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  1. #76
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    The staff members daily profession may have nothing to do with the (specific area) they have been assigned within the forum. They don't get voted in because they (or the forum leaders) consider themselves 'design experts' or they may have commercial interest within the web design industry.

    May be that is a misconception by some members; that to become staff you have to actually work in web design or considered some kind of guru/specialist?

    It is 'completely irrelevant' if one of the Staff is a Cleaning lady, a Website billionaire, Networking professional or Bus driver (as a job). So long as the forum answer/reply is of actual merit or helps the discussion.

    Now, if someone "claims" to be a web guy as a day job (commercial) and wants to promote their website fair enough. So long as member doesn't shove their homepage link down people's throats at every opportunity within the main body of the reply. For example claiming they're cool, make loads or money, name drop, say have written or featured in tonnes of books, blogs or other banal things, etc.

    A true professional will generally know to keep out commercial interests from a reply within a post.

  2. #77
    SitePoint Addict ornette's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jjshell
    My only concern is always the same: the mood in the CSS/XHTML forums isn't particularly friendly, and most people posting in those forums aren't fun (pickiness, semantic purity and all the things you have to face before you can actually get an answer). But it's been like that for a long, long time.
    I don't agree with this at all. I've posted questions over the last few years and never had anything but friendly considerate treatment.

    Originally Posted by andrew-bkk .
    Seems to me though that of late Sitepoint has allowed its web design forums to become dominated by a small group of overly opinionated idiots who DO hide behind pseudonyms and who quite clearly do NOT have any professional involvement with this industry.
    I don't know where you are coming from either. Paul O'B, for example, apart from the knowledge he shares, dedicates an awful lot of time to answering the same questions that get asked day after day. You could criticize those who ask without doing any search for the answer, but accusing those who help is a bit rich.

    I don't have any axe to grind with Sitepoint. The courses have been excellent and I knew the price would go up (as Russ's last one has). The books have helped me learn a lot about my trade and I don't mind receiving emails announcing new ones. If I am not interested I just delete them.

    True I only participate in CSS, HTML and occasionally Javascript forums and sometimes feel I should help a bit more. However, as someone else said, the ones I can answer usually get answered before I get to them.

    I did sign up to the Facebook page, but I can't really see where it fits into my scheme of things. I waste a lot of time reading unnecessary stuff, but that is one of the hazards of the internet.

    All in all I think Sitepoint is a very worthwhile place to visit and as most of us are trying to make a living from web design or development, I don't see that we should grumble at you selling useful books and courses. I doubt you will ever be millionaires.

    And I only wear plain teeshirts, so I didn't even think of buying yours, sorry.

  3. #78
    SitePoint Wizard spence_noodle's Avatar
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    Since joining SitePoint early 2004 I have seen it change over the years, infact I learnt php/css/html/mysql/etc...right here as well as books and other websites.

    This was due to members staff or not with their knowledge helped me out and others. To me it doesn't matter what profession they are in it's just being part of SPF and helping out that really counts. God hey, I'm on my second job since joining SPF (if only you knew what I do ), I hope to get my third at some point.

    Anyway, I tend to agree with the banners at the top are a bit annoying but at least there is an option not to show they again, until a new one comes out. I know SPF has some small problems that need to be sorted out but we are working on them.

    Overall SPF has become better, stronger and more knowledgeable and will keep on improving over ther years to come and I'm very proud to be part of the SPF team.

  4. #79
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    Speaking as a recent addition to this community who stumbled upon it pretty much because I was researching some code issue or other. And then became a Lurker (I am VERY good at Lurking, it is a trademark skill). Then came out of my shell because of the Community Book promo. (this will be...what... my 4th or 5th post, YOWZA!)

    Anyway, what I see in the forums so far is a community that has likely a few active and dedicated members, many lurkers, and overall, nice people who are sharing knowledge and skills and having some fun along the way. In my brief time here, Sarah/Hawke has been helpful, friendly, and engaged... and she has a challenging position. The nature of a community is that you will have some who remain strongly involved and then for whatever reason leave (I did that with another forum community focused on a popular computer game... it wasn't personal, I just got busy with other things).

    I don't have a problem with sitepoint making some money on the forums... if nothing else, it costs money to keep a site up, and people do have to eat. The ads are not IMO particularly obtrusive, I've seen far worse. I would have bought the t-shirt, including logo, but in my case, $31 is just more than I am willing to spend on a t-shirt... I'm just more inclined to buy the $10 or $15 t-shirt, even if the saying is slightly less cool.

    I like the technical and professional focus here, I find much helpful information and resources in the conversations, and hope that (as I have the time), I can also contribute relevant posts beyond the simple "hey guys, you rock!" that constitutes tonight's offering.

  5. #80
    SitePoint Addict
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    My only beef with sitepoint is how you basically destroyed the marketplace in order to make more money.

    Back in '05 I got my first job in the Looking to Hire section. By start of 2006 I was making a living from jobs taken on in the Looking to Hire section. This forum used to be a place not only where to learn about building websites, but also to get a job building them. That section is now dead, and its dead for one reason only - SP wanted to make more money.

    In Dec '05 I bought my first website in the marketplace. I have then bought and sold several websites, for as much as $45,000. The marketplace, for all intents and purposes, is dead. Flippa is a joke. Sales like the old days practically don't exist.

  6. #81
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    I must admit that before this discussion started I never made a distinction between Sitepoint the company and Sitepoint the forum. And that is part of the problem I think. If people have an issue with the way the company works, they may tar the forums with the same brush.

    I think the forums are great and I have done for a long time. Of course there's a certain amount of content that is less interesting, less helpful, occasionally unpleasant (very occasionally), but that is all true of any forum, and much less so on this one than on many.

    And I have to pay tribute to Hawk who is doing a great job, and I hope is not blaming herself for the t shirt problem or anything else that's been raised about hte forums. She was the one who helped me when I had an urgent problem with a Sitepoint (the company) product recently, while the company's "customer service" department simply ignored me.

    So yes, you guessed, I do have issues with Sitepoint the company. I used to admire it hugely, but I think it is beginning to lose its way in a number of ways. I'd be happy to elaborate, but maybe we should start a new discussion for that?

    Euan

  7. #82
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I did have two ideas which might help bring out the community.

    Maybe you could come up with some way to place unanswered posts on the front page, so people just stopping in for a peek may see them an answer them (instead of having to dig through respective forums).

    Also, I've noticed that the number of featured posts has dropped significantly, down to only one or fewer a day, and most of those are "official". In the past twelve days, there have only been 19 days there have only be 14 featured posts (only 2 days that had 2). Of those 14 featured posts, 9 of them are "official" (2 posts for articles, 1 which got no posts; 3 contest results; 1 about a new "official" course; the t-shirt post, october breasts; and this).

    That means there are only 5 in the past almost a month that have anything to do with the real focus of Sitepoint... that's not a lot of choices for those that don't dive below the front page.

  8. #83
    From Italy with love silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    Maybe you could come up with some way to place unanswered posts on the front page, so people just stopping in for a peek may see them an answer them (instead of having to dig through respective forums).
    There is a 'Unanswered threads' link next to the 'Latest forum posts' link

  9. #84
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I know. =p

    But it's kind of off to the side and not all that obvious (you have to search around for it). I'm talking about a listing kind of similar to the featured posts, where you see the title names, which may spark interested, rather than having to go off hunting on your own.

  10. #85
    SitePoint Guru
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    I'm a fairly long term user of these boards. Mostly development stuff. Learned a lot. Contributed a bit. Seldom venture to the home page. Ad blocking eliminates most distractions. Never really noticed any big changes over the years.

    I also frequent several religious boards. The crass commercialism, back stabbing and outright hatred found on those boards far out weigh anything negative found here.

    My only suggestion might be to do some data mining. Is hit and run posting on the up swing? Are the longer term members still posting? That sort of thing.

  11. #86
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Thanks again guys. I appreciate the kind words from those of you that offered them and the suggestions from many of you. I definitely have what I came for here. Feel free to continue to post if anything springs to mind, but I'm satisfied for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    Also, I've noticed that the number of featured posts has dropped significantly, down to only one or fewer a day, and most of those are "official". In the past twelve days, there have only been 19 days there have only be 14 featured posts (only 2 days that had 2). Of those 14 featured posts, 9 of them are "official" (2 posts for articles, 1 which got no posts; 3 contest results; 1 about a new "official" course; the t-shirt post, october breasts; and this).
    Hmmm... ok, I'm definitely hearing you on this.

  12. #87
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    I've been on and off site point for about 10 years now, a member of the forums a bit less than that. I don't the problem inherently is with the forums as the first quote mentioned, I feel that it is the sitepoint website.

    I must say I used to spend a lot more time on sitepoint than I do now. I pop in from time to time now. The first thing that got me was the incessant interupting advertisments everywhere. The kind that get up in your face.

    I get it, it's a business. But I personally am one of those consumers who responds better to a recommendation by someone who's opinion I respect, before, for example, purchasing a book. My generation has evolved to somewhat loathe the force-fed advertising we grew up with on tv.

    Of the articles, I must say that the scales between feeling commercial and feeling helpful are tipping towards commercial.

    This is something I've thought about on many occasions in the past. Meaning, often it is a conscious decision of mine to not visit sitepoint, not merely an inherent behavioural pattern.

    It's a shame because while there are no sites I visit which cover as much ground as sitepoint, I just can't help feel that the experience of visiting sitepoint has degraded as it's become more commercialised.

  13. #88
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    Well I must be the odd one out.

    I have been completely overlooking the "obtrusive" ads at the top of the forums. After seeing them mentioned a number of times in this thread, I scrolled up to take a look - and there it was. Hah! I never noticed it.

    Hey, I just noticed there are some small ads at the bottom of the page as well. Never noticed them before either.

    I guess I have some kind of selective vision that tunes ads out. I rarely notice anything other than content on most sites.

  14. #89
    SitePoint Wizard wheeler's Avatar
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    I've been a member on Sitepoint for a long time and initially was fairly active, then had a quiet patch, and now im starting to get back into it.

    The forums were pivotal for me in my early learning of PHP and MySQL, and it is nice to now be able to return some of that knowledge, whilst knowing that many members can help me out with more advanced problems.

    I have previously bought a couple of Sitepoint published books. What I would say about the books (at least the ones I have read) is that they are good, but don't make the must read list for me. That is why when I see ads or receive emails about the books, its more of a hindrance than anything else, so I kindof overlook it. Can't say that I am bothered by the advertising space though.

    I think the forums did start to nosedive in terms of quality of posts (perhaps mostly spam / borderline spam) however thankfully the quality is now back and as good as ever.

    I am guilty of virtually never visiting the front page or looking in the articles, though I guess personally I would like to see more business orientated resources.

    Generally I think Sitepoint is definitely on the right track, its not easy for forums when people's attention spans are in decline, and you have competing sites like Stack Overflow - perhaps you could look at a stricter Q & A section and keep the forums as is, for waffling (like this post)

    P.S. I would use the marketplace if I thought I would get results, but I fear my listing will be lost in the junk.
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  15. #90
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiJohn View Post
    Well I must be the odd one out.

    I have been completely overlooking the "obtrusive" ads at the top of the forums. After seeing them mentioned a number of times in this thread, I scrolled up to take a look - and there it was. Hah! I never noticed it.

    Hey, I just noticed there are some small ads at the bottom of the page as well. Never noticed them before either.

    I guess I have some kind of selective vision that tunes ads out. I rarely notice anything other than content on most sites.
    You're not alone. I did the same exact thing when I started reading this thread.

  16. #91
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    I think that this quote seems to be indicative of how many people are feeling at the moment, which means that I'm doing something wrong.
    Not necessarily. I don't begrudge anybody for trying to make a little money.

    I have learned a lot here at Sitepoint from people who have taken their time to help me with my problems. Sitepoint is my first and main resource for anything web related. I have helped a small number of people around here along the way. I have not helped as much as I have been helped, but making websites is a hobby for me so I can't be expected to be an expert like some of you.

    My biggest issue here at Sitepoint has to do with the inability to edit one's posts. There are times I will scan posts in a few boards (PHP, Javascript, CSS) and if there is a question that has not been answered within a few hours and I have the knowledge to answer it, I will take a stab at it. There are times where I think I know what kind of answer the original poster is looking for, but not always. Being unable to edit my posts after a few minutes, I am reluctant to say anything for fear of being wrong. If I'm wrong, I can't edit my post to make it right.

    Another thing I would like to see here at Sitepoint is a code repository. I have seen the same or similar questions asked over and over again. Take for instance an AJAX script. Wouldn't it be nice if as a group we made a nice AJAX script and then had a place to put it where people could find it and use it freely in their projects? How about Apache rewrite code? Want SEF URLs? Go to the code repository and find an example of something that meets your needs that you know works. No point in everyone reinventing the wheel.

    Just my $0.02.

  17. #92
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by crankin View Post
    Of the articles, I must say that the scales between feeling commercial and feeling helpful are tipping towards commercial.
    Cool. I'm taking that on board.

    Quote Originally Posted by wheeler View Post
    ... however thankfully the quality is now back and as good as ever.
    Nice. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    You're not alone. I did the same exact thing when I started reading this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    My biggest issue here at Sitepoint has to do with the inability to edit one's posts.
    Hmmmm, ok. I'll take that into consideration.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    Another thing I would like to see here at Sitepoint is a code repository.
    It is an idea that we have tabled. I agree with you - it has merit.

  18. #93
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I've been hanging around for a long time and it hasn't changed THAT much. It's grown and become a bit less casual and a bit more formal, perhaps, but not dramatically so. SitePoint has evolved and there are more products and promotions but the forum hasn't been dramatically affected.

    And I remember years ago people saying that SitePoint was just about money, blah blah. I remember people saying 'this place has changed' way way way back.

    SitePoint is a business, and this is a forum owned by a business, and there will always be people who resent the idea that SitePoint endeavors to make money rather than simply supporting the forum in some Utopian fantasy world.

    Like any community, it ebbs and flows and as it grows it becomes better in some ways and worse is some others. As the forum grows and gets older, there are more people who will be vocal in their criticism, but that can also be interpreted as part of the overall success of the forum.

    Overall it seems to have done well over the years - it's hard to keep a forum fresh and going for so long!
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  19. #94
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Wow... What's with all the whining about the books? I've been here for a while but I haven't noticed it change into a less inclusive community or turned into a money driven machine. Maybe I was off-line when that happened

    That said, I do belong to a couple of other online communities that are definitely there for the money and perhaps my tolerance to advertising is a bit higher as a result.

    I joined SP because it was the place to come to learn and discuss cutting edge technology. I spend most of my time (when I'm here) in the development forums discussing problems here and there or if I can, trying to help out people with things that I know about. As far as I can see it hasn't changed much since I started. Every now and again I run across someone who has a different point of view but 9 times out of 10 we come to terms on some common ground and usually we end up learning something new in the process so it's not a bad thing.

    The Books - I have lots of reference books from Wrox, O'reilly, Samms, Microsoft, etc... I also have about a dozen SP titles. A few of them are fantastic. My PHP and .NET Anthologies have a permanent spot on the bookshelf right along side my Simply SQL. I also have a couple of SP's CSS books... I think the CSS Anthology will be another that will command a special place in my reference library when I get it. I don't mind at all when I get an announcement about a new book but then again, that's my interest... More info and tech.

    I'm also quite happy that SP has online courses. I've actually directed two people I work with to the one on Practical CSS that ended this week and recommended that they get some CSS books too (I should get royalties). This will go a long way in helping get them up to speed with standards based web development.

    Keep up the good work SP
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  20. #95
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molona View Post
    I have a feeling that you're talking about the staff here. If we're a bunch of overly opinated idiots is a matter of opinion. Some people will think that we are, some people will think that we are not (hopefully ). Regarding hiding behind pseudonyms... I think that I can speak from everyone else that we don't hide.
    I figured he was talking about me
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  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    I figured he was talking about me
    Actually, I can think of a number of individuals that do fit the bill (not you Sagewing), however, as far as I know, none of them are staff (though they do have some awards, so they have those icons that may be mistaken as staff).

    However, their numbers are quite few, and you learn to just kind of ignore them when they get uppity. =p It's always the loud few that overshadow the quieter minority.

  22. #97
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    My apologies, I haven't been very active here in a while (work, life, other stuff), so perhaps I shouldn't comment. Nonetheless, I would like to answer.

    Today was the first time I've been to SitePoint in a while. I was happy to find SitePoint feels much the same to me as on other visits. I see some familiar faces that were here when I was more active; it doesn't look like there's been a lot of turnover. I see friendly banter and thoughtful questions. Furthermore, there's still many patient responses with very little of the "RTFM!" or "lurn2google n00b" attitude that characterizes many other forums.

    In other words, SitePoint is just as good as I remember it. Better, actually: there's even more information. Coming back was like running into an old friend and discovering they're doing really well.

    Regardless, I applaud your willingness to consider criticism. Indeed, I think that part of what's kept SitePoint alive so long has been this constant tweaking and examination of the community. In this regard, I think there's some parallels with Slashdot...evolutionary adaptations to the site suggested and selected by a passionate core membership.

    As for the commercial aspects, well, I understand. This stuff costs money. In my opinion, however, your commercial side reasonable, tasteful, and context-appropriate. I've found your products useful and informative.

    The current model works OK for me. I understand you're trying to find a balance that brings in revenue without making people set up another Adblock Plus filter. That's a fine line. If people are complaining about the intrusiveness, there might be other options.

    On Slashdot, for example, they give people the ability to disable or limit advertising if they're reached a certain level of participation in the community. It's related to their notion of "karma" there, so it's not simply quantity of posts, but factors like post quality, length of membership, etc. Perhaps this might be an alternative?

    Or what about a tiered subscription option...visit, more ads; join and participate, reduced ads, quality participation or send us X amount, and lose the ads. Send us X amount more, and get all of our books. Just don't punish people with really obnoxious advertising if they don't pay, of course!

    Yes, some people won't be happy with any advertising, product sales, or anything that suggests SitePoint might have commercial interests. Are they simply griping about the advertising, or do they have any practical alternatives? Is there another model (besides donation- or subscription-based) that scales effectively?

    TaliaJ / TaliaJ2 (Been here since 2005; first account had some sort of unresolvable password issue )

    /All this said...I'm sorry, but the t-shirts were a real yawn.

  23. #98
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    I've been a member of SitePoint since 2006, but have rarely ventured into the SitePoint forums in 2010. I left due to a variety of reasons. I originally posted here in an attempt to learn HTML/CSS, but I'm quite happy with my knowledge base in that area now so don't feel the need to contribute in that area anymore. I also felt the spam onslaught and prevalence of "SEO experts" was just too much. Sometimes 90% of the responses in a forum topic were just spam posts and it made reading the forums very difficult.

    The only policy of SitePoint which I've had an issue with, was one which I assume was implemented by the community itself. That policy was of non self-promotion; I found it quite infuriating not being able to help people because I wasn't able to simply link to my own site to demonstrate a technique or process, but that wasn't something that changed over time, I'm pretty sure that same policy was in place back when I first started posting here.

    In a nutshell - apart from more annoying advertising, I haven't seen any real change in the way SitePoint has treated the community over the past two years (bearing in mind that I've barely posted here in 2010).

  24. #99
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanhellyer View Post
    I found it quite infuriating not being able to help people because I wasn't able to simply link to my own site to demonstrate a technique or process,
    actually, the policy has always had this as a legitimate exception -- it is definitely okay to link to your own site if it contributes to the thread
    r937.com | rudy.ca | Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
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  25. #100
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Again, awesome feedback and I appreciate it.

    And yes, Rudy is correct - it is completely within your rights to link to your site if it goes towards specifically (and appropriately) answering a question that has been asked.


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