Forum Information and Rules
CABL is a diverse and dynamic community made up of tens of thousands of members from various backgrounds and disciplines in the broadband industry. The following rules have evolved over the years in an attempt to best manage the community for the greater good. You are welcome to let us know if you think a rule should be changed, but meanwhile strict compliance is expected and enforced.
All of these rules can be simplified to one thing: Be professional. CABL is primarily a business forum (the boss is probably watching.)
- Obscenities. The "normal" expletives are allowed, but strong vulgar language, crude, lewd or explicit sexual references and hate speech (whether related to race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, sexual preference, etc.) is not. In movie rating terms, a post should get no worse than an "R".
- Name-calling. Good discussions end when name-calling begins. Arguments that support or reject ideas and opinions are instrumental in discussion but they must not become inflammatory or combative, or directed at people in the debate. In other words, it's okay to say someone's comment is "stupid", but not to call the person an "idiot" for making the comment.
- Violence/Threats. Direct, indirect, or merely suggestive posts that entail violence or threats of violence are not permitted.
Negative Posts. Any derogatory post against a person or company will not be
allowed unless it strictly conforms with the following guidelines.
- The poster must have an established account history. Roughly this means active more than 3-6 months and no less than 10-15 previous posts, but each will receive its own evaluation. If you post regularly with frequent good rates of others, you pass.
- The poster should make it clear who they are and the nature of their relationship with the subject of the post. The more information you provide, the more your post will be trusted as legitimate.
- Only FACTUAL statements are allowed. Do not confuse this with "truth", which no outside parties could know. FACTUAL statements are statements that CAN be proven: "My name is John Doe. I worked for XYZ, Inc. They said I'd get paid in 30 days but I still haven't seen a dime after 3 months." Statements that are merely accusations and would not pass: "XYZ, Inc. doesn't pay their contractors", "If you work for XYZ you'll get screwed.", "XYZ is a scam."
- Duplicates, repeats, and bumps. The same or similar messages should not be posted under more than one category or repeated at a later time. It is okay to bump an otherwise-ignored post after a few days, but subjects should generally be left to their own merit. Frequent, repeated bumps for dead topics will be removed. In cases where a negative post is repeatedly bumped, the entire thread will be removed as harassment.
- Illegal activity. Postings that actively or passively engage in any activity that could be construed as a violation of a U.S. federal, state, or local law are not allowed.
- Private information. Publication of any information that someone has intended to be kept private is not allowed. This includes private contact information such as a non-published home or private cell phone number. This rule will be enforced even it the information can be found through other sources.
- False identity. Impersonation or false representation is not allowed. Preventing the disclosure of one's real identity through the use of an Internet handle or pseudonym is acceptable and understandable for those who wish to remain anonymous, but a handle that would be misleading (such as using a particular company name when you have no direct relation to the company) is not.
- Advertising. No advertising of any kind is allowed in the discussion forums. No solicitation for "prices" ("I have 120 mi. of fiber to build in NY, what's fair pay for guys I'll be hiring." or "I'm thinking of selling my brand XYZ meter, only 2 years old and works great... what could I get for it?") Finding work: it is okay to ask for help with your own legwork ("Does anyone have contact information for the prime doing the rebuild construction for Acme Cable in Baltimore?") but advertising for work ("Who has work going on in Maryland or Virginia?") is only allowed in the advertisement section. Do not link to ads on other sites like eBay or Craigslist, for example.
- Usage of graphics. Pictures and other graphic files may be uploaded for the sole purpose of supporting and facilitating discussions (excluding graphics in paid advertisements) and the content of such files must also fully comply with this list of rules.
- CABL is primarily a business-oriented web site. Conduct at a professional level is expected at all times.
- Carefully select the most appropriate category for posting your message. Misplaced posts will be moved by moderators.
- Never repeat the same or similar message to more than one category.
- Make the subject as descriptive as possible. A message titled, "Need help with SDA 5000 operation" will get more useful responses than one titled, "Help! I'm lost."
- Don't post in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. This is considered shouting, and makes your message harder to read.
- Long postings are hard to read if not broken into paragraphs. Hit the ENTER key twice to start a new paragraph and leave an empty line between.
- Don't include your own contact information such as a telephone number or email address in public messages. Always refer to contact information in your account profile, if necessary. Public messages are archived forever here and on search sites such as Google, Bing, etc., and old phone numbers on the Internet can be a nuisance for whoever gets the number after yours is changed. A friend looking for you won't know the email he tried sending was bounced because you moved to a new ISP. Keep your profile updated!
- Completely perfect spelling isn't required but, if very bad, can be a distraction to the reader and diminish the content of the post. Most browsers will place a curly red underline or similar under misspelled words.
- Use of common shorthand like LOL (laughing out loud), IMHO (in my humble opinion), and HTH (hope this helps) is OK as most visitors recognize the dozen or so most popular, but try to minimize it for those who aren't so web savvy.
- Texting style of typing is strongly discouraged. This is using abbreviations like "4" in place of "for", "U" instead of "you", and "L8R" for "later". It can be very difficult for some to read (especially non-native English speakers) and tends to make the entire message seem childish and unprofessional. Use sparingly in informal messages only, if at all.
- Don't "sign" your messages by adding a name, company, or other info after the message text. Enter that information in your account profile.
- Posts with directions such as "Mods don't delete this", "this is not an ad", "I know this isn't allowed but..." WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REMOVED for having this text alone. If you have a question about what you should post then please ask!
All members may place graphic images in their messages. Image files are uploaded using the regular posting form. Each member account is given its own storage space on the server for uploaded picture files and may access those files for use again in later postings. Previously uploaded images are displayed in each member's account profile.
Images have a relatively high cost in terms of server performance and storage space, and also cost each viewer the time to download and possible data fees. Images should only be used where necessary in direct support of discussion topics. Frivolous or unnecessary images, company logos, or other extraneous images attached to messages will be removed.
When speaking face-to-face, much of the communication occurs non-verbally through facial expressions, body language, tone, pace, etc. Since this aspect is missing in text-only conversation, a common practice on the Web is to use what are known as "emoticons" or "smilies". These are keyboard characters used to convey an emotion, such as a smile :) or a frown :( or a wink ;). To expand on these crude textual expressions, there are hundreds of ready-to-use graphical smilies at your disposal on the posting form. Express yourself !
Some parts of public forum posts, which will typically be information such as phone numbers or email addresses, are automatically removed from display after a set period of time has passed. This done to prevent abuse and nuisance problems that can arise. Unscrupulous companies will harvest every phone number on a web site to conduct robo-call marketing. Phone numbers can change, and people move on; even well-intended calls to these lingering numbers can be an unwanted annoyance.
What should you do if you dispute a posting by another member? First, take a moment to assess the actual affect it will have. Internet users are now accustomed to the flamers and their ways. A posting that is hostile or defamatory is more likely to reflect badly on its author than its intended target. If you feel it deserves a reply, then by all means defend your position. A tactfully crafted response will speak volumes.
Can we delete a message you don't like? Probably not. If it violates the site rules, it will be removed in short order. However, it you feel a posting may have slipped by our moderators, please feel free to let us know by contacting us. Place "CABL" in the subject and the URL address of the message in the mail body along with an explanation of the rule(s) violation.