Forum Conduct and Posting Guidelines
The GMC forums are a great place to hang out. The overall spirit here is one of support, guidance and positive thinking, which is pretty unusual on the internet as a whole. The Moderation team is determined to keep things this way for the benefit of all members and for this reason we want to give a few guidelines as to how we expect people to engage in the Forums and what sort of behavior we would like to discourage. Some of these guidelines reflect the fact that we have a lot of younger members, and also that we want to keep the forums female-friendly. Also, be aware that GMC is on show to the whole world. Anyone can drop in and read the forum, and the most recent threads are shown on the front page- we don't want to discourage potential new members!
The overall guideline is to be polite and respect the people you are interacting with - lets keep GMC amazing!
1. Politeness is mandatory. Always be aware that when writing as opposed to speaking, there are far more opportunities for misunderstandings. Emoticons go a long way to help with this, but always re-read your post before you hit the send button and ask yourself, could this be misunderstood?
2. Always positive feedback, never negative feedback! This doesn't mean that we always agree, and always say everything is great, its about the way we approach feedback and criticism. For example, if someone posts a recording of themselves and it has some flaws. Don't say "Dude, that sucked, you really need to learn to play". Say something like "Cool, a really good attempt, I liked the feel of it. I would suggest you tighten up the rhythm work a little, and pay a little more attention to your vibrato". That second comment makes the player feel good about what he has achieved, and more importantly gives him some pointers for the future. The flip side of this is that if someone has taken time to give you feedback, you should thank them for it.
3. Disagree with respect. We don't always agree with each other - and debate is a great thing on GMC - it allows everyone to see all sides of an argument. If you disagree with someone don't get personal. Respect their point of view, and realize that what you say is just your point of view - both are valid. So instead of saying "you crazy fool, holding a pick like that is for monkeys", you could say "That's pretty unusual, I do it this way because it steadies my hand better and I can hybrid pick, but whatever works for you!"
4. Be gracious and thankful. If you ask a question and get some good responses, make sure you thank everyone - doesn't have to be individual, but a simple post saying "thanks for all the info guys" will make it a lot more likely that you will get help in future.
5. Bad Language. If you need to use bad language to express yourself, then the chances are you could benefit from a course in English. GMC will not allow bad language to be used on the boards. We all swear occasionally, and sometimes we want to make a point on the boards, that is fine if you stick to the following guidelines:
- Mild expletives that are allowed include things like damn, crap, ass and their derivatives
- Sexual words that are part of everyday language are allowed - e.g. "This amp has got some balls", but using the same word in a sexual way is not, for instance "This Amp's balls are as big as mine!"
- Any stronger expletives should not be used. These include words like s*** f*** b****** c*** and their derivatives. Putting the words in your post starred out, will not be regarded as acceptable.
- Any of the above words that are deliberately misspelled, yet are recognizable will be treated exactly as the above. For instance replacing I in s*** with a y.
- Common abbreviations that include swearwords in their full form (such as wtf) will not be allowed.
- Please be respectful to peoples Faith's and Religions. Religious swearing such as "God Damn" or it's derivatives can be upsetting to some people.
7. Keep it Legal. Posts should not refer to illegal activities such as drug use, illegal file sharing, pirating of software etc. For a discussion of why GMC disallows some of these activities see this thread.
Whilst not illegal, GMC also does not condone excessive alcohol consumption and will edit or remove posts that encourage or glorify it.
8. No discrimination. Discrimination of any kind, religious, sexual or otherwise will not be tolerated.
9. No Flaming. Flaming will not be allowed. If you feel strongly about something someone has said you have 2 options. Either reply to them in a reasoned and polite way, or if you feel they were out of line, PM a moderator and let them deal with it. It isn't pleasant to watch other peoples arguments - any such threads will be locked.
10. Flaming and Spamming in lesson comments is absolutely not allowed. Instructors work hard on their lessons behind the scenes, and a careless comment could easily offend them. Losing an instructor over a careless or offensive comment would be disastrous for GMC. Any action of this nature will result in an immediate ban. Repeat offenders will be banned for life.
Please read this announcement for further details.
11. Copyright. No uploads of copyrighted mp3s or torrents are allowed. Before attempting to post a link to a torrent or torrent site please contact a moderator by PM. We will require you to be able to demonstrate to our satisfaction that the torrent and/or torrent site is legal before you can post the link. If you can't then I'm afraid that we can not accept the link. Any link to a torrent or torrent web site that is not cleared by a moderator in this way will be removed.
12. Scams, Chains and SPAMS. If you see some kind of an offer that looks too good to be true, but the only catch is that you have to get lots of other people involved, fine, if you want to go for it, but be aware that these are usually fraudulent. Please do not use GMC to propogate this type of thing. Offending posts will be deleted, repeat offenders will be warned.
13. No links to competitors sites. GMC is a business and we don't want to freely advertise competitiors! If in doubt, ask a moderator before posting.
14. No advertisments. We do not allow threads advertising products that the poster is affiliated with or has a direct interest in. A link to a cool app that the poster came across is ok. A link saying "heres a cool app I wrote it's only $10" is not ok, unless previously cleared by the moderator staff. On the other hand, "heres a cool app I wrote and it's free" is fine as long as it isn't a product that competes with GMC as mentioned above.
The motivation for this rule is that GMC was conceived as, and remains, an ad free site - we believe that it is not fair to charge you admission and also bombard you with adverts. The same standard applies to posts on the forum.
15. No Copyrighted Tabs. Please don't post tabs of copyrighted songs - for more information, look here.
16. Language - in order to facilitate common understanding, the language of the forum is English. Whilst we sympathize with the demands this places on non native English speakers, we don't want the forum to become fragmented into different-language-speaking communities, nor do we have the moderation staff to cover all possible languages that people may want to speak.
At the same time, we recognize that sometimes it's hard to understand the subtleties of a point when you are talking a foreign language, and the person you are conversing with speaks the same native language as you! To help with this, we are happy to allow non-English discussions as long as each post is accompanied by an English translation or summary. This makes it easier for other members to benefit, and will also help you as more people will be able to understand your conversation and contribute.
It is important to note that this has been a conscious policy from the start of GMC since the founder is also a non-native English speaker.
16. Anything else not explicitly covered here but deemed offensive or inappropriate by the moderators will be removed or deleted.
Any posts that do not meet these guidelines will be edited or deleted depending on the severity of the deviation from these guidelines.
Also, depending upon the severity, perpetrators will be warned and repeat offenders will be banned. We really hate to do that, so please don't make us!
Some Additional Guidelines
The following are guidelines not rules, they are intended to make forum use better for everyone.
1. Large inline pictures make posts unreadable - please consider resizing images to a suggested maximum of 640x480 before posting them on the forum. You can resize pictures using a tool like Photoshop or Paintshop Pro. There is also an online tool here : http://www.shrinkpictures.com (the 600 pixel option works well)
2. Large graphical signatures can also be annoying to people - please consider limiting these to a sensible height so that a one line post doesn't scroll off the page!
3. Including a huge post in a respnse that says "yes I agree" or similar is not a good use of forum inches - quoting of peoples posts is a great tool when used selectively but don't do it out of laziness. If you just want to reply there is a button at the bottom of the screen that adds a reply without quoting the last post. Alternatively, you can quote just the last line maybe or some relevant piece of text so that people know what you are respnding to.
Similarly, posting a single word response such as "+1" or "agree" doesn't add much to the discussion - we'd far rather see seomthing with more content suach as "+1 - I think he is the best guitarist because ...."
Please read this announcement for further details.
4. Instructors forums are for members to ask questions directly of instructors. Input from other members is always welcome here of course, but as a courtesy, please allow the instructor who's board it is to reply to the question before you add any comments.
Check out this annoncement for details and discussion.
5. Do not ask questions about your paypal account or gmc login openly in the forum - instead please contact the administrators.
6. Posting links to pictures rather than uploading the pictures themselves is discouraged for any topic that you expect to be long lived, such as a gear review. Links often change, and leave the post with missing images - this would not be the case if the image itself is uploaded. If you must link, please make a note of where the picture is from so that interested parties can follow up if the link moves.
7. Personal Mails to Instructors - One of the many nice and distinctive features of GMC is that we can send a personal mail to, and receive a response from, the Instructors. This great feature however may mean that Instructors find that they need to spend a lot of time replying to personal mails. So before sending a personal mail to an Instructor it would be helpful if you consider the following guidelines:
If your question relates to the guitar in any way - that is guitar playing, an actual lesson, music theory and production, musical equipment, favourite music and so on - then please ask on a forum rather then send a personal mail. That way everyone can benefit from the discussion.
A personal mail to an Instructor should be both specific and personal to them that requires and warrants a personal and private response and not a general post.
8. Tracking - The forum gives moderators a mechanism to officially warn members and keep track of the history of these warnings. It is not used for minor transgressions, and the vast majority of users have a 0% warning level. When a member breaks the rules in a more major way, he will be officially warned by PM, and his warning level will be increased by 10%. We have a few 10 and 20% members out there, and since they have drawn attention to themselves they are usually watched a little more carefully by the moderators. Scores above 30% are rare, and in many cases these members have already been handed temporary bans as punishments. As the level gets higher, members are increasingly likely to be handed a permanent Ban. Before they reach this point they will be informed that further warnings will result in a permanent ban.
The moderation staff keeps records all all disciplinary PMs both to and from Members. The warning level of a member is visible to moderators on every post a member makes, and a single click will bring up the reasons for previous warnings making it easy for us to refer back to past history. Members may request their warning level by PM to any moderator.
1. Senior Members - GMC has a policy of recognising members who make outstanding contributions, we call them "Senior Members" or "Seniors" for short. Upon promotion to Seniorship you get free GMC membership, and a rank badge, and phrase of your choice to go below your avatar, and of course, the respect of GMC
For more information, read this announcement.
2. Wiki Writers - The Wiki writer rank will be conferred upon members who make contributions to the GMC Wiki.
For more details, read this announcement.
3. MVC - We now have a new forum rank called "Most Valued Contributer" or MVC for short - here is the announcement.