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Author Topic: Why does AFTR have so many rules?  (Read 4117 times)
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2012 Feb 01, 08:02:41 am
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« on: 2012 Feb 01, 08:02:41 am »

"Along for the Ride!" (AFTR) has twenty-four official rules or policies. Why so many rules?

This is a valid and fair question I'll try to answer here. I'll go through all the rules by groups, not necessarily in the order of what's listed on the rules page.

Let's start with the first group.

  • Site must be a blog.
  • RSS feed with date of last update. Description or article contents are NOT required, only the date of the last article or when you last updated the blog. This is used to verify that only blogs updated in the last 7 days are in the rotation.
  • At least 12 articles/posts on the blog
  • All blogs must be in English. The only exception to this is if the blog uses Google or some other Translator and translation is easily and readily available on all pages.

These rules just set the stage for what to expect in AFTR and how the AFTR spider figures out how to rank the blogs listed in it. The 12 blog articles just gives me an idea of content within a given blog. Unfortunately, my brain doesn't do very well with multiple languages and I have to be able to read the content to evaluate it. Thankfully, English seem to be the predominate language in the world. I am so very screwed if this ever changes...

  • No porn, hate, or racism.
  • No nudity. Important note: some sites, like those dealing with abuse, may have adult oriented discussions not suitable for children. These blogs are forced to Class 3 (Mature).
  • Blogs with only scantly clad women will not be accepted.

Bans on porn, hate, and racism are the law of the land in the Unites States, Europe, and just about everywhere else. This is really just proper ethics, good taste, and simple human decency. Nudity isn't porn if its done in an "artistic" way, according to the artists. While artists may wish to express their talents with such openness, not everyone shares that opinion. AFTR has blogs listed from all over the world and "artistic" nudity is no different then porn in many countries. Finally, while pictures of scantly clad women may be "appreciated" in college dormitories and bachelor's apartments, its not so appreciated by the mainstream population. Like nudity, scantly clad women may be considered porn in some counties. Either way, its just poor taste in most cases.

  • Nothing illegal (no warez, virus, malware, guns, drugs, etc...)

I really shouldn't need to state this, but there are those in the world that like to push the boundary of human reason and sanity...

  • No pop-ups or pop-unders of any type or nature.
  • No auto-playing music or videos.
  • No Ads only blogs.

Running a server for ten years has given me a mail box full of complaints from users. These three just seem to be the most annoying to users. Having pop-ups and pop-unders constantly popping up/under the web page you're trying to read. As a web surfer, it absolutely infuriates me having my web browser crash because of pop-up after pop-up over running my computer. Auto-playing music or videos are bad for those who use their computer at work, school, public libraries, or any public place. Not everyone appreciates Led Zeppelin or some very inappropriate video blasting in places quiet enough to hear a pin drop. If a blog has nothing but advertisement on it and no genuine content, what's the point in visiting it?

  • Relatively family safe. Relatively best describes blogs like mine that are 99% safe with the 1% not safe (but with warnings if needed).
  • No MLM (multi-level marketing), pyramid, ponzi or such type schemes.
  • No MMO sites (make money online). Business opportunity blogs are welcomed as long as they are NOT "get rich quick" or scams (ponzi, et al).
  • No blogs promoting software to "game" search engines, AdSense or advertiser (Click) fraud.

Everyone needs to vent once in a while, that just human nature. However general listed blogs need to be somewhat safe. Nobody likes surprises when they have their children sitting on the lap. Multi-level marketing sites are often scams or pyramid schemes. While business opportunities are welcomed, the internet is filled with "make money now", get rich quick", "make money while you sleep", and so on. All these blogs do is hurt legitimate business opportunities and reliable work at home sites. Why anyone thinks defrauding Google or any other advertiser is legal is beyond me, but they do. Defrauding advertisers by "click" exchanges is just not the way to make money.

  • Blogs can NOT break the "Along for the Ride!" frame. This is considered and treated as page hijacking. Offenders will be removed until the hijacking stops. If hijacking becomes repeated, the blog will be banned from AFTR and its directory.
  • Blogs over one year with no new articles will be considered abandoned and removed without warning. Email addresses that are undeliverable will also be considered abandoned.
  • Blogs that have articles older then 7 days will not be listed on the AFTR widget, but will remain in the directory.
  • Blogs that do not have the AFTR widget will be listed in the directory, but will NOT be apart of the traffic sharing system (advertised on the widget).
  • All listings and rankings in the AFTR system revolve around AFTR's revolutionary "low man on the totem" (LoMan) algorithm.

Now we finally get to the actual rules for AFTR. Many sleazy advertisers think having a banner ad redirect to another page (away from the page the visitor wanted) is the perfect way to drive traffic to their page. It isn't and won't be tolerated. While I have complete sympathy for an unsuspecting blog owner, I have no mercy on scum-bag advertisers or blog owners with no morals. Page hijacking is a quick way to send me on a war path.

Unfortunately, life isn't always nice to us and problems happen, things change, or we get burned it. It happens to us all, myself included, but AFTR is not a graveyard for dead blogs. This is where AFTR differs from all other web directories. Old content is filtered out and removed after a period of time. Remember the above rule about the RSS? Here is where is comes into play. The AFTR spider routinely checks your RSS for the most recent article. Blogs older then seven (7) days are not displayed on the AFTR widget. That would be like reading last year's newspaper when you really wanted today's.

Unlike other web directories, AFTR does allow blogs in without a widget or badge, they just won't get front page billing or a DO FOLLOW link. Hey, there has to be some perks for the widget. How ranking are achieved are mostly for information purposes (not so much a rule), but I prefer complete transparency on how AFTR works. I don't like programs that have all sorts of hidden rules you are told about after you sign up.

  • Anyone can submit a blog to this directory as long as it complies with these rules, not just the owner. Note: this system uses a spider to find and add blogs to this directory as well as owner/contributor submissions.
  • You agree to accept periodic emails on updates and other AFTR related news. Your email address will never sold, given out, or shared with anyone else.
  • The owner (of AFTR) may, at any time, edit, reject, refuse, or remove any blog without notice or reason.
  • Rules may change without notice.

This is really the legal rhetoric needed to protect AFTR from the crazies, loons, and malcontents... AFTR is my program, I wrote it, and I pay for the server, bandwidth, and repair bills, but there are those who like to try to take what isn't theirs. These rules are pretty straight forward, but there are those whom lack common sense.

While I rather not have all these rules, most are just common sense or good practice and some are the required legalese. All of these rules serve to keep AFTR fun, friendly and safe with other advertisers (like AdSense) and traffic services on the internet.
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