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Old FAQ

Riotact was established in November 2000 with the purpose of setting up a slashlike (see Slashdot.org) open journalism project focussed primarily on the Australian Capital Territory and it’s inhabitants. RiotACT Pty Ltd came into being on 1 February 2007 to take this entity on to greater heights.

Anyone can comment on anything written here.

Anyone can submit an article to be published here.

We promise that whether we choose to publish your work is related to the quality of the piece and its relevance to the goings on of this city in which we live.

While the majority of items on RiotACT may simply be discussion of news events we do write and publish original works and are always appreciative of such works by Canberrans or about Canberra.

If anyone is having trouble with formatting of HTML for article submission please mail me ( johnboy@the-riotact.com ) and I’ll be happy to give you some pointers.

And now for some real questions:

Q. Why is so much of what’s here written by Johnboy?
A. Well really it’s not. It just depends how active everyone else has been.

Q. OK, so I submitted a story, why can’t I see it on the site?
A. Two things may have happened, first is you have to wait until the duty editor has looked at your story, fiddled with the format and title and decided to run with it. Maybe the duty editor (usually Johnboy) isn’t at his desk, maybe he’s gone home for the day, maybe he wants to post some less important pieces first to put yours at the top of the page, be patient. On the other hand it’s possible that what you’ve submitted isn’t right for publication in this time and place. Usually this is because it’s talking about something that’s ‘out of focus’, i.e. There’s no Canberra angle on the story. We’ve had great submissions on topics as varied as G8 meetings to drug busts at Sydney raves, great stories, just out of focus.

Q. You said something really horrible about me! What can I do about it?
A. You can email us a reply to what has been said, we will run it with equal prominence to the original story. Or you can email us ( root@the-riotact.com ) and ask us to amend it, or take it down and explain why we should. If you make a cogent argument we might agree. Be warned however that we do not respond well to frivolous legal threats and will quite likely publish them.

Q. Where’d my comment go?
A. Very rarely, at the posters request, we’ll delete a duplicate comment. A little more often someone will really give us the gears with personally offensive (and usually innacurate) comment which we might choose to moderate away. We don’t moderate down simply because we disagree with what’s said, it has to be offensive as well as contributing nothing to the story in question. Some special people have consistently pissed us off and are marked more harshly. It may be unfair but that’s the way it is. We pay the bills. Also in recent times some automated language filtering has been implemented. Computer says no.

Q. Why do you run so many stories on Topic X? I’m only interested in Topic Y…
A. While we could devote ourselves entirely to members of local music combo’s who only search for their own names (we know who you are), we prefer to try and cater to a wider potential audience. It really doesn’t take long to scan past the stuff you aren’t interested in, and, if necessary, search by topic to just get what you want. But why be so narrow? Broaden your mind and form opinions on issues beyond your immediate experience.

Q. Why don’t you have more stories on Topic Z?
A. Possibly because while we can cover a fair breadth of human endeavour, we know a lot more about, say the Brumbies, than we do about model railroads, or local performance art, that’s where you come in. Submit some events and stories and we’ll run them.

Q. Why don’t you have a topic covering what I’m interested in?
A. Probably because we didn’t know about it. If we start getting a slew of stories on something the existing topics don’t cover adequately then we can always add another one, we’re flexible that way.

Q. Who the hell is this Johnboy?
A. 34, has a girlfriend, no kids, non-smoker, heavy drinker. Want to know more? Ask me.
johnboy@the-riotact.com

Q. But he’s a stooge/lackey of the Liberals/Labor/random_whatever’s right?
A. Not consciously, he dislikes many thing about most parties. That I consider socialism to be a great crime against humanity probably tilts me away from Labor, but I don’t much like what I see of the Liberals either. I’ve never been a member of either party. I don’t work for any government in my day job. At the last Federal election I voted 1 for the Socialist Democrats, but only to encourage them. I don’t believe in voting for parties, I believe in voting for people.

Q. You comment on Political Stuff – You need to be Authorised to do this [actually, seriously, asked twice by different people].
A. Repeat after me: YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE AUTHORISED TO COMMENT ON ELECTIONS UNLESS YOU ARE COMMENTING ON BEHALF OF A POLITICAL PARTY. Now write that down for me 100 times. If Australians DID need to be “authorised” to comment on elections Australia WOULD NOT BE A DEMOCRACY. Now go back to high school and pay attention this time.

Q. But what you said is just your opinion!
A. Yes, it’s just my opinion. The only thing that makes it better than yours is that I bothered to publish mine. Because we’re nice guys we make it extra easy for you and even go to the trouble of publishing your opinions if you can be bothered to write them.

Q. What’s with the taglines?
A. The most common one is a bastardisation of something Winston Churchill once said: “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”. I’ve also heard it reported that Churchill’s last words to Roosevelt were along the lines of “History will be kind to you my friend, because I will write it. It was also inspired by the quote (which I can’t source right now) along the lines of “History is made by the people who show up”. Simply a lot of things in our community go unrecorded, if you take the time to leave your account here then in future years your perspective becomes the only record. That’s a very powerful thing.

Since that first tagline we now have a floating array of things said here in the comments or about us in the media.

Q. Where can I find the naughty nurses and the naked horses?
A. Ahhh, a search engine brought you here? Despite what certain people say we’re not that sort of site. The nurses of Canberra may well be naughty but I’m yet to see the website dedicated to them. Naked horses? What other sort are there you freak?

Have fun and enjoy!

John “Johnboy” Griffiths – RiotACT Editor

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