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Old 11-14-2015, 04:09 PM
RosieC's Avatar
RosieC RosieC is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Zone: 8a
Location: West Midlands, UK
Age: 42
Posts: 25,474
Default Forum Guidlines (and a few forum rules/terms of use that you need to know)

Here at Orchid Board we are not fans of rules, especially not of lots of rules and regulations that people break accidentally. We want this forum to be fun

However, sometimes new folk feel restricted by the rules of other forums and are afraid to post things that are perfectly fine here. On the other side we do have some rules (though thankfully people breaking them is rare, which makes our job easier )

There are also some things you need to know, such as the use of cookies on this site and the info we store about you. So I've decided to make this post to make sure everyone knows what they need to. I will add to this post as other things occur to me. If you have any questions or suggested additions just drop myself or one of the other moderators/admins a PM and we will do our best to help. None of the rules listed below are new, they are just included make sure people know what the few we have are.

What CAN you do that other forums might not allow?
  • Mention/Link To Vendors
    That's fine. If you bought a great plant and want to say who it came from go ahead. If you want to ask where you can get something go ahead (and go ahead and answer such questions). If you want to ask if a particular vendor is any good then go ahead (the Vendor Feedback section is best for this). If you want to report on good/bad experiences with a particular vendor then go ahead (again Vendor Feedback section is best).
    The one proviso here is that negative feed back must only be left by members in "good standing" and with at least 100 posts (see here).
  • Mention/Link to other Orchid Forums
    That's fine. We are not pretending we are the only orchid forum out there, there are lots of other good ones. If someone on another gave you good advice and want to refer to it then do so. If you think another member's question might get good answers somewhere else when no one here has known the answer then by all means direct them there. Some forums specialise more than us and attract experts in certain areas. Let's share all information sources we have.
  • Offer free plants, or trades
    We do have a classifieds section which includes this, but occasional posts about free items or trades in the main forum is fine. Items for sale should always go in the classifieds.
  • Post in the wrong place
    Some new members seem worried about posting in the wrong place. Don't worry about it. We may move your post if it's really in the wrong place. No-one will get upset with you for putting it in the wrong place, and many posts could go in a variety of places. We would rather you only post something once though. If it could go in several places and you can't decide, just pick one and don't worry that it might be wrong.
  • Go off-topic a bit in threads
    Sometimes conversations wander a bit. That's natural and we don't want to try and stop that. Provided the original poster does not object, conversations can wander.
  • Ask a question that's already been asked
    Do search and see if you can find answers, but if you are not sure if the answer applies to you just ask again with details of your circumstances. We would go further than that and say that creating a new thread gets more answers than adding a question to an old thread. While other forums want you to only create threads if you can't find an existing one for the question, there are so many subtleties to orchids, and growing conditions, that it doesn't really apply here.
  • Bump threads
    You can bump both your own and other people's threads if you want to help it get seen by more people, especially if a post has not got many responses. Moderators may also bump a thread that has no responses to try and help it get seen. On some forums people bump threads to be able to find them again, we don't tend to do that here because you can add it to your subscribed threads without adding a comment to the thread so if you want to find it again it's best to do that instead.
  • "Multi-Quote" other posts
    This is when you quote multiple parts of someone elses thread and add your comments between them. This is banned on some forums because it can be used for "flaming". Flaming is when muli-quotes are used to pick apart someones post and attack it bit by bit. We do not allow flaming, but multi-quote is often useful in much more friendly discusions. So provided everything stays friendly there is no problem with multi-quotes (we even have a button for it Forum Guidlines (and a few forum rules/terms of use that you need to know)-capture3-jpg)

Some Guidelines
  • Only post a thread in one place.
    It's best to only post a thread in one place. As mentioned above, if you can't decide where then just pick one and don't worry if it's the wrong one. If you post multiple times, a conversation can become splintered with some of the people replying not seeing the existing replies that are on the other thread. If the moderators feel this is happening, the two versions may be merged. If you post something then decide it's in the wrong place, or you are not getting many answers and think more people may see it somewhere else, then you can ask a moderator/admin to move it for you. Sometimes we may move posts anyway to try and help them get seen.
  • Don't type all in capitals
    People tend to read this as you shouting. We won't change any posts like this or take any other action, but just be aware that it tends to annoy other members.
  • Don't use 'Text Speak'
    Please write in full words/sentences. It's hard for members to understand you if you use text speak. Again no action will be taken (except perhaps a request for a translation) but be aware it tends to annoy other members.
  • Post in English
    This is an English speaking forum. If you do post in another language please also post a translation. If you are worried about how good your English is then don't worry. We have many members whose first language isn't English and as long as we can understand that's fine. If you post in another language we may have to wait for a member who speaks that language to provide a translation before we can help you.
  • Copy from PM's without permission of all parties
    If you want to share what someone else has said in a PM make sure you get their permission. The other member has said something to you in private and may not want it shared. However if you think a PM is spam or abusive do use the 'report' button on the message, that will send a copy of it to the moderators who will take appropriate action.

and finally... what can't you do?
  • Spam
    We have zero tolerance of spam, however what some forums class as spam we don't. See here for our definition of spam.
  • Abuse & Bad Language
    By abuse we mean any comments used to embarrass, threaten, cause distress, harass or cause discomfort to another user. Anything offensive or using obscene language, defamatory comments, abusive or hateful comments, flaming, racially or sexually discriminating or any other sort of discrimination, pornographic, sexual or suggestive comments.
    Sometimes your comments may be read as abusive when you didn't mean them to be. We understand that and may warn you but not take any other action, however repeated offences will lead to additional action being taken.
    Anything in your user profile which is considered abusive will be removed.
  • Promote illegal behaviour
    Orchid Board does not allow the promotion of any illegal behaviour. This includes, but is not limited to, illegal shipping of orchids without the correct paperwork, and illegal taking of orchids from the wild.
  • Don't post photos that don't belong to you
    If you want to ask people about a photo that isn't yours then post a link to where you found it. If you do post a photo that isn't yours make sure you give credit to the owner and/or state where you found the picture.
  • Don't post copyrighted material not owned by you
    Similar to the photos, but don't post any sort of copyrighted material that doesn't belong to you. Again post a link instead.
  • Post negative feedback of vendors (new members only)
    Due to the seriousness and financial impact of negative posts, we only allow members with at least 100 posts to post negative feedback. Members should also be "in good standing" and give their REAL name in the post. Not sure we've always observed the last bit in the past, but see Marty's announcement on this subject here.

What to do if you see posts that break our few rules
Orchid Board operates an infraction system and an option to report posts. When someone uses either of these options it creates a thread in a moderator/admin area of the forum and the moderators/admins are sent an email. We will review the offending posts and decide what to do.

Use the infraction option (a red/yellow card icon above a post Forum Guidlines (and a few forum rules/terms of use that you need to know)-capture2-jpg) to report spam or pornographic content. Then choose the 'spammer' option for the type of infraction. This will immediately ban the user to stop them posting more of the same. The moderators can then review and if necessary delete the posts and make the ban permanent.

If you find someone's post offensive it is best not to engage with them and risk getting dragged down to their level. If you feel offended by a post it's best to use the report option (warning triangle above a post Forum Guidlines (and a few forum rules/terms of use that you need to know)-capture-jpg) which will create a thread in the moderator area for review. You can also give infractions for offenses other than spam, but be aware that the user given the infraction will be notified of you doing this. Sometimes this can cause bad feelings, especially if the offence was accidental. Moderators will review reported posts, discuss the issue and take appropriate action (which may include issuing an infraction).

When we get reports we take into account who has committed the offence and what the offence is. For example, new members (those who have not taken part in the forum before) will be immediately banned for spam/pornography. Occasionally with spam it may seem like a genuine mistake from a new user and we will warn the user in a PM first, then ban then if they repeat the offence. People who have been members of the forum and have been taking part for a while will always be warned first for any offence. Only with repeated offences and a failure to heed the warnings will they be banned. We've had a few in the past who have been banned after being members for a while, but luckily such bans are very rare

The Small Print... What you need to know
  • We are not responsible for posts
    Orchid Board is not responsible for any of the messages posted. While we try and ensure offensive messages are removed (with your help reporting offensive messages to us) we do not check them for accuracy, usefulness or completeness. It's up to you to judge if advice given is accurate. Orchid Board is not responsible for any advice you may choose to follow. Remember our moderators/admins are just members of the public like you who have an interest in orchids and have volunteered their time to maintain the forum. That doesn't make us orchid experts
  • You are responsible for your posts
    You remain solely responsible for the content of any messages you post. Furthermore, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the owners of this forum, any related websites to this forum, its staff, and its subsidiaries. The owners of this forum also reserve the right to reveal your identity (or any other related information collected on this service) in the event of a formal complaint or legal action arising from any situation caused by your use of this forum.
  • Your Email Address & IP Address
    We store the IP addresses you have logged into the forum from, and these can be viewed by moderators and administrators. Moderators and administrators can also see the email address you have registered on this forum. We strongly recommend that you do not reveal your email address publicly on the forums, this includes not using your email address as a login ID. If you have used your email address by accident then contact a moderator/admin as we can change your user ID for you. Remember that anyone (including people who are not members) can read the public posts on the forum.
  • Keep your account secure
    Never give your password out to another person. Moderators and Administrators should never ask for your password. Also don't use another person's account for any reason. We highly recommend you use a complex and unique password for your account, to prevent account theft.
  • Cookies
    This forum uses cookies and by using this forum you agree to the use of these cookies. We don't send the information in those cookies anywhere and it can't be seen by anyone.

So that's it, this thread is locked for comments, so if you have any questions please contact myself or one of the moderators.

Enjoy our forum and if you are here to take part and not intending to cause trouble then remember not to worry about breaking the rules. We only have a few and we can usually tell who has done it accidentally. So relax and enjoy. We're glad you are here and if you have any problems just ask
__________________
Rosie
My Orchid Photos
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