Guidelines for Forum Posts
Guidelines for Forum Posts
- BE TOPICAL. Remember that the mission of PAMP is to enrich the lives of families with young children and our local community. Postings should be about child-, family-, or parent-related issues, or on topics related to living in the local community.
- SEARCH BEFORE YOU POST. There is a wealth of information in the archives. Many topics (preschools, pediatricians, OB/Gyns, contractors, restaurants, nanny pay/policies, etc.) come up frequently. Search before you post. If there are old posts about your topic, bump one of the old threads back up, so that information can be added in one place instead of scattered in multiple threads.
- POST ONLY IN ONE FORUM. Cross posting in more than one forum at a time (e.g., posting in both Domestic Help and the General Forum) is not allowed. If you post in more than one forum, your post will be deleted from all but one. Members who receive more than one email summary do not want to see the same post in all of them.
- POST IN THE RIGHT FORUM.
- DOMESTIC HELP – Posts related to finding or helping others find a nanny, gardener, housekeeper, babysitter, or other help belong in the Domestic Help forum only, not in the General forum. Please note, however, that any posts related to placing or re-placing an au pair belong in the Classifieds.
- CLASSIFIEDS – if it’s something that would be in the Classifieds in the newspaper, then it belongs in the Classifieds on PAMP also: Jobs, Real Estate, WTB/WTS, discount codes for goods or services (including referral or promotional codes), garage sales, help wanted, to give away, au pair placements or re-placements, etc., with the exception that certain types of help wanted are in Domestic Help on PAMP. Many of these posts are outdated quickly, and Classifieds allows you to set an expiration date as well as to delete your post manually if it’s no longer available.
- COMMUNITY EVENTS – Only PAMP events can be posted on the General forum. Post school and community events in the Community Events forum.
- MEMBER SUPPORT FORUM – Posts related to PAMP membership/BigTent technical issues, such as questions about your account, renewal, membership registration, PAMP events, programs, services and volunteer recruitment.
- DEALS – Do not post online coupon offers/group deals/referral or promotional codes in the forums. Post them in the Classifieds section or if you own a business and want to offer PAMP members an exclusive discount please join our Business Discount Program.
- NO COMMERCIAL/NON-PROFIT/BUSINESS PROMOTION POSTING. You cannot post information about your business (unless you represent a city), or the business of a friend or relative, in the forums (general forum, domestic help, community events.)
- If someone posts requesting a service or thing that you or someone you know provides, you can reply with a private post; do not reply with a public post to all members.
- You may post in the Classifieds area offering your services.
- The prohibition on commercial/business postings also applies to your signature. You may include a minimal amount of information about your business and basic contact information. DO NOT include slogans, taglines, or other marketing information, or five different ways to contact you. If your signature seems like advertising in itself, your posts will be deleted.
- Do not post solicitations for members to participate in “focus groups”, as testers or other surveys regardless of whether compensation would be provided to the member
- Do not post solicitations for non-profits even if you are not involved in the non-profit
- QUESTIONS POSTED REQUIRE SUMMARIES. If you post a topic to the group and you receive private comments or emails that are not publicly posted, you owe the group a summary of those responses. Please post this summary as a response to your original post, not a new, separate post.
- KNOW YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS & REVIEWS; FIRSTHAND INFORMATION ONLY. If you are posting about an experience with or recommending a business, it must be one that you have firsthand knowledge of, preferably as a paying customer without a privileged relationship. Please note that PAMP does not allow references for one’s own business or those of friends or relatives. In reaction to a recommendation of a particular person or entity, you may contribute a negative review based on your firsthand experience, worded as follows, with either form of the bracketed language in the first sentence. Details should be shared privately.
- “I’m a former employer [of person or entity] [who has had a negative experience with [person or entity]]. Please contact me privately for a reference if you are considering hiring this [person or entity]. I’d like to share our experience with you.”
- DO NOT REPLY ALL UNLESS IT’S OF INTEREST TO ALL. Do not post replies to a specific poster (e.g., a thank you, or a request for more information) to the entire group. Post a private reply or send a Tentmail.
- NO SPAM. No Jokes/Chain Letters/Junk Mail/Off-Topic Discussions/Heart-Tugging News Stories or Editorials, political or otherwise. Articles on parenting topics are OK, but please ask yourself if it’s really of interest, and bear in mind that we have a well-informed group who already access multiple news sources.
- NO POLITICAL RALLYING: It is NOT OK to promote or discuss your political views on the list, but providing information about events or situations that contain some political content is OK as long as there is something relevant to families, parents or kids, or the community.
- For example: OK: “Palo Alto City Council is meeting to decide on blah blah issue which will have an impact on our schools. For more information, please see www.info.com, and consider coming to the meeting.” Not OK: “URGENT: Need to STOP City Council from approving XXX”
- DO NOT POST FOR OTHERS. Please limit your posts to questions or topics that you have. Please do not post for others. If your friends want the benefit of getting information from our members, please encourage them to join PAMP.
- BE NICE/THINK BEFORE YOU COMMENT. No flaming, snotty comments, or other nastiness. Remember that everyone is posting either seeking or trying to provide help, and that we are all parents with a great deal on our plates. Would you be happy with your child responding in the manner you are about to?
- REMOVE PERSONAL INFO WHEN FORWARDING. If you forward a post off the list, please strip all personal information from the post.
ANONYMOUS POSTING RULES
The Anonymous Posting Service is for PAMP members to be able to ask about sensitive subjects that might cause embarrassment if posted the regular way. Examples include drug abuse, problems in early pregnancy, mental illness, etc. The anonymous function cannot be used to ask for positive or negative feedback on specific businesses, doctors, schools, products, or to report on caregiver behavior that may have been witnessed.
- CHECK FIRST. Be sure to check the “members only” archives on BigTent first before requesting an anonymous post. Often, something on a very similar subject in the archives can answer the question. We’ve had several requests retracted after the info was found in the archives.
- CONTACT. To ask a question anonymously, send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- SUMMARIZE. Please do not request a post unless you plan to submit your summary to the Anonymous Moderating Team within four days.
- TIP – BE BRIEF. Keep it short. We find that people are more willing to respond when there is a very clear question and the post is not too wordy. In fact, the longer the post the fewer responses, despite the subject.
- PATIENCE. Please be patient. Depending on the number of requests, it may take us a few days to handle your post. If your request is urgent, please let us know and we will do the best we can.
- BE AWARE. Occasionally, we may publish posts to the list where it is not evident that anonymity is necessary. We assure you we are fairly stringent about the posts that can use the anon function, and if we are posting anonymously there is a very good reason
- PRIVACY. The Anonymous Moderating Team values your privacy, and we will do everything possible to keep your identity private. In the rare circumstance, we may need to disclose your identity in order to reduce or prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of another individual or the public. Under these circumstances we will only make disclosures to a person or organization able to help prevent the threat.
- IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE. There are multiple volunteer Anonymous Moderating Team members and we monitor our email frequently, but we aren’t online all the time. We are not trained crisis professionals and we do not check our email overnight. If you need immediate assistance or are currently in a crisis situation, please contact one of the following professionals who can help you through your difficulty:
911 – Emergency Services
1-800-784-2433 – National Suicide Hotline
1-800-799-7233 – National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-422-4453 – National Child Abuse Hotline
This Policy was last updated September 2014. This policy may be updated from time to time for any reason. We will notify you of any material changes to our Guidelines for Forum Posts by posting the new policy on the Site. We suggest that you consult the Site regularly to check for any changes to this policy.