Read this after you've read the other sticky

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by JTM, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    I'm making this have another guide for 2 reasons. First, that the experienced forum goers may understand be reminded the misunderstandings that come from a forum, and secondly, that inexperienced forumgoers may understand the aforementioned misunderstandings.




    For the experienced forumgoer: we have many people here that are experiencing "forums" for the first time. As such, I hope to explain many of the "proper protocols" that belong to only those types of people that may be misunderstood.

    I apologize for the "nonorganization" that you will find here.

    Some basic things, a little sidetracking, back story, etc.

    In the history of the internet, someone created 4chan. Even though you may not have heard of "anonymous" or "4chan" or anything directly, if you are on the internet, you feel it's effects... especially by joining a forum.

    For our less introduced brethren, some attitudes and responses that you will experience will not make much sense to you and you will feel things like "why did he say that?" or "how can he joke about that?"

    What happens is, in another thread on these forums or even another set of forums is that these things are discussed, and people let their feelings out. After the feelings are met to requirement, people are okay with joking about things that deal with race, age, and everything else that may be discriminated about... even things that you would consider to be "untouchable."

    Our forums at MasonsOfTexas.com are protected against most of these things, but not impervious. As such, an experienced forumgoer may misunderstand your post and make what they know to be an acceptable response, but yet offend you. We will moderate posts that are exceptionally rude promptly because here at MoT.com, we understand this, but we can't help you against everything.

    The most important thing is to remember is especially in cases where a younger, more experienced forumgoer, and brother, says something that is offensive to you, they don't usually mean it. Whereas, you would press masonic charges against them for such a thing, they wouldn't dare mean what you are thinking of.

    The thing to keep in mind here is "connotation" vs "denotation."

    In the context of a forum, I will be much more open and protected by the internet to say what I feel and think vs than when I'm with you face to face. What happens most often is that a brother will say one thing on a forum that disagrees with what you most heart-felted disagree with, but once you have a private conversation, will say something else. This is common and has already happened several times within our small community. It will keep happening as we grow.

    This goes both ways. For the experienced forumgoer, we advise you to please consider all interpretations that might be meant before complaining to a moderator or administrator... blake will thank me for that.

    Common things you might see

    • +1. Aka, "I agree with this." This is one of the most common things you might see, and is complicated by forum courtesy. Instead of repeating the same sentiments as is already stated, i may just say... "+1."
    • F--- you. And I don't mean in a bad way... it may very well be said as, "I couldn't disagree with you more" to be mistaken as "I couldn't agree with you more." The brother that might say this to you would NEVER say this to your face or convey the same disrespect that it implies.
    • Grammar. I'm one of the biggest violators of this topic... My grammar on forums is awful. Spelling and punctuation (especially capitalization) is one of my biggest problems. Luckily, Firefox (my web browser, aka, my "version" of internet explorer), corrects me on most of my spelling mistakes. Capitalization, punctuation, and grammar is something it DOESN'T do... if I misspell something, or leave out a "'" or "?" or something like that, please respect that as an honest mistake. Someone that uses this often enough to create a disturbance will be moderated.
    • Memes. This is one of the hardest subjects to address. I'll get to this below.

    Memes

    Said, "meems," memes are one of the hardest things to understand. As said before, we all feel the effects of 4chan on the internet. If you've received a forward from a soldier in Iraq telling you to respect the flag, or a picture of a cute cat telling you that it wants "chezburgrs," it's most likely a "meme."

    There's no way to keep up with the latest "thing" here on the internet, so don't feel like you're too old or too young to understand it... the only reason you don't understand it is that you haven't heard of it yet.

    Some of the memes are often misunderstood. Our forums, like 4chan, will come up with it's own set of memes, customs, and understanding (aka, The Shelton). If you are new here, please be understanding until you are fully aware of the community, culture, and understanding that we have developed.

    As always

    If you ever have a question about what you read or a different connotation/misunderstanding/take offense to what you read, please let someone on the forum staff know by either 1) messaging us directly, or 2) filing a formal complaint via the little triangle under the offending member's name (has an exclamation point in it).

    I can tell you that any time that I've been contacted by email regarding an issue, if it takes me longer than 30 minutes to address the issue, there have already been 3 good mason moderators taking care of it.

    We have a "moderators only" forums where we discuss things that are of special note. If you file a "formal complaint" as said above via the triangle, I can almost assure you as a brother, these things are discussed in that forum. As a group, we discuss all the implications and complications that can be understood by the post. We often disagree and take it different ways... and have our own disagreements as you can well understand by now, but the issue will be taken care of as best we can while meaning the best we can.

    In conclusion:

    If someone is ever hateful here, they will be promptly banned from the forums... no questions asked. If they aren't immediately banned, please read into what they might have meant or what their understandings/misunderstandings of the subject may have been. The most special circumstance that applies here is our interpretations to "Masonic Law." All jurisdictions have different interpretations, please remember that yours are not supreme over others.

    We promote speaking one's own mind (as you'll see in my own posts), and saying what you think, especially when they disagree with your own Grand Lodge and personal beliefs. Keep in mind, this is encouraged to continue that culture of free speech and questioning mind that is so important to us, not to offend.

    I'm sure I'll offend you eventually if I haven't already. Please keep in mind that I don't mean a personal affront to you or that I would even continue this train of thought if I was presented in front of brothers... but it is what I/we/they think at that particular time. Emotions can take control of us at any time, and those emotions and initial reactions are important.

    I hope you will continue to post on these forums and keep what I have said in mind as you read. Square and Level as you can, but speak your mind if you can't..

    Addendum

    Some things to learn... I'll continually add things to this list as I remember them and as I am reminded of them:

    • The "tl:dr." It means "too long; didn't read." It's for when you make an exceptionally long post... some people don't want to read the whole thing... for that type of person you will summarize in a few words what you said in many above.
    • The enter key. If you post a block of text (aka, a huge 30 line paragraph with no direction or organization), you may except a post with "This thread needs a good dose of the 'enter' key." It just means you need to define your paragraphs more appropriately.
    • Discussion. If you post a link and no discussion or comment of your own (blake being one of the biggest offenders here, in my opinion), someone might not reply directly to your link, but demand your response.
    • YMMV. This means, "your mileage may vary." In other words, you may interpret this differently than I, so don't let this be surprising. It may also mean "don't try this at home."

    Things you can do:

    I'll continually update this part of the list as I see it.

    • As much as I don't suggest it... keeping up to date on forum trends and pop culture can help prevent misunderstandings. I don't really expect this too happen entirely too much, but I'll try to cite references when making them, as you should do around here if you ARE knowleageable regarding certain trends.
    • Ignore list. If need be, and the forum staff doesn't rule in your way, there's no reason why you can't ignore a certain member's post... use the ignore list found in the UserCP (reference in the Newbie Thread that I created).
    • Don't take offense. Just because you're a newbie doesn't mean it's a bad thing, it just means you spend your time doing something else besides keep up with internet pop culture... to be honest, that's probably a good thing.
    • Acronyms. As I was educated recently, YMMV, SMIB, SAHC, SSAHKDBSCAVCG, etc... some acronyms you will understand, some won't. Don't be afraid (i'm not) to ask what it means.
     
  2. webstermason

    webstermason Registered User

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    After reading all that, I forgot what I was going to say!
     
  3. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    LMAO That is just plain funny I don't care who you are!
     
  4. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    it's a pretty long read, i suppose?
     
  5. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Don't forget to tell 'em "Watch out for The Hammer!" ;)
     
  6. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Y'all crack me up! :D
     
  7. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    the ban hammer? :beer:

    luckily we rarely need it.
     
  8. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    SMIB! BTW, when are you gonna invite the "staff" for pizza? ;)
     
  9. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    anyone's welcome at my house for pizza any time they want.

    that's blake's duty if you want it in an official MOT format, though :)
     
  10. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    That could be a busy house if everybody is welcome. I mean we are talking about Masons and Food!
     
  11. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    any mason here is welcome to my house for food. make it a trip!
     
  12. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I'll request a GM's Dispensation for a Knife & Fork Degree at your place! ;)
     
  13. david918

    david918 Premium Member

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    Someone say food;)
     
  14. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    do it. my roommate and i are both masons, we have the room, definitely!
     

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