Friday, August 17, 2007

Permently Banned

I tried to login into the seochat forum this morning to comment on a thread and was greeted by this message:

You do not have permission to access forums, because you are permanently banned.

OUCH! What's odd is that I have no memory of having done anything that's not kosher or of being warned or reprimanded. What's also odd is that this "permanently banning from a forum" actually has an emotional sting to it. Weird.

It did cause me to take stock of my online behavior to see if it's spammy in any sense. Here's a quick list of my forum participations.....

1. Lotsa chat. I picked a forum recently and spent some time on it a few times / week to get my rating up above 50 posts so that my signature links would become active. While fun, the quality of the forum is mixed and I think the links are probably of very marginal value. As I look thru my posts, I think mine are often the most thoughtful and original and show the most research. Others (of mine), particularly in the forums that are "other" or "greeting" new members, my posts are pretty sloppy often missing words in the sentence.

2. Tech support. In our new site,, there's a serious Firefox bug which we have been trying to understand and resolve. To pursue help, I have posted into several tech forums with similar comments. Is this spammy?

Best discussion:

3. And of course, we run our own parents forum which helps parents discuss common areas of interest and get feedback from members (not just us as a vendor). We permit links to competitive and personal sites although there have been a very extreme examples where we had to remove them. We've never banned a real member although there are plenty of extreme spammers that we ban (although since they switch sites constantly) I'm not sure that it does any good.

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