Not signed in (Sign In)

Vanilla 1.1.9 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

    Earlier today I asked The question was closed as off topic. It was also deemed inappropriate in several ways. I have since edited it to try to correct my errors, but I assume people can still access the edit history to see what was wrong with it before. Gerhard Paseman suggested that the way to learn "how an appropriate version of this might go" was to start a thread here, so that's what I'm doing.

    My impression based on earlier responses is (1) there is no appropriate way to mention a publisher's promotion. Fair enough. I probably should have realized that. (2) In the future, if I'm not sure whether something will be considered appropriate, the place to ask is here, not there. (3) Without the bit about the discount, the question might have been tolerated as "barely appropriate" but might also not have, as it is not a "specific and appropriately focused research question." (4) Even without the bit about the discount, the question probably would have been received as "unacceptable self-promotion" and a better approach would be along the lines suggested in Gerhard Paseman's first comment (which is the model for the current version).

    Is this about right?

    I admit that my motivation for posting to MathOverflow about this is two-fold. On the one hand, I do want to find out about and write corrections for all of the errors that people have found. And, on the other hand I want to help people who have the book and think they may have found an error in it find the errata website. I guess that's still a bit self-promotion-ish, but it seems like it would have some value to a segment of the MathOverflow community. (I was motivated by So I would like to find out if there is a right way to go about it, and go about it in that way if there is.

    On a somewhat related note, is there are right way and a wrong way to reference one's own works in answers? For example, for this answer there are lots of good references, but for our book, I can tell you exact page numbers... if you have access to our book. So, was that helpful, or was it gauche?

    I appreciate any guidance.
    It's perfectly appropriate to mention one's own work if it contains the answer to a question someone asked. For instance, my answer is basically a reference to some papers of mine which partially answered the question. Looking at the link in your final paragraph, this seems to be of this sort, and thus is fine. However, I don't think it is appropriate to use MO as a place to advertise your work, so I don't think it is appropriate to ask a question solely to mention a paper or book you wrote.
    • CommentAuthorgrp
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2012
    I would thank you again, Joseph Hundley, for your listening and responding to the commentary.

    On the pro side of your initial post, I sympathize, and would have liked to advertise some of my own activities. (By the way, your user page on MathOverflow is for self description and promotion, so some not too gaudy mention of your book would be acceptable there; who knows, maybe a special MathOverflow discount might help increase the audience and errata list? Anyway...) Indeed it would be easy to tweak MathOverflow into several different directions which initially might seem like good ideas for the community.

    I made such a suggestion early on, and found that the moderators and certain community membes were more interested in seeing the forum and community survive to provide a resource for good and quick answers to speciifc research questions. It has spilled over into some other areas at times, but in the main that is the only goal/function of MathOverflow.

    If you look at the (formerly) USENET newsgroup sci.math, you will see what an unmoderated public resource can become. I don't use it anymore, nor sci.math.research that much. I see and echo the wisdom of trying to keep the focus of MathOverflow narrow, and believe it is achieved only through the relentless repetition of comments like "This is not appropriate; do xyz edit if you wish this to be acceptable."

    Community standards may change so that such posts may be useful and desired. I imagine instead that a battery of forums will be created which will cater to the mathematically adept and provide research and conference announcements, book publishing, and other news of interest. Even so I hope a version of your question finds its place on MathOverflow.

    Gerhard "Welcome To Our Little Corner" Paseman, 2012.04.23
    Thanks very much. I appreciate you taking the time to show me the ropes. In fairness, I was trying to push the errata page (which tends to make me look bad) as opposed to the book itself. But I guess it's the same principle. I was trying to push information through the tube in the wrong direction, so to speak. If I think there are more grad students on MathOverflow that may be confused by the errors in our book, the thing to do is lurk and wait until one of them asks a question about one. (And ask and answer other questions in the meantime.) As for the discount, I'd like to be able to save a few people a couple of bucks, but I'm now convinced there is just no good way to go there. So I don't plan to revisit that. Anyway, thanks again.