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It would appear that the rules have been in place for many years and the growth of HTS was quite positive even going back to my first day here. Questions were asked and answered, topics were introduced and usually discussed if they had any import. After a time, many members got to know preferences of other members and those that followed these discussions almost know what to expect.

I and I suspect most of us are not here for prizes, although they have always been good, and more often than not, I did not even participate. I cannot believe that the slow down is related to a lack of prizes.

Could it be possible that many of us are not able to obtain new gear as in the past and as such there is less to discuss ? Have the members become so steadfast in their beliefs that there is little room for discussions ?
Doubtless the listening panels put out some great thoughts and advises and to me seemed quite popular. Can more of these happen or are the suppliers less that happy about submitting cool stuff ??

I am really flummoxed.
 

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Could it be possible that many of us are not able to obtain new gear as in the past and as such there is less to discuss ? Have the members become so steadfast in their beliefs that there is little room for discussions ?
I recently replaced quite a bit of my gear. It's a long story, but life 'got interesting' in the wake of a death in the family. Anyway, the situation that drove the equipment changes also kept my attention elsewhere besides here, although I have contributed a few posts in the 'What's playing right now' thread. I should update my theater room thread. I did update my equipment list couple of days ago.

I can only speak for myself, but I can assure you that my lack of activity had nothing to do with language restrictions or a lack of prize offerings. As I intimated previously in this thread, if I can't communicate my thoughts without peppering my posts with words that are considered offensive here, the problem lies with me, not this forum's rules.
 

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I really have a hard time believing that the supposedly tight rules have a significant effect on membership and participation. Sure, the occasional person will drop out because of it, but I can't see that being a big reason. I for one appreciate the tone around here (as opposed to the bickering and arguing and fighting that happens on other forums, which can engender disrespect and hostile feelings and is a waste of the time of those who read). I don't get horribly offended by the occasional bit of strong language, but I would certainly prefer that it stay out of the discussion as it contributes nothing and I don't really care to see or read it. My vote would be to keep things as they are in these regards.
 

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I really have a hard time believing that the supposedly tight rules have a significant effect on membership and participation. Sure, the occasional person will drop out because of it, but I can't see that being a big reason. I for one appreciate the tone around here (as opposed to the bickering and arguing and fighting that happens on other forums, which can engender disrespect and hostile feelings and is a waste of the time of those who read). I don't get horribly offended by the occasional bit of strong language, but I would certainly prefer that it stay out of the discussion as it contributes nothing and I don't really care to see or read it. My vote would be to keep things as they are in these regards.
BIS !:T
 

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I work in an industry where expletives are used more-or-less as punctuation. On top of that, I work on a show where "adult themes" are literally our business. My daily environment is quite outside of what one would consider "normal". It is nearly impossible to go a day at work without making a joke that would alter the rating of a feature film. And none of that bothers me... in fact, I fit right in.

That said, I read and re-read the rules here before I signed up. I signed up anyway. I see no issue whatsoever with tailoring my own language to fit the goals outlined in the forum rules, as those rules work to foster an environment where the free exchange of information is encouraged and the tone of the exchange is respectful. We have a forum that is essentially troll-free. That's a bit of a rarity these days. As far as I'm concerned, we have what we have here because the rules are strict and the enforcement of those rules is predictable and consistent. And if we're being honest with ourselves, most infractions are failures of self-control.

I read this thread not because it was on the front page, but because I was checking out my "subscribed threads" page and a few clicks later discovered that a user in one of those threads had been banned. I scoured this thread looking for the cause, and I found it. That user had practically begged for action on the part of the moderators, given the text of the rules. I don't know them personally, and can't comment on their character... but the incident clearly supports my point of "failure of self-control". The rules are clear, as are the markings on the Exit.

Please change nothing.
 

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Interesting responses all,

HTS has been my A/V site of choice for a couple years and I appreciate the restrictions on profanity. I'm a Christian but that has less to do with it than a respect for common courtesy. Frankly, in my years of lurking here I've not seen many attempts at circumventing the profanity restrictions.

As I said above, I'm a lurker. While I recognize that many, many guys enjoy chatting amiably about things like what they're watching or listening to right now, I'm not interested. Why do I come here? To get good information from knowledgable guys. Hey! I'm listening to my ML Motion 12s right now because of that great $1,000 Speaker Shootout. Those guys steered me to what will be my last set of speakers. So I put up with the little nag screen when I arrive, asking me to post something, even though I have nothing substantive to say. A small price to pay for tons of good information.

As for a decline in posters? I don't have the stats, nor do I care to have them, but it appears that a significant reduction in posts has occurred since the change in ownership of the site. Whether that has a bearing on the drop in postings is merely conjecture. Many, if not all, of the guys who contribute the most meaningful information are still here with one exception. Sonny's presence, the driving force of the site in the past, seems, to me anyway, to be lacking now. He installed a sense of "family," whether intentional or not, and I appreciated that. Me? I just don't feel it now. But likely, this too shall pass.

And now, as Forrest Gump would say, "That's all I'm going to say about that."

old arkiedan :eek:lddude::eek:lddude:
 

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Oh man, where the have I been?!!!

I don't recall any of the threads that didn't seem professional or some coming off rude, but I totally respect the rules here @ the Shack. Oh and I promise no potty mouth from this adult; member. :D

James 3:6-8 & Psalm 19:14
 

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Thanks arkiedan and Picture Shooter, I think most of us long time members, Lurkers or not, appreciate the tone of the forum and the fellowship of like minded audio enthusiasts of all backgrounds. :T

I hope the "Shack" will remain a place for like minded people to come and share ideas for many years to come.
I know personally that the people here have helped me through some troubling times in the last few years, as well as offering great audio advice, that has improved my outlook on life along with my listening pleasure. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #49
I think it is very clear that virtually everyone here is of a similar perspective on the matter and there will be no changes to the rules, nor our enforcement of them on my watch.

I appreciate everyone's input and support for what makes HTS unique and special. I will continue to do what I have done in the past, assure that we steer discussions in a positive and on-topic direction and clean up the messes that a handful of users might make. We have an awesome group of moderators who are always looking for ways to make the forum better and maintain the sense of community we have developed.
 

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I just read the last half dozen posts and can only agree with what has been said. There are plenty of places where people can use whatever language they choose freely and express any kind of sentiment. Part of what makes HTS special to me and part of the reason I was attracted here in the first place is the extreme, and I mean EXTREME level of required respect and friendliness that is enforced. It almost sounds funny to say enforced friendliness, but that is kind of what it ends up being. The language rules just seem to go hand in hand with that, making it all an environment that is really easy for the novice or less experienced poster to be comfortable asking any kind of question in. I would be disappointed if the rules changed, as I believe that level of respect and friendliness and comfortability could only be degraded as a result. Thanks to all for your positive support of the policies. And for helping keep HTS the special place that it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
I think that the rules evolved from the kind of people that founded and built the forum over the years. Sonnie and John value people and their faith. Most here are the same way. I can't claim the faith part but people are definitely most important to me. That sense of community and developing relationships is better served by the rules we have than allowing a few small minds to use whatever emotional sputter they come up with.
 

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Recently, there have been several discussions about why the traffic at Home Theater Shack has dropped significantly. Some have suggested it is because we are so restrictive about language and about bashing manufacturers and other posters.

So I think it is time to refresh on who we are, why we have the rules we do, and why Home Theater Shack does not allow certain use of language. Also, we need to be very clear about what censorship is and about "rights."

We have very strict restrictions on profanity and knowing for two reasons. The founder of the forum, to whom we all owe so much, Sonnie Parker, is a devout Christian. Any form of knowing, profanity, or using the Lord's name in vain or even remotely getting close to such is not OK in his view. Now that Sonnie is no longer owner, there are still many here who share this view. Personally, I am not so rigid on the matter, but it has served to promote a higher level of discourse, which is the much more important second reason for these rules, IMNSHO. I have no problem loosening up the rules a bit, but the fact is that knowing and profanity is shorthand for expressing feelings and opinions. Making a little extra effort to express oneself only make the discussion better, and I believe, makes us better people, as language is one of the things that makes us most human. Any improvement in how we communicate is of value in my opinion.

Now is this censorship? In the most strict interpretation, perhaps. Our position has always been that we are not really censoring anyone, because there are millions of other places where one can post whatever is desired, dozens with similar topics. What we "censor" is some limited manner of HOW people say things that might not make others feel safe, valued, or welcome. We do not allow posting that is condescending or vitriolic, nor do we allow bashing of manufacturers or individuals. What we do not censor, and highly encourage, are the IDEAS that one has or the OPINIONS and EXPERIENCE that our users bring. As long as those are expressed in ways that do not harm or attack others they are welcome. And understand that being civil does not mean agreeing, nor does it mean that some will not be offended at the ideas of others. Again, as long as those differences are focused on the ideas, experiences, or or opinions and not the individual, a vigorous debate is welcome.

We will never allow ideas to be restricted from discussion simply because they are unpopular among the users or moderators. This is one of the primary differences between HTS and other forums. Our moderators respect the right of our users to bring differing perspectives than their own. One will never be belittled or censored for having a different experience or opinion from staff, unless that difference has to do with the rules and expectations as described above.

Have those expectations for a higher level of respect and discourse limited the number of users and posts here? Probably. Has it been the primary reason for the decline in activity here? I do not believe so, but if it is, then I say so be it. We do not intend to substantially change those expectations, though as I said above, I don't have a problem relaxing the restrictions on certain words a bit. Just a bit.

If you get it, you are welcome here. If you don't then please accept our thanks for coming by.

I, personally, am thankful for a home theater forum that has higher ideals about how people can communicate. More of the internet should be like this, IMO.

Leonard Caillouet
Home Theater Shack Administrator
I love the no profanity rules!!!! As a mod myself (at another site), this rule makes things very simple and very civil!!! I think the drop off has to do with people getting settled in to their equipment. There has been a drop off at the site that I'm a moderator of. People have fewer things to talk about. It's just natural. Now if there's ever a new format war or something like that - people will light up the boards....other than that...with no axe to grind, people don't post. I try to check in once a day and see if there's anyone I can help (mainly in the computer section). That's generally when I post or if there's a new review of a speaker or something of that sort. I believe it's just the ebb an flow of the industry. :dontknow:
 

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I love the no profanity rules!!!! As a mod myself (at another site), this rule makes things very simple and very civil!!! I think the drop off has to do with people getting settled in to their equipment. There has been a drop off at the site that I'm a moderator of. People have fewer things to talk about. It's just natural. (...) I believe it's just the ebb an flow of the industry. :dontknow:
Exactly my case. I am in a middle of transition at home right now and little to say or to ASK (!) during this time. I realised (with my wife's help !!) that I canot afford a very good home cinema downstairs and a very good stereo system in the living room for my beloved music. I chose to keep the best of the stereo (the speakers) , to sacrifice the stereo amp and the cd player to get a better or the best BD player (with analog stereo out) and a better 7 channel amp which come with a not automatic parametric EQ. (Rotel RSX 1562)
Will I have questions in the future and commentaries ? you bet I will !! Later on...:gulp::D
 

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I can appreciate the rules as they are, including the enforcement thereof. I'll admit, I joined the Shack to get in on REW, and after reading the rules I thought, oh boy...

I certainly do not have a problem with religion, but admittedly these rules made me a bit nervous - I wanted in, and I knew that I was really going to have to watch how I relayed my ideas as I was (am) prone to just tossing words out there as they come to me, and sometimes my filters are a little rough.

On this forum, I've learned to be more mindful and that can never be a bad thing! I'll go so far as to say the rules on this forum have taught me more civility. I'll take it! Not to mention I now have a very nice sounding system thanks to all of the folks here - you know who you are - thank you all, and I'm staying for the long haul; still so much to learn, and so much to contribute.

Haven't posted much lately because we have a little one in the house now (our first!) so my concerns have shifted to protecting what you folks helped me to build, however; the basement HT is still in the dream phase so when that begins to take shape, you can bet you'll be seeing a LOT more of me!

P.S. I don't worry too much about prizes, that's not why I'm here.
 

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"On this forum, I've learned to be more mindful and that can never be a bad thing!"

Well said, Philm63,

Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.
 

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Respect for others is what makes this place different. It seems as though just opening up the discussion has tempted some to want to push the limits of the rules. Don't test further.
Of the many valuable bits posted in the thread this paragraph is perhaps the best of them. You wanted to be banned, we obliged. Gotta love it...

We have a forum that is essentially troll-free. That's a bit of a rarity these days. As far as I'm concerned, we have what we have here because the rules are strict and the enforcement of those rules is predictable and consistent. And if we're being honest with ourselves, most infractions are failures of self-control.
This one is a close second. Troll-free, I'm going to use that one myself. ;)


FWIW... my 02 is the language rules could be pared back some, but in no way is that related to the decline in activity. I've been a mod for a few years now, so to a large extent I know what goes on behind the scenes, and the rules are not what's causing that problem here at HTS.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
We are very proud to be Troll free!

I do miss watching Mike and Steve weild the Ban Hammer, though. I can do it with no regrets but they did it with more style.
 
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