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Warning - Forums Changes Are Coming - Update 4/21

Posted By: Piano World

Warning - Forums Changes Are Coming - Update 4/21 - 04/18/05 09:26 AM

<font size="+2">Warning</font>

We've been down this road too many times before.
I have tried repeatedly to bring the focus of the forums back to my original intention...
Pianos & Music

Despite my subtle (and not so subtle) warnings, there are those who still insist on treating my forums like they were their own personal soap box. They aren't. I created the Piano Forums as a place for people to discuss pianos, piano playing, and music ... period!

No More!
I have had enough. Appealing to people's sensibilities isn't working.

Changes Are Coming
As most of you know by now, I've asked some members to be moderators. They have been doing their best to help, but it's been a bumpy road, primarily because I haven't provided them with clear enough guidelines.

Over the next couple of weeks, that will change.
I am working with owners of other large forums (some much bigger than ours). They have already worked through all the growing pains we are experiencing now, and know what works and what doesn't.

The common themes I'm getting from all of them is,
~ You have to be strict in enforcing rules
~ Forums should be limited to the topics they were intended for.

You Will Be Banned
I will post a new set of guidelines and rules for our forums soon. They will be very similar to the ones you already agreed to when you signed up to become a member.
I will spell out very clearly what is and is not acceptable.

Those who fail to follow the guidelines and rules will be warned, and if they continue, they will be banned
I don't care if it's a brand new member, or one who has been with us for years. It won't matter if the member only posts occasionally, or posts all the time. No exemption because the member is a "subscriber" or because they "usually" post helpful information.

The Coffee Room is Going
I've tried everything I can think of. The CR just continues to be a major problem.
The original idea was to have a forum for discussing non-music topics, like ... planting a garden, buying a car, etc.

It has dissolved into mud slinging, discussions about topics that have absolutely no place on a family forum, and pretty much everything I didn't want on my piano forums. People are using it for their personal agendas, or to post smut and crap I don't wish the Piano Forums to be associated with.

If you are thinking, "when the CR goes, I go", so be it. If the only reason you visit the forums is the CR, then your focus is not piano and/or music, so you're missing the point of my forums.

I'm not saying people shouldn't have a right to discuss other topics, just not on my piano forums.

I haven't decided if I'll attempt to open a new forum for non-music topics. But if I do (and it's doubtful), it will be strictly controlled.

You've Been Warned
This post serves as a warning of things to come.
Major changes are on the way. I've tried to be a nice guy about it, but that isn't working.

Those of you who insist on posting smut, calling people names, stirring up trouble, have nobody to blame but yourselves. You've pushed me into this and I should be thankful.
Trust me, I'm not a person you want to back into a corner. You've awakened me to what I need to do, and now I'm going to do it.

In the end, you are all guests in my home. Most of you are very welcomed, some are not.
In the next couple of weeks, we will find out which you are.

This is a small example I've borrowed from another (very large) forum, it shows a sample of the direction we are headed (my thanks to the folks from the Fender Discussion Page (http://www.fenderforum.com/):

Q: #1 What are the posting guidelines?
A: 1) Please treat people the way you'd wish to be treated (the Golden Rule).

Keep in mind that the comments and opinions of individual posters are just that; comments and opinions. You might get an answer to a question from a 30 year veteran musician or a 13 year old kid. If in doubt, ask for the poster's credentials

2) No profanity (that includes using @$#%* between letters i.e. f#$k), vulgarity, flames, or rude behavior. We expect you to be polite and conduct yourself in a grown-up manner on the FDP. Posting on the FDP Forum is a privilege, not a right. People who have trouble with these guidelines may be suspended from posting, either temporarily or permanently. *Posts may be edited for content or removed for any reason

3) The FDP Forum is not a place for discussion of politics, religion, or other "hot button" issues. This includes taglines (an optional field in your user profile). Religious, political, and other inappropriate references in taglines will cause your account to be suspended and all current posts removed. Hot button issues are determined solely by me and our moderators.

4) Please post your question or comment in the appropriate forum, the forum descriptions are on the main forum page. Misplaced posts are subject to relocation or removal without notice.

5) You are welcome to post a link to your band's website or MP3 site in your posts. But please do not use the FDP to create topics about your band's new record, etc. This is considered hype or spam.

Also, NO commercial links to your own site and NO for sale, wanted, or wanted to trade ads in the forums or your user profile. This also means absolutely NO LINKS to your Ebay auction or any other offsite sales you are involved with. Your account will be closed if you do this and the only way to come back in will be to become a Contributing Member. Others have paid for the privilege of listing their gear for sale in the Classifieds. If you're a Contributing Member, you'll need to kick in another donation.
Posted By: Piano World

Re: Warning - Forums Changes Are Coming - Update 4/21 - 04/19/05 09:16 AM

In Reply:

The changes I've announced (above), particularly notice of the CR closing have generated a lot of conversations, as I expected they would.

I haven't been following all the threads, but I do have a few responses for some of the comments I've seen.

Keep the CR Open
A few people have suggested we should keep the CR open, just clean it up.
I've tried for two years to clean up the CR, it hasn't worked.

But There are a Lot of Good Threads
No doubt. I realize there have been plenty of good solid discussions, and helpful information posted in the CR.
Unfortunately, it has also been the breeding grounds for the most contentious, disruptive, and offensive posts.

Side Note: When I close the CR (soon), the posts will all still exist, they just won't be available. If you find yourself wanting/needing to refer to some post (or someone), let me know and I'll try to help.

Come Join The New CR
A few people have announced alternatives to the CR. I have no problem with this. I left the CR open for a while so people could communicate, and make other plans if they need/want to.

However, it would have been nice if the providers of the "alternative" sites had asked before posting. Would you go into someone's piano store and post a sign in their window about your store?

But I Subscribed Because of the CR
I'm sorry you feel that way. It tells me we haven't done a very good job with the Piano Forums.
I have stated repeatedly that our primary focus is the PIANO. No where in the subscriber information does it mention the CR.

For Those Who Are Leaving
If you are planning on leaving the Piano Forums for good, I'm sorry to see you go.
I realize you can't talk pianos all day every day (even Axtremus sometimes talks about something else:-).

I hope you will occasionally drop in on us to see what is happening.

The Tea Room
There is an outside chance I will try to create a new non-music room later. I have to give it some serious thought.
I realize there are lots of things that could be discussed that wouldn't (shouldn't?) offend people. The problem is still a matter of keeping things in line.

Thank You
For those who have decided to leave...
Thank you for being a part of the Piano Forums.
I hope you have enjoyed your stay, learned something, and made some new friends.

And I hope you will remember the Piano Forums at Piano World as a small but interesting diversion in your life.


- Frank B.
Posted By: Piano World

Re: Warning - Forums Changes Are Coming - Update 4/21 - 04/20/05 04:33 PM

I have created a temporary forum to be used exclusively for discussing CR replacements.

The CR is closing Thursday night, 04/21/05.

The temporary forum (for discussing possible CR replacements) will be open until 04/30/05, OR until the first offensive post, whichever comes first.

Posted By: Piano World

Re: Warning - Forums Changes Are Coming - Update 4/21 - 04/21/05 03:17 PM

The Coffee Room will be closing soon.

Depending on your browser, you should see a clock counting down (on the home page under the links).

I will move some of the recent threads to the temporary forum, particularly those with info about new forums.

I haven't decided how to handle the CR archives yet. The posts won't just go away, but I'm not sure I want them available anymore.

A few people suggested keeping it alive by restricting access and/or charging admission.
I thought about this, but it would mean a lot of work for me (I'd have to assign permission to everyone who opted in).

I may move the CR to the restricted/archive section and make it read-only (no posting).
We'll see, need to think about it some more.

My thanks to the folks who posted good information and helpful threads in the CR.
To those who couldn't resist posting the things I asked you not to (repeatedly), shame on you.

I hope most of you will continue to drop in on the Piano Forums occasionally, after all, they are what brought most of you here in the first place.
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