Many, many communities have an introductions forum, to allow new members to introduce themselves to the community. Generally speaking, they can talk about their personal background – where they’re from, what they’re interests are, what they are doing at the site and so on. I would say that most communities are even fine with them mentioning what they do for a living and linking to that site.
But, where a certain line can be crossed is when an introduction of a person becomes an introduction of a company or organization or a recruiting letter. That’s where it can get a little bit tasteless and can lead to violations of the community’s guidelines. When you are using an introductions forum, you want to always remember that you are introducing you, the person – not whoever you work for or whatever you do for a living. (There may be some exceptions, but if you’re new to a community, it’s always a good idea to check with the staff if you want to do something like that).
Here’s an example of a good, normal introduction I might make on a sports forum:
I’m a big sports fan. Specifically, I’m a big fan of the New York Yankees and Miami Dolphins since birth. I listen to a lot of music (big Diddy/Bad Boy Entertainment fan). For TV, I watch The Simpsons, Family Guy, Prison Break, 24 and House. Into gaming, as well, when I have time.
Any questions, feel free. :)
To be honest, someone doesn’t need to be that detailed to be OK with me. They can still mention their sites, like I did, but introducing yourself, however trivial it may seem, helps.
And now, here’s an example of what not to do:
My name is Patrick and I run SportsForums.net (http://www.sportsforums.net). It’s a great sports community and we’re always looking for new people. We’d love to have you over there. So, please check it out! Also, we’re looking for moderators, so if you are interested in that, just PM me over at the site. My username is NoBrain.
Would you like to take my first born, as well, while you’re at it?
Whether you are an individual or a corporation, if you are looking to tastefully integrate yourself into a community and derive real value from participation, it has to be about a person, an individual, a personality, a character – not a website, organization or company.