As much as I dislike to add yet *another* rule to our list, I just gotta' do it.
From now on all banners that are "for profit" endeavors are disallowed *unless* you are the owner of the endeavor and specifically PM me for permission.
Unobtrusive text links are still fine as are banners for "Non Profit" organizations (such as NJAGC for example).
Before the uproar let me explain my reasoning. I am doing (just like I always do) what I believe is best for the overall forum. The sponsors payments pay a hefty chunk of the costs that are involved with running such a large forum. I would be "peeved" if I paid to be a sponsor only to see someone else's banner plastered throughout the forum on other people's signatures. It simply isn't fair to them.
The rule is in place now but obviously we can't expect everyone to comply immediately. People don't sign on every night rabidly checking the announcement. There will be a "break in" period after which I will start asking people nicely to remove them.
I concur. As I am starting up a business of my own here shortly and would like to contribute as a sponsor, I would feel slightly cheated knowing I could have just pursuaded 10 members to put my banner up for free!
I have a banner below mine and quite honestly am pondering removing it, despite my loyalty to that site. I think that reducing the size even further may be necessary, but that is just my opinion.
^ No he said if you are the owner and have his permission it's cool, but no one else can have his banner.
TBH, I was waiting for this to happen. I love Orlando but it's actually confusing to me sometimes when I see all these green leaf tags everywhere, and I sometimes think it's HIM making posts but it's not.
Signatures are a great way to say a little about yourself or to display links of interest, but because they are attached to every post we want to keep them as unobtrusive and undistracting as possible. As such, we have revised the rules for signatures as follows:
1) Any image displayed must be banner size (100px high, 400px wide) or smaller. No animations are allowed as they are very distracting. One image per signature only.
2) Signatures should contain no explicit or implied libel against any vendor, group, or individual. They should be free of political or religious commentary, or any other message that might be considered offensive or inappropriate.
3) Pictures, quotes, and links should "PG". Anything you wouldn't want a 6 year old to see should not be displayed.
4) Signatures should be limited to 5 lines or less to conserve space.
5) Pictures which contain scripts are not allowed.
6) Moderators have the final say in what is an is not appropriate. Moderators will talk to individuals if they feel something is offensive, but Mods reserve the right to remove and/or change signatures at our discression.
7) Links are allowed in signatures, but please keep them related (at least in some way) to the planted-tank hobby and non-commercial.
8) Signatures cannot contain links to For Sale/Trade threads.
These rules are not meant to be constricting or overbearing. They are in place in order to make plantedtank.net an easy place to get information and advice for people of all ages. We want to keep it family friendly and ensure that the discussions are the main focus of a thread, and not a distracting signature. Please get your signatures updated this week if you need to adjust.
Thoughts and comments are welcome.
I think the biggest problem is oversized signatures, signatures with oversize images, or signatures with links to commercial sites (sites where items are sold).