Forum Moderation & Posting Guidelines
The guiding principle behind this forum is that everyone is welcome here. This is meant to be a space where people feel welcome and participation is encouraged. But with this open philosophy, there also seems to be some confusion about what is and what is not allowed here (Hint: This is not 4chan). So let me explain my approach to moderating, which I'd like everyone to understand when participating.
The main thing to know about my moderation policy is that I'd prefer to NOT moderate the forum. I just don't have the time or patience to arbitrate the inevitable conflicts that arise when humans get on the internet. I'd much prefer, if possible, for people to work out their differences on their own (and yeah, I still believe in unicorns, too!).
In general, I consider my role here as a facilitator – providing a platform for others to play around in. Secondary to that is my role as a moderator. At least, that's how I envision it. If nothing else, it's a simple matter of sleep: I like to get some. But even if I had more time to actively moderate forum discussions, doing so is not something I've ever wanted. Personally, I'm much more interested in experimenting with technology and software than in policing conversations or exercising my awesome forum powers.
Now, with all that said, I realize that by opening up this forum to the masses, I've made myself the inevitable sole moderator here, whether or not I wanted it. I realize that I can't avoid moderating entirely. No matter how well-intentioned a forum, some comments/users will require intervention, at least once in awhile.
So, given that I'd prefer to not moderate, but knowing that I must moderate every now and then, here's what I consider generally allowed or not:
[li]Strongly held opinions
[li]Fights and flame wars[/li]
[li]Bullying or harassment[/li]
[li]Threats or hate speech[/li]
[li]Spam, fraud, or deception[/li]
[li]Anything else I consider bad for the forum (yeah, I own the place.)[/li]
[li]Making me regret ever hosting this forum[/li]
So, how will I decide if something crosses the line?
Mainly, it comes down to my mood. Luckily, my mood swings are not nearly as bad as they used to be! Also, it comes down to whether I consider a comment as something that encourages or discourages forum participation. If I think a post discourages others from participating here (like those items on my "not allowed" list, which can quickly sour entire threads), then I'm much more likely to intervene. Btw, for those paying attention, this is what's called circular logic. I'm a master at it!
Lastly, let me just reiterate my hope that everyone can manage their discussions here with maturity and respect for one another. I don't want to, nor can I possibly, keep watch over every thread. So, I'll rely on the rest of you to let me know if anything gets out of hand. If anyone believes that a particular post crosses the line, please flag it. Although there's no guarantee that I'll agree and actually intervene, this is really the best way to make sure I've at least read or scrutinized a post (when someone flags it for my attention).