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A sensible conversation about referral codes in signatures.

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Fiver, Oct 16, 2016.

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Should Referral Codes be Allowed in Signatures.

  1. Yes

    18 vote(s)
    78.3%
  2. No

    5 vote(s)
    21.7%
  1. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    I would like to start this by saying I fully agree with the policy of "No new threads promoting personal referral codes". There is a single authorized thread where people are allowed to pump their codes and what not and it's fine.

    That being said, (and please correct me if I'm wrong), but people are allowed to promote any other kind of web link in their signatures right? How is a simple: "Save $1000 on a new Tesla using this link: <link> " in a signature any different? Much like the banner ads at the top and bottom of this site, most people just tune out signatures anyway.
    A referral code benefits Tesla, the code user, and the code supplier. There really is no downside to these, after all they come from the company that is the reason we have this forum to begin with.

    If anything, allowing referrals in signatures frees up mods to focus on things actually distracting from the quality of the site.

    I was just wondering what the cause for the policy as it stands is.
     
  2. Ormond

    Ormond Member

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    :)I have it in my signature.
     
  3. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    #3 Fiver, Oct 16, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
    I had it in mine as well for 2 months until a mod told me to remove it and informed me that there was a "no referral codes in signatures" policy, which was the first I'd heard of it. I changed the link to a rickroll for awhile after that, but then I just removed it after getting another notice.

    As mentioned above, I don't see any problem with people putting referral codes in their signatures, but if it's officially a no, then half enforcing it doesn't seem fair.
     
  4. mblakele

    mblakele radial cross member

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    Mar 7, 2016
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    There's a link to the Terms Of Use at the bottom of every page. If I'm interpreting correctly, this language barring advertising is also meant to apply to referral codes.

    Please note that advertisements, chain letters, pyramid schemes, and solicitations are very inappropriate on this forum. If you are interested in advertising on TeslaMotorsClub, please Contact Us.

    ...

    You agree to not use the Service to:

    ...

    g. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation, except in those areas that are designated for such purpose;

    It's easy to see why this policy exists. TMC takes advertising, so TMC has a direct interest in excluding unpaid advertising. TMC also benefits from a user community, and users won't hang around if there's too much spam. Of course there's also room to propose changes like "no, referral links in signatures aren't really advertising — let's allow them". Or maybe allow links by members who pay for the privilege.

    Personally I wouldn't change the policy, because referral links in signatures seem like advertising to me. It's worst when a referral link follows a "me too" post, adding nothing to the thread except for a referral link. That smells spammy and adds noise to the forum. When I see a lot of posts like this from one person, I reach for the "ignore" button: chances are I'm not interested in anything that person posts.

    If the policy remains as is, could we do anything about uneven enforcement? It's something of a "broken windows" problem: if I see someone posting with a referral link I'm more likely to add my own. At the same time moderators shouldn't have to waste their time policing signatures, and it would take a massive effort to enforce the policy universally. Instead I'd suggest trying a couple of small changes that could help enforce the policy passively, without making more work for mods.

    First I'd add a friendly reminder of the policy right on the "edit signature" page. I suspect that would help quite a bit: who has the TOU memorized?

    Then I'd add a CSS rule that hides the most obvious links, something like: .signature a[href^="http://ts.la/"] { display: none !important; }. Make sure it applies to the "edit signature" page too. Anyone who previews the link in their signature would notice that it doesn't appear, and then maybe they'd notice the policy reminder on the same page. Either way the link won't display.

    I think those changes would take care of most of the problem. Probably a small number of users would ignore the policy and try to work around the CSS. But I think abuses like this would be rare, because they would stick out like a sore thumb. That should make the policy much easier to enforce. Overall the result ought to be happier mods and happier users.
     
  5. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    I think the word you meant is "pimp" and not "pump"? That's how I look at referral code's in signatures. To me, it's just a few rungs up the ladder from standing on the center curb on a left turn light with a sign and your hand out for motorists. Of course, we can ignore them, but just having them there is annoying.
     
  6. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    Messages:
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    California
    I always thought that the referral code should be used by someone who personally recruited a new Tesla buyer by giving a test drive and information about the car.
    I don't think it should be used by some random person who was planning to buy the car anyway and just wanted to save the money. Using a referral code this way is abuse of the system. It just costs Tesla lost revenue and doesn't do anything to recruit new buyers.
    If you're willing to put the time into finding new buyers, then the referral code serves its purpose and rewards the new buy and the provider of the code.
    Just advertising the code for random people to use seems counter to the intent of the program.
    I don't think anyone should advertise their code anywhere.
     
    • Like x 2
  7. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    #7 Fiver, Oct 16, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
    Regarding the top part. I wouldn't consider this advertising as we are essentially trying to win a prize. Taken at face value if anything these "prizes" cost the winner money as we are supposed to pay taxes on the higher value winnings (rims).

    Second, while I can understand the unpaid advertisement concept, & you consider referrals advertising, then you are opposed to the promotion of the company that is the reason this entire forum exists? It's a gray area. Is it advertising if there's no financial gain?

    By your definition, links to any external website can constitute advertising and should be banned. Also I'm not sure about your comment about "me too" posts, as they are signatures, not threads or dedicated forum posts about referrals.


    My point is, outside of a software solution (which was mentioned above) this isn't enforceable. It's unfair that some fly under the radar, while others are reprimanded for it. In fact, the fact that so many can fly under the radar really shows how it's not a problem at all.

    /edit Also based on the poll so far, many agree with me.

    /edit 2. It would not be hard to add a line in the terms and conditions that simply say Tesla referral codes are allowed in signatures and the referral code thread & not allowed anywhere else.
     
  8. Reeler

    Reeler 6 Years of Pure EV

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    It is sporadically enforced. If they are banned, a couple lines of code should be added to the signature function to make sure they don't slip through.
     
  9. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    How is the link in your signature any different? It basically is a way to drive traffic to your referral code.
     
  10. Reeler

    Reeler 6 Years of Pure EV

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    Almost every site providing information also mentions a referral code. I saw a referral code on Teslarati and Electrek today alone. If they were to ban in the signature any site related to Tesla that included a referral code, they would in essence ban all links in signature blocks.
     
  11. Fiver

    Fiver Member

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    Which kind of validates my point that they should be allowed. You can't effectively ban them as they are essentially everywhere.
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Please remove it. All of you.
     
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