VAF Forum Posting Rules
> VAF Forum Posting Rules
It's not my
intent, but I could come across as
a jerk while reading this. All I ask is that you give me a chance to make my case
before you form your final opinion. Having done twenty
laps around the sun doing this RV online community thing for
a living I've acquired some data on online personality
traits and behaviors, so the rules here exist to best foster an
environment that maximizes the chance of you getting your RV
into the air while forming meaningful friendships. In
one sentence: This isn't the wild west and you can't act
like a douchebag. There are a few more rules if you want to play
in my sandbox, but it is nothing out of the ordinary and is all common sense in
world where technology gives instant gratification while
obliterating patience. And friend, finishing that
airplane is going to take some patience.
wanting to ACTUALLY KILL Group B because B doesn't love people as
much as A does? Madness all...and none of that
as-read-on-social-media manure is gonna fly here. Take
about social media more below, but first let's start with the two big
I love me some STOLish Piper Cub type planes, but this isn't the place to get help mod'n your
Posts should not contain a single molecule of
anything even remotely resembling politics. Period.
Push it and get banned. Forever.
If you think I'm kidding, I promise you I am not.
Before we get to
the rules in greater detail, a short note on anonymity
in online forums, specifically the negative effects.
There is a good deal of data that you can find with
little effort (search
Anonymity and Online Communities). It's
worth some of your time. For those here that
choose to 'hide under the radar', that's of course
perfectly fine, but just know that if there is any gray
area when making a call in regards to moderation, if we
don't know your name, or you never show your face, blank
out your N-number in all photos, etc....don't expect to
be given the benefit of the doubt.
While you could
be Ethan Hunt, spy extraordinaire in hiding, you could
also be some company's disgruntled employee. Just
RE: Social Media Sites
While there is some good social media aspects, there is
also some really, really bad. VansAirForce.net and its forums are not trying to be social
(and the posting rules here reflect that).
Social media brings with it multiple, well
documented, significant harms. Social media sites rely on
feedback loops to
survive, and that
is not what I'm offering here. There are no
'Like' buttons, and there is no goal of maximizing the
amount of time you spend on the site.
I think we're going to be hearing more about in the near
future, is that there is a fundamental mismatch, between
the way our brains are wired, and this behavior of
exposing yourself to stimuli with intermittent rewards
throughout all of your waking hours. It's one thing to
spend a couple of hours at the slot machines of Las
Vegas, but if you bring a slot machine with you and you
pull that handle all day long from when you wake up to
when you go to bed, we're not wired for that. It short
circuits the brain and we're starting to find that it
has actual cognitive consequences. One of them being
this sort of pervasive background hum of anxiety. Now
the canary in the coal mine for this are students from
college campuses. If you talk to mental health experts
from college campuses, they'll tell you, that along with
the rise of ubiquitous smart phone and social media use
among the students, came an explosion of anxiety related
Dr. Cal Newport
Watch this if you think
you're not fundamentally changing your brain by using social
media (and that includes PHYSICALLY changing it). Also consider reading
Shallows by Nicholas Carr.
Nothing against them at all. They are
entreprenuers and capitalism is a wonderful thing. I
want them to succeed! But, if the primary reason you're
wanting to use the VAF Forums is so you can promote your
videos and 'cross-pollinate your brand',
'raise engagement' and 'monetize' with
every post being a reference to some new and exciting
piece that starts with 'Hey Gang!', proceeds next
to 'register to win and be sure to Like us!', then 'buy my sponsor's merch!' and winds up with 'follow
me on these 30 other social platforms'...please don't
bother signing up here.
Again, if mostly what you want to
do is push your videos, twitter feed and/or instagram
account, please don't sign up. There are plenty of platforms out there for that type of
thing, and VansAirForce.net is not one of them.
I'm positioning this site as the exact opposite
of those, as a matter of fact. If
your autosignature has seven different social media
platform links in it, yes, we're looking in your
And I really do
wish these folks well, and have absolutely nothing
against them trying to make a living. I just prefer VansAirForce.net not be
used as an
feedback loops and social media's effect on mental
health and cognitive ability is a real thing. It's
tearing at the fabric of society, and it's worth some of
your time to research. If I come off to you as Don
Quixote titling at windmills, then I would venture
to guess you haven't given much thought to the link at the beginning of
thousands of hours
spent staring at your phone are hours that could have been
spent building, flying or maintaining your RV (and
physically interacting with others doing the same).
Cocaine, slot machines and social media sites all tickle the
same spot in the brain. But hey it's your brain and you can
stop anytime you want, right? <rolls eyes>.
Check in on VansAirForce.net
and the forums for a minute or two every couple of days,
then go enjoy your RV (and your life).
Don't check on it
2,600 times a day.
On to the rules in
promotion, including URLs in forum signatures,
unless you are an advertiser.
and those who steal are without honor.
Consider arriving at
the restaurant you've sunk your family's life savings
into, only to find a guy has parked a
in the middle of your parking lot. Yeah, I get
it...the economy is tough, but stealing is stealing.
If you are
not an advertiser on VAF,
DO NOT display
your business name, URL, phone number, mechanic
credentials, etc. in your signature
or posts, or promote your
business through the VAF Forums,
or Private Message system.
Stealing is stealing....and you know it is stealing.
about the causes of a crash/incident before the Probable
Cause document is issued are not allowed here.
Offer condolences to
the family and friends, of course! Once the governing agency's
or FINAL REPORT has been listed online, then by all means we can discuss
the mechanics and minutia of the accident until we are blue in the fingers, hopefully learning
something that will make flying safer for us.
Here's a list of over 570 RV accident probable cause
documents to get you started.
No Politics, Government or Aviation Association Talk
Listed as one of the 'big two' above, but needing more
detail. Posts that contain
the words Liberals, Democrats, Republicans, Bush, Obama,
Pelosi, Limbaugh, etc. If your post even remotely smells of
politics, it's toast.
Discussion about how EAA or AOPA, or
any other aviation organization is run
isn't for here.
...that would be inappropriate in the polite company of
strangers and their young children shouldn't be used.
5. Keep the topic
Listed as one of the 'big two' above, but needing more
detail. Anything not RV is fair game for deletion. You will
notified it has been deleted, as we have over 21,000 folks
in the forums, and the moderators are volunteers with lives.
You have a new baby, you let us know! Fighting a medical
condition and need support? Post away. Wanna make
fun of my scooter in the 'misc' area....I'll let it slide, Clyde.
Put these type posts in the 'Test/Misc' area so they can be
auto-deleted after a few weeks (so they don't clog up the
Posts that will
deleted 100% of the time:
Trade'a'Plane, Barnstormes, etc. links in the
classifieds. Posts that say 'go to so and so site
and search for XXXX'.
complaining about why a post was deleted. This is
complaining how the site is run. Email to me
is the way to do that.
Links to video clips showing illegal and unsafe flying
(like buzzing a house or rolls
over a congested area).
My thoughts on safety.
Car, boat, 1965 Cessna C-172....selling to buy RV tail kit."
exception: an airpark home or lot)
"Funny video clip of guys blowing up anvils." ....although
I gotta admit that WAS a pretty funny clip.
Posts promoting individual-sponsored group buys. (here's
Post that list
links to what an average person would consider a
Bob Collins built an RV-7A and writes
for Minnesota Public Radio. He wrote a nice thread
here that I'm copying below:
"Poor Doug. I hated to see him lock
down a thread that was unbelievably helpful but he
clearly had no choice.
You know, I
run a blog for a living which involves a lot of
writing, but without question most of the energy I spend
during the day is on moderating comments.
For some reason, people have an increasingly hard time
making a cogent point without resorting to a "shot" or
an insult as if that somehow strengthens the merits of
Look, people who don't even put their real names in
their profiles, nobody goes to Oshkosh to get insulted,
nobody wants a customer in their store who tells them
what jerks they are, nobody wants the old-timers
streaming out of the little terminal when they land so
they can be told how much their airplane stinks.
What they want is fellowship, friendship, and intellect.
I get it. It's the Internet and people always seem to
want to "play to the crowd" on the Internet. But unless
you put two feet on the floor when you get out of bed in
the morning, stretch your arms above your head and say,
"this is the day I'm going to be a jerk to people on VAF,"
then your strategy is misguided and illogical and
illogical actions do not support the points you're
trying to make that you think are logical.
This is more than just Doug's virtual living room. VAF
is our Oshkosh, our store, our plane, our airport
terminals and nobody -- but nobody -- like it when
people act like jerks.
So I beg you -- I, a person who's presently sick of
America's enchantment with boorishness -- be nice.
Practice it. Start here, then take it out into the world
RVs and aviation are an escape from the real world.
We have a stake in high-quality, low noise on VAF;
that's what makes it a haven for us. Let's redouble our
efforts and insistence to protect it.
6. Create your
post in the appropriate area.
Put classified listings in 'Classifieds', etc. Most folks
come into the forums using either the
Today's Posts or
New Posts links, which pulls from all areas.
time sensitive posts
like 'Local RV builder on the ch 5 news tonight in XXXXXX' in the 'Test/Misc'
area, as we can easily delete it later (so it doesn't clutter up
Civility, and not typing whatever comes into your head
This is intentionally vague,
and gives the moderators a LOT of
discretion. If any one of them is rubbed the wrong way with
a post, it's toast. If you can't be civil at all times,
don't participate. We don't do hate. Trolls
get banned permanently (fmi:
Added 4/13/16 RE: Dealer/Vendor and Customer Disputes:
...this part modeled after the large Jeep
The forum is not intended to be a mechanism for
people to vent frustrations about vendors or sales
from private parties. Please settle your differences
with sellers, manufacturers and dealers through the
long-established legal or arbitration systems or the
Better Business Bureau, not through our community.
I expect everyone that uses the board to be nice.
A pattern of vendor bashing on your part will get
your account locked down.
Examples of when you don't enforce civility:
Oct/2015: From a popular pilot
"After much debate and consideration, the
Management Council has made the decision to
terminate the Spin Zone. We are taking this
action because the level of discourteous and
uncivil behavior has increased, and
unfortunately continues to spill over into the
aviation related forums."
[ed. From another airplane message board:]
"Little, if any moderation will encourage you to
share ideas more freely with less restriction."
18 months later
"...I have decided to shut the website
detail below, but these two bullet points cover most of it.
From Summer 2013:
The Annual Free Speech Email...dr
I got an email over the weekend from Los Angeles
regarding how, in the sender's opinion, VAF stifles first amendment free speech
- assuming it had to do with recent FAA/EAA/AirVenture management threads that were
closed. "If I want these type of restrictions I will move to Russia. It is
your site but freedom of speech is not your choice," were
his exact words. He
requested I delete his posts and refund his donation from last December.
[ed. Those threads and all the replies were
archived and emailed to the original poster in MS Word format so
that they could start a free blog with all the original material.
The OP chose not, to my knowledge, to do this. dr]
We seem to touch on this cyclically - I guess it's time again.
This website is an American private business, and free speech laws do not apply
to private businesses here. But, for
the sake of argument let's say I would allow talk about government
agency this and association that. We can't forget this would have to extend to EVERY country.
RVs are globally enjoyed, it's not just a U.S. thing. Lots of RV folks who contribute here live in countries
outside the America. Tens of thousands, actually. Data point: countries in
shades of blue below visited the VAF forums in the past 30 days, so says GoogleAnalytics.
Click to enlarge. Lots of different governments and GA associations
in that blue.
Depending on the source,
there are between 189 and 196 independent countries on planet Earth, all
with governments and small planes (and issues between the pair).
The U.N. recognizes 192 governments. The U.S. State Department 194.
That's an awful lot of non-RV pro-this and anti-that to cloud up the 'New
Posts' results, wouldn't you think? You couldn't possibly be so shallow as to assume only the
U.S. citizens would be allowed to complain on VAF about their government
and GA issues, would
Google 'aircraft associations'. You'll get over 11 million
hits. 'Aircraft Advocacy' returns over 3 million hits.
Plenty of places for people to discuss how their government and GA
associations interact with their country's small plane owners.
I hope now you can understand why here at VAF we're just gonna stick with talking about building and flying
and enjoying Van's RVs. Not governments, or aircraft associations, or government
agencies and their alphabet soups.
If you simply can't live with that, you don't have to. Nobody is
forcing you to either sign up or stick around.
The posting rules are short, and quite similar to tens of thousands
of other forums online. Go Google "free
speech and online communities" if you don't believe me.
Nothing out of the ordinary in the VAF posting rules. Further
research will reveal that online communities that allow any topic under
the sun, with no rules, quickly self-implode. Godwin's Law and all
Feel so passionately about your government, its GA agencies and/or
associations that you just have to type about it somewhere? I'd suggest
going to blogger.com or any other number of free hosting solutions and
set yourself up a free spot on the web. All the free speech a
person could want is only a couple minutes away, if you agree to their
terms of service (which means you can't talk about ANYTHING you want).
All the big GA association sites have online forums themselves, and
interacting with local government on behalf of pilots is in their
respective mission statements.
I appreciate and read all private feedback emailed to me, but these free
speech emails always make me roll my eyes to tell you the honest truth.
It's not just your country we're talking about here. An
RV-8 took flight in Thailand for the first time last week.
Thailand! I recall reading they've had some political tension in
the past, but that doesn't mean it should be hammered out here on VAF.
Take the government talk somewhere else, please. I'm good with keeping VAF discussion focused on one specific activity.....the
hobby of building, flying and enjoying Van's RVs. Something
that is figuratively, and literally, uplifting.
Sometimes though, people can't deal with that, and that's fine.
As for the SoCal individual, I deleted his posts (as requested), his
forum account (as requested) and PayPal'd him his 2012 donation back (as
requested). He complained later how I sent the refund (via PayPal
check). I wish him well.
I happen to believe this site offers a
good product, one worthy of its
I strive daily to continue earning your trust, friendship and financial
support. I truly believe we have something special here, so much
so I bet my family's financial future on it.
Yours in Van's RV construction and flight,
PS: Want to
email me your
feedback? I'll read it, then move it over to a
folder called 'Feedback' so it can be reflected on periodically.
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