I love Buffalo Rumblings. I've been here every day for well over three years now, and I'm proud of the work we've done as a community, how we've grown, and where we're headed in the future. I appreciate the fact that thousands of people use this resource daily - and that hundreds of people provide hundreds of comments - more than I can adequately express in text.
However, I'll be blunt about one thing - I cannot stand moderating a community. Just as I'm sure many of you can't stand trying to create order from chaos when you have family members arguing; that's what moderation feels like to me. Reading your comments in our great daily discussions is either a fantastic experience, or a completely miserable one.
I'm taking a page out of the book of Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey and going with a high degree of transparency here - what follows is a list of things that I try to avoid like the plague here. I'm putting this in a FanPost because I'm not naive enough to think that everyone has read our Community Guidelines; I'm not naive enough to think y'all will finish this FanPost, either, but I'm hoping that the transparency will help keep things more civil in our comments sections going forward.
My biggest goal for Rumblings remains the highest-quality Bills-related discussions fans can have. You'll have to trust me on that, because I've been accused of having ulterior motives; I assure you that's not the case. In that light, following these simple rules is the best way to keep discussions fair, constructive, and worthwhile in practice:
Don't swear. It's unbecoming to use the biggest of the big-boy words; typically doesn't warrant a ban, but you'll get a "friendly" reminder from me.
Keep religion and politics out of discussions as much as possible. We're one fan base with one goal; introducing massively divisive topics undermine our shared aims. This is not the forum for those topics.
Pet peeves to be aware of:
- I absolutely abhor the use of the word "retarded." Again, I can't adequately describe just how offensive that term is to me, so please do not use it.
- Racist and homophobic slurs are an obvious no-no.
- Questioning someone's fanhood is a ridiculous thing to do on a fan blog, so please don't do that, either.
- Hijacking a thread to pointlessly debate, and then re-hash to the brink of insanity, a minor detail in an otherwise good discussion is very aggravating for lurkers trying to keep up with the larger-picture conversations.
- Having more than one username irritates me; what's the point?
- Lewd and lascivious avatars and commentary is frowned upon.
- Diatribes against players, executives, coaches are fine, but an inability to keep said diatribe out of each and every comment you make is insufferable behavior, and makes conversing with you very difficult for everyone here.
Understand that this is still the Internet. Despite the existence of smiley faces, LOLs, WTFs, ZOMGs and all of that lingo, things will get lost in translation. Before you decide you're ready to jump down someone's throat, make sure you're 100% certain you understand what they're trying to say. Misinterpretations happen; civil resolution is possible, believe it or not, if you're certain you disagree before you actually do the disagreeing.
Don't complain about the rules on-blog. I cannot say this more pointedly: if you have a problem with a policy or a decision I make, take that complaint directly to me by way of email. Complaining about the policy on the blog does nothing to promote the good discussions we're looking for every day; it's distracting and unbecoming. All of these problems can be worked out behind the scenes.
If you have a question, ask. SB Nation is a pretty complex and sophisticated blogging tool, so if you're having trouble with some aspect of the technology, please do not hesitate to ask - but again, sometimes it is preferable to do so with an email, as opposed to a comment.
I'm just like you guys, Rumblers. I'm a Bills fan that wants to talk football with smart, diligent Bills fans on a daily basis. Considering the state of the team we love, frustration is inherent to that desire, and the fact that none of us are conversing in what we might call a "normal human interaction" makes things difficult. These rules are in place for a reason, they're pretty self-explanatory, and I don't believe I'm asking a lot. By and large, we have a very small number of problems here, and I immensely enjoy our daily conversations the overwhelming majority of the time. I've been meaning to make these rules plainer for a while now, and with the season ready to kick off, now's a good time to make myself plain.
If you made it this far, thanks very much for reading. I look forward to this season and many years ahead with you fine folks at Buffalo Rumblings.