In general the issue is we've allowed too many reference/shopping requests which really don't have anything to do with Design and are against our FAQ:
- Anything not directly related to graphic design
- Questions that are primarily opinion-based
- Questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer
An example (and probably what caused you to post this question):
Tips and resources for beginning designers
This question should've never been able to stay open in its current format. It is
primarily opinion based and it has
too many possible answers
As a result of it staying open though I don't think its fair to punish someone for leaving a link to their own blog that is about design. Downvote it if you don't agree with what that blog says but not because it is his own blog. Instead you're welcome to downvote or vote to close the question.
I was overruled it seems since others deleted it, but I don't at all agree. Dan Waterworth posted a link only answer and it received 7 upvotes. Our regular user Plainclothes left an almost link only answer and it received 1 upvote. A new member posts a similar valid response but because the link is their own it gets deleted? That isn't right to me. The question is flawed and he shouldn't have been blamed for that.
In other cases however I do think the burden falls on the Answeree. I think that occurs only when the question is valid.
As a mock example:
How can I get InDesign to do XY
And someone posts a single link to their own commercial plug-in for doing it.
In that case the burden to me falls on the Answeree because the question is valid but the answer is not. The question didn't ask for a resource, it asked for how to achieve something. If the person who made said plug-in gave advice on how to do it without the plug-in and then also said they've made a plug-in to make this process easier I wouldn't consider that to be spam.
Again though the reason this is happening and seems so ambiguous is because we're allowing far too many shopping/resource questions to begin with. "What font for this?" "What software for that?" "What website to learn this?" "What book to help my kids learn that?" None of these should be left open as Questions. We can make them into Wikis if we want instead or simply remove them. As long as we continue to allow questions like this then I don't see how we can fault someone for suggesting their own font, book, software, or website.
I've decided to start voting to close any topics I see for references. I hope some of you all will do the same.
The most common concern from the established members here are too many questions,
"How do I do X effect in Y software?"
We could offset this by being stricter on the other questions though. For example "Whats a good resource for teaching my child design?" instead of answering with links and books that can soon disappear or be outdated we could
Vote to Close and request the user instead ask "How can I teach my child X?" Or even "In the most basic terms how can I grasp what X is? I get it works like so and so but how does this process happen?"
I think a lot of our users would take a lot of joy explaining most design concepts to others and it would fix the resource requests.
Essentially, http://www.graphicdesign.stackexchange.com needs to be the resource.