FORUM RULES- modified Nov 27 2011 -
These rules are firm, but fair, and serve to make USAM more enjoyable for everyone
QUICK START GUIDE TO POSTING ON THE FORUMS
1. Be polite.
2. Stay on topic.
3. Listen to the Moderators.
4. See 1-3 above.
Questions regarding interpretation and application of these Rules should be directed to the Moderators.
Owner’s Statement of Intent
A) Code of Conduct for all users
A1. On Forum Rule
A2. On Topic Rule
A2a. off topic and intentional off topic
A4. Duplicate posts
A5. Multiple identity disorder
A6. No Shilling
A10. Calling Out
A11. Staff decisions
B) Industry Users’ Code of Conduct
Appendix A: Definitions of unacceptable posts
Appendix B: Industry users’ guide
OWNER’S STATEMENT OF INTENT
These rules are not meant to stifle discussion, but rather make discussion more genuine and enjoyable. Industry users especially are asked to follow the industry rules in order to allow posters to share in a hobby without feeling like they are surrounded by sales people looking out for their store or brand's interests.
It is good to obey the letter of the rules, but even better to keep to the healthy spirit of the Terms of Service (http://www.usaudiomart.com/termsofuse.php
) and the forum. The forum is a place for discussion, and sharing of ideas. It is recognized that some topics can evolve into passionate debates and no action will be taken to stifle them as long as members remain civil and respectful to each other.
Thanks for understanding and abiding by these rules.
SECTION A: USERS’ CODE OF CONDUCT
A1. Stay on Forum. All posts must be relevant to the subject matter of their respective forum areas.
A2. Stay on topic. Posts should be on topic with respect to the thread’s title and/or intention.
A2a. Off-topic posts may be judged by the moderators to be incidentally or intentionally off-topic. (See Appendix A)
A3. Copyright. Excessive use of copyrighted or trademarked material from outside of USAudioMart is prohibited. You can quote for illustration as long as you credit the original site or source. Do not quote entire articles, just the portions relevant to your discussion.
A4. Duplicate posts. Avoid duplicate posts. Please use the edit post feature.
A5. Multiple Identity Disorder. Do not post under multiple aliases. We're a community here and as a community it’s nice to know who we're talking to. The creation of aliases for the purpose of anonymously complaining about a post or ad is unnecessary and they will be banned. If you find that an ad or forum post is offensive it can be reported anonymously to the Mod team via the link next to the ad or post in question.
A6. No Shilling. Starting a topic to promote your item for sale either directly or indirectly on USAM is forbidden. Unsolicited offers of an item you have for sale on USAM as a solution to another member's problem in a thread is forbidden. Private Message is an acceptable way to approach a member to offer your item as a solution to their problem.
A7. Avatars. An avatar is visual identification. It should not be used for other purposes, e.g. promotion, criticism of others. Avatars should be tasteful and not offensive. Please do not use avatars that contain nudity or highly sexual imagery.
A8. Signatures. Nothing offensive is allowed in signatures, including swear words and offensive comments. Do NOT include advertising in your signature. No links may be placed in signatures except by USAM sponsors.
A9. Etiquette. Be cool. Do not participate in escalating conflicts. Just walk away.
A10. Calling out. Don’t do this in a thread. If you feel it is necessary to report a post or a user, use the report form. This is available from the [!] button ( Report this post ) at the bottom right corner of each post.
A11. Staff decisions. If you take issue with a decision made by Staff please take it up with them in private via PM. It is acceptable to question a moderator's actions or statements politely, via private message. Challenging Staff decisions in the public forums is not tolerated. Insults and abuse of moderators in private messages are not tolerated either.
A12. Toleration. Posts which do not respect the site code and forum rules are not tolerated and will result in sanctions for the posters. Borderline content will be evaluated more rigorously when posted by an individual with a significant prior disciplinary record. (See Section C: Sanctions)
SECTION B: INDUSTRY USER CODE OF CONDUCT
B1. Signatures. Industry users who are not USAM sponsors may not include any URLs, emails, or other identifying information in their signature.
Industry users who support USAudioMart through advertising, sponsorship or Dealer accounts may place a modest two-line signature linking to their website. They may NOT include slogans and/or text that includes subjective statements related to their business. By subjective we mean something that cannot be taken as a testable fact, for instance "best service in the business," "most trusted salesman in Chicago" or "best sounding speakers".
Dealer signatures that contain store information must limit themselves to two lines in this form:
Store name - URL
B2. Aliases. Industry users may not use their business contact information as an alias. Such contact information can only appear in your User Profile. If you are the owner of SunFun Cables you should use the name "SunFun" or "SunFun Cables". Existing users may already have rights that are not affected by this rule.
B3. Advertising in threads. Industry users may not intentionally advertise or promote their products or services unless that information is specifically requested of them.
B4. Self-promotion: general guidelines. As a general rule, industry users are invited to share their knowledge and expertise as passionate hobbyists. Any mention of products they sell should be with this intention. Participating in the forums in this way, industry users will gradually build up an enviable reputation. When in doubt about whether it is appropriate to mention a product you sell, it is better to refrain. You can also ask a moderator for advice.
More guidelines and suggestions are available in Appendix B: Industry Users’ Guide
SECTION C: SANCTIONS
Sanctions may be post edits, post deletions, warnings in a thread or by personal message, temporary and permanent Forum bans or a site-wide ban including the Classifieds section.
Refusal to heed a warning will lead to a ban.
Sanctions are applied at the discretion of the moderators. Generally, repeated unacceptable posting will result in warnings, then temporary forum bans of escalating duration. Repeated temporary bans will result in a permanent ban from forums usage.
APPENDIX A: GUIDELINES ON UNACCEPTABLE POSTS
Below are some definitions and a list of guidelines outlining the sorts of posts that are not acceptable here on CAM. Ultimately what is unacceptable comes down to the decisions of the Mod Team and Admin.
Please use common sense and courtesy when posting. If you have any doubts about the material you are posting, or the language you are using - Stop! Do not make the post, instead contact a member of Staff to discuss it before proceeding.
Off topic posts. A post is off topic if the main part of it deals with a subject other than the thread title. An off-topic post can have little effect on the discussion in the thread or its effect can be more severe. Some off-topic posts will be severely sanctioned if they are judged to be intentional; see below.
Thread crapping. Here is a clear example: the thread crapper joins a thread started by a proud owner of new equipment and says, “Your stuff stinks,” or “The vendor who sold that stuff to you stinks.” Of course, then other members rush to the OP's defense, saying the equipment and vendor are ok, while yet others come back and defend the first negative statement. Thus the thread has been crapped on and gone to h*ll.
Thread derailing. A derailer doesn't necessarily "crap" on the OP's topic, but brings up an irrelevancy that has nothing to do with the topic, and that irrelevancy is compelling enough to cause others to discuss the irrelevant points, thus taking the thread permanently away from the intended topic. The irrelevancy may be acceptable if it's a remark about something of which the poster has been reminded by the topic, with a few comments following on, and because it's a related subject the thread is NOT derailed.
Other unacceptable posts:
Posts within a discussion-thread which are directed against other individuals in the thread.
Unsolicited advertising of other sites by the owners or employees of those sites.
Defamatory statements in the absence of proof
Derogatory personal remarks
Offensive language, flames, and spam.
Insults in written or pictorial form
Posts containing nudity, explicit pictures, and disturbing imagery.
Posts containing racism, sexism, or other forms of hate mongering.
Posts containing links to pages (or links to other links) which contain the above unacceptable posts.
APPENDIX B: INDUSTRY USERS’ GUIDE
The best general guideline is the “Am I talking about it because I'm selling it?” test. A few examples: if you represent a brand as a retailer, a store employee, or manufacturer, and you are talking about the brand/item, you should not mention that your store sells it, or that users can get it for X dollars at your site, or that your site has it in stock. You can still mention, discuss and recommend an item as long as the post is on topic and it doesn't sound like a pitch, plug, or attempt to publicize whatever store or company you represent.
Do not point out the fact that you carry a certain brand unless asked specifically in a post or unless another user mentions it first. Such interventions might include, "Are there any Totem dealers in Ontario?" or "I know Vincent from ABC sells those cables, ask him." Do not add suggestions for items that you represent or sell as a solution to someone's problem or question unless that person specifically asks you or your store for that information in the post, or unless that item is specifically geared toward that solution.
If someone asks for a recommendation, do not suggest your item(s) unless the post specifically asks a retailer directly. For instance, if someone asks any and all members for help saying, "Help, I have this problem ABC," and an evident solution is to change item X in the chain, you can tell him or her to change item X in the chain, you can tell him or her why the component he or she has is not right, and you can even list an exact item that will solve the problem, but you cannot simply state, "I carry brand Q components and one of them will solve your problem."
If recommending an item in one of the many popular "what _____ is best" type threads, you may NOT mention that you sell that brand unless specifically asked. This means that if you sell brand Q speakers and someone asks, "What are the best speakers?" you can offer your opinion of brand Q but you cannot say, "I carry brand Q."
As far as CAM is concerned a dealer should only participate as a regular user without tending to his interests outside the forums (apart from building an image and reputation as a knowledgeable audio enthusiast).
We truly believe that a Dealer with proper dealer signature who regularly participates in the forums WITHOUT ever name dropping or pushing their business, will generate respect and curiosity amongst CAM users who will then check out their site, dealer forum, etc. This is the only truly acceptable form of dealer "marketing" in our opinion.
Building your reputation in the forum by actively participating, sharing your general knowledge with other users, letting your character come through in your posts and contributions, in combination with the link in your signature, is the best way to increase business over the long term.