This will be a sticky eventually, but I wanted to leave it in the main forum for at least a few days.
Please read the Company Forums Are Back! Post [click here] before reading this!
Because this forum has more posters than most, and because we've had occasional problems in the past, we wanted to put up a few guidelines. I don't want to make too much of this. I think of it as having to put up street signs and stop signs in a town that has begun to grow.
The Golden Rules, of course, are to remember that this forum is dedicated to civilized discourse of classical and neoclassical ballet.
1. To further that, we'd ask you to be welcoming to new posters. Please leave room for others and be inclusive. This is a Big Board and can be intimidating. What we'd ask, above all, is that people be careful not to try to dominate the forum. Don't ALWAYS make the first post on a performance, please, or answer every post, or do anything that would make YOU, if you had just found the board, reluctant to post because you think this is a private party and you wouldn't fit in, or everyone there knows so much and what could you say, or the like. BT Posters are almost always nice to other posters, but it's good to remember, in the heat of the moment, that the person who is disagreeing with you is NOT the four-eyed monster from another planet, but a very nice person you'd like to chat with at intermission.
2. Please don't forget the No Gossip, No Backstage Chat rule. 99% of our posters are golden, but anyone can forget. If you need a refresher, please click the link that's now at the top of every forum.
3. Please always be aware that the dancers and company personnel read these boards. One can be honest without being mean. When I began writing criticism I was given a very good piece of advice by an a more experienced critic: Write as if the dancer's mother were reading over your shoulder. That doesn't mean we have to pull punches, but calling the ballerina you don't like a clubfooted floosie, say, is not a good idea, and one should always remember that most mothers who hang about in ballet forum elevators are armed.
4. Sometimes long reviews can hinder discussion. We've had issues in the past with people wanting to post a review on a separate thread so that it doesn't get in the way of the discussion or dissuade other from posting; we've had times when people post a long review and there's no response because (we're told) that others "didn't know what to write, it covered everything!". Occasional long posts are great, but if you want to write full reviews of every performance, we'd ask that you consider using the forum blogs (they're free and can be set up in milliseconds by going into your control panel and finding the blog section in the left hand panel.) If you do choose to open a blog, we'd suggest that, after you post, you post a link to it in the proper thread, so that people can easily find it. Comments can be made in the blog itself, so you'd have your own message board (forum rules still apply). We're not going to push this point, but make it as a suggestion. We added the blog function because we've had people who came to the board and wanted to blog their first season of ballet, or their Summer Grand Tour of Europe performances, or the like, and it hasn't been used very often, unfortunately. You can see the Blog list by clicking Blogs at the top of the board.
Thank you, all of you, for posting with us! Sorry for all the instructions, but we want to make this work. Please read this, think about it, and then dive in and talk about ballet!
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