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Die By The Blade 101: A Refresher Course

Hey there, Sabres fans. Every now and then it's helpful for all of us to review the who, what, how, and why of Die By The Blade -- it's a good reminder to everyone, myself included, of what this site is all about. We have over 1,600 members with more arriving every day, and with the (hopeful) playoff excitement growing and traffic increasing I wanted to offer a little refresher course for newbies and oldies alike of how we'd like things to run here. 

Community Guidelines: Whether this is your first time visiting or you're a grizzled veteran, please take a second to read our (fairly short) Community Guidelines, which can be found here. Done? Good, but I'd still like to highlight a few important things:

1. No personal attacks on other members: This is something we've been a little lax on recently. We all love the Sabres, and we all want the same thing: for the team to win the Stanley Cup. However, as the playoffs get closer and tensions have gotten higher I've noticed more and more responses to comments that say things like "You're a moron/idiot," "Shut up," and various forms of name-calling. Those kinds of responses will not be tolerated. If you disagree with someone's post, please do so in a respectful manner -- we want this to be a place everyone enjoys hanging out, so if you want to make fun of people for their opinions on the Sabres try HockeyBuzz instead.

2. Swear if you must, but pick your spots: I borrowed stole this phrase from Pension Plan Puppets, but it applies here as well. We're not going to ban anyone for profanity, but try not to talk like a high schooler who just discovered how awesome four letter words are; keep in mind that many people read this site at work or in front of their family.
2A. Game Threads are a little different -- they're kind of like online sports bars where we can all watch the game together, so feel free to live in the moment and voice your joy/frustration appropriately.

3. Don't be relentlessly negative: What is "relentless negativity?" Again, thanks to PPP for the definition: Constantly complaining without reasoning or proposing solutions. We're all fans and we all get frustrated when the team doesn't perform or has bad luck, but regurgitating the same venom over and over again doesn't help anything or anyone - it just fouls the air, and we're all better than that. There's a difference between someone who aims to point out flaws and be constructive and someone who is destructive. That said, we understand the reality of emotional responses in real-time during a game, for example, and are likely to be a bit more lenient in such cases. Bottom line: the goal is to make this community fun for everyone.

4. plz dont writ like ur sendin a txt or i will h8 u kthxbye: This is more of a personal pet peeve of mine, but please try to use proper grammar when posting. We all misspell a word here or there or end a sentence with a preposition, but as Katemc said: "If you don’t value your opinion enough to state it with care, then I certainly won’t."

Many of us spend a lot of time on this site and want to make it as enjoyable an experience as possible, and hopefully you do too, so please help us out by just being decent human beings on the internet (I know, I'm asking for a miracle there.) Some tips for new members coming up after the break.

So I'm relatively new to Die By The Blade, how do I get started?
Great question, me. Here's a checklist to help get you going:

Register with SBNation: If you've been lurking, why not register and join the conversation? It's incredibly easy, and you can register through email, Facebook, OpenID, or Yahoo!, and you'll never get any spam email from SBNation or DBTB. And while you're at it, give yourself a profile picture to replace the generic SBNation star -- it helps us remember who you are.

Commenting: Commenting is your main source of communication on SBNation -- check out how to do it right here. If it's your first time commenting try joining us for a Game Thread to get your feet wet (don't worry, we'll be gentle.) Then give us your opinion on the Sabres news and analysis you see posted on the front page. After you get comfortable you can try writing some...

FanPosts: If you've got something big you want to say, or feel we've missed out on a major story or opinion, here's the place to tell the world. We've got a handy guide to writing FanPosts right here, and if it's something that needs to be heard you may find it bumped to the front page.

FanShots: FanShots are for smaller items like photos, links, quotes, and the like. Here's a guide on how to get started.

Tagging: Tagging is one of the big things that makes SBNation work -- it allows other blogs and users to see content you've created that relates to their teams or players. Also, it allows us to push your work to other SBNation hub sites, so make sure you tag any FanPosts or FanShots; learn how to tag your posts right here.

Other DBTB Features: Did you know we have handy guides to track the Sabres draft choices, find out how this current team was built, or keep tabs on everyone's salary numbers? Okay, so that last one's from CapGeek. Sue us. We also have little tabs at the top of our main page where you can find the Sabres schedule, roster info, and player stats, as well as widgets on the side of the page for the team's record and standing, upcoming games, injuries, and links to NHL news and other Sabres blogs.

Like us on Facebook: At the bottom of every story you'll see a little blue "like" button. If you like the article, click that button and it will help to get that post out to other fans. You can also become a friend of ours on Facebook if you're lonely.

Re-Tweet us: If you're on Twitter, feel free to re-tweet any of our stories to your followers by clicking the "Tweet" button at the bottom of any story. If you're looking for more of us on Twitter, you can also follow @diebytheblade@andyboron, and @RafalLadysz.

Email us: Have a question? Something bothering you? Have an idea for the site? Or just want to tell us how great/terrible we are? Way down at the bottom of the page you'll see little envelopes next to most of our writers' names, and you can shoot us an email by clicking there.

So there you have it, a beginner's guide to Die By The Blade. If you have any further questions feel free to email us, otherwise get yourself registered and start posting!

Oh, and go Sabres.