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No particular purpose to that header, I just ran across that album and remembered how much I always liked the title. Right up there with "667, Neighbor of the Beast" as one of my all time favorites.

Speaking of Meaty (heh), here's the final format of FAQs; I tucked these away the day I opened the board, and figured I'd wait, so now is as good a time as any, especially since the itchy trigger fingers are out there (CaveGirl absolved) wantonly violating 'rule number two' <g>.

Although, I have to ask pardon for my absence from the porch of late (and thanks much to old hats and new for keeping it warm and friendly); I've had a bit of an odd day, helping 'sort out' a couple friends who were in a car accident this weekend (no bones broken, thankyoufate, although yet another vintage vehicle will not make it to 'antique' age).

Anyway, here's the FAQs, and would the powers that be please put this up at the top with the nice red font and linky things?

Welcome to Porto's Front Porch. I'm Porto, your hostess, and this is my porch. There is no particular rhyme or reason for this board, beyond being a meeting place for people to talk comfortably among each other. We particularly like a good story, so if you've got one, please have out with it. There are a lot of diverse interests here, not at all limited to but including:

Computer games and computers, books, movies, fly fishing, cars, physics, the temperature in space, Wu Tang name generators, plastic banana slugs, eating things that normal humans consider gross and washing them down with a microbrew, mushrooms, go-carts, the BLUES, little fruity drinks with umbrellas, motor scooters, rugby, Bloom County, reforming the school system, fighting for the rights of the downtrodden, setting a record for long, eloquent posts that eswan won't scroll through, Smaug the dragon, dancing, avionics, the Three Muses, dogs, cats, horses, fish, photography, history, junk food, coffee, web-surfing, casino craps, camping, Scouting, fantasy science fiction, the gestation period of Simbob's children, Nintendo64, shorting stocks, the Peace Corp, West Africa, Pavement, milk shakes, finding the good middle ground, The Perfect Storm (yeah!), Zulu's, NOT Tex Murphy, yoga, spitting food with kids, amateur geekiness, dragons-real and fictional, deconstruction otherwise perfectly fine apparati, golf, helicopters, and … shingles.

That's it: pick a chair, grab a drink or a snack, and join in.

Having said that, there is a general outline for how members are expected to conduct themselves, and here it is:

1. Everyone is welcome here. That's it, everyone. Ollie Ollie All Come Free. If you travel here and find people you've run into before and don't like, read the section below on dealing with 'bad posters'. Alternately, maybe while you're here you could take the time to try and find some positive mutual ground between you. Meanwhile, we porch denizens welcome you and encourage you to contribute to any of the current discussions, and hope that you will read through some of the past ones and get a 'feel' for this board and it's community.

In particular, I'll take the time to point you toward these posts:

The initial Welcome speech:

A request for stories and anecdotes:
(New people are encouraged to introduce themselves and reply to this one, if inclined)

The first statement regarding the policy of welcoming all comers, and why:

2. This is a no-rec zone. Pretty much an experiment in process, but in the interests of avoiding favoritism and one-upmanship, we'd prefer it if people did not recommend posts. Besides, there's something inherently funny about residing at the absolute bottom of the 'Best of Boards' list ;). Since this limits your ability to say “Great! Me too!” remember you may email someone privately, or better yet, make your 'recommendation' by contributing to the original post with one of your own.

3. Bad spelling and incorrect grammar are not a crime. Personally, the last day I spent in an english class was the last day I cared about anyone correcting my typing. I think we're all intelligent enough to figure out (more or less) what people are trying to get across without having heart attacks and tizzy fits over dangling participles and misplaced 'ie' combos. It's small stuff. Don't sweat the small stuff. Find something useful to do with your energy. Solve world peace or something; since Miss America seems to have dropped the ball yet another year, she could probably use your help.

And that's most of the important stuff. Since life doesn't always work as we'd like, even with rose-colored glasses, please read the following:

Dealing with 'bad' posts or posters:

1. This is not the place to b*tch about other posters on other boards, other boards, or to make plans for flaming. If you want to do that, do it via email or via another board venue.

2. If you see posts that you feel are efforts at trolling, baiting, or generally being disruptive to the board, I encourage you to simply ignore them, and not to reply. This goes against the gut instict to yell "Go away" or reply tit-for-tat, but remember: the point of trolling is to get a rise out of you, and to receive attention. The fastest way to get rid of this type of action is to deny the sender of the results they are hoping for. So kick back, put them in the penalty-box, and ignore them.

For a pretty sensible perspective on dealing with opposing points of view, please see this post from the LBYM board:

For a pretty sensible (and humorous) perspective on dealing with trolls, please see this post from Rats Broadband Bandwagon:

***Note: To this statement: “To those of you who choose not to follow this path, who choose rather to meet the enemy head on in open combat, I ask the following. Attack the enemy with the righteousness of Gabriel, the singlemindedness of Ahab, and pitilessness of Sherman marching across the south.”

I would add: “And do it somewhere else.”

3. TMF has provided us with certain tools to deal with trollers and disruptiveness, and everyone is encouraged to use them. This includes the penalty box (p-box), and the Problem Post (Fool Alert) button. Some people don't like to use them, but I see no reason not to use the methods available. If you don't like or don't feel you can get along with a particular poster, save yourself (and everyone else) some aggravation and put them in the penalty box.

If the situation deteriorates to a certain point (and I don't know what that is yet, either), I will hit Problem Post and request posts to be removed. If the problem continues .... hell, I'll be glad to whammy everything the offender has ever put up here. God (Yahweh, Methuseleh, Sheik Yerbouti) knows I get bored sometimes.

These are the tools available to us to keep this board an active, fun, and civil place for members to interact with each other; whether you think the above is harsh or not, that is how this area will operate. The above tools will be used when deemed necessary. Hopefully never.

And that's all I have to say about that.

up too late, tonight.
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