Behavior & Etiquette


Behavior & Etiquette

I just joined. How do I keep myself from saying "the wrong thing"?

Most often, the "wrong thing" is a sincere statement that unknowingly flies in the face of the local culture. This can be avoided by spending the first few days reading what others have had to say, especially in the topics that interest you most. When a member posts, the number of times they've posted accompanies their name and membership date. Look for the most talkative, go to their profile, then click on "find all posts by" and you'll get a good impression of the kinds of conversations that have gone on before.

You can definitely assume that all Politics and political statements are considered needless and potentially inflamatory (at least to someone) and are subject to immediate deletion. Continued political posts will most likely get the member banned.

How can I politely ask people to post things that I would like to have?

The most courteous way of requesting something free from a total stranger is to find the person who has posted either what you are looking for or similar work and email privately. Do not demand. First ask if they plan to post again in the near future and state that it would mean a lot to you if something particular was posted. You may find that the original poster is happy to discover someone else as interested in that particular bit of material.

If you insist on posting a request for material on the forum, there are very specific guidelines for doing so:

  • Any request for material to be posted must appear in the topic titled "The Thread for Requests" in the "Into the Swamp" forum.
  • Any request for material to be posted must employ a certain minimum level of courtesy, diplomacy, and good character.
  • Posts requesting material should be very infrequent.
  • New users (those unable to use the "email" feature) may have a maximum of one post in "The Thread for Requests" asking for material. (The thread will be culled from time to time, but the general principle is that if you are not contributing much to the community, think carefully about how much you ask of it.)
  • No one may post a request if that request will then be their only post on the forum. At least some sort of participation is expected before you ask the community to spend its time and money on your specific desires. Shill posts designed specifically to satify this requirement don't count.

If a request is posted that substantially does not comply with these criteria, it may be removed or moved into the "Deep Cesspool" forum. In order to prevent rewarding such behavior, any attachments posted by other users in response to such an obnoxious request will be removed.

The reason these posts are moved to the Deep Cesspool forum is not to be insulting to new users, although this is sometimes misperceived as the case. The Deep Cesspool is the only forum where old posts expire. This means that after you have learned the error of your ways, your misstep will be removed and will not become a permanent part of board history.

Somebody called me a "Gimme". What's that?

A "Gimme" is a person who, through their clumsy way of asking, imitates the impatient child most likely to use the word. Somebody who unabashedly asks for something for nothing. Somebody who forgets that what they want simply for the asking could easily be something originally obtained through the owner's years of patience. This is especially true for those who want something given them from artists who spend hours at their work to produce a gift for the community. And especially annoying are those who critique that work, asking that something be changed so that it is more appealing to them personally.

If I'm writing a story or other fictional representation of people on the forum, should I get their permission first?

In general, yes. People put a lot of time and energy into developing their forum identities, and as such, they do tend to closely identify with those names and personas. Even though you may not be under any legal obligation to seek their permission before using their names or likenesses in material you create, common courtesy dictates that you should. If you don't, you might create the (hopefully mistaken) impression that your interest in that person goes beyond what's appropriate.

It's easy to make up fake names. Please do, unless you've talked it over with the person or persona you're proposing to incorporate into your work.

I just can't tolerate [fill in the blank]. What are you going to do about it/him/her?

Foster's First Law of Diplomacy states that when a decent person with one perspective meets a decent person with the opposite perspective, two assholes are created. A person who truly goes over the top with obnoxious behavior will eventually drop out of their own overweight self importance. If that isn't soon enough for you, email the Moderator and lay out your objections. Each case deserves its own solution.

I read a post that I strongly disagree with. How do I respond?

It is highly recommended that you state your answer in the form of a question. Rather than meet their point of view straight on with an argument or an attack, ask them to explain how they came to that conclusion since your own experience draws a completely different conclusion. Engage in discussion that tries to answer a question you do not believe was satisfactorally addressed.

Somebody attacked me for what I posted. How do I respond?

Pull back on the very human tendancy to counter attack and ask for an explanation of the point of view that led them to disagree. Write clearly, calmly and respectfully. It will either deflate the attack or eventually highlight the attacker as a candidate for banishment.

Personal attacks will not be tolerated, and will be moved to the Cesspool. Opinions are free to conflict, as long as they do so peacefully.

My response got a very angry reaction. Now what?

You can either respond in kind and start a flame war, or go by the advice given in the previous answer. While the former response may feel completely justified, you'll feel much better if you choose the latter. And so will the moderators. Courtesy goes a long way here, and tends to give the benefit to the reasonable and the soft-spoken.

Why did I get banned?

Those who get banned have either managed to find a way of repeatedly breaking our very liberal rules of what to post, or whose posts continue to go against the grain of the others in the Forum to the extent that they have made themselves a public pariah.

How can I get "unbanned" again?

Contact Foster Blake and explain how the behavior that got you banned has become a thing of your former life and will never again darken the Forum's pages. Chances are, if you haven't come to that conclusion yourself, you'll probably not be readmitted. Even if you have, there is no certainty.