[READ ME] *Updated* The New and Improved Global Forum Rules!

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[READ ME] *Updated* The New and Improved Global Forum Rules!

Postby Tuor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:21 am

The Snafu Mod Squad Presents:

The New and Improved Global Forum Rules!
(Mmm, that new rules smell.)



Table of Contents

1. Intro to Snafu

2. Profile rules

3. Posting rules

4. Social conduct

5. Thou Shalt Nots

Thus end the Global Rules. If this is your first time reading them, take a break, go do other stuff, and read them again to make sure you didn't miss anything. The appendices that follow contain additional information that clarifies and elaborates certain topics. They are not required reading, per se, but it is highly suggested that you do look over them at some point.



Appendix 1: How to use the User Control Panel

Appendix 2: How to post

Appendix 3: Yoshi's guide to writing

Appendix 4: Standards of behavior in different types of threads

Appendix 5: How to recognize a bot
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: [READ ME] The New and Improved General Forum Rules!

Postby Tuor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:21 am

1. Intro to Snafu
  1. Basic info
    In the beginning, Dave created the comics and the site. And Dave said, It is not good that the comics should be alone. Let there be a forum so that people may discuss stuff. And so there was. Then Dave sort of wandered off to SharkRobot. Today, the Snafu forums host discussions on various topics including the site's comics, popular culture, politics, and more.
  2. Purpose of the Rules:
    Rules are not inherently good. In a perfect world, everyone would get along without a need for written standards to tell them to be nice. We don't live there, so rules are useful in helping our corner of the Internet be a nice place to discuss things. The rules and guidelines that follow are intended to shape and sustain a nice environment for the members of the forum to pursue their interests here. Because that is their ultimate purpose, these written rules can sometimes be broken without problems, like in the Spam section with its different social dynamics, and it is possible to be a blight on the forum while following the letter of the rules.
  3. Enforcement of the Rules
    The mods are the police of the community, when you deal with them, try keep this analogy in mind. When you deal with a decent cop, in a respectful way, they are respectful back, and they may even let some tiny things slide. If you are a dick, they will be a dick, and this will likely result in them executing the rules to the letter, and being sticklers, which of course is their right.

    The moderators are responsible for keeping the forum running smoothly, and they have a number of tools at their disposal to help with that task. Minor day-to-day issues can be handled with off-the-record suggestions ("Now, getting back on topic..."), or a Warning, which leaves a record that mods can check in the future. More serious or repeated offenses may result in probation, or a temporary ban. Permanent bans are usually reserved for serious offenses, but they are available as a last resort for dealing with chronic minor troublemaking. Suspicion of abusing the leniency of multiple warnings is grounds for escalation, so shape up when you're told to and there won't be problems. Mods are not omnipresent, so if you see a serious problem, you can report offending posts by clicking the Image button at the upper right of the post and filling in the form with the relevant information. Older members, try to keep discussions in line so that corrective action isn't needed. If (after re-reading the rules) you think that someone acting in an official capacity has used their authority inappropriately, contact a / another mod, preferably one removed from the situation. If a matter is attended to by one mod, and they do not happen to penalize you for something, or decide to let something slide, that does not mean that another mod won't come along and pass a different ruling that adheres more closely to the letter of the law.
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: [READ ME] The New and Improved General Forum Rules!

Postby Tuor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:21 am

2. Profile rules If needed, refer to How to use the User Control Panel
  1. Avatar
    An avatar is an image that represents you, which appears next to your posts. Since it is the primary visual part of your identity here, what you do with it reflects on you. Think about what it says. Avatar dimensions are limited to 150x150 pixels. Animated avatars are fine, but the data size for any avatar should not exceed 100* kilobytes. Unlike the dimensions, this limit is a bit fuzzy since it's not visibly apparent, but if anyone complains about your avatar's size (or if its size is conspicuous enough to catch a mod's attention) and it's above 100k, it's gone. Avoid seizure inducing avatars. If it has a lot of quickly moving images and flashing lights, you should probably go find another one. Sexually explicit avatars are also a no-no.
  2. Signature
    A signature is a bit of stuff you can put (manually or automatically) at the end of your posts to further personalize them. To keep them from cluttering up threads, the overall extent of all text, images, etc. in your signature may not exceed 150x600 pixels or 100 kilobytes. If your signature gets complaints and is found to exceed the limits, it may be edited or deleted. Same deal as with avatars, avoid anything that can be construed as seizure inducing or sexually explicit/suggestive. If you have any doubts, just find another one instead of risking it.
    As a kind of guideline here is a rough template of how big your signature can be, the width is no longer correct but the height is, take notice.
    Image
  3. Personal information
    Your user profile lets you share some of your biographical and contact information, but ability does not imply necessity. Consider what is appropriate to share and what purpose you have in sharing it. Be careful, since information is hard to take back once it's been made public.
  4. Internet identities / role playing
    Related to the above, the identity you build here does not have to be the one you use in real life. Most people here use pseudonyms and act differently than they would with the friends they interact with in person. That's fine, and it's usually expected in Internet communities. Don't take it too far though. Most people won't care much about who you say you are since your actions here are what matter for most purposes. If you want to role-play a new identity, take it to the Role Playing forum. If you make ridiculous statements about your real identity (e.g. that you're a vampire or ninja, or that your brother is a secret agent you can summon against people who aren't nice to you), expect to be ridiculed.
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: [READ ME] The New and Improved General Forum Rules!

Postby Tuor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:22 am

3. Posting rules If needed, refer to How to Post and/or Yoshi's Guide to Writing
  1. Profanity
    In short, there is nothing strictly forbidden. NSFW considerations don't really apply here based on the idea that if your boss / mom / whatever takes the time to read something objectionable, it's your own fault for staying there (as opposed to the possibility of instant recognition of objectionable images from across the room if you inadvertently scroll to something). However, just because you CAN use certain language doesn't mean that you SHOULD. Profanity is a tool to convey meaning, and what you do with it is subject to the Social Conduct rules below
  2. Images
    Generally, posted images must be suitable for a work environment, with the idea that you wouldn't get fired if your boss walked by and saw them on your computer. Nudity and conspicuous eroticism are right out, as are "shock" or other excessively crude images. Interpretation of these standards is at the discretion of mods, so don't argue. There are a few locations where these rules are relaxed somewhat, and these are covered by rules posted for that area. If you're in doubt about whether or not something is appropriate, ask a mod, since offenses here can earn an immediate ban. If there is a good reason for you to reference an image not allowed by the standards of the area, link it rather than post the image, and include obvious NSFW tags like so:
    <NSFW>
    Objectionable content
    </NSFW>
    Pornography and links to pornographic sites are still forbidden, and links are subject to mod oversight, so don't push it.
    Posted images are subject to size limitations, which apply to all the images in a post considered together rather than individual images. It is asked that images wider than 1024 pixels be linked unless special standards apply (like wallpaper threads or large comics in comic discussion threads). Heights of 800 or fewer pixels are fine, and heights of up to 2400 pixels are allowed if there is a good reason (again subject to mod oversight). Data content up to 512 kilobytes is fine, with up to 2 megabytes allowed if there is a good reason. Images exceeding these standards will be deleted or changed to links at the discretion of the mod on the scene.
  3. Links
    Feel free to link to your other activities online which you want to share with the forum, and (depending on the area of the forum and its focus) feel free to link and discuss cool stuff you found online. If what you link to contains material that would not be permitted in the place you post the link, mark the link with warning tags to indicate what might be objectionable about it, like huge images, objectionable content, etc. As mentioned above, links to pornography are forbidden, and mods may remove links which otherwise impair the functioning of the forum.
  4. Color / smilies / text size/ etc.
    There are a number of options available for making posts more visually interesting. Like all tools, these can be used responsibly, and they can be used irresponsibly. This post uses several techniques to break the information up into sections that are easy to follow, but visual alterations used excessively can make posts harder to read. Try to err on the side of restraint. Smilies express emotion, and using a lot makes you look like a hyperactive teenage girl (hyperactive teenage boys tend to use inappropriate CAPS and profanity). Posts with more than three may be subject to moderation. Using non-default colors for text can draw or minimize attention, but poorly chosen colors (or too many colors) can cause eyestrain and visual fatigue. Alternate sizes for text are similar, and other options like bold, italics, underlining, etc. should also be used responsibly. There isn't a rigid set of rules for the proper use of these techniques, since the proper use depends on the context you are posting in and what meaning you want to convey. Look at how other people post and follow their lead. Mods may step in if this causes disruption, but if you make an honest effort this shouldn't cause serious problems. Just remember, just because you have to ability to use different colors doesn't mean that you always should use different colors.
  5. Grammar / spelling / punctuation
    This is a forum, not a chat room, which means that we don't communicate in real time. Everyone, therefore, has the time to make their writing coherent, presentable, and unambiguous. How does one do that? Use proper spelling to identify the right words, then use proper grammar and punctuation to express the meaning you want. Mistakes happen, and a little imperfection is all right, but it's clear (and annoying) when people don't make the effort to write in a manner suitable for a forum. You should have a decent command of written English before you post. This goes for non-native English speakers too. You'll get a little slack, but this is not a place to learn the language.
  6. Double Posting
    Unless you are in the Spam forum, don't make one post immediately after the other. If you have something more to say, you can edit your previous post by clicking the "edit" button in the upper right corner of the post.
  7. Single Word Posts
    Pretty self explanatory. Outside of the Spam Forum please refrain from making posts that only consist of one word or a single image. If you don't really have anything to say, maybe wait until you do. Remember, just because you can post, doesn't mean you should. It's best to wait until you can make a meaningful contribution to the conversation
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: [READ ME] The New and Improved General Forum Rules!

Postby Tuor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:22 am

4. Social conduct
  1. Lurking
    You don't have to post when you're here. Actually, it's a good idea to first take a look around and see how things are done and what's going on. Once you grok the scene, feel free to join in. Insufficient familiarity with the culture can cause social friction.
  2. Discretion
    Related to the above, being able to say something doesn't necessarily mean that you should say it. Before posting, think about how appropriate it is for location and context. You might sometimes reconsider and decide not to post it (if not, you're probably being a bit too lax for most areas of the forum).
  3. Off-topic / hijacking
    In topical threads, posts too far from the subject can derail the course of the discussion. This is not good, and in most cases, other people in the thread will tell offending posters to get back on topic. In serious cases, mods can edit / move / delete offending posts and issue warnings for problematic behavior, so it's probably best you just listen to the helpful forumites on the scene, right?
  4. Spamming
    Posts that are seriously disruptive to ongoing conversations are generally forbidden, and are only allowed in special areas, most notably the Spam forum. Spamming where it's not allowed can earn you a warning or probation. The threshold for these responses depends on the location: Tightly regulated threads like those common in Role Playing and Art have a low tolerance for disruption, while general discussion threads in Snafu General and Bleed Forum are more forgiving. See Appendix 4 for general information, and forum-specific rules for what is allowed there.
  5. Memes
    This is the Internet, but Snafu is not an imageboard. Use memes responsibly or not at all. As with other context-sensitive rules, observe the prevailing culture to learn what is appropriate for different areas of the forum. Inappropriate use of memes will be treated as spam.
  6. Trolling
    Vigorous discussion is generally fine, but deliberately causing enough discord to catch a mod's attention will earn you a smack. Even in Spam, trolling becomes a problem when it comes to the point of disrupting the fun of the community.
  7. Necroing
    Dragging up old threads is usually bad because it deposits stale topics among active discussions, displacing them from the most visible forum real estate. Some sections have different rules for this, but unless otherwise specified, do not post in threads no longer on the first page with a last post older than two weeks (posting is permitted in threads meeting only one of those conditions). Reviving an old thread will get the thread a lock and you a warning.
  8. Bots
    Bots are programs sent here on behalf of others to do various things. A very few, such as Google [Bot], are benevolent. Most come to spam advertisements and links. If you see a post that looks like it was made by a spambot, report it to call modly wrath down on the bot. See Appendix 5 for tips on recognizing bots. DO NOT post in threads made by bots (it adds hassle to the process of deleting it, and mods are usually hassled enough during bot invasions). DO NOT follow links in bot posts.
  9. Alt accounts
    Each individual person may make one account here. If someone who shares a computer or Internet connection with you wants to join, first PM a mod as a heads up. At the least, making an alt account will get you an ultimatum to stop immediately. If an alt account is used for any shenanigans at all, it will earn you a ban on your IP address and any accounts associated with it.
  10. Banned members
    It has sometimes been necessary to ban members, and one of them occasionally makes a new account to cause trouble (which is itself immediately ban-worthy as described above). If you recognize someone who has been banned, report that person and ignore their posts. New people, follow older members' leads on this. Replying to a banned member's post can be a punishable offense if a mod judges that you are knowingly supporting them. If you get a permanent ban, (for shame) you may in time ask for forgiveness by contacting a mod, who may review your situation and set various conditions for your return. If this appeal is denied, that's pretty much it. The "pretty much" relies on the fact that mods are merely nigh-omniscient. If you make a new account, never repeat what got you banned, never refer to your past account, never use an IP address that you used before, and generally build in name and deed a completely new, productive identity, you can stay.
  11. Drama
    Not everyone here is chronologically an adult, but that's fine because everyone here is expected to act maturely regardless of their age. You will probably encounter conflict here at some time or other, and for everyone's sake you should deal with it moderately and responsibly. If you repeatedly instigate, escalate, or overreact to conflicts, and especially if you drag others in, import conflict from outside Snafu, or derail unrelated discussions, you will summon a response ranging from a warning to a modstorm that will expunge you and your drama from the forum. So chill and be cool.
  12. Game / special threads
    Most forums have special threads with special rules, which serve particular purposes described therein. The special rules override general rules; for example, a sanctioned game thread in Spam may not be spammed despite its location. Check the applicable rules and what is expected of you before posting in such threads.
  13. Respect / social order
    Everyone deserves a degree of respect, but that degree varies. As a starting point, defer to those with higher post counts and earlier join dates (new members, this means everyone). When you become familiar enough to establish a place in forum society, you will experience a more dynamic social order based on conduct, and your eventual status will be largely up to you. In addition to this social order, some members have been granted official positions for various purposes, such as color-coded cards or the jobs of moderation and administration. They have been awarded these colored ranks for being respected, well known and helpful members of the community. When they talk you should probably (read: should, for mods and admins, this is no suggestion) listen, especially as they will often explain how you can be a better member of the community. For the most part, treat them like normal members as you encounter them in discussions, but do not antagonize them in their official responsibilities. Overt opposition to people doing their appointed jobs is potentially a bannable offense, so if you have a problem with the actions of a mod or other person acting in an official capacity, be calm and take it through the proper channels (PM another mod or an admin).
  14. PMs / external communication
    Private messages, email, instant messages, and other means of communication outside the forums operate largely without rules or oversight, so the responsibility for keeping things civil lies with you and the people you communicate with. If someone else on the forum is causing trouble, block / foe them and get on with your life. Call in a mod only for harassment or other serious Snafu-related issues that merit an official response.
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: [READ ME] The New and Improved General Forum Rules!

Postby Tuor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:22 am

5. Thou Shalt Nots
  1. Anything illegal
    This should be obvious. If we need to smack you for this, you deserve what you get.
  2. Pornography
    Pornography has been mentioned a few times in the rules, but what qualifies as porn? For our purposes, pornography is imagery containing sexual actions or erotic depictions of genitals. For example, while the Pioneer plaque contains visible genitals, they are not eroticized. However, if someone were to crop an image of the plaque down to the guy's junk, that focus would be enough to disallow it*. "Sexual actions" includes clothed people dry humping, groping, etc. Don't try to push the boundaries, since mods will judge borderline content harshly, and breaking this rule is one of the fastest ways to earn a ban. A lot of what falls into this category, and the grey area surrounding it, is at moderator discretion, so when in doubt ask a mod, and be prepared to obey mod rulings on material of this kind.

    Related to this general prohibition is the matter of pornography drawn by Bleedman. It exists. Most everyone here already knows. It is not to be discussed publicly. No part of any such image, even if that part is not pornographic, is to be posted or linked to in any publicly visible place. This is a drama bomb that no one is to touch or even come near.
  3. Harassment
    This is a place for discussion, and the tone of that discussion can range from casual and friendly to harsh and incendiary (especially in Spam and vigorous debate threads). This is normal. This is the Internet, after all, and if you want to stay here, it is expected of you to have a thick skin. If you encounter hostility, metaphorically step back, take a breath, and either deal with it in that discussion or move to a different discussion. People sometimes encounter friction before they get used to the culture here, and this is not the sort of thing that needs to be reported to mods. It is possible, of course, for things to go too far. If you encounter the following situations, contact a mod to deal with it: If a member carries unprovoked, unwanted hostility to another member across unrelated discussions; if a member carries on such hostility via PMs or external means of contact; or if a member misuses another member's personal information. Do not escalate the situation with counterattacks of your own, and do not drag other members into the conflict. The charter of the mods is to keep the forum running smoothly, and one way or another, they will end the harassment on Snafu. As a corollary, any fighting outside of Snafu is yours to deal with except as it involves the Snafu community. If necessary, people who wish to keep fighting will be removed from the community.
  4. Rules-lawyering / gaming the system
    Rules can in principle be argued, exploited, subverted, and run through with loopholes. Do not try that here. The written rules above and in various subsections of the forum serve to codify rather than restrain the actions of mods, if they find you to be doing something that is problematic or disruptive but not specifically outlined here they still have the power to take action. If a mod gives you a warning for this, take it to heart and consider your behavior carefully. There are few things more aggravating to mods than people who cause trouble while skirting just inside rules, and continued problematic behavior can lead to a ban. Since the spirit of most rules can be reduced to "Don't be a dick," avoiding dickish behavior (whether malice or negligence) should keep you in the good graces of the mods and the community in general.
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: [READ ME] The New and Improved General Forum Rules!

Postby Tuor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:22 am

Appendix 1: How to use the User Control Panel

When you click on the "Profile" link at the top of the forum, you should see the Front Page of the Overview (as shown by the Options menu to the left). The different parts of the Overview section help you manage things like subscriptions to threads or forums you want to watch for updates, bookmarks for references you want to keep at hand, and drafts of works in progress that you can come back to later.

The Profile section lets you set your personal information, contact information, password, and your appearance on the site. Edit Signature functions much like a post editing box (see Appendix 2 for more information on that) that lets you set up a signature that you can set to appear at the end of your posts. Edit Avatar lets you pick an avatar. You can set its size manually (if, say, the picture you want to use is larger than 150 pixels in either dimension but is under 100kB) or automatically. You can also choose from a selection of avatars hosted by Snafu by clicking on "Display Gallery", selecting an avatar, and then pressing "Submit". To use an off-site picture, you need to put a direct address to the picture into the section that says "link off-site"

Board Preferences lets you set how people may contact you, how dates and times are displayed, and how your posts, others' posts, and how threads in the forums appear.

The Private Messages section is an email system for use among Snafu members, and there are several basic email functions which are fairly self-explanatory.

Usergroups shows what groups you are in. Some groups can be applied to or resigned from. If you are in multiple groups, you can set which one determines your name's appearance by selecting the one you want and pressing the "change default group" button. This section also allows group leaders to manage their groups.

The Friends & Foes section helps manage social interaction. Friends are extra-visible, while the posts of foes are hidden by default. Setting someone as a foe can help avoid conflict if you are prone to it.
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: [READ ME] The New and Improved General Forum Rules!

Postby Tuor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:23 am

Appendix 2: How to post
There are several ways to make a new post, depending on what your goal is. One is to press the Image button at the top and bottom of the forum, this will create a new topic or thread within the forum. Another is to press the Image button in the top right corner of an existing post, this will take you to a "post reply" page with that post's text included. A third is to write in the text box which appears at the bottom of threads and press the "Submit" button. A fourth is to press the Image button at the top and bottom of thread pages.

Regardless of the method, you have similar options available to you for making the content of your post. The forum uses limited BBCode and text substitution to implement the various features displayed around the posting text box. You can place smilies Image, make your text bold, italicized, underlined,    spoilered   , struck out, larger, smaller, colored, hyperlinked,
  • in
  • a
  • list,
or you can use
Code: Select all
code tags
to reveal the underlying code. For example, the code underlying the previous sentence looks something like this:
Code: Select all
You can place smilies :bird:, make your text [b]bold[/b], [i]italicized[/i], [u]underlined[/u], [spoiler]spoilered[/spoiler], [strike]struck out[/strike], [size=150]larger[/size], [size=85]smaller[/size], [color=#0088FF]colored[/color], [url=http://www.snafu-comics.com]hyperlinked[/url], [list][*]in [*]a [*]list,[/list] or you can use [code]code tags[/code] to reveal the underlying code.
These codes can be applied manually or by selecting the text to enclose in tags and pressing the corresponding button.

Some explanation is in order for a few functions. The number in the size code represents a percentage of the standard size, so size=100 is normal text, size=200 is double size, etc. Color tags use RGB hexadecimal color values, where the first, second, and third pairs of characters after the # indicate which of 256 levels of intensity to assign to red, green, and blue respectively. URLs can be linked simply by enclosing a valid URL in URL tags, but they can also be linked using arbitrary displayed text, like this, by inserting the URL to be linked after an equals sign in the first tag and putting the text to be displayed between the tags (as shown in the previous paragraph). Images can also be used for hyperlinks with a similar setup, placing a tagged image like
Code: Select all
[img]http://www.snafu-comics.com/images/postDave.gif[/img]
between the URL tags to get something like this:
Code: Select all
[url=http://www.snafu-comics.com/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=3][img]http://www.snafu-comics.com/images/postDave.gif[/img][/url]
Image

There are a few options for lists. If you just want a simple bulleted list, set it up like so:
Code: Select all
[list][*]First item [*]Second item [*]Third item[/list]
  • First item
  • Second item
  • Third item
Adding an equals sign and a character following it to the first tag can produce various kinds of ordered lists. For example, a numbered list can be coded like this:
Code: Select all
[list=1][*]First item [*]Second item [*]Third item[/list]
  1. First item
  2. Second item
  3. Third item
Other small numbers in place of the 1 produce the same result. A lower case letter produces an alphabetic list with lower case letters, while a capital letter produces a list with capital letters. Lower / upper case i / I produce lists numbered in lower / upper case Roman numerals.

When you quote someone using the quote button on their post, the content of their post will appear automatically within quote tags with an author attributed in the first tag. For example,
Some Cool Dude wrote:I R TEH AWESOME!!1!1
is coded by:
Code: Select all
[quote="Some Cool Dude"]I R TEH AWESOME!!1!1[/quote]
If you instead use the quote button above the posting text box on the text of that quote after copy / pasting it, the author would not be attributed, like so:
I R TEH AWESOME!!1!1
Code: Select all
[quote]I R TEH AWESOME!!1!1[/quote]
You can alter the code manually to show who you are quoting, and this is usually a good idea if you are quoting multiple people. The attribution can also be hyperlinked, which can be used to indicate where the quoted text came from (useful for referencing something said in another thread or on another site).

When you make a new topic, there are a couple other things to consider. First and foremost, you will need a title for your thread, which goes in the Subject line above the main text box. You can also set up a poll for interested members to answer, with running results displayed at the beginning of the thread.
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: [READ ME] The New and Improved General Forum Rules!

Postby Tuor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:24 am

Appendix 3: Yoshi's guide to writing
  • This appendix is adapted from a post written by Yoshi for an earlier version of the Global rules.

Punctuation and other helpful hints for writing.

Rule 1) Chatroom it ain't.
A forum is different from a chatroom. Chatrooms are more real-time, making time the essence. A forum is not very real-time. You don't have to post in as short a time as possible. That means there is no real excuse for poor written works, unless English isn't your first language, then you're partially excused.
Moron wrote:Lol, omg, tahts so kewl.
Translated this is:
Intellectual wrote:Haha, that is cool.
The Haha part may be exchanged for a smiley, or in some circumstances, Lol may be left alone.

Rule 2) The comma.
The comma is a nifty little tool allowing us to indicate a brief pause, yet not a complete stop. It also let's us form a list more easily. See the following example.
Moron wrote:I see birds trees flowers dogs cats and lots of other things.
Wow, where does one find some breath? Let's give it a comma treatment!
Intellectual wrote:I see birds, trees, flowers, dogs, cats and lots of other things.
Wow, four extra characters but look how much neater it looks! Remember, if you can't read it, it's obviously not important.

Rule 3) The period or full stop.
The period is a godsend, as it signifies a stop, allowing us to catch a breath. Nothing overly fancy but excellent nonetheless. Let's see what would happen in a world without periods...
Moron wrote:One day I was walking down the street I saw a dog and the dog followed me home and then the dog licked me I gave it some food and it was really happy Then as I was getting some more food for myself the dog barked It barked because it was scared of the postman that was coming
Wow, this guy obviously doesn't need oxygen! Now one more time but with periods!
Intellectual wrote:One day I was walking down the street. I saw a dog, and the dog followed me home, and then the dog licked me. I gave it some food, and it was really happy. Then as I was getting some more food for myself, the dog barked. It barked because it was scared of the postman that was coming.
Yay, now you look like a more presentable tosser!

Rule 4) The space.
Taken for granted the space is one of the most important things in literature. This humble little nothing shows us when words begin and end. Imagine a word without spaces...
Moron wrote:WelcomemynameisYoshiandIamgladyouareheretoday.
Wow, what a load of crap, hey? Let's translate this thing.
Intellectual wrote:Welcome, my name is Yoshi and I am glad you are here today.
Amazing, that sentence went from crap to legible with the help of the humble space.

The space is also useful to help signify pauses or stops and is the comma's and period's best friend. Here's a sentence with a list. Let's see the difference.
Moron wrote:I see eggs,pie,waffles,a sea and some stuff.
Not exactly the clearest but don't worry, space to the rescue!
Intellectual wrote:I see eggs, pie, waffles, a sea and some stuff.
Now, that's much easier to read, is it not?

Rule 5) Miscellaneous tips and wrapping it up.
There are a variety of helpful hints you should take in order to become a welcomed member of this community. Some helpful hints are to start sentences with capital letters, although this isn't required.

Oh some helpful links are:
http://www.dictionary.com/
http://www.grammarbook.com/
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: [READ ME] The New and Improved General Forum Rules!

Postby Tuor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:24 am

Appendix 4: Standards of behavior in different types of threads

Since different kinds of discussion involve different dynamics, appropriate conduct varies somewhat, especially in how far posts may stray from the thread's topic. Lurking can give you a feeling for how it goes, but a written description might give you a head start. Most of the threads outside the Spam forum fall into the following categories:

• Moderated threads: Some forums and special threads have very strict rules about what may be posted, and posts that do not meet these standards will be summarily removed (eg. Game Threads in Spam). Check the forum rules or the first post in the thread to see what restrictions apply. Where no rules are explicitly stated, but that thread has a small shield beside its name (Image), that thread is under protection and the word of the mod(s) (occasionally a single mod will take over the sole role of protecting a thread), is the law in that thread.

• Topical threads: Some threads (e.g. comic update threads) have a specific, limited focus. Tangental issues should usually be discussed elsewhere, and off-topic posts may be removed. These threads should be abandoned when the topic of discussion is no longer relevant.

• General discussion threads: These form a continuum with topical threads, with wider focus (e.g. a media franchise) and often a longer duration of interest with a greater number of posts. Tangental lines of discussion can be included, especially for more general and longer-running topics, but unrelated discussion is discouraged, especially if it lasts long enough to derail the conversation. Posts have a bit more leeway, but totally unrelated posts may be removed, especially if they are big and visually distracting.

• Talk threads: Most forums have one or more threads intended for idle talk among interested forumites. There is no limitation on content beyond what is allowed by the global and forum-specific rules. Talk threads continue until they reach a thousand pages or so, at which point they are locked and replaced with a new talk thread.
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: [READ ME] The New and Improved General Forum Rules!

Postby Tuor » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:24 am

Appendix 5: How to recognize a bot

Bots usually display several of the following characteristics:

• Posting blatant advertisements
This is the big obvious one. If you see a new member making posts or new threads containing what look like copy-paste ad material with links to commercial sites, it's almost certainly a bot.

• Pseudo-random or generic alphanumeric name
It takes a smidgen of creativity to fake a human pseudonym, since that's what most humans use when making online identities. Bot makers may not bother with this, so names like chuck001 , sidyfuae, lyly10388, or lwkj should be checked for botlike behavior.

• Posts using broken English or other languages
Bots may use language that a human would recognize as improper for an English-speaking forum, like strange grammar (look at some machine-translated text for comparison if you're not sure), strange repetition, or what looks like an advertisement written in another language.

• Posts quoting something said earlier in the thread and making a generic statement including a gratuitous link
The more subtle bots make some effort to pass as human, with a limited ability to simulate participation in discussions. Look out for new members who quote something said earlier and make a vague statement like "Wow, that's interesting" which doesn't really relate to the content of the quoted text. The bot may have a link to a commercial site as its signature, or it may put such a link in its post ("That made me think of this cool site."). These bots may even make a few non-linkspamming posts to deflect attention, but they usually have trouble relating their posts to the substance of the threads they post in.
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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