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Mod Post: Community Posting Guidelines!

We try to keep the community rules in our user info as clear and as useful as possible, which means some things get left out. This post contains the additional rules and the posting guidelines.

1.) Please use the default font size, style, and color.

Everyone who reads icon_tutorial has a different friends page layout. There's also the community layout to consider. If you specify a miniature font size or a strange color, we can't read your post, which means you won't get help, and your problem won't be archived to help someone else down the line. It's easier all around if, for a community like this, you stick to the standard, and keep your favorite font for your own journal.

2.) This community should be friendly for people of all ages and beliefs.

This is a basic way of asking that you please excercise some restraint in your choice of language and your choice of icon when you post. No post is going to be deleted for the occasional swear of frustration, but if your question reads like a David Mamet play then we're going to remove it and ask you to rephrase. We're also going to delete your post and ask you to repost if the icon with which you are posting is overly explicit; there are plenty of places for porn on LJ but this isn't one of them.

3.) "I know this isn't allowed, so feel free to delete it..."

No! Bad! If you've read the rules and the posting guidelines, and you know something is against the rules, don't post it. Simple. Easy. It's the pet peeve of hundreds of people; make hundreds of lives just that little bit better by not doing it.

4.) "I'm so stupid / dumb / blonde / redarded / such an idiot lol"

I don't know what happened that an entire generation of girls and women feels the need to preface every question with, "I'm so dumb; I never get it," but knock it off. Learning to make computer graphics can be a complex and daunting process, but we all had to start somewhere -- and as we all know, this dangerous self-deprecation happens in every community on LJ that attracts this demographic, not just the tutorial communities. If you think everyone else has probably had the same problem before you, then double-check the FAQ to see if you're right and, if others have had the problem, what they did about it. If you think you're having a new problem, then make a concise and thorough post about it. In the meantime, demonstrate a little bit of self-confidence here and elsewhere or you'll never get anywhere in life.

5.) I know a tutorial about this has already been posted, so...

Stop worrying. If there were only one good way on earth to explain something, there wouldn't be nine million competing textbooks on a single subject. If you think you've got a good way to explain something you did, then by all means, share it! Different learners respond to different styles of teaching. Don't let an already existing tutorial stop you.

6.) I read the (rules, memories, FAQ) but didn't see anything about (thing clearly listed in rules, memories, FAQ)...

Don't lie. Really. We'll know. There are thousands of things not covered in the archive or FAQ, but hundreds of things are. If you don't understand the instruction given in the archive or FAQ that's fine, and we the community are happy to clarify, but really, don't try to tell us that the question about text appearing too small isn't there.

7.) OMG you guys which one of these icons do you want me to make a tutorial for?

Sorry, but this falls off-topic as self-promotion and icon discussion. Keep the polls in your own journal and just give us the tips and tutorials.

8.) I'm too lazy.

Then we're too lazy to help you. If you find a task daunting or difficult, that's one thing. Think the memories are overwhelming and have too much information? We've been there. And we're happy to help. But if your problem is laziness, at least have the decency to lie to us about it. It's disrespectful to the thousands of people taking the time to read your question and to help you to say that you can't be bothered to help yourself.


And although this post is excruciatingly long, there are a few more things that bear mentioning.

A recipe is not the same as a tutorial.

We the staff here are not arbiters of taste, nor of content, so long as none of the community rules are broken. No tutorial is "against the rules," and we will not delete them unless they break our rules or the LJ TOS. However, it does bear mentioning that a detailed tutorial that actually TEACHES a theory or process is a lot more useful than a screenshot of the curves settings you used on one particular image.

If you simply write a laundry list of actions, you are not creating a tutorial. A true tutorial will not just list the what of your image, but will touch on and hopefully explain the how and the why. You are not helping very many people when you say "Put this color layer on soft light at 60%," because every image is slightly different. You are helping people when you say, "I used this color on this blending mode BECAUSE of how the color in this layer interacts with the color here and here in the base. I chose this blending mode BECAUSE it works in this way, and will cause this effect."

As a general rule of thumb: if you're writing about a concept, your tutorial should always be translatable between programs. If you are writing about the use of a specific program, your tutorial should focus on the what, why, and how of the tool(s) in question.

The point of this community is to teach the use of tools and the theories behind their use. We do this in two ways: by answering the questions users post, and by creating tutorials for users to follow. Either is a valid way of learning, as the comment threads in a question post can often be quite informative.

It is not "time to write a tutorial" in the community when your icons are popular, or when someone says that color is really pretty. It is time to write a tutorial when you decide you want to teach, and take all the responsibilities that come with it. This community has over 20,000 members, and with a population that size each and every one of us needs to exercise some personal responsibility and quality control. Before you post a question, look for the answer in the memories. Before you post a tutorial, think: "Am I really adding to anyone's body of knowledge with this?"

You do not need to post or request a separate tutorial to answer every question.

If someone posts asking how to do a specific thing -- say, removing blue tones from screen captures -- then you can answer the question in the comments of the original post. You don't need to go create a full tutorial and share it unless you particularly want to. Similarly, if you are asking for help, you don't necessarily need to be directed to a pre-existing tutorial; someone can answer your question in the comments if you articulate your problem(s) well.


Please feel free to ask for any clarifications or amendments in the comments to this post, or e-mail icon.tutorial [at] gmail.com at any time.

v1 posted March 2005
v2 posted July 2007
edit May 2008



( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 14th, 2005 04:02 am (UTC)
So, it doesn't seem like I've broken any rules. Why was my post about wanting more specific text instructions at the end of tutorials added, deleted?

Explanations, please? That's rather rude to just delete it without letting me know why.
Nov. 14th, 2005 08:47 pm (UTC)
I delete posts that incite drama. I also delete posts that criticize others without providing any other content.

Your post, topical and perhaps useful though it may have been, was not going to resolve a problem. We can't regulate the content of tutorials (past a certain point, anyway), nor can we regulate how they're written. They're either useful or not, and that's where it stands, as it always has.
Jun. 28th, 2008 10:50 am (UTC)
to the mods, i just wanna ask you how to make an "under the cut" link?
Jun. 28th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
The rules (in our userinfo) have a link to the official LJ FAQ on how to make a cut.

Basically, you put:

<*lj-cut text="whatever you want the text to say"*>

Only without the asterisks.
Nov. 25th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
i just posted a link to my tutorials, and as far as i can tell it's been deleted and i didn't break any of the rules. can someone help me and/or tell me what i did wrong? thanks!
Nov. 25th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
Actually, it did. From the userinfo:

All posts made in this community MUST contain content posted in this community and have comments enabled. Posts containing only links to entries in personal journals or other communities are not allowed.

For further information: http://community.livejournal.com/icon_tutorial/8817946.html
Jan. 27th, 2009 12:54 pm (UTC)
Wanted to make sure before I post: can I put two tutorials in one post, or should I post them seperately?
Jan. 29th, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
You may do either. If the tutorials are short and of a similar nature, best to put them in one post rather than be seen to be spamming the community. But if they're longer, two posts would be better. Just have a look at the tags before you post and try to make sure you label your post(s) appropriately.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC)
I'm confused as to why my post was deleted!
I always follow the rules, I had a cut, I added extra information instead of just numbers, and I used the default size, color, etc!
Can you tell me why my post was deleted!? :)
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)

I honestly have no idea. If it's not obvious, I do try to leave a comment, but there are so many in an average week or average day that unless there's something particularly egregious or the offending post keeps being re-posted, I don't remember them for more than a minute.

If you think you did everything right, go ahead and re-post.
Mar. 4th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
thanks :)
Apr. 12th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)
Can I post video tutorials? I've made a few and I find that people follow them better then just written steps because they can see exactly what happens at each step and how to reach each tool. Here is an example: http://ibserenity.livejournal.com/5654.html
Obviously I would post it directly to this community rather than my personal journal. I just thought i would ask before doing something wrong.
Apr. 12th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
I think linking to a video (or embedding it beneath a cut, if possible) is a valid exception to the "no linking" rule, as long as what content there is is here. :)
May. 14th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
I followed the rules & wrote a "how and why" (even including what to do if your image looks off) and not just a recipe.. so why was my post deleted?
May. 14th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
As with all deletions: I don't tend to keep track of whose they were, or when, or why. And there are 4 mods of this community, any of whom could have deleted your post. If you followed the how/why rule and got deleted, then odds are high that you blew the "content IN this community" one. Those are the two biggest reasons these days.
Jun. 11th, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
I've just got a quick question - I've been working on a list of tutorials for the last little while, and since I've always found them useful I figured that I should cross-post it to i_t so other people could use it too. However, since LJ puts a character limit on entries, I've had to split the list into two parts (Colouring & Guides).

Originally, I was just going to post the first list directly to the community and then link the second list (at my personal journal) so as not to spam the community, but it just occurred to me that that might violate the 'content in the community' rule. If/when I finally get around to posting it, did you want me to post both halves to i_t (or just the first half), or is it not really appropriate content for the community at all? XD

Thanks! :)
Jun. 11th, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC)
We used to allow posts of this nature, it's true, but we stopped them when we began enforcing the "content in this community" rule.
Jun. 11th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
Hokay, thanks :)
Jun. 13th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
Could one of the mods explain why my post was deleted?
Jun. 13th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
We leave comments when we delete posts, unless they're very clear, egregious, long-standing rules violations. Check your e-mail?
Jun. 13th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Sorry about that!
Jul. 11th, 2009 05:47 am (UTC)
wanting to post questions
hi just wanted to know how i can ask questions on how to make certain
Jan. 25th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
i'm really confused on why my post got re-deleted?
the first time i admit was my fault because i didn't read
the posting rules and didn't add a cut but the second time
i added it. was my tutorial too short or did i forget to
add in something...?
Jul. 3rd, 2010 09:57 am (UTC)
hello. my first entry in this community was deleted. i dont know why? can you tell me which rule i've broken?

thanks :)
Aug. 6th, 2010 05:50 am (UTC)
First off, apologies for linking the tutorial back to my journal. That was my fault for not reading through the rules carefully.

HOWEVER, this questions pertains to the first rule. My original tutorial code contains tables codes and different size fonts, both for aesthetic and (I think) practical purposes. The tables are as unobtrusive as possible and compatible with any browser. Will my post get deleted if I include table coding?

Sorry for being a pain, but I'd really like to include the table coding. I think it's more organized and accessible.
Aug. 6th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
Tables in and of themselves aren't an issue. If they're tables with pink backgrounds in the cells and green size 1 font, that is an issue. Use your best judgment as to what will be readable by the widest array of people.
Aug. 6th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
Okay, got it. Thanks! :)
Dec. 22nd, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
I'm not sure where I went wrong on my tutorial. I explained the hows and whys where I knew them. I did not say "put this layer on this" for every single step. About 4 people replied to my tutorial here and now it's gone. I don't know what to add to my tutorial and those who bookmarked it don't have it anymore.
Dec. 22nd, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
1.) This is the wrong place to ask that sort of question, and this thread will be frozen. We have an e-mail address you can use and it's a borderline miracle I saw this comment today at all.

2.) The only post of yours I have in our tracking as being deleted was a non-post, with no content in it: only a link to an off-community post. As such, per the community rules, it was deleted. If a later post was also deleted, I have no available records of it and can't tell you why.
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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