There is no better time than now to review OBNUG's community guidelines. It is Utah State week after all.
Find out the new OBNUG commenting rules and regulations, learn the real reason why rules and regulations didn't really exist before, discover the awesomeness of the "Flag" button, and much more after the jump.
For the regulars, the newbies, the lurkers, and the lifers, let me start off by saying, "Thank you." You are the rubber band that holds this G.I. Joe of a blog together. Without you, OBNUG is just a group of guys writing 1,500 words about college football and chuckling at ourselves. The community makes the blog. And the Broncos help.
This post goes out to Rand McNalley
Last week, in the midst of a particularly crude stretch of OBNUG commenting, community member Rand McNalley went all Martin Luther, nailing his 95 Theses to the door, proclaiming he has a dream, then starring in Big Momma's House. And while I might be confusing my historical metaphors, there is no debating the importance, bravery, and correctness of Rand McNalley's words. Make no mistake. Rand McNalley is a hero, and once this blog becomes solvent, he will be paid like one.
The theme of the post is one that the majority of OBNUGgers had thought, voiced, or suppressed at one point or another over the past couple months: The quality, decency, and appropriateness of OBNUG commenting is in a recession. And I'm here to bail it out.
First, a recap of the recent goings-on in Crassville:
- A rise in salty language.
- Visits from Oregon fans, Vandal fans, BYU fans, and my archnemesis from high school who is determined to see that nothing I ever do is good enough. I'll get you, user LevanKee. You mark my words!
- The BCS.
- Failure to stay on topic.
- Failure to respect the community.
- Failure to rec the Boise State basketball preview post. (Note: It's not too late!)
There was a perfect storm of blogging variables that collided last week to bring this issue to a head. It is no one's fault. No one is being singled out. No one is to blame. However, if we were to blame someone, I would recommend that we blame Marmaduke. He's such a kook.
I hereby present the OBNUG commenting bill of rights; founding fathers hereby roll over in their mausoleums
Speaking of blaming people, I'd like to point my finger at myself for not making the community standards a little more standard from the get-go. Would you like some excuses? I am lazy, I am easily confused by new technology, I am still a little burned out, I don't have a ring finger on my left hand, I left Troy Oppie in charge of that, I fear confrontation. Seriously though, only one of those are true. Okay, two. Maybe three.
With my unassertive past behind me, I'm turning over a new leaf and putting some stricter rules onto this blog.
No swearing. This includes hiding your swear words under the guise of asterisks. I know that this might strike you all as entirely too prudish, but that's the way it's going to be. I am thisclose to securing a sponsorship from Kirk Cameron's Fireproof, and I will not have you ruin it for me.
In swearing's lieu, I propose that we all adopt a new, heat-of-the-moment catch phrase: BAD WORDS. Go ahead. Type it out. Doesn't it make you feel better? YES IT ABSOLUTELY DOES.
No inappropriate topics. Said topics include sex, religion, politics, sexual politics, political religion, the 2008 Hawaii Bowl, and extreme bodily functions. If you have to think about whether or not your comment touches on an inappropriate topic, then it probably does. Take the safe route and keep the comment to yourself. Or, you can do what I do with all the comments that I choose not to make: email them to the Idaho Statesman's Brian Murphy. Here's his email address.
Respect the OBNUG community. I cannot stress this one enough because my text editor does not have the Wingdings font installed. So let's just pretend that I'm stressing it enough.
There are many different aspects of community respect that come into play. First and foremost is respect for other's opinions. A common rule of online commenting is to attack the argument, not the person. And as someone who has both both his arguments and his person attacked on a fairly regular basis, I agree that an argument attack is a lot easier to take than a personal one.
Second, respect the blog. The SB Nation platform is yours to use and enjoy, but not exploit. Don't hog the sidebar. Don't sign up for an account the same day that you post quasi-related Boise State news from your corporate employer. Don't spam. Don't troll. Don't stop believing.
Stay on topic. Contrary to popular belief, I write posts with a specific topic in mind. As do OBNUG's Drew and Nick. As do you FanPosters and FanShotters. As does Dustin Lapray (the topic: literary immortality). Do your best to stay on topic within those posts. For the most part, if you're commenting about Boise State football, you'll be on topic.
- Don't make fun of my pick 'em choices. You do, you're banned.
If I had to sum up all these rules into one Golden Rule of OBNUG commenting, it would be this: Don't leave a comment that would discourage someone from joining this great community of Bronco fans.
So many of you mentioned how OBNUG was straddling the line between acceptable and I-probably-shouldn't-be-showing-this-to-anyone-else. And that made me sad. OBNUG should be something that you are proud to share with others. You all have made this the best community of Bronco fans in the history of Bronco fan communities, and if it takes a few rules to keep it that way, then I say so be it.
Please don't say you've hired a WAC officiating crew to enforce these rules
Remember how I dropped the ball on setting up rules in the first place? Well, I also dropped the ball on enforcing them. It's hard to hold onto a ball when you're missing a left ring finger.
Starting right now, I am the new Jack Bauer, and Drew and Nick are my Chloe and good Tony, respectively. We will be enforcing the rules with brutal efficiency when it is obvious and necessary to do so. At other times, we will waffle like a Robb Akey timeout. Still at other times, we will completely miss rule infractions and people will probably cry double standard. Whose idea was it to put rules in effect in the first place?
In all seriousness, we will do our best to enforce the rules, and we welcome your input both on offending comments or posts and on judgments we've made on your comments or posts. We're not perfect. But we do have absolute power.
For fairness' sake, we'll enact a three-strikes-and-you're-out policy. Our decisions are final, and we ask that you respect them.
OBNUG is not a message board, and it resents the comparison
To clear matters up, OBNUG is not a message board. It is a blogging community full of the finest, most knowledgeable Bronco fans around. OBNUG is better than a message board. It is better than the Statesman comments. It is rapidly gaining on J Bates' Facebook account.
I like to think that a better class of Bronco fan chooses to hang out on OBNUG. Any of you feel the same?
Let your prude flag fly
If you see any offensive comments or posts, please email me and I will take a look at it. If you're a fan of immediate gratification, give the "Flag" button a try.
You guys took to the "Rec" button like fish to water when it was announced in the fall. Well, "Flag" is the new "Rec." You'll find it in the same spot where you find the "Rec" button. Simply click on the "actions" link below a comment, and "Flag" pops up right next to "Rec." They're like the Cain and Abel of SB Nation commenting features.
To help you get the hang of flagging, I've left a particularly distasteful comment down below. Please flag it at will. It's okay. I don't have any strikes against me yet.
Thank you for your time
This post was not easy for me to write. I was really into a game of Hexic. But I think that the topic was important to bring up and the conversation was important to have. Let me know if I missed anything, if you disagree with anything, or if you have anything to add. I appreciate your feedback ... provided it's not full of sexual politics.