As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there have been some changes around here.
The Avatar Icons—aka Flair:
The “Mentor” flair Most forums have some way of being able to distinguish the people who have been around for a long time from those who haven’t. Usually it’s a “veteran” tag of some sort, but we wanted to leave it a little more open to evolution. Technically, Discourse titles are supposed to be what does that, but we’ve used those for fun for so long I didn’t think it nice or fair to remove them. Plus, I like them the way they are. There’s also badges, but those aren’t really that obvious, you have to go searching for them. The Mentor avatar flair comes from being in a “group” of people. Other than the flair and the fact that they’re in that group, there aren’t any special privileges given. Members are welcome to leave the group whenever they want.
Some may feel left out or slighted because they weren’t included in the “Mentor” group. To you I say, don’t worry. If you stick around, participate, and are helpful, your time will come as well. The group we’ve chosen is small so far, but we’ve no intention of it remaining inaccessible. Also, if you feel someone deserves to be included but they weren’t, send a staff member a PM and tell them who and why.
The “Staffer” flair: The shield icon ( @daath , @Ken_O_Where , and I ) just makes it obvious that someone is an admin or moderator. We do get special privileges, but that’s kind of in the job description.
After much deliberation, we’ve agreed that some changes, or rather some clarifications, need to be made in regards to the rules. Up to now, we’ve treated them as guidelines rather than concrete standards, and that worked when this forum had very few members. However, we’ve grown exponentially, and it’s become more difficult to determine where the lines need to be drawn in the day-to-day.
The rules in the FAQ are no longer just suggestions. We are keeping them the same for now, but will be enforcing them as written going forward. Content (text, gif, image, or otherwise) needs to stay PG-13; threads need to stay on track; and personal attacks, bullying, hate speech, racial slurs, threats, and abusive tones will not be tolerated.
The staff is renewing our commitment to ensure that ELR remains a place that is welcoming for everyone and that we are all able to continue to focus on what brought us together in the first place—DIY. We are depending on you to help us do that. Help us by flagging posts that are off-topic, inappropriate, or spam. If you’re uncomfortable flagging a post, send one of the staff a PM with a link to the post and a quick message about what’s going on. Be part of the solution.
We know that this is a hobby meant for adults and we realize that being adults, we should all be able to post whatever we want. But, part of being an adult is recognizing that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should. This isn’t a bar. Brawls and cat calls don’t belong here. The forum provides a group private messaging system that is better suited for arguments or innuendos. If that is not satisfactory, there are plenty of other places on the internet that would be happy to oblige and eager to participate in such.
That doesn’t mean we are forcing ELR to be “strictly business.” We like having fun and hanging out, too. The pub is still meant to be a place where we can have conversations about what gets on our nerves, share our favorite music, sympathize when someone is going through a hard time, or congratulate each other on good news.
We’ve not yet decided what we will be doing in regards to the Saloon. Several of the threads that were very much breaking rules have already been deleted. As to the rest, the staff is continuing to discuss. When we reach a decision, you’ll be the first to know.
Along with enforcing the rules, we guarantee that we will seriously listen to and consider any genuine suggestions, questions or concerns you bring to us. However, we make no assurances that we will always do things the way you’d like them done. Please respect the final decisions made by the staff, even if you disagree. If you’re unable to do so, then this is not the place for you.
We realize change is hard and may not be well-received by everyone. We hope you choose to stay and remain part of what we believe is a truly unique community. We might not all share the same beliefs, personalities, ideas, opinions, or backgrounds, but we do share a love for DIY and vaping.
Stay tuned. There’s more to come, and this post will be updated (or a new one made) when that happens.