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Community Guidelines/Business promotion questions

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For-profit businesses are always free to contribute, respond, and help maintain pages about their business on a wiki. These pages are maintained by the community as a whole, and the pages should be written in the voice of the community, not in the voice of the business. Pages about businesses should serve to inform and teach the community as a whole, not promote a particular for-profit business.

What's this mean? This means that adding stuff like promotional material (without any other value, e.g. it's not historical, newsworthy or otherwise interesting), advertising, and listing of prices is generally not okay on pages about for-profit businesses.

General rule

If something's educational then it is always okay, even if it might otherwise be considered promotional toward a for-profit business. But, hey, you might argue a dirty shoe on the ground is educational. This guideline was crafted to make the IRS happy. So what do they consider educational? "Instruction or training of the individual for the purpose of improving or developing his capabilities or the instruction of the public on subjects useful to the individual and beneficial to the community."

Don't stress over this.


Can business owners/employees of for-profit businesses contribute to the wiki?

Are you kidding? Yes! They can't use a wiki page as a promotional vehicle, though. The voice of the page should be that of the community, not the business. Businesses are free to contribute information of all sorts about their businesses and their businesses' services in an informational, not promotional fashion. One simple thing to look for is if the page is written in the first person, or the third person. Pages that say "We offer the following services" rather than "They offer the following services" need a second look.

Is it ok to list prices for apartments? This is information that isn't easily available elsewhere.

Yes. There is an educational need for that hard-to-obtain information. It also helps consumers.

Can I list items with prices for a for-profit business on that businesses' page?

No. Most businesses have their own websites. Link to their price sheets and so forth!

Can I list items with prices for a non-profit business on that businesses' page? You know... like a thrift store for charity.

Yes. The rules only prohibit using Wiki Spot to promote for-profit businesses.

How about a listing of services on a for-profit business page but without prices?

Yes! Of course! This helps people in your community learn about things that help them!

How about a comparison page that isn't specific to any particular for-profit business with price information?

You mean like [davis]cheap food? Yes, you can totally do that. It's educational. It's also not promoting a for-profit business. It also provides consumer protection.

What about a comment someone makes that includes a price of an item?

Yes, this is generally fine.


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2010-06-06 07:46:57   Can member wikis run paid advertisements for for-profit entities ? —WilliamLewis

Wouldn't that make the member wiki a for-profit organization? Unless they did it via a "suggested donation", but that puts me WAY out of my comfort zone and just speculating on what I've seen done by non-profits. —JabberWokky (I didn't post this here because it was too speculative; I didn't intend it to start an open discussion. It was moved here by Brent. No complaints, but it's lightweight guessing at best.)

I'd say definitely talk with us first. Some usage I can see being okay in certain circumstances. This is a hypothetical, though. Right now, if you want advertisements on your wiki, you should almost certainly look elsewhere. In the future we'll explore more coordinated relationships with local member wiki communities, and a case-by-case approach there is easier to imagine. —PhilipNeustrom

2010-11-30 00:11:32   Can we add to each description of a business information that pertains to the business's practices, such as (1) its answers to questions regarding sustainable business practices; (2) whether it has been certified by any particular organizations? —

2011-12-03 21:38:21   i want to do an activism wiki is this ok? —

This is a Wiki Spot wiki. Wiki Spot is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that helps communities collaborate via wikis.