The Dropzone.com Forums is an incredibly fun place to hang out, and it's a truly open because our community members come in with broad interests and backgrounds from all over the world, yet still find a way to meet on common ground. Users of different cultures, beliefs, and varying levels of skydiving experience intermingle freely.
"Open" at Dropzone.com means that new forum members, skydivers and whuffos can come here and ask questions without fear of being put down. "Open" means that users can come here and talk about their opinions without being shut down or kicked at the drop of a hat. "Open" at Dropzone.com means that people can talk about skydiving (of course!) and also about many things outside of the skydiving realm.
"Open" at Dropzone.com does not mean that the loudest, most obnoxious, most profane individuals are given the chance to steal the floor by sheer audacity. "Open" has never meant that individuals have a license to abuse the platform and the audience that these forums offer them. "Open" has never meant that blatant racism and sexism should be tolerated. "Open" has never meant that individuals are free to beat topics into the ground and thrive on provoking others. "Shock value" is not something that we value, and it has absolutely nothing to do with true openness. (With respect to the team over at ArsTechnica.)
I've made a some changes to the forums to accommodate our growing community and to ensure we can continue to have open discussions. The most significant change is that we've redefined the Forum Rules and I've detailed my interpretation of the rules in the policies. The Forum Rules and policies will be enforced. Continued use of Dropzone.com is your acceptance of the new rules and policies.
We run the forums with open minds and try to facilitate an inviting environment where you can talk about a broad range of topics. We love to see people share new ideas, and meet new people. We also appreciate the fact that this is a broad community and the people have different interest and topics they'd wish to discuss and therefore I've restructured the community forums to allow for different types of conversation. Some people want to hang around The Bonfire and just kick back and relax. Others want to get on their soap box at the Speakers Corner and have their say. These two types of activities thrive in two very different environments with very different tones. So that's what we have. To respect those who want to relax, politics, guns and religion as topics around The Bonfire are specifically forbidden. Feel free to walk over to the Speakers Corner and have your go at those topics. I'd suggest that in general you pull up your soap box for any other sociological debate or discussion over there as well. You do not have carte blanche at the Speakers Corner to act irresponsibly and treat others with disrespect. The Dropzone.com Forum Rules and policies apply here in the same way as it does across all other forums. We're hoping that this separation in tone will allow everyone to find a place where they feel comfortable to spend time and meet people.
I have also made some changes to curb some of the bad (and outdated) habits that developed over time and hopefully this will improve the experience for everyone. The old titles that used to be related to the number of posts a user has made has been removed. I will use this space in the near future to push more relevant skydiving information from your profile to the front. Please take a minute and update your profile. The emphasis is very much back on skydiving first, so to that extent you'll find that the forums has also been reorganized to move skydiving specific boards to the top.
I know that all change is experienced as a death, and that it will be impossible to please everyone. I'm not going to engage in a lengthy debate about these changes but you are welcome to post your feedback in the Suggestions and Feedback forum or send it to me via PM. The forums have grown enormously over the last few years and I'm hoping that these changes will set us up for continued growth and even more fun than ever before in the foreseeable future. So, have fun and remember: the Golden Rule applies.
(This post was edited by sangiro on Apr 5, 2004, 4:57 AM)