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Thread: TOS / Forum Rules

  1. #1
    Refugee from the .com
    cbscreative's Avatar

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    Aug 2008
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    Smile TOS / Forum Rules

    Terms of Service (TOS) seeks to be the best online community for small business owners and those looking to become business owners. Due to problems faced in other business forums, this one is owned and managed by key members to maintain the quality of content. To do this, we need rules, and these rules are strictly enforced so everyone can enjoy a great experience here.

    By subscribing and using this site, you agree to the following:

    Forum posts are to be considered opinion
    Members here seek to provide valuable insight and share their experiences to provide helpful advice. However, it is not to be considered a substitute for qualified legal, financial, and business counsel when you need that. is not responsible or liable for any results of following advice given here.

    Think before posting
    Once you post, it is a permanent part of the Internet and publicly available for everyone to read, and may even get republished elsewhere. Administrators and moderators are not obligated to remove it. Be respectful of others when you post. Do not insult, demean, flame, cuss, or anything else that violates common decency. Violations of privacy rights such as posting personal information about other members is grounds for termination of forum membership. In other words, we reserve the right to ban you from the forum.

    Spam will not be tolerated…period
    Any kind of spam is subject to immediate removal without warning. Anyone posting spam, or using the Private Message (PM) system to spam, will be subject to immediate banning. If we have reason to believe the offense was unintentional, we’ll exercise our judgment rather than just jump to conclusions. You might get a warning or two before being banned, but you’ll never make it to three warnings.

    Links in your posts
    We realize that sometimes, the links in a post are relevant to a discussion, and sometimes they are a lame attempt at link building used by people who are either following bad advice, or are just plain idiots (or both). Either way, here’s the policy. You must have a minimum of 10 posts before you can use any links in a post at all. After that, please use discretion. We will rely on members using the Report Bad Post feature (the triangle icon in the upper right corner of all posts) if they think the links are inappropriate. The administrators will have the final say and take whatever action we deem necessary.

    Every member is allowed to start their own introduction thread (one thread only). Introductions are your opportunity to tell us about yourself. Don't be afraid to be specific and do a little bit of "selling" as long as it's not over the top. It's OK to say something like, "This is why we're different from our competitors..." Just avoid hype, and you will find the members here will react very well and welcome you into our community. Treat us like you want to be treated. It's good to read other introductions, it will help you in making yours.

    We do not allow links in introduction posts, but you are welcome to set up a signature file (see next rule). You can set these up using the Settings link at the top of the page. If another member asks for a link because they are interested in something you posted, then we allow the link. This rule is just to keep the spam off of the forum, so we make reasonable exceptions.

    Signature files
    We believe that members should be able to tastefully promote themselves using a signature file that includes links. However, this is also one area where abuse can quickly become a problem. While we are in the transition, we would like all SBF members in good standing with the old forum to maintain the sig files they were using there if they want to. Other members here will be given more privileges once you have established a good reputation with at least 50 legitimate posts. No images in sig files are allowed.

    The rules for new members are no more than 3 lines and a maximum of 3 links, and affiliate links are not allowed. Do not use large text, bright colors, or any other “annoying” practice. We reserve the right to edit, delete, or blindfold and execute anything that we find objectionable. If it’s adult, gambling, hateful, illegal, or just plain distasteful, don’t bother posting it because it won’t survive long enough to have any impact.

    Web site reviews
    You must have at least 10 legitimate posts before you are allowed to ask for a web site review. Don’t try to use the forum for link building. First of all, there’s not enough value in that to make it worth your time. Secondly, if your request to have members review your site is just a ploy, we’re not naive or stupid. It will actually backfire on you and could get you banned. However, we have some great, knowledgeable people here who will be glad to help you by reviewing your site. Get known here first, and you will get valuable feedback.

    Inappropriate materials
    If you want to discuss anything that is not G rated, this is not your forum. Your avatar must be in good taste (or we may delete it). Please refrain from foul language or inappropriate comments. You are not allowed to promote adult sites or anything else that’s distasteful here. Since the bottom dwellers of humanity that post that kind of stuff are not likely to be reading this, it’s mostly for the benefit of the members to know that we won’t tolerate anything objectionable. It will be deleted, users will be banned, and we may keep records as evidence should law enforcement ever need them for prosecution.

    No dumping articles
    This is a forum, not an article dump. We do not have an article section. In the future, we probably will, but all the articles in it will be carefully screened and must have some value that small business owners will be interested in. This is a great place to interact with other small business owners, ask questions, share experiences, offer insights, and engage in useful and enlightening conversation. Do that and you will have a good time here. Post articles and you risk experiencing the wrath of administrators who might throw you out in the street for the good of the community.

    There is an exception though. If you are a member in good standing and you are looking for honest advice or help with something to fine tune it before publication, no problem. If you post a link to something because you thought we would enjoy it too, again, no problem. What we won’t put up with is article spam or self-serving authors trying to gain exposure by abusing the forum.

    No multiple accounts
    You get one identity here. If you sign up for more than one account, you lose all of them.

    General rules
    This is the part where we say that the rules can be modified at any time without notice. Also, our decisions are law. We can do whatever we think is necessary to keep this forum a valuable resource for small business owners. We want everyone to benefit from it. And since not everyone who joins will be of honorable intention, it has been decided in advance that we won’t put up with it.

    With that said, one thing that differentiates this forum is respect for other members. Let’s keep doing that. Sometimes violations of these rules are not intentional or they are done by inexperienced new members who are not trying to be malicious. We want to use good judgment in enforcing these rules, and all members here are an important asset in doing that.

    The last rule: Enjoy the forum!
    Steve Chittenden

    Web design, graphic design, professional writing, and marketing.

    "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt

  2. #2
    Blue Hen's Avatar

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