Last year the tone of this post was very different as I aimed to give the site a spark and encourage heightened community activity. I didn't expect the brilliant response that came from that, and I'm still in awe at the vibrancy of the comment threads last season, win or lose. So now the job is easier, as there's a strong community to work with heading into the new season (yes, it's finally upon us).
As you may have noticed, the writing staff here at the Asylum has grown significantly in recent months. We've always emphasized quality here, but for the site to progress forward it was imperative that we added writing depth in order to provide more frequent content and contrasting viewpoints. There may be some growing pains as everyone gets settled into their respective roles, but the new writers here are extremely talented and eager to play a part in making this site as good as it can be. We did sadly lose resident tactician Matt as he took a job that actually pays, teaching us that you can be a brilliant sports writer and not be bound to your parent's basement. He'll be missed, but he said he'd stop by occasionally and Andrew, our newest writer, is just as capable at filling your weekly need for tactical analysis.
Okay, now for the boring part: a community guidelines reminder. Luckily we don't have many rules here as you're allowed to curse and pants are optional. But keep in mind that people use this place as a safe haven for talking about Liverpool without the usual grossness and vitriol that often characterizes the rest of the Internet. So no personal attacks (we're all on the same side here) and absolutely no jokes making fun of any gender, race, or sexual orientation. Jokes about Mancs and Evertonians are encouraged, and the same applies to cracks about Sam Allardyce, the nomadic buffoons such as Joey Barton who never seem to go away, and every referee Liverpool encounter. If there's ever an issue with a comment violating a community guideline (which is rare around here), rather than responding and inflaming the issue, just flag it for a moderator to deal with.
If you're a newcomer or a lurker, feel free to step out of the shadows and interact with the community here as the season gets underway. Participating in game threads is the best way to get into the thick of things, although it's just one of many opportunities. Threads are put up thirty minutes before every kick off and are a great place to discuss games as they unfold.
As a reminder to those who are already active in the community, it's important to remain welcoming to newcomers as the site continues to grow. There's always room for additional Reds here, and so you should aim to include people in conversation when possible and be friendly, because we've all been that shy first time commenter before. To make someone "walk alone" because they haven't been here as long as you have would go against what it means to be a Liverpool fan.
Lastly, when replying to a comment make sure to hit "reply" rather than starting a new conversational thread. It makes things much easier to follow.
I'm really forward to the upcoming season, both at Anfield and on this forum. We'll be doing our best to cover Liverpool with the best analysis that we can and hopefully you'll be here with us every step of the way.