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Subject: Blanket ban on links to Kickstarter pages?? rss

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Klutz
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Context...

MCG is currently running a Kickstarter for card sleeves. In an update they mention that they're considering offering sleeves for 2 weird sizes of cards found in Kingdom Death: Monster. Someone posted a thread in the Kingdom Death: Monster forums mentioning this, so people could go comment on the update and encourage MCG to do so. The poster did not include a link to the KS. This was fine.

On the second page of comments, someone linked directly to the KS.

The thread got deleted.


What's the logic behind this??


- If someone posts a link to an online store where KD:M sized sleeves are available, it's fine.
- If someone posts a link to a Kickstarter where KD:M sized sleeves are available, NO NO NO DELETE.

If the logic for the ban is that a KS link is "commercial sollicitation" and against ToS, shouldn't links to any and all online stores be banned? Why single out KS?


- If someone talks about a Kickstarter, tells you exactly what to search for to find it, it's fine.
- If someone saves your 5s of typing and links to it? NO NO NO DELETE.

This is like saying you can have a garage sale and put up flyers in the neighborhood, but don't you dare put an arrow on your flyers pointing people in the right direction!!


Am I the weird one, and this seem normal to everyone else?


To me, this is like those dumb 0 tolerance rules where a kid gets beat up at school and then expelled along with the beater-upper...
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There are rules. They are pretty unambiguous.

Kickstarter links are only allowed in press releases - one in the game's news area and once system-wide, I think. Links to the game's entry on BGG is the way to link to it in general discussion.

Your account is probably not suspended for breaking this rule (unless it is repeated) - so your analogy doesn't really hold.
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a1bert wrote:
There are rules. They are pretty unambiguous.

Kickstarter links are only allowed in press releases - one in the game's news area and once system-wide, I think. Links to the game's entry on BGG is the way to link to it in general discussion.


Yes, there are rules, sure.

I'm saying this specific rule is dumb, and demonstrating it by showing the nonsensical impacts it has.


a1bert wrote:
Your account is probably not suspended for breaking this rule (unless it is repeated) - so your analogy doesn't really hold.


I'm assuming you're referring to the comparison with the beat up kid getting expelled. The expulsion isn't an analogy for getting banned... I never mentioned anything about getting banned. It was just an example of the dumb consequences of 0 tolerance rules.
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As a BGG user, you agree to follow the rules of the website. There are rules regarding the posting of Kickstarter links, follow them. Plain and simple.

That being said, the rule doesn't exist to punish users trying to spread information, it exists to prevent unscrupulous users from spamming. If the rules were relaxed to say, every user could post one link. I guarantee that every Kickstarter would have multiple sockpuppet accounts posting links.


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KevBelisle wrote:


This is like saying you can have a garage sale and put up flyers in the neighborhood, but don't you dare put an arrow on your flyers pointing people in the right direction!!


Not quite.

BGG provides a place for people to post a Kickstarter link, or garage sale listing. Because BGG has provided the community this place to find garage sales, they ask that you not put signs everywhere. Likewise, they ask people who have gone to that yard sale to not put signs up either.
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joetaco wrote:
KevBelisle wrote:


This is like saying you can have a garage sale and put up flyers in the neighborhood, but don't you dare put an arrow on your flyers pointing people in the right direction!!


Not quite.

BGG provides a place for people to post a Kickstarter link, or garage sale listing. Because BGG has provided the community this place to find garage sales, they ask that you not put signs everywhere. Likewise, they ask people who have gone to that yard sale to not put signs up either.

Exactly. Post a link in the Kickstarter thread and then link that post in the forums. People have demonsstrated time and time again that if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile.
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joetaco wrote:
As a BGG user, you agree to follow the rules of the website. There are rules regarding the posting of Kickstarter links, follow them. Plain and simple.


With an attitude like that, gay marriage would still be illegal and women wouldn't be allowed to vote.

Also, I haven't broken the rule... I didn't post the link to the KS I mention in my OP. I'm just a user who saw this and thought "that's not right, this is dumb".

I'll follow the rule, but I can also argue for change.


joetaco wrote:
That being said, the rule doesn't exist to punish users trying to spread information, it exists to prevent unscrupulous users from spamming. If the rules were relaxed to say, every user could post one link. I guarantee that every Kickstarter would have multiple sockpuppet accounts posting links.


Problem is, the rule IS punishing users trying to spread information. Just like the "0 tolerance for violence" rules punish the kids who get beat up.

In the case I mention the KS getting linked to SPECIFICALLY calls out Kingdom Death: Monster in an update. I understand the intention of wanting to prevent advertisement spam. But banning links to Kickstarter pages is a very poor way of doing it.

If I were to spam advertisements for a new KS without linking to it, would it be ok? No, of course not.

If I were to spam advertisements for some product I'm selling, with links to my online store, would that be ok? No, of course not.

If the common thing in these 2 scenarios is the "spam" part, not the KS part, nor the link part... then why is there a rule that arbitrarily targets links to Kickstarters?

It's nonsensical.
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
joetaco wrote:
KevBelisle wrote:


This is like saying you can have a garage sale and put up flyers in the neighborhood, but don't you dare put an arrow on your flyers pointing people in the right direction!!


Not quite.

BGG provides a place for people to post a Kickstarter link, or garage sale listing. Because BGG has provided the community this place to find garage sales, they ask that you not put signs everywhere. Likewise, they ask people who have gone to that yard sale to not put signs up either.

Exactly. Post a link in the Kickstarter thread and then link that post in the forums. People have demonsstrated time and time again that if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile.


Ok, let me get this straight...

- A link to a KS is bad.
- A link to a link to a KS is ok.


That's fun.
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KevBelisle wrote:

With an attitude like that, gay marriage would still be illegal and women wouldn't be allowed to vote.


It'll probably put me on the wrong side in history, but free advertisement on a website is hardly a right that all people deserve. This isn't about a right some people have others don't; no one is allowed to post multiple links, or to put it another way, every Kickstarter is allowed the same number of links.

Frankly, I think it is kinda nice of BGG to allow a Kickstarter link at all. I mean, they could just make the rule "no links, buy ad space..."


KevBelisle wrote:

If I were to spam advertisements for a new KS without linking to it, would it be ok? No, of course not.

If I were to spam advertisements for some product I'm selling, with links to my online store, would that be ok? No, of course not.

If the common thing in these 2 scenarios is the "spam" part, not the KS part, nor the link part... then why is there a rule that arbitrarily targets links to Kickstarters?


Targeting links is a quick way of targeting spam. The moderators rely on users to report rules infractions, having the rule be simple makes it easier to enforce. Otherwise, BGG would have to define the word "Spam"

KevBelisle wrote:

Problem is, the rule IS punishing users trying to spread information. Just like the "0 tolerance for violence" rules punish the kids who get beat up.


I call, who was punished? Which user was punished for breaking the rules and posting links?

Are you sure that this user didn't just get their thread deleted? or maybe just a PM from a moderator telling them not to do it again?
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It's really not even about unscrupulous users. Even well-intentioned long-established users can get excited about Kickstarters and start blasting links to them in all kinds of forums, from directly related to barely related. Kickstarter campaigns thrive on social media, and BGG is the best social media for board gaming. My understanding is that the rule is intended to limit the contagion.

So, yes, it's intended to stop the spread of information, because it's intended to stop the spread of marketing.

And, yes, Kickstarter campaigns are different from retail stores. As a testament to that fact, we don't see nearly the level of spam from people mentioning retail stores.
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Celinashope wrote:
I think everyone gets a one-time press release (in the press release forum).

Here's the pinned crowdfunding thread in the press release forum. I also post crowdfunding round-ups on an irregular basis on BGG News, and I invite people to email me KS projects to cover via the email address in the BGG News header.

We've found that if we don't restrict KS links to particular locations, then they start showing up everywhere: "What's a good light game to teach my family?" "How about Make My Dream A Reality, which is currently funding on KS?" "What are you playing this weekend?" "I'm checking out the print-and-play version of First-Time Gold, which I'm already backing on KS." That gets annoying.

See also this thread: Why the policy about not being allowed to discuss a Kickstarter game?

Oh, I like what this guy wrote there:

tumorous wrote:
ScottE wrote:
So why is talking about a Kickstarter any different then talking about X game that is available in a store?

If I say, "Wow, King of Tokyo looks awesome!" Someone could construe that as promoting the game and can order it immediately on Amazon.

Or I could say "Wow, Dark Things looks awesome!" and that one gets deleted because it's a KS game running currently?

Isn't the whole point of BGG to promote the hobby? We get excited about new games so we want to talk about them. If we have to constantly worry that our excitement over a new game might get our thread deleted then I think something is wrong. I also wonder if a KS game has paid for BGG advertising, do they have more leeway in this sort of thing? The game you mentioned I've not seen any ads here.

It's different because the predominant design of Kickstarter campaigns specifically drives its users to act as marketers. By the progress of the funding and stretch goals, backers are incentivized to "spread the word" and "tell all your friends." Kickstarter is a parasite on social media.

So no, Kickstarter promotional threads are not like other new game interest threads.

It's the difference between a friend hosting a party and a friend hosting a Mary Kay party.
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joetaco wrote:
KevBelisle wrote:
With an attitude like that, gay marriage would still be illegal and women wouldn't be allowed to vote.


It'll probably put me on the wrong side in history, but free advertisement on a website is hardly a right that all people deserve. This isn't about a right some people have others don't; no one is allowed to post multiple links, or to put it another way, every Kickstarter is allowed the same number of links.

Frankly, I think it is kinda nice of BGG to allow a Kickstarter link at all. I mean, they could just make the rule "no links, buy ad space..."


You keep misconstruing my analogies.

I wasn't implying that posting links to Kickstarters should be a universal right and added to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights... I was replying specifically to your previous comment of (paraphrasing): "There are rules. Follow them blindly and do not suggest any changes."



joetaco wrote:
I call, who was punished? Which user was punished for breaking the rules and posting links?

Are you sure that this user didn't just get their thread deleted? or maybe just a PM from a moderator telling them not to do it again?


A user was trying to spread information, and the rule prevented the intended spread of information by causing the thread to be deleted.

If I spent my time building a nice sign for my garage sale and it got deleted, I wasn't kicked out of the community, but my sign got deleted. I consider that "punishment".

Not only that, but it also "punishes" all users who want to come to my garage by forcing them to drive over to this other area where I'm allowed to put up a sign with a map to my garage sale.

We could argue about the definition of "punishment", but my point is that it is having negative consequences for user of the site.
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KevBelisle wrote:
Problem is, the rule IS punishing users trying to spread information.

The problem is that kickstarter backers are systematically provided incentives (in the form of stretch goals) to spam as much as they can get away with. It's classic pyramid scheme architecture, and if it were allowed without restriction the usefulness of this site for anything else would come to an end. I don't use Kickstarter, never have and never will, but I am a gamer and eternally grateful to BGG for not having let Kickstarter backers overrun the site. If what you proposed were allowed, I'd be out of here because the front page would have nothing but Kickstarter spam.
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tumorous wrote:
Celinashope wrote:
I think everyone gets a one-time press release (in the press release forum).

Here's the pinned crowdfunding thread in the press release forum. I also post crowdfunding round-ups on an irregular basis on BGG News, and I invite people to email me KS projects to cover via the email address in the BGG News header.

We've found that if we don't restrict KS links to particular locations, then they start showing up everywhere: "What's a good light game to teach my family?" "How about Make My Dream A Reality, which is currently funding on KS?" "What are you playing this weekend?" "I'm checking out the print-and-play version of First-Time Gold, which I'm already backing on KS." That gets annoying.

See also this thread: Why the policy about not being allowed to discuss a Kickstarter game?

Oh, I like what this guy wrote there:

tumorous wrote:
ScottE wrote:
So why is talking about a Kickstarter any different then talking about X game that is available in a store?

If I say, "Wow, King of Tokyo looks awesome!" Someone could construe that as promoting the game and can order it immediately on Amazon.

Or I could say "Wow, Dark Things looks awesome!" and that one gets deleted because it's a KS game running currently?

Isn't the whole point of BGG to promote the hobby? We get excited about new games so we want to talk about them. If we have to constantly worry that our excitement over a new game might get our thread deleted then I think something is wrong. I also wonder if a KS game has paid for BGG advertising, do they have more leeway in this sort of thing? The game you mentioned I've not seen any ads here.

It's different because the predominant design of Kickstarter campaigns specifically drives its users to act as marketers. By the progress of the funding and stretch goals, backers are incentivized to "spread the word" and "tell all your friends." Kickstarter is a parasite on social media.

So no, Kickstarter promotional threads are not like other new game interest threads.

It's the difference between a friend hosting a party and a friend hosting a Mary Kay party.





Thank you, the first comment in this whole thread that's actually helpful.
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KevBelisle wrote:
If I spent my time building a nice sign for my garage sale and it got deleted, I wasn't kicked out of the community, but my sign got deleted. I consider that "punishment".

Not only that, but it also "punishes" all users who want to come to my garage by forcing them to drive over to this other area where I'm allowed to put up a sign with a map to my garage sale.

Ok, you like analogies, I'll play along. I'm your neighbor, and I don't want my neighborhood or my nice line of sight from my front porch cluttered up with your yard full of gaudy garage sale signs for somebody else's garage sale across town. We also happen to have a HOA which forbids your ugly signs, and you agreed to that when you moved in.

Quote:
We could argue about the definition of "punishment", but my point is that it is having negative consequences for user of the site.

You fail to realize that other users would be "punished" by the flood of spam that allowing KS links guarantees. Why should KS shills be prioritized over all the other users of this site, hmm?
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grant5 wrote:
Ok, you like analogies, I'll play along. I'm your neighbor, and I don't want my neighborhood or my nice line of sight from my front porch cluttered up with your yard full of gaudy garage sale signs for somebody else's garage sale across town. We also happen to have a HOA which forbids your ugly signs, and you agreed to that when you moved in.


A "yard full" of signs would be spam. I'm not arguing for allowing spam.

And again the "don't question the rules argument"... I've replied to that already.


grant5 wrote:
You fail to realize that other users would be "punished" by the flood of spam that allowing KS links guarantees. Why should KS shills be prioritized over all the other users of this site, hmm?


If "KS shills" are spamming the forums, the spammy comments/threads should be removed, and the "KS shills" punished.

If someone posts relevant, useful information in a thread/comment that happens to include a link to a KS page, deleting the whole thread is, IMO, unnecessary.



I understand that a 0 tolerance rule is much easier to enforce for admins. However, I think it has some negative consequences and should be changed to allow relevant links to Kickstarters to be posted. Heck, have a checkbox similar to the "This is a good post" one when submitting a thread that says "This post includes a link to a KS" and a text box explaining why this particular link is relevant.

Since I seem to be the only person to think the rule is dumb, it probably won't change, so I guess I'll be side-stepping the rule by linking to a thread with a link to the KS.
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As someone who enforces rules let me just say this...

Rules are typically designed to draw a line. Somewhere. A rule isn't really a rule unless there is a line that can be crossed. Thereby creating an issue that breaks said rule. When that rule is broken there are repercussions for that transgression.

...On this most of us can agree...correct?

There has to be rules to govern the otherwise lawless behavior that would exist otherwise. Regardless of whether it's a football game, a business code of conduct, the law, or a board game.

...Still with me?

It's where this line in the sand is drawn that causes all the hoopla. Most people generally agree there needs to be a rule. It's where that line is drawn that people have trouble.

So...

This results inevitably in threads just like this. Someone has tried to micromanage where that line is drawn. They take a specific incident that, in iteself, seems innocuous and unrealistic. And frankly, they may even be correct. However, the line has to be drawn somewhere. No matter where the tipping point is, people will have issue with it. In this case, if you allow the type of post that got a thread deleted, it would placate the OP's author, but in turn offend someone else. Hence, problem is not solved, just transferred.

Bottom line. And I say this with great respect as I do see your side of the agrument...if you feel the rules are unfair be respectful and bring awareness to it...just as you have done here. Keep it civil and see if you can't trumpet the change. If you can not, then move along. If the issue is just too big for you to ignore, consider taking a break for the website.

Keep things relative. Also, nobody's trying to remove a woman's right to vote so using those analogies is just too far off base.

Or you could just continue to go round and round in circles accomplishing nothing more than slowly eroding the credibility of the original topic.

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Maddest Hatter wrote:
*snipped for brevity*

Bottom line. And I say this with great respect as I do see your side of the agrument...if you feel the rules are unfair be respectful and bring awareness to it...just as you have done here. Keep it civil and see if you can't trumpet the change. If you can not, then move along. If the issue is just too big for you to ignore, consider taking a break for the website.

Keep things relative. Also, nobody's trying to remove a woman's right to vote so using those analogies is just too far off base.

Or you could just continue to go round and round in circles accomplishing nothing more than slowly eroding the credibility of the original topic.


That was an eloquent and thoughtful way of explaining the situation.

I understand where the rule comes from, and why the line was drawn where it was. I think it should be moved a little and blurred a bit, but it doesn't seem like it will be so I will be moving on.

I'm sorry if any of my responses came off as un-civil, it wasn't my intention. As for the comparions to woman's rights, the goal wasn't to compare the ban on KS links to woman's rights. It was simply a way to illustrate the ridiculousness of the "there are rules, follow them" "argument" that gets thrown around whenever someone questions an established rule.
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KevBelisle wrote:
grant5 wrote:
Ok, you like analogies, I'll play along. I'm your neighbor, and I don't want my neighborhood or my nice line of sight from my front porch cluttered up with your yard full of gaudy garage sale signs for somebody else's garage sale across town. We also happen to have a HOA which forbids your ugly signs, and you agreed to that when you moved in.


A "yard full" of signs would be spam. I'm not arguing for allowing spam.

And again the "don't question the rules argument"... I've replied to that already.


grant5 wrote:
You fail to realize that other users would be "punished" by the flood of spam that allowing KS links guarantees. Why should KS shills be prioritized over all the other users of this site, hmm?


If "KS shills" are spamming the forums, the spammy comments/threads should be removed, and the "KS shills" punished.

If someone posts relevant, useful information in a thread/comment that happens to include a link to a KS page, deleting the whole thread is, IMO, unnecessary.



I understand that a 0 tolerance rule is much easier to enforce for admins. However, I think it has some negative consequences and should be changed to allow relevant links to Kickstarters to be posted. Heck, have a checkbox similar to the "This is a good post" one when submitting a thread that says "This post includes a link to a KS" and a text box explaining why this particular link is relevant.

Since I seem to be the only person to think the rule is dumb, it probably won't change, so I guess I'll be side-stepping the rule by linking to a thread with a link to the KS.

Oh, ok, that makes sense. I didn't realize you were advocating for the appointing of a Grand Arbiter of Determining What Constitutes Spammy Comments.

I thought you were just suggesting that the admins magically know which posts YOU thought were ok and allow them, but that would be crazy, so I'm glad you weren't suggesting THAT.

But you're absolutely right. Once we have a Grand Arbiter in place they'll sort all this right out.
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grant5 wrote:
But you're absolutely right. Once we have a Grand Arbiter in place they'll sort all this right out.

Your Grand Arbiter has been here for years:

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Sphere wrote:
grant5 wrote:
But you're absolutely right. Once we have a Grand Arbiter in place they'll sort all this right out.

Your Grand Arbiter has been here for years:

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He has a difficult and largely thankless job, and he does it well.


QFT.
 
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KevBelisle wrote:
MAJBrown22 wrote:
joetaco wrote:
KevBelisle wrote:


This is like saying you can have a garage sale and put up flyers in the neighborhood, but don't you dare put an arrow on your flyers pointing people in the right direction!!


Not quite.

BGG provides a place for people to post a Kickstarter link, or garage sale listing. Because BGG has provided the community this place to find garage sales, they ask that you not put signs everywhere. Likewise, they ask people who have gone to that yard sale to not put signs up either.

Exactly. Post a link in the Kickstarter thread and then link that post in the forums. People have demonsstrated time and time again that if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile.


Ok, let me get this straight...

- A link to a KS is bad.
- A link to a link to a KS is ok.


That's fun.
Makes sense to me. The former will result in the link to the kickstarter being spammed all over the forums. The latter will result in the link to the kickstarter being posted in only one place.

Pete (thinks that makes prefect sense)
 
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plezercruz wrote:
Makes sense to me. The former will result in the link to the kickstarter being spammed all over the forums. The latter will result in the link to the kickstarter being posted in only one place.

Pete (thinks that makes prefect sense)


So spamming a link is ok if it's a link to a thread on BGG, but it's not ok if it's a link to a KS page?

IMO, the bad part is the spam, the fact that it's a link to a KS page or not is irrelevant. Therefore, ideally, spam should get removed (even if it's to a BGG thread), but a non-spammy link (even to KS) is ok.

I understand that the blanket ban is because a non-blanket ban is too much work to enforce. However, saying it makes perfect sens that a link to a KS is inherently bad makes no sens.
 
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KevBelisle wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
Makes sense to me. The former will result in the link to the kickstarter being spammed all over the forums. The latter will result in the link to the kickstarter being posted in only one place.

Pete (thinks that makes prefect sense)


So spamming a link is ok if it's a link to a thread on BGG, but it's not ok if it's a link to a KS page?

IMO, the bad part is the spam, the fact that it's a link to a KS page or not is irrelevant. Therefore, ideally, spam should get removed (even if it's to a BGG thread), but a non-spammy link (even to KS) is ok.

I understand that the blanket ban is because a non-blanket ban is too much work to enforce. However, saying it makes perfect sens that a link to a KS is inherently bad makes no sens.
You'll probably get moderated if you spam links to a KS thread too, but I think that people are a lot less likely to do it.

Pete (thinks the blanket ban works just fine)
 
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plezercruz wrote:
Pete (thinks that makes prefect sense)


plezercruz wrote:
Pete (thinks the blanket ban works just fine)


I see you've adjusted your thoughts.


It works just fine in the sens that it prevents spam of KS links. It has the side effect of also preventing relevent, appropriate, non-spammy KS links.

You all seem totally ok with the ban on KS links, so it won't change. But don't act like my proposition was some far fetched crazy idea. I'm arguing that the line could be moved a little in one direction. It could also be moved in the other direction (eg: ban all links to external sites).

The volume is at 7, I'm saying it could be lowered to 6, not that we should stop the music completely or install a second stereo system and blast them both at 11.
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