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Rules of conduct

Super Contributor

What are the rules of conduct for TechNet forums? I feel like a dentist (pulling teeth) trying to get basic information about the forum (i.e. rules of conduct, reporting problems, etc.)

John

9 Replies
Yeah, that's what I wanted although I still don't see any link in the "lounge" to point me there.

Nonetheless, it answers my question. Apparently MVPs get a free pass on posting advertisements, not something I would consider "kosher" for a community forum.

@John-project 

Yes you are right, please see in this space ( KBs )

Zrzut ekranu 2022-03-20 212254.png

Andrzej1,
Wow, they sure buried that one. In every other forum I've ever joined/participated, the rules of conduct are front and center.
But, thanks for helping the "blind" to find the light.
John

@John-project Hello!

 

Just as a reminder, this is the Tech Community and not the TechNet forums.

 

Yes, as part of the agreement MVPs have made with Microsoft, they are allowed to post links to their own blog content, which we don't allow for end users. That does not apply for other external links such as advertisements.

 

We appreciate the feedback and sorry it was difficult for you to find that content. If you go here and click the KBs tab, you'll find all the relevant information, but we'll take the visibility into account as we look into updates and changes.

 

Eric,
Since the TechNet forums were closed, I considered the Tech Community forums to be the replacement, but yes, my terminology is probably dated.

I guess I'm a little confused about what can and cannot be posted by MVPs. The Code of Conduct says MVPs can "promote their 3rd party content". That appears to allow advertising if their "content" includes offers for their products/services. Am I misinterpreting that?

John

@John-project Sorry if the rules aren't worded clear enough - we can certainly look into that for the future. However, we have not seen instances of MVPs posting anything other than their blog content.

 

Do you have specific examples of MVPs posting ads for their products and services?

 

If you see an instance of an MVP posting an ad, please let us know as that is not the intent here.

Eric,
This all started when I first saw Vadim Gerya post an unsolicited item to the Project Answers forum for a Project add-in. Since Vadim had never responded to any user questions on that forum, it looked like a plug for a product he owns. As a moderator on that forum I deleted his post and reported to the forum owner who reviewed my action and agreed it looked like advertising.

Then over this past weekend I saw Vadim respond to a few posts on the Project section of the Tech Community forum with his suggestion for the user and that suggestion also included a link to his website where his add-in is shown. I called him on it as I felt it was out-of-bed with the intent of the forum. That's when I searched for the forum code of conduct and found the dos and don'ts. Vadim has since deleted his references to his website. Here is an example:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/servicedescriptions/project-online-service-description/pr...

Just for reference, I've been responding to Project user questions on Newsgroup, TechNet and Answers forums for close to 2 decades. I was an Project MVP for several of those years. It was (and is) my feeling that the intent of forums is to provide free help without self-promoting products or services. If someone (MVP or other) has a long history of providing that help, I don't feel an occasional "plug" violates the forum intent but if a new responder joins a forum and immediately starts plugging something, (their own or some else's), I feel they are out of line with the intent.
John
best response confirmed by John-project (Super Contributor)
Solution

@John-project Thanks for the additional context.

 

As stated, we understand that we should clarify those rules a little further for MVP involvement and we'll look into doing so.

 

However, Vadim Gerya is not a current MVP and any exemptions for MVP content only apply to current MVPs. Current MVPs have a green ring around their profile and are listed on mvp.microsoft.com. They did not misrepresent themselves as in their profile they indicate they were a Project MVP from 2010-2017. 

 

That said, if you see content that looks like advertisements, feel free to click "Report Inappropriate Post," and we will look into it.

 

The intent of that rule - and as stated, we'll look into clarifying the text of the code of conduct - is to allow MVPs to share technical content and yes, there is some element of self-promotion in that it cross-links to their blogs, but the point should be more along the lines of, "Help solve this problem using this blog," rather than, "Hire me for my IT services." But even sharing the blog content only applies to current MVPs.