After reading the rules of Lawnsite, I have a couple questions:
1. If this site is intended to be "clean", "helpful", and "informative" then why are there so many restrictions on posting information?
Not sure what restrictions you are referring to.
2. Almost every rule on Lawnsite seems to be directed at securing a marketplace, but I need to know the information provided by non-sponsered sites that will not affect Lawnsite's marketing procedures. Will this be restricted also as it has?
We do not allow certain things mentioned on this site primarily because of what has gone on with other sites, forums, etc.... working dilligently to flat out "steal" from our site. In the past, it was not a problem - not like it is now. But I think Jodi made a good point - whether this site makes money or not - a lot of time, effort, and money goes into this site and many other sites have decided that instead of deciding to work their way into developing a presence in the industry online, it would seemingly be easier to steal from lawnsite.
3. Every internet business focuses on marketing, but at what cost to the members? Are we being deprived of useful posts due to strict policies?
Deprived....? There are thousands of pages of threads and posts (over 1.6 million actually)...don't see how there could much deprivation.
4. There is a fine line between a forum and a marketing blog. Where do we stand on that line?
This question doesn't make much sense. LawnSite is a forum, plain and simple.
I love Lawnsite, so don't take this the wrong way. I will always abide by rules set forth on a site. My concern is "who" the rules are for? Are they for us, as represented, or were they developed as a tool to increase sponsership and residual commissions or other profits?
How does eliminating people threatening other members, posting porn, etc.... increase sponsorship in any sort of way? It is simple, common decency and the rules exist so that this site remains professional and geared towards people sharing and learning.
Mods, please do not take this as an attack on Lawnsite in any way. Your site is wonderful and I enjoy being a part of it. Remember that, as companies expand, the members that generate the profits will eventually consider a union to compromise. Eliminating this threat can cause undesirable results. It is most beneficial to appease both the sponser and the people they are trying to reach.
I am guessing that since this "issue" is rarely brought up, we are doing the best we can to provide a free place for members to share and learn and also a place for sponsors to be able to be seen by their target audience. Not exactly sure why things have to be read into so much....it's a forum.