First Things First.
1. Board Rules are located here.
2. Constructive Posting Policy is located within this thread.
3. Our Disclaimer / Privacy Statement is located here
Arguing Over Our Policy
This is a writing Community. Our focus is to communicate with respect even when disagreeing. We are friendly and respectful, however there are those who join with an agenda to upset our establishment with trolling or spamming, so let's be clear: Our Policy and more especially the enforcement of that policy by Administrator / Moderators is NOT up for debate.
No Embarrassment - Just Private Help
We give help, provide tips and make edits to content in a private manner so as to not cause any embarrassment to any Member. If there are any issues then we will bring them up with you privately.
The Key Is To ALWAYS Be Courteous
This Is A Unique Community
This is an INTERNATIONAL Intellectually Mature Community in which hundreds of various Topics are Discussed in a clear, concise and friendly manner. We cater for all kinds of discussion including and not limited to: Sports, Politics, Role-playing Games, LDS Doctrine, Islam, Far East Religions, Philosophy, Activism, Entertainment, Blogs, Computers, Games, News, etc.
NOTE: A full list of possible Topics of Discussion can be seen by visiting either the Index or What's New! links.
We expect the highest standards from every member so that respect is kept and silliness is eliminated. For instance, take the time to post a message that is not full of slang, net talk, bad spelling, bad grammar and nothing really supportive of the topic. In other words do not write a message just to say, 'thanks', 'wow', or 'I did not know that' using 'u' to represent 'you' and so on. (See more examples below) The Constructive Posting Policy is meant to help Posters (Writers) feel free to share their thoughts without wondering if their message will be ridiculed, be taken off topic, etc.
This is not another run of the mill kind of Community - we have been here for years and people's lives have changed from just reading our topics - we are serious and love what we do. Many try to join only to complain after because they are not used to how things are implemented or structured. This site is NOT FaceBook, Twitter or whatever site you use. This is International Discussions where ONLY constructive Discussion and quality collaborative Role-playing Games known as "Play by Post" Are promoted. Keep in mind this Community caters for the cultured writer. It is not for the person who wants to push a button and everything they desire falls into their lap.
To maintain this statuesque we expect everyone to abide by the following:
Posts (Your input) you make should be your original text written by yourself and not copied, digitally published or printed anywhere else. You agree that you relinquish your ownership of the text you add and give this site and its owners full exclusive rights over it as we deem fit regardless to the status of your Membership herein. Where you are referencing something from a News source, book, historian, and so forth the reference to it in the form of a link, book / page name should be stated in Quote Tags.
No matter what the message is or what board you are on (Well maybe except for the Jokes board to some degree) you should always follow these guidelines:
1. Keep on the subject of the thread. You can know what the subject is by looking at the first message in the thread. Do not jump into a message unless you know all the facts stated by everyone in that topic or you will look foolish in trying to cover something that has already been discussed.
2. If you must say something not in relation with the subject of the thread then use the Offtopic Tags. However, this does NOT mean you can post a message totally in the off topic, and off topic message should be a SMALL part only of a CONTINUING Discussion.
3. If you are quoting someone then use the Quote Tags. If you are quoting someone's published work whether online or printed make sure to place the reference to the writing either with a link or page number / book name using the Quote Tags. Do not copy more than one or two paragraph's of anyone's work (Leave it up to members to pursue if they want to read more rather than force it on them.)
To learn how to use the Quote & Offtopic Tags see further below within this Thread or How to Use the Offtopic and Quote Tags.
4. Do not double post! Double posting is where you reply or start a message, wait a minute or so and then start another message right underneath your first message with something about forgetting to add text, etc. Once not more than 30 minutes has passed you should press 'EDIT' on your original message and then add the text you forgot. NOTE: A script automatically warns you of this so no need to worry about it.
5. Stop saying, 'JB' all over the board. Members have a habit of trying to 'talk' to the administrator through their posts when the administrator has not even been to the thread they are writing in. If you want to invite JB to your Discussion or ask him something more personal then use his Introduction Thread. This principle is the SAME for other Members. Anything related to self, personal issues or 'chit chat' should go within a Members Introduction.
6. Your message should make sense, and legible enough to read. The spelling does not have to be perfect, but if you are really bad then please use a spell checker. Things you may wish to consider:
- Starting a sentence with common letters or using 'i' instead of 'I'
- Telling us you are bored or that you do not know why you are here
- Writing as though we can read hieroglyphics
- Showing your annoyance about the rules and policies of this site.
7. Do not speak in symbolic terms, slang, net talk or baby talk - this is an international forum, we may not get what you are trying to say!
8. Do not reply to a message telling us how much you do not know about it - if you do not know about the subject matter - DO NOT REPLY! This does not count if you are asking legit questions about the subject at hand. We do welcome questions - the intelligent thing to do if you are unsure about something is to ask a question!. Questions about how the site works can be Posted in your Introduction Thread.
9. Do not reply to a subject just to say you like the subject, instead add input - why do you like the subject, what do you think could improve, etc. Indeed avoid being repetitive just to boost your post count.
10. Sarcasm is the lowest form of humor and in most cases it can be insulting, especially in an international setting - keep it out of your posts! If you want to be funny then go to the Jokes Board. Use good clear English, be respectful, and in good taste. As is said in the Rules - no name calling or stereotyping. Yes, you are allowed to be 'strong' in your adjectives, but not to direct it at the person, but rather the event or statement - there is a difference.
11. Do not post your Email address, phone, personal detailed address, instant messenger or pager and tell Members to contact you that way - why do you think we built this Community in the first place? All Discussion is public! If you want to send Private Messages to Members then Upgrade your Membership by making a Donation. For two Members to communicate privately both will need to be Upgraded. Do not Upgrade or Donate just to private message Members here, private access features are meant ONLY to be a facility for those who Donated and not a means to avoid public Discussion.
12. There is nothing worst than one dozen smiles just to write a message. Do not use smiles repeatedly as you post, you may use ONE only JUST to emphasize a point. Further below in this thread there are actual examples of badly made messages.
13. Before posting check to see the REQUIREMENTS of the board in which you are going to post. This is true especially if you are starting a new thread. At the top of every board is a short description of what the content should be about. There may also be a 'Check Here First' or 'Read Me First' thread.
14. Qualify your message by posting references to actual published works or data to back up what you are saying. If it is just your opinion then make sure to say so otherwise your message may be taken as fact and cause unnecessary disagreement. As a guide you can always start by saying 'In my opinion.'. If you disagree with something then you can simply say, 'I disagree.' there is no need to call anyone names, tell them they are wrong, that they lack intelligence or make fun of them by being sarcastic.
15. Stop advertising: Do not post your Email address, phone number, favorite web site, ways to make money, or related Communities that you belong to, etc. Members often try to promote their own home pages or pages they like via messages - this is NOT allowed, we are not Facebook or Twitter where anything goes. Learn more about this concept here: Speaking in Links.
16. Check the Compare Page to see what you CAN and CANNOT do within your current account. If you want more features then please do consider donating and helping the excellent work that goes on here.
17. Religion is kept to the Religious section only! Not everyone believes the same way you do so DO NOT bring up religious quotes or the element of deity / spiritualism outside of the religious Boards. Additionally, there are designated Boards to Discuss your beliefs. For example: Studies of Islam or Studies of Catholicism, etc. Do not mix up Doctrine: for instance, do not use Catholic quotes or reasoning in the Islam Board and vice versa. If people want to read about your Religion then they will go to the respective Board for it.
Helpful Topics About Grammar / Word Usage
This is important reading so you understand how things are done here:
* Copyright: Our Policy Governing Content & Images
* Offtopic, Quotes & Other Tags
* Using Interjections - Word Emotions
Again: Our Policy and more especially the ENFORCEMENT of that policy by Administrator / Moderators is NOT up for debate.
The real crime in education today is not the way we treat teachers but whom we allow to be teachers. -- Unknown
Q. What is a constructive message?
A. A message that makes sense and adds a valuable contribution to the subject matter of the thread. In other words do not just post to say you agree with the subject, but why you agree! Likewise, if you disagree with comments made you do not have to start insulting anyone, simply make your stand as to why you disagree in a clear, concise and respectable manner. You should make any counter-attacks directed at the subject and not a Member of the Community - and this should only be done with facts and / or references such as quotes, links to specific articles, etc.
Q. What is the difference between Core Posts (CPosts) and Posts?
A. Please see this Thread: Points, Core Posts, Posts & FP - Forum Points
Q. What may be constructive for me may not be for someone else right?
A. True, but there is a limit. Someone may not think what you have said is important or valuable, but if they can make sense of what you said then it was probably worth it. (See above).
Q. Can I use slang?
A. No! This is an international forum, not everyone is going to understand the slang from your country or area, some may even become offended by the words you use that have alternate meanings. Just use plain English please.
Q. I have found a few threads and posts that used slang, how come these were allowed?
A. Look at the date of these messages and you will see that they are very old and were made when we did not have such stringent policies. We are working hard to rid ourselves of such messages. If you find any please feel free to bring it to our attention.
Q. I want to post several lengthy messages but the system says I can only post one? Can I ask other members to post so I can continue?
A. Some users like to post lengthy threads, of late members simply post to let them continue. This isn't good for a couple of reasons:
1. The lengthy post is endless and makes discussion tedious and not based on personal thoughts but on articles that could have just been linked - in other words it becomes a rant.
2. The user that posts the 'go ahead' message ends up saying nothing but - 'go ahead' thus their message is wasted.
Members can upgrade their account to double post, but more importantly if they are going to post several lengthy messages then they may need a blog which will enable them to double post all they like.
Here are links to other threads WITHIN the FAQ that may be of help to you:
Please read them ALL they will help you to be a top poster so that your threads and replies will be of great value - others will then take you seriously and MrSmith will not delete your threads.
About Boards / Threads / Posts
Posting Links to External Web Sites
Offtopic and Quotes
Should I say 'Thanks'?
Points, Core Posts, Posts & FP - Forum Points
Q. I started a great thread but it was closed - how come?
A. You posted it in the wrong place or more than likely you started a thread about a subject that already exists.
Q. I saw the topic that already exists, but it was old, so I wanted to start a new one, why couldn't I?
A. This forum is not run like other communities where a topic becomes 'old' information cannot be 'old', it can only be updated, but for its time it will remain true. The other reason for this is having three or four topics about the same subject means two things: 1. You will not get full participation or 2. no one will answer your thread at all (this is seen quite frequently on other communities) because it has already been discussed elsewhere.
Q. I want to talk about a subject related to serious crime, sex or something that may be disturbing, but it was moved. Why is that?
A. We do not allow such topics in full public view. Only those to whom the Architect has given Mature Group level status. For more on this go to:
Q. I find the rules too rigid here for my liking, you should change them...
A. The rules here are to encourage mature discussion, not smileys, not rants, not insults, but mature discussion. If you cannot handle it then simply delete your account via your profile controls. As MrSmith recently said:
"No man can break laws and then claim ignorance, especially when the rules of this community are so well defined." -- MrSmith, BGIDÂ®
For those who still do not get it...
Some people like VISUAL examples of what NOT TO DO. Here are some examples of BAD postings, so you should use this as a guide of what NOT TO post on this forum.:
Each example is separated by dashes and my comments are in bold:
Not using uppercase letters where necessary
hi, I'm john and I do not know that names, places and the start of each sentence should begin with an uppercase letter, I am not bright enough to know that 'I' should be be 'I' when relating information about self.
Slang or cut text
what be happin' wid da cru? I cant spell to sav my life
Excessive use of smiles and symbols
:) hey all, I cannot express what I want to say [-( so I have to use all kinds of $$ weird $$ symbols to make up for my lack of expression >|->
Jumbled and nonsense
I am writing facts or scribles all together without any commas or breaks or periods because I do not know when a sentence begins or when it ends and I think that everyone can translate my mass confusion
Saying so little - non-constructive
hi, I love this topic, it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside ;P
Being puzzled by the site's error messages
This site won't let me do this or that or my posts keeps getting edited and I don't bother to find out why... I just like to use any of my posts to complain rather than find out why. I just keep posting any which way until a moderator finally comes along and just deletes my membership.
Feeling Offended? Are You the Offender?
First all let us define what it means to be offended:
# To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in.
# To be displeasing or disagreeable to: Onions offend my sense of smell.
Ref. Source 6m
Now for our little terminology:
For us there are various levels of 'being offended':
1. You are offended because you broke a rule and a Mod or Bot corrected you.
Why? If you break the law do you expect the police to just let it go? The same applies here. You were thoroughly warned BEFORE joining that we rigidly enforce our rules. Also, be grateful that someone is willing to correct your mistakes, from this we grow. Right?
2. You are offended because someone said something in a thread that did not break the Forum Rules but somehow you felt uncomfortable with it.
We must all realize that this is an international community and we all see things differently. Some will be for the War in Iraq and others will not, but it does not mean we have to be rude or uncivilized, however we can disagree, especially when a statement is made in fact and not in opinion.
3. You are offended because you see someone else get praise or charisma or access to something that you do not have.
Covet thy neighbor eh? Well, first of all you may wish to evaluate why you do not have this 'fancy' stuff that you are coveting. Have you been a good poster, did you give trouble? Did the Mods or Bots have to be editing or moving your posts every five seconds? Are you active? Some users post nothing or very little and expect to achieve everything an active member does.
4. You are offended because you do not like the way we run things around here.
Oh, that one is simple... 'Delete Membership'. You will find that option in your Control Panel. No, it is not that we do not care about you or your feelings, but it is just simply... This is not the place for you. We are not going to change the Rules or stop enforcing them so let us level... Maybe some place that does not care what people Post or say may be better for you?
Now, I would like to state that if anyone breaks any of our Rules or Policies then that is an offense. We are professionals so we do not have time to stop and feel our heart break over it. The way we deal with the offender is based on the level of the offense. It can range from a simple warning to outright deletion and even follow-up with your ISP if you are a real predator. Of course the latter is only used for those who are spammers and / or seeking illegal activity.
Second, once everyone keeps within the rules of this community it is impossible to be offended unless you are overly sensitive. If you are overly sensitive then you may wish to evaluate your purposes for being here. Why? Well what do you expect? Should everyone just accept what you have to say? Should everyone just agree? It would be folly to think so as we live in a real world with various opinions. Some users can be very blunt, but that is their way, it is their opinion, so long as they are not directly calling you names, making fun of you or being sarcastic then just leave it alone. It is always helpful to state "In my opinion..." As no one can really argue with that. Another thing that is ironic, if something is sensitive to you then why post it or reply to it in a public community? You must understand that when a user replies to a message and disagrees with your perspective then 99% of the time they are usually disagreeing with your 'take' on the subject matter and not 'you', the person - members often mix this up.
Third, if you feel something has offended you, but it did not break the rules then rather than bottle it all up inside simply express your feelings in a constructive manner as to why you are offended. Members are not mind readers and what may be offensive to you may seem very far from that to someone else. Again, this is not an LDS, Role-playing Game, Trinidad, Muslim, Catholic or other community, it is an International Community - we all think differently, we all grew up with a view point that may appear to be very strange compared to the other person's view, etc. Hence we have the rules we do... They keep the peace and they enable everyone to enjoy themselves without feeling intimidated. However, again, I must emphasize... If you feel offended often, you are in disagreement with how we run things or you just do not like the colors we use then simply 'Delete Membership'. After all we do not want unhappy people here, why be in a place that makes you feel uncomfortable?
Fourth, now this one goes out to those of you that are cheeky or lack the empathy necessary to discuss things in an International setting. First of all it is a good thing you do not negotiate for arms control on behalf of your country, because surely you would do a terrible job and may even initiate war. Come on... Before you post, take a breath, walk around the room and ask yourself, is what I am about to type offensive? Even if you think it is not, could it be taken that way? Why not try explaining yourself in detail rather than giving a uncaring reply that may cause ill feelings?
Fifth, this is all free, keep that in mind and think about it.
The Phone Home Feature
Please consider using the Phone Home feature wherever you see the button below or the actual text 'Phone Home'. The button below is active and you will be surprised with how much help it gives you:
A pause from Constructive Posting Policy to share wise words from the past:
Today is: 16th January (GMT), in history on the 16th of January, 1915 AD the following event happened:
Congress authorizes $1 and $50 Panama-Pacific International Expo gold coin