Welcome to the new Forum Affairs board, as our first thread here, we'd like to present something we've been working on to help people understand what our aims and expectations (of ourselves, mostly) for the forum is. Below, is what we have, but please use this thread to offer feedback on this, positive or critical, so that we can come to something that people feel is fair and level.
The Steampunk Forum Mission Statement
The Steampunk Forum's overriding aim is to allow Steampunk fans of all sorts to discuss, share and enjoy things to do with Steampunk in a friendly, welcoming environment. Whether a member is a long-term living-Steampunk who eats, sleeps and breathes Steampunk, or just a curious visitor who likes things made of brass or the occasional Jules Verne romp (and anywhere in between), the forum should be a neutral place where they can meet and enjoy each others company on a shared topic of interest.
Civility, and a welcoming atmosphere, are the two things most hoped for.The Steampunk Forum...
... Is hosted and paid for by Tinkergirl, one of the two Administrators, who also runs Brass Goggles blog. Dohicky is the name of the other Administrator, owner of Aether Emporium. There is a small group of valued volunteer moderators who assist in the day to day running of the site.
... Is an independent forum, not created to forward any private interests, commercial money making schemes or world domination plans. (As tempting as world domination is.)
... Is open to anyone with an interest in any of the aspects of Steampunk, who abides by the requirements given in the registration agreement, and accepts and abides by the posting guidelines.
... Aims to be both neutral and civil and as such does not allow political or religious themed discussion due to the passionate and irreconcilable flamewars that this can cause. Much as you would not bring up politics or religion at a Victorian dinner party unless you knew well the temperaments and openness of your companions, you should not broach these subjects on this public forum where civility between strangers is sought.
... Cannot be everything to everyone.
... Focuses on long term stability and predictability for the benefit of our membership.Posts and Threads...
... Are the lifeblood of the forum.
... May be moved to a more appropriate board if it is accidentally misplaced initially.
... Will seldom be locked or stickied, but it can happen.
... Will not be edited to misrepresent what a poster wrote, though in extremis portions of, or entire posts, may be deleted by a Moderator if guidelines aren't kept to, or flames violently erupt. Such actions from Moderators will include a comment to explain the edit.
... Naturally wander in their topics, much as conversations do. It is considered impolite, however, to 'threadjack' someone Else's thread by willfully diverting a thread to something unrelated that should really warrant a separate thread, especially if the thread being 'threadjacked' was yet to fulfill its purpose. (A question not yet answered, advice being sought, etc.) That said, conversations do wander, particularly when the subject is lighthearted.The Moderating Team...
... Are guaranteed at least* 90% human at last testing. They may be volunteer Moderators, but they're still fans of aspects of Steampunk. They cherish the wild mixture of thread topics mixed with one-liners and levity, with mild topic gyrations and undulations as much as the next member. They also have sleeping patterns and daily-non-forum activities, and will not individually be present at all times.
... Aim to facilitate friendly, interesting discourse between the members, not flamewars and abusive behavior.
... Favor the careful and steady method of forum change, and promote forum stability instead of a moving target. That means that many suggestions for dramatic changes will be either slow in appearing, or will not appear at all. Major changes will be considered deeply before action is taken, and will endeavor to seek feedback on proposed changes from interested parties beforehand.
... Will attempt to keep the interests of the majority of forum members foremost, understanding that the Forum cannot be everything to everyone, and that changes that please a particular minority, may alienate the previously content majority.
... Do communicate with each other, especially when dealing with anything unusual or unpleasant. In extreme cases, a seriously problematic thread may be moved out of the public eye while Moderators discuss it as a Moderating case. This will not be done without informing the thread owner. (As such, if your thread dissapears without notice, it may be a rare forum error, and you should contact an Admin.)
... Understand that the posting guidelines are not legalese documents of 14 pages, but expressions of the intent of the forum to maintain civility and a welcoming atmosphere. As such, the intent, not the letter, of the guidelines should be their guiding light.The Forum Members...
... Are each one welcomed voice, no greater or lesser than the other. Post count, title, or starting date make no difference to their words. Many among our members choose not to partake in the public debates on forum policies and Steampunk philosophy, and for whatever reason they, as well as the more chatty members, still have an equal stake in the membership of the forum.
... Should understand that moderator time is a limited resource and the forum a busy place. Monopolizing a Moderators time in one thread can unfairly deny other parts of the forum. Also, the forum has many more members than Moderators, and as such reporting a post of interest to a moderator rather than waiting for it to be found, is an appreciated shortcut.
... Must be aware the Moderating team realizes that the posting guidelines does not have absolute and well defined borders. As such, purposely pushing the boundaries to see where they break, or exploiting any loophole will be looked at quite unfavorably as not keeping to the spirit of the guidelines, even if it is keeping to the words.