Active Rain January 20, 2009

Referral Exchange Rant

If I want to read spam, I can read my junk folder. I can blog anywhere; I blog on Active Rain in part because I feel my expertise and presence will be appreciated by my colleagues and that will yield some referrals. Overall this is a very vital and enriching community.

Except for the referral exchange, which, I am sorry to say, is a disaster, at least in New York. People are posting 3-star referrals (personal referrals, that is) which are just requests for referrals in their area. Another 3-star referral is an advert for their out of state listings. And these postings remain up for weeks and months.

I don’t expect the Active Rain staff to be the posting police; we need to maintain the integrity of all the user content ourselves. That isn’t just blogs, it is the referral postings we make. If you are going to post an inaccurate referral, self promoting spam, or any other off topic item on the referral exchange, think twice. You are undermining why you are here, and you are BLOODY ANNOYING as well. It’s like clicking on a personal ad response and instead getting a porn or hooker ad.

While I don’t expect the AR powers that be to be referral posting cops, I do propose that flagged spam, if indeed wrongly posted, should be a point reduction if it isn’t already, and repeat offenses should have other types of consequences. But really folks we shouldn’t have to discuss punishment. Just don’t post it is it isn’t a bona fide referral. Learn the guidelines and abide by them so Active Rain can continue to be useful. Otherwise, this will slowly deteriorate and we’ll have lost a good thing.