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PRESS START TO PLAY: How To Use the Forum

#1
So for those of you familiar with the original Ducks forum, you probably don't need to have things explained to you. For those of you who have forgotten, though, allow us to give you a crash-course in everything SCRATCH!-ish.


The BBS Official Mission Statement
The BBS (yes, that is its name) is ultimately a forum by Pokémon fans, for Pokémon fans. To be specific, The BBS is a safe space for Pokémon fans to gather and is meant to be whatever they want it to be. On a technical level, it aims to be an outlet for creativity (a forum for fanfiction, fanart, roleplaying, headcanon discussion, and other fan creations), but it is not necessarily limited to that. Ultimately, we seek to create a welcoming community where members can not only share their labors of fan love but also feel safe to connect with other fans across the globe, and as such, we, the staff of The BBS, give to members freedom: the ability to speak up and be heard and the ability to help decide the future of the community as a whole.


What?
Tl;dr, while The BBS is primarily a fan-creation community (because most of our members are fanauthors, fanartists, and roleplayers), the point of it all is that you, the member, get control over what happens on the board.


Wait, how does that work?!
Simple! It all starts with a sandbox forum of some kind. In the case of SCRATCH! 2012, you're already in it. Whenever you have a new idea for the board -- be it a new rule, a new forum, or whatever -- all you have to do is hit the New Thread button and create a new post describing your idea. Voila! You have a new suggestion that will potentially shape a corner of the board!


Is it really that simple?
Yes and no -- depending on how well the next part goes. See, while you get a say in what happens on the board, so does everyone else. We're all equals, after all! After your thread is posted, other members are free to come in and discuss your idea. From that point onward, they can either approve of it wholeheartedly, make suggestions on what to change before it can be approved, or reject it. Your idea will only be put into action if people are generally in favor of it, so pour on your charisma to convince everyone else it's a good idea!


If everyone has a say, isn't that a little chaotic?
Naturally, there are restrictions here and there.

First and foremost, there are things you can't suggest. To copy-pasta the guidelines sheet from the original forum, the restrictions are these:
1. You cannot request new mods or staff members or ask to have one removed (in public, at least). Sorry. Mods are decided by the staff via a completely different process. That's just so we're absolutely sure we only appoint the most trustworthy, responsible people to mod positions. You can, however, tell an admin privately if a mod or other staff member is making you feel uncomfortable during your stay at The BBS. In fact, please do! We'll do our best to act swiftly and fairly.
2. You cannot suggest what punishments come from rule-breaking. For example, if you want someone to get permanently banned for using the word "Pikachu," sorry, you really can't.
3. While the rules on what forums you can create are pretty lax, remember that this is a Pokémon forum, so please don't suggest a plethora of forums for other fandoms.
4. Please also remember that our board is fairly kid-friendly, so all suggestions for material that would be inappropriate for minors (or otherwise illegal, libelous, harmful, et cetera) will be immediately locked and ignored.
5. If we can't do it because of a restriction about forum software, we will tell you as soon as we can, and the idea won't be used or discussed further unless someone can actually come up with a way to do it.

Moreover, all topics will be watched carefully by staff so that each thread remains on-topic and drama-free.


So when do we know that our ideas will be accepted?
Suggestions are generally gathered up every Friday unless it looks like a considerable majority of people (i.e., at least two-thirds of the members who have been active within the past month) are in favor for your idea without any changes. If people are pretty much all in favor, then the decision can be closed early, which means that it doesn't have to wait until Friday to be acted on.

For all other ideas, it works like this:
1. On Fridays, a staff member will read over all the posts made to that week's threads. At the end, they'll make a summary post basically describing the idea as it looks to them at that point. (As in, they'll describe what action or actions they think everyone wants us -- the staff -- to take.) This is just for confirmation or final discussion.
2. Final comments can be made by anyone after that point.
3. On Sunday, a staff member will make a second summary post, this time describing the exact action that the staff will take based on what was said between Friday and then. The action will then immediately take place -- or at least take place as soon as possible.
4. If no consensus is reached (because no responses were made to a thread), then the decision will be left to staff discretion.

In short, you can make a thread containing a suggestion any time between Friday and Thursday. That's considered a "week" for this forum. Staff will look at every thread created from Friday to Thursday and hammer out the final details with all of you. That may take a couple of days, but by Sunday, all ideas that were discussed since Friday will see some kind of action (even if it's just rejection).

Make sense? Yes? Awesome! No? Feel free to ask!


I'm shy and awkward. Can I PM my ideas to you?
While we understand that shy people exist, please don't. If you PM your idea instead of use the forum, then no one will be able to discuss it, and no staff member has sole power over the decisions that end up being made on the board anyway. (Even when it comes to staff-level decisions, we discuss everything between us.)

Rest assured, though, that The BBS promotes a very open-minded atmosphere. Everyone is free to voice their opinions in a civil manner. Anyone caught deliberately making others feel uncomfortable (via drama, flaming, trolling, patronizing others, and so forth) will be dealt with immediately and strictly.


Tl;dr...
Post new threads, and ye shall receive!


Stuck for ideas?
These are some of the things you can suggest. It's by no means a comprehensive list, but feel free to use it as a springboard for your own ideas.

1. Rules (New ones or changes to old ones.)
2. Forums/categories (Including games that would require their own forums, such as an ASB league.)
3. Plugins (You can browse this or this for anything that looks interesting. Please include a link to the thread when writing your proposal.)
4. Restrictions (Post limits to PMs, blogs, member titles, whatever. Also includes whether or not we keep or disable various features, like the rep function.)
5. Skins (Especially if you've made one you'd like us to use.)
6. Events/contests.
7. Your idea here!


I have a question!
We have an answer! If you're lost or confused about how this works, simply post in this thread to ask!
Holmes: Punch me in the face.
Watson: Punch you?
Holmes: Yes! Punch me! In the face! Didn't you hear me?
Watson: I always hear "punch me in the face" when you're speaking, but it's usually subtext.
- Sherlock, "The Scandal in Belgravia"

The girl responsible for this atrocity to mankind. And this one. And these
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