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The obligatory meta thread

It's the start of a new season, which means news readers and old are going to converge to continue to enhance this community. BF saw a major uptick in active members and community involvement this offseason, and with so much up in the air this year, I hope that trend continues.  Like I said in my last recap last year, all you readers and commenters are the ones that fuel this site and that keep me so invested in its success.

Before the season starts, though, I just wanted to spell out a few quick requests I have of all community members.  For old users, these will serve as reminders.  For newcomers, who I all hope will jump in and join the discussion, these are probably new.  I've always felt that the less regulation the better, but there are some things to keep in mind to make this place as good a community as possible.

Respect each other: This is really the one rule that I'm very picky about.  In order to have a functioning community, we cannot start attacking each other.  We want this to be a place where people keep coming back because they enjoy the discussion and the people that take part in it.  If someone's character is under attack at any point, they won't want to come back.  It's really that simple.  We're all Wizards fans posting on a Wizards blog, and while we may disagree with each other about the state of the team, the very fact that we have this commonality means everyone is worthy of our respect.

What's an example of not respecting each other?  If you ever find yourself writing something like "do you even watch basketball," "you're not a true fan," or "anyone who watches basketball knows that ___," then you've probably crossed the line.  Even if it is in jest, be very careful with your phrasing so that nobody misconstrews your post.  If someone takes offense with something you write, it's your fault for writing it, not their fault for taking offense.

If you're still confused, apply the golden rule.  If you wouldn't say it to someone in person, don't write it in a comment/FanPost/FanShot here.

As a sidepoint to this, try to keep an open mind: Everyone's stubborn in their opinions, and that's fine.  I know I certainly am.  But do try to see each other's points when you are in a disagreement.  Also, it's no fun to read you find different ways to bash a single player on the team in places where such criticism doesn't belong.  We all have our favorites (Andray Blatche) and our whipping boys (Juan Dixon), but avoid stupid nicknames like "Da Bust" to describe anyone on the team (you know who you are).

Keep profanity to a minimum: I don't mind it in a Game Thread, when the comments are spur of the moment, but if there's a way to articulate your thought without cursing, use it. 

Keep your posts on topic and in the right thread: This is for organizational purposes more than anything.  If you're posting in a thread about Gilbert Arenas' return from injury, don't change the topic and instead talk about a piece of news regarding Nick Young.  Open a new FanPost or FanShot so that people can discuss that there.

Along those same lines, please try to click "reply" when responding to a specific poster.  Also, if you really like what someone wrote, recommend it using the "rec" button.

Link everything you find: If you see a piece of news, provide a link to where you found it.  You wouldn't hand in a paper without citing your evidence, would you?

Attack ideas, not character: This is kind of like the first point, but when you don't agree with something I write or something anyone else writes, explain why you disagree with the content of the post.  For example, if one poster says that they don't want Juan Dixon playing any minutes this season, explain why you think his reasoning is flawed.  Don't call them a "hater" or "biased."  Every opinion anyone has is biased.  That's the whole idea of having an opinion.

Any questions/criticisms about anything?: E-mail Jake, Truth or I with specific concerns.  Our e-mails are on the side of the page.  I will keep this post open for questions and suggetions you have about anything on the site.  If you want to see the layout changed, let me know and I'll tell you whether it's possible.  If there is something you don't understand, always feel free to ask.

Here's to a great new season, both for the Wiz and for Bullets Forever.