How to Write a Recommendation for the Cleveland Park Listserv
The Cleveland Park Listserv posts recommendations nearly every day. List members write in to recommend contractors, plumbers, electricians, doctors, therapists, fitness instructors, yoga teachers, tutors, landscapers, tree trimmers, housekeepers, nannies, and much, much more. Yet, every so often we (the moderators) decline to publish a recommendation submitted by a list member. Sometimes when this happens, we get a note from the list member asking why the submitted recommendation did not appear. So that we don't have to send out individual notes explaining each time about our list's policies on recommendations, we have put our criteria for publishing recommendations on this page.
All recommendations on the Cleveland Park Listserv need to meet the following requirements.
- Recommendations need to be based on the poster's own personal experience with the recommended company or service. We do not publish secondhand or hearsay recommendations.
- Recommendations need to be signed at the END by the person who submits it.
- Recommendations should not include any "I don't know" lines. If you're not sure whether the recommended company or service can do the job, you should check with the company first and report what you find out in your message to the list. You also need to be sure of the recommended company's name and contact information. While it's not always necessary to provide all forms of contact information for a company or individual, we won't post a recommendation that says, "I can't remember the name of the store but it's on Wisconsin near the Starbucks," or "I don't have the phone number but you could look it up."
- Recommendations need to say more than "I agree" or "I second that recommendation" in response to a previous post. A recommendation needs to convey new information about the experience of working with the recommended company or service. For the same reason we don't post recommendations that are simply a company name and phone number.
- Recommendations need to be current. If it's been a few years since you've used a service or visited a store, you should leave the subject to those with more up-to-date experience.
- Recommendations should not come too frequently from the same
poster. The CP Listserv wants recommendations to come from a broad
variety of voices. Our general list rules also prohibit "overposting"
so that discussion isn't dominated by just a few frequent posters. List members should wait a minimum of a year before repeating a recommendation to the listserv.
- Recommendations need to provide an answer to the question that's been asked. Let's say that someone has queried: "Where can I buy a room air conditioner and get someone to install it?" We would not post, for example, the following response: "My recommendation is not to use window air conditioners at all. They're energy-wasters and harm the environment. A good cross-breeze from opened windows and a good ceiling fan are all you really need."
- Recommendations are published only when sent in response to a recent query, and it must be your own idea to send in the message in favor of the service person or contractor. If anyone has asked you to send in a message recommending anything or anyone, the message cannot be posted. This rule helps to prevent shilling.
- Recommendations need to be about the individual or the company and not about a particular offer, sales event, discount, or class enrollment. In other words, you can recommend your contractor but you can't say, "My painter is offering a 15 percent discount this month," or "My yoga teacher is looking for two more students for our twice weekly session." These kinds of messages are considered advertising, which run only as paid ads. If you would like to help out a business, service, or professional by helping to spread the word about a particular offer or class, please consider purchasing a paid sponsored message. You can find out how to do that on our Cleveland Park Paid Ads page by clicking on CP Paids Ads .
- Recommendations for work of a highly specialized nature or queries seeking advice on an obscure topic, which in the judgment of the moderators is likely to be of interest to only a handful of list members, should go off-list just to the person who requested the information.
- Recommendations are accepted only from posters without a financial stake in the business, service or company being recommended. It's fine to respond privately to recommend your own business, or your spouse's business, but if you would like your self-recommendation to go on-list, it's considered an advertisement, and must be purchased. See our CP Paids Ads page to learn how. If we learn that you have made a recommendation for a business in which you have an interest but have hidden that connection, you may be barred from future posting or banned from the listserv entirely.
- Recommendations that in the judgment of the moderators seem odd or implausible may not be posted on the listserv. For example, we have to wonder what's going on when the same list member sends in recommendations for six different housekeepers over a period of a few weeks. How many housekeepers can someone use in that time? Whenever something makes us start wondering about how the recommendation came about and who's behind it, we may be inclined not to publish it on the listserv.
- If submitting a compilation of the recommendations that you have received off-list, please leave out any that don't fit the above criteria. (The moderators may also edit your compilation so that it conforms to the above criteria.) Although all on-list recommendations need to be signed, when it comes to a compilation of the off list recommendations that you have received, the opposite rule applies: We assume the posters would like their privacy preserved and so names should be omitted. But be sure to sign your own name to your compilation!
A few additional points to keep in mind:
We do allow two (and only two) categories of service people to self-recommend or seek work on the listserv: Housecleaners and in-home caregivers (whether babysitters or elder care givers) are allowed to post a couple of times per year about their availability for hire. Please note that the message must be restricted to those services, and can't include an ad for higher priced and higher skilled services such as tutoring, coaching, pet care, or therapeutic care. Our advertising policy page has all the fine print about what's considered a business advertisement and what isn't.
Some of these considerations are rather subjective, and different moderators may reach different conclusions about similar recommendations. Please DON''T write to the moderators to point out inconsistencies about which recommendations are published and which are not! Moderating a listserv is an art, not a science. It's also an all-volunteer job.
Please don't expect the moderators to write to you about a recommendation that did not appear. We receive and delete far too many messages a day to explain each individual posting decision.
Enjoy the list!
The Moderators: Bill, Peggy, Jeanne, Christina, and Ariel the AI bot
PS. As you can see, the Cleveland Park Listserv is a very busy place in cyberspace, and takes a lot of time on the part of the volunteer moderators. You are welcome to show your support by making a donation. The moderators appreciate the good karma that comes from knowing that Listserv members appreciate all the hard work that goes into running the Cleveland Park Listserv:
Cleveland Park Listserv Homepage
Cleveland Park Ad Check Page (posting rules for housing ads, for-sale notices, etc.)