SITE INFORMATION Who owns this site? The site owner is Reality who launched CowboysZone in 2004. How much does it cost to operate CowboysZone? Unlike smaller forum sites that can get away with running on home-based servers or shared hosting, CowboysZone's traffic levels are way too high to use those options. CowboysZone runs on a high-end multi-server cluster using enterprise level hardware and storage systems. Why does this site use older forum software? The latest release of the current software that we use is very buggy and suffers from performance degradation as traffic increases. The software that CowboysZone uses now has been heavily customized and tweaked for high performance even under heavy traffic loads. While we would like to offer some of the features found in newer forum software, we believe that providing a simple, clean and very fast performing site to be what users want the most from this site. Do you plan to ever upgrade the forum software? Absolutely! We have seriously considered upgrading the site the last two years and have already purchased all of the major forum software packages in preparation. However, after testing each one, there are performance or other issues that prevent us from moving forward with an upgrade. It comes down to what we have works and works very well, especially during high traffic periods and we believe that is what matters most to our members. Why is there no support for forum readers on mobile devices? Allowing third party sites and apps to scrape or parse data from this site removes our ability to control or limit the impact that they have on the site's performance. Our priority is maintaining a reliable and fast performing site to the users who are viewing the site directly. Do you plan to add direct support for mobile devices? This is very high on our to-do list. We had hoped to offer this with an upgrade of our forum software, but due to issues with most current forum software packages, we are looking at alternative solutions. We hope to have a mobile option online by the end of 2012. SITE USAGE Which browsers are supported by CowboysZone? Most modern browsers can be used to read and post on CowboysZone, but there may be a few extended features that require certain browsers such as Google Chrome, FireFox or Internet Explorer. How can I make the site faster? CowboysZone is already tweaked and optimized to provide the fastest display and response times you will see from any high traffic forum on internet. That said there are things you can do to improve the speed at which the site displays in your browser such as disabling all images, user signatures or user avatars (not recommended). How do I disable user signatures, user avatars and/or images in posts? To disable user signatures, user avatars or images in posts, click on the Edit Options link in your User Profile, then scroll down to the Thread Display Options section. Uncheck the content you want to block in the Visible Post Elements area and then save the changes at the bottom of the page. You can change this back at any time. VISITORS Why should I consider joining CowboysZone? CowboysZone is one of the best sports communities on the internet. Whilst the majority of our members are Cowboys fans, we have a significant number of non-Cowboys fans including fans of many of our division rivals. We also offer other non-Cowboys forums such as the NFL Zone, Sports Zone and Off-topic Zone forums which are all quite popular with our members. Am I welcome here if I am not a fan of the Dallas Cowboys? Absolutely! We enjoy good football discussions with fans of all teams, not just fellow Cowboys fans. You just need to remember that this is a Dallas Cowboys fan site and when you post here, you are doing so as our guest. As long as you avoid insults and attacks and follow the forum rules, you are welcome to join in any of our discussions. We also have other non-football forums that may interest you even if you do not want to discuss the Cowboys. Will the staff treat me differently if I hate certain Cowboys players, coaches or the owner? Absolutely not! Your posts may not be well received with many fans, but as long as you follow the forum rules, your opinions and views are just as welcome on this site as those of die-hard fans of every player, coach and the team owner. Why does the site occasionally require me to be logged in to read the threads? We used to limit the viewing of threads to only members who were logged in to maintain site performance for our actual members. In time, the servers have been upgraded and the servers and software behind CowboysZone have been tweaked and optimized so that this rarely happens any more. That said, you should join CowboysZone anyway! NEW MEMBERS Why should I post an introduction of myself in the New Members Zone forum? The hardest part of joining a new community is establishing credibility and respect among the other members which usually takes time. Because many of our members know each other, we have learned that the best way to get your foot in the door with the rest of our members is to introduce yourself right at the start. It will give you a chance to share a little background information on yourself and how long you have been a fan with the rest of our members. You will find that our members will usually welcome you to the site and you are well on your way to becoming part of the CowboysZone family. When does the new user introduction notification box get removed? Once you have posted at least one message on the site, you will no longer see the introduction reminder notice. MEMBERS How can I get a cool signature image? There are several talented graphics artists on our site who will from time to time offer to make signature images for other members. They usually do this for free though there may be exceptions depending on the amount of work you want done. If you want a signature image, the best place to post your request is in the Artwork Zone forum. Are there any Cowboys players, coaches or staff members posting here? We know that there are a few players and staff members who read this site quite often though most rarely post. Are there any media members who post here? There are several media members who monitor and read this site regularly and there are a few who post under anonymous accounts. Most of them will never identify themselves to avoid being bombarded or harassed. FORUM READING What should I do if I see a thread or reply that I believe violates the Forum Rules? While we have a great staff of moderators, the number of members that CowboysZone has and the number of posts that are made especially during high traffic events such as game days makes it hard to catch every single rule violation especially in a short timeframe. That is why all members have the ability to report bad posts. When you report a post, the staff is notified and the first available moderator will take a look at it and moderate it if it violates the Forum Rules. How do I report a post? You can report a post by clicking on the red and white triangle with an exclamation mark in it that can be found under the username inside the post you believe violates the Forum Rules. What if I report a post and it is not removed? The staff may not consider the post to be a rule violation or may edit the post instead to remove the problem content though we typically try to avoid editing posts of members whenever possible. FORUM POSTING Why did my thread disappear? There are several reasons why a thread you posted no longer appears where you posted it. If another thread already exists on the same topic, the staff will usually merge the threads to keep all of the conversations on that topic in one place for everyone to read. This may also occur if the staff moved your thread to a more appropriate forum. Of course it is possible that the thread violated the Forum Rules or the staff felt the topic or content of the thread was not appropriate for the site. Why did my reply disappear? If your reply has disappeared, it most likely was removed by the staff. Your post may have been removed for violating the Forum Rules or if you replied to a post or quoted a user whose post violated the Forum Rules. The staff tries to avoid deleting posts if at all possible, but sometimes they have no choice. If your post was removed and you did not receive an infraction or private message about it, then it is best to accept it and move on as it was likely part of a larger moderation event involving another user or the staff chose to remove your post rather than give you an infraction. Since the forum filters bad words, does that mean I can use them? No. The word filter is there to catch accidents by members who in the heat of the moment type something they did not mean to type. The purpose of the filter is also to shield the members from people who are incapable of expressing their opinions and thoughts without using profanity or other insulting or derogatory references until the staff can remove the post. If a user regularly includes filtered words in their posts or includes several of them in a single post, the staff will likely issue an infraction against the user. MODERATORS How can I become a moderator? Regular members are selected for consideration by the staff. Once a group a of members has been chosen, the staff determines how many new moderators need to be added and then the moderators vote for the members they feel would be the best additions to the staff. The site owner (Reality) never participates in this process. Should I tell you I want to be a moderator? I would highly recommend against doing this. On most forums there is a widely used policy of removing any user who asks to be a moderator from consideration. The reason behind this is that those users usually want to be a moderator for the wrong reasons. Does everyone you ask to be a moderator accept it? No, not everyone says yes. Sometimes the user does not have the time to commit to the job and sometimes they do not want the responsibility of policing the site. Being a moderator is time consuming and stressful at times especially when dealing with members whom we consider friends. Why are some former moderators regular members now? Were they removed? It is extremely rare that a moderator will be removed from the staff. The most common reason is that they no longer have the time to moderate or that they just want to be regular members again so they can talk with everyone like they did before they became moderators. Can I disagree with moderators when they post about non-moderator topics? Absolutely! All of the moderators were regular members before they became moderators and, more importantly, they were fans. We would never ask them to stop being fans or posting their opinions or it would make being a moderator very boring. When they post their opinions and comments about anything other than the site, they are posting as members and not moderators. You are free to agree or disagree and to discuss your own opinions with them just as if they are a regular user. POLITICS AND RELIGION Why are you against allowing any political or religious discussions on this site? Years ago, we allowed these kinds of discussions. We learned that the friendly debates on these topics regularly turned quite emotional which led to the stalking and antagonizing of members even in threads on other topics such as the Cowboys. The focus of this site is the Dallas Cowboys and allowing something as highly controversial as political or religious discussions to infect that is simply not a good thing. Why do you have a zero tolerance policy toward any political or religious comments, references, images, etc. on this site? We do this to be fair to everyone. One little comment may not seem like a big deal, but it is because it leads to more comments and insults until it is main focus. Politics and religion are two topics that bring out the worst in people. INFRACTIONS I received an infraction that I feel I did not deserve, what I can do about it? The best thing to do is to contact the moderator that issued the infraction privately using the private message system and explain your point of view in a rational, calm and non-insulting manner. The staff operates as a team so any comments, good or bad, that you make will likely be seen by the entire staff so keep that in mind. In the end, if the infraction remains, you should respect it and listen to the advice from the staff and/or re-read the forum rule that was cited with the infraction. Can I receive infractions if moderators do not like me? While any moderator give you an infraction, every infraction is logged and viewable by the entire staff. In other words, there is no way for a moderator on this site to abuse their power without the other moderators noticing and stepping in to stop it. If you receive an infraction and it is not reversed, then you can assume the entire staff agreed with the infraction.