A member recently expressed that he thought RAF was strict. This is the first time in recent memory that someone has categorized this awesome Animorphs forum as such.
The reason why one of our members got this impression is the recent feature that prevented guests from viewing the forum. Let me preface by saying that many other communities require one to join before you can partake. I won't justify this move by the notion that others do it: so RAF should.
On the other hand the intent to force guests to register was one of a privacy issue, and one of an administrative one also. The latter reason will not be expounded on further, but the outcome of this essentially boils down to a better RAF.
As for the privacy issue, any active RAFian is able to identify with this.
Those who publish private information about themselves on our community do not expect malicious individuals to mine their information and publish it elsewhere, or use it in whatever fashion. As admin, I believe I have a duty to protect, as best as I can, the users of RAF.
Presently guests do not have to register to view certain parts of the forum, but don't expect this to stay in effect perpetually.
The member who is of the opinion that RAF is one of the stricter communities then goes on to mention those banned. Personally, I am not sure who he is referring to, but the few members that have been banned warranted it. I am notoriously lenient. In fact each year the ban list is cleared. Those who have been banned from the forum had to be; again to maintain a civil community.
If anyone requires more information on a specific banned individual, feel free to send me a personal message, or if you prefer emails: richardatanimorphsforum.com.
The final issue raised pertains to the RAF Chat. You have to register again in order to access the chat-room.
At one point in time, registration was not needed. Those who were active during this period know the story behind the enactment of a registration system. Firstly, people begain abusing the open system and started to impersonate popular RAFians. Not cool.
The second reason for registration/ login on the RAF Chat was the cases if trolls, and lurkers. Persons began flaming the chat room, and posting random nonsense. Also, because of the openness of the community, members willingly discussed intimate aspects of their personal lives in the real-time chat environment. Anyone could view these discussions.
Now people (I know I do) generally feel more secure as a result of the more moderated environment. Persons can be banned from the chat room if they are being disruptive or otherwise.
The other reason for the member's frustration with RAF is that your RAF username cannot automatically be used to login to the chat room. Indeed this is undoubtedly an inconvenience. The reason for this is that the chat room is located on an entirely different server. The result of this, is that your forum credentials are not on the RAF Chat server.
While the chat room can point to the forum's server, I have decided not to because if the main/ forum host goes down, then the chat would also go down.
With the way things are currently set up, the forum can stay alive if the chat goes down, and vice versa. Better for you, really.
Chat registration is done in 2 clicks. If anyone has problems getting the email that should activate your account, I would be happy to activate for you.
I hope this post has cleared up some issues regarding our perceived strictness. I also applaud the member who brought up these issues.