Hi Rohit. I'm not an admin or a mod here so please accept my thoughts as those from an outside observer.
Ideally, you're not supposed to share your own posts. Rand (co-founder) said so in an interview. He said:
"If you’re submitting 1/100 things you produce, that’s fine. If it’s
closer to 1/10, that’s probably crossing a line. We don’t currently
ban/remove for self-promotion or self-submissions, but we will ban
accounts that consistently submit low-quality stuff (from anywhere)."
That's from a year ago. However, I understand the mods are now banning/removing self-promoted content. So if everything you're sharing is from techtage.com (which it seems like it is, based on some of your recent shares that I've seen), then that's the problem.
Additionally, there was a recent study that discovered that about 50-60% of Inbound.org submissions never receive more than the 1 upvote (the number they start with). So if a user shares stuff and about 90%+ has high single digits or even double digits, I think that might raise suspicion, too. There's one guy (who shall remain nameless) whose every submission gets about 10 upvotes - I'm sorry, but no one's content is every successively THAT good (unless they're moz.com or something). So I think that may be raising suspicion, too.
"There's one guy (who shall remain nameless) whose every submission gets about 10 upvotes - I'm sorry, but no one's content is every successively THAT good"
I know exactly who you are talking about :) haha
"There are 1054 posts on my site and only 5-6 are SEO-related." I think you took it the wrong way. Yes you've written a lot of posts already but they're on a wide range of topics outside of Inbound Marketing. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems you've just started writing about SEO recently and have been self-submitting most, if not all, of them here.
1. That's exactly what I meant.
2. Yeah, though I've long had a deep interest in SEO / online marketing, but have started writing posts only this year.
3. I'm not 'only' self-submitting. I've already described the actual issue in another comment. I quote:
"I don't always come across GREAT content that I can't resist sharing. However, in most cases someone beats me to reading and submitting it here. When I submit good (but not extra-ordinary) content from any site, it quickly gets flagged and removed. Now, it's kind of like something that I've no control over that some of my own articles tend to do well here. So, those tend to stay here. Users suspect that I'm submitting my own stuff only. That's unfortunately a bad consequence to what I experience."
You misunderstand. It's the number that you have shared on Inbound.org as a user.
So at the moment (disregarding the ones you've had removed), you have shared 2 from techtage (your site), 1 discussion and 1 other, so 50% of everything you've submitted to Inbound.org is your own, and Rand's suggesting that it should only be 10% (as a maximum) but ideally closer to 1%.
I won't say much (mostly because Steve Morgan did a superb job answering this Q), but I did flag this because of the comments. There was 5-6 of them all saying something like "great post! :)" and it looked very artificial.
My bad about slow/no replies. I've been doing a lot of travelling recently (stepped off a plane today, getting home this evening). Sorry.
One thing I have noticed in the past 2-3 weeks is a lot more posts being flagged (this one included!) without any obvious means but tweets/emails RE: voting rings have picked up.
Moderators do take care, but it's up to them individually to make decisions about what to delete or unflag. We see it all highlighted in red. It's in the guidelines, but certain triggers include:
- Self-submission, especially if it's repeated
- Crap content
- Basic 'seen it before' content. This is a news site - our regular users want new, interesting ideas and things to try out, not the same old 'social media 101'.
- Overtly commercial. Thinly disguised affiliate reviews especially.
The community is growing, and we're still learning as a moderator team. We're probably due some updates due to the Community Guidelines, and making every new member read these (or a shortened version) before posting. Something re: commercial content and trying to game the rankings might be useful.Answering some of the other questions:
If everybody just posted their own links, the community wouldn't be what it is. A general rule - for any post of any kind - if everyone was posting links like this all the time on Inbound, would it make it a better place?
The current system is a little broken in terms of a) communicating it's not cool and b) 'pricing' a self-submission [add a cost, perhaps karma?]. I'd love to tie in submissions with rel author and reward writers in the space for their works. Perhaps they could earn karma with each upvote of their article? This opens a can of worms ... but in principle it could work.
2. Communication when something is deleted
Yup, this is a good call. We should send a notification and we can easily tie this in with the flagging mechanism already in place
3. Duplicate Submissions
Yeah, sorry. It's a feckin' pain. We'll get it fixed. One of the issues we've been fixing recently has been the duplicates with ?utmsource parameters added by GA tracking codes, together with www. vs. non-www. versions and a couple of other different versions. There's a lot of different use cases, but I agree we're not doing a good enough job yet of checking against existing submissions. :(
Thanks for joining in!
Thanks for the honest replies, Ed. Another thing that I think is burning out some of us older and more loyal users is the paucity of voting members. On many days the front page changes very little, while many very worthwhile posts go by in incoming with no one upvoting them. It gets tiresome to submit great, newsbreaking posts and most of the time have them never get upvoted.
Don't know what the solution is, but it's a problem.
Me too. I get saddened when people don't also upvote stuff I submitted. There will always be a bit of that (if everything had all the attention, nothing would) but there's a couple of things in the roadmap to start work on that.
One idea that could work is highlighting and/or notifying you of posts in Incoming which might suit your interests (from previous activity, subscribing to tags or something like that). That idea in particular is interesting because it draws attention to the new.
How about showing the incoming page to the new visitor instead of hottest articles?
Then the good articles (already upvoted) won't get get the attention they deserve and spammers would be happier.
Regarding self-submissions, and without sounding bitter, I think most of the people who self-submit won't even ask that question. They don't care about making Inbound.org a better place - they only care about getting more clicks/traffic to their websites. It's purely for selfish reasons.
Regarding duplicates, I'm seeing times when it's 100% exactly the same URL being shared a separate time (i.e. it's nothing to do with www. vs non-www. or parameters). Just a heads-up...
Most of that self-submitting behaviour is somewhat predictable. Catchall algorithms are on the roadmap, but it's difficult to avoid snaring the good stuff in with the bad.
Duplicates... we're on it right now :)
"Users suspect that I'm submitting my own stuff only."
But... you do.
Aside from this discussion, you've only ever shared one article that isn't your own. So users not only suspect it - they know it...
What Rohit's saying is that's what it looks like, because his other submissions have been removed.
Mods only use their own judgement. We don't show them the number of times something's been flagged, just that it has been flagged.
Was wondering about the same. Submitted a post yesterday, got about 8 upvotes and woke up in the morning to saw it removed. Had to submit it again: http://www.inbound.org/articles/view/25-stats-about-conversion-rate-optimization-and-a-b-testing
Hmm... It's pretty annoying. I didn't re-submit any of my removed posts though. Would love to hear what moderators/administrators have to say about this.
Ed Fry is too busy I think, as a moderator he should answer the community members quires. He himself posted a article i.e. http://www.inbound.org/articles/view/how-to-create-a-cool-heat-map-like-avinash-showed-at-mozcon & I added an issue related to the site but as usual no response from him.
I am sure he has a lot of work to do, given the number of flags and submission each day. Why not look at adding a couple of mods to the site?
There are mods on the site, quite a few from what I understand. But I think they're all part-time or in-their-own-time, and maybe they've become too busy as well.
TBH, never heard of anyone apart from Ed. The biggest problem IMO is lack of communication. When a submission is deleted, the author should be informed about the reason. This will help reduce confusion and stop the members from committing the same mistake twice.
I would've thought that the only reason a submission is deleted is because it's received too many flags, which is usually because it's a) irrelevant or b) it's assumed to have been self-promoted and/or manipulatively upvoted. I don't know any other reason how or why a post would be deleted...
I am one of the moderators, and can only speak for myself. I've been removing a lot of duplicate submissions lately (the -1 at the end of the Inbound URL makes them easy to find, and I verify that it is in fact duplicate before removing). I usually don't remove if the later submission has gotten some traction and comments, however.
We can look through logs and see who voted on which items, and we do see some fishy activity fairly regularly -- user submitting an item, then two or three brand new users create accounts and upvote only that item. Those are likely to get flagged and possibly removed.
I'll send Ed an email and ask if he can chime in. I know he was busy in transit for a while, coming to/from MozCon.
Did something change recently with the way Inbound handles submissions? Starting a month or so ago I started seeing a lot of duplicate submissions in Incoming, and even occasionally the same content twice on the Hot page, from different submitters. It used to be the case that if you submitted something after someone else, your submission was counted as an upvote for the original. Has that changed? If so, I don't think it was a change for the better.
Yeh, I've found that when I submit articles to the site it sometimes duplicates them. This happened a few days ago when I submitted an article from the WordStream blog and I saw it appear around 5 different times with unique URLs?
This mostly happens with auto-generated/added URL parameters by feed readers and other sources. Most probably wouldn't bother or notice these in the URLs hence thinking they're the ones who have submitted the article first.
Basically, if I'm right you can try adding a question mark at the end of the URL of an already submitted post and resubmit it as a duplicate. This is probably already in the pipeline of upcoming fixes.
Hey Bibiano, Yes, I've noticed that this happens, however, even when I've added the URL without any parameters it has appeared duplicated - in one case I accidentally added the page twice myself (with the same URL).
Same here... left a comment above about it (as I hadn't seen the ones down here - sorry!)
they are ghosting inbound articles like they do Craigslist ads perhaps?
If you're looking for another thing to fix, you should also follow 301/302 redirects of submitted URLs.
I've noticed a number of people submitting shortened URLs, which I personally hate because I can't see the domain the content is on but it also provides a mechanism to spam Inbound since it is technically a 'different' URL.
Check out http://www.inbound.org/users/view/bibekpokharel, each of the articles submitted are for http://www.zerobulletin.com.
While there are tons of things that can be improved here in inbound, I still like the quality of the contents that are published here. I personally would love to see the vote down button though.
Agree with you about the contents being posted here.
<a href="http://www.inbound.org/articles/view/7-advanced-ways-to-drastically-improve-your-on-page-seo-efforts">Inbound.org Thread</a><a href="http://techtage.com/2013/07/7-advanced-ways-to-drastically-improve-your-on-page-seo-efforts/">Original Post</a>
It's a terrible post imho....I would have down voted it. This would have been a good post 13 years ago maybe.
You'd be free to down vote it if such an option existed.Fortunately for me, there are more people in the Inbound.org community with better activity and behaviour/attitude than you.
A while ago I had a post removed which had 10 up votes, because some one complained I had affiliate links on my site. Could be a reason why? If you have heavy advertising or affiliate links, but yeah all it takes is some complaints. But further to that I would watch submitting your own content as they have rules around self promotion. I am not a moderator but so better to ask Ed Fry.
Tweeted to Ed Fry about a similar issue in the past, but got no reply.I'm a new user. And I shared contents from two sites including a site of mine. I make sure I share the good stuff only. And good stuff from popular sites are already posted by one member or another in most cases. I was surprised to see even a QuickSprout post (that I had submitted) removed.No idea about advertising / affiliate linking.
Don't know regarding quick sprout article but a quick look at the rules, RULE #3 - DON'T (JUST) SUBMIT YOUR OWN STUFF, I don't even submit my own content any more if its good people will pick it up and do it for you. but yeah possibly email Ed Fry rather than tweeting if no reply. Hope you get it sorted.
I don't think there's any rule that specifies that you can't post your own content. After all, if it doesn't allow self-posting, then small blogs without a big reach would never have their content on Inbound even if they post great stuff. I guess the whole idea behind Inbound is to promote what's good (around the web, about inbound marketing).
"I don't think there's any rule that specifies that you can't post your own content."
There are (unofficially, albeit from one of the founders of the site nonetheless). Please refer to my lengthier comment below.
The link I shared had no affiliate links or ads, but yes, it was my "own stuff". However, I've been sharing from some other sites too. I've seen a few other members sharing their own content but it ends up fine, so not sure if this is the reason why my submission was removed.
Are we seeing flag bots? Has flagging activity changed greatly? I'm also seeing the duplicate issue every now and then.
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