Information How to support UKFR & general forum rules (updated for 2022: Please read first!)

Discussion in 'Fireworks Forum Chat And Discussion' started by Pyro Pete, Oct 17, 2021.

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  1. Pyro Pete

    Pyro Pete Forum Editor

    Welcome to UKFR's online Fireworks Forum - home to a ragtag assortment of firework enthusiasts, retailers, importers and cynical old dogs :) The home of both rational and irrational pyro chat since 2001.

    It has been three years since I updated this guide and five years since I last did a fundraising post, so even if you're an established member, please take a few moments to read, thank you.


    In this post:

    1. About UKFR. What is it? And why?
    2. How to donate and support UKFR: Why 2022 really is the time you should be donating to help out!
    3. General Forum posting guides. What NOT to do in your first few posts ;)


    About UKFR

    UKFR - full title "UK Firework Review" is a fireworks site I started back in 1999 to help the UK public find the best fireworks, set them up properly and fire them safely. If you have not already seen it, take a look (though make a cup of tea first, it's quite BIG): UKFR.COM. This Forum followed a few years later in 2001.

    UKFR doesn't sell fireworks and isn't part of the fireworks trade in a sales/retail sense, though is partly funded through the sale of advert slots to firework companies. I refer to those who take out adverts as "Sponsors" as many of them take a very active part in this Forum, so "Sponsor" is a better fit than "advertiser".

    In addition to selling advert/Sponsor slots to firework companies, I also receive donations from kind members (see below) and a very small amount from selling UKFR-branded merchandise. I don't currently receive any income from YouTube as my videos are not popular enough, I can't think why, my sparkler and portfire videos are pure class! ;)

    My primary objective with both UKFR and this forum is to help the UK public - particularly beginners - source, set up and let off fireworks safely and responsibly.

    Want to know more about UKFR? Have a look at this About UKFR web page.



    Supporting UKFR by making a donation

    Please can you help by making a small donation?

    In addition to not selling fireworks, I also do not make a living from running UKFR. I wish I did, it would be a dream day job.

    But the truth is, if you put all of my advertising revenue, member donations and merchandise sales together, the total is significantly less than minimum wage. From this I have to take out several thousands in running costs; there's no cheap way to host two websites with massive seasonal traffic and the ongoing costs in maintaining the site can't be economised further without making sacrifices somewhere.

    This is before I even light a sparkler too - to create new content as anyone doing this will know, needs camera and computer equipment (not something I refresh annually but everything has a lifespan) and a lot of the gear featured in video clips, photos on UKFR and forum posts is purchased by myself solely to create content.

    Donations started in 2016 and I had a hope they could fund UKFR alone but so many members still use UKFR for free so I still depend heavily on Sponsor revenue. I accept that not everyone wants to make a contribution, but if you enjoy the site, if you have saved money shopping with a Sponsor, or if the content here has helped you, please consider doing so.

    When I say that UKFR is a labour of love I actually mean it - if it was only about money it would have closed years ago. So if you donate to UKFR you are not funding my holidays or fast cars, nor donating to someone who is already wealthy and just milking you for money.

    To donate £10, £20 or £30 and have a nice "Supports UKFR" banner under your Forum username, please use the account upgrade option which can be found here:

    http://www.fireworks-forum.org.uk/account/upgrades

    To donate a different amount, higher or lower, anonymously - or if you are not a Forum member and want to give separately - please use the generic donation page:

    https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=WNJ2LUMAVEDZY

    To donate £3 or similar - again separately from the Forum - you can also Buy Me A Coffee:

    https://www.buymeacoffee.com/TheUKFR

    Thank you in advance if you donate. Please scroll to the end of this post for important small print and T&C.


    Forum Posting Guidelines - 2022 UPDATE!

    The forum is free to view by anyone and if you want to post too, all you need to do is register for an account. Registration is completely free. All I need is an email address so you can receive notifications if you opt-in to them (and I may verify you're not a spammer by sending you a confirmation link) and a forum name you want to use - you don't even need to give your real name.

    You can also log in with your Facebook ID - you'll then be asked to pick a name to use when you post (so you don't divulge your real name unless you want to).

    When you register you'll receive a message from the forum running through some ideas on what to do next and other useful info. You can also reply to that welcome message and I will be happy to answer any questions.


    Posting guide - useful information on using this forum


    Firstly can I draw your attention to the community terms and conditions. These summarise the important rules that you agree to when joining. I won't repeat them all here, but a few are worth expanding on as they are the commonest causes of premature account ejaculation, not a serious condition but potentially embarrassing ;)

    I don't allow the following, hopefully to save anyone wasting their time with registration:

    • Commercial posts from retailers who are not advertisers. I only allow plugs and other commercially orientated posts from companies who advertise with UKFR, who are referred to as "Sponsors". I'll expand on that below. New accounts engaging in blatant spamming are usually closed.
    • Anti-fireworks posts. As a pro-fireworks website I am not at all interested in providing a platform for anti-fireworks content, nor as a place to debate fireworks law in general as it only ends in vitriolic arguments from two sides who do not want to give ground. Anti-fireworks content is therefore usually removed. If you don't like fireworks you'll need to find somewhere else to express that.
    • Posts about fireworks that are illegal in the UK (from the context of UK residents obtaining and using them). Yes, I know that certain EU on-line shops can ship things to the UK, some of these however are blatantly illegal fireworks and they are often shipped illegally too. I don't want to give these any publicity, so this type of content is removed and if it's a new account posting about it, the account closed. I have a zero tolerance to illegal stuff like this here.
    • Posts about making your own fireworks. UKFR's focus is on legal fireworks that consumers and professionals use. It's not a site that can help with building your own fireworks, taking them apart, or sourcing chemicals. I make exceptions for fusing and this is covered below.

    I've always wanted this forum to be positive, friendly and open to everyone who has an interest in fireworks. As a general rule then, I encourage members here to:

    • Be constructive and positive in helping other firework enthusiasts.
    • Take an active part in discussions - like any project run by enthusiasts I rely on your participation. Use it or lose it, as they say.
    • Take a moment to read the community terms and conditions.
    • Refrain from flaming, being disruptive, trolling or other behaviour that is to the detriment of the community, offensive, unlawful or harms or offends other members.
    • Accept any moderation of your posts or account in the spirit it is intended - to help keep things on track or to ensure you remain within the community rules. Abuse by a minority of members is continuing and I will not tolerate this towards either myself or my moderators.


    YouTube vloggers and similar:

    I'm very supportive of other content creators who are making an effort to support UK fireworks. However, it's generally considered rude simply to use my Forum as a platform to promote/spam your channel and nothing else. Active members of good standing (who take part in Forum discussions without simply self-promoting all the time) are welcome to post up their latest videos.

    If you are a new member, take part in the Forum first - show us you're genuinely interested in being a part of UKFR without putting personal gain first - and we'll be happy to support you in turn. First posts from new members referring to YouTube channels or other social media pages are nearly always deleted though.

    Please note that I do not allow the posting of video clips which feature non-Sponsoring retailers where that clip is promotional in nature, as that would constitute spam, even from established members or "UKFR Supporters". Please respect this.

    On the subject of "UKFR Supporters", if you make a donation and have your own YouTube channel I'm happy to add a "Visit my YouTube channel" link to your posts providing your content fits within the ideals of the UKFR community (i.e. is responsible coverage of fireworks).


    Facebook groups and other fireworks-related social media channels

    More and more people are creating pro-fireworks content which is wonderful to see. However as with my policy on YouTube (see above), please do not use my Forum to spam/promote your own Facebook groups, pages, forums or similar. It doesn't go down very well when your only posts are trying to get people to leave my forum and join yours! Think about it!

    Think your group, page, social media content or forum would be of use - and not conflict with UKFR - and you'd like to tell UKFR members about it? Ask me first please.


    Sharing video clips and photos:


    You can share a video clip from YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook by cutting and pasting the relevant "Share" link from those sites into a post on a new line. The forum will do the rest when your post is submitted. You can read tutorials on this and other forum features by clicking here.

    I occasionally see a video or image posted up showing some kind of malfunction, accident or misuse of fireworks. Whilst I won't stop members posting this sort of content, context is everything. I appreciate we're all grown up and are not likely to rush out and copy a Darwin Awards moment and that some videos and photos do have comedy value. But please don't post this kind of content in any way that condones or encourages it, and consider whether it is appropriate for a pro-fireworks forum. And don't be offended if I remove it.

    You can add photos to your posts by clicking on the "Upload a file or photo" button under the editor window.


    Sending private messages to other members:


    These have commonly been called "Private Messages" or PMs on most forums, however the software here refers to them as "Conversations" (it's too much of a PITA to change every reference back to PMs, so I haven't).

    To send a private message, that is a private conversation that only you and the recipient can read, click on the user's image or username, then click "Start a Conversation" on their member card, or if viewing their full profile, the option to do this is under their username.

    Please do not use the private messaging facility to post content that would break the rules or to conduct commercial activities if you are not a site Sponsor (and report any private messages you get that do this please).


    Posting about retailers - what you can and can't do:


    You are welcome to post about the retailers you have shopped at even if the retailer is not a site Sponsor.

    All I ask is that your posts are genuine and that you have no connection to the retailer concerned. A connection includes owning the company being posted about, working or firing for them, being related to them or being paid or incentivised to post about them.

    I also ask that the post has relevance to the discussion in hand, for example if a member is trying to find a retailer in a specific area or a particular product.

    I reserve the right to step in and moderate or restrict posting about non-Sponsors if it becomes disproportionate (excessive or biased towards one retailer), conflicts directly with Sponsors' interests, is posted by a new member with little or no posting history, or I suspect it to be spam.

    I would also ask members not to create threads or posts that serve no other purpose than to publicise a non-Sponsor, as that isn't fair on those who do pay and Sponsor and is effectively posting up a free advert rather than responding to another member's questions.


    For retailers and those in the trade:


    You should please not post commercial content about yourself unless you are a paying advertiser (a "Sponsor"). As my site is run as a hobby and requires a vast amount of time, effort and money, it isn't fair I am sure you'll agree if commercial concerns take advantage of it at my expense.

    Commercial content and commercial activities include:

    • Drawing attention to your products or services.
    • Posting links or video clips.
    • Updating members on your company news or latest stock deliveries.
    • Using the forum for market research.
    • Recruiting firers.

    I generally allow the following from non-Sponsors providing the content posted is not "spammy" and does not appear to be a plug in disguise:

    • For sale adverts of excess equipment such as firing systems or tubes, where this is aimed at fellow tradespeople and is not selling items you usually manufacture, import or sell.
    • Answering direct questions from members that relate specifically to your business or a product that is unique to you.
    • Having a right to reply, if another member has mentioned your products, services or activities and you disagree with their post.
    • Correcting information posted about you by another member if it is wrong, such as your trading status, opening hours and so on.

    Where commercial content is posted in contravention of these rules I reserve the right to remove or edit it, or to close your account if it is excessive or conducted under a newly registered account.

    To enquire about becoming a Sponsor, click on my username above and "Start Conversation" or use the contact us link at the bottom of the page. Sponsorship has many perks including a banner advert, a pin on the Sponsor Map, a link under your username every time you post and the ability to post commercial content.


    Profile images:


    These are sometimes referred to as an "avatar" and this is the image that shows next to your posts and on your member profile. I'm fairly easy going with these, but please note:

    • Don't use an image that is offensive.
    • Don't use a company logo unless you have permission to do so.
    • Retailers are welcome to use their company logo, but unless you are a site Sponsor you cannot include a URL, phone number, call to action or any selling or publicity terms as this would look like an advert when you post.


    Buying and selling on the forum:


    In order to post an item for sale here your account must comply with one or more of the following:

    • You are a UKFR supporter and have made a donation towards the site.
    • Your account is NOT an anonymous handle (ie. it's in your real name or company name).
    • You have a posting history (at least 50 posts and 6 months or more since you registered).

    For sale posts made by new members with no previous posting history are nearly always deleted, as no-one has any way of verifying who you are.

    For commercial concerns, see the information above concerning the requirements to be a site Sponsor before you can post about your products or services. Posts about the sale of firing equipment, racking, tubes and other unwanted equipment is fine however for non-Sponsors providing it is the genuine selling of unwanted items and not selling things you usually sell commercially.

    Please, if you're not a Sponsor or Supporter and use my site to sell items, consider returning the favour and making a small donation. A donation of £10 for example is considerably less than the Ebay and PayPal fees on an expensive firing system if you hook up with a buyer through this site.

    For private sales, it gets a little more complicated.

    I do allow the following in terms of private sales for members within the UK (please, if you sell here, consider returning the favour by supporting UKFR with a small donation):

    • Sales of your secondhand firing systems and associated equipment.
    • Sales of unwanted tickets to firework events.
    • Links to Ebay listings of any of the above are allowed if the listing conforms to these rules.
    Sales of live fireworks by private individuals - even unwanted items - are not allowed because of uncertainty over the legal situation here and the possibility of abuse by white van or Facebook style sellers. I make an exception for historic items intended for private collections and not being let off - see these guidelines in the Nostalgia section and be aware you need to be a UKFR Supporter to use that section to sell.

    Seen an advert offering something for sale and you're interested? BE CAREFUL! Buyer beware. I do not vet members, vouch for anyone, get involved in third party transactions or deal with any complaints as it is well outside of my remit as a hobbyist forum to do so. All transactions carried out at your own risk. Use the member's profile to get an idea of their length of membership time and post count - but even that is no guarantee. You are safer buying through an Ebay listing if the seller also has one of those running. Be very wary of for sale adverts posted by new members or those with no previous posting history. Be wary of for sale adverts with unusual selling conditions like meeting in third party locations. Be wary of sending money in ways that offer you no protection. Be wary of sending money to people if you have not validated their real world identity. Where possible ask the seller to list the item on Ebay which will offer some protection.


    Deletion of posts:

    As stated in the forum terms, I do not delete content that you have posted, simply at your request. The main aim of this rule is to prevent "rage quitting" where someone has a tantrum because they are moderated or other members disagree with them, and then go on to demand removal of all their content (which I am not legally obliged to do, by the way).

    But if you have a genuine reason to edit or remove specific content you've posted, by all means ask.

    In line with most other forums, I do allow an "edit window" for you to correct or amend what you have posted. This is currently set at 60 minutes. If you change your mind about posting you can blank your post out within this time if you want to.

    Beyond that you will need to contact me if you wish to retract a post.


    Reporting a post:

    With the best will in the world I cannot monitor every post made in this forum and rely on members to bring any problems to my attention. This could be a post that breaks the community rules, is spam or otherwise of concern. If you are being flamed, do not respond in kind in the forum as this just escalates things. Report it instead.

    To report a post and flag it to a moderator, click on "Report" underneath the post itself. Reporting a post flags up the exact post and member concerned, and gives you a space to fill in why you are reporting it.

    Please do not use the report facility to request post edits or other housekeeping. Click on my username and "Start a Conversation" with me instead.


    And finally:

    Please ENJOY the forum. And remember, it's just a forum. I continue to run it to help fellow firework enthusiasts enjoy their hobby. Smile, and don't take it too seriously :cool:


    Making a donation small print and T&C:

    The account upgrade feature should automatically upgrade you after you have made payment. If for any reason it doesn't and "Supports UKFR" is not showing on your full profile page (not the member card) or under your profile image when you post, please let me know.

    Retailers and those wanting to use UKFR to post commercially should note that making a donation in this manner does not constitute advertising or Sponsorship status, please PM me for details about doing that. "Supporters" of UKFR via a donation who are not "Sponsors" via an advertising contract will be moderated as usual in the event of spam or commercial posting.

    Payments are non-refundable donations though I will respect whatever PayPal customer protection policies may apply. Supporters are not granted special privileges in relation to the community rules which still apply. Donations do not entitle you to any products or services. If you break UKFR's community rules and this results in your account being restricted or closed, this does not entitle you to a refund.

    Payments are non-recurring. If you do not wish to renew your support you need do nothing when it runs out.

    Privacy/GDRP: In making a donation you consent to PayPal notifying me of your payment amount electronically, to the forum software in order to upgrade your account and to me to notify me of your payment and who it is from. I do not store any information on-line in relation to your payment other than the fact your account is upgraded. Making a donation is taken as consent for the forum to send you an email at the end of your term to advise that it is about to run out, this email is a one-off. I do not pass any information about your payment or email address to any third party. There are no newsletter or marketing lists to opt-out of since I do not run any in the first place.

    Updated: 17 April 2022
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2022
    Dutso, tee, Rookwood and 5 others like this.
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