I try and run the boards in the style of my favourite band - Led Zeppelin. They famously described their music as 'tight but loose'. As a musician myself I totally get that definition. For those disinclined to consider the contradiction I would explain it thus:
Having definite structure and direction with all parties working in harmony but with enough 'space' for individual views, avenues, opinions, styles and ideas to breathe.
I rarely have to police these boards, they are more or less self policing. That is because of the kinds of people FIGHTING TALK attracts. I would define those people as helpful, generous, independent minded, serious, considered, enthusiastic and with enough self awareness to recognize the boundaries of acceptable behaviour and when to turn the volume down because you are bugging the neighbours. Oh, and with enough humour and self deprecation to roll a little with the waves.
I have only banned one solitary member in six or so years of running the forum. That was for a personal attack. I don't have a sin-bin, stifle mechanism or mechanical process for members rating each other. They do that silently and obviously(to my eyes). I don't charge for sponsorship or advertising, I let perceived competitor companies freely promote their products on the various boards (I know many of them personally - Nick of Ebor, Bill of Musketeer, Graham of Crann Tara.. the list goes on). We are a nice community.
Occasionally little flash points appear. Someone gets upset because they feel wronged or they have wronged someone else. Much of the time I find that quite funny I must confess. Grown men arguing like the schoolboys we ALL really still are! Some boys in the playground (just like school yard) are a bit more sensitive than others. Can't take the rough and tumble. Can hand it out but can't take it back and go crying to Mummy or Daddy. There has been a fair bit of that over the 6 years.
Sometimes, people actually break the law whether through lack of care or ignorance or deliberately or just being clueless. In such a situation I am liable whether I had anything to do with it or not. I have, on several occasions had to deal with the fall out - touchy copyright owners, authors feeling unloved and slighted, threats of legal action. Luckily in all cases common sense and some deft handling prevailed. I mention this because sometimes some observers may not see the bigger picture nor understand when the very occasional warning shot has been fired by me. The targets are invariably the types of people who would probably not survive in a war situation as their awareness of danger is somewhat desensitised or non existent.
There was no real need for me to go to such lengths to offer background to a non specific situation as no one is named in my text however... let me finish by saying;
I am quite a busy chap. I run 3 companies and spend about 50% of the year travelling internationally. I have no support moderating the boards here other than the goodwill and helpfulness of many friends who field questions and keep an eye on situations. What I don't need to deal with are self harmers or those who deliberately upset the majority of forum members with crass or rude remarks. Those people, whoever they are, are free to leave whenever they like. Some have done so. This is a freewill choice and nothing to do with me whatever you may think. Of the 800+ members over the years, I repeat, 1 only was banned and that was over 2 years ago.
Enjoy FIGHTING TALK folks, it is there for the majority not as a playpen for those who don't understand the norms of behaviour.
"If you think you can, or if you think you can't, you are probably right"