If you haven't noticed, readership of this site is growing fast. BCB had nearly 59,000 visitors in February, up from 24,000 a year ago. However, you might not have noticed the change, because our community of commenters has stayed about the same size.
There are several theories on why that is: One is that we're all terrible human beings who squelch the First Amendment rights of people who disagree with us or like athletes our new-fangled statistics don't favor. I'm not sure I buy the logic that we're intimidating, but the SB Nation platform and its system of Comments, FanPosts and FanShots can be, as can the 24 hour waiting period to begin commenting. For a day, I'm going to try waiving that 24 hour waiting period. If that day goes well, I may consider keeping it that way.
So, if you've never commented before or signed up to comment, today would be a good day to give it a shot. Before you get started, though, please take a moment to read these guidelines about the features of the SB Nation platform and the rules we've established for this space. Even if you're an established commenter or contributor, please humor me and take a look at the rules.
The correct use of FanPosts and FanShots has been outlined well in other places, like this post at South Side Sox, so if you'd like a full, detailed overview of their intended use and how to tag them, head over there. If you'd rather not go into that much depth, here's a basic overview of how to use them.
FanPosts are designed to be used to start a conversation on a specific topic, not unlike a front page story. FanPosts can be promoted to the front page if the moderators decide to give them a wider audience. They have a 75-word minimum: If you don't have 75 words to say on a topic, consider using a FanShot.
FanShots are designed to highlight a link, image or piece of news the community may be interested in. If you find something interesting and Brewer related, a FanShot is the place to post it. FanShots, especially those containing breaking news, are frequently promoted to the front page and/or mentioned in the Frosty Mug.
Help the cream float to the top and the crap get flushed
Underneath every FanPost and FanShot, there are two buttons I want to draw your attention to. They're also available under every comment, in the "actions" menu.
Please click Rec for comments, FanPosts and FanShots you would recommend for others to read, whether it's because they're insightful, funny or just good. A comment recommended three times will be highlighted in green to draw others' attention to it. A FanPost or FanShot recommended five times will receive featured status, keeping it at the top of the list for a period of time. You can also rec front page stories: a front page story that receives five recs will be moved into the "Featured Stories" section.
On the other side, please use the Flag button to help us filter out abuses of the system and offensive material. If you see content in the FanPosts, FanShots or comments that qualifies as trolling, spam or is just offensive, flagging it draws the moderators' attention to it. We're usually watching as well, but user flagging helps us find offensive material faster, and knowing someone else found the material troubling as well sometimes helps us make the decision on whether or not to delete material.
On grammar and punctuation
If the Grammar Police were here, they'd pull me over every day and cite me for excessive comma usage. I'm not going to tell anyone how to write, what words to use and not use (cursing aside), or delete comments for misusing or failing to use capital letters. With that said, remember one of the cardinal rules of the internet: all people can see is your writing, so if your work looks like it was produced by a third grader, odds are it'll be read and treated that way.
Things I will not tolerate
Excessive aggressiveness. I recognize that's a vague classification, hopefully this guideline will help: This is a place to discuss the Brewers, not argue about them. We reserve the right to close comments on posts and/or delete comments if we feel that line is being crossed.
Cursing at someone. I'd rather we didn't curse in this space at all, but I recognize it will happen on occasion. I will not, however, tolerate cursing directed at other commenters. Again, we're here to discuss the Brewers, not start a barfight.
Namecalling. Again, this is part of the note on aggressiveness. Debate someone's point, don't call them a name for holding that opinion. Calling someone who disagrees with you an idiot adds nothing to the conversation and will not be tolerated.
Spam. There are correct and incorrect ways to promote your site or product. If you're only here to promote your stuff, odds are you're doing it wrong.
Trolling. It only takes me about three clicks to delete a comment and warn/ban the commenter, so if you're just stopping by to call Ryan Braun a crybaby, the only time you're wasting is your own. With that said, please make sure you have a good reason before you flag someone for trolling. Not every fan of another team who stops by this space is trolling - some of them just want to have a conversation about the team.
Politics. There are enough places on the web for political debate. This is not one of them.
At any rate, thanks for reading and welcome. Please work with us to help this site remain the best place on the internet for informed conversation on the Brewers.