Welcome to South Side Sox.
The standards are more defined than they used to be around here, so here is a living document pointing out where lines are drawn, and how not to cross them.
Personal attacks: Threatening, attempting to intimidate or otherwise lashing out at another poster is prohibited. (Note: Some comments that seem like personal attacks are really established and long-running jokes, and here's a handy directory in case you're not certain.)
Incomprehensible comments: Any poster who non-ironically and routinely posts massive blocks of text, uses first-grade level spelling, WRITES IN ALL CAPS and/or fails to make any kind of understandable point otherwise (a.k.a. "aggressive ignorance") will not be long for the blog.
Pornography/graphic posts: This pertains to photos of scantily clad women (or men), gratuitous, disgusting posts or anything of that ilk -- if you wouldn't your boss's boss to see it, you shouldn't post it. People should be able to check in on Sox-related discussions during downtime at work without having to shield their monitors.
Huge images: Any posted images should be limited to around 400 pixels high. Because of CSS changes, height parameters are disabled, but you can resize it by adding width="300" to the code after pasting the URL of the image in the comment field.
We are more lenient on larger images than we used to be, but if there's a massive image that is 1) blowing out the design, 2) slowing down load times, or 3) otherwise interrupting the readability of comments, it will be hidden.
Images without a subject line: Please provide text in the subject area of the the post when posting an image. Even a punctutation mark will afford readers the chance to collapse an image if they don't want it to display on their page.
Pissing matches: If you don't like another poster, say your piece and let it die. Following an SSSer around to re-start old wars in post after post is a big waste of time and accomplishes nothing -- even for the parties directly involved.
Trolling: Post containing racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., posts that are intended to annoy the citizens of this blog, or posts that serve no general use otherwise, won't be tolerated. Repetitive (agenda-based) complaining also wears thin. This is a community (meaning we're all in it together), so please don't take a dump in our yard.
Spam: Beyond the bot accounts, attempts at solicitation/self-promotion/direct sales will likely be rejected.
Previously banned users: For obvious reasons.
No matter what: Discussions of politics and religion will only be permitted on an academic basis. For instance, one can use a political figure or issue to make an apt metaphor ("Ozzie Guillen is an awful lot like Andrew Jackson..."), and even engage in nuts-and-bolts stuff in the off-topic threads. But anything construed as political point-scoring or spiritual condemnation will be halted.
On front-page posts:
In Sox-related stories, fanshots and fanposts, off-topic discussions are allowed so long as they are organic. Look for the OT fanposts on the right sidebar of the site (a.k.a. the right rail) to start an unrelated conversation apropos of nothing.
*Person A responds to the topic, likening a player to a war general. Poster B doesn't know what Person A means, and asks to explain. Poster C, a history major, joins in and says why the example doesn't quite work. Poster D says he saw a special on the History Channel...
*Person A, who works in marketing, says the White Sox changing their game time to 5:30 due to a partnership with Fifth Third Bank is something that happens all the time. Person B can't think of any other examples, and asks Poster A to explain it. Other marketing experts join in to discuss theories.
*Non-Sox baseball discussion is not considered "off-topic," by and large.
*Without prompting, Person A starts talking about the World Darts League championship out of nowhere.
*Person A sees Person B participating on-topic in a thread, and asks him/her how the new toolshed is coming along.
General off-topic comments do have a place on the blog, though. That's the right rail.
Right rail posts:
On off-topic right rail posts, the standards will be looser with the understanding that it's a forum for goofing around and more personal discussion, and it might not be wise to click on it if your sensibilities are more delicate than most. Still, the same top six points apply.
A note about profanity
While I don't use profanity, I don't expect everybody to start talking in PG-related language. Just stay away from using 25 consecutive all-caps F-bombs. Also, slurs are not tolerated.
FanPosts / FanShots
The Cheat put together a great post about FanPosts and FanShots that you should read to know how to make the most of them, but an important disclaimer:
Make sure there isn't a discussion already happening about the topic. We strive for a high signal-to-noise ratio, and duplicate conversations just add to the noise.
It's simple to find out where we've already talked about it:
- Check the recent stories.
- Check the the recent FanPosts and FanShots.
- Do a search for the article/player you're talking about.
If there's no discussion taking place, or you have a completely unique angle that will blow minds, then go ahead and write that outstanding FanPost or FanShot. But if you don't have an interest in going through other parts of the site to make sure it hasn't been covered, then chances are you're more interested in talking at us than with us, and there are other forums for that.