Profile URLs November 13, 2006 12:35 AM   Subscribe

I know the issue of commercial urls in user profiles has been discussed and neither Matt nor Jess give a damn. But really, this is too much.
posted by felix betachat to Etiquette/Policy at 12:35 AM (20 comments total)

From arrhn's userpage url:
Hate throwing away staples? The Smart Clipper replaces staples with a metal clam clip to bind your documents.
I swear this is the last time I'll bring this up. But really, isn't it clear by now that spammers can use MeTa and AskMe links to drive traffic to their user pages? Am I the only one who hates this?
posted by felix betachat at 12:35 AM on November 13, 2006

Well, they're certainly going to get all kinds of traffic now.
posted by loquacious at 12:42 AM on November 13, 2006

Eh? So what? That smart clip thing looks like a better alternative to stapling -- maybe the guy just thought it was cool or quirky. Maybe he's profiting by it, but would never have affected my life either way, except you called it out.

Really, what was it about his link that so offended you? I just don't get the animus.
posted by orthogonality at 12:51 AM on November 13, 2006

I'm not entirely sure that this would qualify as spammy -- it's possible (giving the benefit of the doubt) that it's a legit question the user wants answered in connection with their business.

Rumple's comment, though, entertaining as it may be, is pure freakin' noise, and needs nuking.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:59 AM on November 13, 2006

I have no idea what percentage of posters routinely click through to a user's profile on a nondescript AskMe response and proceed to follow a link posted there, but it's got to be insignificantly small. It's not like the guy posted something like "OMG revolutionary staple technology!! VISIT MY USER PAGE FOR mORe INfO!!!!!!" Is this really an issue problematic enough to clutter MetaTalk with?
posted by Pontius Pilate at 12:59 AM on November 13, 2006

I don't have any problem with profiting by what's in your user profile, really. But I hate seeing an otherwise valuable community resource abused to drive traffic to someone's commercial venture.

Like I said, if nobody else is bothered by it, I'll take my licks and step down. But look, I think that a lot of what goes on here depends on a fundamental presupposition of good faith: "I've found something cool to share with the community", or "I've got a sincere question that I need an answer to." To create a disingenuous post the real intent of which is to move people to an external, commercial site is lousy.
posted by felix betachat at 1:05 AM on November 13, 2006

Totally irrelevant to whether this is permissible or impermissible behaviour, but those metal clips are pretty much ubiquitous in Japan.
posted by Bugbread at 1:25 AM on November 13, 2006

The poster has been a member for more than a year and, while not exactly loquacious—to pick a prolific poster at random—isn't showing up and spamming as a first post or anything. Unless this is some sort of mastermind astroturf campaign and unless evidence to support such a campaign is presented, I say meh, and answer the question, if you can.
posted by cgc373 at 1:28 AM on November 13, 2006

felix, as people have said, how much is this person profiting off of the MetaFilter community? Do you think it's even enough to make back their $5 membership investment? I would have been skeptical... before this callout pointed tons of attention to it, anyway.
posted by antifuse at 1:30 AM on November 13, 2006

stavros -- sure its noise, but then, it's a question to which there is an answer in theory, but not in practice. How many produced? Well, in the absence of a World Staple Cartel, that seems to be a finite number that cannot be known. Estimates are just that. How many discarded? Truly unknown. Far simpler, and why I answered facetiously, is to come up with a number with some relatively simple estimates: say, one staple per adult per day is 3 billion staples every day or a trillion a year. Too many? How about one per week! Thats only 150 billion per year. What the meaningful difference is between those two answers is I don't know, nor how either differs from "a buttload" or "more than you think" or "enough to justify my business model of the un-staple".. But questioner's prerogative and if the noise gets quenched, so be it

In any case, if you link to your business on your profile, big deal. People make money off their blog ads as well, and those are linked willy-nilly.
posted by Rumple at 1:40 AM on November 13, 2006

My guess is that he's asking the question, not as some sort of weird superineffective advertising, but to get our ideas in order to make some sort of conventional advertising. Which should be no big deal whatsoever; people ask questions and advice for their use at work all the time.
posted by Bugbread at 1:43 AM on November 13, 2006

There's no harm in bouncing marketing ideas off the blue and the gray and the green... it just leaves a little stain of brown behind.
posted by tehloki at 1:46 AM on November 13, 2006

1. Place ad for some kind of metal shellfish device in user profile and link from AskMe.
2. Wait until someone posts it to MeFi.
3. Experience vast traffic spike (thankfully between 1 and 2 you bought 8 new servers).
4. Sell BILLIONS of metal shellfish paper fastening clam devices.
5. You guessed it! PROFIT! Although it's hard to tell from that website whether it's a public company, so it might just be SHAREHOLDER PROFIT which is not as good as real profit.

Once again, the spider catches its fly.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:16 AM on November 13, 2006

Every homepage URL in users' profiles have the REL="NOFOLLOW" attribute which means he's getting exactly jack shit traffic from search engines due to it. As someone said in another thread, unclench.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:26 AM on November 13, 2006

Are you calling someone out for linking to their business in their user profile? Or for being in the staples business and asking a question about staples? Forget banning, I say they should be killed.
posted by cillit bang at 4:49 AM on November 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

"Is this really an issue problematic enough to clutter MetaTalk with?"

*saunters into MeTa*

Holy shit, look at all this clutter!

Complaints expand to fill a vacuum. This is why there is seldom, if ever, a MeTa-free day.
posted by Eideteker at 6:08 AM on November 13, 2006

Jesus. This place is really getting whiny. Miguel, come back and fill MetaTalk with pleasantly pointless discussion! I promise I won't complain for the first few dozen times, anyway!
posted by languagehat at 7:13 AM on November 13, 2006

Complaints expand to fill a vacuum. This is why there is seldom, if ever, a MeTa-free day.

What's that old joke... nature abhors a vacuum - too bad nature keeps choosing such crap to fill it with.
posted by GuyZero at 7:19 AM on November 13, 2006

I think he just wants to put a line in his advertising that says "x # of staples are thrown away each year", and he posted here to get a number for x. No different from any other business question, like when web designers ask about CSS help.
posted by smackfu at 7:22 AM on November 13, 2006

Okay, okay. I see I really am the only one bothered by this. Sorry for taking up space with this.
posted by felix betachat at 7:26 AM on November 13, 2006

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