General Information: HOW TO REGISTER FOR AN ACCOUNT, Posting, Jobs, Forum Rules, Avatars, and more

Here's the best place to ask specific questions. This is one of 7 forums that guests can see, although guests can't post. Registered users can post, & can see 8 other "hidden" forums.
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Scooter
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General Information: HOW TO REGISTER FOR AN ACCOUNT, Posting, Jobs, Forum Rules, Avatars, and more

Post by Scooter » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:48 pm

Welcome to the REPLANT.CA message board/forums!

All users who intend to post messages should read sections two through six. You must register for an account in order to post. Here's a summary of what's on this page:

1. Registering for an Account.
2. Posting a Message.
3. General Message Board Guidelines.
4. Asking Questions – Don’t Email Scooter Directly!
5. Companies Thread versus Job Postings Thread.
6. Liability, Defamation, Slander, and all that stuff.
7. Are you Looking for a Job as a Planter?
8. Information for First-Year Planters.
9. How to Make an Avatar.
10. Social Media.



Registering For An Account on the Message Boards:

The board is currently set up to allow new users to register by themselves, with a reCaptcha spambot defense system, and an email-activated registration test. If you are having problems with that process and can't register, follow these steps:

1. Send me an email so I know that you're a real person, not a spam-bot. I use the email address that you used as your official email address for the account, so don't write to me from someone else's account.

2. Include your desired username. It needs to be at least five letters long now. If you don't give me a suggestion for a username, I will make something up, but it will probably be a random word from the dictionary. Would you like your username to be "sausage" or something like that? If not, tell me what you'd like for a username. And don't actually ask for sausage as a username, because about forty people have tried that already. We do not want a sausage-fest.

3. I will assign a random temporary password, which you should change after you've been registered.

4. Send all the above info to Scooter at: jonathan.scooter.clark@gmail.com..

5. If you are a Hotmail user, add my email address to your list of "safe senders." Hotmail often thinks that my registration confirmation email (a cut & paste) is spam, because it has a link in it. I get all kinds of emails from hotmail users who say, "I sent you an account request three weeks ago and you've never answered." And then I have to write back and tell them to add my email as a safe sender, and also to go back and check their spam folder for the registration email that I sent them three weeks ago. The members list also has about two hundred accounts from people with hotmail accounts who asked for an account and then never signed in to use them. The login info that I sent them probably ended up in their spam folders, and they're probably all cursing me for being an asshole and never responding to them. Also, if you're still using Hotmail in this day and age, you should question your life choices. Gmail works so much better.

That's all there is to it. After you've sent your email, allow 24-72 hours for me to respond, in case I'm working somewhere with shitty internet. In the meantime, you should go through the rest of the information on this page.


Posting a Message:

Remember that you need to keep the "keep me logged in" or "log me in automatically" box checked when you log in, in order to be able to post! That's a security feature that comes automatically with the phpBB software, it's not something that I have the ability to adjust. If you don't do this, your browser will sometimes eat your post and you'll have to type it all over again. Nobody has time for that.

Also, if you take a really long time to write a message (I think it's something like ten minutes), when you hit "submit" you'll get an error message that says, "the submitted form was invalid." Don't worry, this one does not mean that your post was lost! It just means that the message board thinks you got distracted and wandered off. All you have to do is hit "submit" a second time, and your message will be posted.


General Message Board Guidelines:

Thank you for visiting the REPLANT.CA message boards. Please feel free to post about whatever topic you would like. All posts, however, must follow a few simple and serious guidelines:

1. There are to be no racist, ethnic, sexist, or discriminatory postings or usernames, or any other type of posting pr username which would be considered to constitute libel, slander, or sedition by any reasonable person. The only race which is allowed to be made fun of on these boards is the Scottish, because I'm Scottish (well, I’m Canadian, but my history is Scottish).

2. Posting of someone else’s personal information without their consent is unacceptable.

3. Spamming the board with large volumes of advertisements that are of questionable value to users is prohibited. Users may, however, feel free to bring attention to employment opportunities, events, stores, and anything else that is even remotely related to silviculture.

4. Any post which may be deemed inappropriate, for whatever reason, in the judgment of the site administrator and/or board moderators, may be removed without prior notice. Any user who finds any posting by any other user to be offensive should report that posting to one of the administrators or moderators.

5. Civility is encouraged. This is a privately administered board, so in very rare circumstances, the administrator will act as a dictator. If you act like a bitch/troll, your posts might be deleted. I'm not saying that you can't be critical, just be civil about it.

6. There is a SEARCH function. It's up near the top right of the screen. It works fairly well. If you're thinking about asking a question, please do a quick search first. Your question may possibly have been asked before. Questions by members who have obviously not taken the time to do a quick search could open your post to being met with a well-deserved blast of hostility.

To sum it up, the internet is a wild and wonderful place. The right to freedom of speech is also a wonderful thing. Please don't go overboard or abuse this right, because if you post things that could potentially get the board and/or myself into legal or ethical trouble, you will be banned and have your IP blocked. And play nice in the sandbox, or your parents will take away your toys.

Thanks, and enjoy ...


Answering Questions: Please Do NOT Email Scooter Directly!

Do you have planting questions that you want answered? The best way to do this is to sign up for an account (it’s free and takes about two minutes), then put a posting in the “Questions & Answers” section of the message board.

I (Scooter) am a very busy person. I run three businesses in the “off season,” which keeps me working long hours, seven days a week. If you can put a posting up in the forums instead of emailing me directly, it would be very helpful. You'll get an answer much faster. Occasionally, I'll be the one that answers you, and at other times, some of the many other intelligent people who read this board regularly will chip in.

I'm not saying that I won't answer your emails if you contact me directly. If it's something that I specifically need to answer, and nobody else on the board is likely to be of assistance, I will try my best. However, if you ask generalized questions that could be posted on the message boards, I tend to either just post them on the message boards myself and then delete your email, or I ignore the questions for a while and answer them a couple months later when I have a free afternoon.


Companies Thread vs. Job Postings Thread:

There are two separate sections on the message board for info directed related to employers and employment. One is the "companies" forum and one is the "jobs" forum. Please try to understand the difference between the two, to help keep the board organized:

The "Companies" forum is for information about specific companies. This includes contact information, discussions about how different companies take different approaches to work practices and procedures, reviews of past seasons, gossip, etc. Each company tends to have its own thread within this forum, and these threads are kept intact perpetually, so they will grow from year to year.

The "Jobs" forum is a seasonal forum, with three specific purposes:
1. To allow foremen and crew bosses to advertise job openings on their crews.
2. To allow people seeking employment to get the word out that they're looking for a job. This is best reserved for experienced planters. If you have no previous experience, read the section below entitled, "Are You Looking for a Job as a Planter?"
3. To solicit or offer rides. However, I would urge extreme caution when using this. The internet is a crazy place, full of kooks, pedophiles, sodomizers, serial killers, and rapists (or so I've been led to believe). Before sharing a ride with a stranger, protect yourself. If you're accepting a ride from someone, call a friend and let them know the license plate and description of the vehicle that you're getting into, and call them again after you've arrived safely at your destination. If you're picking up a stranger, check that person's ID and use the same trick. I'm serious.

The Jobs forum, due to its nature, should contain posts and threads which are time-sensitive, which are deleted after they have fulfilled their purpose. Every year in November or December, I clear out the Jobs forum so it has a fresh new start for the following season.

The key goal that we are trying to enforce here is that posts reviewing or criticizing a specific company should be restricted to the Companies forum. Please do NOT thread-jack by posting such company-specific discussions in individual Job threads. The Jobs threads are specifically designed to allow foremen to hire new employees - it is frustrating for these people to have to deal with thread-jacking that makes their job harder. If you have critical things to say about the company's performance in the past, then you're better off putting it into the long-term section about the company itself, rather than in a temporary seasonal posting that will get erased in a few months anyway. We will tolerate general comments in the Job threads, to some extent, so this is a bit of a gray area. However, if you've got a rant about a specific company where someone is advertising open positions, your best recourse is to put it in the Companies thread. Anything too disruptive will get moved or erased by the moderators (see the section on "Liability, Libel, Slander, and Defamation" below).

Anyone who is responding to a potential job opening should have the common sense to try to learn more by reading about the corresponding company in its specific thread in the Companies section. Take everything you read with a grain of salt.

When I originally set up the forums, this is the goal that I espoused for information posted in the Companies section:
We expect that a certain amount of negative sentiment will be posted in these forums. That is inherent in the silviculture industry - it would be impossible to satisfy all employees all of the time and yet maintain financial viability for any company. However, be careful that you don't cross the fine line between constructive criticism or reasonable dissonance and write something that could be considered to be libel, defamation, or slander. Remember: the internet is far from anonymous, despite surface appearances, and court orders allow for IP tracking so that your identity can often be determined by regulatory authorities (in case of criminal or related activities including harassment or otherwise inappropriate postings).

I would suggest that for these threads, where a specific company is under discussion, that each thread should be frequented predominantly by posters who are [or were] employees of that company, or are related stakeholders. If you are not some sort of a stakeholder of the company in question, and are [for example] asking questions or trying to determine information, it would be beneficial if you could identify that fact in your postings.

Posting criticism of a company in the Companies section will be tolerated to a certain extent. That's a good opportunity not only for rumours to be addressed, but more importantly, for employees or management of that company in particular to come back with rational explanations or a professional rebuttal to any criticisms. And in my opinion, a professional response to a criticism will always look far better for the company being criticized rather than just having the offending post removed by an administrator or moderator. So that's why I will be giving more free reign in the Companies section than I will in other areas.

My hope and intent is for these threads to present opportunities for employees of each respective company to discuss matters in a calm and reasonable manner. If postings are used to "review" the company in question, by current or former employees, remember that your most effective way of spreading information is through objective statements backed up by facts, not through emotional rhetoric and hyperbole (random bitching).

Liability, Defamation, Slander, and all that stuff:

Defamation occurs when someone makes and communicates a false statement or claim, either expressly or implicitly, which may give another entity an inferior or negative image. That entity can be another person, a business, a group of related people, or even a product. One can assume that a statement would likely be considered to be patently or implicitly malicious in the case of defamation, although it seems possible that a statement could be considered defamatory even though there may not have been malicious intent by the person who made the statement.

Defamation can be broken down into written and verbal forms.

Slander is the verbal form of defamation. Slander requires publication or dissemination to a third party or parties. An example would be if someone was recorded (through audio or video) making a statement and that statement was then distributed or published so other people could hear/watch/see it. If one person goes to another person and makes potentially slanderous statements directly to their face, and nobody else hears or records the statements, then it isn’t slander. It’s a conversation.

Libel is the written form of defamation. Libel can be the case for written or printed words, pictures, or photos, or any form other than spoken words or gestures.
As you can see, it would be possible for a person to defame another person or company on this message board through the use of libel, but it would be extremely unlikely for someone to slander another person (unless someone made defamatory statements which were recorded and the media was then posted on the board for others to view or listen to).

One should focus on the word “false” in the above definition of defamation. In most common law jurisdictions, the truth is an absolute defense against any type of defamation.

Related to defamation is “public disclosure of private facts,” which arises when one person reveals information that is not of public concern, where the release of such information would offend a reasonable person. Truth is not a legal defense for the invasion of privacy.

In the case of this message board, it historically appears that websites (or entities hosting websites) upon which libellous statements are made have never been considered by Canadian courts to be deemed legally accountable for the presence of such statements, if the statements were made by third parties. However, if a libellous statement is made by a user of the message board, the allegedly defamed entity (person or company) could theoretically seek redress through the courts. In that case, a subpoena would theoretically be presented to the administrator of the website in order to gain access to information identifying the poster, so that the allegedly defamed entity could sue the person who made the posting. In that case, the person who made the posting would presumably have an absolute defense if the statements made were true, whereas if the statements made could be proved to have been false, that person might be legally liable.

In layman’s terms, this means that if you write something on the website which casts a person or company in a negative light, then you’re almost certainly not going to get into trouble as long as the statement can be proven to be true. But if not, you could potentially be in “hot water.”

Several persons and/or companies have threatened legal action against this website over the years due to defamatory statements posted on the message board. In all cases, once they did some legal research, they realized that they’re up against a wall in trying to threaten legal action against the website. Despite this, Replant would prefer not to host any intentionally defamatory material. In cases where there is an allegation that a poster has made an inappropriate posting, the Replant administrator(s) will review the posting(s) in question and possibly delete material, or more likely, contact the person who made the posting to inform them of the potentially legally contentious content, and suggest that the poster reviews what they have written.

In practice, we’ll almost certainly remove material that could imply or allege criminal activities (and make a note to confirm that material was deleted by the administrators). In terms of negative reviews of companies, if we believe that the poster was writing what they believe to be the truth, we won’t delete any material. We will, however, occasionally lock threads that are causing repeated negative, uncivil or inappropriate postings. If someone's personal information (ie. phone numbers, etc.) is posted here and that person doesn't want that information to be public, just let us know and we'll remove it immediately.


Are You Looking for a Job as a Planter?

Ok, this is an area which interests thousands of site readers every year. To make things simple, I've set up a separate web page specifically to give you advice on how to apply for a job. Here's how:

1. Go to: http://www.replant.ca/jobs.html
2. Read the page. Specifically, read the section that says, "How To Apply For A Job."
3. Sometimes I have one of my own "job opportunities" posts there instead of a generic description about how to look for planting work.

If you're not a Canadian citizen, read this: http://www.replant.ca/foreignworkers.pdf

That is all. Don't put up random postings here which tell the world that you want a job - that shows that you are taking the "lazy" way of looking for work, rather than making the effort to contact companies directly. The people who hire tree planters don't like people who are lazy, so your likelihood of success will probably be very low if you just post online that you want to be a tree planter, and don't make any other efforts.

Please note that the industry contracted significantly in 2009 due to the general problems in the global economy (and more specifically due to reduced demand for wood in the United States). This trend continued in 2010, and 2011 didn't see much of a recovery. Although the volume of industry work increased gradually for a few years after that, wages (both in real terms, and also with inflation factored in) have declined significantly in the past decade. Look for the "2014 Bid Results Thread" on the forums to see some interesting graphics and analysis, and then follow through by looking at bids in subsequent years. If you're not a planter already, I'd think twice before you convince yourself that you want to start.


Information for First-Year Planters:

If you've been offered a job as a planter for the upcoming season in Western Canada (or even in Ontario, which is fairly similar), and you are going into your first year, you undoubtedly will have hundreds of questions about what you're getting yourself into.

You can learn a bit about general camp life at this link:
http://www.replant.ca/camplife.html

I also recommend this page:
http://www.replant.ca/training.html

That page offers a basic “introduction to planter training” video which would be instructional for any first-year tree planters.

Related to the above training page, here's a specific post to get you started with understanding what you're getting yourself into if you decide to apply for a job as a Canadian tree planter:
http://jonathan-scooter-clark.blogspot. ... eason.html

If you have other questions after going through these three resources, please feel free to post them in the “Questions and Answers” forum.


How to Make an "Avatar":

An "avatar" is the little picture or graphic that you see accompanying some users' postings. Anyone on the board can make and submit their own avatar, within certain limitations.

Avatars occupy a significant bandwidth on the board. For this reason, they are limited in size. Some phpBB's don't allow them for exactly this reason, although I'm sure that we can manage for now.

On this board, your avatar is limited to 80,000 bytes in size (about 80 kilobytes), and the dimensions can be no more than 180 x 200 pixels (minimum size 50x50). I believe that the pre-set gallery is enabled, but you can be more creative and find or make your own.

You can upload your own avatar, and have it hosted from the REPLANT server. The only restrictions are the size restrictions outlined above. Also, you can link to an "off-site" avatar. To do this, you need to find a small graphic on the internet that you like, and then figure out the exact http address of that graphic, and then once you have registered here, go into your profile, and at the bottom where it says "link to off-site avatar" put in the address.

Sometimes it is hard for users to figure out the exact URL address of the avatar that you like. It shouldn't be. On a windows machine, all you do is position the mouse pointer over the graphic that you like, and right-click. A box should open, and if you select "properties" at the bottom, another box will pop up that will list the URL of the graphic somewhere around the middle. Just cut and paste that address into your profile, and whenever your avatar is displayed, it should come from that third-party website. I like it when people do this, because it uses bandwidth from the other server rather than the REPLANT server.

You can turn any normal picture into an avatar, with the right editing software. Adobe Photoshop is probably about the best common editing software, although you can probably get free editing software on sites like http://www.download.com if you look around. Windows XP may also have editing capabilities built in - I'm not sure since I bought a copy of PhotoShop (not cheap!). Anyway, to make the avatar, follow these simple steps:
1. Crop the picture so the part that you want is roughly square.
2. Change the resolution of the image to 72 pixels/inch. Don't ask why, it's a long story.
3. Set the size to no more than 150 x 150 pixels.

Check out this tutorial if you want to take it one step further with an Avatar:

http://www.replant.ca/videos/avatar_tutorial.swf

This Flash tutorial will play directly within your web broswer. However, it is slightly larger than one megabyte in size, so if you click on the link, it will probably take about 30-45 seconds (on a high-speed connection) of a blank screen before you see anything. You can also right-click on the link and chose the "save target as" option and save the flash file to your local machine.

If this still confuses you, check on the internet with a Google search and you will find dozens of sites that go into this in more detail. Or search on YouTube.


Social Media:

If you’re a regular facebook user, you might also want to put a “like” on the Replant.ca page (mostly designed for non-planters, to showcase photos & environmental articles):
http://facebook.com/replant.ca

If you're currently a planter or potential planter, you might rather join the Replant facebook group, which is designed more for gossip and industry-specific information:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/replant.ca

If you use Instagram, you'll probably also enjoy our Instagram account at http://instagram.com/replant.ca

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