Advertizing club events, social gathering (whether coover charges) anything like that is fine - I'm concerned with big companies who have (done this before) planted members here who boast about products, litterally polling members about products and swearing it is the next best thing since slice bread.
We have allowed people with websites (even small business websites) to add their web address in small links in the signature area of their post - with the KNOWLEDGE that it is NOT why they are here, that is selling a product(s) or talking about what they offer in the posts. This curtesy is more for the members to checkout links that may lead them to something helpful - although if any product talk is to be done, it should be in Private Messaging, not open forum.
It is too easy for members to join a few weeks apart and then setup dialog that is commercial in content as they ask seemingly harmless questions. I again can't get into all the schemes of how advertizing makes its way into forums in general, it is fair though to say there are hundreds of schemes out there.
There is nothing wrong with endorsing a product you found to be exceptional, what draws a line is when the majority of your posts surround that product - that is spamming by anyone's definition.
It really gets down to common sense - Commercial Free is pretty self explanitory, if you are making money off of something, then it isn't allowed here - except the few exceptions in the Trading post where deals are kept private.
If you are announcing events that are relative to beekeepers, mentioning new books or movies you have seen, read or heard about - all that is fine. Just don't come in here thinking you can unload 5,000 copies of "Smarter than a Beekeeper" cause you thought it sounded like a good place to sell off your cases of books.
All the rules are are meant to be accepted as written, an easy guide to DOs and Don'ts. I wrote these rules, as a guide for members to shape their understanding of what is allowed - if they are wrong, we'll let them know. No MODERATOR here wants to break anyone's cookies on these rules, but if OBVIOUS rule breaking is done, swift action and severe action will take place. Someone just trying to post a message and messing up what they understood was allowed leads to a message explaining what needs to be changed and why.
Remember, rules are like road signs and traffic lights, they are meant to allow traffic to move smoothly about its way, not to cause pile-ups at intersections. Anyone here long enough to see what happens when rules are broken KNOW by now what they shouldn't do. You will find less rules at other forums on any topic, but without basic and simple rules choas will always follow. Hope that helps, I wrote that for everyone Sean, not just for you - I hope it helps :)