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Difference between revisions of "Wikitravel:Don't tout"

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(provided external link to Wikipedia to explain "shouting")
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Edits might be reverted as touting if any of the following guidelines aren't followed:
 
Edits might be reverted as touting if any of the following guidelines aren't followed:
  
* '''Don't list the same place many times'''.  Yes, a guest house may have a restaurant, a bar, an internet cafe and a dance show, but you need to pick '''one''' of "See", "Eat", "Drink", "Sleep" and "Contact" to slot it under.  That said, exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis if, for example, a hotel has a famous, separately named bar or restaurant that also draws significant numbers of non-resident customers (use the article's [[Wikitravel:Using talk pages|talk page]] to discuss these ''rare'' instances).  Also note that businesses should be listed '''in only one article''' for the town or district in which the business operates; if an article about the town has not yet been created, [[Wikitravel:How to start a new page|create it]].
+
===Don't list the same place many times===
 +
{{Shortcut|[[multiple]]}}
 +
Yes, a guest house may have a restaurant, a bar, an internet cafe and a dance show, but you need to pick '''one''' of "See", "Eat", "Drink", "Sleep" and "Contact" to slot it under.  That said, exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis if, for example, a hotel has a famous, separately named bar or restaurant that also draws significant numbers of non-resident customers (use the article's [[Wikitravel:Using talk pages|talk page]] to discuss these ''rare'' instances).  Also note that businesses should be listed '''in only one article''' for the town or district in which the business operates; if an article about the town has not yet been created, [[Wikitravel:How to start a new page|create it]].
  
* '''Don't add more than one URL for a place''', neither on one page nor on different pages. There is never a reason to do so, and will mark your contributions as advertising spam in the eyes of other editors.
+
===Don't add more than one URL===
 +
for a place, neither on one page nor on different pages. There is never a reason to do so, and it will mark your contributions as advertising spam in the eyes of other editors.
  
* '''Describe, don't urge'''. Use the indicative mood to describe ("The food at Restaurant X is freshly prepared when ordered."), rather than the imperative mood for commanding ("Come to Restaurant X and sample its delicious fare straight from the oven!").
+
===Describe, don't urge===  
 +
Use the indicative mood to describe ("The food at Restaurant X is freshly prepared when ordered."), rather than the imperative mood for commanding ("Come to Restaurant X and sample its delicious fare straight from the oven!").
  
* '''Avoid using [[Wikitravel:Words to avoid|flowery, vague terms]]''' in descriptions, instead describe why it is so great.  "This stunningly wonderful hotel is fabulously luxurious!" is meaningless; "More staff than guests, three heated swimming pools, and each room has a jacuzzi, a bearskin rug in front of the fireplace and panoramic windows with views of the Mighty Mountains" tells much more. "Good music, terrific staff and a great atmosphere" could apply to any bar; "Dark, smoky den crowded with local hipsters, with knowledgeable bartenders and live jazz on Fridays" gives some idea of what to expect.
+
===Avoid using [[Wikitravel:Words to avoid|flowery, vague terms]]===
 +
in descriptions, instead describe why it is so great.  "This stunningly wonderful hotel is fabulously luxurious!" is meaningless; "More staff than guests, three heated swimming pools, and each room has a jacuzzi, a bearskin rug in front of the fireplace and panoramic windows with views of the Mighty Mountains" tells much more. "Good music, terrific staff and a great atmosphere" could apply to any bar; "Dark, smoky den crowded with local hipsters, with knowledgeable bartenders and live jazz on Fridays" gives some idea of what to expect.
  
* '''Avoid superlatives''' (the best, the biggest, the tastiest, the most fascinating) unless they are objectively true and of specific interest to the traveler.
+
===Avoid superlatives===
 +
(the best, the biggest, the tastiest, the most fascinating) unless they are objectively true and of specific interest to the traveller.
  
* '''Avoid [[Wikitravel:First person pronouns|first person pronouns]]'''.  Never say ''our restaurant'', or ''we provide''.
+
===Avoid [[Wikitravel:First person pronouns|first person pronouns]]===
 +
Never say ''our restaurant'', or ''we provide''.
  
* '''Don't write in ALL-CAPS'''.  On the internet writing in all capital letters is considered [[:wikipedia:All caps#Computing|shouting]] and is highly discouraged.
+
===Don't write in ALL-CAPS===
 +
{{Shortcut|[[shout]]}}
 +
On the internet, writing in capital letters where not grammatically justified is considered [[:wikipedia:All caps#Computing|shouting]] and is highly discouraged.
  
* '''Avoid assertions of proximity to nearby attractions'''. The description section of a listing is for describing that listing, not the rest of the town. If it's attached to the convention centre or right on the pier then note that using the "directions" attribute of the [[Wikitravel:Listings|listing tag]], but otherwise save descriptions of the area's attractions for the "See" section. Instead, contribute detailed lat-long coordinates of the property (see [[Wikitravel:Geocoding#For_a_listing_item|Wikitravel:Geocoding]])—it will be much more helpful for a traveler choosing a place to stay.
+
===Avoid assertions of proximity===
 +
to nearby attractions. The description section of a listing is for describing that listing, not the rest of the town. If it's attached to the convention centre or right on the pier then note that using the "directions" attribute of the [[Wikitravel:Listings|listing tag]], but otherwise save descriptions of the area's attractions for the "See" section. Instead, contribute detailed lat-long coordinates of the property (see [[Wikitravel:Geocoding#For_a_listing_item|Wikitravel:Geocoding]])—it will be much more helpful for a traveler choosing a place to stay.
  
* '''Avoid references to third-party ratings and rankings unless they are truly exceptional'''. For example, "Lonely Planet approved" should be avoided since there are thousands of businesses that are "Lonely Planet approved", but "rated the #2 hotel in the Middle East by Generic Travel Magazine in 2010" ''might'' be worth mentioning.  Listings that include such references but provide no mention of ''why'' the business is highly rated offer little value to travellers; a long list of accolades is no substitute for actually describing the establishment.
+
===Avoid references to third-party ratings and rankings===
 +
unless they are truly exceptional. For example, "Lonely Planet approved" should be avoided since there are thousands of businesses that are "Lonely Planet approved", but "rated the #2 hotel in the Middle East by Generic Travel Magazine in 2010" ''might'' be worth mentioning.  Listings that include such references but provide no mention of ''why'' the business is highly rated offer little value to travellers; a long list of accolades is no substitute for actually describing the establishment.
  
* '''Don't move your listing to the top'''.  In most cases listings should be ordered alphabetically within a section.  Moving a listing to the top of the list for any reason other than alphabetization is considered touting.
+
===Don't move your listing to the top===
 +
{{Shortcut|[[qjump]]}}
 +
In most cases listings should be ordered [[alphabet]]ically within a section.  Moving a listing to the top of the list for any reason other than alphabetisation (or complying with a specially agreed, non-alphabetic, listing order) is considered touting.
  
* '''Don't include referral codes in URLs'''. Some businesses use referral codes to track where traffic to their web site is coming from (example: http://example.com/site.html?from=wikitravel).  Referral codes don't benefit travellers and will lead to removal of the listing.
+
===Don't include referral codes in URLs===  
 +
Some businesses use referral codes to track where traffic to their web site is coming from (example: http://example.com/site.html?from=wikitravel).  Referral codes don't benefit travellers and will lead to removal of the listing.
  
 
== Contributing constructively ==
 
== Contributing constructively ==
Line 37: Line 51:
 
* Follow all of the guidelines above to avoid having your contribution identified as touting.
 
* Follow all of the guidelines above to avoid having your contribution identified as touting.
  
* '''[[Wikitravel:How to create a user account|Create a user account]]''' and identify yourself as the owner of the business on your [[Wikitravel:User page help|user page]] (but don't advertise the business there).  Doing so adds some transparency by clearly identifying you as a business owner, and also gives travelers a way to contact you with questions.
+
====[[Wikitravel:How to create a user account|Create a user account]]====
 +
and identify yourself as the owner of the business on your [[Wikitravel:User page help|user page]] (but don't advertise the business there).  Doing so adds some transparency by clearly identifying you as a business owner, and also gives travellers a way to contact you with questions.
  
* '''Never remove competitors' listings''' from articles or edit them negatively.  If there is a problem with a listing it can always be edited for accuracy, and if an establishment is truly vile it can be removed after being discussed on the article's [[Wikitravel:Using talk pages|talk page]].  Removing the listings of competing businesses without discussion is '''strongly''' frowned upon.
+
====Never remove====
 +
#competitors' listings from articles or edit them negatively.  If there is a problem with a listing it can always be edited for accuracy, and if an establishment is truly vile it can be removed after being discussed on the article's [[Wikitravel:Using talk pages|talk page]].  Removing the listings of competing businesses without discussion is '''strongly''' frowned upon.
 +
#negative comments left by others about your establishment.  If you think the comments are [[Wikitravel:Be fair|unfair]], say so on the [[Wikitravel:Using talk pages|Talk page]] and let the community reach a conclusion.
  
* '''Never remove negative comments''' left by others about your establishment.  If you think the comments are [[Wikitravel:Be fair|unfair]], say so on the [[Wikitravel:Using talk pages|Talk page]] and let the community reach a conclusion.
+
====Include exact prices====
 +
{{Shortcut|[[pricing]]}}
 +
We know you hate to do this, but listings without pricing information may be deleted.  [[Wikitravel:Words to avoid|Vague terms like "reasonable" or "affordable"]] are worse than useless.  If prices vary, provide a price range (example: "$100-$200, varies by season").
  
* '''Include exact prices'''.  We know you hate to do this, but listings without pricing information may be deleted.  [[Wikitravel:Words to avoid|Vague terms like "reasonable" or "affordable"]] are worse than useless.  If prices vary, provide a price range (example: "$100-$200, varies by season").
+
====Do not [[Wikitravel:Edit war|edit war]]====
 
+
If your listing is removed look at the [[Wikitravel:Page history help|article history]] or, if you see a blinking red dot at the top right of the screen, on your [[Wikitravel:Using talk pages|user talk page]] to see why it was removed, and discuss it on the [[Wikitravel:Using talk pages|talk page]] for that article.  Repeatedly re-adding a removed listing without first discussing why it was removed makes  it more likely that editors will see your contributions as advertising, and less likely that your listing will be allowed.
* '''Do not [[Wikitravel:Edit war|edit war]]'''.  If your listing is removed look at the [[Wikitravel:Page history help|article history]] or, if you see a blinking red dot at the top right of the screen, on your [[Wikitravel:Using talk pages|user talk page]] to see why it was removed, and discuss it on the [[Wikitravel:Using talk pages|talk page]] for that article.  Repeatedly re-adding a removed listing without first discussing why it was removed makes  it more likely that editors will see your contributions as advertising, and less likely that your listing will be allowed.
+
  
 
=== Marketers and SEOs ===
 
=== Marketers and SEOs ===
 +
{{Shortcut|[[linkspam]]}}
 
:''Note: Wikitravel implements [[:WikiPedia:nofollow|<code>rel="nofollow"</code>]] so there is no [[:wikipedia:Search engine optimization|SEO]] benefit to listing a website here.''
 
:''Note: Wikitravel implements [[:WikiPedia:nofollow|<code>rel="nofollow"</code>]] so there is no [[:wikipedia:Search engine optimization|SEO]] benefit to listing a website here.''
  
Wikitravel gets numerous contributions each day attempting to market hotel chains and other businesses.  As noted earlier, Wikitravel has no interest in marketing - this is a site for travellers, not hotel owners - so accounts that add multiple business listings that do not meet the guidelines above should unfortunately expect to see those contributions reverted, and in the worst case repeated violations of this policy may lead to blocking of the contributor's account and possibly blacklisting of the business in question.
+
Wikitravel gets numerous contributions each day attempting to market hotel chains and other businesses.  As noted earlier, Wikitravel has no interest in marketing - this is a site for travellers, not hotel owners - so accounts that add multiple business listings that do not meet the guidelines above should unfortunately expect to see those contributions deleted, and in the worst case repeated violations of this policy may lead to blocking of the contributor's account and possibly blacklisting of the business in question.
  
In addition to the guidelines above, note that marketers '''must [[Wikitravel:Accommodation listings|format listings correctly]]'''. Other editors will fix mistakes made by contributors who add only one or two listings, but if you are adding multiple listings then it is up to you to make sure they adhere to the Wikitravel [[Wikitravel:Manual of style|style guidelines]].  You must include full information, including price ranges, a properly formatted address (do not include city/state or province/postal code) and a '''useful''' description of the business; otherwise, your contributions will probably be removed.
+
{{Shortcut|[[format]]}}
 +
In addition to the guidelines above, note that marketers '''must [[Wikitravel:Accommodation listings|format listings correctly]]'''. Other editors will fix mistakes made by good faith contributors who add only one or two listings, but if you are adding multiple listings then it is up to you to make sure they adhere to the Wikitravel [[Wikitravel:Manual of style|style guidelines]].  You must include full information, including price ranges, a properly formatted address (do not include city/state or province/postal code) and a '''useful''', factually accurate description of the business with [[phone|correctly formatted phone numbers]]; otherwise, your contributions will probably be removed.
  
 
=== Examples ===
 
=== Examples ===
Line 85: Line 105:
 
{{WikitravelDoc|policies}}
 
{{WikitravelDoc|policies}}
  
 
+
[[es:Wikitravel:No_andes_a_la_caza_de_clientes]]
 
[[fi:Wikitravel:Älä mainosta]]
 
[[fi:Wikitravel:Älä mainosta]]
 
[[ja:Wikitravel:売り込み禁止]]
 
[[ja:Wikitravel:売り込み禁止]]
 
[[nl:Wikitravel:Niet werven]]
 
[[nl:Wikitravel:Niet werven]]
 +
[[pl:Nie zachwalaj]]
 
[[pt:Wikitravel:Publicidade e propaganda|Propaganda]]
 
[[pt:Wikitravel:Publicidade e propaganda|Propaganda]]
 
[[ru:Wikitravel:Не навязывайте]]
 
[[ru:Wikitravel:Не навязывайте]]
 
[[sv:Wikitravel:Skryt inte]]
 
[[sv:Wikitravel:Skryt inte]]

Revision as of 23:09, 20 December 2012

In many countries business owners hire touts to solicit customers. Touts go to train stations, airports, or open plazas and urge travellers to visit their employers' business.

Donttout.jpg

Wikitravel specifically strives to avoid being an "advertising brochure" for any business, city, or service. Business employees, like everyone, are welcome to add information to Wikitravel, but we're making a travel guide, not a business brochure, so Wikitravel should not be used as a tool for advertising.

Contents

Identifying touting

Edits might be reverted as touting if any of the following guidelines aren't followed:

Don't list the same place many times

Yes, a guest house may have a restaurant, a bar, an internet cafe and a dance show, but you need to pick one of "See", "Eat", "Drink", "Sleep" and "Contact" to slot it under. That said, exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis if, for example, a hotel has a famous, separately named bar or restaurant that also draws significant numbers of non-resident customers (use the article's talk page to discuss these rare instances). Also note that businesses should be listed in only one article for the town or district in which the business operates; if an article about the town has not yet been created, create it.

Don't add more than one URL

for a place, neither on one page nor on different pages. There is never a reason to do so, and it will mark your contributions as advertising spam in the eyes of other editors.

Describe, don't urge

Use the indicative mood to describe ("The food at Restaurant X is freshly prepared when ordered."), rather than the imperative mood for commanding ("Come to Restaurant X and sample its delicious fare straight from the oven!").

Avoid using flowery, vague terms

in descriptions, instead describe why it is so great. "This stunningly wonderful hotel is fabulously luxurious!" is meaningless; "More staff than guests, three heated swimming pools, and each room has a jacuzzi, a bearskin rug in front of the fireplace and panoramic windows with views of the Mighty Mountains" tells much more. "Good music, terrific staff and a great atmosphere" could apply to any bar; "Dark, smoky den crowded with local hipsters, with knowledgeable bartenders and live jazz on Fridays" gives some idea of what to expect.

Avoid superlatives

(the best, the biggest, the tastiest, the most fascinating) unless they are objectively true and of specific interest to the traveller.

Avoid first person pronouns

Never say our restaurant, or we provide.

Don't write in ALL-CAPS

On the internet, writing in capital letters where not grammatically justified is considered shouting and is highly discouraged.

Avoid assertions of proximity

to nearby attractions. The description section of a listing is for describing that listing, not the rest of the town. If it's attached to the convention centre or right on the pier then note that using the "directions" attribute of the listing tag, but otherwise save descriptions of the area's attractions for the "See" section. Instead, contribute detailed lat-long coordinates of the property (see Wikitravel:Geocoding)—it will be much more helpful for a traveler choosing a place to stay.

Avoid references to third-party ratings and rankings

unless they are truly exceptional. For example, "Lonely Planet approved" should be avoided since there are thousands of businesses that are "Lonely Planet approved", but "rated the #2 hotel in the Middle East by Generic Travel Magazine in 2010" might be worth mentioning. Listings that include such references but provide no mention of why the business is highly rated offer little value to travellers; a long list of accolades is no substitute for actually describing the establishment.

Don't move your listing to the top

In most cases listings should be ordered alphabetically within a section. Moving a listing to the top of the list for any reason other than alphabetisation (or complying with a specially agreed, non-alphabetic, listing order) is considered touting.

Don't include referral codes in URLs

Some businesses use referral codes to track where traffic to their web site is coming from (example: http://example.com/site.html?from=wikitravel). Referral codes don't benefit travellers and will lead to removal of the listing.

Contributing constructively

Guidelines for business owners

If you own a business or work for a marketing company you should expect that your edits will come under more scrutiny than those contributed by travelers. As noted previously, business employees, like everyone, are welcome to add information to Wikitravel, but anything seen as advertising is likely to be removed. Additionally, because the goals of creating a travel guide often differ from those of hotel chains, tourism boards, and other business entities contributors should be aware that there are no guarantees that even properly-formatted listings will always be kept in Wikitravel guides. To make a contribution that is less likely to be removed:

  • Follow all of the guidelines above to avoid having your contribution identified as touting.

Create a user account

and identify yourself as the owner of the business on your user page (but don't advertise the business there). Doing so adds some transparency by clearly identifying you as a business owner, and also gives travellers a way to contact you with questions.

Never remove

  1. competitors' listings from articles or edit them negatively. If there is a problem with a listing it can always be edited for accuracy, and if an establishment is truly vile it can be removed after being discussed on the article's talk page. Removing the listings of competing businesses without discussion is strongly frowned upon.
  2. negative comments left by others about your establishment. If you think the comments are unfair, say so on the Talk page and let the community reach a conclusion.

Include exact prices

We know you hate to do this, but listings without pricing information may be deleted. Vague terms like "reasonable" or "affordable" are worse than useless. If prices vary, provide a price range (example: "$100-$200, varies by season").

Do not edit war

If your listing is removed look at the article history or, if you see a blinking red dot at the top right of the screen, on your user talk page to see why it was removed, and discuss it on the talk page for that article. Repeatedly re-adding a removed listing without first discussing why it was removed makes it more likely that editors will see your contributions as advertising, and less likely that your listing will be allowed.

Marketers and SEOs

Note: Wikitravel implements rel="nofollow" so there is no SEO benefit to listing a website here.

Wikitravel gets numerous contributions each day attempting to market hotel chains and other businesses. As noted earlier, Wikitravel has no interest in marketing - this is a site for travellers, not hotel owners - so accounts that add multiple business listings that do not meet the guidelines above should unfortunately expect to see those contributions deleted, and in the worst case repeated violations of this policy may lead to blocking of the contributor's account and possibly blacklisting of the business in question.

In addition to the guidelines above, note that marketers must format listings correctly. Other editors will fix mistakes made by good faith contributors who add only one or two listings, but if you are adding multiple listings then it is up to you to make sure they adhere to the Wikitravel style guidelines. You must include full information, including price ranges, a properly formatted address (do not include city/state or province/postal code) and a useful, factually accurate description of the business with correctly formatted phone numbers; otherwise, your contributions will probably be removed.

Examples

Good. The following is an example of a good business listing. It is properly formatted according to our manual of style, includes an estimated price range for a standard double room, and has a description that provides useful, factual information for a traveller:

  • Heidelberg Super Lodge, 123 Erste St, +49 27 555-5555 (), [1]. This 55-room hotel has a pool, 24-hour gym, free HBO and Wi-Fi, two conference rooms and a massive lobby fireplace. The on-site Walldorf Restaurant is open 06:00-22:00 daily and serves Asian-fusion cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere with prices from €10-30 per entrée. Free airport shuttle runs every thirty min. €100-200.


Bad. This listing is for the same hotel, but the address is improperly formatted, there is no price range or website and the description is pure marketing fluff exacerbated by the "shouting" capital letters:

  • HEIDELBERG SUPER LODGE (Heidelberg), 123 Erste Street, Heidelberg, 6917 (near Heidelberg), for best prices (, fax: for best prices). The HEIDELBERG SUPER LODGE is in Heidelberg. Our luxurious Heidelberg hotel is a traveler's dream, boasting a location just minutes from the airport, shopping, and all the myriad local attractions of heidelberg. WELL-APPOINTED ROOMS INVITE YOU TO A WONDERLAND IDEAL FOR YOUR NEXT BUSINESS OR PLEASURE TRIP WHERE ATTENTIVE AND INDIVIDUAL SERVICE MEANS YOU ARE SURE TO RETURN AGAIN AND AGAIN!!!

Edits inserting such listings are routinely deleted.

See also

  • Welcome, business owners - Useful information for business owners who want to work with the Wikitravel community.
  • External links - Guidelines on what external links are appropriate and how they should be formatted.
  • Tour listings - Guidelines on when it is appropriate to list a tour company on Wikitravel.
  • Apartment/Rental listings - Guidelines on when it is appropriate to list a rental agency on Wikitravel.
  • Tone - Overview of the tone to use in Wikitravel articles.
  • Be fair - How to approach reviews of businesses and destinations.
  • The traveller comes first - The golden rule of Wikitravel - the interests of the traveller always come first.
  • Avoid negative reviews - It is often better not to list a business than to provide a negative review.
  • Words to avoid - Guideline on some words to avoid in listings and articles.

Variants

Actions

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