Last updated July 12, 2012
Before you registered with this site, you had to read a memo that went something like this:
If you are just joining, you might want to comment a bit before posting your own FanPost. Just a thought. Responses to your post will be better once people know you and where you're coming from.
READ the Community Guidelines first. They're not over the top. They help keep our little community here flowing in relative peace.
Meanwhile: Think before you type. Measure twice, cut once. Most importantly: Be funny or insightful or opinionated -- or all three. But please make sense. The closer you are to English and half-way decent punctuation in your comments/FanPosts, the more seriously your contribution will be taken.
Disagreement is good; antagonism is a waste of everyone's precious Internet time. (In other words, don't say something to another commenter that you wouldn't say to their face.)
If you heed that, we're good.
Don't tell the SB Nation hosts, but my goal for Lighthouse Hockey is not traffic.
Long-time readers would probably agree that LHH has never sought to build this site through cheap traffic-boosting gimmicks. Hence no boob shots (sadly), no misleading headlines, no proliferation of "10 Secrets that will Win Your Fantasy League" type of posts -- hopefully not too many posts you felt just wasted your time for a cheap click.
The reasoning is purely selfish: We wanted to build a community of readers and contributors that we liked to virtually hang around with. People who are fond of a certain kind of tone, a certain kind of cordial dialogue about hockey, a willingness to test each other's opinions respectfully, with a tolerance for bizarre humor a must.
In a word, we wanted this place to build organically: slowly and naturally. To that end it's been a success. People have always acted according to their judgment, which is ideal.
But with each new Islanders development or new season comes a surge of new members and traffic, so we must set some basic Community Standards that new members can look to and all of us can follow:
New members are welcome to comment as soon as you sign up and are able. HOWEVER: If you're new and your first post/comment is just a rant or criticism of another commenter, maybe take a step back and get the lay of the land first. A first impression like that might turn others off, since they don't know you and if you're not communicating clearly and precisely, that might make them not want to bother. There are no cliques here, but some people know each other better than others, so they can get away with harsher jabs and satire with each other that might appear to test these guidelines, because their rapport here is established and they know no harm is intended.
The golden rule here is: Don't say anything to another commenter here that you wouldn't say to Trevor Gillies' face. While this rule is intended to keep a civil tone here, it actually has a much higher purpose: The less often people attack each other or drag the conversation down into petty flaming, the better the discussion remains, and the more likely intelligent people are to comment here and stay. So debate opinions all you want, but don't engage in personal attacks on community members, directly or through sarcasm/belittling, e.g., "You're an idiot," "You're just clueless and exactly like the fools who think X." "You know nothing about hockey," etc. Criticize opinions, not people. Use evidence.
The "community brotherhood/we're all a lovable dysfunctional family" caveat: One of the nice things about this community is people start to know each other and, in turn, can give each other the business like old buddies busting each other up at the bar. If you see an exchange that makes you uncomfortable, it might be one of those. Don't mimic it unless, again, you have an existing rapport with your counterpart. If you have concerns, let the moderators know.
My instinct is to say no topic is off limits, but I know that is Bad Idea Jeans. You just can't keep the reins on an Internet forum that way. Consequently, it's better if we all avoid the following (with rare exceptions at moderators' discretion, or in truly genius works of parody):
Harassing/Baiting of users, e.g., "The Islanders suck and will never get better" posted 10 times in 3 minutes, etc.
Intolerance/Discrimination: Comments that are intolerant or prejudiced (sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.) in nature are not tolerated and simply not welcome here. We can all quip about our heritage (I will sometimes rib my Czech family, for example), but you should know the difference between that and hate speech. Cultural differences are fun; blanket aggressive statements directed at a gender/race/sexuality are tacky.
Politics: Just don't go there, unless it's an obvious comedic theme that illustrates your point/metaphor/satire. (e.g. Don't care who you support, saying "Bettman to Campbell: 'Heckuva job, Collie'" is funny and harmless, and not really about politics anyway. Likewise "McSorley to Bullard: 'I didn't impale.'")
Personal Attacks on Members: Enough said.
Far, far more effective in select doses. An accessory, not a meat. I'm not censorship-inclined, and I respect that adults use profanity (I'll sometimes use it here, albeit rarely) -- but I also understand that some people have no place for it. In communication, we need a happy medium. So NEVER use profanity in FanPost/FanShot headlines. DON'T put it in the subject line of comments. Please don't use it above the story jump in your FanPosts (if you need to use it that soon, you might need to step back and take a breath).
If you ever feel the need to use it -- it can happen particularly in game threads when emotions run high -- just don't go crazy with a profanity-laced tirade. We're not the censoring type, but we reserve the right to delete comments that are nothing but sailor-worthy cussing tirades.
If you can't go three comments without F-bombing the world, you'll be warned and then dealt with in a decreasingly patient manner.
Understand that when there's profanity in your comment or post, you are asking for much more scrutiny from moderators.
Obviously don't pick a foul/profane username, since your username appears as a byline everywhere you participate.
Also: Stick to one user name. If you desire to change your name, just let me know. I can have SBN mods change your username pretty quickly. Your name here is attached to your profile interests (if you provided them) and more importantly your comment history. That helps others know you and understand what you're about. It improves communication. (e.g. "Oh, he's a Mets fan stung by tonight's loss; I'll cut him some slack.") If you create multiple usernames for the purpose of trolling or deception, the Danish Backhand of Judgment will rule swiftly on your fate. Don't do it.
If you want to advertise on the site, contact me (Dominik) and I might actually make enough to pay a bar tab off this place. Otherwise, anything created for the sole purpose of advertising commercial services will be deleted and likely result in your banning.
Complaints about possible violations of the Community Guidelines should be directed to Dominik or another mod for review and consideration. Most of the mods' email addresses are accessible at the bottom of every page.
Lighthouse Hockey will aim to balance a high tolerance for the importance of free speech (and humor!) with low tolerance for minor or petty complaints. Here is the general procedure; there may be exceptions to this, at my sole discretion:
Finally, please realize the purpose of these guidelines is to maintain a fun, witty, smart environment at Lighthouse Hockey with a tolerance for the bizarre and wacky to lighten the mood. This is just sports. It's for amusement. Respect these goals and your fellow members, and all will be fine.
Now that you've made it through all of that, you can check out the FanPost/FanShot tutorial when you're ready to add your own posts to the discussion.