The Ten Commandments of Micronational Discussion Board Etiquette
As Drafted by Peter Ravn Rasmussen.
Reproduced with permission.
1 ) Thou shalt have no name but thine own.
Never post under any other name than that which you commonly use in micronationalism. This does not have to be the same name as the one on your driver's license, but it must be the one under which you are known in micronational circles.
Furthermore, don't even think about impersonating another micronationalist.
2 ) Thou shalt be kind to newbies, up to a point.
It's okay to kvetch when yet another newbie shows up, claiming that his nation has (really, truly, honestly, would I lie to you, you can ask my Mom) been around since 1980, and that their population (really, truly, honestly, would I lie to you, you can ask my Mom) is over fifty people. But, when you're done kvetching, try to break it gently to the newbie that everybody has heard that one before.
3 ) Thou shalt be honest about the facts.
I never thought it would be necessary to say this - but honesty really is the best policy. Micronationalism, like any interpersonal activity, is heavily reliant on personal credibility - and once you have been revealed to have misrepresented the facts (i.e. once everybody realises that your micronation doesn't have fifty citizens - in fact, the only other citizens are your cousin Bubba and his pet alligator), nobody will be quite as likely to believe you another time.
4 ) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's citizens.
It is incredibly bad form to solicit citizens from other micronations to "jump ship" and join yours, instead. This is known as "poaching", and pisses everyone off. And, even if it does get you some new citizens, do you really want that kind of citizen?
5 ) Thou shalt not steal.
Other people have devoted considerable effort to creating their micronations. In macronational terms, this means that they have "copyright" to their webpages' content, including any original text, graphics, and/or HTML design on them. Furthermore, if other people write something on a public board, the text still belongs to them. You can quote them partially (under "fair use" provisions), or you can quote them completely (with their permission), but you cannot just take what you want without asking. If you haven't learned this, your parents have been asleep on the job.
6 ) Honour thy friends and mentors, but don't let them push thee around
Every newbie that enters the community eventually comes into contact with an established and like-minded micronation. Usually, they help the newcomers along. and the newcomers gratefully respond by doing more or less whatever the older micronation suggests. Some micronations practice this sort of diplomacy all the time, having dozens of newcomers in their "diplomatic orbit", like little clueless moons.
Up to a point, this kind of respect is fine - you should treat your mentors with respect. But don't let them dictate what you do. It's your show, in the final analysis. Be polite, but firm. It's like telling your parents that you're grown up.
7 ) Thou shalt be mindful that some micronationalists have a life outside micronationalism
Not everyone is being a micronationalist 20 hours of the day (with 4 off for sleep and non-intravenous sustenance). Some of us have lives that involve kids, work, SOs, study, and other things that constitute a valid excuse for not responding to your e-mail or post within 4 hours.
So keep your cool. If people don't reply immediately, wait a day or two, then send them a politely worded reminder. Think how you'll impress them with your maturity and self-control.
8 ) Thou shalt not post announcements that thou art founding Yet Another Micronational Organisation until thou hast been around long enough to know what thou art doing
Micronational organisations are a dime a dozen. Instead of founding yet another YAMO, why don't you try to make an existing one work, instead?
9 ) Thou shalt not post for the sake of posting.
Nobody likes spam, and having to wade through dozens of irrelevant posts on a board can ruin anyone's day. So, don't post "I agree" messages with no other content. Don't make posts which have no purpose other than to show off your name on the screen. In short, do not spam the boards.
10 ) Thou shalt make sure that thy posts are legible.
Don't write long, rambling posts without line breaks or paragraph spacing. Make the effort to check your spelling. It doesn't have to be perfect, but at least make the effort. When using text formatting, examine the result to verify that it looks the way it was supposed to. Don't ever just fire-and-forget. Text is not a heat-seeking missile. It's not a smart bomb. It's a message, and you want it to hit right on target.
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