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Discussion in 'General Forum' started by Mikelance, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Mikelance

    Mikelance New Member

    Hi! While I understand Freelance:uk doesn't want forum spam regarding self promotion cluttering up the place, I was wondering whether you would allow your users to make use of their signature field to illustrate their services, for example a linked image or simple hyperlink to their website/portfolio's etc.?

    I just think it'll brighten up the place a little :)
  2. FreelanceUK

    FreelanceUK Administrator

    We do allow Freelance Alliance users to link to their profiles in their sigs as an extra perk of their membership, but our terms do state that other sig links are not currently allowed.

    The problem with allowing sig links is that some may not join into the spirit we intended for this board, i.e. freelancers supporting each other with shared knowledge and just general water cooler chat too. We know this from moderating the board for several years now! Some have joined to contribute the least possible; "Yes I agree." type posts, but include website URL, twitter, blog links etc underneath that. Add to that the many 'online PR' outfits using sig links for SEO purposes..and I hope you'll see where we were coming from.

    Avatars can and do brighten the place up and we have always encouraged users to use trading names or another name they'd be recognised by, which enables them to be found through a quick Google search.

    We do review these terms from time to time though, and recently we had started to think we could allow one sig link as part of a brief description for those contributing over a (significant) number of post counts as one idea. What does everyone think?

    We are open to others ideas that improve this forum for freelancers too - so please do tell us what you'd like to see here.
  3. Opus

    Opus Member

    I agree :rollin
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2010
  4. Opus

    Opus Member

    More seriously, it's a shame that the activity on this site appears to have dipped over the last year or so. When I first stumbled across the site it was far more active and I certainly spent more time on here. You may well have a greater insight into why that's happened, but it seemed to coincide with some of the things like removing signature URLs etc.

    It can be very annoying when forums are clogged up with advertising etc after every single post but equally it sometimes helps to easily tell the expertise of someone in a discussion. Perhaps the suggestion of allowing the more regular posters to display slightly extended information in their signature may be a good compromise.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  5. Mikelance

    Mikelance New Member

    Seems a good idea to me. I run my own community forums, albeit for a computer gaming related website as a personal hobby of mine, and if I remember correctly you have a fair amount of user account control regarding users gaining "ranks" or entering a certain "user group" in relation to post count, with each rank providing further privileges (presuming your running vBulletin here?). For example, the admin can specify the number of times a user must post within the forum before they're allowed to post URL's etc, or once they've obtained a certain rank they can utilise their signature field. I'm positive you already know this anyway, but thought I'd mention it as it's great toolset from an admin/moderators perspective.

    I'm obviously new here (and new to freelance tbh), but my first visit and impression was that the forums are very impersonal and a little grey. I'm quite a sociable little fellow you see :))) and appreciate the skills of others regardless of whether it's within my field of work or not, for example Paul Loudon's post within the Illustrator forum and his great work, and the many designers, photographers etc who post here.

    I fully understand your reasoning regarding spam posts and sig links for SEO purposes etc of course. It just seems a shame.
  6. FreelanceUK

    FreelanceUK Administrator

    Thank you both for spending time giving us your thoughts, it's certainly useful and it's very much appreciated too.

    Does anyone else have anything to add? We'll certainly be giving this some thought..
  7. BarryFogarty

    BarryFogarty New Member

    DigitalPoint model

    I know I am resurrecting a thread here but..

    Check out the DigitalPoint model - it has a ladder system according to posts and rewards most active contributors with sig link benefits etc. It could definitely increase the activity on the site. Most freelancers appreciate the benefit of linking back to their site to highlight their services to others :)
  8. Alisonp

    Alisonp Member

    I must admit that, since my signature only tells people what I do, I'd appreciate an option to have it showing in my profile on the left, rather than put it in a signature. After all, given that we are probably all freelancers, it might be a pertinent piece of information.

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