Can I link to a subject I'm involved with, even if it isn't my own work? June 10, 2011 7:24 AM   Subscribe

I'm a reporter and think an ongoing story in my neck of the woods would make for a decent post on the blue. I am fully aware of the rules against promoting one's own work, but would it be acceptable to post about a topic I've covered, provided that none of the links go to that work, nor to anyone I am or have ever been affiliated with?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish to Etiquette/Policy at 7:24 AM (33 comments total)

So, a post to a topic in which you have a professional interest, but the post not linking to your specific work? I don't see a problem with that. Maybe I'm missing something, though. Anyway, you could mail a mod with the specific details and get a judgement there.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:27 AM on June 10, 2011


You could also post your work on Projects along with relevant links and let someone else decide to post it - or not - on the blue.
posted by bru at 7:56 AM on June 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Seconding bru's idea. Paul Slade has posted a number of his long-form articles to MeFi Projects. But I see how it might be a bit odd if your article(s) weren't long or comprehensive, and only covered an aspect of the story.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:13 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's the problem with posting to Projects. I can paint a much more complete picture of the story with other people's articles than with only my own.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:16 AM on June 10, 2011


Personally, I think this is fine. I post about industries I have worked with every once in a while, but am stringent about keeping ex-clients out of any of the linked material.
posted by zarq at 8:26 AM on June 10, 2011


Seems OK to me.
posted by nicwolff at 8:48 AM on June 10, 2011


I imagine lots of FPPs are made because the poster is deeply interested, or even personally involved, by the news.
posted by 2bucksplus at 8:51 AM on June 10, 2011


I can imagine a whole lot of gotchas here. Like, if you were who'd written the Definitive Article and then made a post with Lesser Articles knowing that anyone who followed it back even a little would find you. Or if you were a "reporter" who just transcribed press releases and you got paid a bonus to "spread the word" on a "story" you'd done, you could link to other "reporters" who'd done the same thing.

The fact that you posted this MeTa indicates there's probably nothing wrong in this particular case, but I don't agree with the above comments that nothing could possibly go wrong.
posted by DU at 8:53 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the criteria for MeFi posts was that you had to be dispassionate and uninterested in the topic, nothing would get posted.
posted by zamboni at 9:09 AM on June 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Deep interest makes better posts. I'd say go for it.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:10 AM on June 10, 2011


I'd also say go for it with a full disclosure after the break.
posted by jillithd at 9:20 AM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you really can keep yourself totally out of the post—both in terms of connections and work and in terms of being able to make the post and walk away from it instead of feeling like you need to be a stakeholder in the discussion—then, yeah, it seems like this'd be okay.

I tend to go with "if you need to ask, the simplest route is to just not do it" as my baseline approach to things that feel a bit sticky, but as long as you're being diligent and up front about it this sounds like the sort of thing that is probably on the workable side of the grey area.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:32 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


the sort of thing that is probably on the workable side of the grey area

for god's sake man drop the qualifiers and hit somebody HARD
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:44 AM on June 10, 2011


cortex: "this sounds like the sort of thing that is probably on the workable side of the grey area."

Wait, are you saying he should post it in MeTa, instead?


*whistles innocently*
posted by zarq at 9:47 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


And if you're just one link removed from the topic... i.e. if a lot of the things you link to will, at some point link back to your work or your involvement, I'd say to be pretty careful. We've definitely deleted friendslink sorts of things where people link to a blog or report where their own blog is one of the few sidebar links.

I agree with cortex though, the site isn't hurting for quality content so if you're not sure I'd suggest either doing a write-up for projects or maybe waiting on it until you're not quite as in the thick of things.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:54 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a reporter and think an ongoing story in my neck of the woods

I'm a media guy. Film, radio, music-biz, writer. Much of what I post is directly from "neck of the woods" (though in a more abstract geography than you're describing). That is, it interests me because it's exactly the kind of thing I'm interested in, to the point of building my career around such stuff. I imagine that this is a big part of what makes my posts interesting to others (assuming they are interested).

So yeah, by all means go for it.
posted by philip-random at 10:19 AM on June 10, 2011


Oh, nothing will link back to me directly. If you google the topic and either use specific enough terms or go far enough down the list you'll find my stories, but to the best of my knowledge nobody's basing their reporting on what I've done, and I can't imagine why they would; I haven't had that Big Comprehensive Story or broken the news on any of the various issues involved.

I think I'll go ahead with it, and stay out of the discussion as much as possible (shouldn't be hard, I'm much more interested by this than incensed). Thanks, everyone!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:42 AM on June 10, 2011


You could also post your work on Projects along with relevant links and let someone else decide to post it - or not - on the blue.

Wait, is that what Projects is? It always seemed scary to me and I've never been there, but if I made something I think is neat and posted it on YouTube can I link to it there or is that completely not appropriate?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:50 PM on June 10, 2011


Alternatively, you could send some of the links with some back story to a mefite you trust. They can then decide what they would like to do with it...
posted by schyler523 at 1:34 PM on June 10, 2011


if I made something I think is neat and posted it on YouTube can I link to it there or is that completely not appropriate?

It's supposed to be for "completed projects" so if you've made a YouTube video that is some sort of mini-documentary film or something like that, then yeah, please post it there. If it's just some three minute "isn't my cat adorable?" project, then it's maybe not what that part of the site is for. But yes it's definitely a part of the site that is there to let people see what you've created and to perhaps post that sort of thing to the blue.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:00 PM on June 10, 2011


Dude. *looks at watch* It's been five hours. *taps foot*
posted by deborah at 2:33 PM on June 10, 2011


I have a job!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:43 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's no excuse, soldier! Move it! Move it! Move it!
posted by deborah at 1:02 PM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I second all those who said that if we wrote about what didn't interest us we'd never be able to dig up the best links (how would you be able to tell?) for a good FPP.

And what Mrs P said about Projects, appreciate the question being asked and being able to read Jessamyn's answer.
posted by infini at 1:36 PM on June 11, 2011


Having someone professionally knowledgeable about a topic posting about it seems like an excellent thing.
posted by maryr at 9:00 PM on June 11, 2011


Is it Best Of The Web?
posted by Sk4n at 12:39 PM on June 12, 2011


While we're on the subject, here is a bitter, humorous essay by a comedian I have worked with on having a kid graduate from high school. Not exactly a personal friend, but mods advise too close a connection to post.

If anyone else finds it worthy, have at it.
posted by msalt at 3:03 PM on June 12, 2011


but would it be acceptable to post about a topic I've covered, provided that none of the links go to that work, nor to anyone I am or have ever been affiliated with?

So what happened? You just never posted it, after everyone said "yes"???
posted by hal_c_on at 3:28 AM on June 13, 2011


I'm working on it! This is my first FPP and reporting doesn't give you reliable weekends.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:23 AM on June 13, 2011


It's kinda a bit too much local scandal for this place, no?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:01 AM on June 13, 2011


Congrats on your first FPP!
posted by zarq at 7:33 AM on June 13, 2011


Wow. Worth the wait.
posted by likeso at 7:56 AM on June 13, 2011


man, now I want to read your personal coverage. I think it would probably be okay to post in the MeTa thread here? or maybe just MeMail it to me?
posted by contrarian at 8:42 AM on June 13, 2011


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