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 steve@hargadon.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 steve@hargadon.com for more information.

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Hi Steve, I think your policy is strongly recommended, go on! Thanks for that!
Hi Steve,
You are absolutely right, and I'm sure all of us send you thanks for watching over the integrity of the network.
Connie

PS: How would you most like us to go about reporting things we think are suspicious or "not cricket"?
Just click the "report an issue" link at the bottom of any page. It sends a message to the site administrator, which is me... :)
thanks--that's perfect.

By the way, in the back of my head I keep thinking that this site is going to just "explode" with membership in rather short order. Keep wanting to see the stats. Isn't the rate of increase increasing? What will you do if faced with geometric population growth?
Maybe that's a crazy thing to say--might never happen. Yet it's perplexing to think of how things could change. We have what feels like a schoolhouse or playground of "reflective practitioners." What would change, if membership were to be several thousand--or more?
Could you share any versions of a long-term vision you have for the network?
:) Long-term vision might indicate a plan... I wasn't sure anyone would sign up initially--but I'm glad people have.

Ning is going to have a new feature in the next two weeks--a "group" feature, and I'm anxious to see what that is like, as I think it might allow us to divide the group out. I have been following Library 2.0, and they started before us and have been about double our size. I think they can serve as a good guide for us.

If I had to guess, I'd say that the value of Classroom 2.0 will depend on building some good repositories of information that accompany the dialog. I'd like to get more and more information into the Classroom20.net wiki for that reason... but, truth be told, part of me respects the fact that with a network like this, my ability to predict and steer is pretty limited, so I'm just waiting to see what happens.
And whY are we seperated?
Connie,
I like that, "reflective practitioners". Thanks.
That sound fine to me. We want to keep this a place for discussion, not solicitation.
A set of policies and oversight on your part seems logical.
Thanks again for doing all that you do here.
Kevin
I think the policy you mentioned is wise. All for it.
Steve - You're doing a great job. Thank you and keep it up. If doing the admin side of this network ever becomes a burden don't hesitate to ask for help.
Steve, here!here! I believe communities with shared vision have to stand together. We are after all, one of the poorest industries so let's keep vendors in the vendor area. (smile)
OK, gang. What do you think of Allen's post at http://classroom20.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=649749%3ABlogPost.... To me, it crossed the line into a the area of a sales pitch... You can see from my comment to Allen that I felt like this was information that shouldn't have been posted here, but directly to their own sign-ups from their website. If vendors use Classroom 2.0 for product announcements, I think educators will start to feel that the conversation is not what they want it to be.

On the other hand, I can also see where announcements of new features might be helpful. But I think I'd rather it came from users, and not the vendors...

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