View Full Version : Rules..No Rules?

Dr. Zack Jennings
02-28-2003, 10:10 PM
I would like these rules:
If you want a handle, your Name & Hometown will be in your profile. I would prefer they show.
Registration should be required to post.
Any nuisance poster could be handled privately by the administrator.

I really don't want any other rules. My suggestion on how to handle spammers is to call a spade a spade in your reply. Other nuisance postings could be ignored much the same as bad behavior in a child. <p>
I would not like rules against hyperlinks. It's nice to be able to recommend a tool deal somewhere on the www or a page with valuable advice, I loved the Pond but I lived in fear of being chastised by Wayne. I really think Wayne felt the need to read every post in a timely fashion so he could delete the post. No wonder he was worn out and had to go "read only" on Sundays.

Other forums are glutted with frivilous posts, jokes etc. I like sticking to the topic (woodworking) but I welcome most OT messages. How many people are helped with computer problems, advice on a car purchase? There's a wealth of experience here. When a friend needs help, let's give him or her help. <p>
The only rules in my Harley club are "No guns and No attitudes". Bikers may look "Bad to the Bone" but most of them are just like you, they just dress funny. Trouble makers simply get bored if they are outnumbered. <p>

Enough said.

Keith Outten
03-01-2003, 12:00 AM
Zack / All

Thanks Zack for starting this thread. We are in the process of writing our board rules now and this would be a good time to discuss a few points openly.

At least a couple of rules are not open for debate, these involve our legal responsibility as the host of SawMill Creek. I won't go into this here as there isn't any point.

When I first discussed the possibility of starting SawMill Creek at Badger Pond I was encouraged by everyone who responded to keep the rules very close to what Wayne had established at Badger Pond. This makes a lot of sense as Wayne had already gone through the pain of setting up guidelines that were basically successful. However I also believe that we can make a few adjustments and allow for a little more flexibility and I'm interested in positive feedback.

Our sponsor has a strict rule concerning spam, it is not allowed and anyone who steals our network resources or abuses our members will be removed from our network immediately.

We go to great lengths to protect the privacy of our members, this is a responsibility we take very seriously. We will not under any circumstances voluntarily provide personal or professional data to anyone for any reason.

These topics are open for discussion and here are my views;

Handles are basically a very bad idea, you have no idea who you are talking to and it really is hard to remember who is who over the long haul. I can tolerate handles and would agree to allowing people to include their real name in their profile but I already know that I will be busy deleting user accounts that are nasty or sexual in nature. If everyone agrees to allow handles we will do the best we can to moderate new accounts. I also expect plenty of help from our members reporting usernames that are objectionable to our administrators. Some of our current members have registered with handles, we had intended to contact them in the next week and help them adjust to the board rules of using real names but we will wait untill everyone has had the opportunity to address this isse.

I like to post hyperlinks, this is in the spirit of the Internet and a very basic reason why we are here...to share information. The use of hyperlinks will be abused on occasion by those who are only interested in advertising their wares. When this happens we will delete the post or thread. I see no need to punish the masses for the sins of a few.

Nuisance Posters
One mans junk is another mans castle as they say, determining who is a nuisance is difficult. I would suggest that we all be tolerant and remember that the first amendment is very broad in what we determine to be free speech. Use your "Ignore List" to deal with this problem as a first line of defense.

Every post has a link at the bottom that allows you to report it to a moderator. Therefore every member is expected to pitch in and help us keep the board within the community standards that we as a group establish. I will not read every post and view every picture. I trust the people here and I'm willing to bet that you will be much more stringent than I would be policing our community.
My decision will be final on any problem, circumstance or argument, this has to be this way as the buck has to stop somewhere and all of the members here will hold me responsible.

Commercial Posts
Blatant commercial posts will be deleted immediately...but lets leave a little slack in the rope here. Many of our members are semi-professionals or at least do a few jobs to help defer the costs of purchasing tools and equipment. Big businesses have deep pockets and can afford expensive advertising, the little guys need a little exposure from time to time and they are often the ones who contribute the most as they have invaluable experience. I would prefer that we don't openly discuss prices, use private email or direct people to your web site when its time to negotiate.

Off Topic (OT) Posts
I agree with Zack here, friends should be able to help other friends.

Religion and Politics
Same as Badger Pond, these areas will destroy our community faster than anything I know so we should decide now to keep opinions in these two areas to ourselves.

Post your opinions now, the floor is open for discussion but it won't be long before we must post our rules. Lots of people are leaning on me to make them public.

Terry Hatfield
03-01-2003, 12:28 AM

I think you are right on on your outline of the rules.

There have to be rules. It's nice to be asked our opinion of them before they are implemented.

I personally don't like the "handles". Part of what appealed to me at the Pond was the real names and the real people. There is something about your name being out there on every post that almost self moderates. I think the massive use of the avatars is a testament to what I am talking about.



Bruce Page
03-01-2003, 12:39 AM
I could easily live with the rules that you stated. I do think members should use their real names. That was one of the first things that appealed to me about the Pond. One of the more raucous WW forums allows handles, coincidence?

W.C. Turner
03-01-2003, 12:55 AM

I'm also for using real names as opposed to handles. I would, like you, prefer a little flexability, as you mentioned, regarding hyperlinks, and "OT" subjects.

So,I pretty much agree with you, on everything you stated. Sounds like you've got a pretty good "handle" on things.

Bob Lasley
03-01-2003, 1:05 AM

I pretty much agree with you right down the line. I also think members should use their real names, at least a first name, but I prefer a last name, too. I like the fact that the persons location shows up as well. Helps differentiate between Daves, Bobs, etc.

I think its been interesting that the posts so far have been quite clean and civil. As you say, I think overall the group will be self policing. One thing you might add is, no flaming.

I too, welcome OT posts. We are friends here and friends help one another with whatever comes up, except as stated politics and religion. As for jokes and frivolous posts, I wouldn't want to see this become a trial audience for comedians, but humor and good natured ribbing between friends was one of the things that I liked about the Pond.

Thanks again Keith, you are doing a whale of a job.


Dave Arbuckle
03-01-2003, 1:45 AM
Another vote for names, not handles. I really do think it is easier to relate to people even when you're one of the hordes of Daves, than when you're nut1234. At one of the raucous forums that I frequent, I cannot remember a single time a stink was raised by a person using a name. Some people will not be able to bring themselves to use a full name though.

I think your proposed rules list looks pretty good.


Martin Shupe
03-01-2003, 2:02 AM

I used to post on Badger Pond as "Martin, Granbury, TX". At first I was hesitant to give my last name, and at first I used a hotmail email account, mostly out of fear of spam. As I became more comfortable, I passed my primary email address to people I met, and finally started posting it as well.

I agree with all of your rules, I agree that we will be self-policing, and I think you have done a fantastic job building this site on such short notice.

My only comment is that I would allow people who are nervous, like I was at first, to limit themselves to a real first name only if they desire.

I would prefer to see real names as opposed to call signs.

Thanks again,


Dr. Zack Jennings
03-01-2003, 5:55 AM
I never noticed the "Moderation" button and I'm always afraid of bothering the Administator with personal messages. OTOH I do feel some things are better discussed in private and not in front of the troops, but.... I want a badge.. one of them that are both Gold & Silver. And.... I want a real number on it. Like Joe Friday has.
I'm glad to see so many in favor of full names and no handles. I was leaving "wiggle room" in my original thread. I really think "handles" are annoying.
When I refered to "Spammers", I was meaning people promoting something in a thread. Those "Weazels" that send out unsolicited e-mails need a real job.
I'm glad that e-mail addresses are hidden. They weren't hidden on the "Pond".
"Mom and/or Pop" businesses that produce woodworking items like Laser Engravings or Pen Turnings or have a "Homepage" should not live in fear of the adminstrator. (You know who you are.)

Can you ,at least, require that people post their Home State or Country. Or..At least encourage the practice. I sent a message to a fellow, nice fellow, (on this Forum) recently that stated he taught at the U of A. I'm thinking, hey the Univ. of Alabama or Arkansas. I checked his profile, no help. Turns out he's a Canadian [edited]. (You know who you are). Now.... You have to understand that it's a long standing tradition all over the South to pick on anyone from the University of Alabama. What fun it is....., for a True Southern Gentleman, to even converse with a Canadian. [Edited} I ain't never really seen nobody from Canada in this county. And another thing that bothers me Do Canadians eat grits?... bisquits and gravy??

[New Paragraph]I ordered Grits in at the "Country Kitchen" in Battle Creek, Michigan. It was on the menu. The Waitress returned and stated: "We have the grits but no one in the Kitchen has ever made them before."........ Of course, I went into the Kitchen and gave a lesson in Grits ! [Phrase Removed]

BBQ Recipes This is my last rant. I read an open discussion about how to properly cook ribs on the Badger Pond Forum. Cooking Ribs is a religion around here. You really should have to go through some sort of "State Certification" process, pay a fee and be licensed to discuss the subject. Hell boy, Electricians have to be certified. Discussions about how to cook can git some people whopped into a frenzy real qwik like 'round here. You want to start something at my "Coffee Shop", you just mention BBQ, Killin' Ducks or Cookin'. You'll be late for work.

This thread has been edited, Sanatized and homogenized.............

Dick Parr
03-01-2003, 6:28 AM
Keith, I agree with everything you have stated. Real names were one big decision maker for me to sign on.

As you pointed out, you have thought about this before you started it and I agree the BP did work out most of the trouble items. More might pop up from time to time but I fell you will be ale to handle it with help from the members.

Please keep up the good work. It is appreciated

Peter DeFazio
03-01-2003, 6:47 AM
I'm in complete favor of your ideas Keith. I hung around the Pond for a long, long time. My very first post on that forum was an introduction, and a link to some photos of my workshop. Innocent enough. Needless to say, My thread got deleted, so i reposted. I had no idea Wayne wiped it out. An email to me would have solved the situation. Instead, I got blasted on the board, my post got deleted again, and my IP was banned. Since then, we did work it out with him. I have lurked there, but have hardly posted.

Wayne did a great job, no denying that. A forum is a community of folks who attend day in and day out. Many of us make our home here. This is our home. There has to be a leader. Keith and the boys are great.

I applaud the fact that you, Keith, are asking for our opinions. It truly gives a sense of ownership to this community. I think you'll find that the poeple who make this their home, will do the right thing, and watch over it as well.

I have learned SOOOO much over the years by you folks, and am truly greatful.

Thanks all for making this forum worth coming back to!


Del Williams
03-01-2003, 7:24 AM
Keith - Count me among the majority. I like names, no religion or politics and do like the option of hyperlinks in posts as appropriate. It sounds like most of the folks who have replied are "former Badger Ponders" or pass for one in dim light, so perhaps the rules part is going to be finding what didn't work so well there. I didn't have a problem, but then I also didn't do a lot of posting.

Glenn Clabo
03-01-2003, 8:02 AM
Agree with everything...but I don't think handles should be allowed. Let's keep it real.

Terry Quiram
03-01-2003, 8:21 AM

I like the broad aspect of your proposed guidelines. You can always tighten later if needed. I also like names not handles.


03-01-2003, 8:47 AM
I agree with all your proposals. First and/or last name (like the Pond) without handles. Reasonable use of links. I didn't notice the Moderator button either until you mentioned it. I'm sure just that alone will be sufficient to keep manners in check.

Dave Hammelef
03-01-2003, 9:12 AM
Well, I agree with names, ot, no politics or religion, and yes to hyperlinks but I liked the pond rule of not linking to a site you were associtated with. Im sure your wondering why (well maybe your not but Im gonna tell you anyhow). I like simple rules. Speed limit is 50 MPH, 51 is speeding. If you say small companies can link to there sites but others can't you get into a very gray area.

Since we have members websites listed in our profile people can get to your site that way.

Just my 2 cents.


Tom Sweeney
03-01-2003, 9:48 AM
I also agree with your broad outline for rules. I definately think full names are important & I like to see where everyone is from - though I guess it's not neccessary. No religion & politics is a good idea - I'd probably be the one getting flagged over those :rolleyes: . I also like hyper links - as you say it's what the web is all about. However no flagrant commercial posts. I think you can use a little leway on that one. & now that I know you encourage the moderator button - I for one won't be afraid to use it if a post gets out of hand.

The Pond really was the best on-line community I've ever seen. Wayne's rules were probably a big part of that - but I think we can loosen up a little from the Pond's rules.

Keep up the great work guys.

W.C. Turner
03-01-2003, 10:34 AM
Hey Zack,

You any kin to Waylon?

Ted Shrader
03-01-2003, 11:09 AM
All -

My suggestions (some are duplicates form above)
Use names, not handles. When you meet someone in person, you are not likley to call him Mike222 to his face. Like Bill O'Reilly says, "Name and town, name and town, name and town, if you wish to opine." First, last or both.
Registration required. Helps eliminate those drive posts or flames.
No religion, no politics. The war of northern aggression or the recent unpleasantness is politics. So is recipes. Things like that have been known to start fights. (So has Ford vs Chevy - see next bullet). No specific sports teams.
OT items that gain from the collective knowledge - car/truck purchases, HVAC questions, insulation, etc. seem appropriate.
Hyperlinks are great if they don't go to a site you are associated with. Example: Since you asked about it, you can see a picture of the brand new Frammitz here. However, anything with deliberate commercial intent should be reported and removed.

The fewer the rules the better. But there is a certain modicum of decency and civility that must be maintained. Holding people accountable greatly aids in that.



Ed Bartchy
03-01-2003, 11:15 AM

Thanks for letting us comment on the rules you are proposing. I agree with all of the rules you posted, although I do have some concern that they are more open than those used at Badger Pond. It will be a good test to see if we all can be a self managing community. Using the "report to moderator" feature for blatant commercial posts or innappropriate links or innappropriate language/topics/etc will provide folks with the ability to flag issues. Of course, "innappropriate" is in the eyes of the beholder so you may find yourself in that unenviable position of playing parent/censor; just as Wayne did (and well) on Badger Pond. Best of luck with this site!!! And, thanks for setting it up so quickly. It has great features, and I'm hoping you can add just one more.... multiple pictures per post.

Ed Bartchy

Ken Garlock
03-01-2003, 11:49 AM
One of the nice things about the Pond was the lack of swearing, name calling, or other "expletive deleted" comments.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am about the last person who would be accused of being politically correct, and I think I can make a sailor blush when the situation gets to me. But, when I come to the forums, I come to gain and share information, not get an exercise in lack of command of the English language.:(

So, good folks, let's be nice, I got a picture of my grand daughter in my wallet:D

Richard Brown
03-01-2003, 12:43 PM
I do think that we need rules and the ones that Wayne at the Badger Pond had, I thought were great and kept down a lot of problem that could rise, even though he had to step in now and then.

03-01-2003, 2:44 PM
Common misinterpretation

Nuisance Posters
One mans junk is another mans castle as they say, determining who is a nuisance is difficult. I would suggest that we all be tolerant and remember that the first amendment is very broad in what we determine to be free speech. Use your "Ignore List" to deal with this problem as a first line of defense.

Keith, I hope this doesn't come across as political, as I completely agree that politics should be off-limits. (Otherwise I would never log off). People's speech on this forum is NOT protected by the first ammendment, unless of course, you are an employee of the government, using government funds to support this site. This site belongs to you (or some private business entity) and you have the right to limit speech on your private property in any manner you see fit.

That said I agree with your basic rules.
Although not a killer for me, no links to a site where you have a commercial interest might be a good addition. I would personally welcome links to somebody's site where they are not selling anything.


John Miliunas
03-01-2003, 6:50 PM
As usual, Keith, you're right on the money! Hard to argue with any of your suggestions and, FWIW, here's my take on the one "open to discussion":

Usernames: Real w/first & last.

Hyperlinks: You bet. If one is unsure of whether they should post one or not, pass it by the administrator first.

Nuisance poster: Agree. Hard to really determine, but as you say, there's the "ignore list" and the "report to moderator" button.

Moderation: See "Nuisance poster".

Commercial Posts: Generally, agree. Otherwise see: See "Nuisance poster".

OT: Absolutely! Many folks here from all walks of life with many backgrounds and experiences. To shield this from the general forum would be an injustice. We're all about helping each other and it shouldn't stop with a piece of wood or tool.

Religion & Politics: Totally agree to zero discussion, though I think it would be a shame if posts requesting prayers for a loved one or something were to be blown away. "Prayer" can come under an awful lot of umbrellas. I also note that there are a few folks signing off with references of "be blessed" or similar. I personally don't find an issue with that, either. If those folks *always* sign off like that, one can add them to their "ignore list" if they are offended.

Now, as for Zack and hisI can tolerate Yankees but I sure don't have to trust one of um. For the last 14 years I have remained below the Mason Dixon line. Can we require that all Creek-er-ramas be held below " In the Southern Territory"? ...well, now. First off, I agree to banning any talk about the Civil War, but as far as you not trustin' us Northerners, where in the heck do you think that scooter you're ridin' was built? I'd say puttin' that V-Twin between your legs for a spin down the road doin' 60 or 70 mph is quite a bit of trust! So there!:D And to require a Creek-er-rama to be explicitly held in the Southern Territory....Well, I won't EVEN get into that!:D

Oh, and one more thing there, Doc. I'll bet that any number of folks here would just LOVE your recipe for BBQ ribs! No arguments there...You Southern Folk sure know how to do ribs! Heck, for that matter, gotta' be about the best BBQ Chicken I ever had was down thataway, too!:cool:

There. That'd be way more than my $00.02-worth, but inflation has taken its toll, hasn't it?:D

Keith Melick
03-01-2003, 8:01 PM

I agree with your proposed rules. I definately want to see names not handles, full names prefered. I would also like to see lacation required City and State or at least State. It is nice to know where the people that are posting are from.

You and your helpers have done a great job, Thanks

Tony Falotico
03-01-2003, 8:33 PM
Originally posted by John Miliunas
Religion & Politics: Totally agree to zero discussion, though I think it would be a shame if posts requesting prayers for a loved one or something were to be blown away.

I agree with John on this one, requesting and/or offering prayers should not be prohibited. We all have our own ways of dealing with life's ups and downs, if someone offers (or requests) a prayer, accept that as their way of showing respect for (or dealing with) the situation.

I also favor no handles, lets use real names.

Let's be reasonable with one another. We are a broad spectrum of people with differing backgrounds. We all have a differing sense of humor based on background and culture (mine is sometimes warped!), what is funny to one may not be funny to others, but no harm is intended. Lets be tolerant and understanding with each other, monitor when things get out of hand, but don't sweat the small stuff!

My two cents worth, no offense intended.

Andrew Field
03-01-2003, 9:48 PM
I agree. We are on the right track here....

No handles, just names (whole name or first name and location).

No religion or politics (except the requesting and issuing of general prayers and blessings).

Mike Brewster
03-01-2003, 10:59 PM
I'm glad this came up. I was going to post something similar a few days ago and just haven't had time.

I like names not handles. I don't necassarily think that they need to be full names.

Hyperlinks- I like them. I found it a nuisance to have to go to another area of the board to find a link to someone's site. I don't even mind commercial links as long as they are not blatent. For instance I'm fine with the numerous business owners here having a link to thier site in the signature area. It could even add to the credibility of thier posts on some occasions. As long as people are not "actively" promoting thier sites or products I'm comfortable with it.

I would really like to do away with the percieved need to add disclaimers such as; " no affiliation" etc. any time a product or service is mentioned. That's been a pet peave of mine for some time. It's usually pretty obvious when an individual is beating the drum for a company.

I have participated in other boards where manufacturers (with advance permission) have posted along the following lines: I have developed X with Y features and would like to disscuss it. Or
"We are developing a product and would like your input." These topics are generally kept to one thread (often quite long) and seem rather orderly. I would really like it if Delta or Dewalt or whoever were to directly ask our opinions on occaison. I understand that this idea will be controversial.

Religion and politics probably would be best disscused elswhere.

Off topic post if they are indicated as such. I've recieved a great deal of help from such posts but I understand that many are annoyed by them.

My 2 cents

Mike Brewster

Jason Roehl
03-01-2003, 11:22 PM
First and last names: :)

Religion and politics: :mad:

BBQ Ribs: :D

Brand of beer: :D
(Yes, Ken, we all know you drink Bud Light. While >I< would hesitate to call that beer, it's a free country:D )

What truck you drive: :)
As long as we're not posting the infamous Calvin graphic along with the other brands' logos.

Profanity: :mad:
Wayne was pretty strict with this one, but I think we could allow for context on some of the grayer ones. Just be sure you're talking about a rooster or a mechanical valve.

Malicious name-calling: :mad: :mad:
The bane of any self-respectable forum, internet or physical.

Links to sites with which one is commercially affiliated: :mad:
There's just too huge of a gray area here. I think Wayne stomped out a lot of sparks on this one, but they could easily have grown into major conflagrations.

Well, that's more than 2&cent;, so I'll shut up now.


W.C. Turner
03-01-2003, 11:33 PM
Mike Brewster & Keith Outten

I vote to also do away with the "No Affiliation" in posts.

It appears we're all seeing eye to eye on things, so keeping the site in order and doing our own policing, is gonna work out quite well.

Richard McComas
03-01-2003, 11:43 PM
Another vote for real names. :)

Phil Phelps
03-02-2003, 9:59 AM
You have to be nice about it, though. I'm sure we'll work through the details on the rules. What I can't stand is "extreamism" on either side. I have posted some of the most innocent, humorous, sentences that contained "government", and was shot out of the water. It is actually stupid. Look where we, as a nation, have come with political correctness. We don't need to be fingerprinted and sworn in. Common sense is paramount. As Paul Harvey reminds us, " You can't have self government without self discipline". But, for some, and innocent comment can turn into a political war. Like I said, self discipline. Most of the BP's rules were fine, just drop the "absolute" part and lets have a little flexibility. We'll just shoot those who don't agree. (There I go) Phil ;)

Terry Hatfield
03-02-2003, 11:17 AM
A few others have already addressed this issue on both sides. I felt compelled to post my feelings.

I don't like the "no affiliation" rule. It made me walk on egg shells on the Pond. I know that many others feel the same way. I could not even link to pics of my DC ducting article on Bill Pentz's site!! Personally I don't see the big deal with "no affiliation". What is the difference in posting a link in a response and saying go to the member list and find my site??? Once on the Pond a guy asked directly in a post where to find the pics of my shop. I answered and of course the response was removed. I was not trying to sell the guy anything!!! I was just trying to help him build a hood for his MS. Did I violate the rules....yes. Was Wayne within his rights to remove the response...yes. Is the rule fair....I don't think so.

Everyone knows I am in the cyclone biz. I don't want/have to "advertise" it here , but it will be talked about. It already has been. I did not ask any of these folks to post something about the site. They just did it. If the "no affiliation" rule was in effect here I could not even respond to questions about my site or post a link to ducting help or a informative shop pic. Look folks, no member with a web based business wants to wrongly promote it here or force their site on anyone. We just want the opportunity to respond if it comes up and to link to helpful articles or pics on the site. I have NOT and NEVER will ask anyone to buy anything in a post here. That would be wrong. I do however want the freedom to link to portions of my own site if I feel that I have something there that will answer a question or help someone with a problem.

I'm sure that there is a common ground answer to this rule's question. I sure don't want the forum to look like the classified ads but I also don't want to be prohibited from answering a question or posting a link to my own site.




Chris McKimson
03-02-2003, 12:01 PM
I also like the idea of real names and locations.

I would also like folks to be able to hyperlink to thier own websites. Many have alot of information to share and to have to go somewhere else (i.e. members websites) was always a hassle.

And Keith, thanks for asking rather than just tellin. :)

Keith Outten
03-02-2003, 12:33 PM
This is the most difficult problem we have to address in the "Rules" area. Wayne was very strict in how he moderated this type of situation. Those of you who are not involved in woodworking professionally might not have picked up on this at the Pond. Remember that Wayne had sponsors, this is where the money came from so he wanted you to shop at his mall and buy from his sponsors. This was absolutely the right way for Wayne given his business model. If you wanted to advertise on the Pond he had an established way for you to do it and you were expected to pay, there isn't anything wrong with that.

I suggested that we keep a little slack in the rope so to speak just because I want all woodworkers to be welcome to contribute here at SawMill Creek. What we're talking about here is mostly very small businesses, small business people have a tremendous amount of knowledge to share so they are a major resource. If an amateur can link to his/her site what about someone with a small business? How about amateurs who sell their projects? If they post pictures of what they have sold isn't this commercial posting?

My point is that I like to talk to woodworkers about woodworking and related topics. If I get the opportunity to ask a Professional a question and can get free advice good for me! I hope there is a place where we can meet in the middle here and everyone will benefit. I don't want to see any advertisements on SawMill Creek though.

Everyone please let me know what you think on this topic so we can establish a clear understanding as to what we are willing to consider commercial and what isn't.

Al Mann in Miami
03-02-2003, 1:54 PM
Rules let you know what sort of behavior is acceptable and what is not - for you and for everyone else. When there is a clear rule, there are no arguments - you either follow the rule or go someplace with different rules. No hard feelings, no criticism intended, you just go where you can do your own thing.

I liked Wayne's rules. FWIW, and since I was asked, here are some of my opinions:

No handles in addresses. First name and location should be the minimum. Last names can be a real turnoff to new folks; I remember the leap of faith when I posted my first Badger Pond post.
I have been "Al Mann in Miami" since I first posted on Badger Pond, and I sign myself "Uncle Al" because that is what some old friends call me. I suggest that format, but I am not averse to changes.
No links in posts. One of Wayne's concerns was that a link to a very inappropriate website could be posted and unintentionally visited before he found out what was happening and removed it. With Sawmill Creek being less intensely monitored than the Pond was, this becomes a stronger possibility.

Off topic posts are great. They let people develop relationships by putting some of their personalities into the forum

Commercial posts are tough. I've seen lots of folks in the business whose posts were highly valued because of their experience. Their commercial ventures were known and referred to often, but the links to their sites were in the same place as those of all other posters. I never found it particularly inconvenient to visit them, although Wayne's indexing system could be improved upon. I'm not a professional and don't have a website, so I may be missing something here. YMMV.

I can sympathize with those who feel that a forum of civilized adults can be self-governing. My experience is that a lot of friction can be avoided by clearly defining the rules; subsequent discussion is limited to whether or not the rule was followed, and not on how to interpret the rule.

BTW, a forum like this is not a democracy. While Keith can (and should) solicit input from his users, there is no counting of ballots; in the end the decisions are his, just as on the Pond they were Wayne's. You can't please all of the people all of the time.

Uncle Al

For what it's worth in south Florida.

Howard Barlow
03-02-2003, 1:59 PM
I never have had a need to hide behind a handle. I don't care for them. I wouldn't care if they were posted along with a name in the info at the left, but not handles alone.

I would like a forum that had a little more wiggle room. I love the political page on The Oak. Things get pretty hot there sometimes, but it is a place you have to go to, to get there. If you don't care for politics or religion, you don't see it. A slugfest from time to time, but we all respect and get along with one another. Heck, we even have civil words on occasion.

No guns, Zack? Are you nuts? I have my .45 in my belt everytime I go to the boards. You're all safe.:D

Ed Bartchy
03-02-2003, 3:10 PM

I can see where the issue of commercial posting gets complicated. Personnally, I don't want to see a bunch of commercial listings in the postings. I'd like to come here to read about folks woodworking projects, be able to access a lot of experience on woodworking, and share some OT items in a nice family-oriented, G-rated environment. Hey, I have enough stress and strain at work and don't need raging debates or commercials when I log onto the internet looking for a woodworking community.

Once strings of notes come in only for the purpose of saying "here's a sale for this" or "go to my website, I've a lot of these for sale", you've got a commerical channel rather than a community of people. As Al mentioned, you also have the opportunity for the stray poster to send you to a site you really don't want to go just as some kind of joke.

How about something similar to what was done at the Pond and have a separate section where people can register their websites. That would allow you to vet that it's a real, woodworking website. Then, if someone's looking for a particular kind of business, they can go to that section of Sawmill Creek. If folks provide a good, basic desription of their website/business, a simple search routine would allow anyone to find anything they want.

Ed Bartchy

John Miliunas
03-02-2003, 4:19 PM
Read over your opinions regarding possible rules and you raise some valid points. But, this is not the Pond and therefore does not necessarily mean that we need unbendable and hard-fast rules to retain civility. Maybe chasing down links is not that big a deal, but for those folks on dialup, it can be quite time consuming and make the experience much less pleasurable. Plus, it takes away from shop time!:( The link thing can be applied to general links or commercial stuff equally. Like Keith says, many of those folks are very willing to share otherwise valuable tips with the whole community. Other than that, I think we're all consumer savvy enough to be able and tell the difference between a fellow WW just wanting to share and the one looking to find a buying market. Heck, I can see where some of the small operations (part time and the such) would link to their site just out of pride.

Ultimately, your final paragraph sums it up quite nicely. No, this is NOT a democracy. Although we may feel as though this is OUR site, it's really Keith's and he has the final word on it. Then again, it's really not that much different than taking a WW class somewhere. Even though you've paid to go to it, you're using *their* facility and all that goes with it. Yet, at the end of the class, I'll bet *everyone* pitches in to clean up. Keith can't be expected to read each and every post on all the forums. If this is what Wayne chose to do, well so be it. If the rest of us help Keith do some of the "housekeeping" and make him aware of what we may feel is inappropriate, he can make the judgement call at that time. Just my $00.02....:cool:

bob stotts
03-02-2003, 5:23 PM
First and last name for sure. I have had my name a long time and I,m real proud of them.
bob stotts

Dan Bussiere
03-03-2003, 9:03 AM
I agree with your take on the rules! Names should be a must!

Mark Mazzo
03-03-2003, 10:25 AM

I think that your summary of the SMC rules is a perfect compromise of why the Internet is what it is, but also why the Pond was what it was. You took the good points of the Pond and kept them, but also altered things a little where appropriate.

I do agree with others that handles should be disallowed in fovor of full names. No politics or religion. I also agree with your asessment about commercial site posting...we don't want to keep professionals and authors etc. away by denying them a little exposure. They will make the site much more rich in terms of its content. As long as there is no blatant advertising by an entity things will work, and the "report post to moderator" is there to allow members to help police things.

Thanks for asking for our opinions.

-- Mark

Ken Wright
03-03-2003, 1:28 PM
I think you've outlined the parameters well Keith. Real names, city and state .. no politics or religion. I don't like handles.

I personally don't mind ... actually I like ... to be directed to some place where some poor bloke is trying to scratch out a few bucks. I'll buy from him if I can just to help out.

Ian Barley
03-03-2003, 3:53 PM
Real names please - the main reason I don't visit most other forums is the 14 year olds posting under slightly smutty names and the idiots who feel they can say what they want because they are hiding behind a handle.

Hyperlinks - Only time I got carded by Wayne on the pond was because somebody asked what the URL of my site was and I told him. I ain't trying to sell anything to woodworkers, mainly because most of you are better at it than me and also beacause I'm about 8,000 miles away across the water. I think if somebody is posting a link that illustrates a point which is relevant to this forum then fine. If they are creating a post to plug there new range of flange wobblers they should get deleted.

I also agree on all the other points. I think that good, clear justly applied rules are what makes any community function.

Dave Anderson
03-03-2003, 5:35 PM
I lived by the rules at BP but I don't think we should try to recreate BP at SMC.:eek:

My opinions (free for the asking...)

Names: First or Last better Both - No "handles."

No religion, no politics.

No use of the "Seven Banned Words" but I see no problem with saying Darn or Dang.

Links: Yes, to your personal website, yes to other sites that have a purpose based on your post. No to Commercial posts.

While I think Flame posts serve little lasting purpose - they are fun to read sometimes ;) and I like a good laugh! Some of the best posts ever at BP were those Flame posts and the replies before Wayne got to them :D

My biggest gripe about the Pond was that the rules were VERY NARROW. We liked them or got used to them but enforcement of those strict rules drove poor ole Wayne out of town.

I think we are on a slightly wider and more appropriate path here at the Creek.

Jerry Todd
03-03-2003, 6:01 PM
I agree, real names, State or Country, hyperlinks are a good thing, no politics or religon.
Jerry in Miami, Fl

03-03-2003, 8:08 PM
I don't think it's very difficult to tell a hard sales pitch from a helpful link. We should allow links to just about anywhere. But if the intent is an unsolicited sales pitch, I'm sure it would be reported quickly. Heck, as far as I'm concerned, if someone posts the question "Anyone know where I can buy a fine turned pen?" I would fully welcome someone answering the question (especially one particular old man who does way more in a day than most half his age).

Many of the members here have GREAT woodworking information about jigs and such on their personal websites. I'd hate to see that information not offered when it would be helpful, or to make those people post what could be easily linked to on their site. This is the internet right?

I understand the intent of Wayne's rules on this, but I don't really believe that this particular gray area is all that gray.

As alway, thanks Keith!

Dave Anderson
03-03-2003, 8:19 PM
Originally posted by Tim
This is the internet right?... I understand the intent of Wayne's rules on this, but I don't really believe that this particular gray area is all that gray.

I think the point is that this is NOT Wayne's site, this is OUR site through the courtesy of Keith and Co.

Always one of the things I DIDN'T like about that site, gone the way of the Dodo... was that you couldn't have any links in your post. You could list the URL and that was OK, but if you made it an actual Link, that was a no-no. Pleeeeaseeee :mad:

I say, Link Away! If it gets out of hand, we can always tighten the thumb-screws a turn or two. :eek:

Lee Schierer
03-04-2003, 11:52 AM
I agree that rules are needed. Waynes rules were strict, but they worked for the better good of the forum. By being strict, there wasn't a lot of gray area to get into. If Wayne said it was wrong, it was wrong.

I know this is off the immediate topic just a bit, but it does pertain to the rules. I feel we are making a major mistake by requiring all posters to register first. I think we will exclude a lot of new comers who, as many of us were, are hesitant to give out a lot of personal info until they know for sure what they are getting into. We have the Member tag that shows up. Until they register, they will be tagged with "guest". .I can easily register with a false name and temporary email from one of the free services and none would be the wiser if I want to make an out of bounds post. I would be a member under the current set up, so it doesn't really exclude anything by making peole register. Trouble makers will still find a way in the door. I think we should invite everyone in and then let time and their post sort things out. Otherwise what purpose does the "member" notation serve???? So eliminate it.

Wayne's rules evolved from his first site to become badger pond. Maybe there is a lesson there that we should start off where we were.

I like the hyper link idea to a point. If it is to point to a site with the information a poster is looking for fine. If it is advertising for mine or a friends business, then it shouldn't be linked. I think you get enough free advertsing saying I made this what not shelf for a commission project.....

I like being able to post photos directly and not have to wait for someone to get back to me. That always seemed like a lot of work for Wayne to have to do. Yet it sure did keep the marginal stuff from ever showing up.

This is the owners site and the first ammendment does not apply. Whoever is paying the bill has the final say. He (They) can always pull the plug.

Keith in the long run it will be your decsion on the rules and the rest of us will have to live with them or leave. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

David Plaskett
03-04-2003, 11:52 AM
I like real names and places.

No politics or religion.

Yes to personal links. I agree with T. Hatfield's post on this subject.

Randy Miller
03-04-2003, 1:18 PM
My votes:
Names: Yes (First and/or Last)
Handles: No
Links: Sure
OT Messages: Yes -- but please put OT in the subject line

Most important -- I think this crowd has a pretty good idea when something is getting out of control. The alert moderator link should be enough to keep us close to the intent of the rules without being too rigid.

I thought Wayne's rules were what kept the Pond civil, but more times than not the members saw the yellow card coming before Wayne got around to it. I also think it was the moderation that drove Wayne to shut down the site.

John Sanford
03-04-2003, 3:51 PM
Okay, here's something different.

There's been general agreement that "no politics and no religion" based on the Pond model, BUT at the same time many people are complaining that the Pond was overly strict. Under the strict interpretation of No Politics/No Religion, requests OR offers of prayers would be disallowed, my usual sign-off would be disallowed, Jim Shaver's Veteran's Day post would be disallowed, etc.

What I suggest is that there be a DEDICATED forum for ALL the OT stuff. What car to buy, a good movie, etc. I also have to point out that a fair number of "political" topics ARE woodworking related. Yes, it takes common sense to determine whether the relationship is close enough to warrant inclusion here, but just as an example, here's a few:

OSHA regulations - political, yes. WW related? Definitely, especially for the pro.

Genetic Engineering - poltical, yes. WW related? Ask any biologist working with the American Chestnut, banana trees, etc. Wouldn't we like to see a Cherry tree that grew to full height in 10 years!?

Manufacturing origin of tools? political, darn straight. Since an ever increasing proportion of our tools are imports, and people have VARIOUS different reasons for choosing Tool A over Tool B (and some of those reasons ARE political), I believe that a discussion that disallows consideration of half the factors is no discussion at all.

Now, the point is, if its political or religious and it ain't DIRECTLY related to woodworking, then it should find another home. However, simply because a post has P & R content doesn't mean it should be whacked, a la the Pond. Will requests for prayers for American and British troops in the Middle East be considered political and/or religious?

We do not work wood in a vacuum. Behaving obsessively like we do is childish. Yes, if somebody cruises in here and starts a thread about "them Republicrats", that's over the line. Likewise, if somebody STARTS a thread for the purpose of bashing OSHA, then that's over the line as well. If, on the other hand, an OSHA kudos (hey, they aren't totally useless!) is offered in passing in a post, should it be deleted? It would on the Pond, and frankly, methinks that fits the definition of zero tolerance.

Zero tolerance demands zero intelligence. And yes, THERE ARE POLITICAL overtones to that statement, but also very practical ones for this board. Use your common sense.

As for names: yeah, sure. First Name, last initial, or first initial, last name, or first & last names. Location is pretty useful also.

Flames: refer to the comment regarding childishness. No flaming.

Hyperlinks: eh, don't care one way or the other.

Grace and peace.

Dave Avery
03-04-2003, 4:26 PM

Given the number of opinions, it's amazing how much consensus there really is. There has not been any serious disagreement on any of the sensitive issues.

I'm in agreement on most major issues, where I differ, my differences are not significant enough to detail.

I'd also like to thank Keith, both for his time , effort, and resources to start the forum and for asking the opinion of those that use the Forum. Dave - yes, I'm a Yankee, Zack :)

Jim Izat
03-05-2003, 1:10 AM
I agree with what Al Mann has said in his post. Rules and behavior can be a sort of chicken and egg situation. I like to see the name of the person with whom I'm conversing and I like being able to click on a link to go directly to a resource. I think there's a big difference between being able to click on a link in a post that goes to a commercial site because the owner of the site has been kind enough to take the time to provide me with help, and a link in a post who's main purpose is to sell me something.

The Creek is a very fine place to meet and share. I look forward to my visit everyday because of the fine folks here, and the relaxed, respectful atmosphere in which I can slowly but surely chip away at my enourmous lack of knowlege.

Many thanks to our site administrators,

Jim Izat

Dennis Peacock
03-05-2003, 2:15 AM
I agree with the proposed rules and FULLY AGREE with using REAL NAMES.....no handles....

Andrew Field
03-05-2003, 3:23 PM
Originally posted by Lee Schierer

I know this is off the immediate topic just a bit, but it does pertain to the rules. I feel we are making a major mistake by requiring all posters to register first. I think we will exclude a lot of new comers who, as many of us were, are hesitant to give out a lot of personal info until they know for sure what they are getting into. We have the Member tag that shows up. Until they register, they will be tagged with "guest". .I can easily register with a false name and temporary email from one of the free services and none would be the wiser if I want to make an out of bounds post. I would be a member under the current set up, so it doesn't really exclude anything by making peole register. Trouble makers will still find a way in the door. I think we should invite everyone in and then let time and their post sort things out. Otherwise what purpose does the "member" notation serve???? So eliminate it.

You are correct, if someone really want to post a problem post, then there's not much we can do. But forcing people to register just increases the amount of work the problem poster has to go through, and hopefully they will deem it not worth the trouble.

Rod Peterson
03-05-2003, 7:07 PM
It's interesting that almost everyone has the same general idea about this topic. Interesting, but not surprising to me. I alluded to this in my farewell post on the Pond; in my opinion the people that were successful on the Pond with regard to the rules weren't successful because of the rules but because they were disposed to that standard of behavior in the first place.

That's one of the reasons I liked the Pond and didn't like another place-not-to-be-named. I go there about once every two years to see if it's gotten better--it hasn't. Both of the places I'm now frequenting (WoodCentral is the other), seem heavily populated with people of the same bent. Good. That makes the rest of this easy.

I am firmly in favor of the hyperlinks. There isn't a bit of commercial content on my site, but I'm always eager to direct people there; partly for the Norm's Tools section, but also because I think I have some good answers to tough questions, and I'm proud of my work.

I played a little game that Wayne somehow let me get away with over there; I wonder how many of you noticed. Whenever I posted something that needed the reader to visit my site, in addition to pointing to the laborious steps needed to get there from the Member's Websites area, I always added the little clue after my sig: Think <b>woodbutcher</b> and you'll <b>net</b> the site, because my site is at <a href=http://www.woodbutcher.net>woodbutcher.net</a>. I don't want to start having to do that again.

I am absolutely 100% in agreement with moderate language, but please, English is a feature rich language, and as someone already pointed out, roosters, faucets, female dogs, junk, and so on are ably and properly represented by other words that unfortunately have their own, not so proper alternate meanings. That alternate meaning should not disqualify those words from appropriate use. Besides, I know the HTML workaround to display those words if the forum software is <i>cute</i>.

Remember, folks, the rules aren't for us -- they're for those who can't function without boundaries; we can.

Some of this stuff is just going to be a judgement call for the admins, and then a few rounds of debate with the miscreants who need the attention. The rest of us will be fine, because we already were fine.

Mike Brewster
03-05-2003, 8:34 PM
Well said!

W.C. Turner
03-06-2003, 11:49 AM

Yeah, I used to notice you did that, "net my site". And, I think the reason you managed to get away with it was that folks weren't able to click on it. But, I'm like you, I'd much rather be able to just click on someone's link. It's much faster for me, since my slow, dial up, computer is a dinosaur anyway, and my 2 finger typing leaves much to be desired, both of which take up entirely too much time.