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  1. #1
    Benevolent Dictator Herbie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, United States
    Real Name

    The Philosophy is for you. It's that simple. You decide how it looks, what is does, what is allowed and what isn't. There is currently only a small group with administrative access because if everyone pushed the buttons at the same time it will break. We created this as an alternative for those of us who want to see the community grow and prosper and improve in an organic and positive way. We are focused on including everyone that wants to be included regardless of experience, skill, financial freedom or any other personal or cultural trait. If you are a passionate marine aquarist in the Chicagoland (or any other) area, consider this home, but remember that it is still under construction. We're learning as we go and we definitely apologize for the mistakes we initially made in communicating this adventure with many of you, but we're starting to hit our stride. We've already realized that there is absolutely no reason why any one person should force their goals (or lack thereof) on a community. With a solid team of facilitators pressing the buttons and a contributing force of reefers to guide the way there is no reason why we can't do this "for us by us". Look at the major improvements we made so far. We're finding SO MANY easy mods and aps for this software that it blows our mind as to why they aren't utilized elsewhere. "Click to buy" classifieds, real tank blogging, a chat box with sidebars and site notifications included, so many more we haven't even explored yet. These are easily available elsewhere, but simply turned off because of a lack of expertise or they cost a few bucks. Now, it's our house. We flip the switches, see what they do and leave them on if we like them. We're (I'm) likely to press the wrong ones sometimes. Please be patient with us. We'll get it fixed if it's broken or add it if it's missing, but there is a cost associated with this. It's the 800lb gorilla in the room and we're sure it's the primary reason why no one has tried this before, but it needs addressing if we're going to truly be "for us by us". Fortunately this stuff really isn't as expensive as some may lead you to believe. There are bills to pay and startup costs we'd like to pay back, but once that is covered responsibly we can send the love right back into the community. We need to work out what we'll offer as perks for members who show their financial support (like the larger PM inbox) as they are/will be needed and appreciated, but we definitely want nearly full access for any reefer who finds us and registers. So we'll work that out too, but the ultimate goal is to be able to return any financial support not used directly for expenses to the members through prizes, promotions, programs and events. To be clear, we are not currently set up as a "Not for Profit" because that is a huge pile of red tape and expensive paperwork (as far as we can tell) and it would be premature to use future prize money on something that may never be needed, but everything is on the table. Right now we're a DBA registered to a sole proprietor but there are safeguards in place that prevent any unilateral action. More importantly, we're registered. We "exist" with the appropriate federal, state and local government agencies in the right and honorable way. It is our opinion that transparency and full disclosure will be the only path to a healthy growing community of reefers. Those that facilitate this site will be accountable to those who participate in it.

    To that end, here are a few of the rules we will follow as facilitators and moderators:
    • We will not ban an individual user unless it is as a result of a clear and direct violation of the stated rules and only after appropriate warnings have been issued. If a user is banned the reason will be clearly stated on their profile as will their return date. Permanent ban will most likely never be employed, but must be reserved for obvious reasons (i.e., spammers)
    • We will not delete content. We will edit inappropriate content and close threads if they have become counter-productive, but we will reopen or allow conversation on a subject if the membership requests it via a poll with the appropriate number of requests (most likely a percentage of active members)
    • Specifically, we will never delete a user so that the entire contribution of their membership is lost to future reefers. (just try to find me elsewhere and you’ll see what I mean by that)
    • We will not censor. There is no restriction on the content of your posts other than the section they are in and that the content is appropriate for a public forum. If you would like to write a post to tell us why every other online forum is better we will appreciate the ideas.
    • We will remain unbiased (this one is the most challenging but the most important). Application of the ideals of the community will be applied to all reefers, vendors and facilitators equally. Equality is paramount to community.

    This is just a brief list and it’s a work in progress, but we hope you will agree it is the right way to do this. Thank you so much to those who have joined us so far. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter at the LFS or any other place you see fit. The LR is cycled and the lights are on. Come plant a frag and help us grow this reef. After all, it's your reef!
    Last edited by Herbie; 01-31-2014 at 06:37 PM.

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