The following statement explains the advertising policy for this Forum.
Perhaps I should comment on the issue of commercial advertising on this site. We have had extensive discussions amongst the moderators about this issue and there is a range of opinions concerning what is permitted or not on this site.
The mission of CareCure is to provide information to the spinal cord injury community about issues of importance to them. This includes information about care, cure, exercise, relationships and sex, etc. Valuable information comes from many sources, including commercial ones.
Although we don't want to be overwhelmed by advertisements, we also don't want to exclude information for all commercial sources. Thus, we allow some commercial posts and discussions of commercial products and services, including information from people who are members of organizations or companies that provide the products and services.
If we were to exclude all people from organizations that make money from the spinal cord injury community, the community would not be well-served. For example, strictly speaking, we would have to exclude all doctors and even scientists from posting about their work on the site.
Many members of this site work for organizations who provide products and services to the community for profit. Snowman is a long time member of this site. He has been generally helpful with his comments. It would be difficult for him not to talk about or comment on Project Walk because he works there. He does not hide the fact that he works at Project Walk. People should read his posts with that in mind.
As I see it, there are several types of "commercial" posts that range from unacceptable to more acceptable.
Our members now post an average over 500 posts per day. Our volunteer moderators do not have the time to remove or scrutinize all commercial posts. Usually, blatant advertisements are removed within a few hours or a day or so. We do our best and the site has been reasonably free of advertisements.
- Spam advertisements. These are posts by people who are not contributing members of our community and who are blatantly advertising their products on our site. These are not acceptable and we will generally remove these and, if the person continues to post them, we ban the person. This has occurred recently.
- Advertisements of commercial products or services. Occasionally, a member of our community posts information about products or services provided by the organization that the member works for. While we generally discourage such advertisements, the decision to remove the posts depends on whether the information is of interest to our community.
- Personal products and services. A member of the community may post information about personal products or services that he/she is providing for a charge. Generally, we have moved such posts to the Classified Forum which was created for this purpose.
- Solicitation of funds. Some members have solicited funds for various projects on this site. We have tended to discourage these, particularly in the main care and cure forums. In many cases, we have moved them to either the Member's only forum or to the Legislative, Funding & Advocacy forum.
- Advertising banners in member posts. Some members have placed advertising banners in their by-lines. We have had extensive discussions and arguments over this but we have generally discouraged such advertisements when they are blatantly commercial. Many people, however, have put links in their bylines to websites or their favorite organizations.
- Discussions of commercial services and products. Some members of our community may post about commercial services and products that are provided by their organizations. We have generally left these posts alone as long as the information provided is of value to the community and especially if they are in response to questions from other members.
- Testimonials. Many members of our community have posted testimonials about services and products provided by commercial organizations. We have not discouraged nor removed such testimonials, if they are relevant to the community, even when the testimonials may have been at the behest of organizations seeking to recruit customers from our community.
Finally, since our inception in July 2001, even though we could probably make substantial amounts of money and such funds would help in the operation of this site and allow us to provide more services and products (right now, all the work on this site is voluntary), CareCure has avoided advertising banners. This is in part because I do not want our site to become dependent on commercial advertisement.