Comments and Forums: Terms of Service and Guidelines

Forum etiquette

  1. Please read the Forum FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). You will gain a good perspective of how the Forums work if you do. **N.B. Coming soon - apologies for the inconvenience!
  2. Choose a subject title carefully. This forum already has a wide scope that can almost accommodate anything under the sun. When you start a thread, try to make the subject title self-explanatory but not too long. Don't use a paragraph as a title. It takes up a lot of space and is hard to read.
  3. Stay with the thread. Start a new thread if you are diverging to something else. When the thread gets to more than 50 posts, it might be better to start a new one. You can compress the thread to view back topics better.
  4. Respond to issues, not to personalities.This way, it will stay rational and reasonable. Passion is good, but when emotions over-rule reason, hurtful phrasings can result.
  5. Do elaborate your ideas if it is a new thread. Humour, or respectful criticism of ideas (not Posters) are by all means encouraged. Everyone has a different style. But make sure you have plenty of supporting evidence and information to back up your argument. A one-liner without substance is the best way to expose one's ignorance and shallowness. Remember: you're entitled to your own opinions; you're not entitled to your own facts.
  6. Be tolerant and patient when debating with someone with a different view. Your goal is to have the other side understand your viewpoint, not necessarily agree that yours is the only truth. There might not be one solution or one correct view anyway. Confrontation would widen the gap further. Try to think from the other party's angle. You might learn something. Sharing different views is better than arguing.
  7. Know when to quit. When two parties are repeating the same arguments over and over without new insights, there is no point in continuing.
  8. Give new users some slack. Don't chastise them for not reading all of SF Gateway first. Intimidation will result in newcomers not posting at all. Make them feel welcome into the community - suggest authors you enjoy or recommend books that serve as good entry points. We were all newbies once.

Moderation Policy

The owners and administrators of the site expect community members to adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Treat others with respect. Use civil language and never attack anyone personally - disagree with an idea or a statement, not the poster of said idea.
  2. Never use language that is prejudiced or phobic (including but not limited to comments on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion or class) or likely to be interpreted as hate speech.
  3. Do not deliberately antagonise or bait other members, or otherwise troll the forums. This is a place for discussions and intelligent, humane discourse, it is NOT to be used as a vehicle for insulting, slandering, defaming or otherwise injuring others.
  4. Keep disagreements civil, and remember that just because someone disagrees with your opinion or argument does not mean that he/she is attacking you. Disagree with an idea, not a person.
  5. We do not wish to ban outright the use of swearing or 'bad' language, but we exhort members to think carefully before employing the proverbial 'ignorant person's eloquence'. And please note that points 1 - 4 above over-ride absolutely any right to use such language.
  6. We encourage the sharing links to 3rd party sites likely to be of interest to other members, but there is a difference between sharing and shilling. Do NOT use the forums to advertise your products, books, self-published eBooks, etc.

Violation of any of the above guidelines could result in your post being deleted; repeat offenders will have their accounts removed and be banned from the forums. These decisions will be at the discretion of the moderators, so please adhere to any and all warnings they might give you. Normally one warning is all you'll get, so please take it seriously.

It is the intention of the administrators that the forums be as self-moderating as possible, and we would be delighted not to have to intervene in any disputes. Please flag posts as abusive if you feel they overstep the mark, but we believe the best form of moderation is for every user to stop and think before posting. A few minutes calming-down time could be all it takes to make everybody's life easier and more pleasant.


  1. Check the forums and the relevant SF Gateway sections before asking your question.If it already has been resolved, it will save you the wait for someone to answer or the aggravation to another user to search for you.
  2. Help others.This is a community and it works best when we share information. Other members will remember your deeds and will go to greater lengths to help you if you've been good to them in the past.

Final Note:

Have fun!These are guidelines, they are intended to give users a set of rules we can apply if trouble strikes. It's really to protect you and others from feeling hurt or intimidated by others on the forums, we want you and your opinions to feel welcome here.