6

Bit of a ramble, here, bear with me...

What are people's thoughts about linking to sites that you own?

For example, on occasion when a question has been about a city I've been to (say Krakow) I've linked to my blog about there on it.

However, we've also seen companies who link to their sites, with no added benefit.

Where's the line? If say we own a site that, I dunno, sells camping gear, and someone asks about that, and we link to it? Or if we were the guy who runs seat61.com, every time someone asked about trains, if we linked to it, what about then?

My opinion has generally been that it's necessary to add benefit to the answer, rather than link spam (which we've removed in the past), AND that full disclosure is necessary.

Any further thoughts?

7

From 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.

There you have it. On a personal note, I don't see a problem with this, if the post is informative as opposed to written as an advert.

What I do like to see more is people adding a summary and short explanations besides linking to a blog post/website, especially if it's their own. After all, linking to your stuff brings eyeballs and possibly money, so you should be expected to provide some more explanation and information.

Link rot is common on teh Internetz, so an answer that is basically just a link is useless if the destination goes away for any reason.

5

I like the answer I wrote to this meta question which in turn references another answer of mine which is now an accepted answer to the question, and the question has gained the meta tag. It's as close to official as we get. You should:

  • paraphrase the content of the linked item (possibly omitting details or examples)
  • identify the author (yourself, MSDN, etc)
  • ensure someone could benefit from the answer without reading the linked item at all
  • include information to let the reader decide if clicking the link is worthwhile

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