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The SC4Devotion Mayors' Diary Section Rules

Started by thundercrack83, July 07, 2008, 05:48:22 PM

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The following are the format and rules for authoring and commenting on Mayors' Diaries (MD) here at SC4D. These rules will be strictly enforced, and any violation can be expected to result in penalties ranging from a warning to termination of SC4D membership. Remember that enjoyment and sharing are the main goals here.  MDing is not a competition, either.  We wish you, then, the best of luck.

- The SC4Devotion Staff

I. MD Forum Hierarchy
II. General Rules for Authors and Readers
III. Rules for Authors
IV. Rules for Readers
V. General Recommendations for Authors


I. MD Forum Hierarchy

1. The MD section is organized into the following subsections, listen below in the order they appear, along with criteria for inclusion:

  • SC4Devotion MD Hall of Fame. This section is reserved for those MDs that have been chosen by the SC4D community as be of exemplary quality. For more information, please see the MD Hall of Fame section.

  • Of Special Interest this Month (OSITM). Up to five MDs and/or BATter's thread and/or LOTter's thread will be selected by your moderators will be highlighted here for a month.  These will be threads that we believe deserve extra attention based on such things as particularly outstanding work by the author and other criteria that we will develop from time to time.  These threads will rotate back to the appropriate section after they have appeared for the month in which selected.

  • Classics. MDs that have gained more than 5000 page views and 500 comments will be listed in this subsection.

  • Best Sellers. MDs that have gained more than 1000 page views and 100 comments, but which have not yet reached the level of becoming "Classics" will be listed in this subsection.

  • Recently Published. MDs which have not yet reached the level of becoming "Best Sellers" will be listed in this subsection.  All new MDs will be started in the Recently Published subsection.

  • Inactive MDs. All MDs that are identified by the author as closed, or in which the author has not made an update for more than a certain amount of time will be moved to this subsection. Recently Published will be more than 45 days, Best Sellers will be more than 60 days and Classics will be more than 90 days. Comments may still be posted to the MDs in the subsection, but the author is requested to add no further content without requesting the reactivation of the MD,which can be made to a moderator a MD. All requests for Inactive MDs to be reactivated are subject to the moderators' discretion.

  • Section Rules. The rules applying to authoring and commenting on Mayor's Diaries will be set forth here.

NOTE: We will reserve the right to increase cut-off points for the various subsections and possibly make other changes as the number of MDs grows.  We will always, though, give you a heads-up before we would do anything.  Thanks for bearing with us as we do our best to manage this major forum topic area.


II. General Rules for Authors and Readers

1. Authors will respect all of SC4D's Site Rules at all times in their MDs. A few important rules that are posted in the SC4D Site Rules linked previously bear repeating here. First, any content that is of a racially or socially controversial nature is not permitted. Any posts found to be of this nature will be removed immediately. Also, any content that contains real-world political matter or items of a similar nature are not permitted:

  • Please avoid using real-world events, settings, or any other matter that is of a political or relegious nature.

  • If you wish to base your story within the context of a real-world event, create a fictional story and/or setting for your MD, rather than using the real events that occurred. Feel free to include content of this nature in as much detail as you desire, as long as no content is in violation of any MD or SC4D site rules.

  • Comments on real-world events (either for or against) in an MD are not permitted under any circumstances. Comments should pertain to the MD content alone and not political nor relgious views or situations.

  • Using a real-world city or region to illustrate a physical re-creation--transportation networks, building layouts, etc.--that is completely acceptable, however, please refrain from including any political history or information about the political climate of the region.

  • Fictional political information--emphasis on "fictional"--is not only welcome, but very much encouraged, as this can be an integral part of a well-made MD. Feel free to include content of this nature in as much detail as you desire, as long as no content is in violation of any MD or SC4D site rules.

  • Any MD found to be in violation of this rule will be subject to immediate moderator action.

NOTE: If you have content for an MD, and you are unsure about whether it would violate this rule, please feel free to PM a moderator with your question about it, before posting it. We can let you know if it's a violation, and help to fix any possible violations, if they exist.

2. All posts in the MDs should be made in English. If substantial text, or phrases that are not otherwise easily understandable, is posted in other languages, a complete and full translation should be provided. Failure to do so may result in the removal of any or all non-compliant posts.

3. Incidents occurring outside the MD section of SC4D that result in disciplinary action may result in the deactivation of the disciplined member's MD, if such action is warranted by the moderators.


III. Rules for Authors

1. All new MDs must be started in the "Recently Published" subsection.

2. Before publication of your new MD in "Recently Published," you are responsible for reading over all the rules posted here, as well as the SC4D Site Rules, which are also linked above. We understand that this is on the honor system--meaning, by satrting an MD, you're implying that you've also read the rules. If a violation of any rule is found in an MD, "not knowing it was against the rules" will not apply.

3. An author may only have one (1) MD ongoing at any time. If a second MD is started without permission having been granted, the author's first MD will be immediately placed in the "Inactive MDs."

4. While the intention of the Mayor's Diaries section is to further the enjoyment of the game, it is expected that the author will show a commitment to his or her MD along with respect to the readers.  An author is expected, along this line, to update the MD with a reasonable degree of frequency and to reasonably respond to questions that are posed in comments. If an MD goes for more than the specified alotted time frame posted in section I without a post from the author, it will be moved to the "Inactive MDs."

5. If the author deems the MD to be complete, or does not wish to work on the diary any longer, he or she will notify a moderator and request that the diary be moved to the "Inactive MDs" subsection.  It is requested that an author intending to discontinue work on an MD notify a moderator by PM so that timely action to move the MD can be taken.  An MD moved to the "Inactive MDs" subsection may, on the reasonable request of the author, be returned to the subsection where its actual post and page count would cause it to be placed. All requests for Inactive MDs to be reactivated are subject to the moderators' discretion. Also, it is the responsibility of the MD author to notify the MD moderators if or when they intend to reactivate and Inactive MD. Simply posting in an Inactive MD is not a guarantee that you're MD will be reactivated--please contact a moderator.

6. After an author has completed or ended a first MD, or if the first MD has become inactive, he or she may start a new MD as a matter of right. 

7. Since advancement through the MD hierarchy is based on post-count, double posting should not be employed under any circumstances without a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours between posts. Failure to do so may result in the removal of any or all non-compliant posts. Also, please refrain from replying to comments on an individual basis as they are posted by readers, but use a "Replies Post" and answer them all at once, since individual replies are, though maybe not intended to be, tantamount to padding your post count for faster advancement. If a comment posted by a reader needs an immediate answer, send a PM.

8. All images will be hosted by an offsite hosting service or other server.  Authors are requested to consider that not every reader has broadband Internet access, and should seek, consistent with maintaining reasonable image quality, to minimize the size in kilobytes of images accordingly. Please note that, while not a rule, we do make a strong recommendation that the max width of any image be 800 pixels, as well as being in the .JPG format.  Use wider images and other picture formats (.PNG, .GIF, etc.) when necessary, albeit sparingly, since in most instances making a pic bigger does not make it better.


IV. Rules for Readers

1. Comments on MDs should be reasonably substantive, but occasional "encouragement" comments such as "Great job!" or "Nice work!" are acceptable so long as they are not used to excess.  If you are warned in a PM from a moderator about abusing this rule, please heed that warning, as the next step will be almost certainly be further disciplinary action.

2. Do not "hijack" an author's MD by posting new content and images as a comment unless doing so is absolutely necessary to the making of some point consistent with the MDs direction.

3. Completely "off-topic" comments are strongly discouraged, but are recognized as being appropriate from time to time.

4. Do not make comments that simply refer to being "first" on a new page or being the  "___th" commentor.  These are generally a waste of the site's bandwidth.  If the author wants to recognize a particular reader for doing something interesting, let him or her do that.

5. Criticism of MD content is acceptable so long as it is constructive and not phrased in such a manner as to be derogatory or otherwise imply that the author's effort is substandard.  It is the commentor's obligation to not just identify issues or problems, but to propose what he or she would see as being a recommendation as to those things.  A reader should ask him or herself before posting a critical comment, "Would I want to read this in my own MD and what would my reaction be?"  "Flaming" of any sort will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action.


V. General Recommendations for Authors

1. Have a point to your MD. Have some sense of where it's heading. If you want an audience to follow you, you might want to give it some idea where they'll be winding up.

2. Don't ever post anything that isn't ready to post- use the, "would I take any time out of my own life to look at this?" rule. It's more than likely that a main reason why readers stop reading a MD is that they form some sense that the author is just posting to meet some sort of schedule or timeframe, as opposed to posting when he or she had something that is worth sharing.

3. Treat your MD from day one like you'll be doing it in a year down the road. That degree of self-assurance and, frankly put, self-respect, will earn you not just readers but fans. Nobody bothers to become loyal to something they don't perceive will be around tomorrow.

NOTE: While these are not hard-and-fast rules, taking them into account may very well up the chances for having a successful Mayors' Diary instead of just another run-of-the-mill one. If you have a recommendation that you think should be included here, please don't hesitate to send a PM to a moderator for review.