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 and I'll remove the account responsible. You can also do this privately by sending an email through, 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 for more information.

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Yes, I'm hearing about some recently--whoever it is knows enough to not send it to me, so I'm not seeing them directly. I have reported it to Ning. Sorry!
I've updated this policy on commercial participation in the network (the main text of the forum post). It seems like a good time to review the discussion. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know. :)
OK, I'm bringing this thread back because I would like to run an idea past the members here.

I went to look at a new member-- while "Custom Essays" hasn't posted in a way that promotes the Custom Essays business, because it is not a real name (or real photo?), I felt uncomfortable.

Shall we include the requirement that if you are representing a commercial interest, you must use your own name as a member? I think this is a good enough idea I am going to update the commercial guidelines page, but I also want some feedback on this...
Aren't these people selling essays to help you cheat in your courses? That seems like not just a commercial solicitation, but quite dishonest as well. That makes me mighty uneasy.
Yes, I quite agree. See my comment on "her" (?) page. But although I might not agree with the business model, I'm not sure I want to start evaluating the relative "value" of a business as a condition of whether or not they can be here. Certainly, an illegal business would be easy, but I don't think this service is illegal--although I'm sure the users are breaking honor codes when using.

I'd be more inclined, in this case, to hope that the community actively addresses the individual associated with a company and asks them hard questions. :)
I assume we are allowed to advertise our non-commercial services (such as not-for-profit tools) freely?
Without wanting to be held to anything firm (smile), I'd say yes. A couple of people have done that with tools that were "free" for now but ultimately had a revenue hook, and it seemed too commercial at the time. It can be a hard line to draw. I think your post on Pedagogle was appropriate, but if your interactions here were more about getting people to use your tool than to contribute to the discussions here, I think you'll find folks will tune out. Anyway, looks like you're doing good work and I'll look forward to hearing more from and about you.


I hope I did not  cross the line with my website at

I left messages for groups that might benefit from some free stuff.

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Hi, Daniel. I'm glad (and appreciate) that you asked. Any posting of messages in multiple locations for the purpose of promoting something (commercial or otherwise) feels like spam, is not a good use of the network, and usually creates the wrong impression anyway. Even though the limited edition of your service is free, allowing this can shift the experience of users of CR 2.0 from feeling like they are talking to each other to being recipients of ads. Thanks for understanding.
Hello all I am finding this site useful and thank you all for sharing educational views.



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Commercial Policy

If you are representing a commercial entity, please see the specific guidelines on your participation.





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