In an effort to walk the thin line of balance between the for- and not-for-profit dynamics in our project, we recently made a change on the magazine limiting JCM author links in their bios. This debate is something Dianne and I face every day as Co-Lead Editors on the Joomla Community Magazine, and also as members of the board of Open Source Matters, Inc. (OSM). What is fair? What is proper? How can we know, and what do you think?
First of all I would like to say that we think this is a healthy debate because it keeps us on our toes and constantly evaluating how we are doing, and examining how we can do better.
In September 2012, Luke Summerfield wrote an article raising the question of self-promotion on the magazine that received a lot of feedback. This past month, based on input received over many months from numerous members of the community, we removed active links from the author bio text box for all authors.
All authors now have the same number of total links. We have not changed any bio texts. Authors have up to 10 possible links that include the URL field for the author's website, and all the social network fields. The magazine has been configured for "rel author", meaning that Google+ ID's that are entered into the appropriate field (be careful to use ONLY the ID number part of your Google+ URL - not the entire http:// or it won't work) will raise the author's name in search results as an author who is knowledgeable about Joomla.
Whatever we do, not everyone will be pleased with the decision. We have received some complaints about this move. We appreciate hearing from people, and we always listen. A number of authors, including some who had the most links in their profiles, totally understand and agree with this decision. They write primarily to share information with the community, not to max out their personal SEO, and are satisfied with what the new bio configuration allows.
In closing I would like to thank all of the authors who have contributed and continue to contribute - newbies and oldbies alike, because without you we wouldn't have a magazine. Your stories, reports and tutorials are valued by everyone on the magazine team and by all of our readers. You make the precious resource that is the JCM possible, and we hope you feel valued and personally rewarded by the experience.
What do you think? Does this new arrangement allow for enough author links? Too many? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.