-11

I'm just getting a hot discussion with @Frank and @SevenSidedDie who are old guys on arQAde, which I suggest solely by their rating.

There is a number of questions regarding inability to upload arbitrary screenshots to the Steam Cloud. It is a common problem. I made a free cross-platform tool, which significantly simplifies this process and posted a link to it in three answers to three different questions (one is mine). Here they are:

How do I upload old screenshots taken with traditional methods to Steam?

New way to upload custom screenshots to Steam

Is it possible to take Steam screenshots without using the in-game overlay?

The answers are slightly different in composition, but basically the same: the name of a tool, the link, the screenshot. Screenshot is quite self-descriptive and I am sure no manual needed. On other network sites no one asks for a manual if someone suggests a program in his answer.

Then here comes @Frank and then @SevenSidedDie who started to convince me that I'm a "self-promoting spammer". Our discussion in comments to one of my answers went to nowhere, since they failed to convince me, that my actions are qualified as spam, and I didn't convinced that they're not. @Frank then said that he's actually spam-marked my posts.

I really don't know how to do it in non-self-promoting and non-spammer way and nobody explained to me how this can be achieved.

So what? Am I a spammer or old guys are excessively harsh to me?

  • 2
    Did you not read what either of us said? Just because your program solves the problem doesn't automatically mean it's allowed. You need to both edit each answer to specifically solve the problem, and ensure the majority of your answers don't promote your product. – Frank Sep 29 '16 at 17:00
  • 4
    To put it another way, each of those questions asks how to solve a slightly different problem. So, your answer to each of those questions should explain how to solve that particular problem using your program. – murgatroid99 Sep 29 '16 at 17:16
  • @murgatroid99 Wrong. The questions are differently worded, but asking about the same: how to upload screenshots to the Steam Cloud, which were taken unofficially. – TranslucentCloud Sep 30 '16 at 16:41
  • As commenters on your answer pointed out, if the questions are in fact the same, they should be closed as duplicates. If you believe that questions are asking exactly the same thing, the correct course of action is to flag them as duplicates, not post identical answers. – murgatroid99 Sep 30 '16 at 16:43
  • I can opt-out of this whole flagging procedure, since it is not mandatory. – TranslucentCloud Sep 30 '16 at 16:45
  • My point was that, if the questions are the same, flagging as duplicate is the correct action, and posting identical answers is not. You are not obligated to cast flags, but if you choose not to, posting identical answers is still not OK. – murgatroid99 Sep 30 '16 at 16:53
  • Well, sorry for disappoint you, but I actually doing this from time to time. This is completely okay. Question viewers flow to the site from different directions, so diverse questions should have all important answers. Not everyone goes to a duplicate and then goes further to find an original question and the genuine answer. Little remark: by saying "identical" I don't mean "exactly identical". That's of course, weird. I mean the same solution, but with slightly different wording. Just like I did here. – TranslucentCloud Sep 30 '16 at 16:53
  • 2
    Slightly different wording is perfect. Tailor your answers to be specific to the question, and we'd have no issues whatsoever. That's what we've been saying from the beginning. It's doing the generic dumping that makes it stray into the spam territory. – Frank Sep 30 '16 at 17:07
  • All of my answers were answering specifically to all of the questions. Specifically. You have yet to prove they're not. Will you be able to prove the answers were an off-topic? – TranslucentCloud Sep 30 '16 at 17:11
  • 1
    I never said they were off-topic. I said they looked like spam, which they did. Out of the two additional answers, you updated one with some instructions, which was good. The other needs the exact same treatment. That's it, that's all. Don't just copy and paste, though; each question is slightly different, so you need to provide instructions on how to use your program to solve the problem. – Frank Sep 30 '16 at 17:13
15

By our technical definition, yes, you are a spammer. You've answered three questions promoting your tool. One of them is even a self answer.

Looking at it in a more positive light...I think there's something there that can be helpful. Just not in their current form. Let's break it down:

  1. You posted three answers in a very short time frame promoting your tool.
  2. None of the answers really described how to use your tool to solve the problem. They're just, "Hey, this tool can do it."
  3. You self-disclosed that you created the tool. This is good.
  4. Attempts to steer you towards providing additional context failed.

Other than point 3, all of these are what spammers do. These can easily be seen as textbook spam answers. Take a look at the link @SevenSidedDie posted, How not to be a spammer:

The community here tends to vote down overt self-promotion and flag it as spam.

The very first sentence tells you what the community generally does. We're very touchy when it comes to spam. It then goes on to show you how you can still promote your products, but you need to meet some guidelines to stay away from our spam sensors:

  • Don't talk about your product / website / book / job too much. Folks will read your answers for their ability to solve a specific problem; if you're good at doing that, then they'll find themselves more interested in who you are and what you're working on. If you respond only to questions where the answer can be something you're selling, they'll assume you're just here to sell.
  • Don't tell - show! The best way to avoid being seen as a snake-oil salesman is to demonstrate a solution rather than simply asserting the problem can be solved.
  • Don't include links except to support what you've written. Links are not a substitute for including information in your answer itself, and links should always be directly relevant to a part of your answer. See also: Your answer is in another castle: when is an answer not an answer?

The vast majority of your answers are now promoting your product. Since you don't have that many, this is already an issue, but can be overlooked, at least a little. The big thing, though, is the second point: Don't tell - show! Attempts were made to guide you toward trying to add in enough information to make it specific to each answer. This is how you can both contribute to Arqade, and still promote your product. By just dumping your product and saying it can solve it, you're not really helping anyone, least of all yourself. Show us how your product can solve the problem. Make it specific! That helps everybody!

We're looking at investment in our community; if you've got a track record of good content, we tend to overlook the occasional promotional post. That's because they've demonstrated their focus isn't on promotion. If you want to promote your tool, that's okay. But do it sparingly. What we have right now are answers that can easily be seen as spam, but can hopefully actually help people, too. We're just trying to nudge you towards being helpful, and not hitting our spam triggers.

  • 1
    I wonder if there are some sane administrators, but hey, this is tiny Stack Exchange offspring, so the "community" is rather small. Here we got this @Frank again... Hopefully in the years ahead it will grow and self-administration will be more diverse and adequate. – TranslucentCloud Sep 30 '16 at 16:39
  • 6
    @TranslucentCloud Frank is not an administrator. He's just a user like you (albeit, with more reputation), as are the people who voted on this meta. This is also not a tiny Stack Exchange offspring. While it certainly doesn't compare to StackOverflow, it's 14th on the network in number of users (96,000) and 9th in traffic (239,000 visits/day). – Sterno Sep 30 '16 at 16:45
  • I not intended, that @Frank is administrator, administrator has a special symbol near his username. I just regret this question was not attended by the one. I wonder what they would say. – TranslucentCloud Sep 30 '16 at 16:49
  • The actual moderators of the site are very good at responding to meta questions if there isn't already an answer that covers their views. But I'll ping a few of them in chat just to make sure they have seen this and have a chance to leave a different answer, if indeed they feel differently about it. – Sterno Sep 30 '16 at 16:50
  • That would be nice of you. You're the first person here I'd like to say thanks. – TranslucentCloud Sep 30 '16 at 16:54
  • 4
    @TranslucentCloud You can tell if someone is a site moderator if they've got little diamond next to their name (like mine, since I'm a moderator), and it'll usually be blue, too. So, with that said: I agree with Frank. Spammer or not, you do look like one since all of posts consists of a link to your application. If you're going to link to an application, especially one you made, it helps if you include instructions on how to use that tool to solve your problem, like you did here. – Wipqozn Sep 30 '16 at 17:06
  • Hello, nice to meet you. So, if you are saying that this answer is in fact not considered as a spam, may we suggest that deleting it was some kind of an act of punishment? If not, why is it has been deleted? What should I, and people, think it was? – TranslucentCloud Sep 30 '16 at 17:14
  • 1
    You deleted that answer. – murgatroid99 Sep 30 '16 at 17:20
  • Yes, that was me. Disregard this. – TranslucentCloud Sep 30 '16 at 17:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .