From: Near Sacramento, California, USA
While the "Section Guidelines" deals with the general guidelines for posting in this forum, this post will deal more with the general guidelines to assist you in making the most of the chatrooms themselves.
First off, many, if not all, of the forum guidelines apply within the chatrooms. Many of these guidelines exist not because of the format/settings/environment, but because they are needed anywhere that people gather together in a group social setting, regardless of the venue.
When you first sign in to the chatrooms, the server will automatically place you in a channel (room) called #CollarSpace_Lobby. while many people do remain only in this room and engage in many discussions and topics here, the main purpose of the "Lobby" is a central dispatch point for the entire chat server. Because everyone "auto-joins" this room when they sign on, we ask that you treat the Lobby as a general purpose room--It's not meant to be a place to engage in "scening" or "role play"; There are many other channels/rooms you can join which are geared towards those kind of activities and special interests. By choosing the appropriate channel/room for discussions and activities of which you are interested, you will greatly increase your chances of finding others whom share that common interest, and greatly reduce the chances that you will only annoy those who do not share your interests. If a room does not already exist to cater to your specific interest, you can always create one, and hope that others who share your interests will get curious and join, engage in the discussions and activities related to that interest.
I will be adding posts to this forum with more detailed instructions on how to start a room, but for now, the most basic way to create a room is simply type /join #roomname (replacing the room name with the name you want; for example, to create a room geared towards Shibari rope bondage, you might type /join #Shibari. Note that on chat, all room names must use a '#' to indicate that it's a room name, not a user name).
Keep in mind that every room has it's own set of rules, policies, and guidelines. As long as they do not conflict with the site and server Terms of Service, we do not dictate what rules a channel/room must provide; channels/rooms are allowed to have rules such as "Do NOT PM (private message) others without asking", or even "Names with the letter 'e' in them are not allowed" -- even if such a rule may seem silly to you, they are allowed to have such a rule, and the Channel Ops (chanops, ops, or "mods" as many people call them) have the right to enforce their rules. (Again, the only global rules are according to the site terms of service and other related site-wide policies.)
Within the Lobby, we do not have an "Ask to PM rule", as you can always simply close and block/ignore unwanted PM's. We do, however, have a rule that you keep PM's out of the room--That includes making comments about PM's you may receive, such as "Please do NOT PM me, Casteele!" Rather, you are expected to respond in an adult manner, and either tell the person in the PM that you do not wish to PM with them, and/or simply close/block/ignore the PM. While it may seem reasonable to many people that they should be allowed to tell others in the room not to PM them, the act of doing so results in a situation similar to "blacklisting", which is not permitted on this site. Anyone can come in the room and say "Casteele, stop PMing me!" repeatedly, when I have not actually PM'd them, and they are just trying to make me look like I'm a PM "troll" or problem user. Since others cannot see your PM's, there's no way to verify if this is true or not. So we simply do not allow it.
Your first defense is, as always, to block/ignore the other person, and close the PM. If they persist in trying to PM you, you can PM a channel op for assistance; If they intentionally try to get around a block/ignore you placed on them, then you can seek assistance from the server ops in the #ircops room--Do NOT bring it up in the Lobby, as thats not what it's there for.
Another common issue, and a rule in the Lobby, is do not troll/solicit/advertise. It seems that a lot of people do not know what "trolling" really means.. The most common usage of the word is more along the lines of "Internet Trolling", or baiting people and trying to incite them in to arguing with you. But this is not the singular definition of "trolling"--rather it's based on the actual definition of troll, according to the Marriam-Webster dictionary website, is:
quote:These definitions have existed long before the term "Internet Troll" became popular, and the term "Internet Troll" is, itself, based on these definitions; The "Troll" is "seeking" to incite/bait someone in to responding emotionally rather than logically. But the definition goes far beyond that singular purpose. The act of joining a room and asking "Is there anyone here from New York?" or "Is there anyone here in to Shibari Rope bondage?" is trolling.. for "(something)". And it's not permitted in the Lobby for many reasons, the major ones being that
1. to fish with a hook and line that you pull through the water,
2. to search for or try to get (something),
3. to search through (something).
-- The site already provides a search feature on your main profile in which you can search for users who meet the criteria you wish; Make use of it!
-- It does not contribute to chat, which is the main purpose of having the chatrooms. Why should the site provide chatrooms when they already provide the search feature?
-- Many chatters see these kind of "trolls" many times a day, and it disrupts the flow of other ongoing chat discussions, frustrating and annoying the chatters engaged in them.
Over the years, I've seen many kinds of chatrooms get shut down because the only thing people do with them is sit around asking for people to chat with, instead of actually chatting. I do not want to see this site's chatrooms get shut down for the same reason. So, please do not troll/solicit/advertise.. At least in the Lobby. Other channels may permit it, if they so wish.
Another common issue/guideline is.. Do not argue with the room ops/mods, at least in the channel. You may feel your actions are justified, or that the rules are wrong, but the channel itself is not the place to argue it. PM the ops/mods, or ask them to join/create a channel for the purpose of discussing the issue. But if you disrupt the main room's flow of discussions, you're just going to appear to be combative/argumentative, and most likely just get banned and removed from the room; Also, when you go on the offensive, the ops/mods tend to go on the defensive, and have little interest in "hearing" anything you say. So do yourself a favor, and don't do it. Most ops/mods will listen to you and consider your case, if you approach them with courtesy and present your case without attacking them. Your goal should not be to start a "war", but to get heard and possibly get the result you desire. Choose not only your battles, but also how you fight them.
Thats all, for now--I still have a few other topics I wish to post on, but I'm still drafting them. I'll add them here as my time an ability permit.
[Insert all the standard disclaimers here: IMO, YMMV, etc etc]