User:AngelinaBelle/SMF team manual/Policies From Online Manual

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Privacy and Discretion

If information is posted on private boards, do not share it with those who do not have access to these boards. There are two reasons for this:

  1. Respect the privace of SMF team members,
  2. Help the team manage communication with the wider community to avoid misinterpretation.

Advertising, Licensing, and Acceptable Use

The SMF team does not handle questions of advertising, licensing, or acceptable use. These issues are handled by the SimpleMachines marketing team. All NPO members should be able to report these issues on the NPO's marketing board.


Treat our competitors and their products with respect. Do not make fun of them. Do not get caught up in disputes with members of competitors' teams. We don’t have any desire to start up a board war.

There is nothing wrong with finding out more information about our competition. Feel free to install their software and let us know what they have and don’t have. This could provide us with good information on how to change SMF for the better.

Recommending Service Providers

Everything you do as a team member of SMF reflects on the credibility of the team. When you recommend an outside service provider, be sure to explain why and be sure to mention any limitations there might be. If you are part of a referral program for that provider, or receive a discount or referral fee from a provider, you must disclose this when you provide a referral.

Doing SMF-related work for pay

"Moonlighting" is acceptable. However, you should ALWAYS follow these guidelines.

  • Don’t accept work and accept/expect payment for things that SMF offers as a free service. This would be a conflict of interests and would alienate other members of the team.
    Services for which payment can be expected and accepted:
    • Creating a modification,
    • Creating a custom theme.
    • Modifying an existing theme.
    • Hosting a forum.
    • Forum conversions.
  • Services for which payment must neither be expected nor be accepted:
    • Installing SMF.
    • Upgrading SMF.
    • General support work already offered by the support team and other members. It is not acceptable to post in a general support topic with an "I'll do this if you pay me" response.

If you wish to earn money by performing services that SMF offers, please resign from the team before embarking upon this new business. If you are already earning money by performing services that SMF offers, please decline any invitations to join the team.

  • When advertising your services, or responding to a request for paid help, be sure to indicate that your paid services are completely separate from the team support efforts and SMF can accept no liability for any problems that may arise.
  • Keep in mind that any work you do will reflect on the team, even when you have given the above disclaimer. So, treat your customer with the highest degree of respect, whether the work is paid or not.
  • Providing free help is always preferable. You are a team member, and a volunteer. This cannot be stressed enough.
  • Remember that Charter Members should, where possible, be given a certain amount of preferential treatment. That's our way of saying thank you..

Accepting Gifts

Community members sometimes offer gifts as a way of saying “thank you” to a team member. Here are the rules:

  • Do not solicit gifts in any way.
  • Do not mention that users sometimes provide gifts, or that you have received them in the past
  • If someone asks, “How can I thank you?” point them to the SMF Donations page and/or the Charter Members signup page. Because they have not actually offered you a gift, pointing them to a wish list or a personal donation page would be soliciting a gift.
  • If someone asks, “May I send you a movie from Amazon as a thank you?” the correct answer is “Thank You”. Congratulations! Typically, this means you have gone above & beyond the call of duty.

Gifts are always nice to get, and we do not want to stand in the way of grateful users offering them to team members. Similarly, we don’t want to neglect the other team members that assisted you in providing the support behind the scenes. And we do not want to see team members sticking their hands out to ask for a personal gift. That could be crass, and no one wants to be crass, after all.


Everyone on the team is a volunteer, and "real life" comes first. If one doesn't have the time for the team, they may always take a break, go on hiatus or resign. When they have the time, talk to a team leader about returning.

General Guidelines

  • Enjoy what you do for SMF... HAVE FUN!
  • Remember that you represent SMF and behave accordingly.
  • We are friends with all of the other forum packages - especially YaBB and open-source SMF forks.
  • Just because something is in another team's child board doesn't mean your input is not important. Feel free to get involved.
  • Everyone should feel free to get involved with the general affairs of SMF. Indeed, this is to be encouraged. But, you should always give due respect to other people's opinions, taking into account their roles and experience.
  • Whenever you are planning to be gone long enough for others to notice (and worry), post before you go.
  • Make sure to mention it to others when you're planning a 6 months vacation.
  • Try to make the best out of the time you're in the SMF team, as long as it's not at the expense of others.
  • Please use full words - saying "pls hlp me - ur da best" will not get you any help.
  • No swearing in public (It is offensive to some and not professional). And please keep it to a minimum in the private boards.
  • Always show respect (fake it if necessary) and courtesy to the members of the forum. They are the community and our customers.
  • No fighting or personal attacks.