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Couch Tomato

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January 29, 2007 Well as we begin to archive and delete some threads I thought it time to take a look at the rules. We used several different board FAQs to help us create our rules and what I've discovered over the past couple years is that they don't really fit. Although we joke about the fact that as mods we really don't like to do anything, that's all it is, joking. The fact of the matter is that we haven't really had to do much because FCA has the best membership ever.

The Board:

This board is for fans of Clay Aiken. We are here to celebrate so hell yes it will be a bit on the angelwingy side. If you like to criticize clay 24/7 this isn't the place for you. Everything Clay does, says, sings, wears will not make you happy and it's ok to say so but do it with respect. He ain't no Jesus or a saint but he is human and is prone to mistakes like everybody else. But none of them are life threatening and shouldn't be treated as such. Just remember there is no way Clay can please his diverse fan base with each decision he makes. We are not really his girl friends so please don't play the jilted lover when he displeases you. It's not pretty.

Be respectful of other members. Don't respond in anger or elevate something that could be a mere misunderstanding. If you write something on a message board there is a 100% chance that somebody somewhere will disagree with you and say so. Don't take it personally. Also keep in mind that Clay has fans in every walk of life. Don't stereotype anyone by gender, religion, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

If you bring content from another board or news site, please cite the source. We want to give credit where it is due. Also if the source is, let's say, Page 666, we'll be able to judge it accordingly. Don't post whole articles... post a link (unless it's some kind of crazy hater that we don't want to give hits). The normal course of action is to post a link and a short paragraph from the article so we'll know what it is about.

Our photo policy as follows:

Photo galleries are provided to all members. You may post your own photos in your gallery. Please identify the photographer in all photos not taken by you. This is all about giving credit where it is due.


OK ripped from the board philosophy:

"And finally, about Clay, the reason we are here. He is the object of our AFFECTION and we would like that spirit to be reflective in your posts even if you're saying, what in the world did he do to his hair. If you are feeling an overall disenchantment, go somewhere else. Don't get in the way of our fun."

I can't say this enough. If you live to pick pick pick, overanalyze the life out of everything, put the worst possible spin on everything that happens, think the sky is falling every time Clay doesn't get an invite, or I can't tell if you're a fan or a TWoP hater, then really, please, go somewhere else. There are a ton of boards out there waiting for you. Good, spirited discussion can happen without these elements.

Clay's privacy will be respected and his security will not be discussed or questioned. Bottom line, Clay has some scary fans and haters. We will not help them locate Clay, his haunts, homes of his friends and family, or local grocery, cleaners, or church. If Clay has 10 bodyguards around him I'm going to assume they know something we don't and not insist he's being a diva or should be able to have a normal life. If something is posted that we feel threatens Clay's privacy or security, it will be deleted without notice.


Admins and Mods are here to keep things running as smoothly as possible. Please contact one of us if you have concerns or technical problems. We will try to act in a timely and fair manner. Mods and Admins have the power to edit your post, to fix coding issues, or take out questionable content. You will be contacted by PM any time your post is edited.

And finally, this is your community and suggestions are welcome.

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Yesterday and today's discussions have been enlightening. But after talking with the mods, and reading the board today, and I thank you for keeping it real, I'm going to do one of these blue thingies that's a little foreign to me. Issues have come up that we have never ever had to address. At first I fretted and worried. But then decided I'm going to listen to one of my moderator's advice.

Here's a sports analogy. A team makes it all the way to the finals but loses in a double over time game. What do you do. Blow up the team or realize that you have a great thing and more time under your belt together will perhaps get you to the next level. I decided that I love the board as is and it doesn't need any major adjustments. I was buoyed in my belief today by many posts that I read but especially by Bookwhore and Jamar, two people who are relatively new here.

I'm going to briefly break things down to what I think are the real issues.

Respect for Clay: The thing that struck me most is "on a clay board you can't call him a jerk." Well guess what, we aren't going down that road. If Claygasm thinks Clay's behavior was jerk like then she has a right to say it. She is not a troll. She is not a shit stirrer. She is not a Clay hater. If your entire history counts for nothing than what is the point. If you don't agree, make a counterpoint.. Don't make it about her. Every single member of this board , from member number one (which would be me) to member number 890, must be careful not to wrap opinions in exasperation, anger, defensiveness, and emotion. All of us. Emotional responses go nowhere fast.

There is no group think here contrary to popular opinion. If you think we are solely positive you'll be disappointed sooner or later. There is a difference between picking Clay apart 24/7 and having an opinion on a subject that is different from the rest. But if you click on any archived thread here at any random period in the history of this board I feel quite assured in knowing that this is a board where Clay is loved.

Circling the Wagon for a friend: Considering that there have been, maybe, 3 minor admin notes in over two years I don't think any of us can be accused of favoritism. Generally, we have a hands off approach and the members kinda work things out for themselves even when they get testy. Not surprisingly, I think I made my last serious admin note when we had our last influx of new members. They needed some clarification on the spirit of this place. I can't legislate that spirit with a lot of words and rules.

A few months ago I didn't know Jamar. Now I feel like I've been talking to her forever. Why? Because she is an active member of this board. The people that have been here chatting for awhile can't help that they have relationships. And actually many others who have been here for 6 months and are now oldies felt the same way not long ago. Some are still trying to get there. You will feel more included around here quickly because we are STILL quite small. Toots has been here for barely a month but she has been reading old threads, and different areas of the board and getting involved. It helps

Here's another secret – all the new folks that came over from Clayversity and know each other and talk like old friends? Guess what. We feel left out of that. It can be disconcerting to go down a page and see a lot of names of people you don't know yet. And yet is the key word. So we are also making adjustments.

So I decided against making a new thread. There's a feedback thread already there. Use it for any board questions and we'll respond. But the key, and there's that word is again, is getting to know your fellow posters. There are no plans to change our philosophy or spell things out to the letter. That's a little bit too much work. We're all intelligent people here and I'm gonna trust you to figure it out. Listen to your board members. They'll help you.

Lovethatguy, if you made it to the end - I had no problem with your question. I wasn't trying to shut you up at all. And neither was I protecting Claygasm cuz I luv her. I was responding to things to try to keep the board from spinning out of control which actually probably wasn't necessary so I'l stop doing that. A good flare up is good if it gets the bad air out.

I've seen a lot of people say they were going to step back. That's not the answer. The answer is to get to know us. Read more than main. If you don't see a thread you like, start one. We've had flare-ups before but if it lasted more than a page I can't remember. And that's another important thing. Don't hold a grudge or cross a person off your list because once you do, that's the beginning of the end.

One of the things that I always loved is that we kinda knew when everything had been said about an issue. With more folks it's harder to stop from just saying it again because someone else added something new. But if you find yourself basically repeating the same thing on 5 or 6 posts - stop that. heee. I actually found myself doing that last night. I read it and then asked myself did I not just say that on page 46 and 45 and 43? And I edited my post.

And I'll leave you with words from one of my mods. Guess who.

This board has been working for us BECAUSE we have a variety of people here with different backgrounds, of different ages and abilities and thought processes, who are here to share with one another and discuss a mutual interest, and who can disagree without judging, present our disagreements with civility, and leave the "I can't believe you'd think that??!?" out of it. We assume everyone here is a fan and we allow them to define what that means for them.. We do dialogue, not debate. And we make jokes.... lots of them. We tend towards the lighthearted and don't spend a lot of time in the muck. It's who we are and how we see our fandom.

And honestly, a post here or there, even one you vehemently disagree with, or think should be censured but isn't doesn't change any of the above. Whether you've been here a day, a month, a year or 2 years, we've heard ALL of you.

Now back to your regular smutting, joking, talking and enjoying Clay.

Philosophy here

Guidelines here

Feedback here

And you can PM me any time at all if you would prefer to do that.
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