Required Reading: Forum Decorum
Iím going to paraphrase and outright steal from some of the things Sterling said to the moderators, but I also will add a bit of my own outlook, having been around since pterodactyls darkened the Texas skies.
We have to tighten up control on the forum. Secondary responsibility for that falls on us, the mods and admins, but it will of course primarily be the membersí responsibility to control things. In other words, donít make a mess and we wonít have to clean it up!
Sterling: ďFamiliarity and comfort can lead to forgetting that this is a corporate forum. Your comments ultimately reflect on our company and not the offending poster.Ē
There is nothing inherently wrong with familiarity and comfort, of course. Many of us have met or know each other in real life and so on. As an example, I am friends with Sterling and his family and many of the EBMM employees, but this doesnít give me carte blanche to answer questions that are better answered by, say, Dudley or Dargin or Sterling. If after all these years, I still think carefully about how to approach a given subject, I donít think itís too much to ask you guys to do the same.
Sterling: ďThe forum started with no rules. Period. Every rule and change has been made necessary by people who get crazy. We are just going to delete posts that donít work.Ē And please, donít PM me or anyone else about your First Amendment rights. If you donít know by now that I hate deleting things, you know it now. But delete it I will, and the only person I have to defend it to is BP.
Some things should be obvious but are not, so Iíll be as clear as possible.
1. Sterling: ďAny threads that contain negative criticism of other players will immediately be deleted.ď I canít imagine there would be any question about this. No one expects you to absolutely love every new band you hear, but ďWow, these guys suckĒ is simply unnecessary. If you donít like it, donít comment. Negative response is not an option. And this isnít just about EBMM artists. Everyone in the music business is working hard to do the best they can. Letís respect our fellow musicians even if what they do isnít our cup of tea.
2. Sterling: ďPosts containing politics, race, creed, sexual orientation, and country of origin will also be deleted.Ē He reserves the right to make English dental jokes.
3. Sterling: ďSexual innuendos are out.Ē Every time a female member joins up or Kevin or Derek post a pic of a female endorsee, I can tell you that a few of us hold our breath, waiting for the junior high sexual commentary. Weíre seldom disappointed. Yes, the female endorsees do check the forum and yes, they are offended. Treat them like you want your daughters/sisters to be treated and letís put an end to it without moderation. PLEASE.
If the mods get three PMs about a particular member being ďrude, abrupt, combative, or terminally negativeĒ, we will contact the offending party and let them know that they are not making a positive contribution here. The offender will be on double secret probation. Any further trouble and the account will be terminated. And yes, we DO get PMs about certain obvious troublemakers, although as a bassist Iím relieved to say itís mostly on the guitar side. But not always.
My take is that all of this should be common sense and usually is. The vast majority of you guys are positive, contributing members and I donít want you to feel as if everyone is being painted with the same broad stroke. Not the case at all. A few Ė a very few Ė bad apples really can spoil the whole barrel. I have lived through and dealt with a case or two of this on the forum and itís just no fun for anyone involved, especially the good guys.
So just tighten it up a bit if you need to, please. I thank you on behalf of Sterling and all the moderators. And as the boss said, ďIt sounds like a bummer but I think that the vast majority will appreciate the more positive friendly environment.Ē