The Fountain Pen Network!
That is the stern part made clear. The remainder, while quite serious, is intended as friendly and informative. PLEASE read thoroughly.
A. About Us
What we are
The Fountain Pen Network is primarily a site set up for fountain pen lovers, and for those interested in all things pen related.
The Fountain Pen Network is run by a few handfuls of volunteers whose aim is to keep The Fountain Pen Network a pleasant, useful, and entertaining site for the pen community.
If you think in terms of a comfortable club or lounge, with members sitting around chatting, offering advice and opinions, while behaving in a friendly, polite, and respectful manner, you will have a fairly clear idea of our aims.
It must be emphasized that, while civilized debate is encouraged, we believe that members have a duty to maintain the cordial atmosphere that has made The Fountain Pen Network what it is.
To this end we have compiled a set of Guidelines for members. It is important,however, to remember that in the event of dispute we work on the spirit of the Guidelines, rather than a legalistic interpretation of the actual wording.
In short: take part, post in a friendly manner, offer advice as and when you can, debate when you must, but please – have fun!
What we are not
The Administrators of The Fountain Pen Network do not consider themselves all-knowing dictators, but rather the custodians of the site.
Over its life The Fountain Pen Network has grown from a small band of hobbyists, enthusiasts and collectors to the largest site of its kind in the world.
When decisions or rulings have to be made, there simply is not time for volunteer Moderators and Administrators to enter into prolonged discussion – in sporting terms:
the referee's word is final, and one does not argue with the referee.
In any event, if you have read and heeded the first section above, such a situation will not arise.
Ideas and suggestions for the improvement of The Fountain Pen Network are welcomed – there is a forum set aside for this – but please be aware that we cannot incorporate all input, nor can we satisfy every member.
Who we are
The site was initially set up by a small group of pen lovers. Others joined, and as the site grew, members were asked by the Administrators to lend a hand as Moderators - and so it continues.
Administrators are appointed to the Admin Team by invitation, and when more help is needed. Members are invited to join the Moderator Team as the need arises.
We stress that all such roles are voluntary, and no payments of any kind are made to Mods or Admins.
The site is funded by donations from members, from the sale of FPN inks, Limited Edition pens, Premium Accounts revenues, etc., and is not beholden to commercial interests of any kind.
Where we are
On first glance this looks silly! "We are on the internet" would appear to deal with the subject, but that is where the complications start.
Members should realize that The Fountain Pen Network is not affiliated with any country, race or creed. Its members come from a hugely diverse range of cultures, so it is vital that you bear in mind differences in language usage, religious beliefs and other members' national customs. What may appear as a slight may be merely due to the fact that another member is not posting in their native language!
As some of the forums and other parts of the board have their own specific rules, the remainder of these notes will be divided into separate sections.
Members are, however, expected to have read all rules and guidelines, and their membership implies that they have read, and agreed to follow them.
B. Overall Rules and Guidelines
- Politeness and civility to others is expected from all members. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, and discriminatory comments (gender, race, faith, political, etc.) This guideline also applies to "company" and/or "country bashing". While objective reviews are welcomed, attacks on individual companies, their owners or their staff will not be entertained.
- Likewise, "naming and shaming" is prohibited on The Fountain Pen Network. Naming and shaming can be construed as defamation, libel, and/or slander. All threads and posts found to be in violation of this rule will be closed or removed without further discussion.
- Each individual is allowed only one member account on The Fountain Pen Network. Duplicate accounts will be merged or deleted. Individuals found to have more than one account will face disciplinary action up to and including being banned indefinitely. Members having lost their log-in information should contact an Administrator or Moderator. The only members allowed more than one account, for testing and similar purposes, and for security reasons, are Admins and Moderators.
- Overtly political or religious threads are prohibited on The Fountain Pen Network.
Trolling or flaming will not be tolerated. Inciting others to break these rules and guidelines will be considered to be trolling.
No profanity or posting of adult-themed images or links.
- No abuse of other peoples' bandwidth or copyright. Any images that are posted should be correctly attributed, linked back to the site they came from if applicable and should be reduced in size to a maximum of 1000 pixels wide by 1000 pixels high.
- Please post in the appropriate forum. If you post in an inappropriate forum, your thread will be moved without further discussion. Try to title your posts in such a ways as to clearly express the content.
Thread drift happens. If you feel your posts are becoming significantly off-topic, start a new thread with the appropriate subject line and in the appropriate forum.
Threads posted in the various review forums must be full reviews. It's OK for people to leave a meaningful summary and then point to their sites, or have a link in their signature, but just saying something along the lines of "hey look at my review, here is the link" is not allowed.
- Off-topic posts and debates should take place in the Chatter forum. Respect the rights of those who do desire to discuss off-topic as long as the discussion they refer to is "polite and civil", as defined above. Posts such as "this is a useless conversation", "This board should go back to pens" are not helpful, and should not be encouraged. Please see the Chatter Rules for guidelines specific to that forum.
- Please do post helpful links. The Fountain Pen Network is part of the larger pen community, and we should all be assisting each other.
- Please do not chastise a new member for not knowing where to find information. We ARE the place to find fountain pen and ink information. Nor should questions be criticized for being repetitive. Respect all levels of knowledge.
- Please use an external search engine in order to get optimal search results, as The Fountain Pen Network's search engine is limited in its abilities.
- The Fountain Pen Network and the Classifieds section therein were not set up as a store front for individual members. Gold Members, who have sales posting rights to the Classifieds, are discouraged from only posting sales and not contributing to the discussion forums. The vast majority of posts should be in the pen discussion forums. For those who are solely or mostly interested in selling or trading, there are Premium Accounts available, which extend the possibilities for selling, trading, or offering pen related services.
- New members are welcome to purchase items from the Classifieds Section and The Mall forum right away. In order to be able to sell, trade, or post "want to buy" ads in the Classifieds section, members must be registered for 30+ days and must have 30+ posts to their name in all forums but the Chatter forum (this constitutes a Gold Membership). In order to sell or trade in The Mall forum, you will have to purchase a Premium Account, and in order to acquire a Premium Account, you have to have been registered for at least 30 days (this constitutes Silver Membership).
- The Classifieds section is an additonal service to our members. Problems are rare, but transactions resulting from listings in the Classifieds section are not the responsibility of The Fountain Pen Network - caveat emptor! The same holds true for The Mall forum.
- Never ending Pay-It-Forward topics/threads or PIFs**, which basically amounts to trading between a very small group of members only, is not allowed. Furthermore PIFs are only permitted in the Market Watch forum, and can only be started after permission has been obtained from the Moderator and Admin Team.
- In a subject discussed on The Fountain Pen Network, links to other sites (including links to Blogs) may only be posted by approved and paying Premium Account Holders. Links, redirects or pointers to content, which duplicate content as found on The Fountain Pen Network, are not allowed. The Fountain Pen Network is a free service to our members, and The Fountain Pen Network maintains sets of rules, posting limitations, and a fee structure for those advertising goods, services, and external information sources such as blogs and sites which have similar content to the Fountain Pen Network.
- The Fountain Pen Network is not an appraisal site. Asking values with the intent of trying to sell on The Fountain Pen Network from any section or forum other than the Classifieds section and The Mall forum is not acceptable and will not be allowed.
- Members of the Fountain Pen Network should be aware that The Fountain Pen Network is a community of users, and not an appraisal or identification service for people intent on optimizing their sales without having to invest in the Fountain Pen Network beyond an odd post here and there asking for information, or alternatively without having to invest by means of a Premium Account.
- We are grateful to the companies, retailers and other parties who promote the use of fountain pens and related items. We welcome you to post freely on all forums, limiting discussion of your products to The Mall forum or threads in which your products are first discussed by another member.
Problematic posts or threads:
- If you post something and regret your wording or wish to remove it, the easiest thing to do is click the "Edit" button. However, do note that you can only edit within 24 hours of posting.
- If you feel your post should be deleted or edited after the 24 hours limit has passed, you may contact the Forum Moderator and request removal or editing assistance.
- If you have a problem with a particular post please do not launch an attack - instead use the Report function and the matter will receive attention.
- If you think your words might be inflammatory, then they probably are. Consider using your internal editor before clicking the "Post New Topic" or "Add Reply" button. You can always Preview a post before submitting it by clicking the "Preview Post" button.
If you have any questions or comments you may contact the Moderator and Administrator Team via email at the Admin Team, or alternatively, send a Personal Message (PM) to a member of the Moderator and Admin Team.
Commercial posts, advertising and soliciting for business and sales:
- Companies, Retailers, or otherwise affiliated parties without a Premium Account should post all company announcements in the Market Watch forum. A maximum of One (1) announcement per month is permitted. No pricing information will be allowed here. Please see the Market Watch Rules for the rules specific to this forum.
- Direct solicitation for business or sales must be done in the Classifieds Section and/or in The Mall forum only.
- Creating advertisements in the Classifieds section is limited to Gold Members and Premium Account Holders. Please see the Classifieds Rules for the specific terms and conditions for this area. All registered members are allowed to do business with other members who list their wares in the Classifieds section or in The Mall forum.
- Members with an internet and/or brick and mortar store are considered to be traders and will be required to purchase a Premium Account in order to sell or advertise their wares and/or services.
- Gold members are allowed to post a maximum of 3 adverts in the Classifieds section per week, with a maximum of 24 adverts on a yearly basis, and a maximum of 2 pens per listing/advert. If you have the need to post sales at a higher volume than 3 times a week or 24 times a year and/or more than 2 items per listing, you should look into becoming a Premium Account Holder.
- Gold Members without an internet or brick and mortar store may be considered traders in case they are selling items in Classifieds in large quantities, on a regular basis, or of considerable value. This will result in loss of privileges in the Classifieds, and this decision is at the sole discretion and classification of the Moderator and Admin Team. Members who want to sell items in large quantities, on a regular basis, or of considerable value, should consider purchasing a Premium Account.
- If a question about your fees, prices, services, etc. is asked in a thread in any other forum than the Market Watch forum or The Mall forum, you will refer to your site and/or, in case of Premium Account Holders, to The Mall forum.
- You are allowed to add your site or business contact in your signature. This way, "who does/sells what" will be clear to everyone. Common sense, and a measure of propriety is assumed.
- Posts containing links to your own eBay listings are strictly prohibited, except by Premium Account Holders in The Mall forum. eBay auctions may only be discussed after they are closed.
- Members are not allowed to direct other members, either through hotlink, through comments or otherwise to any live eBay auctions or other auction sites. No information such as URLs, item numbers, or seller IDs may be posted unless the eBay sale is strictly a "buy it now" sale with no bidding options available, or unless it is available through an eBay store.
- Group buys must have approval of the Moderator and Admin Team prior to initiating these on The Fountain Pen Network. This also holds true for charity events and auctions, "vote for me or someone I know" contests etc.
- Transactions in the Classifieds section are to be conducted via email. Those in The Mall forum may be conducted through PM or via email. Sellers may choose to whom they sell their items and are not required to sell to the first responder.
- For the sake of history and research, we ask that you do not delete the price from your original Classified or post after an item has been sold. Furthermore, please do put the word SOLD in bold letters in the title of your Classified when an item is sold, to make the buying and browsing experience of potential buyers more pleasant.
- Listing the same items over and over week after week in the Classifieds section is frowned upon. The Classifieds is not a shop front. If an item does not sell, and you would like to advertise it again, you will have to reduce the price by a reasonable amount in each subsequent relisting. Items which have not been listed for sale for at least 90 days may be relisted without a price drop.
- Simple or single parts for repairs may be asked for and dealt with in the Repair Q&A forum. It is not necessary to list these in the Classifieds section, although that is an option that remains open too.
Some forums have further guidelines which members are expected to adhere to. You can find these guidelines at the top of each individual forum.
C. Moderator and Admin Team's Responsibilities
- Attempt to keep The Fountain Pen Network organized, user-friendly and entertaining
- Resolve technical issues
- Ensure that all the rules and guidelines are followed
Furthermore, we reserve the right to do any or all of the following, at our own discretion:
- Request that a member alter or remove their posts as necessary
- Remove questionable posts from view, including posts and topics considered to be spam
- Move a post to an appropriate forum
- Close discussion on a thread, leaving previous replies intact but disallowing further discussion
- Issue warnings and demerits for breach of the rules and guidelines
- Suspend or ban members who violate the rules and guidelines of The Fountain Pen Network
Do note that discussion of Moderator and Administrator actions and/or decisions in the forums is not allowed. If you have questions or concerns please handle them through PM or email only.
Moderators and Administrators do not interfere unless it is absolutely necessary, and make every effort to enforce the rules impartially. Do bear in mind that we are volunteers with day jobs and family lives to attend to, therefore things may get overlooked. We depend on the membership to report any breach of the rules using the report button.
On rare occasions we may deem it necessary to remove a post or multiple posts.The thread/post(s) will not necessarily be deleted immediately, but may be removed from general view. Review by the Moderator and Administrator Team may however determine that complete removal of the thread is required. Contributors may not be informed about this decision.
Moderators and Administrators will act according to the above guidelines, as a team and as individuals. In many cases moderation actions will be discussed in the team before taking action. Furthermore, the Moderators and Administrators always act as a team, and are all aware of happenings on the board.
The Fountain Pen Network, Fountain Pen Network B.V., and any Administrators and Moderators (hereafter called FPN) shall not be held responsible for any damages you may suffer as a result of any message posted by you or any other person on The Fountain Pen Network or arising out of or related to your use or inability to use The Fountain Pen Network and shall not be held liable for any warranty, whether implied or expressed by FPN.
As a registered member of The Fountain Pen Network, you must observe all applicable federal, state and local law, including United States copyright, trademark, and obscenity law. In addition, you will not post any material which is defamatory, abusive, vulgar, hateful, racist, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, which infringes intellectual property or other proprietary rights of any party, advocates any illegal or dangerous activity, or is otherwise in violation of any law, that contains any virus or other harmful component, and/or any material deemed offensive or inappropriate by FPN.
You may not, in connection with your use of The Fountain Pen Network, impersonate any individual or misrepresent your affiliation with any individual or group.
FPN reserves the right to remove posts or terminate or take steps to terminate your access to The Fountain Pen Network, in whole or in part, without forewarning or public discussion, for any reason, at its sole discretion, to preserve the character and harmony of the site.
* FPN: The Fountain Pen Network, Fountain Pen Network B.V., and any Administrators and Moderators
**PIFs or Pay-It-Forward threads/topics: Pay it forward is asking the beneficiary of a good deed to repay it to others instead of to the original benefactor, and in the context of the Fountain Pen Network the good deed is providing a pen related item to someone else in an endless chain of such giveaways.