This is already dealt with in the network-wide bit of the FAQ:

May I promote products or websites I am affiliated with here?

Be careful, because the community frowns on overt self-promotion and tends to vote it down and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers.

If a huge percentage of your posts include a mention of your product or website, you're probably here for the wrong reasons. Our advertising rates are quite reasonable; contact our ad sales team for details. We also offer free community promotion ads for open source projects and non-profit organizations.

I'm not suggesting we try and override SE policy, but I'm asking what specific guidelines or 'best practice' refinements we should have for our unique community.

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further reading on mSO –  Jack Douglas Nov 28 '11 at 10:39
    
@jcolebrand and Jack, what do you think of this post: ux.stackexchange.com/a/15238/7627. That's a real post from a user we have some concerns about on UX.SE. All of their posts have involved their site UXPin and products. Different guidelines for different sites and all, but it seems to be a mild consensus that posts like these are okay? What if they're all the user posts? Is it then the content of the individual answer or the long standing issue of self promotion that matters more? –  Ben Brocka Dec 21 '11 at 20:36
    
@Ben it is hard for me to judge if the posts are actually useful or not - what do you say? –  Jack Douglas Dec 21 '11 at 20:57
    
That particular answer would be passable but I think most in the community would question the worth of the tools. However it's also a new answer to a >1 year old question (which I just noticed). He's clearly looking for questions to promote his products with. –  Ben Brocka Dec 21 '11 at 21:04
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4 Answers 4

Given that most of the higher rep users here will be those who have time to spend answering questions, and who are well versed in database systems at a fundamental level, will also be consultants, I don't think it's fair that we say "oh, never link to your blog". I think it's entirely permissible that people here link to their blogs where they've already solved the problem.

HOWEVER, this is a Stack Exchange site, and as so, we all try to follow the same rules. Here's the biggest one in my own phrasing:

Every answer given should be able to stand on its own, even if that means the answer needs to be edited before being accepted. Answers which are not able to stand on their own, need to be edited or removed (or at the very least, downvoted to indicate that they are of poor quality).

What that means is:

Check my blog post to see how I solved that.

Is UNACCEPTABLE.

However, this would be perfectly cromulent: (if decidedly silly, because I didn't want to pick on any answer set, and instead wanted to be silly)

Check my blog post for the full breakdown on that problem, but here's what you need to know to solve this problem now. First, gather two large eggs from a chicken. Second, throw them at a passing car. Third, write "Google.com" in multicolored chalk on the auditorium roof.

Notice how we do link to the blog, but then we go on to give the concise bits of the answer? That's what's required if you're going to link to your own (or someone else's) blog.

If you feel that an off-the-shelf script or product is the best answer to the question, then by all means, explain why that particular tool is the best answer. This guideline holds true whether you're affiliated with the tool or not (as a salesperson, code author, support engineer, etc.) However, your answer needs to clearly articulate why the tool is the best answer, and if there's a price to the tool, that needs to be clearly explained as well. As with any answer, the more technical evidence that's present, the more likely it is that your answer will be upvoted and accepted. The less technical evidence, the more likely you'll be downvoted.

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Feel free to edit my answer to help make it better. –  jcolebrand Nov 28 '11 at 13:44
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Good example of something acceptable IMO, however I feel the "unacceptable" one falls more under providing a self-contained answer than self promotion. Self promotion doesn't seem relevant in the reason it's not cool; the line it's crossing isn't related. –  Ben Brocka Dec 6 '11 at 21:42
    
@BenBrocka yes, but the problem for me here is coming up with a useful example. Can you provide a better example? I don't have a blog with lots of followers (more's the pity?) –  jcolebrand Dec 6 '11 at 23:23
    
It's a problem that's hard to emulate accurately...does anyone have any real examples of good/bad promotion on our/any SE site? Anyway, I don't think a single example quite sums up the problem, I think a single post will usually either always be okay or will fall under "doesn't answer the question". It seems more problematic if the user makes a career of soft advertising in a large % of their posts –  Ben Brocka Dec 7 '11 at 1:30
    
That's rather the problem overall ;-) ~ There's been a couple but we've ridden the herd to stay pretty close. –  jcolebrand Dec 7 '11 at 3:22
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My backup strategy involves hot-copying my database files onto a USB drive attached to our server every so often

There are a number of things wrong with your approach. My blog post "Hope for the best. Plan for the worst" goes into depth on best-practices in this area, but in summary:

  • use RMAN and the BACKUP command, don't copy the files using cp (especially not 'hot')
  • you need to get your backups off-site
  • you need to store some backups long term
  • you need to test your recovery procedures in a realistic way
  • you probably really need someone with real experience on-site to assess what you put in place*



* That person could be me if you are in the London/M4 area

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My go at a model answer. Please vote according to how you acceptable you feel the self-promotion style is (any other issues please comment) –  Jack Douglas Dec 3 '11 at 10:57
    
I want something here to point people at if they cross the line - if you feel you can create a better model answer please do and others can vote on all the options. –  Jack Douglas Dec 3 '11 at 10:58
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Personally, I don't think this would be acceptable. We have the facility to promote ourselves in our profile, which a user can find easily if they want to make contact. –  Mark Storey-Smith Dec 3 '11 at 12:49
    
Thanks for voting Mark - we need to know what everyone thinks and to be clear I'm not pushing for this, it's designed to fathom the limits of self-promotion so we can be consistent with those who want to do it –  Jack Douglas Dec 5 '11 at 9:54
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I think including your consulting link goes too far. Self promotion for the blog itself seems reasonable. –  JNK Dec 5 '11 at 16:48
    
@JNK if that's what you think please downvote - I want everyone to say simply "yes this is ok" or "not it's the wrong side of the line". This is the place for us as a community to make up our mind... –  Jack Douglas Dec 5 '11 at 18:23
    
That asterisk, IMO could maybe be okay if it were just a comment any it didn't affect the answer in any way. As is I don't agree it's acceptable. –  Ben Brocka Dec 6 '11 at 21:40
    
@BenBrocka thanks, and please vote accordingly if you haven't already done so. Btw I think you are on to something by drawing a line between promotion in the answer itself and in a comment below. –  Jack Douglas Dec 6 '11 at 22:26
    
At the moment we are +4 v -2 for those who can't see that... –  Jack Douglas Dec 6 '11 at 22:27
    
Would be interested to hear from the +1 voters. –  Mark Storey-Smith Dec 9 '11 at 15:41
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I recall a discussion on meta some time ago about self promotion. You will get quite a few 'MVP' types of one sort or another - the Brent Ozars of this world - answering questions on SE sites. I have no web presence as such but I have cut and pasted things I wrote (typically snippets of code) into answers. If I had a web site there are a few bits and bobs of downloadable content I could put on it that would be relevant to questions I've seen on SO, SF or here.

My view is that fan out to blogs or other web pressence is perfectly acceptable if the material is relevant. Blogspam isn't appropriate here, but a link to something you wrote that is relevant to the question is. There is also no reason not to say something like 'Here's a white paper I wrote on xxx that talks about yyy'.

You can also put a link to your web site on your profile.

I don't think there is anything materially different about the DBA site that would affect this.

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Made up example post:


My SQL Server queries are very slow on my Heap Tables, however due to large quantities of updates a clustered index is not preferable.

An excellent solution to slow SQL Server queries is SQL Ferret. SQL Ferret will root out and consume your problems like a small rodent. SQL Ferret Optimizes databases by:

  • Rebuilding indexes and automatically creating new indexes as needed
  • Deweaseling your server farm
  • Defragmenting your hard drive

Our tests show SQL Server instances running SQL Ferret have 50% reduced query costs on heap tables.
*I happen to work for and with SQL Ferret

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As @JackDouglas said, vote how appropriate you think this post is (ignoring the preposterous feature set) IMO the problem with this post is there's no way to verify this answer without purchasing or at least using the product. It could be entirely true, but there is no offering of what the problem is or why this solution solves this problem in particular; it's just offering a product and assuring the solution will work. –  Ben Brocka Dec 7 '11 at 14:23
    
I also don't think adding/removing disclosure in this case makes the post any more/less blatant promotion. Whether or not it's self promotion doesn't seem relevant to me, it's just the most likely use case. –  Ben Brocka Dec 7 '11 at 14:23
    
+1 because the disclosure is present though it could be made a bit more prominent. Product promotion is fine in my book if it is on-topic and disclosed (poor quality is handled in the usual way with voting) –  Jack Douglas Dec 7 '11 at 14:49
    
I usually see disclosure at the end of the post rather than the front. It's certainly the most practical (they'll consider your advice before learning your affiliation). I'd argue the association should be made before we read the answer that promotes their idea. It deliberately affects the reading of the copy and causes a critical outlook, which I think is vital here. –  Ben Brocka Dec 7 '11 at 15:04
    
I agree that would be better - but not that this post is 'unacceptable'. Perhaps we should put up some sample 'best-practice' posts for promotion as well as some that test the limits of acceptability? –  Jack Douglas Dec 7 '11 at 15:11
    
IMO @jcolebrand's cromulent example is perfect for sharing a blog, I think it's a bit different for sharing a product. I'll put together one that makes it's "promotion" aspect more apparent from the get go –  Ben Brocka Dec 7 '11 at 15:54
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