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I've just commented on three recent 3d-related questions, to encourage people to visit a proposal on Area 51 that I'm eager to see created, but then wondered if this might seem spamming...

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2892511/how-should-i-start-playing-with-3d
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3188780/maya-programming-separating-attributes-into-sections-in-the-attribute-editor
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2109400/mapping-texture-to-3d-objects-in-a-batch-process-on-the-server

I have specifically not used my own referral link for these, but is this acceptable promotion, or frowned upon?

(If it is ok, presumably resurrecting ancient questions is still bad - how far back would be considered fair to go? A week, a month, a quarter?)

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2 Answers 2

This is more of "here's what I've been doing" than "here's the correct approach", but:

Only in circumstances where I think an A51 Proposal is the best answer to the OP:

  • "Where the heck can I ask about my iPad?"
  • "I have a crazy programming question, but only speak Persian, and this machine translator can't handle my awesome code. Thoughts?"
  • "Is there anywhere I can ask fake questions about what to do when the Zombie Apocalypse befalls us? They keep getting shut down on all three trilogy sitges for no reason!"
  • etc.

I link to the relevant A51 proposal.

And I do use referral links, with a clear disclosure indicating so. I'll stop if that's inappropriate, but thought it was almost the ideal referral:

As the weighting system reflects, Trilogy users are deemed a better indicator of useful commitment. I'd think a (regular) trilogy user who is actively looking for a place to ask about an A51 topic is a near perfect referral.

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I think this agrees with what Grace is saying, and makes sense really. Though it'd be nice if there was a way to auto-link to related proposals to generate more initial interest in A51, maybe via tag pages. –  Peter Boughton Jul 7 '10 at 13:38
    
Not a good idea, @Peter. A proposal is not solid, and not a guarantee. Considering the support behind the Web Apps site, even Jeff says "For one thing, we don't even know if the site will survive public beta". Tying something so faint to something as core in the mechanical system as the tags is unwise. You can consider linking it in your About Me section or as your profile's website, though. –  Grace Note Jul 7 '10 at 13:41
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Well it wouldn't need to change the core tags stuff, it'd could just be a temporary extra link on the tags page (maybe similar to sponsored tags - can't remember how that's done?). Perhaps limited to public beta proposals only, so there is at least some level of probably of survival. –  Peter Boughton Jul 7 '10 at 13:53
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(But yeah, I'll go add to the About Me section... again, would be nice to have an option "show followed/committed proposals in profile" to make that just a slight bit easier.) –  Peter Boughton Jul 7 '10 at 13:54

I think it's good to promote the proposal, and I know that for example, with all of the proposals that cover topics that are off-topic on SU, a lot of visibility is being given for those in response to off-topic questions. But I don't recommend tossing it willy-nilly into every related post. Treat this just as you would advertisement of your commercial products. Some related reading:

In summary, don't be indiscriminate in your posting, always be applicable to the actual question, and do not copy-paste some bland block. Since you're performing this through comments instead of answers, you have less to work on since you're not giving an answer, but you should do your best to try and do your promotion as part of a helping measure, not summat as a general tangent of "Hey, you look like you might like 3D stuff. Check this proposal out!".

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That seems fair enough, and combined with jaydies examples is a good guide I'll try to follow. –  Peter Boughton Jul 7 '10 at 13:35

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