Answers to your questions about the PJStar.com Message Boards and how to contact PJStar Guy
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PJStar Guy
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Peoria


Post by PJStar Guy »

Hey, PJStar.com Guy, how come you have these stupid guidelines,

We have these guidelines to help preserve the future of the message boards. History shows that message boards left without any moderation get real ugly, real fast, and end up going away. What we have developed over more than 15 years is a set of guidelines and moderation style that seems to work pretty well with the vast majority of our posters. It is not perfect. We do our best.

PJStar.com Guy, Why did you remove my message? I was just doing a little "trash talking" about the big game coming up and one of their overrated players.

As stated in our guidelines, we strive for civil, responsible exchanges of information and opinions. As moderators, we are not sure what "trash talking" even means. Your message may be removed if it is very derogatory and threatening to another team, player or another poster. You can get across a point without being mean and uncivil. Please avoid calling another player or team a "joke" or "worthless" or other condescending terms. Try to be tactful. We may also choose to remove negative topics right from the beginning. Starting a discussion such as “why is Smithville so awful" will only stimulate angry responses and cause multiple moderating problems. Same thing goes for posts that are written to add salt to the wound of a school after a tough loss. Making these calls as moderators is not always easy and sometimes comes down to the discretion of a particular moderator. Again, if you are civil and tactful, you will have no problems. Keep it as positive and constructive as possible.

Hey, PJStar.com Guy, how come my message was deleted? It didn't violate any of your guidelines!

Messages sometimes get deleted, depending on where they fall within the threaded context of the message board. For example, you may respond to someone's reply halfway through a discussion, but someone else's reply was a violation. Due to the nature of the board, all or part of those replies may be deleted, even though your response was within guidelines.

Sometimes a thread takes a "turn for the worse" and it's best to just kill the whole thing. The original subject was most likely discussed in detail anyway. Your reply may not have triggered that decision, but in the interest of keeping a clean board, all the messages in that discussion come down.

Threads also expire automatically if someone doesn't post in that discussion within a certain period.

Hey, PJStar.com Guy, how come you favor the newspaper writers in the Sports section of the Journal Star?

The PJStar.com Message Board service is NOT a part of the Sports department at the Journal Star. PJStar.com Guy is NOT a sportswriter. The message boards are overseen by the Journal Star Web Desk on PJStar.com. We treat messages about our newspaper exactly as we do those about anything or anybody else — by the guidelines. We favor no team in particular, and in fact, PJStar.com moderators come from all different parts of the Journal Star circulation area.

Hey, PJStar.com Guy, how can I become a moderator?

Post intelligently and civilly for a long time and you might get asked. You can't volunteer to be a moderator. We watch for those folks who follow the guidelines and have a good understanding of what the message boards are all about. And every so often, we invite someone to join our moderating team.

Hey, PJStar.com Guy, is being a moderator like one of those high-paying dot com jobs?

No. Moderators are all volunteers. Our moderators are posters just like you. They do it because they enjoy forums like this and want to help keep it going.

Hey, PJStar.com Guy, how come my sport doesn't have it's own message board?

Message board areas change with the seasons. There's ALWAYS a general purpose High School Sports area (except during the summer months), where you can talk about your sport in the off-season. To make it easier for people to find sports that interest them, we turn on different boards that generally generate high traffic such as football, Class A basketball, etc. If your sport doesn't have its own message board, then it's because there isn't enough traffic to warrant one. If you want your own area turned on, then get the other tiddly-winks players to start posting as much as you do.

Hey, PJStar.com Guy, my grandmother says "#@%." What's the big deal?

Well, MY grandmother reads the boards and that word offends her ... so I take it down. When you set up YOUR message board, feel free to allow whatever language you like.

Hey, PJStar.com Guy, why do some posters get all bent out of shape
over stupid stuff like speling and gramer?

In the Online World, all you have is what you type. Nobody can see your
facial expression, your body language, or any of the other cues that humans rely on for complete communication. Consequently, some posters feel that since all anybody knows about you is your choice of "handle" and your ability to spell, that it's important to do that well. It
especially confounds older posters (who are usually not as computer
savvy) that younger posters can't find the FREE spell-checker provided
by World Crossing.

Hey, PJStar.com Guy, I heard a rumor at school today. Why can't I
post it? It was from a "very reliable source."

Rumor and innuendo are often defamatory and lead to multiple moderating problems. This violates our guidelines. Allegations of improper or illegal activities are also banned. If you have a particular issue with a coach, player or any individual, go to that person or the authorities involved. Do not use the message board as your personal crusade against any individual or organization. You are responsible for what you post. We strongly suggest for your own protection you not to post anything you would not want to in some way come back to you. Find something worthwhile to post about.

Hey, PJStar.com Guy, somebody is posting as ME, using my name. What can I do?

Contact us by using the e-mail form provided here on the board. It is a violation to represent anyone other than yourself. You are responsible for what you post.

Hey, PJStar.com Guy, I sent you an e-mail and you are not getting back to me. What gives?

With the explosive growth of the message boards over the years, it is not longer possible for us to respond to every piece of correspondence. It has grown to several hundred a week. If you don’t get a response, refer to the guidelines and FAQ’s. We think you will find your answers there. If there is an issue of abuse; any major guidelines violation we will try to correct it and get back to you.

Here are some good general pointers to remember when you post. We have found in the last 8 years and reading literally millions of posts, these are good ideas to keep things civil on the message boards and avoid moderating problems.

• First and foremost, keep your post about the topic at hand and do not make it about another poster. Our mission is to discuss sports. Anything else is subject to deletion. Getting personal with other posters almost always leads to moderating problems. Telling another poster that they are nuts, or that they are having too much to drink or smoke is not civil and leads to many problems. Any kind of personal reference is subject to deletion. Stay on topic no matter how off base you think another poster is, respectfully address the subject at hand and not the poster.

• Do not share personal information about yourself. When you do this, you always open things up for personal comments back to you. Sure, the team you root for and perhaps the area you are from will come out in your post. But job and family information is almost always a mistake to share in a public forum. When others make references to personal info you have posted, it always creates moderating problems for us. We do not always know what you have chosen to share. Posts may often be deleted for reasons of personal content. Never post a phone number on the message boards.

• Do not respond to another poster message that “nobody cares about that”, or that is “stupid” or “worthless”. If it is on topic, and does not violate our guidelines, it is proper for that post to be on the board regardless of your personal preferences or interests. We have several thousand registered members and literally hundreds of thousands of readers from all over the world. It might be of interest to more people that you think. It is also good to avoid clichés like “all (team name) fans are this way, or that way. Or the poster is a “typical” (team name) fan, etc. Having read hundreds of thousands of posts, we find no poster is “typical”. While many of us follow the same team, we all have our own personalities. Grouping people as being a certain way often leads to moderating problems. Another reference that often leads to moderating problems is saying a team, or player is “overrated”. Overrated by who? You can support a player or teams performance with specific thoughts and examples, but just to declare a player or team is “overrated” is a rather subjective, nebulous reference.

• Please do not post about moderating issues. We do the best we can. We have a great team of volunteer moderators who give many hours of their time so you can have these forums. If you don’t like that a post was removed and you think we are doing a bad job, do not air it in our forums. It is off topic and distracting to the rest of the posters who want to talk sports. You can e-mail us, and we may get back to you. But any moderating issues that you post are subject to deletion. We truly want our forum experience to be great for everyone, but with thousands and thousands of readers and posters, it is hard to please everyone. We understand fully some may not be happy with our efforts. We respectfully ask that you read or post somewhere else and not take it out on us in our public forum.

• We suggest only using one screen name. While it is not a violation of our guidelines, using multiple screen names and identities is widely considered poor message board form. Trying build support for a point you are making by building other identities is very bad message board etiquette and disingenuous behavior. It is a guidelines violation to attempt to represent someone else or another school or team other than your own with a screen name.

• Do not flood any message board with several posts in a short period of time. You do not have to respond to every post. You should not ever do that. Readers, posters and moderators very much dislike having to wade through a bunch of meaningless one line responses from one poster who has posted many posts in a short period of time. If you really don’t have something substantive to add to the discussion leave it alone.

We may remove posts that have pictures and graphics. Too much of this slows down viewers with dial up connections and is a bandwidth hog. We suggest not posting pictures and graphic as part of your post and signature.

Do not cut and past entire stories to our site. This is most often a copyright violation. You can post the link to the story, with a couple of comments.

We have a unique set up with the PJStar.com forums. Most message boards represent one team. Ours represent many teams in the same forum. So it is important to be civil and respectful. If the boards are to survive, they must be. So we appreciate your attention to our guidelines and board decorum.