Improve the discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always adding something positive to the discussion, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Spend time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be agreeable, even when you disagree

You may wish to respond by disagreeing. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide thoughtful insights that improve the conversation.

Your participation counts

The conversations we have here set the tone for every new arrival. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not.

There are tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, watching, muting and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.

If you see a problem, flag It

Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you. With your help, moderators can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.

When you see bad behavior just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.

Always Be Civil

Forum rules are no different to the rest of life.

  • Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
  • We’re all adults but please keep it reasonably clean. Don’t post anything gratuously obscene or sexually explicit. We want to be inclusive so consider the whole community when posting.
  • Respect each other. Don’t harass or grief anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
  • Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalise the forum.

These are not concrete terms with precise definitions — avoid even the appearance of any of these things.

This is a public forum, and search engines index these discussions.

Keep it tidy

Try to put things in the right place but don’t worry about it too much, especially if you’re new.

  • Check that you’re not starting a topic in the wrong category; please read the category definitions. If in doubt, just ask.
  • Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple areas unless it makes sense to do so. The exception is the newbies section. Sometimes people put questions in there that may fair better in a more specific area, which is fair enough.
  • Don’t post no-content replies. They just clutter up the place.
  • Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream unless it’s one of those rambling threads. Start another topic if you need to.
  • Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.

Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.

Post only your own stuff

If you post anything digital that belongs to someone else without permission it may be removed if it causes a problem. It’s not a strictly enforced rule but use discretion - scanning in MCN every week may not be a good idea…

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Terms of service

Yes, legalese is boring, but we must protect ourselves – and by extension, you and your data – against unfriendly folks. We have a Terms of Service describing your (and our) behavior and rights related to content, privacy, and laws. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.