Reviewing And Updating The BCB Omnibus Posting Guide

With the Brewers opening their defense of the 2011 NL Central Championship tomorrow, now seems like as good a time as any to review how we operate here. We're getting a pretty steady influx of new members lately, and that will probably pick up over the coming days and weeks.

As such, I wanted to take a moment today to remind everyone of the rules and procedures we live by here. Even if you're a longtime regular, please take a moment to glance at them once again.

There's one rule change for 2012 I'd like to highlight right away:

Dragging down the level of discourse. Last year we had a real problem with users who only seemed to show up to moan about it when the team was losing, or showed up over and over again to post the same tired argument. That sucks the fun out of this for all of us, and this year I'm going to make a more focused effort to eliminate some of it.

The full posting guide is after the jump for your perusal. Thanks!

Regarding features:

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. If your FanPost isn't 75 words long and you end up using filler to complete it, don't be surprised if I delete it.

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 best stuff get promoted and the worst removed

Underneath every story, 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 enough 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 something.

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: 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.

Dragging down the level of discourse. Last year we had a real problem with users who only seemed to show up to moan about it when the team was losing, or showed up over and over again to post the same tired argument. That sucks the fun out of this for all of us, and this year I'm going to make a more focused effort to eliminate some of it.

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.

Furthermore, "calling someone out" is also trolling. So is building a straw man ("Some people around here think Miller Park should be bulldozed, but I think...").

Politics/Religion. There are enough places on the web for political debate. This is not one of them.

Illegal activity. Here are some specific things that can't happen here:

  • I know the MLB Blackout rules are asinine, but please don't share your favorite way to subvert them. If I see things like that happening on the site and don't delete them, I'm technically proxy to them. I'm not getting in trouble so you can avoid paying for MLB.TV.
  • Ticket reselling. I'd rather it didn't happen here at all but if you must, tickets must be sold at or below face value. I reserve the right to change this rule if ticket resale here gets annoying.

Those and any other illegal activities will be deleted on sight.

To sum up the rules a bit: This is a place for fans who are passionate about the Brewers. That passion is great, and if we can all be civil about it, we can have great conversation and debate about the team. However, you're only welcome to participate in that conversation if you can do so without being rude or offensive, causing the conversation to devolve into a shouting match, or taking part in illegal activity.

Enforcement

Unfortunately, from time to time we get commenters that can't abide by the rules. So, I've developed a relatively simple system for dealing with repeat offenders:

Step 1: The Warning Shot. If you're getting out of line, our moderators reserve the right to delete content you've posted that needs to be removed and/or post a reply to it asking you to stop. If you frequent the comments, you've probably seen me do this several times to debates that are getting out of hand. If a moderator asks you to tone it down, that's not an invitation to pick a fight with them. It's a request to please reconsider and stop what you're doing.

Step 2: One day suspension. If you've been warned and continue to do whatever it is you've been asked not to do, we'll ban you from the site for a day.

Step 3: One week suspension. If, after your original suspension has run its course, you again continue to violate the rules of the site (even after another warning), you'll be banned for a week.

Step 4: Lifetime ban. If you've violated the rules this many times, I give up.

Note: We reserve the right to skip the steps and go straight to a lifetime ban for egregious offenses. If your first comment here is obvious spam or trolling, we'll likely ban you and move on.

Having to police fights and offensive content is my least favorite part of this job. I thank you in advance for keeping it friendly and appropriate here so I don't have to worry about it.

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.

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