updated Jun 2, 2010
Participation in the PoolForum is subject to certain conditions.
Violating any of these conditions will result in your membership being terminated, without refund if you've subscribed. Please understand that I -- and I alone -- am the final arbiter of whether you did, or did not violate the terms. Let me warn in advance that individuals in the pool industry have typically found it nearly impossible to abide by these terms. (See below for further notes for pool industry members.)
That said, here are the conditions:
These conditions help preserve the value of the Poolforum for everyone. Please support them.
- Don't sell or promote stuff!
This is the #1 reason people get banned, and it's the reason people in the trade can't abide the rules. Sell stuff -- and that includes statements like "my product is best" -- WILL get you banned instantly. Promote stuff -- "I think my new super duper Whiz-a-rink sanitizer is what everyone ought to use" -- and you may get a warning, or you may get banned.
- Be polite, kind, and respectful.
Personal attacks and ad hominem arguments will get you a warning . . . once! Cussing, obscenity (remember I judge), lying, and the like will get you banned instantly. Use language acceptable to your 2nd grade teacher, your Sunday School teacher or your old maid aunt! Even though I'm from the south, 'red-neck' vocabulary is not allowed here, and will get you banned.
- Be nice to newbies.
Remember that everyone was once a newbie -- always be polite and kind when newbies ask the kind of stupid question you once asked, too. Even when it's necessary to tell them to stop being so nervous, and posting new questions every hour, and to just go and do what they've been told . . . DO IT NICELY!
- If you're in the biz, say so in a signature line.
If you are in the pool industry -- as an employee, owner, partner, representative, contractor, manager, consultant, engineer, etc -- or directly related to someone in the pool industry (father, mother, spouse, child), you MUST disclose this fact when you sign up initially, AND in every single post you make, after. Be SURE that this line only describes your role, and does NOT sell your product, services, or company! (See further notes below)
- Post questions, don't PM them!
Private messages should be for *personal* communications, like 'how's your sick cat doing?', not for pool questions that should be posted on the forum. Also, please keep in mind that PM's are not utterly private: I have the database passwords, and see all PM's when doing certain types of maintenance. Don't use PM's for things that need to be totally private.
- Unpublished conditions
There are some other conditions, as well, mostly having to do with site security. But if I ban you for an unposted condition, I'll refund what you paid.
FURTHER NOTES FOR POOL INDUSTRY MEMBERS
In theory, pool industry members are more than welcome to the PoolForum. A few have been helpful participants for a long time. PoolSean is a good example. BUT, the great majority end up being banned, and more than that, many have ended up in the Hall of Shame section of the forum. It's proven very, very hard for most pool industry members to participate here, without selling, and without promoting some pool industry baloney. If you doubt me, PM PoolSean, and ask him!
If you are in the industry, you may want to ask yourself, if you really want to participate here: the PoolForum is focused on helping pool owners manage their pools, not on helping the pool industry sell more stuff.
At a minimum, before you post, you should
- Read the first ten tips on the PoolSolutions' site
If you don't agree with these, your FIRST posts MUST be in the China Shop section. You can find them here.
- Think carefully about *why* you are here.
If it's to explain your wonderful product to the PoolForum members, DO NOT DO IT. "Explaining wonderful products" equals selling. Instead of doing that, go the the Hall of Shame, and read some of the posts there. Consider whether you want your posts to end up there. (OTOH, if you want to SUPPORT your products, AND your product category, like PoolSean does, please do so!)
- If you think you are a pool expert,
because you've passed the exam and are now a CPO (or a P.O.O.L. or an AFO), go read the ten tips, and more. Much of what's in the CPO manual* is wrong; much that should be in the manual is left out. Keep in mind that Thomas Lachocki, CEO of the NSPF, is an BioLab executive, and not likely to teach folks how to do more with less.
- Read at least 10 complete threads on the Forum, before
you post a single answer. Then, ask yourself if you really feel at home here.
- Don't be regional!
Unless you've worked in multiple areas of the country, chances are you have no idea how much the pool biz varies from region to region. Examples: screen pool enclosures are almost standard in south Florida, but virtually unknown elsewhere; pool chemicals & equipment costs are 25% to 50% cheaper in south Florida and southern California, than in the rest of the country; and so on. Unless you KNOW the area the original poster is from, don't say things like, "a liner replacement should cost $XXX" or "sand filters are standard"!
* I believe the very latest CPO manual may be significantly improved, but I haven't seen it yet.