So, welcome everyone - I think. I'm going to be honest, I'm fairly nervous about this. We have had over 100 registrations in the last 24 hours and I'm not really sure how this will play out, but I'm willing to give it a shot with your cooperation.
Brief site history lesson:
My name is Scott and I started this website in September 1996. It was hosted on Geocities and its primary purpose was to advertise for my newly formed Bills Backers Club in Maryland. Being a Mac user, I knew nothing about computers, but I am also an engineer so I just rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I quickly realized that I would need to provide regular updates to the site if I wanted people to visit and help me get the word out. That then changed the focus of the site from a club recruitment tool to an outlet for Bills fans. We were in business for years before the NFL ever thought of starting to get involved with the internet.
In Feb. of 1998, The Rochester D&C had a message board called HyperBills and they shut it down for a month or so, as it had spiraled out of control. Many posters there emailed me asking if I could add a MB feature to TBD. I think I had it up by the afternoon... Those who came - stayed and that's when we really took off. (So, we have been at this for over 20 years and the Stadium Wall just turned 19).
Millions and millions of posts later and deja vu.
Although today is probably different from yesteryear, I founded the community with the following goals in mind:
1. A place that I enjoy being around.
2. A place where smart adults would be willing to hang. This doesn't mean everyone needed/needs to be an egghead, just that the average level of discourse needed to be high enough not to chase valuable contributors away. I often contrasted us to the old usenet communities that were unmoderated filth that no educated person would ever associate with for any length of time.
3. That the way I would build this community was neither right nor wrong. Just my way. One of many equally valid ways.
4. That this community could not serve the needs of every fan. Some may want less moderation, some more moderation. We can only choose one path and we know that it could never make everyone happy.
5. Cater to adults over kids. No graphics in signatures and other busy layout schemes. In fact, the text based sigs may be going away to make the even design cleaner.
6. Lightly moderated because the quality of poster we attract wouldn't need to be heavily moderated. In general, if you have a hard time with us - you really have no desire to be a real member of this community. 99% of the members here have never received a warning. Then there are the 1% who have a dozen.
7. A place where females could feel comfortable (for the most part).
8. A place that you can load/read at work without being fired for something grossly inappropriate being displayed on your monitor.
Yes, players, coaches and administrators are praised and criticized as each individual poster sees fit. We ask that this is done in good taste. For example, many posters identified Ralph Wilson as being a major part of the organization's dysfunction. That's fine. Discuss it all day. However, openly wishing he would just die was not appreciated and those types of posts were quickly addressed. So, discuss what you wish but try to do it in good taste.
Curse words get filtered and I ask that you don't try to change spellings to get around the filter. Everyone can infer the emotion of the !@#$ word you wrote. You don't need to be explicit to make your point.
The issue we probably have the most trouble with is "crusading". The bottom line here is that there isn't a single poster on this board that has the power to make any change with the team. And because of that, there is no reason to try and make every single person agree with you by bludgeoning everyone with the same opinion endlessly. Make your point once. Make it twice. Make it when appropriate. Just don't make the same point in every thread, every day, day after day. It just pisses people off.
Please don't post racy avatars. This is a work friendly community. In general, if you have to write "NSFW" you should probably not post it.
Note that I hand approve all registrations and sometimes that is slow.
Please do your best to ease yourself into the community. Read more than you post to start. It would be appreciated.
Please leave any BBMB baggage at the door. This is a fresh start for anyone coming here. This would also be GREATLY appreciated.
That's all for now. Thanks.