I respect Daniweb's image of a not-for-profit community which consists of people giving their time freely because they enjoy it, rather than posting just to earn money.

"not-for-profit?" Somehow I don't think so. Dani has made it quite clear that this is not a non-profit site. The more traffic, the more she makes.

Perhaps he meant everyone but Dani.

and even when he attempts to explain his insult he fails to make anyone see how it's insulting

I got it, without explanation

w00t! w00t!
An intellectual! Please explain the insult to me:
Thanks for the insult, You remind me of the heroes of world war II.

I've read this a couple time (and pasted it around a bit) and just can't see the insult, please explain it to me.

Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

The insult is in the insinuation that the poster would regard the Nazis as being the heroes of WW2.

Perhaps we can let this lie now, and concentrate on the actual subject of the thread. If not I guess I will just have to hit it with my big thread closing stick...

This entire thread just seems to be one of the effects of trying to put everything IT related under one roof ... in doing so, we're putting clashing communities with different subcultures together.

The developers here would find renting out signature links implausable. However, it is a VERY common practice among nearly all webmaster and marketing forums, perhaps all of them.

Developers might think of it as endorsing just the highest bidder instead of linking to sites you truly believe in. However, for the Internet marketers out there, 99% of the industry is in making industry contacts with other sites that target a similar audience to yours, and attending marketing conventions and seminars and participating on webmaster forums and blogs where you're in touch with other webmasters and SEOs and internet marketers. Therefore, swapping signature links, or even renting them for a few bucks, is a way to help out other people in your industry who you work with on a daily basis.

From an administrative point of view, of course we have no way of knowing whether someone is linking to their own website, a site they really like, a friend's site, or a site they want to endorse.

Either way, linking to a site you don't believe in or don't feel comfortable endorsing just for the sake of a few bucks is rather immoral. However, in the webmaster industry, we're a very close knit group of people who are already very used to endorsing products and services on our websites via advertising, and therefore just see signatures as an additional venue to display advertising with the same companies and sponsors and business contacts we're already working with on our websites.

Let me give you an example. Suppose Computer-Related Company X comes to me and wants to advertise on DaniWeb. They ask me if I have any other advertising opportunities available and I tell them that I will add them to my signature link on a bunch of other computer forums I frequent (that target their audience) for an additional cost. (I've personally never done it before, but it is a VERY common practice.) This is very valuable to the advertiser because it gives them additional opportuntiies to target their audience while still being connected to the DaniWeb/cscgal brand. If I thought the website was sleezy or something I wouldn't want to be associated with me, I think it violates the same morals to display it on DaniWeb as it does to display it in my forum signature.

Addendum =

It is well known within the industry that one of the most effective ways of promoting a website or product is a viral marketing campaign utilizing signature links.

For example, the way that I got DaniWeb off the ground was by participating in other computer forums, using a link to DaniWeb in my signature. People saw that I gave informative, helpful posts, and knew what I was talking about, and as my reputation grew, the forum users started to see what DaniWeb was all about. This is a VERY common practice.

However, many Internet marketers just don't have the time or knowledge to continuously post in competing forums. Therefore, it's a common practice to instead find regular members in these other forums that target the same audience and ask them to link to your website for a few bucks.