I made a post on available apartments for rent in Nha Trang. I thought it was useful as it is something difficult to find.
A couple of days later travelfish's message read: "This post has been deleted -- either for being a duplicate or because it was spam."
It was neither a duplicate nor spam but I suspect it conflicted with travelfish's commercial interests. The apartment provider was apparently not yet a commercial partner of travelfish...
So be wary of travel guides that claim to be neutral and objective. Check how quickly they are going to delete this post which they may consider a "duplicate or a spam" for whatever reason that remains their business secret.
#1 flyhigher has been a member since 30/5/2011. Posts: 3
I suspect it's not a case of conflicting with TF's commercial interest at all, but rather a concerted effort to keep the forum as independent as possible. The forum is continually spammed with posts from every other travel agent that exists in Vietnam. The posters contribute nothing in terms of travel advice, which is the reason most of us come here - they just promote their business, telling us that their service is the best. If the forum is overrun with such posters, genuine forum members will be turned away.
Granted, your post may have been of interest to many - but I guess it's a case of where do the administrators draw the line? How do they allow some promotion, but not others?
Maybe the solution is to provide a 'Promote my business' sub-forum for people that just want to come and advertise their business? The problem is, most spammers in the true sense wouldn't take any notice and just post wherever they like.
Anyhow, there's my two cents worth!
You're right that spammers should be kept away. But for curiosity's sake I went thru a good number of posts trying to analyze and identify "covert" business promotion and I can safely say, there is a lot of that and of hardly any value to the traveler. If the same "objective" criteria had been applied to these posts as to mine, many of them would have been removed, too. I cannot see the logic and would maintain that travelfish is a commercial enterprise with commercial interests which does have an impact on the editorial pages and the forum.
#3 flyhigher has been a member since 30/5/2011. Posts: 3
Let me explain why your very first post, which mentioned a Nha Trang apartment rental was deleted - each of the following raise a "spam flag".
a) Joined Travelfish then posted to forum same day
b) Posted from a Vietnamese IP address
c) First post
d) Suggesting a particular business
e) URL drop
f) Posted into the general Vietnam forum rather than the Vietnam additions forum
g) No other participation within the Travelfish forum whatsoever
As for your point about our commercial interests, get your facts straight. We currently list over 4,000 places to stay in Southeast Asia, at no cost what-so-ever to the business concerned -- and at no cost to the reader. In fact, the majority of the places we list cannot even be booked online so it actually costs us money to list them.
Every single one of the properties we list has been reviewed, in person, by a researcher, paid for, by me.
Travellers are then able to benefit from this research for free.
We're not a phonebook, we list what we think is worth listing. Yes, Nha Trang hasn't been updated in a while and it will be in the next few months.
So, in conclusion, while I'm sure you were very satisfied at the particular establishment you stayed at in Nha Trang -- and I'm glad to hear you were satisfied with your stay there, your post was deleted because it was spam.
@flyhigher just saw your second reply -- if there are posts you think are spam there's a red x click it and we get notified of it -- it was actually how your initital post was picked up.