Board rules

These rules are disclosed to clarify the various responsibilities of all community members here on BCSS - Forum. They shall be adhered to by everyone to ensure that our board runs smoothly and provides a fun and productive experience for all of our community members and visitors.

  1. Rules

    1. Forum Rules & Protocols

      1. Please make posts to the correct forum. The main forum (The Cactus & Succulent Plant Forum) is in the main for plants that fall under the auspices of the BCSS Handbook of Shows, some common-sense is to be used but things like bulbs, bromeliads and borderline succulents etc should not appear in this forum but in the Plants of Interest forum. Members are asked to read the forum descriptions before posting. Users who continuously post to the wrong forum may be given a warning (see Warnings & Exclusion below).

      2. Members should post in a way that is respectful of other users. Abusing other users in any way will not be tolerated and will lead to a warning. See Posting Hints below.

      3. Members are asked to not act as "back seat moderators". If members come across anything that contravenes the rules or the spirit of the forum please notify the Moderator Team. Do not reply yourself.

      4. Members should remember this board is aimed at a general audience. Posting pornographic or generally offensive text, images, links, etc. will not be tolerated and will lead to a warning or instant ban. (see Warnings & Exclusion below).

      5. Copyright Issues.
      It is often relevant to refer to a published article when making a specific point in a thread. If you wish to include a scan of a picture or a passage or article from any publication or other copyrighted source to do so you must get the explicit permission of the copyright owner of the material this may be the publisher, author or photographer. The only exception to this is if the work is clearly in the public domain. All copyright items must be properly attributed.
      If you wish to critique or review an article, journal or book then it is acceptable to reproduce extracts without permissions as long as it is properly attributed and the extracts do not form a substantial proportion of the work. It is important to note substantial proportion is not measured in absolute amounts but in the importance to the whole.

      6. Links to Images and extracts from other websites.

      a) If you choose to link directly to an image, database content or file on another site only do so if you have permission, this is considered bandwidth theft as the site owner has to pay for our use of their content and may not wish to do so.

      b) If you copy an image, an abstract of content or file from another source and post it on here, only do so with appropriate acknowledgements and with the copyright owner’s permission where appropriate.

      c) If you wish to use an image/content hosted elsewhere to illustrate a point it is OK to link to the page where the image/content is situated, as long as you do not circumvent any technology designed to prevent this or any terms and conditions on the site requesting no linking/no links without permission.

      7. Posts should be in a normal style of writing. Try to avoid excessive use of txtese, smilies large or small text and colours. Bear in mind we have many overseas posters for whom English is not their first language so please spell check your post. See Posting Hints below. Also please do not SHOUT or use too many ??????? or !!!!!!!!!!!, it only annoys other users. Users consistently abusing this will be warned. (see Warnings & Exclusion below).

      8. Spam will not be tolerated. This includes the offering of any commercial services, recruiting members for your own projects which conflict with those of the Society or recruiting for off topic projects. Users posting spam will be warned and their post removed. (see Warnings & Exclusion below).

      9. The forum moderators and administrators as appointed by the BoT of the BCSS have the right to remove or edit any post. Members will have the right to reasonable explanation for any removal or edit, which may be done privately or publicly at the discretion of the moderators or administrators.

      10. These rules also apply to the private messaging system.

      11. We do not allow business advertising. Selling is only allowed in the members only sales and wants forum and then only for surplus items, please, no commercial sales. Posting of links to sites where items are for sale in response to a request is permissible, but only as a recommendation. It is not permissible to post a link to your own commercial site as this will be deemed to be advertising not recommendation.

      12. Users who disrespect the work of the team that runs the forum will be warned. (see Warnings & Exclusion below).

      Warnings & Exclusion

      13. We operate a three strikes and you're out policy. Three warnings in a period of three months will result in a seven day ban. Any further warnings may result in permanent exclusion.

      14. Arguing with the moderators or administrators as the result of a warning will result in an immediate further warning.

      15. Any attempt to get round a temporary ban will result in permanent exclusion.

      16. An immediate ban will be implemented in more severe cases of personal abuse or the posting of pornographic images or links.

      17. If you feel you have been unfairly warned or banned you can appeal to the designated Trustee (Currently David Kirkbright) who will convene a panel to consider the appeal, their decision shall be binding.

      Trading Post Rules.

      Threads to be deleted two months after either the last posting by the instigator of the thread or immediately after the instigator posts that the plants/items have gone.

      To offer items for sale or swap in this area you must also be a BCSS member, please include your BCSS branch or BCSS membership number in your signature. Non BCSS members will be allowed 2 wants requests in any 6 month period, no sales or swaps sorry.

      Advertisements are posted for the convenience of BCSS members and no warranty is therefore implied. Whilst the society cannot become involved in disputes between advertisers and their customers, if members do feel there are matters which need to be brought to the attention of the society officials please contact the moderators.

      This facility is only for amateur growers to sell/swap surplus plants.

      Once your request is met ie for plants etc, can you please contact a moderator to delete your thread

      Under no circumstances should commercial organisations post in this area this includes any site listed on with the exception of those clearly marked as amateur.

      Under no circumstances should habitat collected plants be advertised in this forum.

      If any advertisement is deemed as unsuitable by the moderation team it will be deleted and a short explanation posted. This decision will be final.

      So as not to distract from sellers original post please keep responses to the subject of sales and wants and not start discussions on cultivation etc on this forum. Please the Discussion Forum.

      If you benefit from an offer of free plants solicited or other wise and intend to sell them or decide to sell them within a short period of time it would only be common courtesy to speak to the person who gave you plants first, it would be more in the spirit of the forum for you to pass them on free to some one else.

      If you are purchasing any plants with the intention of selling them on, again this is not in the spirit of the forum, please discuss this with the seller first before doing so. #
  2. Community Rules & Posting Advice

    1. Picture Posting

      Picture file format's accepted are jpeg, png and gif

      Do not have more than 25 characters in the picture name & only include letters/numbers not characters ie * ? "/ etc, use underscore if you use two words.

      The image size needs to be less than 250kb. There are are loads of packages on the market that will reduce picture sizes. It is advisable to always keep the original picture and save the resized one with a new name.

      Suggestions are:
      to tell the size of an image right click on it in My pictures and select properties.......this will display information about the image and its size.

      when you double click on an image in My pictures it should open an image program to display the image on your screen.........somewhere in that image program there should be a way to resize the image.

      To post a picture on the forum
      To display an image on on the forum the preferable way is to click on "Upload Attachment" just below the posting box, click on browse and navigate to the location on your computer where the image you want to display is stored and click on it once, click once on "open" then click "Add the file", then put your curser where you want you picture to appear in the post click and then click "Post inline", your image will then appear in your post when you select preview or submit. You repeat this to add up to 5 pictures in a single post.

      To post Pictures from Picasa/Google Albums

      When you are logged into your Picasa albums open an image, then to the right is the text "Link To This Photo" Click on this will give you the option to set up a link or embed a picture in a HTML page and set the image size, but to use it on here, you would then have to extract the image URL from the code, which is the bit beginning with http and ending with .jpg.

      Photo Editor
      If you have Microsoft office then photo editor is on the installation disc.

      Adobe Photoshop
      Expensive but very good. Using the Save for Web function lets you get the best balance between picture and size, and you see it all, including size well before you do have to finally save .

      In Photoshop so you can have a collage of images.
      Step 1. Resize an individual photo to the size you want say (4"x2.667" at 96 resolution).
      Step 2. Change the canvas size to 2X the photo size (8"x5.334"), this will give you a set of 4 photo's.
      Step 3. Resize other individual photo's as step 1.
      Step 4. Copy and paste individual resized photo's into the larger canvas created in step 2.
      Step 4. Add text if required.
      Step 5. Use 'save for web' command to get file size below the required 100Kb.

      Picasa is a useful free program from Google and has an export option where you can resize images, but it's relative to the size of the original image so you may need to fiddle before you find the right export settings for your camera.

      Image Resizer
      This is another freebie from Microsoft this time and enables you to resize images, with a simple right click, again a bit of experimenting may be needed the first time.
      Image resizer

      It's quite highly rated and again free

      The Gimp
      A free open source photo editor, apparently nearly as good as PhotoShop.
      The Gimp

      Image Resizing for MACs Thanks to Ralph Martin for this.
      If you use an Apple Mac rather than a PC, the simplest way to resize a picture for posting is to use the provided Preview application, as follows:

      Open your picture in Preview
      Choose Tools -> Adjust Size, and select the new size in pixels, using "Fit Into". 640 x 480 is probably a good size for forum postings. Click OK.
      Choose File -> Save as
      Give the File a new name (to avoid overwriting the original).
      Choose JPEG in the pop-up menu which lets you choose the format.
      You can now adjust the slider underneath that to chose the image quality. Adjust it to bring the file down to below the required 100k file size (if necessary).
      Click Save.

      Alternatively, the shareware program Graphic Converter offers many more options for resizing images, converting their format, and changing their size in pixels. It can also process a whole folder of images as a batch.

      BCSS Gallery

      You can off course upload you pictures tot he appropriate section of the BCSS Gallery and link it to a forum post.

      Alternative Picture Hosting
      Another alternative is host your pictures on another site if you have one, although this can cause problems if you move the images, move/close your account or the service provider closes as the images will then be lost from the thread, which may make the thread nonsensical. You can use PhotoBucket for example, there are plenty of others. When you upload to photobucket my images are resized to 800x600. Using thumbnails in your postings allows the viewer to choose whether to view your image, this is particularly useful to dial up users.
      To insert a photbucket image into your posting use this format photobucketaddress
      To insert a thumbnail use this format
      The th_ when added to an image name tells photobucket to display a thumbnail image.
      See link for relevant thread<,43918>

      An example of a photobucket thumbnail link


      Thumbnails the easy way:

      In your photobucket album, put ticks in the tick boxes under the images you want to use. Then scroll right down to the bottom and click the button labelled "Generate HTML and IMG code". You will then be presented with 5 boxes of code. Clicking the third one automatically copies to your clipboard the thumbnail and the link - all you need to do then is paste the contents of your clipboard into your forum post. #
    2. Forum Administration

      Members should note this forum is largely maintained on a voluntary basis. No moderator or administrator is paid for their work, so please do not make unreasonable demands of them.

      Although the administrators and moderators of the BCSS forum will attempt to keep all objectionable messages off this forum, it is impossible for them to review all messages. All messages express the views of the author, and neither the Officers & Trustees of the BCSS, moderators and administrators appointed by the BCSS nor Cactus-Mall (forum host) will be held responsible for the content of any message.

      By joining this forum you are bound you agree to these rules, you also agree not to post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, threatening, or otherwise break any laws.

      The BoT of the BCSS delegate to the moderators and administrators appointed by them the right to remove, edit, move or close any thread for any reason.

      The forum Team will consist of an administrator and at least 2 moderators.

      The Forum Administrator shall manage the forum on a day to day basis, act as moderator and coordinate the work of the other moderators.

      Moderators will have the individual right to move, amend and delete messages in accordance with the rules & guidelines.

      Moderators shall jointly have the right to decide by any means of any communication method they deem suitable to enact official warnings, suspension & bans. It shall require two out the three moderators to agree this course of action, in the absence of enough moderators a trustee will be asked to act a substitute moderator.

      If you disagree with any decisions taken by the moderators then you can appeal against the decision through David Kirkbright, who will convene an appeal board of three trustees (none of whom will be members of the forum team) to adjudicate.

      In the event no moderator is available any trustee may act as interim moderator.

      If you have anything to say about the rules, or anything to add to the posting hints in the subsequent posts please contact any member of the team. #
    3. Photo selection
      Most photos can be uploaded provided the file is no larger than 250 kB. (Files need to be .jpg .png or .gif files, with alphanumeric names with no symbols - ? % / - or spaces, although the underscore is acceptable, so things like img_25.jpg would be OK)

      You can check the file size either by hovering your cursor over the file, which sometimes/should pop up a little box (shown here, below) or right-clicking and looking in properties.
      As you can see, that IMG_9308.JPG is far too big!

      Reducing file size to less than 250 kB
      There are so many ways to do this that it's difficult to give specific advice. Quite often, the software that came with your camera may include the ability to do this.

      If you have the Microsoft Office suite then Microsoft Office Picture Manager can do the job.

      There are websites that can do the shrinking online or there are free pieces of software that you can legally download - IrfanView and JPEG Resampler are two that you could try.

      For those using Apple Macs, the simplest way to resize a picture for posting is to use the provided Preview application, as follows:
      Open your picture in Preview and choose Tools -> Adjust Size, and select the new size in pixels, using "Fit Into". 640 x 480 is probably a good size for forum postings. Click OK.
      Choose File -> Save as and give the File a new name (to avoid overwriting the original).
      Choose JPEG in the pop-up menu which lets you choose the format.
      You can now adjust the slider underneath that to chose the image quality. Adjust it to bring the file down to below the required 250k file size (if necessary).
      Click Save.

      Photos uploaded to picture sharing websites (Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, facebook) may shrink photos automatically when uploaded. When saved from these sites, photos should be reduced in file size.

      Posting your picture within a message
      As you compose a message, you will need to scroll down, past the box where you can write something, to the grey-green 'options' bit. Click on the greyed out 'upload attachment' tab next to 'options'.
      which should give you a 'Browse...' button, among other things.
      Click 'Browse...', then find your picture, wherever you've stored it on your computer, click 'open' then click the 'add the file' button. The screen will refresh and this time when you scroll down to under the text entry box you'll see the filename of your photo. This is the point where a file which is too large will be rejected.
      Click the point in your message where you would like the photo to appear. Click on the 'place inline' button which will put a bit of code into the main message body where you indicated. Want another photo? If you keep scrolling down you'll get to the 'upload attachment' tab again, allowing you to repeat the above to add a second photo. Somewhat confusingly, the second photo you upload will be top of the list when you you go to click 'place inline'.

      Make sure you do click the 'place inline' otherwise you will have no control over where the image ends up and your image will have a distracting box around it.

      Posting images hosted elsewhere
      If you have files on your own website or in a photo sharing account (flickr, photobucket) you can link to them there. However, please bear in mind that this causes problems if you move the images, delete the account or if the service provider closes down - the pictures you posted will no longer be visible which can render your post quite meaningless.

      Most of these sites will generate code for you to post into the forum. For example, in photobucket there is the option to select images (with a tick) and then use (right at the bottom of the page) 'choose action' then 'generate link codes for selected' and then copying one of the 'IMG for bulletin boards & forums' options into your post. #
    4. What can you post and not post.

      This in an interim statement and may be further modified.

      Apart from anything explicit in the rules we will not allow any posts the Moderators or Trustees deem to be not in the best interests of the society, nor anything that could be in breach of our hosts contract with his suppliers.

      Yep that’s clear as mud isn’t it.

      The biggest issue here is the potential for libel action for this we can posts into two camps. opinion and statement of fact.

      Opinion: A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof, an opinion is not normaly libellous.

      Statement Of Fact: an absolute statement that can supported by positive knowledge or proof, if you cannot support a statement it can have the potential to be libellous.

      So to take a recent example on the forum:
      That nursery is an absolute disgrace!
      I'd imagine there are some huge holes in the veld where those have been "obtained".
      I am sorry to say that IMHO the big Dioscoreas are all taken from habitat in South Africa!
      I asked a contact of mine in South Africa to have a look at these photos. He feels they are definately wild collected. The holes in the Dioscoreas is porcupine damage apparently.
      I've only just seen this. If they are habitat collected that is quite terrible.

      Although some are borderline they are all opinions no-one has actually made a direct claim about that the plants being illegal or wild collected.

      If we change a few words they become Statements of fact, the question as to whether these would be allowed on the forum would be prove it, if you can’t satisfy the moderators that they are true then don’t post it or make it an opinion , in these cases pictures are not sufficient proof and these posts would have to be removed :
      That nursery is an absolute disgrace, all those wild collected plants!
      There are some huge holes in the veld where those have been "obtained".
      I am sorry to say that the big Dioscoreas are all taken from habitat in South Africa!
      I asked a contact of mine in South Africa to have a look at these photos. He says they are definitely wild collected. The holes in the Dioscoreas are porcupine damage.
      I've only just seen this, they are habitat collected and that is quite terrible.

      Now there is an additional issue in libel, malicious intent, something can be true but is presented in such a way as to deliberately cause harm or loss to an individual or organisation.

      But can I post about my poor experience with xyz Nursery, of course you can, just keep to the facts and don’t say they are con men or swindlers etc Unless you can prove it.

      If you post a message that in the opinion of the moderators or Trustees is partially inappropriate you will be given the opportunity to amend it and suggestions may be offered to assist in an appropriate form of wording.

      And if in doubt please ask before you post and one of the moderators will be more than happy to help.

      This is not definitive nor a statement of law it is a guide, this is membership forum, moderated and owned by the society, this gives the society in the guise of the BoT and their nominated representatives the right to delete, remove and amend any post as long as by doing so it does not contravene any discrimination laws. Our host also reserves the absolute right to request the deletion, removal or amendment of any post.

      We are not a dictatorship, but in this litigious society we have to err on the side of caution so we may view things differently from you the poster, I am sorry if that offends anyone this not about restricting free speech but protecting the society. Also you may have heard of fair comment as a defence against libel as far as I can see this general only apples to journalists but it can be used as a defence if something is the public interest as long as it is not defamatory. #
    5. Posting Hints

      Posting Etiquette

      A little advice before making posts that could raise the hackles of others.

      Think twice before pressing that post button, does this message say what I mean to say and in the right tone, more importantly is this appropriate for public posting or should I approach the person direct by PM or e-mail and discuss it with them.

      If it's liable to be controversial maybe speak privately to one or two others about the advisability of the post or change it to make the topic more generic and start a new thread. An example; would it be better to post a message in my thread on Hybrids criticising and condemning me for producing and propagating them or to start a separate discussion on the whether or not we need to produce hybrids.

      Don't make it personal, the forum is for public discussion, if you have an issue with an another member take it private

      The written word can be a difficult tool to work with, authors are masters at conveying emotion as well as meaning, us mere mortals don't fare so well which is where misunderstandings can come from, particularly in posts made in haste.

      If you do get carried away and realise it, approach the other person first and own up, it's often the quickest way to diffuse the situation.

      Remember engage brain before keyboard.


      Please consider setting up a signature, as a minimum this should be your name (first will do), special interests (plant wise), general location and society membership (if applicable).

      How to?
      Go to My Control Panel, select Edit Signature form the left hand menu and type away. If you wish to use an image in your signature, you will need to use a hosting service such as Photobucket. Please make sure it?s not of such a size as to overwhelm your post.

      Thread Titles

      When posting please consider making the title as factual as possible, while fun titles may amuse some, not all members wish to read through all the posts to find ones they are interested in.

      Spell Checking

      Please check your spelling. The easiest way to achieve this is type your post in a word processor first and then copy and paste it. If you use a browser like FireFox, you can download an add-on which gives you a spellchecker to use online. #