Welcome to the Speed Sudoku community. We're not just about racing through puzzles here; we also like to hug and sing and drink around a camp fire. So, we have implemented one very simple rule to keep the community happily drinking its hot cocoa:
Don't be intentionally annoying!
Common sense prevails - if you are intentionally or continually making this community less enjoyable for others, you're going to be removed from it. It's that simple. This applies to any part of the site where interaction takes place; in Forums, Private Messages, Live Chat and Game Chat.
If you understand this one prevailing rule you can stop reading now. If you're not sure what that means, read on for the boring details. If you don't agree with these please leave. There are much better sites out there for you and we're not keeping you here.
OK, since you're still reading it can't hurt to start with the absolute basics. The Forums, Private Messages, Live Chat and Game Chat are all privileges of being a Speed Sudoku community member. They are not inalienable rights. So if you find yourself acting a little Martian, Venusian or otherwise "un-SS" as you might say, you will find that those privileges are affected. Before we get into the why and how of privileges being affected, let's meet the team:
People here to help - Administrators and TeamSS
Currently, TeamSS consists of only two members: Sudoking (Webmaster) and Caedda (Community Manager/Staff Member). We are both here to help, but so are the members of the community. If you have an issue that needs to be addressed, please post it in the appropriate forum, send Caedda a PM, or open an e-ticket (via the Help menu).
Now that you know the basics, the next few posts have the guidelines for the 2 main areas of interaction:
The Speed Sudoku forum contains several different "forums" all cunningly described in the Board Index. Each "forum" encourages focused conversation on one of the many areas of interest here at Speed Sudoku. Whilst it is true to say that some boards are more focused than others, all apply, at a bare minimum, the same Posting Rules described below.
Basic posting terminology:
"Posting" is the act of composing and submitting a message.
Posting a "new topic" starts a whole new discussion topic about a whole new subject and is listed separately on the list of topics shown on each board. The new topic button is available when viewing the list of topics. The first post in a new topic is often referred to as the "original post" and the user who posted it as the "original poster" - both are often abbreviated to "OP".
Posting a "new post" contributes to an existing discussion topic. The new post button is available when viewing an existing discussion topic.
As a discussion grows a "thread" of posts accumulates. The word "thread" is often used interchangeably with "topic."
We encourage you to check the Help FAQ, Forum FAQ, and use the Search Function before starting a post to ensure that your question or discussion topic doesn't already have an answer or a thread.
Frequently you might find yourself wishing to communicate with just one or a few members at a time rather than posting for the whole forum to read. In this instance, open your Inbox and click New PM. That screen is just like a public post, but only the people you wish to send it to will actually receive it.
For more specific and complicated uses of private messaging, please visit the How To Use Your Inbox thread.
Much like the Game Chat, private messages are not actively moderated. It's up to you to block individuals who annoy you via PM, but in severe cases such as excessive spamming, flaming, or trolling, you can open a complaint in the Cheating & Abuse Forum.
Posting in the forum is a privilege, not a right. If you want to continue to keep this privilege, play by the rules.
The following list is a set of guidelines to avoid being annoying. It is not 100% comprehensive, but please read this carefully to ensure you don't accidentally breach the guidelines:
Off topic posts are posts which de-rail a topic either directly or indirectly, at any point.
To avoid annoying the rest of the community, follow these 3 basic steps:
Ask yourself if your post is actually contributing to the topic, or is it off topic or just plain spam? If it's not contributing, find somewhere else to post.
Ask yourself if you are flaming, baiting, feeding a troll or taking the bait. If you are, then don't.
Re-ask the above two questions
There are also some SS specific issues that you need to keep in mind for proper posting.
Posts that nobody can read are annoying.
Signatures larger than 150 pixels high by 600 pixels wide and should be reduced in size. Note this size restriction includes all parts of the signature, i.e. all banners and all text. Here is a comparison box:
|337 5p33k (0r d00d 5p34k) 15 h4rd 70 r34d 4nd m4k35 y0u |00k |1k3 4 ch1|d 57uck 1n 7h3 80'5 4nd n07 47 4|| |337. Translation: Leet-speak just sucks, and we all know it, and you don't want to suck too, now do you?
TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS JUST OBNOXIOUS AND DOES NOT MAKE YOU LOOK COOLER OR SMARTER AND PEOPLE WON'T READ YOUR POST MORE BECAUSE IT'S IN CAPS. PLEASE USE CAPS ONLY AT THE BEGINNING OF SENTENCES AND FOR SINGLE WORD EMPHASIS WHEN REALLY NEEDED.
The only thing more stupid than TYPING IN ALL CAPS is
TYPING IN ALL CAPS IN A LARGER FONT AND ANNOYING COLOUR
Rules, precedents and customs from other communities don't apply.
Neither do the By-Laws from the Podunk 3rd district. Believe it or not, Speed Sudoku is a private business. Just because something works one way in another community does not mean that is how it will work here. We're usually less strict and you can get away with a lot, but that doesn't mean that you can pull the "This is how it works everywhere else" card and expect to get away with it. Really. This is not "everywhere else."
In the same vein, just because you are here, does not mean you MUST be here. This is a business and SS does reserve the right to promote or discourage any kind of behavior it sees fit. Claiming your first amendment right to free speech to post about the colour of your poop last night will not fly. If a mod or admin specifically say you shouldn't be doing something, regardless of if it's specifically spelled out in the rules, or if you think that they are stupid, it still means don't do it. If you don't like the rules here, google.com will help you find somewhere more appropriate.
Be nice or leave
It's fine if you don't like this site or the way it is run...find another one with better rules, start another one and make your own rules, abuse another one and try to get them to change their rules, but don't complain about the rules here.
For users who break the above Guidelines, as they say, "there will be consequences and repercussions." The Mods and Admins will always take into account when past offenses occurred, and the severity of any past offenses. The general order of Rule Enforcement is as follows:
If an avatar is not within the above Guidelines or includes someone's personal information (whether it's true or not), a user will first receive a Warning along with having the avatar removed. If the Warning is not heeded, avatar use will be disabled for 1 week. If the disabling is not heeded, avatar use will be disabled indefinitely.
If a signature is not within the above Guidelines or includes someone's personal information (whether it's true or not), a user will first receive a Warning along with having the signature removed. If the Warning is not heeded, signature use will be disabled for 1 week. If the disabling is not heeded, signature use will be disabled indefinitely.
Posting for Vacationed or Banned Users
If you choose to make posts for individuals who have received a vacation or a ban, don't be surprised if you find yourself quickly joining them in paradise.
Remember: Common sense prevails - if you are intentionally or continually making this community less enjoyable, you're going to be removed from it. It's that simple.
Many of us here at Speed Sudoku enjoy the site so much that we often find ourselves looking for something to do between solving puzzles and waiting for a witty response to something we posted in the forums. As a result, sooner or later you are bound to wander into Live Chat looking to shoot the breeze for a few minutes or several hours.
Although Live Chat is a happening place, and you can find a plethora of interesting things inside, let's take a moment to review a few guidelines about the type of behavior expected from an upstanding SS member.
Let's go over some rules.
First and foremost, the rules of Live Chat start with the current Forum Guidelines previously established for the intent of keeping things under control in the forums. However, for the sake of being thorough, and because Live Chat is a world of its own, let's take a look at a few specific things a little more closely:
Racism: Not tolerated at all; no forms of bigotry allowed in live chat or the forums.
Spam: Not tolerated in any form whether smilies, text, or characters.
Flaming: Will not be tolerated.
Links: Any links in live chat must follow the site guidelines. Links that force a user to automatically join a game are not allowed. In addition, links to sites containing nudity or pornography are NOT allowed. All users are responsible for any and all material on a link. Ignorance is not an excuse, so post links with great caution as any posted links are treated on a case by case basis as far as the discipline ladder is concerned.
Personal Information: Any personal information or photos of any member is to be regarded as private and should never be posted except by the member it belongs to (although we would advise against posting your personal info).
Sexual Conversations: Sexual innuendo and light conversations can be entertaining, but do not take it very far. Minors do use this site, so please refrain from sexually explicit material.
Callouts Window will contain requests for games and teammates for games only. No social conversations in the callouts window.
Social Window will contain conversations and no requests for games.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of Chat Rules. Please remember the general community guideline to not be annoying.
Chatters (or chat mods) are the ones who are in charge of keeping the public chat rooms fun for all the users. They are volunteers and members of the site first, but if you have a question or concern, please ask one of them.
Because of the dynamic and always-going nature of chat, all rules and guidelines are interpreted according to the situation solely at the Moderator's discretion. Moderator directions and/or decisions made are to be followed without question. If a user has a problem with the direction or decision that the moderator made, the user is not to disrupt the room in complaint but to address the moderator directly through private messaging. If you feel the situation was not resolved sufficiently, you may forward the problem to the Head Chatter or any of the Admin. Be sure to include logs of the attempted resolution.
Chatters are expected to adhere to the rules and their own warnings in an interest of fairness. If you feel that a Chatter is abusing their position, please inform the Head Chatter or an Admin; don't try to cause a riot over it in the public rooms.
Warnings: A chat mod may give a warning for violating any of those rules. When a warning is given, all the members in the room are requested to heed the warning.
Kicks: A kick is given when a user fails to follow a moderator's warning. The user is removed from the room for a short time, and the kick is recorded by the moderator. A kick is equivalent to a Formal Warning in the forums.
Vacations: Repeatedly ignoring warnings and kicks will earn a user a vacation. Vacations start at 24 hours and can quickly increase after that. Don't press your luck any further.
Permaban: If a user continues to abuse their time in Live Chat, their privilege to use the feature will be removed. There's no coming back from a permaban.
Live Chat includes some useful tools if you know how to use them. Let's look at some of them.
Private Messaging: At any time you may open a private conversation with another member in chat. To open the conversation, click on a user's name and choose "Private Message". A tab will open at the top of the chat window where you may communicate privately.
Private Rooms: While in chat you may want to include several users in a private conversation. To do this, you can open a private room. To begin or join a room, you will need to type /join "My Room" (must have the " marks) with the My Room part being the name of your room. If you want to invite a user to your private room, type /invite "Username" (must have the " marks) and the person may join.
Note: Private rooms and messages are rarely actively moderated, but using them to harass other members or violate other site rules is not allowed and may be reported.
Ignore a User: Just like in the games and forums, certain users may frequently annoy you without breaking the guidelines. You do have the ability to ignore that user; type /ignore "Username" (must have the " marks) and you will not have to read what they type. If you wish to take them off your ignore list, type /unignore "Username". You are not allowed to ignore a chat moderator.
There are other commands, but many chat frequenters prefer to keep these private to "initiate" new visitors. (Or you could read this post to find them.) Be on the lookout for them when you drop in.