There are two types of commercial issues that we have to deal with as a community.
The first is a commercial solicitation that has nothing to do with Classroom 2.0, or Web/collaborative tools in education. Any individual or organization coming to our network who is clearly here to advertise a service unrelated to our common discussions will immediately be removed ("banned" in Ning terms) from the network. If you see a member record or come across any material that you feel falls into this category, please email email@example.com and I'll remove the account responsible. You can also do this privately by sending an email through http://classroom20.ning.com/main/index/report, which is also linked at the bottom of every page.
The second type of commercial solicitation requires a more nuanced, but no less definitive policy. These are individuals or companies who have created products or services which are in fact related to our discussions here. We need to have room for these folks to be active participants in the network--not to "pitch" their services, but because they have an interest in helping education and are often former educators who have seen a need that they are trying to fill. We want to encourage their participation because they can both add to regular discussions and can answer questions about their products or services better than anyone else.
If you are representing a commercial product or service that falls in this category, we ask first that you use your real name, and that you join as an individual an not as the "company." We also ask you not to post descriptions or pricing of your services in regular forum discussions or blogs, or in unsolicited personal messages or wall comments. Members who believe they are receiving such messages are encouraged to email me so that I can investigate.
Skip Zilla has set up a "group" for "shameless vendor promotions" where vendors can talk about product or service with all the gusto that you would like. However, if you post this material in the regular public areas, I will remove your account, which also removes all contributions you ever made to the network.
In no circumstance should a commercial entity or ever "friend" someone they are not already in contact with.
Hopefully, this policy balances the role of vendors in a healthy way. Please remember that we do want to encourage you to bring your experience, expertise, and thoughtful contributions to the rich array of discussions here. If a vendor is looking for a way to participate financially or to advertise, there are sponsorship opportunities for the virtual conferences--contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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