Regards this question https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/42358/how-to-publicize-a-free-book-on-raspberry-pi?noredirect=1#comment61380_42358

It is clear it is off topic and will be closed eventually but I had a look at the book, and it is truly like an Encyclopaedia of Raspberries! It is really awesome.

Is there any way, or any interest in helping promoting such great work. For example banners on this site, or something to help Kolban promote it.

He is offering it for free and I think it is a real gem for beginners and possibly amateurs.

What would a community site be, without the community?


  • 2
    I would be willing to do a review for the forthcoming blog and or dzone.com. didn't you write a book on the PI, and have a new version coming out as well? I would be willing to review yours as well Feb 9, 2016 at 18:50
  • Yes, I am in the draft process on the Raspberry Pi 2 Server Essentials. Thanks for asking. There will be some exclusive content for video streaming there that will only be available in the 2nd edition of the book for a period of time. But mostly updated old things (and every day it gets out od date any way.. so annoying, 3rd edition here we come :) ) I have written a blog post too, I have strategically made it SEO aggressive. Hopefully forwarding many people to Kolbans book and this community. It helped my book out very well.
    – Piotr Kula
    Feb 9, 2016 at 19:00
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    Thanks for the kind words ... very much appreciated. To avoid dis-harmony, I've removed the original stack exchange question. The last thing I want to do is cause issues or controversy. I think the policy of no individual work promotion is valid for a Q&A forum such as ours. I had thought that by removing explicit reference to my own work and making it a generic question that would have sufficed but am more than happy to fall in line with community decision.
    – Kolban
    Feb 9, 2016 at 23:45

2 Answers 2


Absolutely not. I know you got away with this once on meta, and TBH I don't think that was appropriate either, but let's just leave that at that.

Here's the problem: So you wrote a book/piece of software/designed a HAT/a case/a GUI theme, etc. etc. -- something that in someway relates to the Raspberry Pi and that you would like to distribute and promote online.

It doesn't matter whether it is for money or not, because if we say, "Sure free stuff is okay," that is arbitrary and prejudicial. It also requires we determine the truth of such claims and invites people to come up with schemes to circumvent how we determine whether it is true or not.

So, now we have a very broad category of things applicable for sale or free distribution:

  • Books
  • If books, why not blogs?
  • If blogs, why not any kind of online anything?
  • If books, blogs, and online material, why not software?
  • If books, blogs, and software, including things people must pay for, why not pi related hardware products? Aren't things like HATs, power switch boards, etc. etc. valuable and interesting to the community too?

Great! Now we are Craig's list for the pi. Why not? Because:

  1. At some point I strongly suspect SE management will intervene. This is not a free advertising site.

  2. Part of what I imagine would justify #1 is this then may come to seriously interfere with the primary purpose of the site, which is people asking technical questions and getting answers. It is not here for you to talk about your projects and so on. If you want to do that in chat, terrific, there's a good chance other people may be interested.

But not twisted into a Q&A format. What is then to stop Adafruit and Sparkfun from creating accounts and then making announcements with links to products and online material? How about Packt or O'Reilly or Leanpub? Or anyone? While I doubt the aforementioned organizations would, I guarantee that there will be others that do. Do we start to pick and choose who counts as "okay" and who is "out-of-bounds" or do we simply say:

No Advertising. Period.

There is already a sort of exception to this which is commonly used here and elsewhere on SE -- if you have a piece of software or online material that you think can legitimately be used in an answer, that's fine, although ideally you should acknowledge you are the author.

Creating Q&As explicitly for that purpose, however, is a grey area.

Also, you can promote yourself and your wares as much as you want in your profile. But no "signature" lines in posts.

  • ;) Good memory. I learnt my lesson. That is why I raised this question, in an attempt to get rid of the gray area. At least maybe a blog post or two would be made by the community, and that will be a great help. I was just curious on how the "ads" work on the site for low contributing users and if he may be eligible. Probably not and I knew it was a long shot but I think his book is.. wow. Really good and hopefully get a tiny teeny bit of attention here ;) Im a constant pain aren't I ;) Thanks for the great answer.
    – Piotr Kula
    Feb 9, 2016 at 19:05
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    @ppumkin, we're discussing the community ads situation right now, I might have gotten things wrong there, but we will figure that out and post accordingly.
    – Ghanima Mod
    Feb 9, 2016 at 19:07
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    As Ghanima says, you can submit anything you want as a Community Promotion Ad (be careful to pay attention to the specs there! I had to redo a few). Then it's just a matter of it getting to 6 votes. SE may draw the line at actually selling things since they do sell advertising in the same space. I would check into that on Meta.SE.
    – goldilocks Mod
    Feb 9, 2016 at 19:10

I guess you deserve an answer here as it was me to put the question on hold. To justify it, while I certainly do not want to shut down the effort to make Pi-related knowledge widely known, the way it is phrased right now - more or less along the line "how to promote the book" - is certainly not Pi specific and thus off-topic.

A good read to consider:

Defining the limits of self-promotion

Community ads

Well there's a process going on to do just that. Provide the ad and have the community vote on it. I do not see anything wrong with that. After all it's community's choice there.

Community Promotion Ads 2016

Other options

I'd like to hear more about the content of the book and I am glad that Steve already proposed to do a review of it for our upcomming blog. Not to mention that good writers are always welcome to provide content to the blog too.

  • Thanks Ghanima, I just published a blog post with the core topics extracted and linked to his page where you can download it. I really think the book is great. I understand the question is off topic on the main site, maybe the OP does not know about Meta. This is why I opened this question. I personally think Kolban did a great job and that this community can benefit from his work. There is allot of things in there that do not even overlay on this site. Tons of details and various things.
    – Piotr Kula
    Feb 9, 2016 at 18:57
  • PS - I had no issue with the question being put on hold. I know it was the correct way to do it. Just being in the situation my self before, I dont want to be like the blind leading the blind. I would like for Kolbal to feel welcome even though that type of behaviour is unwelcome. If you know what I mean.
    – Piotr Kula
    Feb 9, 2016 at 19:07

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