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In this question, I made a comment that I thought that the number of references to a product were great enough for me to down-vote the question. The question title had the product name, then there were two links to product pages. That seemed like a bit much to me. So although on the surface, the question was phrased as a "how can I do this myself", it seemed very light on research.

The author commented, asking about the way this kind of question could be improved, and I moved the conversation here.

If the goal is to track specific gravity through time, then the question should focus on the various techniques that would do that. If the principles used by a specific product are of interest, then that may be introduced, of course. But rather than drive people to the product site, the author of the question should pull details from the site, not presume everyone reading the question will want to drill into the product site.

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I didn't find that post to be overtly promotional.

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A few points, though I'm unfamiliar with Meta, so this might not be an "answer"...

  • At the time that post came out, the "brewbug", which has been renamed in the interim the "beerbug" had just come out. It was something I expected people to understand, and be familiar with.

  • It was mentioned because it was precisely what I wanted to do, while a description would inevitably have multiple questions looking for clarification of specs and requirements. If "a picture is worth a thousand words", then "a product is worth a hundred thousand words".

Finally, related, but even more meta: should there be a statute of limitations on things like this? This post is 2 years old, and the homebrewing stack exchange was a much different place then. I would completely understand if there had been a recent crack down on product placements in questions, or spam on this site and it was a recent post, but I'm not sure if such questions should be asked of posts that are that old...

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I find this to be a reasonable question it is not overtly promoting the product but asking questions about alternatives that exist/could be built and uses the links to highlight and clarify the subject of the question.

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I think that the post had good intentions and not promotional. I was delighted to learn about a new product that could potentially increase my ability to make my brewing process more scientific that what I already use. Made me wonder about other types of products might be out there, and the types of innovation happening in the space.

Homebrewing is a process that is largely a solo process. I occasionally pair up with a buddy on Brew Day, and I have only a handful of friends to discuss homebrewing process and methods. Hearing about other products is one part of homebrewing that I am interested in as well as the home brewing process, or a place to turn to when I want to try something.

For this particular product, BrewBug, a member of the community commented on the existing thread and said that the product has some fundamental flaws. This was helpful for me. It ended up saving me time and money because I know that it was not a useful product that I avoided purchasing.

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