Obviously, we have had a flood of new members come to A Sea of Blue lately, and I want to personally welcome each and every one of you.
A Sea of Blue is an online community, not just another blog. What we try to do here is develop an environment where 'Cat fans and other sports fans of good will can come to discuss University of Kentucky athletics in an adult, reasonable manner. In order to create a welcoming environment, we have rules and traditions to help people avoid the unpleasantness that we sometimes see on other Kentucky Internet sites.
So with that, here are some of the most important guidelines to help you fit right in, and enjoy your time spent on A Sea of Blue.
- Be nice. Be nice to everyone -- Cardinal fans who may comment here, your fellow Kentucky fans, the administrators of the site.
At A Sea of Blue, we want rational, polite discourse. Disagreement is encouraged, but if you can't politely disagree and explain your reasons, you are better off keeping it to yourself. I rigidly enforce a ban against invective, angry commentary directed at people or the program, baiting, name calling, stalking, or any other action that disrupts the community.
- Go back and re-read #1.
- Don't badger or crusade.
- Don't be a grammar Nazi in the comments. Comments are not editable, and if someone makes an error, don't point it out in a nasty way or use it as evidence of mental or cognitive deficiency in a rebuttal. Let it go.
- Don't be hyper-defensive. Others are entitled to a contrary opinion, even if you strongly disagree. Sometimes, it's best to just agree to disagree rather than taking the argument to a distracting and annoying level of minutae.
- If an administrator asks you to stop doing something, you may email him or her and debate it there, but don't debate him or her in the thread. Refusing to abide by the instructions of an administrator will get your commenting privileges revoked immediately 100% of the time with no further warning.
- Do try to add value to the discussion. Adding value is making a unique observation, or noticing a twist, or making a strong argument with a well-reasoned defense.
- Do respect your fellow-members. You do not have to agree, there is no message discipline here other than certain topics which have been placed temporarily off limits to avoid threadjacking and hard feelings. Those will be delineated below.
- Do use the FanShots for posting just links, quotes, pictures or videos.
- Do use the FanPosts for posting your own blogs. Best practices for the FanPosts will be explained below.
- Do provide support for your arguments via links to provide transparency and permit rebuttal.
- Do feel free to point out a factual, spelling or grammatical error in the main post. There is no reason for our mistakes to live forever in infamy.
- **Special notice to bloggers from other blogs -- if you want to link one of your posts on A Sea of Blue, do NOT do so in the comments or the FanPosts. Please use the FanShots area. That's what it is for.
Definition of terms:
- Invective: Harsh language including but not limited to swearing. An occasional oath does not violate this rule, but repeated swearing will get you warned.
- Angry commentary: This is best defined by example: Tubby sucks! Billy G. sucks! Porter sucks! Fire Billy! I hate [fill in with Kentucky player or coach]. Your opinion is wrong!
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, and hopefully you get the idea.
- Baiting: Any comment designed to elicit an angry response from one or more members, or the act of escalating a dispute.
- Name calling: You may not refer to any Kentucky player, coach, Athletic Department member, A Sea of Blue member or other Kentucky blog or website member or administrator by such references as idiots, morons, losers, jerks, etc. ad infinitum. From time to time, I may designate others as members of the above group as appropriate.
- Stalking: Stalking is responding to every post of a particular poster, and works the same way as baiting. It is completely unnecessary to try to get the last word in on every argument, and when I see that happening, you will receive an admonishment.
- Badgering: Similar to stalking, except the offender posts essentially the same thing over and over in an offensive and repetitive manner in an attempt to drive out dissent by weight of sheer volume. It is the rhetorical equivalent of pounding the podium, and just as unwelcome.
- Crusading: This is where a commenter has an agenda, and wants to interject that agenda into every thread, regardless of relevance. Similar to badgering.
- Use paragraphs separated by a blank line. Paragraphs separated by a carriage return are hard to read.
- Try not to write "stream of consciousness" stuff when you are angry. It never seems to work.
- Use "smilies" to soften sarcasm or satire. Don't be bitter.
- When writing a FanPost or FanShot, use the "teams" and "players" boxes on the right to identify the teams and players you are talking about. The boxes are self-searching, so if you just type "Kentucky," you will get a list of schools with Kentucky in the name. If you type "Kentucky w," only "Kentucky Wildcats" will show up. The tab key or selecting the name with the mouse enters it. Same thing with the "players" box.
- "Add related item" may be used to link another article, video, or other URL.
- For FanPosts, avoid excessive use of exclamation points, periods, dashes, etc. Try to make your commentary as legible and as clear as possible.
- Don't rush FanPosts. Take your time, do it right. You want people to get the impression that you know what your are talking about.
Topics currently off-limits:
- Tubby Eruptions. A Tubby Eruption is a debate about the former UK and current Minnesota coach's person, record, character or other quality except as part of a cogent larger point.
The bottom line is this -- if you make an argument that suggests Smith is bad, evil, greedy, great, wonderful, can't coach, can coach, responsible for the national debt, global warming, the gas crisis, belly button lint or etcetera that is not directly and cogently related to the main topic under discussion and is not part of a larger persuasive argument, you have committed a Tubby Eruption.
All Tubby Eruptions will be deleted on sight. Repeat violators may be warned and even banned if they are disruptive enough.
- Political Discussion. We don't do politics here. This blog is about sports, specifically the Kentucky Wildcats. There are literally tens if not hundreds of thousands of political blogs. If you want to talk politics, use one or all of them to do so, and leave it off A Sea of Blue.
Politics divides us. The Wildcats bring us together.
Most of all, have fun, make friends, and enjoy our community!