Welcome to another god awful exciting PSA. Within this PSA we'd like to cover a few areas about about how to conduct yourself with the staff and around them when operating on the forums. Now I'd wager you probably already know this stuff already, but it's always a good to cover it again just in case some of you newer folk haven't been updated about a few things. So without holding things up any longer, lets answer some questions! "What is the difference between staff and us?" Absolutely nothing, we're people just like you are except we have way too much time on our hands and instead of having lives we've decided to dedicate ourselves to helping maintain the site. The red name admittedly is a visual distinction but that is just to distinguish our roles and to help people find the appropriate people if they should find themselves in need of assistance on the site. "Really?" Yeah, feel free to poke any staff member at any time if you have any questions, either regarding their role or about something to do with the site. You 'may' be handed over to another member of staff who can better answer your questions but we're here to help you as much as we can. "So why three different staff sections?" Well of course the three staff sections have respective responsibilities unique to them which they carry out from day to day. The three sections coordinate in order to establish an optimal overall service to the site and the community to ensure that everything runs smoothly for the maximum enjoyment while people choose to participate on the forums. Now you might be wondering what the three sections do separately to each other, so I'll give you a summary of each. Community: These wonderful people take care of member relations, events and the creation of content. You'll often find these guys welcoming the new members or preparing events for you to enjoy such as chat role plays, gaming events, contests and more. They work to ensure that Iwaku remains a positive and welcoming corner of the internet for people to continuously enjoy themselves while spending time here. Maintenance: Without the hard work that these guys put in Iwaku would struggle to keep chugging along year after year. As the name suggests they take care of ensuring that everything runs smoothly by keeping forums clean, editing prefixes and ensuring they're correct, archiving old threads and more. They offer a customer service to members whom need a little extra help and even tech support if something ins't quite working for you the way it should be. Security: These awesome folks handle the nitty-gritty stuff that goes on from time to time, ensuring that the site maintains a positive, appropriate and safe. They also seek to maintain order so that trouble makers don't come in and try to cause havoc and disrupt the type of atmosphere we're trying to maintain. They'll assist you in any raised grievances and will seek to help you resolve any issue you might be having, so long as it's security related. "So where do I come in?" Glad you asked! where you come in is with how you choose to conduct yourself on the forums. There is no better way to conduct yourself than to be as proactive, helpful and kind to everyone as much as you can be. However while that would be fine in an idealistic world, we understand that being human means you have emotions which can sometimes get in the way of things. Sometimes you might be tempted to handle things certain ways which can unfortunately make things more difficult for us. For example: Lets say you're in a thread or on the Discord, and a staff member is having to explain to another member that their behavior isn't acceptable. And you trying to be helpful to the situation, attempt to help by interjecting with an opinion to assist in resolving the problem. As much as we'd appreciate that someone is trying to help, this actually isn't helping and unfortunately will very likely make things more difficult to deal with. "Really, but why?" Well It all comes back to emotions. When people are wound up, tempers are high and people are upset it can sometimes have a big effect on how they act and respond, so often when you'll try and help it'll more likely make the situation more difficult to handle. It's best that you ignore it and let the staff member deal with the person. Getting invoked will likely make the situation more difficult to handle because that other member will feel like they're being ganged up on and that makes people defensive and hostile, which of course is something we want to avoid when handling a difficult situation. "Oh, ok I think I understand now" Awesome! But there is something else I wanted to talk about, and it's about messages you receive from staff. "Messages?" Yeah. One day you could receive a message from a staff member asking you to do something, it could be something as trivial as removing something from a post or editing something in your profile, to something more drastic depending on the situation. Now, when a staff member messages you with information, there is nothing that says you MUST respond, however more often than not the message will contain something that the staff member is asking from you, weather it be an edit or a piece of information. Please don't disregard this. It's important that members comply with what we're asking from them so we can continue providing the best and most complete service that keeps you coming back again and again. "What if I don't agree with what they're asking from me?" That is totally fine! you are well within your right to ask questions and discuss the subject with us within the PM conversation. However it's worth noting that we'd never ask anything from a member without a full valid reason. That being said if you are contacted with a request from a staff member which you suspect goes against the rules or if you suspect that this staff member is harassing you, acting inappropriately or abusing their power, you should report that staff member immediately. You can find all the details on how to report a staff member within the link provided. "I think I get it now, but I have some questions... " Brilliant! if you have any questions about conduct with staff or what to do in a given situation it is always safe to approach the staff member and ask them directly. Or, you could ask right here and either me or someone else will answer you as soon as possible. "Thanks Winter!" You're welcome!