Forum Charter Discussion

Discussion in 'Forum Announcements and Feedback' started by joe9, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. The forum Charter was very much understood and I hope to be able to make a contribution to this Charter. My name is Joseph Rauch and my State Exam is October the 17th. Landscape Contractor License. I love the beauty of our earth and enjoy the rewarding of help landscape and maintain it. I also like learning more about plants as well.

    Thanks,
    Joseph Rauch
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Under 3.0 - Rules of Conduct, something along the lines of:

    Imagine you are a guest seated at a table for a dinner party of infinite potential size. Certain courtesies and formalities exist because all guests are (initially) equally welcome to join the conversation until their behaviour suggests otherwise: be courteous of others; be respectful in your disagreements; be gracious; be engaging and encouraging of others to join the conversation; and be charitable.
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Added:

    5.15 Balancing the Flow of Conversation with the Ability to Edit

    It is desirable in some areas of the forum to be able to use a single post to gather information and make subsequent edits to add, remove or clarify information. For this reason, we currently allow retroactive editing of posts (a minor reason is to allow small corrections).

    However, this also allows the ability to retroactively change the natural flow of a conversation. It is considered poor form to alter a post such that a reader approaching the thread for the first time would be deceived into believing that the modified conversation represents an actual sequence of posts over time. Please use the ability to reply to add or retract information if the edits you are considering would alter the natural flow of conversation.
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Added:

    3.2 Multiple Accounts

    Multiple accounts are discouraged. One user, one identity is preferred. The creation of multiple user accounts will be assessed by forum administrations, and may result in the removal of accounts and associated threads.
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Added:

    3.11 Use of Signatures with Links to Commercial Sites

    Use of signatures linking to commercial sites is conditionally allowed, providing:

    1. that the commercial site being linked to is somehow associated with the individual in question
    2. that the area of commerce is somehow related to the topic of these forums at the discretion of the forum administrators
    3. that the member of the forums has achieved a member level with permission to use signatures (see this thread)

    What's acceptable (examples): linking to your plant- or garden-based small business

    What's not acceptable (examples): affiliate links for services such as "Sign-Profit" (e.g., a pay-per-click forum signature ad system) or linking to a cosmetics small business
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    I've inserted this post into the charter under section 3.0.
     
  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Added:

    2.1 Use of the Forums for Commerce

    It is the wish of UBC Botanical Garden that commercial transactions and offers-for-sale using the forums software be limited to the private messaging system. Exceptions will be examined on a case-by-case basis, such as here.

    3.3 Username Restrictions

    Usernames that clearly represent URLs (i.e., web site names) are not permitted. To clarify, thisismywebsite is permissible, but thisismywebsite.com is not.
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Parts of this post removed: see this thread for that portion.

    Here are a few new rules / guidelines:

    First of all, I'm removing the "Old Thread Warning" plugin (the more plugins I have to install, the less often the forums get updated, the less secure they are). It is being replaced by the infraction system discussed in the above link and the following guideline.

    5.11 Reviving Old Threads

    Please revive old out-of-date threads with care. In particular, if you are replying to a thread of the question-answer type, and the questions in the thread have already been answered, ask yourself if it is necessary to add to an out-of-date discussions. For informational threads (e.g., photo gallery threads), it is rare that this rule would be applied.


    Second, since this came up again today:

    2.11 Posting Affiliate Links

    Please don't post any affiliate links.


    A few people seem to have difficulty with the following concept.

    1.2 Plants, Not Personalities

    At their core, these forums are about plants & closely related topics.

    Topics and discussions about specific people, particularly forum members (including yourself) are generally undesirable, with looser restrictions in Conversations. Constantly drawing attention to yourself through non-plant related topics is also undesirable, including in the Conversations forum.


    And another...

    3.4 Bending of Rules / Decisions

    When decisions are made either by an admin or general consensus, it is important that you recognize the spirit of the rule / decision as opposed to the letter. As an example, this forum does not use smilies. To circumvent this by either posting gifs or jpgs of smilies as attachments would be considered a bending of the rule.


    And...

    3.01 Dinner Party Dynamics

    If you are at a dinner party and find that a number of different people decide to belittle or attack you, then it is likely that they are not the only ones with lack of social grace.

    3.02 Dinner Party Dynamics II

    Involving the host of a dinner party in disputes & attacks means taking the host away from other guests. Some guests who deserve attention -- perhaps they want to be educated about something? -- may not receive it. The whole dinner party suffers.

    And...

    3.5 Undesirable Conduct

    When you registered for the forums, you agreed you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-orientated, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violative of any laws. This extends to private messages, as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  9. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    All this sounds great, and I agree entirely.
     
  10. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Re: Forum Charter

    I am sure glad to read this information and I have learned a whole lot - about what I have been doing wrong.

    I sure wish I had of read this a year ago, as I was new to computers and gardening forums. I am going to do things very differently from now on.

    Thank you for spelling it out clearly.


     
  11. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Daniel - Does this mean that we are to avoid discussion which includes personal opinion, like the post I just made to "friend request?"
     
  12. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Yes I think that my political views, however strongly I may hold them, should have been omitted.
     
  13. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Generally I think it's a good idea to keep chit-chat of a non-gardening nature or very superficial gardening chit-chat excluded except in very rare cases, when a real gardener just has to say something irreverent! Beginners' gardening questions should be treated respectfully. The computer culture has bred a lot of bad manners online but this forum does not have to accept them!
     
  14. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Re: Forum Charter

    I am just grateful to know what exactly is expected here, and to know how to respond - and how not to, most especially. I wasn't too sure before.

    I really liked that dinner party comparison, and thought it really made sense. I feel good about this thread, and how Daniel as leader, has taken the time to explain the guidelines, in clear terms that we can all understand.

    Thank you, again.


    : )
     
  15. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Well, frankly, I don't know what to do with that thread. Of particular concern is how much personal information is revealed by one forum member. On the one hand, I'm not particularly interested in the politics. On the other, it is a fairly deep conversation. So, I suppose it is for me to sit back and observe, and hope it never gets out of hand.
     
  16. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Daniel -
    It seems to me that the very presence of such elements as "friend request" and "Conversations Forum" imply the acknowledgment of the human need to affilliate, and to share value systems. I'd be willing to wager that quite a few strong personal friendships have been initiated by contact here.
    Forgive me if I'm incorrect, but can an education of any kind occur without an open mind? And one of the best ways to achieve an open mind is the discovery that we share interests with people who live on other continents and in other cultures. So the fact that kindred souls can occur in different bodies, skin colors, and under different cultural and governmental conditions, could be a very important component of an education - especially in relation to preserving this one planet which we must all learn to share, as there is nowhere else to go.
    On this basis - that personal conversation can contribute to the development of a willingness to learn - I'd like to see more thought given to the restrictions of the Charter as applied to allowed discussion on the Conversation Forum, and personal messages.
     
  17. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    The questionable/objectionable threads are normally OK in the right place, but the problem is that this is not the place for them. I am willing to debate religion, but I shouldn't do so at my childrens parent-teacher interviews; I am happy to talk about woodworking projects but should not do so while taking minutes of evidence from a potential witness. The old phrase that there is a time and a place for everything probably holds true. This site is designed solely for gardening, and that does not mean, for gardeners regardless of what they want to discuss.

    As for personal details, I was going to post a picture but did not yet have my Hallowe'en costume finished. Too bad!
     
  18. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Re: Forum Charter

    I do hope that I have not been a cause for concern on this thread which was started by me because I had a pm from someone I knew not at all with a 'friend request' attached and away we went from there, getting to know each other better, as friends do, making comparison of many aspects of our lives in this miraculous garden we call Earth.

    It was good to find out that I am not alone in some of my views, in this forum, as I often do feel very much alone with them.


    Thanks for posting this memo & letting me know how sensitive this forum is.

    Peace in the garden.
    Insert PEACE symbol here (mind only).... as yesterday was the anniversary of John & Yoko's bed-in, love-in (mentioned in last nite's news), in 1969, which I do remember.

    I will not reply further in the above mentioned thread as it seems to be causing concern to some.


    d
     
  19. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Thanks soccerdad, that's bang-on.
     
  20. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Yes, I see exactly what you mean now.

    I have been guilty of getting way too chatty in threads more meant for information! I will not continue, now that I know the difference.


    : )
     
  21. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    And a few more...

    4.1.5 Respecting the Copyright of Others

    For many reasons, a court of law would interpret that this is a Canadian-owned site (e.g., the server hosting this web site resides in Canada, it is managed by a Canadian institution). This means that the site is subject to Canadian copyright law.

    Canada does not have the equivalent of a Fair Use provision that would allow use of copyrighted material on these forums for educational purposes. Instead, Canada has the far-more restrictive Fair Dealing.

    Long story short: avoid posting copyrighted material on the forums. Instead, use links to material to support something you've said in your own words.

    5.1.2 Posting Duplicate Threads / Posts

    Please, avoid duplicate threads or posts, as no one wants to read the same information twice -- and it contributes to "thread-forking" (multiple discussions on the same topic). Make your thread or posting in the most relevant forum.

    If you deem it justifiable to draw attention to a post you've made in a different area of the forums, write a short informative post and use the ability to link to posts / threads to point people in that direction.

    3.5.1 Abuse of "Report Post" Functionality

    When someone spams the forums, it is appropriate to use the "Report Post" functionality (the little exclamation symbol within a triangle at the upper right of their posting). This sends an email to all administrators of the forum about the offending post. There are a minimum of 5 staff members who have the ability to shut down the forums in case of a spam attack, so all 5 of these staff members receive these notification emails.

    It is sometimes appropriate to use "Report Post" when a person-to-person discussion or issue first erupts and an admin needs to immediately step in to keep things from getting out of hand. In this scenario, use the functionality with care. A private message would work nearly as well.

    It is not appropriate to use "Report Post" when a person-to-person conflict is ongoing. Use private messaging.

    It is definitely not appropriate to use "Report Post" to contact the administrator with a question that doesn't have to be immediately dealt with. We like the occasional work-free weekends and evenings like everyone else.

    3.0.3 Dinner Party Dynamics: Talking To Yourself

    Forums are created for the back-and-forth discussion between multiple individuals. If you are making multiple consecutive posts in a thread without anyone else replying, you are "talking to yourself" and dominating the dinner party with your presence. This can be considered spamming the forums in some situations.

    Use the edit functionality to make additions to a previous posting (particularly if yours is the most recent posting). Of course, this isn't always possible, particularly for time-sensitive information, e.g., updates to how a plant is growing.
     
  22. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Hooray for that. The Cherry Scouts and I thank you! All of our threads get revived after about a year of inactivity, and you know I've requested complicated exemptions to that for our forums, so I'm happy to see that go.
     
  23. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Removed software-based GIF restriction, added the following rule. I've also deleted the thread from August of 2009 where this issue was discussed at length -- on the request of one of the forum members.

    5.1.3 Posting Animated GIFs

    Animated GIFs often distract from the exchange of information in threads. Rarely are they used for a purpose that directly supports the mission of the forums. While not banned, they should almost always be used in cases where illustration is necessary, e.g., biochemical pathways.
     
  24. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter and "Essay on Humanity"

    What on earth is this? Ok, we talk 90% about plants and gardening and indoor and outdoor plants and seeds.
    I am new in Canada for two years now and though this is the same democracy that gave its Constitution to South Africa. (home to 75% of most plants on this planet) to keep the subject. Do I have enough keywords now. Do I have to start asking , writing, commenting along an number of minimum "gardening oriented keywords"?
    If I feel that I have to refrain to be myself what is the point to be here?
    HL has made the ONLY thread that I know where Gardeners of all sorts have shown that . We are humans" and not only scientists and biologists or thinking keyboards. What is wrong with that to have one thread that is like that. Why do you apologize for having done nothing wrong? It's ridiculous. Be yourself there is nothing wrong with it . Are we being watched every step of the way...is there nothing more interesting to do in your busy life or is it not that busy. We are adults although you should make a children garden section forum .. then go and try to control it .
    For those who want to stick to the bear essentials, no one is obliged to read or follow a thread that is of no interest to them. They would not even know about it if it was not mentioned here. I don't think any of us in the particular thead I think that is pointed at have overstepped serious boundaries.
    I have asked X time in the right ( and moved to Forum) can I plant Kale now outside or not or only plant seedlings inside. AND? Not one of the know it all specialist has answered my question. So what was the point moving my thread when it was most likely to be answered by say a Dana from Victoria who takes the time and effort to give personal experienced advice as we live in the same climate or a Liz from Australia who seem to know about Vancouver as much or even more than some here .
    I have learned more in this particular threat than in any other as its REAL people who seem to "really" care if my flower or plant does well or not and they have name good gracious that I can pronounce that do not come from a Latin Dictionary..
    The only problems that arise are very typical from some " know it all, superior thinking " members who suddenly appear for no reason like in the "pepper" thread who talk down on this or that one quoting books an versus from what ever they seem to be having in their libraries, and who knows how much of a gardener they really are.?
    That is what I call rude. But of someone wants to show their friendly or funny face two days after showing me their pretty flowers and plants photos "what is wrong with that " and what is wrong with a smiley. Is it impolite to send a smile via a keyboard ?
    Is this a sort of Reich policy or what ?
    Over the past two years I connected to people on 5 continents and some of them I feel are what I call Internet friends. And I have one who I never met since 1994 when only few where on CompuServe and meeting someone was an event and we love Roses with the same strength and grows chicken cows by his Billabong in Australia.
    If I have to turn my tongue more than once in my mouth before typing something honest and forward what is the point of this.
    I can get X answers on Google about plants in many other ways. What attracted me here in the 1st place was the slightly "human" approach and the pride that I actually live a short drive from UBC and that it is something local.
    Contact made here be it a once off or repeated and creating links that result in seeds being exchanged and flowers from other countries and provinces growing in my garden. What is a better reality that this forum "works" beyond the invisible human keyboard that hides I don't know who. Beat that. It's like the Vancouver Aquarium it's near to a 4D Forum that actually grows plants with smells that I can touch and feel from people around the world and yes we have names and faces and some feel like dropping the curtain and show that we are real.
    Being a gardener does not stop us from being humans and having feelings. I have the feeling that suddenly I read replies from people I never hear about who may (I fear) be gardeners as avid as can be, but who look down on people like us who are maybe in a learning process in a new country and who enjoy at the same time an interaction that one not finds in Canada on the street or the office.
    Here where"officially" people as multi racial and integrated many seem to be locked into their own little world . I am European and have lived in 13 countries on four continents and gardened under several different climates and am going organic here now (a first). I am happy that even if it's only a feeling that I found members here, be it in a very limited number, that may be people I actually would enjoy spending some REAL LIFE time to chat and talk about garden and vice versa.
    The condo society of Vancouver seems to kill everything beyond "Coal Harbour" being
    beneath them. "What you live in the country side with a garden" how ordinary.
    As green as Vancouver and Canada claims to be and wants to be I find the majority of people very city oriented and nearly of despise to going green.
    Going green is driving a "green" car or biking and for most stops there.
    So be it if I am kicked out for telling my feeling here of a gardener of 200m2 only and not in knowlege of any Latin name but my Kale and Swiss Chard my Roses and Black Bamboo and many more grows despite some of the ultimate "specialist" advise I got that told that my " black Bamboo" is going to die if I did not this or that. No one is god beside the one if he exists and nature knows how to bends and please even those who thought they do not posses the magical green fingers.
     
  25. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    The forum charter was started in 2004, and invitations were made to all forum members to contribute to it. You can see how it has evolved over time by viewing the history of postings. It has been a stickied post in Forum Announcements, Info and Feedback from the very beginning.

    In my opinion, 99% of people live by an internal set of rules that don't require an external code of conduct. I explain why I'm not a big fan of setting additional rules in stone myself here, because I think they damage the sense of community: Clarification re: rules & the forums / infraction system. However, I also explain why they seem to have become necessary (in fact, it was requested by several members recently that they be written down, so it was done).

    Suggesting this charter is a "Reich policy" is a non-starter. You should be ashamed for making that allusion, given the entirely different circumstances.

    ...

    One of the great things about the web is that there are so many options. If any of you reading this find the rules and guidelines to be too unpalatable sometimes, then you have many choices where you can spend your time.

    In fact, we provide a list of other forums (and have since late 2005) for you to check out -- perhaps some will be more to your liking? Participate here when you want a spam-free (as best we can), ad-free (except for our own for the garden) forum with some really knowledgeable people -- but know that the expectations are higher. If you want smilies to personalize your messages, as an example, there are plenty of other forums that allow you to do that. Here's the best part for you, though -- you can participate in as many as you'd like, and use the best parts of any of them to satisfy your particular needs!
     

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