1) Why should I enter a voting and visiting competition or "fight?"
A voting and visiting competition is a great way to meet other people who are
often very different from yourself. This type of competition is a terrific motivation
to make yourself
known and know others better. The net is a very fragmented place, and ZOID brings
people of all skill levels, views, and walks of life together.
2) Why should I join but not fight?
Perhaps you feel that the only valid contest on the web is one of skill and coding
ability. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable competing against those much younger than
yourself and beating them or being beaten by them. Perhaps you are pressed for time.
There are as many good reasons for fighting as for not fighting and ZOID CITY Community
you may do either.
3) What goes on here, anyway?
ZOID CITY Community and Competition is a learning community
of web site creators. What goes on here is
education and self-improvement via a mailing list and
an optionl work requirement, and an openly
and visiting competition.
4) Why do I have to be on a mailing list?
The ZC2ZC3 mailing list gives you a place to communicate
with fellow members and get to
know them better. Some of them are people very unlike yourself.
Diversity is the beginning
of education. Moreover, you can reply to messages on the mailing list either
publicly or privately, unlike guest books. Also, ZOID CITY governs itself
through its mailing list. For more information on the ZC2ZC3 mailing list
please read the mailing list FAQ.
5) Why should I work?
Evem though work at ZOID is optional, it is still a great idea.
Working means working for yourself. Our wide variety of work
assignments help you find ways to explore and satisfy your interests, improve your
skills and, and get more out of life on the net as well as use the net to get more out of real
6) There are pressing real life issues! Why should I waste my time here?
You are not wasting your time here. Many of the world's real life issues come
from people of different backgrounds and views not understanding eachother. While
joining ZOID CITY Community will not solve the world's problems, it does encourage
brotherhood between those who view the world differently. If you have a message, you
will hopefully not be preaching to the choir. The world of ZOID CITY Community
will be different than your academic department, scholarly mailing list, buddies at
school or work or church, or association of nice internet ladies.
7) Isn't knowledge of HTML, craft, and design important?
Yes, but meeting and talking to others and learning from them is
important too. That is why the competition is a voting and visiting rather
than a site rating contest. Everyone can learn more about coding
through the work requirement.
8) Isn't the content of web pages important?
Yes, and web page content would make a great topic for the
ZC2ZC3 mailing list, wouldn't it? There is also the portal
project. Meeting diverse people through the net,
however, is just as important as page content.
Back to the
Time and Logistics
1) I want to fight and vote! What is the fighting schedule?
ZOID CITY Community Competition operates on a
Sunday to Thursday schedule with raw vote
totals available on demand, due to our partially automated scoring system. Scoring is
by the percentile-range method to learn more about this stop by
2) Why do you have this weird schedule?
A Sunday through Thursday schedule is more
tolerant of sabbath observering Jews and Moslems.
Most Christians do not have rules forbidding them from using
their computers on Sunday. Orthodox Jews, however, do.
A fighting week that starts on Sunday also means
that you get any information and reminders on Sunday or late
Saturday rather than on the first day of the work week. A Sunday through Thursday
schedule allows you to spend the weekend upgrading your site and visiting other
3) What is partially autotmated scoring? You mean the trustees don't do scoring!
Well sort of... A SQL (pronounced sequel) database tabulates the raw vote totals and
then ZOIDRubashov, or any other scorer places these in a spread sheet to obtain
percentile-range scores. Spreadsheet templates are always available on the Exhibition
Page in both Works and Excel formats so that you can score along at home.
4) I notice you have a trustee fighting and scoring. That's cheating!
Excuse me, as the fighting and scoring trustee, let me inform you that it is NOT
in my interest to doctor the scores. Since raw vote totals appear automatically, doctoring
them is just plain too much work. I make spread sheet templates available so that anyone can check
my scores, and if my scores are high, that is because I vote exchange.
5) How many hours per week does it take to be a member?
If you choose to work every week, it takes between two to ten hours of your time.
Think of this another way. Playing tennis,
practicing an instrument and many other hobbies take about this much time, and
you are always free not to work during a week that is busy in real life.
Note: Waging a successful campaign at Site Fights takes fifteen
to twenty hours per week.
6) What if I get busy with family, school, or work?
Work less, don't fight, and just read your email.
In an emergency, for religious holidays, military duty,
or school or civil service exams, you may request a "hold" on your membership.
Please set the ZC2ZC3 list nomail andspend your time tending to other things
ZOID CITY. You will return from your as a member in good standing.
7) What about emergencies?
If they are long term emergencies, please request a hold (see above).
8) What about religious holidays?
If you observe religious holidays that forbid you from using a computer or
any holiday where you plan to be out of town, do
not fight during that week. If the membership decides so, fighting
may be extended or suspended during the High Holy Days and similar times. For those
who are shomer shabbos, the trustees can make special arrangements to
your site into competition ahead of schedule or a bit late, depending on your
time zone. Also, ZOID
CITY Community Competition operates on a Sunday through
Thursday schedule which makes life easier for sabbath
9) I have a full time job, can I participate here?
Absolutely. You will have to be a bit more careful of your time management
than a stay at home mother, but men and women who
work full time especially make the best role models for
younger members. People who work full time frequently have hobbies that take as much
time as participation here.
10) Does it cost anything to participate here?
Only time and a tolerance of others with view points different than your own. You do
not have to agree that all ideas are equal. You just have to accept that decent thinking
human beings can hold different ideas than yours.
10) Do I get paid to work here?
No, but with a tough or high profile work option, participating here will look
very good on your resume or college application. And yes
trustees write references.
11) Can I win prizes?
ZOID CITY Community is a nonprofit educational organization. It is also run on a
shoe string. There are no sponsors and no material prizes. Besides learning,
prestige, and status are
better prizes than anything money can buy.
Back to the
Autonomy or "You can't make me do that!"
1) If I join a group, I'm just going to be a cog in the wheels?
The more you do, the less cog-like you become. The more you stand out as an individual.
Mailing lists, such as the ZC2ZC3 email list which forms the
heart of our commmunity are great forums for self experssion as is
Bruno's Cafe, our web boards and a variety of other work options.
2) If I join a group, you're going to boss me around?
The only time I will do that is in cases of emergencies or if you commit harassment,
fail to disclose and describe potentially offensive material
on your site, or become part of a
flame war on the ZC2ZC3 mailing list, or publicly embarass
a fellow member (not a trustee by the way.) on the ZC2ZC3 mailing list.
Otherwise you are pretty well
free to do and say what you please.
3) But you have all these rules here? Why so many?
They are mostly advice and instructions. Rule of written law means that the "rules
of the game" are known to all, we do not make things up as we go along, and there
is a basis for decisions about scoring, fighting, member conduct etc... It is much better
to say RTFM (Read the fantastic manual) than it is simply to accuse someone of
4) If you believe in free speech, why are there so manyy rules about what you can and
can't say on the mailing list?
The mailing list is cumpulsory for all of ZOID. That means those on it are a captive
audience. In tight crowded places there are always more rules about what people can
and can't say for the sake of friendliness, safety, and civility. Also the
email list is home to newbies who may have never been on a discussion list before. It
is important to give them a positive experience.
5) Who is in charge here anyway?
ZOIDRubashov/Eileen H. Kramer is the founder, and her emails are firstname.lastname@example.org
and email@example.com. Josh Bieber is another trustee at firstname.lastname@example.org. He manages
the interactive story. Gothwalk/Drew Shiel is a third trustee at email@example.com. There
are also a special trustee. CatMa, firstname.lastname@example.org, is a former English teacher
and trustee for time management issues.
6) So what exactly do I have to do here?
This is a surprisingly short list.
- Remain on the ZC2ZC3 mailing list and obey its rules.
- Access your email every other day. If you read your email during the week but not on weekends,
that is fine too.
- Be able to read, since ZOID works by rule of written law and a mailing list.
- Ask a question if you don't understand something, since none of us read minds.
- If you are under eighteen or dependent on your parents bed and board, you will need your parents
cooperation to allow you to participate here. You do not need to fill out a permission slip
since that slip is meaningless. Your parents can cut off your internet access
at any time because they are in charge and pay the bills. You therefore need their permission and
blessing. I don't. Please encourage your parents to come forward with any questions
they might have about your participation here. I'll be happy to answer.
Back to the
1) Some of the pages you allow are vile! What can I do about that?
Don't vote for them. Don't visit them. Your taste dictates what you do, say,
and create. It does not dictate who can join ZOID CITY Community or which
sites can compete.
2) Some of the pages you allow are vile! What are you going to do about that?
Nothing if their owners have described and disclosed
before going into
competition. They are as entitled to express their views and compete with their
handiwork as you are.
3) Why do you allow "hate sites," "pornography," and other
ZOID CITY Community allows and fosters academic/intellectual freedom.
It does not permit
members with sites that are obscene, criminal, or commercial. Aside from that,
other sites are permitted. A climate that allows web site creators to
fully express themselves
and follow their interests even when those interests are controversial,
is the healthiest
environment for both youth and adults. Challenging opinions and a variety
ideas encourage questioning and intellectual growth. For more details,
please read the approval
4) Is ZOID CITY Community safe for my children?
ZOID CITY Community is not only safe for those under eighteen. It is beneficial!
ZC2ZC3 is locally controlled and small. The staff do
not tolerate harassment and abuse. Both children and adults are free to avoid sites
that they might not enjoy, and because voting is limited, they are under less pressure
to visit and vote for objectionable sites than they might be at other competitions. Also,
your teenager or middle school age child will not end up on the wrong end of a censorship
dispute. Children need the right to free expression too. If you still have
about safety, I strongly urge you to join ZOID CITY Community along with your child.
5) But you are not rated G or even PG-13?
ZOID CITY is not Hollywood and web pages are NOT movies. They do not require
the big budgets and there are an infinite number of them. The chances of you
or your child having to
deeply probe a web page you detest because it is one of only ten at the local multiplex,
is nonexistent. Meanwhile, both youth and adult web site creators need to know that they
can express themselves without fear of being booted out or an organization or having
their site pulled.
6) But don't you do anything to protect children?
Please see the question #4. That said, ZOID, is not in loco parentis. Deciding what your
child can and can not see on the internet is your job, NOT MINE.
7) But children are young and innocent!
Children (minors) include anybody under the age of eighteen. As a practical matter children
under age ten or eleven do not build web sites and most young web site creators are at least
eleven or twelve. This makes them older minors. This means that they have similar rights to
free expression and information as adults, provided they have the agreement of their parents.
If younger children have web sites, these are usually sites done by a well meaning
parent or other adult. Such sites are welcome here at ZOID provided the site creator
becomes a member. If you have created a site just to get guest book signatures for your
little one and make both of you smile, ZOID is a useful place both to get the guest book
signed and to receive hints about more fun and useful activities for you and your child.
How do I know your chats are safe?
We have an anti-harassment policy. and those hosting the chats will state in advance
whether cussing is permitted. While cussing someone out is harassment,
some people have greater tolerance for profanity as part of ordinary informal
speech than others. If you feel uncomfortable at a chat due to the topic of
conversation, you can always leave.
9) What if ZOID CITY Community gets sued?
We will go to court and fight it. We can not let
the threat of litigation deter us our belief in intellectual freedom.
Back to the
Member to Member
1) What about email spam?
If you receive an unwanted piece of email from a member, please send email back to
that member asking her to STOP sending you further mail and bcc (blind
carbon copy) the email back to yourself. This serves as a record. If you receive no
more unwanted mail, you have solved the problem. If not, then, you are the
victim of harassment.
(See the next question).
2) What about harassment?
Harassment occurs when someone whom you have told to stop bothering you
via either chat or email
continues to do so. In order
to prove harassment, you must prove that you have told
that person to STOP. In a chat get a witness to
watch you tell that person
to leave you alone. With email save all correspondance. Trustees
harassment severely. They will NOT intervene, however, unless you
have told the person bothering you
to STOP first.
3) What about privacy? You have my email address.
And we are going to keep that address and not sell it to anybody. If you do
not believe us, take a tour of this site and notice that we are on a
paid provider so we can banish nearly all advertisement. There are
ads on our ballot because we outsource it. We believe strongly in
keeping commercial interests' grasping claws OUT of ZOID CITY.
We are also not
going to give
your email address to any law enforcement officials without a subpoena. Onelist which
currently handles the ZC2ZC3 list, has
its own privacy policies.
4) To whom can I complain?
If you feel that anything in life, including ZOID CITY Community is unfair or rotten,
complain to anybody and
everybody. You have the right of academic freedom. If you want to complain about
the trustees, the rules, or ZOID in general, on the mailing list you are free to do so.
You can also tell the entire world for much the same reason.
5) Can I criticize a Trustee?
Of course you can. They have skin as thick as elephant hides.
Of course, constructive criticism generally is more effective than
6) Can I criticize a fellow member?
NOT by name on the ZC2ZC3 mailing list. Members do not have thick skins.
Some are young.
Some are new at mailing lists. Some may lack your coding skills.
To criticize a member in public
is to embarass her. You may criticize ideas and technique
on the mailing list all that you
please, but leave individual members' names out of your critical posts. If you feel
you must write a critical letter to a member, send it as private email and if
the member tells you to STOP the conversation, do so at once.
7) Isn't it unspirited to critize?
The web routes around damage. If criticism does not
happen up front where people can come
up with ideas and suggestions for change, it goes on in
secrecy and degenerates into
8) Can I air my political, religious, or other views?
You can certainly express your views on your web page. You can mention them as part of
the discussion on the mailing list, and you can look for links that fit those views as
part of a work requirement. Please do not
proselytize on the mailing list for either
religious or political causes. Arguing about coding and
aesthetic technique is another
9) Why is there no place to cheer?
I think there are better ways to spend your time than constantly
mindlesssly advertising ZOID CITY just to earn points five times a day.
I have enjoyed cheering and
writing poetry that gets a message across in that format, but not everyone has the
knack for squeezing their expression into rhyme. Now if you really enjoy cheering
and think others would like to do it too, setting up a cheer book or board with
remotely hosted cgi might be a good work assignment.
10) Why are there no chats?
Personnel shortage. Why not host one if you want one?
11) Can I organize a special interest chat?
12) Can I create games for my work requirement because you don't have many, and the
ones you hae are really lame?
You certainly can. The same is true for cyberpet adoptions and most anything else
left out of the main site except a vote exchange board.
13) How about signing guestbooks? Nothing makes me happier than to see people
sign my guestbook!
If you enjoy signing guestbooks and if you can find new and existing members that
have guestbooks, then sign away. It will surely make them feel welcome. Just a word of caution though,
not everyone likes, regularly reads, or even has a guestbook. Many people prefer email or
Blogs or even web boards.
Back to the
For Fighters And Those Interested in Fighting
1) You mean there's no vote exchange!
I did not say that. I said that there is no formal vote exchange. You are free to do
what you wish with your private email short of harassment. There are also an
assortment of vote exchange walls, boards, and lists to try. Most of them
are affiliated with other competitions but nearly all accept ZOID fighters. Vote
exchange, however, is not without its draw backs.
2) What are those drawbacks?
Vote exchange is hard clerical work. It involves visiting sites with which you
wish to exchange. You really do want to know for whom you vote. Also some sites
are in sorry shape or may be repugnant to you for other reasons. Please don't
support sites you detest or know nothing about. It will make your voting and visiting
experience every bit as mindless as some outsiders believe it to be.
It involves sending out daily reminders during the fighting cycle to all your supporters,
and it involves pulling up a myriad of disparate ballots across multiple competitions
Also carrying a huge vote exchange list will not give you an exclusive victory. Our
scoring rules make any fighter with a 200% lead in
raw vote share her victory with the second place fighter while all other fighters
receive raised scores. A runaway victory does not displace those behind you.
If you vote exchange, please do it in moderation. For teens, newbies, and those unused
to clerical work, start with only a load of ten supporters. This means you can be choosey as to
whom you support. For those with a bit more experience, twenty-five makes a good long term
load. Fifty suppporters is pushing it, and at one hundred you don't have a life. At two hundred
you have tapped out the pool of hard core vote exchangers and become part of a select
and somewhat defensive subculture. Please keep your load of supporters manageable.
One more thing: you will need to vote for your supporters during the off weeks when
you are not fighting.
3) What If I want to set up a vote exchange board on my own site?
I can't stop you, but there are already plenty of vote exchange walls, books, and lists
out there. Once again, voting
at standard competitions is extremely time consuming. Unlike Site Fights
and similar ompetitions, which exist primarily to sell
advertising, ZOID CITY is a learning community where the fighters' and members'
best interests come first. Therefore, voting is streamlined and you have
plenty of time to work, learn, and communicate. To carry the vote exchange
load expected of top level Site Fighters, Web Brawlers, Site Warriors, and
Fantasy Fighters, means that you live in-part by the
rules of an enterprise that expects you to be gone in three weeks and
as replaceable as an employee at MacDonalds. I can not stop you, but don't do this
to yourself. Burn out hurts. I have been there.
4) May I participate in Site Fights, Rumbles, or Web Brawls if I am a member here?
Yes, but you may not fight at another competition while fighting here
simultaneously. You also may not beg endlessly for votes on the ZC2ZC3 list. Also
many other competitions do not permit dual membership.
Back to the
Getting In Trouble
1) What happens if I break the rules?
You will hear from me back channel. That means a personal email.
Unless, I am trying to persuade or cajole you, the email letter will be a business
letter and formal in tone. The more formal the letter the angrier I am.
Generally the letter will state what rule you have broken and what you
must do to make ammends. In practice, this has usually been a request to
cease and desist certain behaviors. The reason the letter is back channel is
to spare you public embarassment. The reason
for the formality is that you deserve professional treatment. Period.
2) What if something goes wrong on the mailing list, or the desert magic guest book, or one of the
boards, or the interactive story?
Depending on the forum, the trustees may pull the offending posts, or they may leave them
as souvenirs and warnings, or in the case of the mailing list, I address the list as
a whole. Most of the time, prevention of damage is better than punishment. If I kick out
a member, I lose a member and every member is precious.
3) What things can I do to be kicked out?
I hope this list gives no one ideas but here goes. This is a noninclusive list. Most of these
are violations of trust and safety between members:
- Repeated harassment.
- Major and extreme fraud in disclosing and desribing a web site in competition.
- Complaining to a member's real life employer or school authorities.
- Stealing money from another member by selling them something and not delivering
the goods or buying something from another member and not paying for it. The potential
for theft is one reason commercial sites can not compete at ZOID.
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