Wiki Community/For Profit Restrictions


When [wikispot]Wiki Spot (the host for Davis Wiki) became a 501(c)(3) non-profit (in Dec 2009) some new guidelines for what was appropriate content for wiki pages came along with it. See [wikispot]Community Guidelines/Business promotion questions for the Wiki Spot list of questions and answers.

The Wiki Spot terms of service state:

For-profit businesses are always free to contribute, respond, and help maintain pages 
about their business on a wiki. These pages are maintained by the community as a whole,
and the pages should be written in the voice of the community, not in the voice of the
business. Pages about businesses should serve to inform and teach the community as a
whole, not promote a particular for-profit business.

What's this mean? This means that adding stuff like promotional material (without any
other value, e.g. it's not historical, newsworthy or otherwise interesting) and
advertising is generally not okay on pages about for-profit businesses. We tend to
consider things like long product price lists to be promotional in nature, but there are

Historically Davis Wiki had always tried to keep pages from becoming too commercial in nature. Good information about businesses was always valued, but when pages started reading like advertisements instead of informational pages then they were marked with the Advert marker.

Keep in mind that business owners are still totally allowed to participate in all aspects of the wiki! And that's what makes all our pages so great. In this case, they simply can't upload like crazy giant logos that flash or write things like "COME TO OUR STORE!!!" We, as a community, usually edit that kind of stuff out anyway.

Problem Entries

List of pages that are currently tagged with the Advert include:

Discussion surrounding guideline

When is the 'promotional' line crossed?

For now- go with your gut.

Some possible indicators: Written in the first person instead of third person. Too much bold. Lots of exclamation marks. Inviting you to come to the store or what-have-you. Lots of over-the-top adjectives not counterbalanced with anything remotely negative. Glossy pictures that look nothing like what an ordinary community member would take. —CovertProfessor

What's definitely not okay?

Overt advertising generally isn't okay unless it's historical or educational (e.g. recording history). Long price lists aren't usually okay.

How about menus on restaurant pages?

Good question! We're still discussing that. Have thoughts? They're useful to some folks.

2010-06-07 15:44:49   I think having restaurant menus on the wiki is awesome! That much, at least, doesn't seem like advertising to me. —ScottMeehleib

2010-06-07 16:40:37   Where do you draw the line between a restaurant menu and a long price list? Aren't they essentially the exact same thing? Don't get me wrong, a restaurant menu appeals to me far more than a salon "menu," but I'm not sure where or how you make the distinction. —TomGarberson

Thoughts, questions?

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2010-07-06 15:15:35   could somebody help me by pointing out what exactly on the Graduate Movers page makes it cross the advert line? Is it the customer reviews? Because we didn't even put those up to begin with, a wiki happy customer did. If someone could take a look and help us out that would be great.

as for the Restaurant pages as someone who has a pretty specific dietary practice in a town full of people like who do, menus and even ingredients info would be amazingly informative. As long as it isn't written too provocatively, trying to make mouths water and such. —Joy&Taylor

2011-07-11 18:29:06   How is Fiesta DanceN'Fitness's page specifically adverty? To quote CP, "I do think that a salon page should have all of its services listed, and perhaps services not offered, if that would be helpful". In this case there is a list of dance classes offered but not the prices, and the list is so extensive that it is the same as calling a restaurant and asking them to read the menu. What specifically can editors do to make this page less of an advertisement? It seems purely informational to me. Thanks! —LilyS

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