If you cannot post to a topic, as in, cannot see a "post reply" or "post topic" button on the page, there could be several reasons. You may not be logged in, or the thread may be "locked down" meaning no one but adminstrators can make a post. You may also be banned from posting (this is extremely rare, more on this in another question and answer).
You may not be able to log in because you have not signed up to be a CoffeeGeek member yet. While anyone can read the discussion boards, only CoffeeGeek members can post. You may have also been banned. If you have been banned, contact CoffeeGeek administrators to find out why (although you will be warned several times before being banned - more below).
Why do I need to sign up to post to discussion boards?
We don't want to police this board, we want it to be a free place for expression. However, it's a proven fact that if you make it a bit more difficult to post than "just visiting and posting" the quality of the posts goes up in a forum, and the quantity of cranks, flames, and fights goes down. It's true, it's true. This is why you have to sign up to be a CoffeeGeek member to post product reviews, to vote on the quality of reviews and articles, and to post to the discussion boards. No other reasons, except of course to have contact info if you happen to win one of our prize giveaways. We don't sell or harvest our membership list (and trust us, we've been asked to, and always turn it down). We value your privacy. We hate spam probably even more than you do.
If you cannot find your password, simply visit our login page and click the "forgot password" link. A popup will appear and you need to fill out a simple form and have your password emailed to you at the email address you registered with.
Did you validate your membership account? When you sign up, you must use a valid email address. We validate all memberships by sending you an automated email with a hyperlink you must click to activate your account. If you followed all of these steps, check your password to make sure it is correct, or click here to fill out a form to have your password emailed to your registration email address.
CoffeeGeek can be sent up to two photos or graphics representing you. One is on your profile page, which is normally your photograph. If you put a photo in your profile page, it will also show up on your discussion board posts. You can upload a second picture through the settings link, and that second image will be used exclusively for your discussion board postings - the other image remains for your profile page.
What's the difference between a Junior and Senior Member?
A senior member is a person that has been registered on the CoffeeGeek website for at least 3 months. Junior Members are anyone who have been a member of the website for less than three months. Junior or Senior levels does not signify coffee expertise or amount of participation in the Coffeegeek forums. They are set so that people can give a passive "nod" to those who have been around this website for a while.
My username is listed on the main page when I visit - how do I remove this?
We recently added a requested feature that shows the usernames of all the people currently accessing the CoffeeGeek forums (limited to those who are logged in with CoffeeGeek accounts: there are usually many more visitors reading forums at any given time, but they are either not logged in, or do not have a CoffeeGeek membership account).
However, we respect your choice to not want your name displayed if you log in and use the CoffeeGeek Forums. On every page in the forums, you will see a "Settings" hyperlink - click that link and you will be brought to your own settings page for how the forums work. One of the options allows you to remove your username listing from the "Active Users" listing that appears on the main Forums page.
Does every post I make have to be coffee or espresso related?
This is a forum for coffee and espresso lovers. Generally, all posts should remain within this sphere of topics, which is pretty broad as it is.
However, there are always exceptions. For instance, we have a recipes section. Should all recipes include coffee or espresso as an ingredient? No, but all recipes should be related to coffee or espresso in some manner - either as an ingredient, or for a food item that "naturally" goes with coffee, such as desserts.
In the World Regional Category, we'd prefer it if posts were kept on the subject of coffee and/or espresso issues in all threads, but we also understand that people would like to use those threads to "connect" with other people in their part of the world, so we are more lax in enforcing the topical posting rules in that section.
We also provide a "Off Topic" area in the Members Forum, where almost any topic is allowable, even if it isn't coffee related.
The CoffeeGeek Forums, like most online forums, have a set of rules about posting:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards. No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum. This includes starting threads that promote any company or business you may be associated with. No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum. Who can read the forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards. Who can post new topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics. Who can post replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies. Can photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies. Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
In addition, we ask you to keep threads on topic where possible.
By using Forums or any part of the CoffeeGeek website, you agree to and are bound by the Terms and Conditions of the CoffeeGeek site, especially those terms and conditions directly relating to content posted by the users of this site:
Open and honest discussion, participation and reviews are important to us, and help to inform people and generate better understanding for other readers and contributors; Regardless of your age, sex, race, religion, or expertise, you have something to contribute and we want to hear it. Given our open environment, we can and will not tolerate any known acts that will serve to offend any reader based on their age, sex, race, religion, or expertise level. Further, any illegal activities, such as the posting of unauthorized copyrighted content, are expressly forbidden.
CoffeeGeek is a community website solely supported by our advertisers. This website exists because of them, and would quickly disappear without their support.
In addition, for several years now, our community members have long established a "want" for a commercial-free atmosphere in our forums. The forums are meant to be a resource for open, frank, and above all, honest and altruistic discussion of anything and everything related to coffee and espresso.
Because of this, our forums have a near-zero tolerance policy for any kind of commercial post. This means if you work for a company, or are in any way associated with a company, you are not allowed to initiate posts about that company or its products, nor are you allowed to discuss the company's products or services in any threads unless the specific product, service or company you represent is being discussed.
Essentially this means that, if a community member starts discussing a specific grinder your company may sell, and they have questions about that grinder, we do welcome you to respond in that thread, but in an honest and open way about the product. If someone is discussing a grinder, you are not allowed to discuss in that thread an alternative grinder that your company sells.
Other exceptions will be up to the sole discretion of the forums' moderators, and are usually given to discussions about product that are chart new territory - and we stress, this is up to the discretion of the moderators. If you want to begin a discussion about a truly ground breaking product, contact one of the moderators first to seek permission to start a thread.
Another area we encourage "commercial" style posts is in the promotion of Jams, meets, true educational and informative projects and events - if your company is throwing open the doors for consumers and / or professionals to get together to learn more about coffee and espresso, please post your events, after confirming with a forums moderator on the appropriate style and forum section to post into.
In the future, CoffeeGeek may institute a "marketplace" feature in our forums, where commercial posts will be allowed.
It's easy. You have to be logged in to post, but once you are, you can start new topics, post replies to existing topics, or post quoted replies to existing posts, just by clicking the appropriate button (new topic, new post, quoted reply) on the threaded posting pages.
Cross posting is the act of posting the same topic across several forums categories or several posts within the same product category. People usually do this to try and garner more responses to their questions or to advertise a product or service to more people. Cross posting is not allowed on CoffeeGeek forums.
Cross posting is not allowed in CoffeeGeek forums for a variety of reasons, including: it "pollutes and dilutes" the forum topic listings pages; it adds unnecessary bulk to our forums, slowing down our server and database software; it often used by businesses and individuals, including stealth advertisers, to get the word out about their product; and it allows for an environment where some topics become overbearing. Cross posting is strictly not allowed on CoffeeGeek, and will be administered by our forum Moderators.
Are there any writing style guidlines I need to know before posting?
While we do not force you to adhere to any specific writing style or convention, we do ask that all forum participants follow basic Netiquette rules that are well established.
Do not TYPE IN ALL CAPS. This is considered the Internet equivalent of shouting. It is difficult to read, and also conveys a sense of anger and and frustration. For many people on the Internet, typing in all caps is considered rude behaviour. Please read the Netmanners website for more information.
Do not use unintelligible or non-related subject titles. This means your subject title for a forum post should match what you're actually writing about.
Try to avoid one liner replies, except where the post expressly requires it.
Try to keep threads on topic - if the topic starts to veer in a completely different direction, consider starting a new thread, then post a "pointer" in the old thread so people who want to go in another direction with the topic can do so - in the newly created thread.
Understand that the CoffeeGeek forums are a free resource, and as such, no one is entitled or required to provide you with an answer to your question. This is a community, and it is a very helping one at that - but it does not mean every question posed will get an answer you are happy with.
I signed up for a new account - why is the account "under probation"?
All new accounts on CoffeeGeek are placed under a loose probationary period that lasts your first five postings. During that time, your forum posts and your reviews posted in our consumer review section will be looked at by our moderators and site editors to ensure that you have a good understanding of the website and it's community-oriented rules and proceedures. CoffeeGeek's a great place to hang out, exchange discussion and ideas, and we like to keep it that way.
In addition, we have one strict probationary rule for Forums. New account signups are not allowed, under any circumstances, to make a posting that promotes, endorses, or advertises a business, service, or product in any way. Also, we ask you not to post a criticism of a company either, since we've had problems in our forums with new posters, masquarading as consumers, but in actual fact are vendors who will post unfounded criticisms of their competition. This rule is in place for your first five postings to forums. Once you've exceeded five posts, and want to post an unsolicited endorsement (or criticism) for a business, we invite you to do so, but with moderation.
This rule is in place to prevent 'shill' postings in our forums, which has become a problem as of late. A 'shill' post is typically made by a business owner masquarading as a "happy customer" who endorses the company and tells everyone to shop there. In some cases, a company may get a friend, relative, or other involved person to make a post endorsing the company.
CoffeeGeek's forums are built on an atmosphere of trust, and the expectation of frank and honest discussion. Shill postings erode this trust, and we will do what we can to prevent them from taking place.
Announcements are posts made by board moderators or administrators to do a variety of things - to set the reasonable groundrules for each section or topic; to make important annoucements about the website or discussion boards, or to make other types of posts that are important to read. They will appear at the top of a topic list when they are active. Announcements may or may not be something you can reply to - it is up to the administrator or moderator to set the posting as open or locked.
What happens if my internet connection is lost or the forums crash while I am typing a long post?
If you are writing any kind of long post to the forums, it is always a good idea to either copy the post to a text file on your computer (using Notepad in Windows, or SimpleEdit on the Mac) or into your word processor. You may also want to type your message in your word processor or text editor then copy and paste it to the composition window when posting a topic or reply. This way if the connection is lost, or our server database is busy or not available, you won't lose all that typing.
What happens if I change my mind about a post? Can I edit or delete it?
Any post that you've written can be edited by you (or by a moderator); however, deleting posts is conditional on the placement in a thread. Initial thread starting posts cannot be deleted, except by moderators.
What is the difference between this discussion board and others, including Usenet newsgroups?
This Forum is different from other discussion boards because the primary focus here is coffee, espresso, and coffee and espresso related news and discussions. Other boards have their own specialized focus.
This Forum is different from usenet newsgroups in several ways. This is a web based discussion group, run on a solitary database on a single server. It allows the uploading of binaries to posts, various search abilities, hyperlinks to Member profile pages and previous posts, and a variety of sorting abilities.
Usenet (and newsgroups like alt.coffee) have the advantages of being text based (and thus faster access to individual posts) and decentralized - if one news server goes down, the discussions still go on. However, some features that web-based discussions can easily support are either not available in most Usenet groups, or are discouraged by the Usenet groups' participants. In the case of non-binary newsgroups like alt.coffee, binaries such as photos, word documents, pdf files and other non-text posts are prohibited as a general rule. Further, most newsgroups are "self-moderated" by the participants - in some newsgroups its mob-rule, in other newsgroups it's adherence to standard "Netiquette".
In Forums such as this one, rules are usually enforced by moderators and the voluntary reporting of any rule-breaking by the Members who participate in the board.
Moderators serve a very important role in the CoffeeGeek forums. Their job is to make sure that the boards remain a friendly place for free form expression. Moderators have certain powers within the site - they can delete any post; they can edit any post. They can lock down threads, preventing further posts; and they can practice the "3 strikes rule" against unruly participants (more on that below).
Our moderators have been chosen carefully and have been made very much aware that CoffeeGeek is to be run as hands off as possible - we don't want to be censors. We want to have fun exchanging opinion, debate, and information. Only posts (and participants) who clearly break the rules of the board will be "moderated".
No moderator will use their extra board powers to police a discussion to go the way they want, or to remove posts they may not agree with. If they do, you email me, Mark Prince, direct, and I'll deal with it.
The three strikes rule was conceived as a fair and objective means for dealing with board participants that are breaking the board rules. It works like this. If someone is clearly breaking the board rules, as in posting commercial advertisements, swearing or flaming excessively, or continually posting off topic content to various sections, a moderator or administrator can do a one-click access feature that will automatically send the person a friendly email warning them about breaking the board rules. It will list the rules again and ask them to stay within the rules while participating on this board.
If they continue to abuse the rules, a second "click" can be done, and this time they get a second, more direct warning, and an advisory that if they are noticed again breaking the rules, they will be banned.
If a third click has to occur, another email is sent explaining to the person that they are banned from the boards, and can no longer post with their username or email access accounts.
If you made a post to the board, and it has disappeared, the most likely reason is that a moderator deemed it innapropriate for the Forums, or contravening one of the rules in the Forums, or contravening the CoffeeGeek website's Terms and Conditions.. If you broke one of the Forum rules, you will probably get an email explaining the reasons. If a moderator deletes one of your postings and you don't get an email, either the post was simply not appropriate for these Forums, or the moderator cut you a break, and didn't issue a "strike" against your account.
Why was my post deleted from the Buy and Sell Forums? Why did I get a strike?
The Buy and Sell forums are provided as a courtesy service for our active membership. Posting in that forum is restricted to members who have at least 10 posts in the CoffeeGeek forums and/or are Senior Members, being members of the CoffeeGeek website for more than 3 months. If you do not meet either of those requirements, your post will be deleted and a strike issued.
In addition, no commercial posts are allowed in the BST forum. Nor are eBay or Craigslist links.
Full details on the rules for the BST forum can be found here and are required reading for anyone who wants to post in that forum.
What are "stealth" posts and why don't you like them at CoffeeGeek Forums?
"Stealth" postings are the unfortunate advice given by very unscrupulous internet marketing books, like Guerilla Marketing and others. They advise new business owners to go into forums and usenet newsgroups to post about some fantastic new website, service, business, or offering "I just discovered!!!" when in fact the business owner themself is making the post, under a pseudonym or faked identity.
Stealth postings are just about the worst thing you can do to promote your business. You are promoting your business by lying, from the get go, to potential customers. At CoffeeGeek, we take a very dim view of these kinds of posts, and when detected and confirmed as being a "stealth" post, we immediately delete any and all posts by the offender, and immediately suspend the account for a minimum of six months. On top of that, the business is also banned from advertising on the website.
We do this because our forums have a reputation for having honest and objective news, opinions, debates and discussions about anything and everything coffee related, and that includes recommendations by consumers on where to buy products and / or services. Stealth postings erode this honesty we fight very hard to maintain.
CoffeeGeek's forums were created to allow coffee consumers and professionals from around the world a venue to talk and discuss anything coffee, and that includes good (and bad) experiences with vendors, service suppliers, and other professionals in the coffee world. CoffeeGeek sponsors and advertisers are not excluded from this, be it kudos or kvetches.
That said, we ask that you take all the necessary steps first to resolve any issue you may have with a vendor or service provider in the world of coffee before posting about your experience here. Give the company a chance to correct problems or address your concerns. Email and call them. Give them a reasonable time to resolve your issues.
If they do not resolve the issue to your satisfaction, or even if they do, we then encourage you to post your factual experiences in our forums. A company that does not peform ethically should be exposed to our readership, but only after they've been given the chance to resolve the issues through appropriate channels. If you have your issues resolved and still want to post, please do so, giving the sequence of events and the resolution.
Also note, that if your account is under the probationary period (less than five posts), we ask you to refrain from posting any criticism or kudos for any company until you've had a chance to use the forums for a while, and post more than five posts on other topics involving coffee and espresso.
Can I reprint someone's email correspondence in the forums?
Under no circumstances, save one, is anyone allowed to reprint an email without the original author's permission. If you do reprint an email, make sure you make the acknowledgement that you did get permission from the email's original author.
There is only one circumstance where the unauthorized reprinting of emails will be allowed, and this under the Forum Moderators' sole discretion, so tread carefully should you choose to exercise this exception.
At CoffeeGeek, we do take consumers' interest first, always. If you have been scammed or otherwise "ripped off" by a vendor of products, and have exercised every possible method of resolving the issue (including phone calls, emails, contacting your credit card company for a refund, eBay or Paypal, etc etc), and you want to inform our community about this situation, then the unauthorized reprinting of "verbatim" (non edited) emails will be allowed in your recounting of the circumstances, should you feel them necessary. Again, moderators will monitor these kinds of posts closely, and if they feel you are not within this "exception rule", you will have a strike issued against your account, and the post edited or deleted.
I want people to answer my marketing | survey questions - can I post it?
In short, no*.
Over the years, we've had students, marketers and business people use CoffeeGeek forums to post links to their educational, business, and/or marketing surveys, wanting to garner information from our coffee-tuned readership. In turn, our site members have reacted negatively to these questionnaires, surveys and marketing requests. Because of this, we have a policy in place that these posts are not allowed*.
*In some cases, we'll allow survey requests to be posted, when the pursuit is purely educational / research oriented, and not for business purposes. If you believe your survey fits this, contact one of the site moderators with details about your survey.
Symbols: = New Posts since your last visit = No New Posts since last visit = Newest post
Forum Rules: No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards. No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum. No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum. Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards. Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics. Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies. Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies. Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts. Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.