Whoo boy. It’s been kind of crazy these last few weeks around here. Some behind the scenes stuff, some more public stuff, but you know what? It’s all good. We have quite a few newcomers coming in, and for them and those that aren’t here all that often, things can get kind of confusing and hectic. With that said, I think we’re overdue for a user manual to the ODeck, and for that I apologize for not ever actually, you know, consolidating guidelines/suggestions. So here we go.

1. Be nice to each other.

I can’t overstate this one enough. Be Nice To Each Other. Don’t be an ass. If you are, then neither I, Ruthless, or Eridani will hold back. Generally we are civil people around here, regardless of personality or opinions. Civil discourse is our underlying foundation. Of course, by civil discourse I don’t mean,

I mean as long as you don’t call someone else a chucklefuck or dingleberry maliciously, you’ll be fine. If someone tells you that you’re being a dick, and you double down, one of us will do something, be it deauthorizing, greying you, or straight up banning. Banning is rare, but usually happens if someone is trolling, or keeps talking shit.

Advertisement

Another thing is never pile on. Sometimes someone says something to you that’s completely stupid to you. Fine. But if you reshare that comment on the ODeck, like a call to arms or something, I will destroy you. We do not shit stir here. I, personally, hate any sort of drama. If you want to start a twitter war or something, keep that shit off of the ODeck.

All the suggestions that follow can definitely be open to interpretation, and I’ve been told that I’m wrong many times in the past re: topicality, but Rule 1 is absolutely ironclad. Don’t be an ass. Pissing off a mod is bad, sure, but honestly why would you want to piss anyone off? If you’re being contentious for the sake of being contentious, don’t.

Incidentally, if you have an issue with another commenter/a troll/us, you can email us at

odeckmod (at) g mail

One of us will usually respond within the day if we’re not too drunk.

2. Topicality/Content

This one is probably the question we get asked the most by passers-by and vengeful spirits. What, exactly, DOES the ODeck cover? A bit of backstory.

Advertisement

The Observation Deck gradually came together maybe, I’d say, seven years ago, as a subset of commenters from io9 that wanted a space to talk about their interests apart from the mainpage. With the introduction of tags, it was pretty easy for us to keep all of our collective yammers separate from io9 proper. Over the years, and with the introduction of Kinja, it became a lot more of a formalized space for all of us to gather. But that also meant that the ODeck became easier to find, and thus some content filtering had to be put in place.

We talk about anything that’s sci-fi, fantasy, or science related. Medium doesn’t matter. Film, comics, microfiche, shadow puppets, doesn’t matter. Hard sci-fi, soft sci-fi, alternate history sci-fi, historical fiction, low fantasy, high fantasy, medium hot fantasy, political science, agricultural science, it doesn’t matter.

I once told someone that their post on British elections was irrelevant unless a big blue box was involved. I was quickly told that political science is kind of a thing, and this led to Much Shame and Dishonor in my household. So if you believe your post is relevant, and one of us says it isn’t, let’s talk. Remembering rule 1, of course.

With that said, you can’t just shoehorn in sci-fi into any old topic and call it a day. Talking about your pirogi that had a bit of mold in it doesn’t count, even if you say the mold reminded you of Swamp Thing.

If the subsequent aftermath of eating said pirogi led to you developing mutant powers, though, holy shit, can I have your autograph?

Also, please remember:

Please read the linked post. If you won’t, fine, but don’t expect any gifts this year: If you write a post that you regret writing, don’t delete it. Ever. Ever ever ever. Making a mistake is bad, sure. But deleting a post and whatever discussions that transpired in it? Bad. I don’t know about other forums. But here, even the worst posts have had such enlightening discussions that completely change the context of said posts, and honestly I’ve seen some of the best stuff come out of the dumpster fires that people can (accidentally, let’s give them some credit) create. Plus, deleting your post always leads to accusations of censorship, and we don’t remove posts unless they’re irrelevant comment reshares.

Advertisement

Also, and I know this is a touchy one, personal topics should be considered carefully before posting. We’re still a community, after all, and we should be able to talk with one another. But we don’t want the ODeck to become an armchair psychology course, either. We have daily open threads, or at least we try, and I would highly encourage anyone with something not entirely relevant to comment in there. If there isn’t an open thread yet on the first page or so, start one!

As for particular posts: there’s been rumblings in the peanut gallery about the ODeck turning into a content farm. I can’t change what Kinja is, and what it’s used for. But I would like to say that, out of respect for other posters that wish to post their thoughts, please consider how much you’re posting a day. We’ve already agreed w/ io9 proper that certain articles, namely listicles and best/worst ofs, will be mainpaged at certain times of the week/day, as detailed in the above link (read link pls).

We are a community first and foremost.

3. Consolidation

Oh this is fun.

http://observationdeck.io9.com/gentle-suggest…

It’s been absolutely nuts in the comic cinematic world lately, hasn’t it? What with the Ages of Upton and Bravedemon on the Interflix, there’s a lot to talk about. But I highly encourage everyone to consolidate their thoughts into one or two posts. It does no one any good to see five Ultron posts in a row, especially if they aren’t the least bit interested in the movie and just want to read/talk about something else. If there’s already a post on a subject you want to talk about, discuss it in there! Have a conversation, engage with the community. MANDATORY FUN TIME, GODDAMNIT.

4. I Honestly Don’t Have A Fourth Thing To Write Here, Oh My Gods Why Did I Start A Listicle.

Holy fucking shit that took like an hour to write. I probably missed some stuff because I’m doing this on my lunch break, so PLEASE let me know what I didn’t get.

yes i gave myself a seal of approval shut up omg

5. WAIT I KNOW. MEAT BEFORE THE BREAK

I forgot about this one. No stub articles. At least add a small summary before the break so it doesn’t look like a vestigial organ. And for gods’ sake, don’t just throw up a tweet and let that be that. We want to hear what you have to say, not just a drive-by tweeting.