*ahem* Is this thing on? skweeeeeeeeee
Ladies and gentlemen, jungloids, visitors, and anybody who doesn't fall into one of those categories:
I should like to post a word or two about message boards in general, and THIS message board in particular.
Now as a rule, I prefer to let public discussion run its natural course (or natural discourse, as the case may be). I have always resented being a member of an online community where moderators were throwing their weight around, declaring this person "banned" or that thread "off topic." The way I see it, the fact that people have a common interest in ... whatever the topic at hand may be ... inherently makes a discussion more or less appropriate to the board, even if it isn't directly
To that end, I have made it a policy to only "moderate" the boards by kicking out spammers, obvious trolls, and blatantly rude or threatening people, and adopting a lasseiz faire (is that spelled right?) attitude towards the rest. Besides prefering that for philosophical reasons, I'm also just plain lazy and don't feel like playing Ettiquette Cop.
Furthermore, I have created my works with the intention and hope that they should amuse, move, and inspire people; to that end, I am pleased to see fanfics, debates on the subtle (or not-so-subtle) shadings of characterization, the ramifications of plot, and so forth.
I do have certain standards that I would like to maintain. SJ and NN both are for the most part upbeat, friendly, and good-natured creations, and people who are attracted to the strips for that reason are likely to expect the same general atmosphere when they enter into a discussion about it.
Thus, I respectfully request that folks who wish to enjoy and use this forum, observe a few basic codes of conduct. There's nothing here that shouldn't be basic good manners, and there's nothing here that's all that difficult under most circumstances.
No name calling, please.
This is pretty basic. If you have something nasty to say to someone, and you absolutely, positively, cannot
live another day without spewing your venom at them, then do it privately, via e-mail, private messages, or whatever.
That's a mighty long nose you're looking down, there.
Saying things that are smug and self-satisfied at the expense of other people generally makes you look worse, not them. "You must have a rotten life," "you must not be a very happy person," or the ever-popular "you have my pity" may feel vastly profound when you say it, but more often than not, turns out to only be half-vast.
Religion, politics, the weather, favorite foods...
I don't want to ban topics by genre; but keep in mind that these are all very personal subjects, and many people take them very
seriously. If you want to talk about them, all right, talk about them, but do it in a friendly way. Don't gang up on people, don't insert yourself into somebody else's argument, and most importantly, don't go off half-cocked. I have seen more people get offended by what they think
people said, than I've ever seen people deliberately try
to be offensive.
For the record, everybody on every side of all these issues firmly believes that:
A) They are right;
B) Theirs is the minority opinion; and
C) That they are persecuted for that reason.
Regardless of the reality of it.
And so, everybody is constantly on the defensive. Just for fun, next time you get in a debate, try pretending that you're wrong, you are in the majority, and that you're persecuting your opponent. You might be surprised by the result.
If you are hurt, pissed off, annoyed, or devastated by something on the boards, then don't respond to it for 24 hours
. Period. Because in the heat of the moment you're likely to throw your brains out the window and start ranting a la Leona Lioness. It happens to everybody; I'm an offender myself. But this is very important.
PG-13 if you please.
If you think a comment may be too rude, too salacious, or just plain too raunchy, you're probably right. Yes, SJ deals with "adult" topics from time to time, and it's certainly appropriate to discuss such things. You can't have characters waking up in bed together, same-sex smooches, and so forth without there being a certain level of "adult" sensibilities involved. Just keep it low-key and friendly-like.
Off-screen snugglebunnies are fine and dandy ... indecent proposals in the halls are not.
Thank you for your time.
Hopefully, this is all that will need to be said on the matter. I'm not looking to chastise anyone, nor to add more fuel to already-burning fires. I want people to be here and enjoying pleasant conversation about my comics -- or failing that, just enjoying pleasant conversation with other people who like my comics, even if that's not what they're talking about at the moment.
As a general rule, I like to use a light hand when things start going awry. If things get too out-of-hand, I will take more drastic measures; I've had to in the past. But I don't really want to do that. All it does is make everybody unhappy.