (spammers) have given them a bad name and ruined it for everyone else. I figure if SP did not want us to have signatures they would disable the feature. I think we as members of SP make it what it is. So I'm not too concerned about getting a click/visit or 2.

    No I would not be embarrassed for my user name to be viewed by my clients nor cached by google. In fact I found alot of clients via this site and my signature links in the past.

  3. #3
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    I post on SP because I enjoy the forums and avail of the indepth help/information/tutorials and knowledge that is available here for free and it is why I am still a member to this day - with this in mind, I would never promote my business or blog or anything through the forums as I would view this as "piggybacking" SP for hits, visits, etc...
    Since my web sites actually contain a lot of information that I have already written that either answers the questions being asked on the forum or provides further related information I see my having those links there serving as helping with the answers that I give (as well as promoting my sites).

    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    surely the option on profile information to include "about you" or "your website" is enough for any member to state their website
    What percentage of people look at profiles though - 1%, 0.001%, maybe a lot less than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    Another issue for me around this topic would be the association of my member name "mizwizzy" and my professional business! I see alot of members on here with their businesses displayed on their signatures or references to it and I wonder does it not bother you that you could be known as ur member name by potential customers instead of ur business name? Cached on google? To me, it seems a bit unprofessional BUT then again it depends on your screen name also - perhaps im the only one who thinks this?
    That's why I use my company name as my member name.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  4. #4
    Keep Moving Forward gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    I want hits. I have the site in my signature so I can get some from here.

    That doesn't mean I don't enjoy posting, but as long as I'm posting may as well get my site out there too.

    I put a lot of time and effort into my websites, the more people that see and enjoy them, the better I feel; makes me feel that my time wasn't wasted.

    Trying to fill the unforgiving minute
    with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

    Update on Sitepoint's Migration to Discourse

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPartch View Post
    I post on SP because I like it too.

    Signatures are not bad, it's that the few (spammers) have given them a bad name and ruined it for everyone else. I figure if SP did not want us to have signatures they would disable the feature. I think we as members of SP make it what it is. So I'm not too concerned about getting a click/visit or 2.

    No I would not be embarrassed for my user name to be viewed by my clients nor cached by google. In fact I found alot of clients via this site and my signature links in the past.
    I dont think signatures are bad either it wasnt my intention to make you think that - I do agree with you with regard to the abuse of signatures i.e the spammers and I know what ur saying about the authorisation to use a signatuare by SP, they have the power....Looking at your signature you dont seem to be promoting your business, sure you have $$ signs but you arent outright advertising your services - I guess my point is that if i wanted to find out more about a person I would click their profile, not have the information displayed on every post they make, it just seems a bit cunning for my liking and piggybacking

    As for the s/n - good for you that ur comfortable with this - but can u imagine a client coming to me saying oh hi mizwizzy i'd like a site, instead of my business name this would be embarassing to me!

    [quote=felgall;4399266]Since my web sites actually contain a lot of information that I have already written that either answers the questions being asked on the forum or provides further related information I see my having those links there serving as helping with the answers that I give (as well as promoting my sites).[/qoute]

    I guess this takes it onto a new level for me, you are practically management yourself what with your badges, you earned the right to promote your services with your contribution to SP - i think in this instance I would not mind seeing your services within your signature I just think that this "privilege" i.e the signature option can be abused and spammed so easily it should be granted only based on a loyalty or contributory scale - I know there are a certain amount of posts you have to have in order to avail of the signature option but again anyone can clock these up posting here and there just to get their signature available - its a bit pathetic really

    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    What percentage of people look at profiles though - 1%, 0.001%, maybe a lot less than that.
    Is it that low? Why have the option on VBulletin so?


    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    That's why I use my company name as my member name.
    This is a good idea..

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun(OfTheDead) View Post
    I want hits. I have the site in my signature so I can get some from here.

    That doesn't mean I don't enjoy posting, but as long as I'm posting may as well get my site out there too.

    I put a lot of time and effort into my websites, the more people that see and enjoy them, the better I feel; makes me feel that my time wasn't wasted.

    Im not saying you dont enjoy posting, you wouldnt be here if you didnt -i know you put alot of time and effort as you say into ur projects and that u work hard at them, sure... we should all be rewarded with visitors to acknowledge our efforts but personally speaking as I said before I wouldnt avail of the signature option to promote my business because I would never view SP as an advertising medium...

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    I've always though signatures fall into three types:

    1. Useful
    - links to on topic/relevant resources, or for their business

    2. Blatent
    - spam links and paid links

    3. None

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    why dont u have a signature bluedreamer?

  8. #8
    Is Still Alive silver trophybronze trophy RetroNetro's Avatar
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    My current sig link has $$$ signs because it is a link to a video about the dollar!

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPartch View Post
    My current sig link has $$$ signs because it is a link to a video about the dollar!
    yeah i saw that alright..

  10. #10
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    I think all comes down to the intent you have joined the community with. The screen name you choose and your attitude depends on your original intent, and it may be difficult to change it in the long run.

    If you join the community because you like it and you just want to interact with people whom you find interesting, it becomes like a family - you don't advertise to your family members. Likewise, the community will see you as a non-commercial entity and you will not likely get much business from the members - you build your authority as such.

    If you set a goal for yourself upfront to promote your business, you will choose your username accordingly and you will have that commercial attitude. You will build your authority and image of you as a company and people will know you as such, and accept your advertising for granted.

    I've had this very same problem when I had a business that would have benefited very much from the exposure on these forums. The funny thing is, I've joined the forums to promote my sites and did that for quite a while. But the minute I took them away from my signature was when I changed my commercial intent to "just having fun". Somehow it was too difficult to go back... Maybe because I haven't established myself as much with my commercial intent to begin with.
    Saul

  11. #11
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    I guess this takes it onto a new level for me, you are practically management yourself what with your badges, you earned the right to promote your services with your contribution to SP - i think in this instance I would not mind seeing your services within your signature I just think that this "privilege" i.e the signature option can be abused and spammed so easily it should be granted only based on a loyalty or contributory scale - I know there are a certain amount of posts you have to have in order to avail of the signature option but again anyone can clock these up posting here and there just to get their signature available - its a bit pathetic really
    I have had pretty much the same signature since I first started posting here - at least in so far as the links to my sites are concerned. All the badges came much later.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  12. #12
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun(OfTheDead) View Post
    I want hits. I have the site in my signature so I can get some from here.

    That doesn't mean I don't enjoy posting, but as long as I'm posting may as well get my site out there too.

    I put a lot of time and effort into my websites, the more people that see and enjoy them, the better I feel; makes me feel that my time wasn't wasted.

    how long do you make your website?
    Car Pictures | Agozo - Hairstyle | Anozo - Hairstyle

  13. #13
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    Sucks,my Signature doesn't work at all.
    -----
    Sorry,it didn't work minutes ago, but it's ok now,thanks.

  14. #14
    You Bet Your Life...Really lerxtjr's Avatar
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    I have had pretty much the same signature since I first started posting here
    I change my sig-line every two or three months. Whenever I have a new personal website I'm launching, I'll change my sig-line for a month or two.

    Remember folks that when you change your sig-line, that every post you've ever made at sitepoint changes...including the link.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by php_daemon View Post
    I think all comes down to the intent you have joined the community with. The screen name you choose and your attitude depends on your original intent, and it may be difficult to change it in the long run.

    If you join the community because you like it and you just want to interact with people whom you find interesting, it becomes like a family - you don't advertise to your family members. Likewise, the community will see you as a non-commercial entity and you will not likely get much business from the members - you build your authority as such.

    If you set a goal for yourself upfront to promote your business, you will choose your username accordingly and you will have that commercial attitude. You will build your authority and image of you as a company and people will know you as such, and accept your advertising for granted.

    I've had this very same problem when I had a business that would have benefited very much from the exposure on these forums. The funny thing is, I've joined the forums to promote my sites and did that for quite a while. But the minute I took them away from my signature was when I changed my commercial intent to "just having fun". Somehow it was too difficult to go back... Maybe because I haven't established myself as much with my commercial intent to begin with.
    i think that this is a good point saul; the intent you have for your place on the forum will dictate what you get out of it - I also see the forums as a "having fun" sort of thing in addition to learning a bit as I go along - to me, advertising my business on here is not an option regardless of the pros or authorisation to do so, perhaps i'm old fashioned but to me this is something that has to be earned

    I also agree with not promoting to friends/community/family as you say, u dont have to anyway, if ppl want to chat to you or interact they are going to get to know you and vice versa, therefore you will find this information out BUT you choose to do so too which is the key factor here, its not just pushed on you on every post you read - thats the part that also bothers me! I would be more likely to obtain work off someone who I know and respect rather than someone who is advertising their links on their signature - to me its just a bit desperate i guess!

    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    I have had pretty much the same signature since I first started posting here - at least in so far as the links to my sites are concerned. All the badges came much later.
    yeah, as I said before I dont mind seeing member signatures on those who maintain and contribute to the forums - in order to obtain ur badges im sure you are good at what you do - so in turn your signature is earned in my book

  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict cecille20's Avatar
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    I got you point mizwizzy. I also love participating in SP because this is one of a competitive forums nowadays. I'm happy with your opinion since you don't like signature at all. And this will leads to your good reputation. Yeah I have this four signature link in my account. Hmmp I think it's not bad at all because I'm participating here. BTW nice to meet you mizwizzy. I appreciate your opinion.

  17. #17
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I really have no problem with people having signatures, if their a quality poster and contribute legitimately on the forums why shouldn't they be able to put forward their link for other people to browse around if they so wish to, it's not like people are forced to click on signature links. I don't have a signature currently because my site is seriously in need of an overhaul and some TLC to get it back up-to-date (I have a lot going on at the moment). Though when my new design does launch I will include it in my signature even if it's for the few people who perhaps want to find out more about me (or perhaps send me an email outside of the forum for whatever reason). SitePoint IS a specialist forum for professionals, it's therefore reasonable to allow people to point out a bit of themselves so that others can network with them, perhaps notice something they wouldn't have before (perhaps even drum up a little extra business). While theres people who do try and spam junk, most peoples signatures (who are regular posters) have useful information and are of as much genuine interest and usefulness as their regular forum posts

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cecille20 View Post
    I got you point mizwizzy. I also love participating in SP because this is one of a competitive forums nowadays. I'm happy with your opinion since you don't like signature at all. And this will leads to your good reputation. Yeah I have this four signature link in my account. Hmmp I think it's not bad at all because I'm participating here. BTW nice to meet you mizwizzy. I appreciate your opinion.
    I never said I didnt like signatures, its not a liking issue for me ... Thanks for ur comments though

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I really have no problem with people having signatures, if their a quality poster and contribute legitimately on the forums why shouldn't they be able to put forward their link for other people to browse around if they so wish to, it's not like people are forced to click on signature links. I don't have a signature currently because my site is seriously in need of an overhaul and some TLC to get it back up-to-date (I have a lot going on at the moment). Though when my new design does launch I will include it in my signature even if it's for the few people who perhaps want to find out more about me (or perhaps send me an email outside of the forum for whatever reason). SitePoint IS a specialist forum for professionals, it's therefore reasonable to allow people to point out a bit of themselves so that others can network with them, perhaps notice something they wouldn't have before (perhaps even drum up a little extra business). While theres people who do try and spam junk, most peoples signatures (who are regular posters) have useful information and are of as much genuine interest and usefulness as their regular forum posts
    I know we arent forced to click signatures - but we are forced to view them everytime we see a post - surely this is advertising/spamming? If someone wants to find information about you surely its enough to see it on ur profile page, not included in every single post, i know sp is a professional forum but its not a piggybacking advertising medium either - isnt there a section on the forums to advertise your services, surely that should be enough for any enterprising individual - but anyway regardless of my opinions i still respect the rules of SP and I am happy to be a member but its interesting to see the different opinions and views on this signature issue

  19. #19
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    isnt there a section on the forums to advertise your services, surely that should be enough for any enterprising individual
    Well, it does make big a difference to have your signature in every post as opposed to an ad buried somewhere on a board that anyone rarely visits.

    And let's face it, a big percentage of people wouldn't be around if it wasn't for the signature (heck, I probably won't be). It's a "tangible" reward they get for giving away free content to the community. Especially in forums like SPF, where people have one thing in common - the web development business.

    On some general forums where the majority of people look for entertainment, it would make little sense to advertise in sigs. Even though I don't hang around those, I think most people don't have any self promotional links in their sigs on general forums. But in any specialized forum, especially professional, everything flips over.

    But again, it's all about your intent, your image as a member and your attitude.
    Saul

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by php_daemon View Post
    Well, it does make big a difference to have your signature in every post as opposed to an ad buried somewhere on a board that anyone rarely visits.

    And let's face it, a big percentage of people wouldn't be around if it wasn't for the signature (heck, I probably won't be). It's a "tangible" reward they get for giving away free content to the community. Especially in forums like SPF, where people have one thing in common - the web development business.

    On some general forums where the majority of people look for entertainment, it would make little sense to advertise in sigs. Even though I don't hang around those, I think most people don't have any self promotional links in their sigs on general forums. But in any specialized forum, especially professional, everything flips over.

    But again, it's all about your intent, your image as a member and your attitude.
    this is the general chat forum, why advertise or visit this forum if ur here for business purposes only - there are always around 50 ppl browsing this forum - thats a high number viewing the general chat considering that most who come here are here for professional business advice/help...I just think that theres a time and place to promote business and sometimes its just nice to contribute without wanting something in return

    as for not sticking around if there was no signature option, thats a bit silly isnt it?

  21. #21
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    Well, so it happens that it's a pain to uncheck the box for a signature for each post you make. GC is part of SPF and even if you come to the parts where people just want to relax, it doesn't mean you have to go all weird about your signature.

    My point comes down to my first post, hope you can understand my perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    as for not sticking around if there was no signature option, thats a bit silly isnt it?
    It's not silly, I've joined the forums to get my sites out there. I've heard that forums is this cool thingy where you can put your sites in front of people and decided to try. Maybe I would have joined SPF some time later for other reasons but that's how it happened. And that happens with many people.

    You have probably joined SPF for other reasons, that's fine. But imagine if you wanted to get more clients and decided to use forums for that, because it's one of the best marketing/networking methods. You register as "Hazel's Design" and give help and advice to people to build your authority as an expert and attract attention. Would it be that weird to have a link to your portfolio in every post you make? And would you bother to exclude the signature for each GC post you now and then make?
    Saul

  22. #22
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    My thoughts on signatures:

    This is after all a forum for professionals in the field of web design, mainly the aspects of coding. The people who join here in general are interested in this field and/or work in this field. When they put links to their own site or sites that they have worked on, it is a form of saying that they are legit, that they belong here. The members show each other what they have been doing. It also is a nice way to confirm a post that the signature bearer has made. It is a form of stamp of approval.

    Often people who know nothing about coding and design show up here to learn, as have I in the beginning. I learned my stuff now and have done so by finding out who the knowledgeable people are, the signatures helped in that process.

    The signatures are also used by the staff of SitePoint to promote an event, a competition, a new offer of some kind or point to important information. I have included links to some tuts I made.

    And to carrying the signatures into GC: GC is not meant as the major hangout in this forum, it is a place to go and relax after some work in the "real" forum has been done. So why should any signature get into the way for the people who enjoy part of the fun?

    I am working on my portfolio site right now, once it is done I will certainly put the link into my signature.
    Ulrike
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  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by php_daemon View Post
    Well, so it happens that it's a pain to uncheck the box for a signature for each post you make. GC is part of SPF and even if you come to the parts where people just want to relax, it doesn't mean you have to go all weird about your signature.

    My point comes down to my first post, hope you can understand my perspective.

    It's not silly, I've joined the forums to get my sites out there. I've heard that forums is this cool thingy where you can put your sites in front of people and decided to try. Maybe I would have joined SPF some time later for other reasons but that's how it happened. And that happens with many people.

    You have probably joined SPF for other reasons, that's fine. But imagine if you wanted to get more clients and decided to use forums for that, because it's one of the best marketing/networking methods. You register as "Hazel's Design" and give help and advice to people to build your authority as an expert and attract attention. Would it be that weird to have a link to your portfolio in every post you make? And would you bother to exclude the signature for each GC post you now and then make?
    I do see your perspective saul, and I do respect that and appreciate your feedback in this thread What it boils down to with me is basically, IF i did have like you say "hazels design" there is no way I would promote it in a forum nevermind SP..... the reasons as I said before is that I do not see it as fitting to do so... I DO see the benefits that some people see with the use of signatures - they want hits, clicks, visitors, reference links etc but for me I see it only as an option that I would never use for promotion purposes...its just for fun... but as we have already discussed before - whatever ur intent is when u joined up to the forums will be reflected in ur usage, which is fine...

    In addition, I do not see the point in the use of excessive multiple links or the use of "wow check out my blog" or "the top leading design professional of the year - click now"!! - To me, no matter what the link says I'd never click it therefore the signature option is redundant IMO

    As for the universal signature affect across all posts - I think that this is intrusive to a reader, its there like advertising - BUT thankfully I can disable signatures so it balances out

    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    My thoughts on signatures:

    This is after all a forum for professionals in the field of web design, mainly the aspects of coding. The people who join here in general are interested in this field and/or work in this field. When they put links to their own site or sites that they have worked on, it is a form of saying that they are legit, that they belong here. The members show each other what they have been doing. It also is a nice way to confirm a post that the signature bearer has made. It is a form of stamp of approval.

    Often people who know nothing about coding and design show up here to learn, as have I in the beginning. I learned my stuff now and have done so by finding out who the knowledgeable people are, the signatures helped in that process.

    The signatures are also used by the staff of SitePoint to promote an event, a competition, a new offer of some kind or point to important information. I have included links to some tuts I made.

    And to carrying the signatures into GC: GC is not meant as the major hangout in this forum, it is a place to go and relax after some work in the "real" forum has been done. So why should any signature get into the way for the people who enjoy part of the fun?

    I am working on my portfolio site right now, once it is done I will certainly put the link into my signature.
    Like you Datura, I also found myself tumbling into SP with newbie questions and I have learned a great deal from alot of members here - SP is an excellent site with a great community

    Back to your post - I joined SP during the start up of my web design business - My business has benefited a great deal since reading up on alot of material contained on this website It would never cross my mind to ever use SP to promote my work or my business as I view each as a separate entity...It just doesnt sit right with me to use a forum signature to attract visitors to my own website especially a forum that has given so much for free, it would seem like a doublecross or stealing visitors and this would just not be my style...

    With regard to the "real forum" comment, I think that this is an unjust and uppity remark to make - SP as a whole contains alot of contributors across the board including GC - the forums contain members who are all part of the community and it is unfair to say that they are not part of the "real forum" - I especially find a comment like this very surprising coming from an "ex Community Spirit" award winner....

  24. #24
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    With regard to the "real forum" comment, I think that this is an unjust and uppity remark to make - SP as a whole contains alot of contributors across the board including GC - the forums contain members who are all part of the community and it is unfair to say that they are not part of the "real forum" - I especially find a comment like this very surprising coming from an "ex Community Spirit" award winner....
    Well, the forum is mainly for the purpose of communicating in the field of web design, not a forum for only GC.

    I hang out in GC a lot and love it, but that does not mean that I value that above all else. The fact that it is a minor section of the forum is reflected in the fact that posts do not count there

    It is also not meant as a put down or critique, it is just a fact. Simple as that.

    I do not think that people showing their links in the signatures are using SitePoint (only the stupid spammers of course). The forum is set up in such a way that the participants are the forum, and pointing to what one does is just another way of showing who you are.

    People who do post things that might not reflect well on their business are just making a mistake. If you are true to yourself, there is never a problem with this cross over.
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  25. #25
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    [...] they want hits, clicks, visitors, reference links etc but for me [...]

    In addition, I do not see the point in the use of excessive multiple links or the use of "wow check out my blog" or "the top leading design professional of the year - click now"!!
    Just as a side note, there's marketing and there's bad marketing. Visits, clicks and visitors are all good but they are not what it's all about - getting clients and making sales is. That very well reflects on many signatures and it's just bad marketing, sometimes nothing but spam. But that's another story.

    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    I see it only as an option that I would never use for promotion purposes [...]
    Sure. Especially if you prefer local clients.

    Quote Originally Posted by mizwizzy View Post
    it would seem like a doublecross or stealing visitors and this would just not be my style...
    I don't think SitePoint suffers from visitor leakage through signatures

    I can understand your sentiments of giving and receiving, but I think it all equals out on itself. If you don't give and just take, there won't be much interest in your signature anyway.
    Saul


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