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Teh Soapbox FAQ

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The Flip Booked Cat

Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 3359
Location: Welcoming our Canadian Overlords
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:15 pm    Post subject: Teh Soapbox FAQ Reply with quote

We've pulled this bunch of questions from the old board... most (if not all) of the questions/answers apply here too. I've copied the list into a text file, but to save some space, I haven't used all of the old quote tags (the extra quote tags confuse my brain, sorry). Well, I can deal with one set of quote tags, because Astra was good enough to compile a list:

Astra wrote:
This thread is a place to ask any questions you may have regarding the board. Eventually we'll take the info and put it into a format friendlier to those looking for specific answers. Also, if you know the answer, feel free to post it and help your fellow users. If there was a question that you had as a newbie and later found the answer to, even post that. Someone might need the same info someday.

Post away!

Just a note to everyone here: These answers may not appear exactly as you wrote them. We're just compiling information and questions, so don't feel like you have to write a masterpiece or have the answer if you ask a question.

This is just a good way for us to figure out where people get confused and the most commonly asked questions. We appreciate you guys answering the questions and encourage you to, but we may make minor edits in order to make them more clear or accurate. Just letting you know so that nobody is surprised when the final version comes out.

Avatars & Images

How do I get an avatar?
Find a picture that you like. If you don't have a place to host it, ask someone or use a service like Lycos hosting. Please don't link directly to other people's images without obtaining prior consent. To add your own, you first need a.JPG or .GIF image you would like to use. Google image search is a good source to look.

The image then needs to be the right size, both physically and in file size. In Internet Explorer/Mozilla to check this, right click>Properties on the image. The dimensions should be no bigger than 140x140, and the size should be no more than approximatly 50,000 bytes (50K). Next, the image needs to be hosted on a publicly accessible web-space.Lycos offers free hosting, and many other users will also offer to host your image for free if you need help.

Finally, to add the image to your profile, scroll to the top of any page in the soapbox while logged in and click "Profile." In the field for "Link to off-site Avatar," place the URL of the image you found and would like to use. Click submit. The page should load your information and refresh you back to show you the avatar now in place.

Are there any restrictions on avatars?
They should be less than 140x140 pixels. Maximum file size is 50k. To check whether your picture meets these requirements, right click the image and select Properties. Also, please refrain from using graphic or offensive imagery in you avatar.

Why do the avatars and sig banners have to be a certain size?
An avatar that's wider than 140 pixels messes with the board layout; also, a lot of the people here are using dialup connections and if everyone were to use huge avs (over 50k), it would be a bitch for them to load each page. Ditto when it comes to sig banners which should only be 100 pixels wide by 35 pixels high max. The other thing to keep in mind is that what you write here on the board in your posts should be more important than some icon, right? Wink

What does NSFW mean?
NSFW = Not Safe For Work.
Many of the folks here are logging in from work or school, or somewhere else where certain kinds of images/links are not appreciated. Some folks may be at home but they have children around. You get the idea. If you're going to post an image or link that's NSFW, you've got to put a warning with it so people will be prepared... or post it in the BAC forum where it's pretty much accepted that every image/link is potentially NSFW, and that you go in there at your own risk. Wink

Do I really need to label pictures and links if they're "adult" in nature and/or graphic? Isn't this place for adults anyway?
Yes, by all means, PLEASE label links that may be objectionable for reasons of nudity, vulgarity, violence, gore, or anything like that. Use your best judgement. Some people do surf WWDN for work or from home where kids could wander by. Nobody likes an unpleasant surprise.

However, it's pretty much a given that links in BAC are often going to be of a sexual nature. You should be aware that many links are going to contain some type of erotic imagery.


What's a sig?
This is a block of text that can be added to posts you make. Please, no banners or other large images in your sig. Buttons are ok, as long as they are 100 (wide) x 35 (high) pixels in size or smaller. And please, don't put a bunch of buttons in your sig line - it goes against the whole point of keeping the sig images small, doesn't it?

Post Titles

What is the title under my screen name?
It's a title. These are usually based on the number of posts you have, but in some cases may be given for a specific reason... or just because the mods were bored. They can change for no apparent reason.


Can I be a moderator?
Maybe someday. Mods are chosen when the need for additional help arises. Begging will likely get you nowhere.

I've received a PM from one of the mods/admin that said my av was too big and/or my thread has been moved and/or something similar.... Why do they hate me, and am I in trouble?
No, you're not in trouble and the mods/admin don't hate you. A PM (private message) asking you to change your av size or whatever should be taken as a friendly reminder and nothing more. We realize that it's hard to cover each and every announcement right away (though the Terms of Service should be top priority before even joining the board), so you might have missed it when we asked people to keep their avs a certain size or keep their sig banners tiny or whathaveyou. If you've got a particularly nasty av (something Not Safe For Work) and ignore our requests to change it, one of the admin will remove your av until you find something more reasonable.

Also, if one of the mods moves your thread to a more appropriate forum, please don't freak out. It's nothing personal - we just try to do "housekeeping" in here every now and then to keep the forums more manageable. Sometimes you'll get a PM from one of the mods if your thread has been moved because there weren't any replies to it yet, so we never left a shadow thread in the old forum. Or if you accidentally start a duplicate thread in the same forum, we'll merge the two together and let you know.

A person with Moderator under their name disagreed with a post I made. Am I going to be banned tomorrow?
Moderators are people too. They have opinions on things, and voice them on occasion. When they are voicing an opinion that is different from yours on a particular discussion thread , it's all in the name of friendly debate. The only time you have to listen to a mods opinion is when it is in regards to the nature of your post. For example if you have called someone an idiot for believing something and a mod comes in and says "MOD VOICE: No name calling /MOD VOICE" Then you need to listen to them.

Posting in General

What if I'm not sure where to put a new discussion thread? What if it's relevant to more than one forum? Does that mean I can post the thread in both forums?
No. Posting multiple threads about the same subject in more than one forum on the board is a form of spam, and it makes The Powers That Be cranky. If you're not sure where to post something, feel free to ask one of the mods. You don't even have to wait to post before asking - just go ahead and make the thread (in one forum) and then ask... we don't want you to have to wait forever to post something. Wink If it gets moved after the fact, no big deal.

One of the most common excuses for posting in multiple forums (or in forums like Teh Soapbox or Everything Else) is that the poster wants more people to see it. Doing that kind of thing on purpose is not appreciated. If you keep your threads in the relevant forums, they'll be easier to spot and probably won't prune off the board as quickly as in the faster-moving forums. Plus, you'll have an audience that's more likely to be interested in your thread, and will keep the responses on-topic. Smile Of course, there's always the exception to the multiple-forum posts, but those instances are rare... and it's best to ask one of the mods/admin about it first (and wait for an answer before posting the thread).

If you do cross-post threads in multiple forums without permission, your threads might be moved, merged or deleted without notice (though we usually do write a PM explaining why we did so). If we notice that you've got a nasty habit of cross-posting (or posting in an ambiguous forum to get more attention when there's an obvious place for your thread somewhere else on the board), you may get a firm nudge or maybe a warning... or if you've been particularly obnoxious about cross-posting, you might get baninated.

What is thread hijacking?
Thread hijacking is when Person A starts a thread with a specific topic in mind and then other people come along and take the discussion totally off course. Sure, conversations sometimes veer off into tangents, but it's considered inconsiderate to constantly do it on purpose without even trying to get back on track in the thread. Occasionally you'll see people write something like


I had soup for lunch today too!

/end hijack

... and then they get back to talking about rollerskates, the mating habits of the platypus or whatever else Person A was first talking about, and that's fine as long as things get back to the original topic. As you can see at the top of my post, I made a stupid joke in reference to someone else's post, but then I got back to business. If the topic has gone on a tangent and Person A asks people to get back on track and that request is ignored, that's when a mod might step in. Sometimes Person A doesn't mind if the topic goes off-topic, so if you're unsure about how they feel about it, you can always send them a nice PM.

Why is my post making the thread's width distorted or everything turns into a link?
There is a bug in the board that does not like some URLs. I don't know the exact cause, but long complicated URLs tend to tick it off and cause an entire post to be one huge link and sometimes messes up the width of the post. The best way to avoid the bug is to use links as shown below:

[url=http://www.tehsoapbox.net]The board likes this[/url]
Not this: www.tehsoapbox.net

I started a silly thread that has become so popular that I'm sick of it. Can I have a moderator delete it?
The mods/admin *usually* don't delete threads, unless they're duplicates of an already-existing one on the board. Even then, we usually try to merge them... unless they're exact duplicates (like if someone has accidentally hit the "Submit" button more than once). While the thread originator can ask people to stay on topic, they don't "own" the thread; as such, they can't expect people to just stop posting in it or for the thread to be removed/locked without a very good reason.

I posted a new thread a week ago and now it's gone. Does the board hate me?
No, the board doesn't hate you. Threads prune off if no one has posted in them for a while. Some forums prune threads faster than others; for example, Current Events prunes fast to keep things current, as does Everything Else, because that's just a big forum that would get too cluttered if things stuck around too long. A few forums don't prune at all (like Body, Heart & Mind). If one of your favorite threads dies off, feel free to start a new incarnation of it. If you're really worried about losing great posts, use our old pal cut'n'paste. Wink

I understand what an Announcement is, but what's a "Sticky"?
A stickified thread still goes through the pruning process (which is why we lost the last FAQ thread... woops!), but it will stay at the top of the forum so people see it first. Only the mods and admin can stickify a thread, and they only do it on occasion.

Board Features

What does the "Ignore" button do?
The ignore button allows you to ignore all posts by a person. When you look at a thread in place of a post you will see a link saying "You have chosen to ignore this person" If you click the link, their post will appear. It also prevents that person from sending you a PM.

Reporting Posts

Yes, by all means, PLEASE label links that may be objectionable for reasons of nudity, vulgarity, violence, gore, or anything like that. Use your best judgement. Some people do surf WWDN for work or from home where kids could wander by. Nobody likes an unpleasant surprise.

However, it's pretty much a given that links in BAC are often going to be of a sexual nature. You should be aware that many links are going to contain some type of erotic imagery.

Note on the Alert A Mod button:
While the main purpose of the Alert button is to report posts that break the TOS, it can be used to alert the moderators of any kind of situation. This does include avatar problems, "broken" threads, and similar board issues. If you feel something inappropriate was posted, click it and let us know. Basically, use it whenever you think the mods need to know about something.

What the button does is generate a report that all of the mods can see which links directly to the reported post (because of this, please make sure you hit the button on the post you want to report and not the button for the post before or after it). This way, whoever is on the board at the time can act on it. If you send a PM to one of us, we may not see it until the next time we log in. If you use the report function, we can all be aware of what is going on immediately.

If there is an issue you would prefer a certain mod to deal with or just want to ask a general question, you are still free to PM us. The report button is just a quick way to draw attention to a particular post or thread.

Also, just because we don't reply or take immediate action, please don't assume we are ignoring the problem. Sometimes situations fix themselves, other times private actions are taken. We take all complaints very seriously.

Another note about the report function:
After you click the button, your post is NOT reported UNTIL you enter a description of the problem. That means that if you don't type anything, we never see a report.

Yet another note about the report function:
A message is displayed when you successfully report a post that says something along the lines of "This post has been reported to X moderators." This doesn't mean X number of people have reported your post. All it means is that a single report has been generated that is viewable by all of the board mods. The number may seem high, but at the moment it also includes admin accounts and some former moderators who aren't active at the moment. Just FYI Smile

Common Abbreviations
TMI: Too much information
IMHO: In my humble opinion...
IIRC: If I recall correctly
NSFW: Not safe for work (contains nudity, profanity, etc.)
DH: Dear Husband
TPTB:The Powers That Be
+++ Divide By Cucumber Error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++
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