I already feel like a tool for this, but I've been putting it off long enough. With all of the changes and increase in traffic and membership at the blog, it's high time to lay out, concretely, some of the unwritten norms and now a newly written rule or two at TCB.
The new membership agreement when you register for the blog now reads:
The Crawfish Boxes is a community for Astros fans to interact and share in our collective joys and pains. It is a community that prizes thoughtful analysis, a good Cubs or Cardinals jibe, and respect for others thoughts and views. Here are the basics:
1) Before you hit post, think to yourself: would I say this around the water cooler at work? If you can't answer that question in the affirmative, think of a better way to express want you want to express (i.e. drop the excessive expletives and name calling) and then click post.
a) WRITING YOUR OPINION IN CAPS generally negatively correlates to the strength of the argument.
b) 1a does not apply to shouting during game threads for celebratory purposes or lamenting mindblowing-ly frustrating Astros baseball moments...like our penchant for not getting the guy on third with one or no outs home.
2) Our comments section allow for unlimited character usage, therefore text-speak is unnecessary—it just gets hard to read after while. Also, the more you respect the conventions of grammar, the more we'll be able to engage with and respect your opinion.
a) Please point out the Front Page authors typos and grammatical errors—we need the feed back. Please avoid making the comments sections a grammar lesson: if it's egregious and repetitive, point it out; if not, let it go.
b)BTW, LOL, and the well known abbreviations are fine, but: cuz, 4, 2, etc. are just grating.
3) Have an opinion, disagree with others opinions, but be civil in both endeavors. There's nothing wrong with being wrong, and in most instances wrong is a subjectivity issue; just have a dialogue about viewpoints on the blog.
4) Game Threads are a time to let our passions run wild and live in the moment of the game, every so often a four letter word might be the appropriate means of expressing how we feel, but excessive swearing is unnecessary. We're not puritanical, just aware that the comments in Game Threads will appear on Yahoo! now, so please be respectful of the prurient interests of those outside our community.
5) Racial slurs, jibes at sexual orientation, and any other comment that would be construed as "hate based" will not be accepted...EVER.
6) A Fan Post is 75+ words that form a cogent thought. Also, try and use descriptive titles for your fan post, it increases the likelihood that others will click the link and read your work.
7) Our comments are threaded. This means you can and should reply directly to the comment of someone by clicking "reply" if you want to respond to something they said. This way we can easily follow the logical progression of the conversation and better engage each other. It takes a time or two to pick up on, so no worries if you forget the first few times (I know I did).
In the interest of giving credit where credit is due, I severely ripped off BCB's and LL's for some of this. I know that number four is kind of a buzz kill, but c'est la vie.