Welcome to TheForce.Net’s Jedi Council Forums! Here in these forum, you’ll find a wealth of knowledge regarding a whole spectrum of things, all of the Star Wars films, anything and everything in the Star Wars world, and even some things that aren’t. You'll find a host of characters and other members to share your discussions with. If you’re new here, or to online forums in general, give yourself a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of these forums. I’ve taken some time to paraphrase some of the more useful posts regarding how to find your way around here at first. So give them a glance, and take them to heart and you’ll have nothing to worry about, and you’ll be enjoying the forums like an old pro in no time! I know it’s long, but it’s worth it, trust me! So you wanna be a valued member? What does it take to become a key player here in the Jedi Council forums? How do you avoid being called a Newbie? How do you get people to listen to your ideas? What do you do if you’ve got questions or problems? Well, you’re on the right track if you’re reading this thread. It shows that you’ve got the desire to be a good member, and that’s the essential part of being a valuable member of this community we’ve got going here. I’m going to outline some common questions, and my version of the answers here. But for answers to the following questions, check out Communications FAQ v5.5, and Other Useful Information. Those questions are delved into there. Why am I having problems logging in and staying logged in to the boards? What features are available only to registered users? What does each display setting actually do? What do the star icons next to the user name stand for? What happens if I "Subscribe" to a topic? What is a "locked" topic? How come some user names are highlighted or in different colors? Can I change my colors? What happens when I select YES for "post notification" when adding a new user to my watched user list? But you’re here for more specific questions, aren’t you? Well, here they are, from the eyes of an admin (and be aware that I’m only *one* of the admins here, so some things vary from admin to admin), and from other contributing members (credits will be listed at the bottom)…. As a new member, what should I do first? Excellent question! The first thing you should do is: wait! That’s right, it’s a little anti-climactic, sure, but it’s well-worth it, trust me. I know you’ve got all sorts of great ideas that you want to share with the other members of this forum, but you need to give yourself some time to familiarize yourself with the forums, and how things work. Observe for a day or so, if you can. You’ll avoid a hard time if you do this, as you’ll be less likely to make a ‘rookie mistake’. Try responding to other threads before you start one of your own. Are there rules of etiquette? Yes! Please take the following into consideration:1. The better you write, the more serious people will take you. Never underestimate the power of proper spelling and grammar.2. Most people are targeting you personally, but if they are doing so in an inappropriate manner, alert a moderator to the comments in question. Under no circumstances should you retaliate. "Flaming" is not acceptable under any circumstances, even if you are defending yourself. The #1 rule of these boards is "discuss the films, not the fans."3. If you are posting stuff just to be mean, DON'T. We are all Star Wars fans here and we like to talk about really obscure stuff, such as how much a vial of glitterstim costs. It's important to us. You are allowed to post in the PT forum if you hate the PT, but it's frowned upon to be totally negative all of the time.4. Be constructive. If you get into a debate with another user with a differing viewpoint, it's far more fun to discuss things in a constructive matter. Just because another user doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean their opinion isn't just as valid as yours. Try and win each others respect instead of making each other angry.5. Most of all, be civil and try to have fun! I’ve got a great idea for a thread, can I post it? That’s what this place is for, to be sure, but you’ll want to take a look around the first 5 pages of topics (Make sure you’re set up to see 25 topics per page! See the FAQ!) before you actually slap your thoughts down. There is also a Search Function (which may or may not be working) where you can search for keywords on a specific board. It can be very useful. You see, if you post a topic that’s already being discussed, or has been discussed recently (last 4-5 pages), that thread is what we call "redundant", and that’s a ‘rookie mistake’. Your thread will probably be bombarded with posts declaring its redundancy, and you’re going to have a hard time getting discussion going. Not to mention, whoever started the other thread on the subject won’t appreciate the fact that you didn’t take the time to check out their thread. I’ve checked the last 5 pages or so, and I don’t see my topic. Can I post it? Absolutely! We’re dying to hear your new thoughts! If it’s not on the first 5 pages or doesn't come up in a search, it’s fair game, even if it’s been discussed a while ago. We’re always looking for a new perspective! Now, remember to give your thread a good, informative title. But remember, sometimes moderators lock topics, if it happens to you, look at why they locked it and learn from the mistake. It happens to lots of people! If you're really confused, feel free to send the mod a PM. I’m curious about a specific topic regarding Star Wars. I don’t necessarily want to start my own thread. Is there an easier way to find a thread on it than just sifting through page after page? You bet there is! Most of the larger forums here have their own "Index" threads, which include links to the more heavily discussed concepts and ideas. For example, see the Classic Trilogy Forum Rules and Index. I started a thread earlier, but now it's gone! What happened to it? A few things could have happened. First, have you checked on page 2, 3, 4, etc.? Second, perhaps your thread was deleted for one reason or another. Your best bet is to send a Private Message to one of the moderators of the forum you posted the thread in. What is a "troll"? Another great question. A "troll" is what we here at the Jedi Council (JC) call a troublesome member who is antagonizing other members, or generally causing trouble to get attention. A person is said to be "trolling" if he/she starts a thread with the obvious intent of riling up the other members, and to ‘get a rise out of them’. This is a big no-no, and will get you a warning, or a ban. What is "spamming"? The act of filling the forums with unnecessary or irrelevant posts is considered "spamming". Also considered spamming: advertising excessively or exclusively for other websites, posting several times in a row instead of editing a first post, continually upping your own threads, and upping old threads for no reason. Pretty much posting unnecessarily for any reason can be considered spamming and will get you a warning, and after that: banned. What is "flaming" and "baiting"? Insulting any other JC member, or antagonizing another member can be considered "flaming". This is absolutely unacceptable behavior, and will result in a stern warning, and if it is repeated, a banning. Here’s the important thing to remember: We’re here to discuss ideas and theories, not each other. If you’re attacking an argument, that’s OK. If you’re attacking a person, that’s not. "Baiting" is not quite flaming, but it's posting in a manner that eggs other people on to flame you, or with the sole purpose of annoying or angering others into retaliation. It is dealt with in a similiar way to flaming. What words are considered profanity? We have a thread with just such a list: Official Profanity and Disallowed Word List Is it OK if I use edited profanity? Like replacing a vowel or two with an asterisk? The only thing we allow is to completely * out profanity, but we don't encourage users to post any profanity at all. Is discussion of drugs allowed in this forum, like, say, in a social thread? Nope. This is a family friendly forum, and we want to keep it that way. Despite what international laws may apply wherever you are, this site is hosted in the United States, and I'm afraid any discussion of narcotics or anything of that sort is strictly prohibited. If you want to talk about them, there are numerous other message boards around the internet where you can discuss this. What's involved in banning? What's the story there? Can people come BACK from bannings? What do I do if I get banned? I need more info! Here's the basic scoop on banning. If a member somehow manages to get him/herself banned (ordinarily this will happen after a previous warning for bannable behavior), there are a few different 'sentences' carried out, at the discretion of the admin who bans the member. There are bans affectionately known as "spanks", or "temp bans", which are temporary bans. The ban is for a set period of time, be it 24 hours, 48 hours, or any number of days/hours. Once the set period of time has passed, the member will be unbanned, and is free to rejoin the posting community. However, once you have been banned, you lose your "free warning"... if you commit a bannable offense after having already been banned once, you will be banned immediately (the severity of the ban is again up to the admin).Please see more detailed information in What to do if you are banned. What do I do if I have a problem (i.e. being flamed by another member)? Contact an admin immediately. You can reach all of the admins at once at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can Private Message any moderator with your concern. Who *are* the admins and moderators? Moderators are the members you see who have colored names. For a list of the current mods, see The TFN Jedi Council Staff Architecture. The Administrators are the end of the line when it comes to managing the forums. They assist the moderators with their duties and also help with user and moderator complaints, the details of which can be found inThe Moderator Complaint Resolution Process. How do I get those pretty colors for my name? Colors are only available for VIP's and Administrators of these forums. VIP positions are reserved for TheForce.Net (TF.N) staff, and actual Star Wars novel authors.Admin positions are filled on a rare occasion, when more administration is deemed necessary by the current group of admins. The process of choosing the new admin(s) is a long one, and involves primarily a discussion of candidates (suggest by the current admins), and pro's and con's of each. Then it is voted on by all the moderators.Of course, this probably begs the question of how one becomes a candidate... That's the gray area... there really is no set of criteria, but you must be a respected member, you must demonstrate that you are a mature, level-headed member, and that you have an excellent knowledge of the rules. It is also important to have a clear love of the forums, and a desire to make this place the best it can be.Asking to become an admin is pretty much looked down upon, and nominating others in no way improves their 'chances', really. Generally speaking, the admins know who would make a good admin and who wouldn't. Nominations really aren't necessary... I’ve got an idea that I think would make this place better. What do I do? You can post your suggestions/comments/problems in the Communications forum. I want to talk about something other than Star Wars… where can I do that? You can discuss anything you like (within reason) at our JC Community Forums, "YJCC", "Amphitheater", "Senate", "Census", "SciFi/Fantasy" and "Arena". Thanks to Vertical, Maulbert, Shar Kida, IronParrot, Octavya, Mr. P and various others who have contributed to the material contained within this thread. Happy Posting!