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RFC: Stance on advertising on the list

Hi all;

I wanted to send out an email here with suggested guidelines for
mentioning paid services on this list.  In general I personally think
there is a place for this here, but I don't think any of us want every
request for help to be answered only with offers for paid help.  So I
figured I would offer some thoughts and guidelines for comment and see
what people think.

One of the important features of an open source community is the
ability of people to find service providers that can meet their needs
so that they don't have to do everything themselves.  One aspect of
helping users out may be to suggest paid services from time to time.
The main goal of these guidelines is to ensure we keep things

Here are a few proposed Do's and Dont's.....

*  Feel free to offer paid services to those who need it, integrated
into other helpful tips.  Things like "Here are some ways you can get
going....  On the other hand, if you'd like paid hosting, we can set
it up, and host it for you" is a good thing.  It gives a user a few
options and the user can then decide what to do.

*  Participate in the community in a wide variety of ways.   Users are
generally happier to hire people with track records in the community
than those who simply use the community to only advertise their

* If you want to advertise your paid services in an email signature,
by all means go for it.

* Reply to every request for help with an offer to help for a fee.

* Limit your participation in the community to offering paid help.

* Be uncivil, disrespectful to the rest of the community, etc.

One aspect of keeping a lot of this on the list is that it helps users
out by ensuring some transparency and providing a wide range of
options for going forward.

What do people think?  Any additional guidelines?  Do people like
these or do people think these are the wrong direction?

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers