- Getting started
- Tell someone who cares
- Good things
- Bad things
- Some house keeping items - linking, formatting and embedding
- Postcounts 101
- Contacting Atomic HQ
The Atomic forums are a place where you can discuss just about anything. The people who post here are usually interesting, intelligent, funny, wise, knowledgeable, friendly and respectful of others. Exactly as you would expect from any social situation where real live human beings interact, and exactly what we expect from you.
To keep everything legal and as civil as possible, we have a set of guidelines. This FAQ serves as a quick and practical guide to using and enjoying these forums. We ask that you read and understand everything in this FAQ. The complete and ultimate set of rules is the terms and conditions document, which is the basis for your continued use of the Atomic site. Trademart has its own Trademart FAQ.
If you read only one of these, this FAQ before you is the one to go with, but reading all the FAQs and Ts & Cs will give you a greater understanding of the site. All the absolute rules and regs can be found in the Terms and Conditions here.
You will also find the old Atomic archives (everything before V3) here which contain much wisdom and hilarity.
Enjoying the forums is like being at a great party - you'll see and hear all sorts of crazy things. If something offends you, just ignore it. If you don't like someone, ignore them. If something really irks you, the Mods await.
There are good times and great friendships to be had here; heaps to learn and plenty to share with others.
But most importantly of all, have fun!
Tell someone who cares
If you see something that you think is against the Spirit of Atomic, we respectfully ask that you not deal with it yourself, but rather that you hit the 'Report!' link which appears at the bottom left of each and every post. Because of the large volume of activity on the Atomic forums, Moderators cannot always act immediately when action is called for, so please be patient and respectful while they deal with necessities of the 'real world'. The Moderators have been forum members for years; they know how things work and want you to have a good time.
While we believe the rules and Terms and Conditions here are clear, the unpredictable variety of discussion topics often mean that Moderators base their decisions on judgement calls. We feel that having too many hard and fast rules is limiting to the growth and potential of this site. We do not want to run Atomic with a set of ‘You do X, you get response Y” rules. That forces both users and Mods into a corner. Rather, the Mod team will look at each issue individually, and judge each case on its own merit. Occasionally precedents apply, and they will be considered - do not expect cookie-cutter reactions or decisions.
The Moderators’ final decision is binding, and it is good not to test the limits of the rules by deliberately posting material that is borderline just to see if you can get away with it. Just use common sense and everything will be fine.
Your Mod team
Atomic Moderators have a distinctive red 'Mod' under their name. Atomic staff have agreed to be known as 'Gods', by popular request of the people.
For a list of those lucky enough to be burdened with Modship, take a look here.
Now, while you can contact a Mod directly, it's best to use the 'Report!' feature on each post to contact them for queries. They aren't always on call and so may not get back to you immediately if you PM them direct. If you do have something you want to ask, just 'Report!' any post with your query, the Mods will see it's not related to the post and someone will get back to you.
Very good things
You couldn't ask for better advice than the good old 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' rule. If you're a nice person, nice things will happen to you. If you're an arsehat, expect to be treated like one, by Atomicans and Mods alike.
We ask that you be kind, entertaining, curious, involved, informative, friendly and, most importantly, open. Our forums are populated by people of every race, chemistry, creed, colour, flavour and sexuality – and they are all very dear to us. We encourage all forms of discussion and debate, but we humbly ask that you keep one more rule in mind: ‘Do what thou wilt, though it hurt no other’.
Very good people - Heroes and Superheroes
The prestigious title of Hero is awarded by the Gods to those who have served the Forum community above and beyond the call of duty. The definition of a true Hero is a broad one. Heroes can be recognised for their awesome contributions to the tech help sections, or for their constant funniness and sense of humour, or for their relentless insightful commentary into a diverse range of subjects, and also a lot of other reasons. Generally, Heroes have a combination of one or all of these attributes.
The ultimate rank is Superhero - a Hero of Heroes, a distinctly superb and outstanding champion. Once again, the rank of Superhero is awarded by Gods. Like Heroes, they carry their title only because they are reliably magnificent. All are beautiful and smart. They are the best of the best.
...and bad things
The Atomic forums are Moderated to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone. If you choose to ignore our guidelines for the site, or are ignorant of them, it is a Moderator or member of Atomic staff that will respond. That response may be a friendly nudge in the right direction, a warning, a suspension, or at worst, a permanent ban. Your post or thread could also be moved, edited or deleted. Threads are sometimes locked if they are dead in the water, or have degenerated hopelessly into spam or abuse.
Very bad things
Some things will likely draw the immediate attention and ire of the Mods and Gods. You don't want that, so we respectfully ask that you do not:
- Threaten to harm another member in any way. Not only for legal reasons, but also because it’s just damn uncool.
- Post the contents of any PM in the forums. The ‘P’ stands for private, so please keep it that way.
- Impersonate another user. It might seem funny, but please don’t do this.
- Post warez links, request a CD key or ask for help in cracking software licenses or restrictions. Again, this is a major legal issue.
- Post anyone's contact details or personal information without their permission - this includes forum users and those offline. You wouldn’t want someone to do this to you, so keep that in mind.
- Ignore a request from a Moderator. If a Mod asks you to desist from a negative action, please do so.
- Modify the functionality of the site in any way.
There are some other actions that we feel are inherently against the Spirit of Atomic, and as such, engaging in such acts or behaviour will likely result in you being contacted by a Mod. This list is by no means an exhaustive account of things that we find distasteful, but in general all we ask is that you engage in the site and other users with the spirit of ‘Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself’:
- Personal attacks. Criticise the idea, not the person. "You are wrong" is not a personal attack. "You are wrong because you are an idiot" is. We certainly encourage healthy and robust debate, but let’s not go overboard, folks.
- Posting porn links, or links to objectionable material. There are many other places in the vastness of the web for such things. The Moderator's judgment as to what constitutes objectionable material will apply in each case. This naturally applies to embedded pictures or other media.
- Trolling. Deliberately posting inflammatory comments just to upset someone or attract an aggressive response is lame and uncool. It’s pretty obvious to all concerned when someone is baiting traps just so they can score points – again, this is very much a judgment call, but trust that you will be dealt with eventually. If not by a Mod in an official capacity, then surely by the community as they ignore your sorry arse.
- Spamming. Please do not flood the site with useless content, or empty, repetitive posts. Or empty, repetitive posts. Or empty, repetitive posts. Or empty, repetitive posts.
- Promoting your business for commercial gain is generally a no-no, as we have many sponsors who support Atomic by actually buying such a privilege.
- Posting in the wrong section. Our forum categories are clearly worded using the popular 'English language' to help you get it right.
- Using nondescript thread titles. "I have a question" will attract a poor response, plus makes the forums look boring. "Is it time for a black gay Pope?" will likely get some good attention, and shows the forums to be lively and original.
- Using an image for your avatar, or a username that is likely to cause offense. Again, this is a rather vague area, so the Mods will use their Borg-like discretion in judging each case on its merits.
- Swearing in thread titles is not allowed and any offending title will be edited, you may also be contacted by a mod. This is one of our few hard and fast rules.
- No cross-posting of the same thread in different forums. Post it once, post it well.
- Don't be lazy and just post a link and expect everyone to run off and have a look. Add some info about what the link is, and most importantly, your opinion of why the link is worthy of clickage.
- Racism, sexism, or any other behaviour the Mods and Gods deem to be unfairly pejorative. Hate speech of any kind has no place on Atomic.
Ultimately, all we ask for is respect. Show respect to Atomic, and everyone here, and that's what you can expect in return.
A few housekeeping items
You can find a very handy help page right here. It goes over pretty much all of the technical functions of the forums, so if you want to know how to search or post or get a list of members or even fry an egg, check that out first.
Now for a few more specific guidelines of the cool features you have at your fingertips.
The very nature of the internet demands a free exchange of ideas. Atomic stands behind this fundamental tenet of open information exchange and encourages the concept.
Forum posting often involves linking to other sites. You are free to post a link to any other site provided it doesn't break any of the rules of the FAQ, being primarily that you do not post or link to:
- Porn sites, or sites containing porn or clear porn links.
- Images or video of extreme violence. Remember – Atomic is love. Common sense should be your guide here, but if in doubt, PM a Mod.
- Warez sites.
- Commercial sites that you are affiliated with.
- Hate sites. Again, in typical forum conversation some links may be in context to the conversation and therefore acceptable, but if in doubt, PM a Mod.
We understand that during typical forum conversation you may feel the need to link to sites that may not explicitly fall within these defined categories, but may still breach the expected standards we strive for here. In these situations common sense is again your best guide, but if in doubt it's simply best to PM a Mod and ask if the site you wish to link to is acceptable before posting it.
We also ask that you observe good community etiquette and not promote any competitor site to Atomic. Linking to any competitor site or sending PMs for the explicit purpose of recruiting new members is not allowed; it's simply bad form. We respect what you give; please respect what we provide. If you receive such a PM please report it to the Moderators. Linking to a competitor site that contains information related to the conversational topic at hand is fine.
These rules also apply to links in your signature.
If you cut and paste from another site, whether it be a news or information site, or another forum or newsgroup, you must credit the source and provide a link to the originating site. If you are quoting from material from a source other than the internet you must credit the original author.
It's just simple courtesy to show you think highly enough of the author to credit their hard work to them when you use that work.
Any blatant attempt at plagiarism may incur a warning. Repeat offenders will be banned.
Reporting a questionable PM
If you receive spam, are abused or otherwise are concerned about behaviour in a private message, please don't post it in the forums, but rather do the following:
- Take note of the user's ID number. This can be found by looking at a link to their profile or a link to send them a PM.
- Copy the text of the PM you received as well as the name of the user and/or their ID.
- Enter any thread, pick any post, and click the 'Report!' link in the bottom left of the post.
- Paste in the details you gathered and click send.
A Moderator will take care of the user for you.
Postcount and rank
Click on your name (or anyone else's) to see their postcount.
As your postcount increases, so will your rank on the forums. These ranks are to give a very general indication to others how long you've been around and how active you are. Spamming ('rank spam') to increase your rank is severely frowned upon and will earn you a warning at the least.
The Famous Atomic Forum Ranks
There is also 3 main user groups on the forums;
Lurker - Between 0 and 16 posts you will be part of this group. You will be unable to access PM system and Trademart. This was added to restrict PM spammers and to ensure the 128 post rule for Trademart.
Quark - Between 17 and 128 posts, you will be unable to access Trademart. Again, this is to uphold the 128 post rule in Trademart.
Atomican - You will automatically be migrated to this when you get to 128 posts!
Please refer to the Trademart FAQ for everything you need to know about buying and selling gear with your fellow Atomicans.
Most importantly you need to have at least 128 posts before you can post in Trademart. This was a rule that was asked for by Atomicans that regularly use Trademart. Posting buy/sell threads in forums other than Trademart before you reach 128 posts are not allowed and will be deleted and you may face a warning, suspension or banning.
Email David Hollingworth with general Atomic site enquiries.