Threadiquette for the Next Generation

USA TODAY Sports

Because we are all members of the same, sick club...we are all Sacramento Kings fans.

It has once again become time for our article about site decorum. We last did this back in December 2011, but due to an influx of new membership, we felt that it would be a good idea to post it again. This is to remind everyone of some basic rules for contributing and participating here at Sactown Royalty, and we try to give some helpful hints on how to avoid the mistakes that could lead to the revoking of your StR membership.

For the most part, we try to grant each member some space. For example, we are much more lax than Blazers Edge, whom we at StR consider a five-star site. However, we are always cognizant that we do not want the conversation on this site to devolve into what you see at some (not all) other national or local blog sites.

The fine line for us is to allow the intelligence and the passion and the humor and the free-form thought that has helped shape StR. The results are usually very stimulating. But in doing that, lines are occasionally crossed and threads can dissolve into name calling matches, and we sure would like to see us clean that up a little.

We have often said that the strength of StR is that the threads often provide greater reading than the original posts. As "gifted" as the "staff" is here at Sactown Royalty, it is the members that actively participate in the threads that help make this site truly great. The threads are at times poetic, inspirational and epic. The power of the thread drives StR, and the thread must be respected and protected. The nice thing is, it really comes down to just cleaning up a couple of things -

Ixnay on the name calling - You want to call someone out or insult someone? Take it to another site. Disagree with someone's opinion all the live-long day, but don't insult the individual. I used to umpire, and I used to tell the players that they could say that I made a horsesh*t call, but they better not say that I was horsesh*t. Same thing applies here. In other words, it is OK hate the play, but don't hate the player. This includes attacks on nameless or faceless individuals. Leave the "in spite of what others would tell you" bull-plop at the door, as it is a flame war just waiting to happen. If you have a point to make, make it, but do so without discrediting others. Let the conversation take its natural course. This does not mean that you cannot respond directly to a thread post. To be clear, you may disagree with someone, vehemently so if you are impassioned. But leave the personal rancor out of it. You are disagreeing with the viewpoint, not the individual.

And be careful with the racial stuff. It's always a fine line and we don't want to rule with a heavy hand. But if you think that there is a chance that someone might be insulted by the racial/religious/gender/sexual preference overtone of your comment, you might want to reconsider posting it. And if you see something that you deem inappropriate, flag it as such.

Substance counts - Forgive us for being elitist here, but if your comments have substance, they are going to get treated with more respect. For example, you may not get everyone to agree with you if you suggest that Isaiah Thomas come off the bench, but if you provide reasons for your opinion it will be met with greater respect and response. If you merely state that Thomas should be benched because he is short, well, you are entitled to your opinion. But don't be surprised if the overwhelming backlash is that your opinion is bull-plop. If "Isaiah Thomas is short" is all you have to say, you're going to be better off taking it to another site.

Trolling - Trolls aren't just newbies looking to come in and hit and run. They can be folks that have been around that just wait to rile everyone up. This would be the person that posts nothing when Jimmer Fredette has a nice playing stretch, but is first to post as soon as Fredette turns the ball over (This would also apply to the person that posts every time that Fredette makes a mistake but never acknowledges when he does something well). Again, you're entitled to your opinion. But if that is going to be the only opinion that you share, you're going to be labeled a troll. Oh, and accusing others of "group think" when you can't get anyone to agree with you is weak. Take that to another site.

Regarding the spammers - flag, flag, flag! Please flag these as spam as you find them. As the site continues to grow, it becomes increasingly challenging to review all of the comments. Mark these comments as spam and it will make it easier for us to keep the site clean and clear of spam (Note - since we have gone to a 24 hour "waiting" period for new members, the site has been able to clean up 99% of the spam before it ever hits the pages). And please do not re-post the same comment of your own in multiple threads (for example, posting the exact same trade idea in three active threads at the same time). Post it once in its most appropriate spot and allow for the conversation to find it.

There are no "Hello Kitty" backpacks at StR - Seriously, the veterans here need to lighten up a little on the newer posters. Give them an opportunity to come in and establish their voice. Like Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum, they are going to make mistakes. But they are also going to make this site better. Give them a break, and give them a chance. New members, on the other hand, need to remember that if they come in with no respect for fellow StR members, they are going to receive same...and then some...in return. This site is a marathon, not a sprint. Ease your way in and establish your voice. You're joining a running conversation that has been going on for several years now. Relax, have fun and enjoy the give and take.

Language - We've had conversations before about the level of profanity here, and while we would like to see less of it, it's not really a place where we are drawing a line at this time. All that we ask is that you consider saving the really good words for when you really need them. For example, swearing because the Kings turn the ball over once = not so appropriate. Swearing because the Kings turned the ball over for the 7th time in the first 5 minutes = more appropriate. Swearing because you don't know who Jason Thompson is on draft day is wholly appropriate (and hilarious!).

Structure - We aren't looking for English literature majors here, but we do prefer basic sentence structure as opposed to text-style commenting. Elitist or not, your comments are going to be taken more seriously if they contain basic punctuation, spelling and grammar. You won't get banned for poor grammar, but your comments are more likely to be disregarded. And 1 - if you have a trade idea, find the trade thread (seasonal).

No Political Statements - Flatly, the members of this site have proven that we are unable to have a civilized discussion that revolves around politics. Additionally, we have discovered that any political statements, be they obvious or veiled, usually leads to a flame war. The good news? This is not a political website. Hence, let's not discuss politics, and let's refrain from making political statements, up to and including politically charged avatars. And this is really becoming a zero tolerance item. A few months ago I posted a FanShot of Bin Laden watching Jimmer Fredette on TV. I assure you that there was no political or religious motive to this - I was just attempting to show the global reach of "Jimermania." But a couple of members viewed this as offensive. In the end, the cheap laughs were not worth the headaches and hurt feelings.

Site Moderation - Leave the site moderation to the site moderators. Do not take StR law into your own hands. Use the flag feature if a comment is offensive to you, and drop me an email if something is really bothering you. Flag someone that you think might be a troll, but do not call them a troll. Leave it to the site moderators. If someone is spamming, flag it and leave it for the site moderators. As the site becomes busier and busier, flagging offensive or comments becomes critical, so thanks in advance for your assistance. That said, as site moderators we do our best but we are not perfect. If you have something to offer as it pertains to site moderation, email us - let's not waste thread space on site moderation conversation. Oh, and a note on deleted comments. Whenever the site deletes a comment, any responses to that comment are automatically deleted as well. If your comment was removed for violation of site guidelines, you will receive a warning (or ban depending on the severity of the violation) "off line." If you have any questions about a deleted comment, drop us an email.

On the other hand, be sure to click the "recommend" button when you see a post or a comment that you really like. Enough "recs" turns the comment green or moves the FanPost/FanShot to the top of its respective column, making the best stuff easier for your fellow members to locate.

Wrapping Up - Be passionate, be learned, be funny, be firm yet flexible in your opinions, but be nice. You're all afflicted with the same disease - you're all Kings fans. Abide by the above or take it elsewhere. We've always said that StR may not be for everyone. There are those that might be happier with the looser environment that can be found at other sites. No hard feelings if you feel that the above rules are too restrictive for you.

Thanks for making this such a great site, everyone. Your participation, input, and passion are greatly appreciated.

*

And a word about the Timeout Tapper

One of the issues that we have faced along the path of site moderation is how to handle a member that is mucking up an otherwise fine thread through general douchebaggery, being a general nuisance but perhaps not to the point where Sactown Royalty would want to completely revoke the membership. Additionally, the site was not prepared for how polarizing any given topic could be, and how lovers/haters on both sides of an issue would line up to blast home their point, common sense and reason be damned.

So the R & D department at Sactown Royalty got together some time back with two goals. The first (which is still unresolved) is to create a small forward that could actually help the Kings win games. The second was to create a tool with which we could better manage within the threads, especially the game threads. With that, StR R&D proudly presents the Timeout Tapper. Here are the basic changes that you will see as it pertains to site moderation:

  • Site Moderators Increased: There are now more mods patrolling the site to compensate for the increased traffic.
  • A Crackdown on Douchebaggery, Douchenozzly, Douchefoonery, and General Maloofery:This one's pretty simple - don't be a douche.
  • Content Counts:Yes, if you are going to come into a thread and bang away on one note, you are likely to get a timeout. A little swearing never hurt anyone, but if you are going to come in and drop expletive after expletive after expletive, you're going to get a timeout. If you come on line with the sole purpose of sticking your finger in another member's cage, you're probably going to get a timeout.
  • Breathe:It's easy to get caught up in this team when it is playing badly, and they sure give us plenty of those opportunities. Take a breath, keep everything in perspective, and don't take it out on your fellow members - they're sick puppies, just like you.
  • Timeouts:Timeouts could last a day, a weekend, a couple of weeks, or a month, depending on the severity and whether or not we are dealing with a repeat offender. The idea here is that if someone is disrupting a thread, they get an immediate timeout, thus purging the thread of the nuisance. The member can give it another try after their timeout expires.

The site moderators have implemented some changes in their approach as well. Way back when, a site mod would advise a member when they were in violation in the hope that they would dial it back, but many times this has led to site moderation conversations within the threads, which in turn takes away from actual topic conversation that is taking place. Currently, site mods do not attempt to warn violators on line - violators will either receive a warning off line or a timeout (or a ban...the ban hammer does still live). But the mods still need your help: Please, please flag inappropriate comments as you come across them. As difficult as it is not to respond to them, please remember that any response is likely to derail the thread and validate the poster at the same time. Just flag it, and a site mod will eventually come across it and deal with it accordingly. And please feel free to email TZ, Akis or me if you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding site moderation.

The Timeout Tapper, another proud achievement of StR R&D. Now if you all will behave yourselves, we can get back to crafting that small forward for you.

Thanks always for your continued participation at Sactown Royalty, the best member-driven Sacramento Kings site on the planet.

*

(No open thread on this - if you have any questions or comments, please email Tom, Akis or me directly. Thanks again.)

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