You Decide: Educational or Advertisement
Over the past few months the Joomla! Community Magazine (JCM) has been internally debating a situation we have been facing in regards to a question. This question has both motivated people to get involved with the magazine, and has also gotten others angry with our content. So what is this question?
How much is too much when it comes to self-promotion in a Joomla! Community Magazine article?
We wrote this article in hopes of getting your opinion and create some discussion so we can define the answer in our writers guidelines.
It is a fact that many community members who have the experience and the expertise to contribute articles to the JCM, also make a living from their activity. Hits to the most popular articles on the magazine attest to the fact that most readers visit the magazine to learn how to extend either their Joomla knowledge or Joomla business.
There needs to be a line of what level of self-promotion is acceptable and at what level it simply becomes a advertisement for the writer's products or services. Here are some examples to get your mind going. Are these acceptable or over the line?
- Linking to another educational blog on their website that is relevant to the content of the JCM article to give the reader additional information on a topic.
- Writing about and linking to a product or service you offer on your website for those who may be interested in that service.
- Using screenshots from their website as examples.
- Having information and link to a free product or service that would be beneficial for Joomla users
These are just a few examples to get your mind going and start the conversation.
The mission of the Joomla Community Magazine is as follow:
The JCM publishes resources, reviews, news, and insights with an emphasis on the positive things happening in the Joomla! project and its community. It is a platform for informing about what can be accomplished with Joomla!, for allowing community members to share their stories and connect with each other, and for promoting better understanding between project leadership and the community. It highlights the contributions of community volunteers, and provides information about different opportunities to support the Joomla! project and its community.
So how do these topics fall into the mission of the magazine and what readers are looking for from the JCM?
One thing to keep in mind is our entire staff is completely volunteer. To write an educational 500-1000 word article once a month while also juggling all the regular tasks of running a business is no easy task (for those who think it is, we'd love more contributors). So the relationship between the contributors and the magazine needs to be a mutually beneficial one to keep the contributors happy. Without them, there would be no magazine. But again, there needs to be a balance.
So with this information presented, we now ask you the question, how much is too much when it comes to self-promotion in a JCM article? Let's get a discussion started, comment below.