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HansaPlease

Forum Etiquette

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HansaPlease

Just a few tips and pointers to help people who are new to Community Forums…. I’ll add more if I think of them… feel free to add your own…

Newcomers and Welcomes

It’s polite to introduce yourself in the “welcome area” if there is one. You don’t need to give too much information, just a hello and what brings you to the site will do. It’s also good practice for existing members to welcome new members. This creates a good impression of the site from the start and makes new members want to return. There’s nothing like being ignored to make a new member never come back again…

Shouting

Posting entire sentences in CAPITAL LETTERS is considered shouting and that’s rude.

Expressiveness

Remember that how it sounds in your head may not read the same way on the forum. When you type, you don’t have the advantage of a cheeky smile, eye contact, tone of voice – all you have to express yourself are words and smileys (emoticons). Use these carefully. Also remember this when reading somebody else’s post – they may not mean what you first thought… go back and read it again…

Take a Breath

If a post has made you angry and you’re about to hit the reply button, take a breath and think about it. Is your post going to be something you’ll regret saying later? Will it tarnish your image on the forum? Will it get you banned? Will it make the matter worse? Sometimes, stepping away with a clever, well thought out comment feels and looks so much better than jumping in with “fists” swinging…

Beware of the Troll

Just as in any community, there are bad apples, and the anonymous nature of the internet means that people are able to cause trouble, inflame, insult, and generally upset the apple cart with little or no consequences. These “people” are called Trolls. Believe it or not there are people who move from Forum to Forum with the sole intention of causing trouble. This has lead to the closure of many forums and the break-up of many internet communities. Trolls feed on reactions – getting a rise is their staple diet. Getting rid of trolls is a simple concept, but very hard to apply - Do not reply to them, do not react to them and do not give them the satisfaction of seeing you get upset. When trolls get bored, they move on.

Privacy

Remember, most forums are public, and any information is usually accessible by anyone. You wouldn’t give your name and number to a convicted criminal whom you met on the street – that criminal could be a forum member and you wouldn’t know it… Think about this– you post your address one day and forget about it. A few weeks later you rub a troll up the wrong way or have a disagreement with somebody, they’re not of sound mind, they’re angry with you and now they have your address…

Hi-Jacking

When somebody posts a topic and you post something that does not relate to that topic, that’s Hi-Jacking. Also, when you start having an off topic conversation with another user, that’s also Hi-jacking. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable, and different forums have different tolerance levels for Hi-jacking so it would be advisable to check the forum rules and follow the example set by others.

Advertising and Spam

Advertising your services/website/company without checking it with admin first is almost always frowned upon. If your first post on a forum is a post promoting your company/website/services, chances are, you’ll have your posts and account deleted. Some sites have a minimum post count to access certain features, and posting rubbish to reach this goal is also a no-no, and these posts will probably be deleted. If you’re unsure of whether or not you can promote your business – check with the Administrator or owner…

Your local friendly Administrator

Bear in mind that most community forums are free to join. The owners / administrators forum leaders, moderators etc have put in a lot of their spare time and money into developing the site and making it a great place for people to interact – usually totally off their own backs. An internet community takes hundreds of hours to set up and the moderators or forum leaders usually do not get paid. Treat their forum as you would treat a friend’s house when visiting – with respect.

:ilikeit:

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17 answers to this question

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Nilo

Hi HP

Thank you so much for keeping your word. I am sure this would help a lot of us new???? or then not so new but still a bit stupid Forumites.

Nilo

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Blossom

These guidelines are just what we need. I hope that it will be the norm in future posts.

Thanks.

Betsy

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Dax

Thanks HansaPlease! :ilikeit:

It might be a good idea to ask the moderators to Make this post a "sticky", for quick and easy reference in the future.

Dax

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Blossom

And if you don't like/agree with a post or topic feel free to reply via another post. Do not jump on the pm wagon and insult the other person in private. If you don't agree with someone or some topic you can debate it civilly or just ignore it.

We all have different personalities here, bear with it. :ilikeit:

Thanks,

Betsy

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Nilo

Dax, what is a sticky??

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Cindylou

Just a quick point here, we (the hosts) don't read every thread and every response on each thread, so we don't always pick up on racism (or other bigotry) or offensive posts. If you feel that someone has breached the rules on the forum please use the "Report" option at the bottom of each post. This then alerts the host team to the fact that you have taken offense at someone's post and we can investigate and take appropriate action.

Betsy, I believe that the PM function is a useful tool for sorting out private differences, I don't feel that using "new topics" for discussions which should remain private is always appropriate!

As always, due to the vast number of people on a public forum such as this there will be differences of opinion - forum etiquette: respect each other and the rules of the forum!

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Suidwes

What if the PM is really insulting and uncalled for ( in the receivers opion) . Should the receiver then contact one of the hosts?

Sw

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Dax
Dax, what is a sticky??

It's one of those Thread topics that always stays "on top" of a sub-forum, and does not Move down the page when it's not accessed or used.

Sticky topics usually contains important information that members/users need to acces regularly, e.g. Coffee Club Threads etc.

I almost forgot, on the saaustralia forums "Stickies" are actually referred to as "Pinned".

Off Topic:

Sorry Mods! I did not mean to confuse you guys - sometimes my brains feels much greyer than my hair!

Cheers, :ilikeit:

Dax

Edited by Dax

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Barnone

Great topic Hansaplease (probably very overdue :ilikeit: )

For those of us that post on several fora ( I have always is that the correct plural form of 'forum' ?) I notice that whilst each forum has its own rules & regulations each also seems to take on its own 'unwritten rules' of what generally acceptable or not ...

What if the PM is really insulting and uncalled for ( in the receivers opion) . Should the receiver then contact one of the hosts?

Sw

Absolutely yes or threatning etc etc

Here is some more on Forum Ettiquette from wikipedia (edited to avoid repetition) the original article can be seen here

Forum etiquette

Certain rules of unspoken etiquette are recommended to be followed when using Internet forums. They include:

One should read all the rules and guidelines established by the community. Some communities may have different regulations on a particular subject.

One should always be courteous to other forum members.

Before creating a new topic thread, one is advised to search to see if a similar topic already exists.

Contributors should follow standard grammar and spelling rules and avoid slang. Leetspeak is sometimes accepted.

If the forum is categorized, one should strive to post in the correct section.

When making a technical inquiry, one should include as much technical information as possible, especially in the subject line.

Contributors are asked to stay on-topic.

Contributors should avoid double posting and Crossposting.

To avoid appearing self-absorbed, one should respond to topics started by others more often than starting topics of one's own.

One is advised not to resurrect a very old topic if nothing significant will be added. This practice is known as revival, bumping or Necroing.

One should try to refrain from lashing back at a poorly behaving member or participating in a flame war; instead, notify the messageboard's staff of the event.

When quoting a previous post, one should only include the relevant portion of that post. Contributors are requested to keep in mind that their audience can likely still see the message they are quoting on the same screen and can read it again if need be.

Signatures on forums should generally have a maximum height of 100 pixels, as to not cause clutter.

Edited by Barnone

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Ajay

Hi all,

Great post HP - thanks for taking the time to put this down. I've pinned the topic as well as I think that everyone will benefit from running over the details from time to time.

On PM's, my opinion is that they are a great tool to sort out conflict away from the public eye and I've used them in that manner in the past. However, using a PM simply as a means to attack another member is much the same as sending abusive email and just as unacceptable. if you are being pestered by somebody via PM, feel free to bring it to the attention of one of the hosts. However, the best tool in instances like this is simply to block the person from sending you a PM - this functionality is available, simple and effective, so consider that option if you are really being harrassed by someone.

Thanks again HP, and also Barnone for the further explanations

Cheers

Ajay

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HansaPlease

No problem at all, thanks for pinning it Ajay. :(

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Jongman

Hi all

I believe that when a person says something nasty and unkind, that they deserve the same treatment tenfolds. I know that an eye for an eye doesn't make the world go round, but when someone is insulted to such a degree that they cry, I feel that they deserve to be badmouthed.

I stand up for what I believe in and in my opinion no-one deserves to be belittled or humiliated. I also believe that if you can belittle someone, why cant someone belittle you?

Fred

Edited by Fred

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Hendie

... because that would just result in a downward spiral of insults and accusations Fred. Also, the person perpetuating the "fight" might find themselves unwelcome to the forum as a result. I am sure this is not what you have in mind. :(

PS. I also moved the thread to the Forum Help sub-forum.

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Barnone

If you post something which is copied from another site at the very least refer to the source site, but better still get permission to use the material or just post a link to the page. Copyright infringement issues exist on the web even though they are not always adhered to or policed.

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SusterAnna

Hi, I have just posted a reply and when I looked at it again to check it, it had a "warning status". Does that mean I did something wrong? The last thing I want to do is offend anyone.

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Jordy

Please see this thread for your answer

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Tilla

Great topic Hansaplease (probably very overdue :whome: )

For those of us that post on several fora ( I have always is that the correct plural form of 'forum' ?)

"Fora and Flauna" ... :lol: ... sorry, I couldn't resist!

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