Where should we draw the line between spam and market research and reasonable questions? C.v. this question

Is it ok to:

  1. Say "Hey is there a market for my product http://example", thus requiring people to visit the page to find out what it is about? Clearly no, I think.

  2. Give some glowing marketing statements, without much content, and point to your app and ask if it is good? That's how I'd categorize the example above, and I see it as spam.

  3. Describe a real technical need, and a technical solution, and point to your app as an example, with a price point? That sounds like actual market research, but not the sort of thing I want folks to be doing here - it will typically be conflict-of-interest and subjective as to how well the app meets the needs.

  4. List some products, including yours, and ask which is best? At least that helps put things in perspective, and invites more comparisons, but even that would need some guidelines to not be "subjective" and those guidelines run the risk of people with a conflict-of-interest putting up rigged requirements that highlight their particular option.

  5. insert your effective guidelines for to asking generally helpful market research questions here

On the plus side of most of these, I'll just note that we do need to get more questions on this site....

Note that our current faq on this simply says:

Marketing/Spam - This is not a site for posting marketing spam. If your product/service really does what the question asks for, please caveat your answer as others may not consider it 100% objective.

  • 1
    Note that the example question on market research has been edited, and is more interesting now. That helps us refine our guidelines, and also is encouraging to me. I think in many cases we can work with those that pose questions to improve them, and that is often better than closing them right away. I wish we could change our "close" votes after a question is edited....
    – nealmcb
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 20:28

2 Answers 2


I agree this looks like spam - but also I think there is not a real question there. Even the statements appear to have come from some marketing material and are not indicative of any sort of real world risk assessment structure.

To respond specifically to your 4 points:

  1. No
  2. No
  3. Not really, although there may be the odd occasion it works
  4. Agree with you - caveated correctly and worded so as not to be subjective

We do need more questions, but I don't think we need accept spam just to get the numbers up :-)

  • Quality questions take time to achieve, and if any crowd is effective at accessing quality and accuracy it's ITSEC. +1 Commented Mar 16, 2011 at 22:05

1-5 don't sound much like actual questions though, as in "I have this problem.. how can I solve it?" so most if not all of these would be Not a Real Question.

There's also


May I promote products or websites I am affiliated with here?

Be careful, because the community frowns on overt self-promotion and tends to vote it down and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if they happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers. Also, if a huge percentage of your posts include a mention of your product or website, you're probably here for the wrong reasons. Our advertising rates are quite reasonable; contact our ad sales team for details. We also offer free vote-based advertising for open source projects.

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