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Question about what is okay to post?

Jul 25th 2011, 18:18

N8XX

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Is it kosher to advertise the Ohio QSO Party in this forum? It has a QRP category, and I'll be operating from a rare county.

This is blatant advertising, and a link (apparently NOT a hyperlink, for whatever weird reason) to the web page would be listed, so, if I read the rules correctly it would be verboten for two reasons.

May I mention that the Flight of the Bumblebees will be next Sunday? Whilst the OHQP is sponsored by a club afflilicated with ARRL, I'm not so sure about the sponsor of the FOBB.

Clarification, please, before I get thrown out for violating some very strange rules.

72/73 de n8xx Hg

Jul 25th 2011, 18:21

N8XX

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Another question - is it possible to get these messages forwarded to my e-mail account? I'm 99.44%++ sure I won't check this web page very often.

Tnx es 73 de n8xx Hg
Jul 26th 2011, 14:39

w1rfi

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
We've had some internal discussion about the 'no promoting other sites' guideline. As written, it needs work. For the most part, the guidelines were taken from the canned example provided by the company that wrote the forums software we are using. We are in the process of fine tuning the site guidelines and will make changes to that part of the posted guidelines soon.

In addition to discussions about various Amateur Radio topics, another purpose of the forums is for members to answer other members' questions. That simply could not work without pointing to other sites.

Providing information about other sites is NOT a bad thing. The example of qrpspots.com is a good one. I could well see the usefulness of a post from a ham who finds a really cool site that others can use. I can also see the usefulness of a post from a ham who creates a cool site that others can use.

As announcements, these would all be useful. I just don't want to see them once a week from someone using the forums as free advertising. There are always ways for people who have a strong interest in a particular site to legitimately work a pointer to the site into a discussion. Other than blatant adverstising, I'd expect the moderation of this to minimal.

Another subject came up, with one poster asking about promoting various operating events and contests. FB, OM, have at it. This also applies to regular events like the fox hunts of the Flying Pigs Run for the Bacon. I'd see no reason that an announcement of this week's fox hunt would be inappropriate, because it is useful to those reading the forum. And, of course, next week, there is a different set of foxii, so another post is still useful and appropriate. Ditto with announcing periodic contests. I just wouldn't want to see weekly posts about how much fun the fox hunts are and promoting them, or monthly posts urging QRPers to join ARCI.

Those who are enthusiastic about other sites or products can express that enthusiasm in the various discussions, in a way that reasonably fits the flow, of course. I don't want to see a QRPer ask what rig is best in a contest and have someone reply with a post that says only that joining ARCI is good. :-) But if someone were to ask what companies make kits, it's fine to respond and point out that QRP ARCI has a list of rig manufacturers on its site.

A few who noted that the rule about off-site references was rather strict were also concerned that they would be banned from the list for an infraction like that. Although the moderators do have the ability to lock out posting access to the forums, this would never be done lightly. A post made in obvious good faith, even if somehow inappropriate, would be corrected quietly off line with a communication from the moderator. Even a ham that has a bad day and gets a little testy would be cut some slack. A very blatant profanity-laced diatribe would probably be cause for summary banning, but in most cases, it is best to work with someone who may not understand a particular guideline. One would have to be very bad to be instantly banned.

And speaking of profanity, or even non-profane name calling, there is to be none. The arrl.org site is a family channel. Some parents are very strict about language and I would hate to think that some parent wandering by and seeing a profane word on the screen would tell his or her child they didn't want them involved in Amateur Radio because of the language used on a site. There is nothing wrong with saying dang instead of the alternative.

If one of you slips once and doesn't say "dang," I think the moderator can simply edit the post to replace the offending word with (profanity deleted), although we really don't want to see that very often. And, no, you can't use (profanity deleted) as a substitute for the real thing! Help us keep the forum entirely suitable for all members.

And, of course, no name calling or personal attack, on individuals or companies. As to companies and ham-radio products, It's fine for someone to say that they don't like Yaecomwoodcocraft equipment, or to point out what they feel is a deficiency in a product, but we all recognize the difference between "I don't like Yaecomwoodco equipment because...." and "the Yaecomwoodcocraft XYZ-121 has poor audio..." vs "Yaecomwoodcocraft rigs are designed by idiots." Frankly, I don't even want to see derrogatory "cute phonetics" for companies that use letters are their company name, as a simple reference to a company name should suffice.

The general policy about no personal attacks on companies extends also to ARRL. However, this does not mean that poster cannot be crictical of ARRL. At least in the forums I moderate, discusisons about ARRL not be deleted. (They may be moved to a different forum if not technical, but not deleted. In fact, I think that we could be more tolerant of inaccurate criticism of ARRL than we could be of inaccurate criticism of a manufacturer because there are HQ staff on this forum that can provide additional information in response to what someone on staff believes to be inaccurate. If someone does hold an opinion of ARRL based on what I believe to be an inaccuracy, I'd prefer to hear about it, because that gives me an opportunity to discuss it.

And some criticisms are simply a matter of opinion and preference, as in, "I would like to see ARRL spend more resources on (fill in the blank) than it spends on (different blank.)" Even a statement, that "ARRL's program on (fill in the blank) is a waste of good staff time" would not be moderated by me, as it is simply a matter of opinion. Now, there are ways to express that idea that would probably get the atention of a moderator, but the general thought is not inapprpropriate for someone to say or believe.

Thanks for all of your input and thanks for the posts.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Lab
Technical forums moderator

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