Hello from your friendly neighborhood madmins! The forum is just a couple of months away from its first anniversary. We weren't certain it would get off the ground, or that it would ever get out from the shadow of Big INTPC Brother, but it seems to have done both of those things. We've got a diverse membership, getting more diverse each day, and a distinct flavor that I think makes this a really attractive place to call Home Sweet Internet Home. There's no way we could have done this without each and every one of you bringing what you bring to the table. So, thanks.
When we created this forum, it became clear that we needed to provide a space for people to blow off steam and socialize with each other. We had the Bonfire, but it seemed that we needed an even more casual space than that. It was for this purpose that the Fluff Zone was created. It was NOT (I want to underscore this!) NOT created as a punishment, or to discourage social posting.
As FineLine eloquently pointed out, we NEED the fluff posts to get to know each other, see ourselves in our casual clothes, and build relationships. So having a thread or a spate of posts moved to the Fluff Zone isn't a wrist-slap of any sort- it's simple forum maintenence. Some people prefer a more serious tone, and we want to accomodate them too, so keeping the casual, chat-oriented posting in the Fluff Zone is a way to keep the peace between different types. This is an all-types community and we want EVERYONE to feel at home here. So, in the interests of tidiness and accomodation, we ask that you do your best to keep the casual conversation in the Fluff Zone (and to a lesser extent the Bonfire) and not take it personally if your threads or posts are moved by a madmin.
In the FAQ, we have a line about "repeated and/or sole posting of fluff" (item 6) and that doing so after warnings can result in a Graveyard shift. (This is when a member is restricted to posting in the Graveyard section of the forum for a short time.) I don't think it has ever been done, and I hope it never is. In my opinion, this option is in place in case of an hypothetical member who, after being warned to cut back on the fluff in the non-fluff areas, went on a passive-aggressive fluff posting spree.
Personally, I don't think it's likely to come to this because we have a particularly bright and friendly member base, and I don't think there's a lot of passive-aggression here. We get things out on the table and debate them, and maybe yell at each other a little in the process, but eventually it makes for a healthier forum. So I think we can do this. It'll be a team effort, though. I'm asking everyone to do your best to consider what part of the forum you're posting in as you post.
Thanks to everyone for making this forum so enjoyable and rewarding!