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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:28 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 3377
Location: In the den
I started the board in order to provide a place for people to--
* ask questions about Almea or to try out Almean languages
* learn about language and linguistics
* see each other's conlangs and help out with conlangs and conworlds

As you can see, three of the forums directly correspond to these goals.

The board has also developed into a community, which is chiefly expressed in the other two forums. The chief difference between the two is in pruning: topics in Ephemera are pruned if they haven't been replied to in a few weeks. None of the Above (NOTA) is rarely pruned.* So use Ephemera for comments or questions that aren't likely to be interesting a few weeks from now.

Conlangery topics are not pruned currently. Don't count on this always being the case— that is, don't use the ZBB as your only place to store your conlang/conworld info.

C&C Quickies is pruned after a few weeks and is intended to reduce clutter in C&C by providing a place for quick questions, conlang sketches, translation challenges, and other confoolery.

L&L is rarely pruned*, but topics worth keeping permanently can be moved to the L&L Museum. This is really a relic of earlier L&L pruning, but it's convenient to have the really good topics in a smaller forum. (Almea is also kept around indefinitely.)

* Board performance goes down when there are too many posts overall, so periodically, years-old posts are pruned even from NOTA or L&L.

The pictures that appear under your user name are ranks. They change with post count; currently the progression is:

Niš 1
Sanci 15
Lebom 75
Avisaru 250
Smeric 1000
Sumerul 2500
Visanom 5000
Šriftom 7500
Osän 10000

Moderators are identified with the rank Sanno.

Currently you can change usernames yourself if you want.

New members should read the For New Members sticky thread in NOTA.

Last edited by zompist on Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:50 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 3377
Location: In the den
House Rules

1. No flamewars. This is probably different from other boards you're used to. Deal with it. Don't call each other names; don't get into long meta-discussions of each other's poor arguing skills; don't gang up on someone with unusual views; don't feel that you have to respond to things.

This isn't a public forum or a letters to the editor page. It's more like a party in my backyard. Bring your social skills.

As a corollary, if you generalize about the aims or character of people you don't like-- whether it's ethnic groups or liberals or conservatives or religious or non-religious people-- you are messing up. Not only is it rude, it's almost certainly wrong, and makes you look ridiculous. You're don't know what's in other people's brains, and you're not likely to be a perceptive observer of people you can't stand.

2. Don't eat the newcomers. One of the purposes of the board is to help people who are new to conlanging. Don't make them feel unwelcome. It's possible to be helpful without jumping all over them for their mistakes.

3. Don't claim divine authority. Bringing up your scriptures or your ideological heroes as if they're the final word is just foolish in an open forum, where other people don't consider them authoritative.

4. Don't feed the trolls. Inevitably, every board gets spammers and trolls-- people who like to stir up people for the hell of it. Guest posting is turned off to discourage them. If they register and make trouble anyway, ignore them; it'll make it easier for me to clean up the mess.

5. If people aren't reviewing your conlang-- did you comment on theirs? Attention isn't a one-way street. And don't get defensive if someone makes suggestions. You could learn something; but if you choose not to, well, it's your language, isn't it?

I don't read everything on the board-- far from it. If a situation seems to require my attention, you can PM me. On the other hand, don't get trigger-happy. Many problems aren't quite as bad as they seem-- wait till the adrenaline stops gushing before contacting me.

 Post subject: Re: Welcome to the board
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:02 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 3377
Location: In the den
Reducing scum & villainy

1. In general, don't be a dick.

2. Don't abuse people directly. Don't call them idiots or tell them to shut up.

3. Don't troll. If you're just trying to get a rise out of people, don't do that.

4. Don't insult entire groups of people. That includes any ethnic group, sex, sexual preference, political party, religion, or irreligion.

(This doesn't mean you can't have debates. But if you really can't grasp the distinction, you probably won't be here long.)

5. Don't post NSFW (not safe for work) images. Images that are part of your conworlding, and links, are acceptable if you provide clear warning.

Partial mitigation

1. We can forgive a lot if you're still addressing arguments or offering helpful criticism. Contrariwise, it's the one-line putdown or fuck-you that really gets old fast.

2. Sometimes you were trolled or provoked. We get that; we don't ask for superhuman patience. But you don't always have to escalate, either.

3. If you defuse the situation yourself, that's great.

4. Everyone has a bad day sometimes. That doesn't mean you should continue the flamewar, but obviously it's repeated patterns that annoy us the most.

Wait, what's a flame?

The key elements of a flame are personal attack, attempts to squelch someone, and contentlessness.

Here's some examples-- made up, but based on stuff that has been posted here.

"Shut up shut up shut up."
"Fuck off and die."
"No one cares."
"That's some mighty spiffy spergin' going on."
"It was a fine discussion till you showed up."
"Would you ban this guy already."

These are all flames intended to deny someone the right to talk. It never works anyway, so don't bother.

"This sucks. Why did you even post this?"
"That's not how trigger systems work."
"Google is your friend."

At least these aren't personal, but they're also pretty pointless. We're probably dealing with a noob here, and they're going to get an impression that the board is full of assholes. Don't read noob threads if you just can't stand noob work and noob questions.

"Are you for real? No one's taken Skinner seriously since Chomsky's review in 1957 <link>."
"This has been done about a thousand times before. Look at <this topic> in the L&L museum before you post again."
"You've pretty much fucked up the concept of an allophone. Look, a phoneme is <short explanation or link>."
"No, you doofus, alchemy is not a mystical vision, it's a broad set of theories and practical operations that used real laboratories and discovered a shitload of chemistry."

These could all be more tactful (and I am not recommending you talk this way), but they're not flames. They address the topic not the person, and they give an argument or a pointer to more information.

Civil-and-helpful is better than grouchy-and-helpful, but I'll settle for the latter.

Know your context

Stuff that's fun and harmless when you're kicking back with your friends isn't OK everywhere. I have a kind of wicked sense of humor myself, but I save it for other places.

Again, look at the examples of flames above. They're not funny or clever, even if they seem so to you and two of your friends.

And speaking of other places, please don't bring drama or complaints from IRC here.

 Post subject: Re: Welcome to the board
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 3377
Location: In the den
What can board members do?

If you feel someone is violating the rules, what can you do?

1. You can point it out yourself, if no one else has. This is less advisable if you're already arguing with the person.

2. You can use the reporting feature to bring it to the attention of the mods. We look at all flags and we will try to either intervene or say (perhaps privately) why we didn't.

3. You can PM me or one of the mods.

But let me also suggest that sometimes the best option is 4. taking a break. Step away and do something else for awhile. You may find that the problem isn't as dire as it looked.

What can moderators do?

Current active mod list: Salmoneus, Dewrad, Cedh, linguoboy

1. Ask people to tone it down, or whatever else is appropriate. This may be done privately.

2. Move derails to their own thread.

3. Delete posts, if they violate the scum & villainy rules above.

4. Lock a thread, if the above steps don't work.

5. Give a member a one-day timeout.

6. In the specific case of sales spammers, they can apply immediate permabans. Any other long-term bans are at zompist's discretion.

Moderators should not alter posts (except, at their discretion, to add an NSFW warning). They shouldn't moderate arguments they're involved with. They shouldn't try to guide the discussion by use of mod powers, though of course they can participate as members. They should not be abusive when they intervene (as mods).

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:12 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 3377
Location: In the den
Miscellaneous policies

Deleting accounts

As a policy, I don't delete accounts just because someone is leaving. It's your responsibility to remove contact information if that's your concern. It's not mine to help you make dramatic gestures.

I'll delete subsidiary accounts on request if they haven't been used much-- e.g., one created in error.

Improving natlangs

Anything about changing natural languages-- spelling reform, future forms, what-if scenarios, relexifications-- belong in Conlangery & Conworlds.

Sentbox and Outbox

This may cause some confusion... when you write a PM to someone, it appears in your Outbox till they read it, and then moves to your Sentbox. If you delete an item from the Outbox, the recipient will never see it.

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