The History Book Club discussion


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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jul 17, 2020 11:58PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Since most of you who are reading this for the first time are probably new to The History Book Club and/or maybe even to goodreads, let me try to give you a "roadmap" as to how best to create and to sustain a respected place in our group community; which will not only benefit you and your membership, but will also help maintain our group as a successful, civil and comfortable place to be.


We want to welcome you to The History Book Club. One requirement that we do have that other groups may not have is that we ask all of our members to provide a brief "hello" on our Introduction thread. This helps in a number of ways. When you post in one of our book discussions, folks will recognize that you took the time to introduce yourself and they will be more inclined to respond. Members feel more comfortable knowing just a little something about someone that they are communicating with on line; it makes everybody feel safer.

Here at The History Book Club, one of the things that we have prided ourselves on is that we are a safe haven for those folks who want a civil, respectful and actively moderated site. We do provide that for you; but likewise we need to know that all members are posting a brief intro so that we can help maintain that high caliber of group and community spirit.

So please by all means, go to the Introduction thread right now and tell us just "a little bit" about yourself. It does not have to be revealing or long, in fact we would prefer that it not be; but whatever you would like to share will go a long way in allowing group members to feel that you are not a lurker; but really do want to participate, discuss great books, and contribute in a positive way to the group's success. That is why we have made this a requirement.

Also, remember that the Introduction thread is just that; a place for a brief "hello" and an "I am new here". It is not a place to discuss books, add a host of books you like and/or find a new book to read; it is simply a place to say hello and a place for us to say that we are pleased to have you with us. We have different threads where you can request a book on a specific topic, another thread where you can discuss all of the books you are reading and even an Off Topic thread where you can discuss mostly anything that interests you that is not connected to one of our book discussions. We do hope that you find what you are looking for and we do work hard to give you many different areas of reading and discussion clusters.


We have a set of rules which all members must follow without exceptions. We are very consistent across the site and it helps the group operate smoothly and be the best that it can be for ALL members including the moderators. Please save the moderating team the time that it will take to correct you and if you need any help, please just ask one of the members of the team BEFORE you post. We are here to help you. We realize that there is sometimes a learning curve; and we want to help. If you ignore the guidelines, we are also going to follow through. If we have to issue you a warning, be assured that it is not personal; we just want to maintain a high caliber group; but we do follow our own rules and expect that you will follow them too. There are a lot of other groups at Goodreads which may have a different set of rules; every group is different. Please act as if you are a guest in our living room..a very valued member of our group community.

However here is the set of guidelines and the repercussions if you do not follow them:

If you are one of those folks who does not want to follow any rules and likes to do things your own way, it is probably best to join another Goodreads group.

However, Goodreads also has its own rules and terms and conditions which you should also be familiar with. Please especially become familiar with their policies on user content and age eligibility.

Here they are:

Goodreads also has a general guideline for authors:

Here it is:

Goodreads also has a privacy policy. Here it is:

We hope that you will carefully consider our guidelines before you join and follow them when you do. Our moderating team will answer any questions that you might have in terms of how to post book covers, authors' photos, authors' links, what to do when there is no book cover, or no author photo. However, please be mindful not to ignore the guidelines and make sure to read the guidelines carefully in order to know what the guidelines entail, what are your responsibilities and what are the warnings and repercussions if you choose not to follow them.

Please also note that we have a zero spam policy. There are no ads, no marketing, no solicitation of any kind, no links to your personal blogs, your personal reviews elsewhere or your personal sites or your groups, and no self promotion. We have a promotion thread where the moderating team honors those authors who are active in our group and contributing and following our guidelines; but that is the only thread where we mention the books of group members otherwise OK's must be personally given by the Group Founder - Bentley. We do have special spotlighted threads but those discussions are permitted and OK'd by the Group Leadership ahead of time. We love authors and publishers.


Authors, Writers, Blogger, Web Site Owners of other sites - in the introduction thread or any thread for that matter - please do not mention books or articles in magazines or newspapers that you have published or are in the works or that you are a new author/would be author or writer or a veteran author, blog on another site or have a site you are trying to promote (without the expressed permission of Bentley - such as we have given in our Special Spotlighted offerings when we are offering free books for discussion).

No links to your blogs, your websites, your books, your personal reviews elsewhere, your site or anything that is self promoting. Why would we want to take a trip somewhere else to talk about a book. If you are interested in our site and our camaraderie, you would post what you have to say here and not take us on a road trip.

Just talk about yourself and things that you are interested in and why history is important to you or what interested you about our site; we really get turned off when our site is used for self promotion; and we delete all such posts. So in other words, we follow a zero spam rule. If you choose to spam, you will find yourself one group short. If you are unsure, then send a note to Bentley and he will assist you. We have seen a million and one ways that authors and would be authors or would be writers are trying to shine a beam of light on their work or written accomplishments (in any form) and we do not allow any of it. So even though some of these attempts to self promote appear innocent - we do not consider them to be and will ask you to remove it or any spam we see.

We want to make this very clear: we define SPAM as:

A thread or post that is created by a new member that calls attention to their book/any book in progress, that they are an author, would be author or would be writer, or have a new work in the works, any blog/website/group/something that they are selling or marketing or referencing their book, their books or something that somebody is trying to market or sell, or any posting of writing where they are mentioning their writing or wanting to be noticed. DO NOT MENTION YOUR BOOKS OR ANY OF THE ABOVE IN ANY POST HERE: we have a zero self promotion policy on our site.


Also, a special note to moderators of other groups; we are not interested in nor do we allow any postings, advertising, or promoting of your group in any way (overtly or covertly). If that is why you are joining our group, we would prefer that you not. All moderators of other groups before joining should contact Bentley. We would like to discuss our guidelines and rules with you before you join. We consider posts from moderators that allude to their group or another group as self promotion; just like other SPAM. Moderators of other sites can be contributing members and we have quite a few great members in our group who also are moderators; but they must remember that in this group our group rules abide not theirs. If we discover that moderators from other groups or authors are using our member list as their personal mailing list to add to their own group's member list, we consider that to be a flagrant abuse of our guidelines and we do not want our members spammed simply because they belong to our group list. Offenders will be blocked.

The rules and guidelines of The History Book Club belong to this group. We would like to stress that these rules and guidelines are for The History Book Club, and they do not apply to any other group besides this group. We do not speak for Goodreads or any other moderator in any other group. But likewise, any moderator who joins this group must abide by our guidelines and rules otherwise as we stated above you will find yourself a group short.

It is a great group with a lot of community spirit; but we want to keep it that way and we are serious about our friendly atmosphere. With your help, we can continue to offer that safe haven which has high standards in order to maintain the caliber of our group. We are not trying to appeal to everyone; we are trying to appeal to the serious and civil reader.

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 24, 2010 03:02AM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod

This has been stated elsewhere but bears repeating. For those folks who are unsure what "flaming" is. Here is a definition of "flaming" which also references trolls and trolling:

"Flaming (also known as bashing) is hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users. Flaming usually occurs in the social context of a discussion board, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), Usenet, by e-mail or on Video-sharing websites. It is usually the result of the discussion of heated real-world issues like politics, sports, religion, and philosophy, or of issues that polarise subpopulations. For example, the perennial debate between users of Windows and competing operating systems such as Mac OS, users of Intel and AMD processors, and users of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game systems, often escalates into a "flame war" (back-and-forth flaming between sides in a debate). Internet trolls frequently set out to incite flame wars for the sole purpose of offending or irritating other posters."

Source: Wikipedia

For those who are unsure what "flamebaiting" is; here is a definition:

"Flamebait is a message posted to a public Internet discussion group, such as a forum, newsgroup or mailing list, with the intent of provoking an angry response (a "flame") or argument over a topic the troll often has no real interest in. Sometimes the poster is promoting their own personal agenda or ideology at the expense of the forum, group or thread."

Source: Wikipedia and Moderation Team

Some groups like flaming, trolling and flamebaiting. They like to rant and rave at each other; they even keep score of how many times folks have been flamebaited. Some groups refer to this as "taking the bait" or "feeding the troll". You may see comments in some forums like YHBT (you have been trolled) or don't feed the trolls. This is what they are referring to. The motives of the flamers, flamebaiters and trollers usually are a) the desire for attention and for entertainment derived at the expense of others b) posted flamebait can provide the poster with a controlled trigger-and-response setting in which to anonymously engage in conflicts and indulge in aggressive behavior without facing the consequences that such behavior might bring in a face-to-face encounter or c) in other instances, flamebait may be used to reduce a forum's use by angering the forum users.

On this site, the moderators respond to every poster. The moderator will express their opinions and may ask the poster to move on to another discussion topic if the moderation team feels that the post may lead to flaming, is off topic and/or bordering on political agenda posting or is self promoting. All group members must adhere to this simple request to avoid flaming or to avoid violating other group policies; otherwise there will be consequences.

If the request by the moderator is followed and acknowledged with positive action, of course there are no consequences or problems to be solved.

The moderators will try to prevent flaming, trolling and flamebaiting when possible. After the moderation request is made and if the moderation team is ignored, the following will occur. Flaming, trolling, flamebaiting posts will be deleted and all posts ignoring any of the moderation team's requests will be deleted. Other repercussions and warnings may ensue if requests continue to be ignored.

The History Book Club has zero tolerance for flamers, trolls, trolling and flamebaiting. We are not about taking sides and engaging in circular arguments that are pointless, go nowhere and just anger the members or moderators. Folks who seek to engage in that kind of debating style should seek other groups. Everyone has the right to express their opinions and beliefs but once that is done, the discussion moves on and discussions must always remain civil.

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Folks, we started out with zero rules - we were a private group and as we became public - we ran into a lot of different situations where we had to add to our rules and guidelines in order to maintain a civil and respectful group which we have today - absent of spam and advertising.

There is a lot of anonymity on the web and therefore every group needs to identify its boundaries to protect everyone.

That is why at the beginning of each book discussion we ask that participants identify themselves still securing their privacy but sharing with us their general country location, etc. and why they are interested in the discussion. That seems to get every one of our discussions off to a pleasant start where folks feel comfortable about posting when folks share minimal information.

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