ADMIN: New rules concerning commercial announcements.

Mike Brock <brockm@...> has been some time since I...the STMFC Head judge...have had to remind the members of certain of the group rules. The rules state:

"Announcements of frt car related items for sell are permitted BUT actual
lists of items should be made available from the seller upon request rather
than in the message. Announcements of such sells should be kept at a
minimum. The primary objective of the group is to exchange information
concerning the subject."

Perhaps the term "minimum" is not understood or perhaps a better choice of words might have been better. The point that the rules were trying to convey is that the STMFC is not a forum for advertising commercial products. Nor is it a forum for repeatedly announcing sales of any product. However, OCCASIONAL announcements of either have been permitted...hence the tern "minimum". I might add that I have indicated quite a few times that responses MUST be OFF Group. I note today that no less than 3 such responses were ON GROUP. During two consecutive days, 3 commercial messages from the same manufacturer were attempted to be sent through the STMFC. This does not seem to satisfy my concept of "minimum".

For some time I have been warning that continued violations of the rules might result in changes. The solution? Simple.

As of today, the new STMFC rule is in effect:

"Announcements of commercial products for sale are permitted but only with permission of the group owner and his staff." Violation will...well, you know. BTW, I found the key to Moderate Jail...rusted as it is from lack of use...unlocking the door I guess.

OTOH, if you have something to sell...but not as a commercial enterprise...announce it but ONLY include the address to a site where the product is listed or from where a list may be sent to the member. The group management team will monitor such messages to ensure that the number is not excessive.

For those that can't seem to understand that responses to any sale operation must be off group, I can only hope that you are well fed and wear warm clothes because there ain't no heat in Moderate Jail and the food? Well...

Mind you, do not confuse a commercial message with a member's message complimenting or criticizing a product. That IS an important aspect of the group. The point of all this is that the STMFC was founded on the principle of it being a forum to discuss steam era freight cars and that's what it will continue to do. An occasional commercial message will be beneficial rather than harmful but a retail forum it won't be.

Mike Brock

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