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Moderator: Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed

Forums Policies and Help

Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:09 am

General Forums Help can be found in the FAQ, linked in the navigation strip at the top of the page. This post contains additional policies and amplifications of policies which members agree to when they sign on as members. General PEP Site Policies are available to visitors and incorporated by reference in this document.

Spam

Spam is commercial e-mail sent unsolicited, usually either anonymously or with false Reply to fields, to large numbers of individuals. Spam is absolutely NOT acceptable on the Piano Education Page Message Board or any other part of the Piano Education Page, in any form. Use of this Board's registration forms, postings, PM, e-mail or signatures to transmit spam is a VIOLATION of Board policy and U.S. law. Since all registrations and posts by non-Members require pre-approval, spam sent to the Board is never seen by anyone, including the Board Administrator.

The Board records the sending IP for all spam. The IP is then traced back to the server sending it and reported to the server owner. Repeated sending of spam from a given server may result in that server and all others of the owner of that server being banned from the entire site permanently. The owner of the site reserves the right to ban any server sending spam through the Board at any time. Anyone using the Board for the purposes of spamming may have their access privileges revoked at the sole discretion of the Board Administrator.

Piano Education Page Forums Policies

The Piano Education Page Forums are intended as a place for those interested in the piano to exchange ideas and learn from others. Although registration with a valid e-mail address is required to use the Board, information stored on the Board is not used by us for purposes other than the legitimate ones of the operation of the Board. When a new user registers, he or she must agree to the terms of use of the Board, presented at the time of registration, as well as this policy statement. All posts to the Board become the property of The Piano Education Page copyright holder.

By their very nature, posts to a message board become public information. The user assumes all risks for the use of the Board and the posting of any kind of personal information there. Posts must be in keeping with good taste and must not contain inappropriate language, libelous statements or personal attacks. Any post found to be not in keeping with these rules may be removed at any time without recourse for the poster. We do not warrant the accuracy of information or statements posted on the Board. We do not assume responsibility for the statements on the Message Board of those individuals not affiliated with The Piano Education Page.

Upon registration, the Board automatically sends the newly registered individual an e-mail to which the recipient MUST reply to activate membership. This verifies the e-mail address given at registration. This message is NOT spam and is normally sent within minutes of registration. Please make sure that your e-mail filters, if any, do not automatically sort this e-mail into your Trash bin or otherwise delete it. If you do not reply to the Board's e-mail within two weeks, your registration will be deleted and you will have to re-register.

Please respect fellow members. Respectful discussion and disagreement is encouraged, but "flaming" is inappropriate on this Board. Personal attacks or other kinds of ad hominem remarks will not be tolerated. Posting such items will result in removal of the item and/or suspension of all board privileges. Profanity is not allowed in posts or replies.

Any attempt to interfere with the operation of the board will result in suspension of access privileges. The Board software automatically records the IP address, poster Board name, time of posting and other relevant information regarding posts and e-mails sent through the Board. This information is used only for legitimate purposes of operation of the Board (identifying originators of spam submitted to the Board, mostly). It is not given to others or used for any other purpose.

Overtly commercial postings are not allowed. Any such postings will be removed. "Commercial postings" are defined as those in which extensive descriptions of products or services, links to product web sites, pricing information, etc. make up the majority of the content of the posting, with little or no other information. Products may be mentioned in posts and brief information about products may be provided, so long as the primary function of the posting is not commercial in nature. The Board administrator(s) may delete postings adjudged by him to violate this policy at his sole discretion. Members may not use the Board e-mail and personal messenger functions for commercial purposes or any other purpose expressly banned elsewhere in this policy.

Signatures used on the Board and the Interests section of a Member's Personal Profile may not display business or sales-related information and may not display links to commercial sites or other advertising or sales-related material. Registrations bearing such prohibited information may be deleted and any Member who adds such information after registration may have their membership terminated without notification or recourse.

Copyrighted material may not be posted on the Board unless the poster is the owner of the copyright and specifically identifies the material as his own copyrighted work.

The Board Acceptable Uses Policy is available to all visitors through Board Help. It expands on certain aspects of Board policy. Its provisions are incorporated in this policy by reference. All members must agree to the provisions of the Acceptable Uses Policy to use the Board.

At the sole discretion of the Board Administrator(s), membership privileges may be revoked for violations of this policy.

Reprinting from the PEP Message Board

All posts on the Message Board are subject to the registered copyright on The Piano Education Page. However, posts or whole threads may be reprinted royalty-free for educational purposes, subject to certain restrictions. For more information on reprinting from the Message Board and other parts of The Piano Education Page, please see Reprinting from The Piano Education Page, accessible from the About link in the PEP Program in the upper left corner of every page on the site.

Member Pruning

Approximately quarterly, the Member database is examined and those who have neither posted nor visited for an extended period of time (6 or 12 mos., usually) are selected for "pruning" from the database. All those selected are sent an e-mail telling them that they will be pruned in a few days. That e-mail contains a link that the Member can simply click on to maintain membership. If the Member does not click on that link, he or she will be automatically removed from the databases. Anyone so removed must re-register to become a Member again. Pruning of the databases is done to keep the Forums running at maximum speed for those people who actually use them.

Report a Problem

You can report a problem with the Forums or any other part of The Piano Education Page by [url=mailto:pepeditor@pianoeducation.org]e-mail to the Editor[/url] or by using our site Feedback page. In either case, be as specific as you can about the nature of the problem, as this will help us solve your problem as quickly as possible.

Acceptable uses policy

The Piano Education Page Forums Policies are shown to every registrant at registration. The registrant must agree to these policies to use the Board. Users of the Board may read the Board policies from Board Help at any time. These policies cover what kinds of things may be placed in posts and what kinds of topics and comments are not allowed.

One area of policy that is covered in the Board policies, but expanded upon here is use of the various functions of the Board (posts, signatures, Personal Messenger (PM)) for advertising or other primarily commercial purposes. This Help topic covers those matters in more detail. The content of this Help entry is considered a part of Board Policy.

Posts

One of the critical elements of the Board policy documents is that posts may not be commercial in nature and are subject to removal if they contain commercial information.

Below is a set of guidelines for acceptable and unacceptable content in posts, as it relates to commercial content.

Acceptable:

Products and services may be mentioned to help illustrate a non-commercial point or identify the product or service to request help of some sort. Estimated prices may be mentioned, if relevant to a non-commercial discussion, and sources may also be mentioned, so long as such mentions don't include explicit commercial information (testimonials, detailed product descriptions, etc).

It is also acceptable to mention that you offer a product or service, if that mention is relevant to an ongoing discussion.

Web site URL's that link to educational or informational, not commercial, pages.

Unacceptable:

Detailed product descriptions
Pricing and source information
Commercial web site URL's (Members MAY include such a URL in their personal profile. Access to that URL will then be provided via the "world" icon below that member's posts)
Testimonials about the virtues of a product
Offerings of services beyond a mere mention of such an offering

Acceptability of posts will be judged at the discretion of the Board Administrator. Generally speaking, Members will be given slightly more latitude than Guests in postings, but the same rules apply. Unacceptable posts will either be deleted, if the commercial content constitutes the majority of the post, or edited to remove commercial content, if the post has value beyond the commercial aspects.

PM and E-mail Messages

Just as users may not post overtly commercial material on the Board, per the Board policy which is shown every member at registration, they may not use e-mail or personal messenger functions of the Board to contact members for commercial purposes (i.e. to advertise or sell materials). Members may contact another Member using PM or Board E-mail with information on a commercial topic, if that information has been requested. The use of PM or Board E-mail to send multiple members of the Board unsolicited commercial e-mail or messages is strictly prohibited. Members who violate this policy will have their privileges to use the Board terminated at the sole discretion of the Board Administrator. Spam is one of the scourges of the Internet and this Board will not be allowed to become a source of it.

Although the main function of the Board is public communication, Board PM's and e-mail are inherently private. Contents of PM's and e-mails sent through the Board may not be publicly revealed on the Board or anywhere else unless both the sender and recipient agree in writing to revealing them. Members who violate this privacy are subject to immediate suspension from Board membership and permanent banning from the Board. The Forums software keeps an e-mail log as part of it logging system, which records the text of PM's sent via the Board. This may be examined by the Forums Administrator in the event of spamming or other behavior suspected to be in violation of these policies.

Signatures

Every registered member of the Board may use a "signature," i.e. a snippet of text which is appended to the end of every post made by that member. You can enable your own signature, if you haven't already done so at registration, by going to your User Control Panel and choosing Edit Personal Profile, then inserting whatever text you want to use on the "Signature" line. Members often use quotations as signatures, but the signature can be pretty much any non-commercial statement that the member wants to help flesh out an online "identity."

There are a few types of signatures that are not acceptable: Web site URL's (these CAN be put into your profile on the Web site line), commercial advertising ("Eat at Joe's"), event announcements, and any other statement that would violate Board rules for posts, e-mails, or PM messages. Any signatures that violate Board policies will be removed by the Board Administrator.

The intent of the Board is to provide a place where piano aficionados can talk together in a commercial-free zone. The Board will not be allowed to become simply a medium for free advertising by the less scrupulous members of the piano community.

Etiquette

Because Board postings, like e-mail, don't convey facial expressions or "body language" that help us interpret normal conversation, there are some rules of good online etiquette for posting to the Board. Following them will make your visits and those of others more pleasant and productive.

If you intend a statement as a joke, it's a good idea to use emoticons that you can insert when you write the post to help convey your intention. If you are angry and feel you must respond, write your post in measured language and use an emoticon to indicate your state of mind on the matter. It is perfectly fine and, even, encouraged to disagree with another poster, if the disagreement is substantive, but that disagreement should be expressed with calm and respect for others' feelings and opinions.

It's always bad form to attack others on this or any other Board. It's equally bad to involve yourself in a "flame" contest with someone who may have, intentionally or unintentionally, offended you. If you have a concern, either raise it calmly in a post or, preferably, send an instant message through the Board to the person who has offended you. Often, you'll find that the person didn't really mean a post the way it sounded. Note that simple disagreement with a poster, presented factually and constructively, is not flaming. Disagreement is healthy, natural and encouraged here, so long as it is presented within the bounds of good taste and good faith.

If you have a dispute with a post, dispute it with the poster, publicly, if at all possible, privately, if you feel it necessary to do so. Don't involve other people on the Board, since they usually don't have all the relevant facts and, in any case, are unlikely to be able to help much in dealing with the dispute. It is absolutely bad form to dispute a public post in private PM's or e-mails that don't involve the member who made the post you are disputing. This is little more than the most disreputable form of back-stabbing and will not be tolerated on this Board. Members engaging in this kind of behavior will be warned. If such behavior continues after the warning, they will be permanently banned from accessing the Board.

If you wish to criticize a particular part of a post or a whole post, be sure to use the Quote feature shown with the post. This will assure that the post is properly quoted and that people know to what your comment or criticism refers. Given the ready availability and simplicity of the Quote feature, there is simply no excuse for misquoting another post. Misquoting a post and then using the misquote as a basis for a criticism is, at best, inconsiderate and, at worst, dishonest. Repeated cases of such post abuse by a Member of the Board can be cause for banning of that Member from the Board.

If a person has a title (Dr., Mr., Ms.), it's a good idea to use it if you refer to that person in a post. Presumably, they earned that title and should be accorded the respect due them, just as all posters should be respected. If the person signs a post in some other way, it's acceptable to refer to them in a response in the way they signed the post.

Don't SCREAM in posts. It's usually considered bad form and is rarely needed. If you want to emphasize a point, use bold or italic formatting, instead.

Keep in mind that The Piano Education Page is a completely free, non-profit site. Those who contribute articles to it and those who maintain it are unpaid volunteers who donate their time and expertise to help others. It is helpful to express your desires for changes/improvements in the site or on the Board; it is counterproductive merely to complain. Worse yet, it is often insulting to question the motivations of those who volunteer their time to run PEP. If you want to help get across a different viewpoint, get involved yourself! You and your opinions will be welcomed.

Privacy

By its very nature, a message board system is intended to be a PUBLIC medium for exchanging views, opinions and information. Postings can be seen by all members of the Board, and, in a few forums, even by unregistered Guests. Members can also view the Member List and the information you put in your personal Profile. We strongly advise all members not to put private personal or financial information in their posts and personal profiles.

The Board does provide a couple of means for private, non-public communication. First, its Personal Messenger function allows you to send a private message to another Member or Members. The Personal Messenger function is subject to the same limitations on content that govern posts. Second, you can also send a private e-mail to other Member(s). This is a little different than sending e-mail directly, in that the Board software handles the whole transaction. It knows the e-mail address of the addressee and sends the e-mail. Thus, as a sender, you don't see the e-mail address of the addressee. The difference between Board e-mail and Personal Messenger communications is that the Member must be logged onto the Board to get PM messages, but receives Board e-mail at the e-mail address he gave a registration. He need not be logged onto the Board to receive Board-mediated e-mail.

While the Board's member list is visible to other Members, it is not sold to spammers or used for any purpose other than the functioning of the Board. Thus, your participation on the Board will not result in spammers getting your e-mail address, unless you reveal it to someone or organization. The Board uses "cookies" (small text files written to your hard disk) to save login information. You have the option of deleting these cookies from your computer and logging in manually each time you enter the Board. The cookies are not used for tracking your movements on the Board or anyplace else on the site. For more information on privacy on The Piano Education Page, please see our Site Policies page. As mentioned several times in other sections of this policy statement, the Forums software, like every other message board system, maintains a set of logs which detail accesses and uses of the Forums. These may be viewed by the Forums Administrator, also as indicated above, in the event of suspected behavior in violation of these policies.
Last edited by Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed on Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Updating
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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