Community Guidelines

Swish Appeal Community Guidelines

Hello and welcome to Swish Appeal!

If you're reading this we already assume that you are interested in really deep dialogue about women’s basketball and we appreciate your participation.

In order to have a dialogue in which there is a free and open exchange of ideas in which we respect differing opinions and even challenge those who agree with us, we've created a primer for posting and participating in this particular corner of the SB Nation community.

It's been broken into 3 parts:

"The Good", behavior and participation that enhances the Swish Appeal experience and fosters open discussion in an intelligent and fun fashion;

"The Bad", actions and attitudes that are less desirable and will almost certainly get you warned; and

"The Ugly", unacceptable activity that will probably get you banned

The Good:

Being Polite: This is a relatively family friendly community. It's also a forum for spirited discussion about women’s basketball. Our posts will find their way onto other major sports sites. The language and content of any posts and comments should be acceptable for a broad national (and international) audience.

Thinking Before Writing: Every once in a while, you're going to have simply a gut feeling or write from a completely subjective point of view. That's fine. Not every sports story is quantifiable statistically. However, a well-thought out and cogent argument will get a lot more readership and positive feedback than a hastily dashed-off rant about how trading an all-star guard in 2007 destroyed the franchise.

Lay out your argument and back it up with appropriate historical or statistical data whenever possible. The same goes for any counterarguments one might post in a response or comment.

Research and Citations: When backing up said argument, citing and especially linking to other articles that support your thesis makes for a stronger post than just writing "Well, Voepel, Evans, Corwin, etc. said so." Giving recognition via links to the authors upon whose work you draw is the best show of appreciation you can offer, and they will also be more likely to also link back to you in the future.

Rec Thy Neighbor: RECing! I can't say enough about it. If you read something you like, please click the "REC" button at the bottom of the post or comment. REC'ed posts get a more prominent listing on the front page of both Swish Appeal and REC'ed comments glow in a lovely shade of green. "+1s" are good, RECs are better, more colorful and concise. And it's a nice way to give the author of said post a warm fuzzy for the day.

Know Thy Formatting Tools: The good and wonderful codemonkeys of have provided you with an excellent and intuitive interface for formatting posts. While you don't have to use special formats when posting or commenting, the judicious use of bold text, italics, bullet points, blockquotes (especially blockquotes when citing other sources) and hyperlinks will give your post a little extra oomph and readability.

Be Fresh: Several women’s basketball-related themes have been beaten to death. If you're posting, focus more on current events and emerging trends with history as the backdrop -- and we love if you can bring something new to the table.

The Bad:

Over-quoting or Re-Pasting Entire Articles: Please respect other websites' content. Content is the king, queen and jack of web publishing and drives traffic, which in turn drives revenue for most websites. Copying all or most of someone else's article is theft and hurts both their traffic and our integrity as a community.

This is doubly true if said content is behind some kind of paywall (e.g., ESPN Insider). If it's that great, please summarize and link to it and show our e-neighbors the same respect we'd like them to show us. And if some members of the community can't read a piece because we're not subscribers, it's on us to subscribe and not on you to "liberate" the content.

Personal Attacks: Argue the point of a post, not whether or not the author is a sausagehead. And if someone does call you a sausagehead (which will almost certainly happen at some point), be the bigger person and don't retaliate.

Profanity: So, you slipped up and said "shit" when "crap" would have sufficed. It's OK. It happens. Please don't let it happen frequently.

Feel free to make liberal use of ampersands, pound signs, and asterisks if you must quote someone's profanity laced post-game tirade. This isn't a place for the faint of heart but there's no need to be overly profane. There is no hard and fast rule here but like porn, we know it when we see it and by it we mean too much or improper use of profanity.

The Trade Machine (or Time Machine) is Not a Toy: When speculating about trades or possible signings, please keep in mind the "Thinking Before Writing" and "Be Fresh" suggestions from above. The same goes for any posts on what could've, should've or would've been.

The Ugly:

Personal Threats: Calling someone a sausagehead will get you warned. Offering to kick their sausagehead butt in the parking lot at lunch will get you banned. End of story.

Repeated, Rampant Profanity: This is "WNBA Shoot Around" on ESPN, not your drunken tirade after your team missed the playoffs due to poor coaching. Your Artie Lange impersonation is not welcome here.

Spamming: Odds are if you're doing this, you're probably not bothering to read this document. If you are bothering to read this, then please keep your comments and posts women’s basketball-related. We're not interested in your porn site, male enhancement offer or scalped tickets.

Trolling: This is a two-way street. We don't appreciate it when a lunkhead from another site comes in simply to repeatedly post "women's basketball is a joke" or "you couldn't pay me to watch women's basketball". We also don't appreciate it when our members go to other team's sites doing proselytizing either. Please feel free to go to other sites and participate there. Just know that the blogging community is tight. We talk to one another. Misbehaving on another blog will get you kicked out of ours too.

The Summary:

In two words or less: be cool. Use common sense. Have fun.

And remember the most basic principle of civil internet conversation:

"Would I be embarrassed to say this in front of strangers who were physically present in the room with me and could respond to my face?"

If the answer is "yes," then don't post.

The above isn't so much a hard and fast collection of rules and regulations as it is a suggestion for best practices that will enhance everyone's Swish Appeal experience.

Final judgment as to what is considered appropriate or inappropriate rests with the editorial staff, who will take any offense on a case by case basis.

Front page space is limited, precious and is broadcast across the internet on Yahoo Sports, USA Today and, sometimes, the Wall Street Journal. Good work is rewarded. And if you don't aspire to the front page, all of these guidelines are just as applicable to the FanPosts and comments section as well, which are read by basketball fans that visit the site daily.

Thank you for joining us here at Swish Appeal. We look forward to hearing what you have to say!

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