When you join up with OnTheForecheck.com, your first stop should be the SB Nation Welcome Guide, where you can learn about customizing your profile, and how to browse around the vast, diverse sports landscape you'll find here. Besides that basic stuff, what follows here are some of the Rules of the Road for our site.
On The Forecheck is first and foremost a community of Nashville Predators fans, so discussion is the fuel that makes the whole thing go. Whether you're joining a Game Thread to follow the action alongside other fans, or debating some piece of analysis, let's make sure to keep the conversation flowing, and on topic.
One thing people love to do is drop images into the middle of a game thread, and for a very helpful guide on how to do that, I'm going to point you to Stanley Cup of Chowder.
Besides just bantering back and forth, however, you can help highlight those comments that really make a great point, or just get you laughing. Instead of just replying "+1", or "I agree", use the REC button, which you can reveal by clicking the ACTIONS button below each comment.
If a comment gets enough "Recs", it gets highlighted within the thread for all to see. Keep those Recs in mind, they also come into play with FanPosts and FanShots as well.
Similarly, if you see a comment that needs to be brought to the attention of the site's editorial staff, use the Flag button to let us know. So, what needs to be flagged? Here are a few guidelines...
Behaviors to avoid while commenting
Foul language - we keep things pretty civil here. This gets relaxed a bit during Game Threads, when we're following the action of a game in real time, but in general, keep it to "prime time TV" language.
Replying to everyone in a thread that disagrees with you. We get it, you want/don't want a player in question to be traded. You don't need to fight back on every front, that just turns a thread into an echo chamber.
Personal attacks - keep the debates on the issue at hand, not the other users of the site. If you find yourself writing things like "you need to watch the games" or "you don't know what you're talking about", back up and take another angle.
Going wildly off-topic (politics, advertising your own site, etc.)
Trolling - it's a waste of everybody's time, and won't be tolerated. What constitutes trolling? If you have to ask, chances are you're probably already at least toeing the line, but head over here for an explanation.
Posting links or otherwise directing readers to illicit online video feeds for games - this is blatantly illegal and puts our site at risk of shutdown. Such comments will be deleted, and users warned. Repeated offenders will be banned.
Any of these behaviors can draw warnings or possible banishment from the site if it continues. We prefer to take a light touch when it comes to such matters, as generally the folks in the comment threads tend to clean up such messes before they get out of hand.
FanPosts & FanShots - Let Your Voice Be Heard!
One of the great strengths of the SB Nation platform is your ability to publish your own articles and get them read not just within OTF, but around the rest of SBN as well. If your FanPost or FanShot is deemed especially worthy, it can get promoted to the central column on the main page, which means it can also get distributed out beyond OTF, within the SB Nation network and beyond to our media partners.
With that in mind, please put a bit of time & effort in to make your FanPost or FanShot presentable (i.e., avoid the ALL CAPS writing and run-on paragraphs). Check for proper spelling and grammar, as your submission has the potential to be read by thousands of hockey fans. Also, make sure your title is clear, relevant, and again, uses no foul language. Those titles show up directly on the front page of the site, and if they make things look bad, the post will be hidden and the author contacted to make revisions.
One more important point - the purpose of FanPosts and FanShots are to further the discussion of the Nashville Predators here at OTF, they are not meant to be used for advertising or promoting your own site. Activities like posting your own Ambassadors Club links, or linking to/republishing your own blog posts are discouraged. If you have an article which you think OTF readers would really enjoy, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'd be glad to include it in our regular series of Hockey Notes articles, or feature it in its own OTF post if that's appropriate.
That said, I highly recommend you head over to Defending Big D and read their guide on how to create FanShots & FanPosts. I couldn't hope to do a better job of describing the process myself!
Oh, and if you're curious about some of the lingo used around here, check out Caroline's incredible guide, it'll bring you up to speed very quickly.