As we continue to grow and get new members I thought I would remind people of the two basics rules I have for here. The first and most important one is simply to be civil towards one another, something I’m happy to see is the case unlike many of the other venues available to us, some of which are frankly a cesspool of memes, insults, and infighting.
As for the other, as most, but not all, of you know, I retail products in addition to providing, developing, and maintaining this forum. This is something that has a very real cost in man hours in addition to monetary costs. There is no expectation for people to purchase from me/my store but I would appreciate if people do not use the resources provided here to direct people to purchase elsewhere or promote other retailers. To clarify, the expectation is that this applies equally to posts as well as explicitly to private messages.
Because of the amount of work and costs involved with running a forum (or any website for that matter), forums generally run on two models, either you get a crippled forum provided by a third party who spams ads as a trade-off for free and extremely limited resources, or you have a forum that spams ads and charges retailers to be there. We have seen how well that turns out with other forums in our hobby. I started this forum with an alternative model that avoids those issues as well as avoiding the impermanence and censorship issues associated with somewhere like Facebook where the only utility you get out of the site is based on how fast you can scroll downwards and your entire content could disappear overnight because some purple haired social justice warrior decides they don’t like action figures that have the wrong genitals.
As some of you have noticed I have a soft enforcement of this rule via automated removal of certain words or links. This was intended as a gentle reminder to previous reminders as I don’t want to come off as authoritarian about this and it is human nature to forget about things like this and I really don’t want to be reminding people about this. That said when I see this deliberately circumvented I can only conclude people are aware of the rule yet chose to ignore it anyways. I realize in most cases people are just trying to be helpful or may not be aware of this, but in other cases it might be seen as disrespectful and honestly it reduces the motivation to continue providing and developing this resource. Just as most of us wouldn’t wander into another retailer store and tell customers to go down the street and see what the other retailer has on the shelves, I would hope that courtesy would extend to the virtual space. The other alternative which I don’t really want to do is start shutting off features to avoid the issue entirely.
At the end of the day I want the discussion here to be about the product itself and not devolve into where can I find XYZ product or where can I get it for the cheapest price. I realize that generally no offence is intended, but I thought I would give some perspective on the matter so people can understand why things are the way they are.