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Die By The Blade Primer: How to use this website and what we're all about

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Over the past 18 months, DBTB has more than doubled our number of users that visit the site. Today we offer a refresher course for newbies and veterans alike, letting you know how to take advantage of the SB Nation platform, and letting you know what our site is all about.

Peter Macdiarmid

SB Nation 2014 NHL Preview

The 2014-15 NHL season is just a few days away, and a new year for the Buffalo Sabres has brought with it many new users to our humble site - we've doubled our user base in the past 18 months alone. Today, we're posting our annual guide to using and enjoying Die By The Blade, with our mission statement, a few simple rules, and tips for both new users and veterans alike.

What Is Die By The Blade?

DBTB is a site on the SBNation network that covers the Buffalo Sabres. We discuss breaking news, team updates, and game previews, open game threads, and recaps, among other things. It's a community driven by a small team of writers and the much larger section of you, our readers.

I like to think of this site as a place where where a bunch of people that we'd all love to hang out with in real life come together to talk Sabres hockey. It's not as open a forum as Twitter or other websites (which we consider to be a good thing) but it's a place where all Sabres and NHL fans are welcome to hang out and discuss Buffalo hockey, as long as they follow our...

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. Personal attacks on other users will not be tolerated: We all love the Sabres, and we all want the same thing: to see Buffalo win the Stanley Cup. Seeing as how we're all on the same side, responses to comments that say things like "You're a moron/idiot," "Shut up," "Do you even watch the games?" and various forms of name-calling 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 where everyone enjoys hanging out, so if you're looking to make fun of people for their opinions on the Sabres, there are plenty of other places to do that. If you're a member of the opposition, feel free to stop in and comment, though trolling will not be tolerated, and when you DBTBers visit other sites, please remember to play nice.

2. Swear if you must, but pick your spots:borrowed stole this bit 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 the presence of their family.
2A. We relax this rule a bit during Game Threads -- they're kind of like online sports bars where we can all watch the game  together -- but in general, we like to keep it relatively clean.

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 txtng 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 every so often, but as veteran user Katemc once 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.)

I'm relatively new to Die By The Blade, how do I get started?

Great question. 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, Twitter, Yahoo!, or OpenID, and we promise you'll never get any spam email from SBNation or DBTB. While you're at it, give yourself a profile picture and a tagline -- 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 or exceptionally well written, you might even find it bumped to the front page.

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

RT 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 for new posts and hockey commentary, and you can follow most of our writers by checking our Masthead here.

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

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? On the Masthead page you'll see little envelopes next to most of our writers' names, and you can shoot us an email by clicking there. Or you can send questions, post ideas, or concerns directly to our managing editor Andy Boron by emailing diebytheblade@gmail.com.

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

Thanks for reading, and let's go, Buffalo!