It's extremely gratifying that TankSpot has become a popular destination for tanks of all sorts (and other classes too!) looking for guides, movies, and discussion. Once upon a time, this post was very short and to the point. However, with ever increasing popularity comes a requirement for more strict moderation and rules, so as to keep the admininstrators and moderators from going insane.
In short, these are not the WoW forums. You have no inherent right to be a member here, and your continued ability to participate in discussions depends on you playing nice and following the rules. You can read anonymously just fine if you cannot follow the rules. If you keep being an idiot, we'll ban your IP and you won't even have anonymous access to the site.
OMG WE HAVE GIRLS
There are some very nice female members and authors here. Yes, real females! Leaving lewd and stalker-like messages in threads and profile messages is being a creepy douchebag. Using the "Contact" button to ask Penlowe personal questions about the ladies on this site qualifies as being a really creepy douchebag. Be respectful, not a creepy douchebag, or you will get banned. End of story.
Before you Make a Post with a Mechanics Question
Look in the appropriate forums first. Odds are very good that your question is already answered in one of the guides here. There's also a Ask Small Questions that Don't Deserve a Thread article for commonly-asked basic questions. Also, there is a search bar at the top of every page under the TankSpot banner.
Post in the Correct Forum
There are lots of forums here. They are arranged so that the forums with the most traffic and that are most often the correct place to post are the forums above the User Interface, Addons, and Macros forum. Please look at the forums before you post in the General Discussion forum. If what you're posting doesn't fit in any of the other forums, then General Discussion is where you should be posting. Please help the moderators by not creating extra work for them. Sometimes your post will get moved to the correct forum, but if it's a busy day it may just get deleted.
Some quick guides:
HALP! I need advice This is where you go to ask for help. If you are posting a link to your armoury to ask for help or suggestions, your post belongs here. If you are asking "Am I ready to tank X?", your post belongs here. If you're asking about your talent spec, or a talent spec you came up with, your post belongs here.
User Interface, Addons, and Macros Post here if you are asking about anything to do with those. If you are asking about something in someone's UI, especially the UIs used in TankSpot movies, look here: TankSpot Video User Interfaces. Posts asking about interfaces that have threads in the UI Compilations forum is highly frowned upon and will be deleted. Post your question in that UI's thread, please.
General Discussion This is pretty much the most heavily moderated forum on the site. Don't post here unless you really are talking about some sort of theorycrafting or dicussion of class mechanics. Discussions about talents, gear decisions, and armoury ratings do NOT go here.
The TankSpot Guild Relations forums (Guild Recruitment, Guild and Raid Management) are where your posts relating to guilds and raid leading go, including DKP and loot. Please use them instead of General Discussion for such questions.
There are several forums below the UI forum for various purposes such as off topic discussions, and technical discussions. Please take a moment to look at the forum list before you post, and help to not make unnecessary extra work for the moderators
What you post is as important as where you post.
This site is dedicated to helping people play better. There are a lot of people here who do a lot of hard work to figure out how things work in game. There's nothing wrong with arguing against the common wisdom - that's how a lot of what is currently common wisdom came to be! However, if you are making an argument without any sort of evidence, math, or theory as to why something is wrong, you're just trolling.
Have respect for fellow members' viewpoints. Just because you don't agree with what someone has said is no reason to insult them. This goes equally for the ever-cliche if you do X, you're bad. Explain why it's a bad idea instead of the ad hominem attack.
This is a publicly accessible forum. If you feel you must swear, at least do not be excessive with it.
It should go without saying, but there is zero tolerance for racist, derogatory or hate speech here.
There is zero tolerance for obscenity and pornography here. You'll get an instant perma-ban.
There is zero tolerance for creepy messages, e-stalking and other such unwanted attention towards any member, male or female. You'll get an instant perma-ban.
Politics and religion are off limits here. This is a forum for discussing the realities of a fantasy world (such as that goes.) Please don't bring the real world into it.
Do not use excessive sarcasm. Yes, everyone is sarcastic to some extent. Please restrain yourself from being overly so in your posts. It doesn't translate well into text anyway.
Do not argue with moderation. If you don't understand why you got an infraction or your post was deleted, there's nothing wrong with asking why. Giving the moderators attitude is an easy way to a vacation. Calling the moderators names after being infractioned or otherwise moderated is a good way to get an IP ban so you can't even use this site anonymously.
This isn't a chatroom; all those abbreviations are unnecessary here. You aren't in a hurry. An attempt at decent spelling and grammar is appreciated by the majority of readers. This generally isn't going to be something you get called out on, but if your posts are incomprehensible because you couldn't be bothered to press a few extra keys... yeah.
It shouldn't have to be said, but when replying to a post, make sure you're on topic. That includes reading more than the first sentence before leaping to the reply button.
Simply, use your common sense and treat others as you would like to be treated.
No level of martyrdom is allowed whatsoever. Making a post and claiming "I'm going to get banned for this" is a quick way to get yourself banned regardless of your post. If your post is legitimate, you won't be scared of moderation, subtexting your post with any form of martyrdom will be swiftly met with a ban.
There are recurring themes that pop up and never do well:
Class comparisons rarely go anywhere but downhill and are almost certainly going to just get closed.
Look around before you post. Duplicate topics just make work for the moderators. There's a search bar at the top of the page.
Whining of any sort will be deleted. That's about all that needs to be said about that.
Everything in WoW is based on math. There are lots of people here who spend a lot of time doing math to reverse engineer the game's systems. Coming in and posting "I feel that <mathematically proven thing> is wrong!" is not going to go well. "Qualitative analysis" is rarely useful.
You'd think this doesn't need to be said, but then again this is the Internet I guess. Quote is a tool for precision sniping, not carpet bombing. Don't quote an entire post (especially Project Marmot posts with embedded movies - seriously, what were you thinking?) just to add your three lines of wisdom.
The font and colour settings are enabled on these forums to allow us to have nice touches like blue text when quoting Blizzard employees, to draw emphasis to news page elements, and to allow authors to nicely format their articles. These settings are not enabled so you can create huge bold underlined italicised bright pink rebuttals to people you disagree with. You don't need funny fonts or colour in your discussion posts.
The shoutbox is not an IRC channel; do not treat it as such. It follows all the same rules regarding content and conduct as any other discussion on TankSpot. Members who do not refrain from swearing, inappropriate links, or inappropriate discussion in the main channel will be aggressively banned.