Hello DownSpikers! Recently the forum has seen good growth, and an influx of users with the release of the ios and android apps. So I'm going to lay down some ground rules, and some tips for forum etiquette. First, the short form: 1. Before making a new post, use the search function to see if a similar post already exists 2. Before replying to a thread, read some of the previous replies, and respond to them 3. Make an effort to use proper grammar and spelling 4. General, 'should be obvious' rules (don't be rude, lewd, or obnoxious) 5. (For businesses) Advertising your products is okay, BUT ONLY IF your 'advertisement' posts are a small percentage of your total posts. If you break these rules, the mods will contact you. If you break them in a really bad/repetitive way, we'll hit you with the banhammer. --------------------------------------------- Now, the more elaborate explanation: 1. Before making a new post, use the search function to see if a similar post already exists THIS IS IMPORTANT! Forums work best when threads are built upon, becoming databases of knowledge that can be read through. Want to know what camera to buy? Or read some reviews on a new style of paint? Chances are someone else has asked those same questions, and forum members have given detailed replies. Use the search, and you'll find all sorts of info! 2. Before replying to a thread, read some of the previous replies, and respond to them If you just post one-liners that give your opinion on the topic, then you're really not bringing any value to the forum. Engage with other users, help build an interactive community, something something, profit. 3. Make an effort to use proper grammar and spelling This isn't an absolute rule, but it makes everything easier to read. Meme'ing is allowed, bu7 1f ur p05tz l00k l1ke 7h15 411 duh T1m3, people are going to think you're dumb, and you'll probably get a warning from the mods. 4. General, 'should be obvious' rules: Be respectful. Keep profanity down. Don't post pr0n or other NSFW content. Don't post links to piracy, malware, etc. No spamming or repetitive trolling. No doxxing (posting personal/contact info of anyone other than yourself, unless they're a public figure and that info is otherwise very easily available. For example: its okay to post the Sweets Kendamas shop phone number. It's not okay to post Matt Sweet's cell phone number). The moderators reserve the right to alter or remove any posts that are perceived to be breaking these rules (ie, if you post racist comments, we will remove them). 5. (For businesses) Advertising your products is okay, BUT ONLY IF your 'advertisement' posts are a small percentage of your total posts. If every third post you put up is an attempt to sell your wares, thats not okay. If you are an active member that sometimes posts about your newest products at appropriate times, then you're in the clear. Related: if someone posts 'should I buy "X' or 'Y'?", and you reply with "You should buy (my) 'Z' instead!", that is also not okay. If you're looking to explicitly advertise on the site, please contact the site admins to discuss advertising opportunities. EDIT: If a company representative runs an actively contributing personal account as well as a business account, then the company account will be given more leeway to post about product. (14 Jan 2017) WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU BREAK THE RULES? If you don't follow the rules, then you may receive a message from the mods reminding you to keep in check. At the lowest level, this may just be a comment in-thread reminding you of the forum etiquette, or a message that your new post is similar to an already existing post, and that they have been merged together. If you break the rules in a particularly egregious manner, or repeatedly break the rules after being warned, then the moderators reserve the right to ban you from the forum. Any perceived violations will be dealt with by the moderators and site admins, and any recourse will be dealt at the discretion of the moderators and site admins. --------------------------------------------- And of course, if I've missed anything or you have some input on these rules, please comment below. We've let this forum be 'self-governing' to some extent so far, and we certainly want it to continue being something 'by the community for the community' (to use a cringy cliché). If you see an issue, report it!