Forum Rules / Code of Conduct

Discussion in 'Forum Questions and Suggestions' started by Jeff, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. Jeff
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Location: Great Lakes

    Jeff Moderator

    I would be interested in feedback on or suggestions for the following preliminary proposal for Forum Rules.

    1.) Keep threads & posts on topic.
    1a.) New threads must be on topic based on the forum title. A thread in the Boat Design forum must be about boat design.

    1b.) Respect the original poster of each thread – replies should be on topic with the original post in a thread. Replies must not derail or disrupt the thread discussion based on the original post. Otherwise, start a new thread of your own. (It is ok for threads to evolve as the discussion progresses, but a thread about keel design is no place for a post about American politics.)

    1c.) Posts must be substantive to the forum and/or topic at hand. A little humor is ok, but only in the context of on-topic ideas or information. Posts should not be made that contain only a sarcastic jab or humorous remark with no new information or ideas. The "Open Discussion: All Things Boats and Boating" forum is less focused than the others, but posts there are still to be on topics about boats or boating in general.

    1d.) Language should be professional and understandable and must be in English as this is our only common language at this point in time.

    1e.) No duplicate or cross-posting.

    1f.) When starting a new thread, please use a descriptive title. As a thread title, "help me" is not very helpful to others quickly scanning the new posts of the day to see which threads they are able to offer helpful advice. (note post titles are fully optional within the thread; when starting a new thread however, please enter a short but descriptive title.)

    1g.) Do not post defamatory, manipulative, vulgar or obscene posts. Reported defamatory, manipulative, or vulgar posts are subject to removal. Posts or threads that are generally considered to be in poor taste are subject to deletion.

    The initial consequence of breaking the above rules is that the offending posts will be deleted at the discretion of the moderator(s). Repeatedly breaking the above rules will lead to the termination of your login and being banned from the forum permanently at the discretion of the moderator(s) If you see a member breaking these rules as a habit, please report an offending post by clicking the report post icon [​IMG].

    2.) Conduct must be conducive to sharing ideas and information.
    2a.) Please be kind to each other.

    It is never acceptable to insult or attack other members. Disagreement is healthy and beneficial to intelligent discussion but should be based always on ideas and factual information and never degenerate to a personal attack or insult.

    Please use proper forum etiquette and be polite and respectful to all other forum members. If you can't get along with another forum member civilly or wish not to read their posts, please add them to your ignore list.

    2b.) Assuming the identity of another person without their express consent (identity theft) is not allowed under any circumstance.
    A violation of the above may lead to the immediate termination or suspension of your login and being banned from the forum temporarily or permanently at the discretion of the moderator(s). More than one violation will mean the termination of your login and permanent banning from the forum. If you believe a post constitutes an attack against you or other violation, you are always welcome to report this using the "Flag for Moderator" icon on the top right of each post [​IMG].
    1 person likes this.
  2. RHough
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: BC Summers / Nayarit Winters

    RHough Retro Dude

    Sounds pretty good.

    My thought is that the thread starter "owns" the thread. If the thread starter does not have a problem with topic wander, there is no need for you to moderate it. Some posters are more sensitive than others. some threads live on after the thread starter has gone. We'll soon get a feel for who's threads are narrowly focused and who welcomes a bit of bird-walking.

    As far as person attacks and insults are concerned, some posts might seem to require a moderator intervention when no one is offended. This is a tough one. If I were to post "xxx, you silly fool, any idiot knows that cast iron sinks!" would that be an attack or insult? If my relationship with xxx was friendly and we would not be offended in person talking to each other in that tone, then no harm done?

    The problem I see is that friendly jibes/teasing taken at face value could lead a new poster to assume that the language and manner are normal and allowed.

    The question is, who is to judge if the post is out of line? The offended party? Anyone that finds the tone out of line? Only the moderator?

    If action is limited to posts that get forwarded to you, it relieves you of the responsibility to read and judge content of every post. If it is assumed that all posts are monitored and one slips the moderator's attention, the cries of bias and favouritism will soon follow. We all need to be aware that you are in one time zone and the other 95% of the world doesn't share it. Some posts won't be seen by the moderator for hours, we should not expect 24/7/365 moderation. We have to give you plenty of time to react.

    How about a notice if someone complains about a post before action is taken? It will be easy for you to see who gets the most complaints and also who complains the most. In your place I would make it clear that anyone that requires moderation more than once or twice is not welcome. Perhaps a 3 strikes and you're out rule? Your time should not be wasted dealing with either repeated out of line posters or chronic thin-skinned post police.

    What ever you decide, create as little work for yourself as possible. Moderating a forum this size could become a full time job. :eek:

    I think this is a good start. FWIW, I'm behind you 100% (At least until someone turns one of my posts in ... then I'll blame that damn drunken dog of mine for using my log-in!) :D
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  3. Guillermo
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Pontevedra, Spain

    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    I support your proposal 100%
    Even if you have not the time to supervise all posts, or the judging of them may prove tricky, at least it's a rule and everybody in the Forum will know that if his/her behaviour is not correct he/she may be banned.
    As it happens in every community some rules must exist, because this is not Utopia. These forums cannot be a jungle or they will continue on losing valuable posters and keeping only the 'wise guys'. A real waste of your magnificent effort.
    All the best.
  4. Jeff
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Location: Great Lakes

    Jeff Moderator

    That's a great point - a few members with rather hot tempers have also contributed some great content to the site over the years, so I tend to hesitate to act too often. As you say, the first step is to post clear forum rules and a code of conduct so it is clear what the community expects from its members. Next is to make it clear that members should report posts or let the moderator(s) know any time they are uncomfortable with or offended by a post, or any time they feel a poster is devaluing the forum. On one hand, I realize this is an extra burden to the members as well, but it is enormously helpful to have reports about problem posts when taking action or sending warnings to problem-members about their conduct.
  5. Wellydeckhand

    Wellydeckhand Previous Member


    U mentioned about the content should be about boat design, what if the thread about something to do with boat but not actually the boat? Like about Marina and facilities or the sailors hobbies or complaint or even destination and minute obscure discussion of the secret life of boater and custom lifestyle and culture? Would it be hard to filter?

    What about the smilies should be bane right? I mean I used the smileys and my mom thought i was not serious writting email for her.............., we dont see each other face in the forum, smilies can kill seriousness.

    The poster should state their mean of conduct when post..... example: ( Pls post serious answer ) or ( hell boys let shout this question ok? ) would it help to define what the poster want before ahand?


  6. Jeff
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Location: Great Lakes

    Jeff Moderator

    Good question - I would propose that topics that are not on-topic for any of the focused forums should go in "Open Discussion" (and have now adjusted the title of the open discussion forum accordingly to read: Introduce yourself, enjoy friendly conversation with other forum members, and a place for threads that don't fit in any of the other forums.

    What I propose is that the main forums remain serious and on topic, and the Open Discussion forum is the place for humor, friendly banter, etc. Thus in any but the Open Discussion forum, please take "Pls post serious answer" to be the default, understood post unless it's stated otherwise. Not that a little humor is a problem in the main forums (and in fact I love the fact that people have fun here and that there is a sense of community, friendship, etc.), but any and all posts in the main forums should contain serious content and not only humor or short off-topic quips.

    One of the great things about this site is that it has allowed many amateurs and yacht designers just starting out to post questions, sketches of their ideas, and project ideas and get feedback from those more experienced yacht designers who take the time to share their expertise here. This is really a great asset, and what I don't want to happen is for the professional designers, builders, and naval architects to take a look at the forums and say to themselves "these people are just goofing around and wasting my time--I'll spend my time on a more professional site." Thus I want to keep the main forums and threads on-topic and focused on content and ideas.
  7. safewalrus
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Cornwall, England

    safewalrus Ancient Marriner


    Whilst I'm with you most of the way on this (it's after all your baby) I would point out that - yes I'm possibly hotheaded and shoot from the hip as it were, but there have been a couple of occasions when people have asked for advice in cases where, as an ex proffesional seaman of some 37 years (not much experience then?!) I see something which if carried out, will probably cause harm and danger to either the perpatrator or someone close by! In that case I SHALL, if I continue to subscribe to this forum (doubtful) tell them in no uncertain terms (wether they like it or not) that the activity could cause harm! I cannot and will not stand idly by and watch! neither should anyone else! And if information is requested your 'thinskins' should gladly take all they receive! As I said, other than that, You seem to have it about right and I will stand by you as long as I continue to subscibe (incidentally due to heavy workload I will be logging on less, and answering even less in future, this was in the pipeline, our 'friend' 'Tanned a***' only expedited the move!


    Mike (the Walrus)
  8. MikeJohns
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Australia

    MikeJohns Senior Member

    As I posted on Wills thread this Sounds to me to be the best solution.
    I guess time will tell.

    As for the Hotheads.... we can all bend a little and a little is all it takes to make things work.
  9. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
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    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    It's never quite as simple as "Welcome. and now that you're here just talk about boats" is it!
    The business of introducing humour to a thread is a grey area that can only really be dealt with in a subjective way. Nine times out of ten we all benefit from it. I can't think how many times the original participants of the Option One threads took one-line shots at each other (me included). But they were all given and taken in the good-humoured way in which they were intended.
    I think it would be a shame to simply ban one-line funny replies - so long as they're not offensive.
    The answer - as suggested by others - might be for you to only consider those that either you find offensive, or out of place. And more importantly to ask that other members make a note of such posts in some kind of "complaints box".

    As far as smilies go, I don't think there should be any suggestion of banning them. They often help to emphasize the intent of the poster

    As always, thanks Jeff....
  10. Vega
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Portugal

    Vega Senior Member

    It looks to me that a lot of people post (without intention) threads in the Design forum that don't belong there.

    Three violations and be banned for a thing that is not intentional and that can happen along several years (I mean the wrong posts), is it not a bit too much?

    Take some examples of recent threads in the design forum that perhaps should not have been posted there (a matter of opinion):

    "Naval Architect Not Qualified to Drive Boat! "
    "designers;what kind of boats do you have?"
    "Harley Emblem"
    "What the heck did I see?"
    "Sponberg Yacht Design temporarily off-line"

    Please don't see this as a critic to the thread "owners", I mean only that this issue , if not intentional, doesn't deserve (in my opinion) such a big punition.

    Keep up with the good work;)

  11. DanishBagger
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Location: Denmark

    DanishBagger Never Again

    Very true, I don't either believe that that will work in practice. Noone can escape slipping up once in a while.

    How about can result in a temporary or, at the worst, a permanent ban?

    Otherwise, it seems we will all eventually be permanently banned.
  12. DanishBagger
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Location: Denmark

    DanishBagger Never Again

    One more thought:

    What constitutes "an insult"?

    What if I went (in a suitable thread, of course):

    "Gees, I hate motorboaters, they really have no clue, do they" thinking about how they always seem to "drive" their boats way too fast in the harbour, playing loud music and not.

    And somebody goes:

    "WTH, I own a motorboat, you can't go around generelising like that!!"

    *End of Andre at this place*

    Also: the double posting:

    Sometimes, my ISP screws up, meaning that two packets are send. meaning I didn't do it on purpose that would be strike one, out of three. Heck, I already did that, meaning, in theory I have two strikes left.
  13. Jeff
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Location: Great Lakes

    Jeff Moderator

    Good points - thank you - and revised accordingly.
  14. DanishBagger
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Location: Denmark

    DanishBagger Never Again

    Cool, seems fair now, imo :)
  15. Oyster
    Joined: Feb 2006
    Posts: 269
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    Location: eastern United States

    Oyster Senior Member

    And then there seems to just be flamers, spoken in the name of "warnings" for one and all. Dealing with this issue here, and several other open format forums, its pretty easy to deal with this single issue on boat related forums for me. Log off. It has nothing to do with being thinned skinned, and all about how I choose to spend my free time. While there are many ways to accomplish the same thing, there are ways to express them without being called an idiot, too. I have tried this gathering twice, and seems that some of the same ones from multiple years ago, are still expressing their warnings in the same manner, with less than civility than others.

    We must understand that thats just the way it is for a lot of folks. Some use the expression of being "passionate" as an excuse. While there are a lot of good stuff floating around, a fair amount of reading, sometimes, is required to find it. Some of us have less time than others to do this, with jigs and hulls requiring most avaliable moments, and do not have that extra time on our hands. Now back to your regular programs.
    1 person likes this.
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