Community Circles

Unlike many other sites, AudioCircle doesn't have a preset set of topic areas (which we call circles here, on other sites they may be called forums, boards, or groups). Instead, circles are created in response to legitimate, strong requests for them by participating members. Similarly, circles are archived or dissolved if interest in participating in and/or maintaining them falls below a minimum threshold.

This page describes procedures for community circles. For sponsored circles, see Site Sponsor.


Creating a circle

If you would like a place to discuss a particular topic in audio and hifi, and are willing to manage it and encourage and maintain a suitable level of discussion, then you can create a circle. You will be known as the Facilitator of the circle.

To start a circle, create start a poll in Circle Proposals area, following the format given below. Don't simply start a poll and abandon it - the poll thread is your opportunity to show that you are capable of running a circle by responding to questions about the proposal. During the course of the ensuing discussion, you will probably refine the proposal as well, so you will need to update the first post in the thread to reflect the current status of the proposal.

You will probably encounter a number of "nay sayers" in your poll/discussion thread. You may wish to consider what they say as a way to refine your proposal, but remember two things:

  1. It is your proposal, not theirs. To be able to be an effective Facilitator, your proposal must reflect something that you believe in, not something that you thought someone else wanted.
  2. There is no such thing as a "no" vote. It doesn't matter how many people don't want the circle you propose - as long as there are enough who do, the request will be granted.

Proposal Rules

  1. You can't collect "too many" circles. This just means that, if you already have a circle, we have to consider whether you're going to be able to actively manage more than one. (Most people will be fine with two, some with three, but any more than that would be uncommon.) Also, we'd like to encourage as many community members as possible to participate.
  2. You cannot propose a circle on someone else's behalf. If you propose a circle then you are also volunteering to be its Facilitator.
  3. You cannot have more than one Facilitator for a circle. Make your proposal in such a way that you can manage the circle by yourself.
  4. You must make your proposal for a specific topic area. Generic or "catch-all" circles are not allowed.
  5. Use the poll options below. Be sure to set the poll to run for seven days (Admin will add additional time if it is needed.)
  6. You must determine, by the end of the poll, the following information:
    1. Name of circle
    2. Tagline of circle
    3. URLs of any threads that you think should be moved to the new circle (no guarantees here)

Proposal format

To propose a circle, create a poll with a clear description of the purpose of the circle and the scope of discussion that you would encourage in it. The poll options must be set as follows:

Question: Would you participate in an XYZ circle?

Poll options:

  1. I would actively post in the proposed circle. I have posted in this thread in support.
  2. I would read and perhaps post occasionally in the proposed circle.
  3. I would not read the proposed circle.
  4. I will post some other comment in the thread.

Other options:

  • 1 Maximum votes per user.
  • Run the poll for 7 days.
  • Allow user to change vote.
  • Show the poll's results to anyone.

While the poll is running, you should continue to update it and respond to questions. You are permitted to refine or change the name, tagline, and the specifics of its purpose based on the discussion. If you don't respond to questions and comments in the thread, we will assume that you are not good "Facilitator material", and not grant the request.

Do not be discourage by negative comments in the poll thread, as there is no such thing as a "no" vote. Arguments against a new circle are not considered in determining whether to go ahead with a new circle, except in exceptional cases. All that counts is whether the poll indicates that the circle is likely to be able to sustain sufficient activity, based firstly on the number of "active participation" votes (with supporting post in the thread) and secondly on the "occasional participation" votes.

At the conclusion of the poll, and if it is successful, you will be asked to add an additional "Welcome to the XYZ circle" post to your poll thread. This post will be moved to your circle when it is created and will become the welcome/guidelines thread for the new circle!

Closing a Circle

Circles are closed for a number of reasons. When they are closed, they may be archived, or may be merged into other circles, at discretion of the site owner. The latter option is generally preferable if there is a suitable circle for merging, as then site members are still able to post in the threads.

A circle may be closed if the Facilitator resigns without finding a replacement. It may also be closed if the Facilitator is subject to administrative action (timeout or account restriction).

A circle that has not been posted in for 30 days is deemed to be inactive. It is the Facilitator's responsibility to keep a circle active, and to contact Site Admin if unable to do so. If a Facilitator has not posted in their circle for a period of 90 days, then it is assumed they they have abandoned the circle, and Site Admin may call for a new Facilitator and close the circle if none are forthcoming.

Circles may be closed by the Site Owner if they are an ongoing source of administrative issues.

An archived circle can often be re-opened by following the procedure above. There will need to be some committment and/or measures in the proposal that avoid the circumstances that caused the circle to be closed.