I’ve just had my wrist slapped (posts deleted/ heavily censored) twice in 24 hours by two of the most visited Cayman message boards, and I am upset.
I may be new to this blog stuff, but I’ve been hanging around on internet message boards for a long time indeed. Am I hanging out because it is my job to do this ? No. I’m doing it because I enjoy it, and I enjoy interacting with people and sharing information about Cayman. If that happens to benefit my business, then great, but I am not ever going to recommend something to someone unless I think it is right for them.
Now, I also know very well the old fashioned rules about “plugging” and otherwise being commercial on message boards, so I try hard to avoid it… but sometimes people ask questions specifically about The Reef, so am I supposed to ignore them ?
It is indeed a tough balance to strike, so one of the things I have always, always done is to make my email public and use a consistent username wherever I post. In other words, people know who I am and where I work, so they can always put anything I post in context.
What’s my point here ? I guess I am just annoyed at being reprimanded by both of these message boards, who (IMHO) have lost the spirit of internet forums/message boards. In one case I was told :
management doesn’t want you promoting YOUR company on OUR website
That one was in reaction to me making an innocuous post replying to someone who was going to be staying at The Reef already asking about information about getting married in Cayman…. sigh.
In the other case I was told :
When you have information to share, it must be shared here – pictures and all, with no links or Google search suggestions
Now on THAT one, I was simply posting a link to my blog to link to pictures of the Flowers Sea Swim, plus suggesting to people how they could Google RSS to find out how to get RSS feeds for their news… because I have just discovered RSS and I think it is cool, nothing more.
I guess to me message boards and forums are supposed to be about open communication. Yes, they can be commercially minded by their owners, but they should not censor out information of value to readers unless it is a) offensive, or b) blatantly promoting a specific business over another.
Right… off my soapbox now