From time to time some of our members enquire about whether they can promote their own commercial activities on Stitch. They may work as travel agents in their professional life, for example, and want to offer travel services to Stitch members.
While this is a good idea in principle, experience has taught us that, in practice, it can create a number of problems.
For example, say you meet someone on Stitch whose profile you like. You start chatting with them, and you feel as if you've made a new friend. You meet them at a Stitch event, and you really think you're starting to form a personal connection. Then, suddenly, they start trying to sell you their services.
You'd feel a little duped, wouldn't you?
It wouldn't matter if they were still honestly interested in being friends with you, the idea that they were only doing it for commercial gain would ruin the experience.
That's why we have a strict rule about separating business from pleasure on Stitch. Members who have personal profiles on Stitch are not permitted to market their services for commercial gain within the community.
End of story.
There are, however, a number of cases where things aren't quite so cut and dried. For example:
You might want to suggest an activity which includes a paid component, where you have some connection to the business in question (e.g. tickets to the theatre where you work)
You might have a service you usually provide for commercial purposes, but want to share it with Stitch members as a social experience -- but still need to cover your costs
To cover these cases, we have adopted the following rules regarding commercial activity within the Stitch Community:
If a member is setting up an activity that includes a paid component, the primary purpose must be for companionship, not business. Typically this means the member is participating in the activity themselves, or else offering their services for the benefit of their friends in the community, not turning a profit.
If anyone is seeking a primarily commercial outcome from Stitch members, they need to do so via a business engagement through Stitch, and not be members themselves. When Stitch partners with businesses, the engagement must be kept purely commercial so that all Stitch members know where they stand. If you want to offer your services through a commercial partnership with Stitch, you can contact Stitch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is under no circumstances acceptable to gather contact information from members and add them to commercial marketing lists or other mailing services. Stitch does an enormous amount of work to maintain privacy, security, and integrity of communications for our members. This means that all communications should be through standard Stitch communication channels, so that we can continue to monitor and make sure that the guidelines are being followed. Not doing so is a breach of the community terms of service, and usually is grounds for suspension of membership.
These rules are in place purely to protect Stitch members. If you observe any member violating these rules, or have any other questions or concerns, please contact Stitch.