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CATS Forum Guidelines and FAQ's 
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Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2002 7:17 pm
Posts: 565
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Post CATS Forum Guidelines and FAQ's
Welcome to the Musicals.net CATS Forum.

Forum Guidelines

To help us all get along and avoid any unpleasantness, the moderators have come up with the following list of guidelines for posting here. Please abide by them. If there’s anything in them that you don’t quite understand, or that you disagree with and want to challenge, then please reply to this thread and keep your comments and questions contained in here – don’t start new threads.

There is some explanation of each of the guidelines below. The bold text is all you really need to know - the rest explains each point a bit in case they are unclear.

When I or any of the other moderators is called on to use our special magical powers to lock, delete or edit naughty things that others have posted, it should always be clear why we’ve done it. If it’s not clear, please ask one of us and we’ll give you an explanation of what’s happened and why. These guidelines should help you to be aware of what is and isn’t acceptable before you post.

1) Don’t be a troll – no one thinks it’s funny. The following behaviour will be considered trolling:
· posting porn or similar graphic / deeply offensive content – either links to porn sites or direct linking pictures. No one wants to see that here.
· spamming – repeated posts on the same topic or designed to clog up the board.
· consistent and/or exceptionally offensive behaviour towards other posters.

Any trolling posts will be removed, and users who do this kind of stuff may be banned . Bans in the past were quite rare – it has now become a lot easier for moderators to request that users be banned. These three points above are the things that are likely to make one of the CATS Forum moderators request that a user be banned.

2) Don’t be overly offensive . This is a discussion board. It would be very boring if everyone agreed with everyone else all the time. Sometimes our disagreements will be fairly heated. Even when you’re disagreeing with someone, however, it’s important to keep a sense of respect for your fellow posters – that doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but it does mean that you should remember they are real people, and can be hurt by what you say about them – the fact that “it’s only the internet” doesn’t stop that. Don’t be overly offensive to one another. If someone happens to disagree with you on topic X, then please don’t respond with a big list of everything stupid you think that person has ever done – that’s irrelevant, mean, childish, and detracts from the discussions that most users are interested in having. Threads where everyone needs to cool down a little will be locked; things that are particularly offensive, or which individuals are particularly upset about, may be deleted.

3) Don’t play the victim . When there IS a disagreement that has got a bit out of hand, then that’s one of the things that the moderators are on hand to help with. However, we can only do so much. It makes our job very hard if someone comes asking for our help and we discover that that same person has carried out a 3-page flame war and only come to us because they think they’ve lost the argument! Most of all, if you’ve been part of a flame war then please don’t edit out all the bad things you said and then ask us to moderate it – if that happens then there’s no way we can know what’s been going on or who is responsible for it and we’re very unlikely to just take your word for it. The best course of action is not to get into a bitch-fest in the first place – but if you do, please be honest about it! Again, this will most likely see threads being locked, or deleted if you’ve been really horrible.

4) Take a deep breath – as a guide for the above, why not use the “preview” tool before you post – read back what you’ve written and consider, first of all, whether it’s anything to do with the topic; also consider whether you’ve been (intentionally or not) offensive to folks who are going to be reading it.

5) Make it clear what you're talking about - the subject field is your friend. You are welcome to post about things that are nothing to do with CATS, but if you do so then please mark them with an "O/T" for off-topic.

6) Size isn’t everything – there’s a size limit for pics in avatars – 80 pixels by 80 pixels. We also ask that, if you’re going to post lots of photos or include an image in your signature that these are kept small and used sparingly. There is a good reason for this – anything bigger means it takes people who are still on dial-up modems ages to open a thread, and can also distort the screen so people have to scroll left-right, as well as up and down, to read any posts on that page. That’s kind of infuriating. If you have a pic that’s too big then you will usually receive a PM from one of the mods, asking you to resize or remove it (the same goes for anything inappropriate you have in an avatar or signature). If for some reason you object to this and refuse to do it, there are a number of things that can happen – in the short term, posts you make that distort threads that other people are trying to read will be deleted, and longer term you may have your avatar and signature rights removed (so you’d still be able to post with the same username, but wouldn’t have either of those things). Note that if you go to your profile and change the view to phpvb2 mode, then posts with large pictures WON'T distort your view.

What else might happen to your posts? – Moderators are able to edit your posts and change what they say. We will use this ability very sparingly and any time it is used, we will make sure that it is very clear what text belongs to the moderator – probably with the words *MOD EDIT* around it, but possibly also by making it in large brightly coloured letters (red if you’re very badly behaved).

7) Don’t expect too much! – The moderators are people too, and all of us enjoy taking part in discussions in the forum – that’s why we came here in the first place. From time to time that will probably mean that one or the other of us might get into a disagreement with you. There are several moderators, that means that where one of us gets into a discussion that later becomes a brawl, then wherever possible we won’t take any part in moderating it – so if you and a moderator have a stand-up fight about which version of CATS is better, then that moderator won’t have the last word and then lock the thread or edit what you say – any moderating that does need to be done will be done by one of the other moderators.

8) Don’t break the law – illegal bootleg recordings of shows are not up for discussion. There are quite a few people who post on here who either work in theatre or aspire to do so, and they in particular are likely to be quite annoyed if anyone asks about bootlegging to try to acquire for free something that they or people they know have worked hard to create. For that reason, please don’t post about bootlegs that you own or that you want to buy. Posts about illegal bootlegs will be removed.

9) Yahoo and hotmail can cause you problems – because of some recent problems, yahoo and hotmail e-mail addresses can no longer be used to register new accounts on musicals.net. Existing accounts which have been registered using yahoo or hotmail won’t be affected. The recent problems include difficulties that some users have had with logging on after changing the email address associated with their user name – in some cases this has meant that people have had to abandon their username and create a new account. Those problems should now be sorted – if you have difficulties accessing your account after changing your email address then please contact Carbucketty and he will fix it for you.

10) Pay attention to what you're saying. - Using all-inclusive phrases such as "No one likes that character" is nonsense. You can't speak for everyone on the board. And check your spelling. The occasional mistake is understandable, especially if you're in a hurry to post. But we have people here who don't speak or read English as their first language. Using 'text talk' doesn't help them at all. At the same time, don't harp on other posters for occasionally mispelling a word. Everyone has mispelled a word at one point or another.

I think that’s everything… enjoy posting here! Please respond to this thread, or PM one of us, if you have any questions about any of the above.
_______________________________________________________________________

What is an Internet troll and how to deal with it

Large Internet communities such as Musicals.net are victims of a specific type of abuse which is commonly called Internet trolling or troll.

What is a troll?
An Internet troll is an individual (or a team of people) who construct an online identity and use it on message boards and discussion groups for specific abuse purposes. Note that when trolls operate in teams they are more difficult to recognize. On the Internet you cannot know who is sending a message unless you actually see who is typing on the keyboard. In particular trolls like to use multiple online identities and do not hesitate to "talk" to themself to support their points.

What motivates trolling?
There are many motives but the most common on support communities is either attention seeking or site/product promotion. In some cases trolls are motivated by a direct financial gain (by requesting funds or suggesting gifts). In most cases the trolls will try to collect personal information directly or indirectly, such as email addresses, postal addresses, passwords, phone numbers. The trolls may enjoin you to sign-up on another site or email list that they control with similar motives.

How do I recognize a troll?
It is never easy to tell them apart from genuine posters especially when they do not disclose their goal immediately. We have seen cases where trolls took several months to build support in the community before starting their trolling activity in the open. Contrary to what most people may imagine, their contribution to the community may be positive and supportive at first. Some will even go into baiting people (or accomplice/other identities) to abuse them publicly to garner more support. This is especially true for trolls who seek attention or financial gains.

How to deal with them?
Trolls are best to be ignored. In fact, each time you will mention them or talk about them or talk to them you will reinforce the negative effect on the community.

DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS. This is our best recommendation. Ignore their posts and avoid the topics that look artificially controversial. Do not reply to these bait posts and do not communicate any personal information. In support communities, the troll will often pose as a victim. They will seek your support and trust.

Should I alert others if I recognize a troll?

You should not publicly post about troll suspicions. A troll will thrive on your attention and those who will follow you. Whether the attention is positive or negative it serves the troll's purpose. The best course of action is to shun the trolls and not address them or talk about them at all. Other than that, you can notify a moderator via the pm button.
_______________________________________________________________________

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Where is this show playing?

Even though CATS closed on Broadway and the West End it is still playing at many places around the world. For more information you can look here:

Official RUG Website
Official UK Tour Website
Unofficial US Tour V Website
Official German Production
Official Japanese production (In English, Only company information)
Official page of CATS in Japanese language
*Need url for official or unofficial World Tour website.

2) What is this show about?

You will get a variety of replies to this question, but the simplistic answer is that it's about a tribe of cats who meet once a year and choose one of them to go to the Heaviside Layer (a sort of Kitty Heaven).

**I'll update this as I have time. If anyone has questions they'd like added, post them here or PM me. Thanks!


Last edited by MsJellicle on Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Sun Jan 02, 2005 2:34 pm
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thanks 4 letting us know of all these different guide lines i really think its a good thing 2 do!!!!!!


Wed Jan 05, 2005 8:42 pm
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Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2002 7:17 pm
Posts: 565
Location: British Columbia, Canada
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I'll add the following to the FAQ list when I get a chance to work on it.

"Why does everyone have those banners in their signatures that say "Such and such character, u/s such and such character(s)"?

Twice a year (January and July) the forum members cast lists of which members of the CATS Forum are cast as the various characters based on the members personalities. The varous lists are then tallied and a final cast list is made. The list is good for six months. Rules for the casting are always posted either before or with the announcement of the beginning of the casting.

~MsJ

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All-Star Musical Character >> Sillabub from CATS
"Have you ever been in the basement when they were polishing the bullets?" ~ Kelli


Tue May 16, 2006 4:11 pm
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Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran

Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:54 pm
Posts: 3292
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I was just reading through this and I noticed that under the part about trolls it says nothing about the wonderful blue card. Maybe you should just add it in that, if it's really obvious that a certain poster is trolling (i.e. porn links, "vacation" links, etc.) then just press the blue card.
Also, maybe make a rule that if you press the blue card button, make a post in the troll's thread saying that you've pressed it so that the moderators don't get an inbox with a gazillion PMs about one post.

Just a thought. :)


Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:02 pm
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