Forum Business > Announcements & Forum Rules (publicly viewable board)

Why can't I _______?

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Kirsten:
Some areas of the the forum require special access, such as the PSD board.  Each board that has special membership requirements has an explanation in the board's description as to what a person should do to become a member of that board. 

Some boards discuss advanced topics that require members to have a certain level of knowledge or experience.  Those boards have quizzes to determine whether an individual has that prerequisite and is ready to participate at the required level.  Most people have experienced having an involved discussion interrupted by someone who really doesn't understand what is being discussed and asks questions that significantly slow the discussion.  Forum members are welcome to discuss whatever they like on the appropriate public boards, including topics that might be discussed on the advanced boards, so exclusion from the advanced boards does not prevent a person from discussing or learning about any topic relevant to service dogs.

We have been asked in the past to make the advanced boards read-only for those not ready to participate.  The problem is that members will read, not understand, and attempt to move the discussion to a public board by asking questions about the private discussion there.  It's a mess.  So we don't do that.

Contrary to what emilydcook thinks, there is nothing mysterious or special about the advanced discussion boards other than complicated discussions of esoteric materials that very few people are interested in enough to figure out.  There is no information available there that is kept from other members.  There is no top-secret list of all cases involving service dogs or anything like that.  What we do have on topics like laws is available freely to all on the front end of the site.


You may notice that some members can do things you cannot do and wonder why.  There are two possible reasons.

1.  We have limited certain abilities of new members in response to being spammed.  Brand new members cannot send PMs or post images.  Older members may remember the shock of finding pornography all over the forum and in their PM boxes.  We operate on the assumption that spammers won't waste time posting here if they can't actually stir up any trouble.  Without posting, they cannot earn the ability to upload images or send PMs.

2.  Just for fun, and at the request of charter members, we have included some small perks for members who actively participate in the community.  Each post you make is a point toward earning new perks.  We have five different post groups on this forum:

Newbie   1 star   0-49 postsMember   2 stars   50-99 postsActive Member   3 stars   100-499 postsExperienced Member   4 stars   500-999 postsRabid Member   5 stars   1000+ posts
In addition to all that a Newbie can do, a Member can also:  use the gear boards, read and send PMs, vote in polls, request notification on replies and new topics, upload photos without moderator approval, and choose a remotely stored avatar*

*When members first join, they are only allowed to choose from avatars in the forum collection of avatars.  Again, this is to prevent people from uploading porn to the site through the avatar function.  Sadly it only takes one jerk to spoil it for everyone.  Members with 50 or more posts may upload a personal photo such as a photo of their dog and link to it to use it as an avatar.  We recommend uploading your photo to photo bucket, which is free, and which several other members use in case you need tips on how to do it.  Please do remember that our site has children as members and any photo you use should be appropriate for children to view. 

In addition to all that a Member can do, an Active Member can also:  access all "one star" boards, view a list of who is online, view any profile**, post their own polls or add polls to existing topics,

** Viewing a person's profile reveals that person's email address ONLY if they have opted to make their email address visible to others.  If they have elected to have it hidden, it is hidden from all but administration staff.  Each person's profile includes information like when they were last online, and a list of posts they've made.  This is useful if you want to see what your friend has been discussing because you might want to join in too.

In addition to all that a Active Member can do, an Experienced Member can also:  add events to the calendar (such as chat dates) and edit their own events in the calendar, and edit/lock/remove their own poll

In addition to all that a Experienced Member can do, a Rabid Member can also:  view forum statistics, give themselves a custom title (perhaps "most wonderful person in the world"), split a topic into two separate topics (good when a side discussion develops), and move or lock a topic they started.  They also get to be called "rabid" which is special in itself!

Boards with two stars require passing a written quiz on training theory or legal theory to join.

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