Frequently Asked Questions.
What is a forum?
It's an online discussion site where members can have conversations by posting messages. Forums work a little like Facebook, but there is significantly more structure, and you don't lose your posts or your friends to an algorithm.
How does it work?
Forums are laid out in a hierarchical structure to make them easy to navigate and interact with the subjects you are interested in.
DD in particular is arranged into subforums - sections which focus on specific topics. Within each subforum, every conversation is contained within a thread - all replies to a post make up the whole thread.
Users are able to browse, search, post, reply, and react to other people's posts. Once you get the hang of it, it's a very useful way to keep information useful long after it has been shared.
Is this the fucking dark ages?
If by that you mean "Crikey, haven't forums been around since the internet was just a little baby?" then, yes, pretty much. But we think you'll find that they're also much more useful than algorithm-dominated platforms which can strip your whole network away from you on the whim of whichever billionaire is having a tantrum today.
How do I register for DD?
Click here, fill out your details, and you are registered!
You will then receive a notification linking to your very own welcome thread which will detail how to subscribe and gain access to the entire forum.
How do I pay for my membership?
Once you are registered, you will be alerted to your own welcome thread which will explain how to pay for your membership.
Alternatively, if you have already registered, you can click here.
Memberships are subscriptions that you can cancel at any time through your PayPal dashboard.
Why isn't it free?
Dedicated web hosting is surprisingly expensive. We pay for our forum software, many add-ons and plug-ins for it, our SSL certificates, tech support, and a variety of other ephemera.
Okay, but what's it like?
DD is a mix of professional and irreverent. We have a culture of allowing conversations to wander as they will (or: go drastically off-topic at the drop of a hat). For the most part, our membership is politically left-leaning, though we also have members who identify as conservative.
We are, without a doubt, the most diverse online community for authors in the anglophone world. We do our utmost to provide and maintain a safe place for authors, and do not tolerate bigotry or hate speech.
We swear a fair amount, have frank discussions about sex, talk about everything from how best to kill a character and have it look like natural causes to whether or not conservation of heat is a solvable problem for interstellar travel. We may include NSFW pictures in threads at the drop of a hat, so it's probably best not to browse DD while at a day job.
DD was originally formed by and for erotica and erotic romance authors, and while our scope has broadened, we aren't interested in sweeping smut under the rug.
Is there heavy moderation?
In short, no. We don't edit your posts, we don't lock or delete threads (unless things get really out of hand, but that happens less than once a year, at most), and we don't ban users without extensive attempts to resolve problems before things get that far.
At the absolute worst, we will remove a post from public view until the poster can fix a problem with it (such as, for example, accidentally using a word which is considered a slur in another culture and the OP didn't know). More often if things are getting heated we'll step in and suggest that everyone take a breather.
Ultimately our goal is to foster an environment where members are able to talk shop and improve their writing, their knowledge, and their careers.
How are disputes handled?
If a situation is happening in a public thread, usually our members are good at reminding themselves to go take a breather if things are getting heated, but if tensions are running high it's not uncommon for a member of staff to ask everyone to be kind to one-another and themselves. Usually this is all it takes to help avoid turning a molehill into a mountain.
If there is a more direct problem between two users, staff might opt to discuss it individually with the users involved, and help find ways they can either coexist or at the very least stop rubbing each other up the wrong way. Some people just give each other the pricklies, and it's okay to accept that there's someone you're not going to get along well with and move on.
All in all we prefer our touch to be light, but our ultimate goal is the safety of our members.
Why are there rules?
We, like all communities, have some rules which users are required to abide by if they wish to remain a part of the community. The goal of those rules is to protect the safety and wellbeing of our members.
What are the rules?
Our rules are covered in-depth once you have registered - you can read them without paying for membership.
Rules of particular note include:
- Participation is required. Lurkers are regularly pruned. There are plenty of opportunities to interact without any previous author experience, and gifs of Jeff Goldblum are always welcome.
- Crab Mentality is unwelcome. We are here to uplift, not to tear down. If you are a tear-down kind of person, we're not the place for you.
- Remain civil. Disagreements are fine. Name-calling and mud-slinging are not. You're adults.
Our bannable offences are:
- Plagiarism, fraud, bigotry, doxxing, sharing illegal content, consistent bad-faith behaviour, attempting to use DD like it's Upwork, and attempting to skirt a previous ban.
What happens when rules get broken?
Our first port of call is to talk to the person who did it, let them know which post and rule, and issue the warning point(s) accordingly while also reminding them that although the name "warning point" can sound scary, it's really just a reminder of our boundaries.
If we have to ban someone, it does not come out of the blue. Staff discuss the issue in depth, we attempt to help the member in question back down from whatever cliff they're trying to leap off, and only if we can't make it work do we part ways with them.
In very rare cases where we find evidence that the member has done something unconscionable (plagiarism, fraud, etc), we will ban without further attempt to resolve the situation.
Should we resort to banning a user, it is permanent. Bans do not expire. We have found that people don't change after they've shown you who they are, so we believe them the first time.
Would you like to know more?
Become a DD member and gain instant access to expert advice, a supportive community, and evidence that we can quote something other than Starship Troopers*, all for only $10/month.
*We're really good at The Princess Bride!