Some major amendments to the tMP Rules

Discussion in 'tMP Site News & Suggestions' started by TheMusicMan, May 1, 2005.

  1. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Some major amendments to the tMP Rules

    Please take a moment to read the following - they affect you all, so it's important you read them (along with the rest of the tMP Rules of course) and act upon their instructions.


    We have noticed over the last few months a huge increase in the amount of images, smilies and animations appearing in members' signatures. Whilst we appreciate that this is a bit of fun, we must not lose sight of what tMP is all about - a discussion forum - and we feel that the increased use of images can sometimes severely distract from the post being made - a lot of signatures are now taking up more space than the actual message itself! There is also a speed issue here - the more images there are in a signature, the more time it takes to load that message to your screen - so think of a page with 15 posts - all with images in the signatures - and you can appreciate the difficulty some people, particularly those on slow dial-up accounts, get in trying to load their pages.

    As a result, these are the new rules and guidelines for signatures. Please read them carefully, and amend your signatures accordingly. You have until Friday 6th May to make the necessary amendments - at that point the new guidelines will take effect automatically.
    * 300 character limit (no change)

    * A maximum of two weblinks (must be within the character limit obviously)
    * No blatant advertising (refer to rules on Classified and Professional adverts below)
    * No smileys
    * No images
    * No animations
    * A maximum of 2 colours
    * Maximum font size of 2pt


    We have also introduced some new guidelines as to how and when you can post advertisements on tMP. Whilst we are adamant that we still allow some free ads to be placed, it is simply not fair on our sponsors to not have some 'extra privileges' so, we have introduced the following new rules:
    2. (k) When posting in tMP's free Classified Advertisements forum category, only 2 New Threads per month are permitted. If you have a requirement for your band to advertise further within any month, please contact one of the tMP team. To protect everyones interest and to avoid bumping, replies to ones own threads within this category are moderated.

    5. (f) Signatures are not to be used for blatant advertising. Weblinks and information are allowed (as long as they fall within the current guidelines for signatures), but the use of signatures will be monitored and action will be taken if we think they are being mis-used.

    8. (c) Do not bump posts in the free Classified Advertisements category.

    The 'Professional Trade Stand' category is not affected i.e. unlimited posts are allowed - however - only those with a current 'banner ad' campaign are allowed to post in there. For details on how you can join the 'Professional Trade Stand' category along with other ways you can help support tMP click here.

    Thanks for your continued support.

    John and the team.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2005
  2. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Hi John,

    Does this include saying which band(s) you are in or what your interests are? Could my saying I'm a composer/arranger be construed as blatant advertising? (It would be nice if it were bringing in the £££, but sadly not) (Don't anyone accuse me of lying either :p;))​

    [BOC WARNING]Could I just point out that 2pt is not the same as size 2 text

    This is 2pt text. If you can read it you are using a magnifying glass or you are an insect! (OK it will not display 2pt text, but that doesn't make it right! :p:p:p)

    The text above is 2pt. this and all the rest is size 2

    Thanks for your continued support.

    John and the team.[/QUOTE]

    I agree on the matter of animated smilies and so on. When the net is busy, the refresh rate goes through the floor even on a fast connection like mine so it doesn't need help putting the breaks on.

    However, could I please ask that you give an example or 3 of 'good' signatures and 'bad' signatures please. Some of them are quite amusing - particularly 2md. You don't have to use actual ones, but could perhaps make some up.

    Just my thoughts.

    Last edited: May 2, 2005
  3. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member


    aw, and I liked Groovy's "prettyfull colors" so much :frown::frown: It always made me feel happy... :)

  4. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    Newcastle Upon Tyne
    If you are really concerned about the speed of TMP, kill some of the ad feeds.

    There are so many feeds from different sources and locations on this site, and the page isn't displayed until they have all loaded. I know the site needs the income, but it can also be selective. I'm typing this with an ad for "10,000 website visitors for $39.95" in a nice 24K banner. How many smilies and font colours can you get in 24K?
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hey Colin,

    Thanks for the feedback and suggestions, but I'm afraid... to quote... "There are so many feeds from different sources and locations on this site," is totally incorrect. There are only two sources of ads on tMP... and these are from...
    • #1 Sponors of tMP who pay for promotional banners that appear in the top right and bottom centre of most pages. I use a popular banner management tool to deliver these ads which runs on tMP itself and is not dependant on any supplier, and is also used on thousands of other sites.
    • # 2 - a script from google-ads
    The revenue generated from these ads in no way comes anywhere near the costs involved in running tMP.

    We have recently implemented some new rules (which I hope people will understand) that ask people not to put unnecessary images/smilies/icons in their sigs as this does slow down page loads. Once we have gone through sigs and removed 'stuff' then this may improve page loading

    What I could implement however, is a system where banners/ads are turned off and not presented on pages for those who may choose to voluntarily contribute. Hadn't thought of that...
  6. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    Newcastle Upon Tyne
    John - i know you do a great job and take this as constructed criticism but a site is nothing without (happy) users.

    I've just done a check on this page and it comes in at nearly 500K! That's half a meg for what? a page with four posts on!! So people running the odd 10K graphic is hardly over doing it is it?

    It breaks down as:

    200K - html source file
    100K - VB javascript and css plugins
    40K - Ads and adserver plugins
    100K - other images (including avatars)

    All i'm saying is that if you really are concerned about speed of load there are other things you could do - there is load of stuff that VB loads in with each page, in addition to the "bloaty" nature of the code for each page.

    Just two pence from a very sorry looking £5 note ;)
  7. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    sorry Colin, I suggest you recheck your figures there. 200K html? I would imagine you've mistakenly read an extra zero in there. ;)

    Anyway, it's slightly beside the point as John has indicated the main reasons for these changes are the fact that some signatures are now so involved as to detract from the main posts.

    While we do accept that there may be performance issues, that's a separate subject.
  8. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    Newcastle Upon Tyne
    I will be quiet after this, but the generated HTML file is indeed around 200K - do a "view source" and then save, and see the size of the file that results. I've just done it again and it is up to 150K+, and there's only a handful of posts on here. And that is without the includes and images. Honest guv!

    Off to bed so i'll be quiet now.
  9. rutty

    rutty Active Member

    Beeston, Nottingham
    The restrictions on signatures are perfectly fair - still plenty of room for a witty comment or two and a couple of relevant links. As a regular forum user I do despair about large signatures - they make a mess of a thread and all those animated gifs and other images just distract from the actual content. I'm much more interested in what people have to say in their posts.

    Restrictions on adverts are entirely John's perogative. Fair play there too.

    Forum code is a bit bloated though - I just did a save of the source code for this page and it came in at 98k for me. Not a lot you can do about that though ;)
  10. Liz Courts

    Liz Courts Active Member

    Awww...but I like my Cornish flag :( ...ah well, it was time for a change of signature anyway, plus I definitely think this new rule would be beneficial to help my computer keep up! :) (It's a bit on the slow side...:rolleyes: )
  11. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Ryhill, Wakefield
    It is a shame they have to go, I didn't find them distracting at all, and gave a bit of character. After all we don't want to keep it too serious.

    But hey nothing to get stressed about and I've updated mine, even if it did upset me to lose the Chas n Dave link :frown:
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