Sign in to follow this  
Cathy K

Forum Etiquette.

Recommended Posts

Cathy K

I copied this very valuable posting of HansaPlease from The Australian Forum. Perhaps it should be pinned here as well!

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Adele

Excellent cathy. Not sure where we would pin it, but I am sure when Harry or Hendie gets back we could do that. Maybe for now I could do it under 'General' forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pretor

Spot on Cathy. One of the forums (Professional Pilots Rumour Network) that I belong to also add the following as a warning to its members:

"As these are anonymous forums the origins of the contributions may be opposite to what may be apparent. In fact the press may use it, or the unscrupulous, to elicit certain reactions".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

The 'trolls' are horrible.

I just deactivated my Facebook account as someone joined my friends' list under the name Isadora Duncan.

When a Google was done on the name, it turned out this woman died many years ago in San Francisco.

The person who pretended to be a friend wanting to join my friends' network, had the audacity to use the photo of this dead woman.

I was so disgusted, I just terminated my account and don't know that I'd want to go back again.

That people have the time to play such childish games boggles my mind.

I remember years ago, with the old, former sa-usa, that an immigration officer from the old INS joined with the sole purpose of 'sniffiing out' potential illegals or people out of status. Didn't take some members long to discover his true identity and he was confronted. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cathy K

"I just deactivated my Facebook account as someone joined my friends' list under the name Isadora Duncan."

She was quite a famous dancer who was strangled to death by her scarf, if I remember correctly. Something to do with a car accident; the scarf got tangled in the car's open spokes.

We decided to terminate our membership of My Space for roughly the same reason. A few very persistent ladies wanted to be Pierre's "friend" and he became increasingly uncomfortable.

But I'm breaking rule no 7 over here! :D

I thought these tips by HansaPlease were very timely, especially when I realised how often I was a culprit.

Cathy K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heinrich

This same "troll" thing made me do some serious readjustments to my profile on this forum as well as to my Facebook this afternoon. However, through the years my own name has brought me into contact with people that know family of mine. Seldom has it been bad at all. Once, I actually got in touch with family members for the first time in years.

Only once, about a year ago there was a nasty experience that was fortunately warded off.

I agree that this in part a transgression of the hijack rule. But this is truly "sometimes unavoidable", as the rule about hijacking puts it.

Thanks Cathy, for posting this thread on Forum Etiquette. I agree that it should be pinned as soon as possible. So often we don't read the "End User License Agreements" (EULA), and one can run into trouble that is caused by no-one other than oneself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dieulefit

Ingrid, now you are saying something... daar's hoeka 'n paar mense op die Forum oor wie ek wonner of hulle 'for real' is :D . Good suggestion, Cathy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heinrich

Let's be wary of the dangers and just not become paranoid about these things. Balance is key here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dieulefit
This same "troll" thing made me do some serious readjustments to my profile on this forum as well as to my Facebook this afternoon. However, through the years my own name has brought me into contact with people that know family of mine. Seldom has it been bad at all. Once, I actually got in touch with family members for the first time in years.

Only once, about a year ago there was a nasty experience that was fortunately warded off.

I agree that this in part a transgression of the hijack rule. But this is truly "sometimes unavoidable", as the rule about hijacking puts it.

Thanks Cathy, for posting this thread on Forum Etiquette. I agree that it should be pinned as soon as possible. So often we don't read the "End User License Agreements" (EULA), and one can run into trouble that is caused by no-one other than oneself.

Ag skies Heinrich, you almost DID get into trouble with me :D;):( when I took on that you were your cousin and since made me feel very bad as I know we should in any case not hold a grudge against the one who has hurt us, right ;) . And then, if I did not talk to you and get to know who you really are, I would not have known what a descent and absolutely nice person you are ;) . So, a good, positive end to the story, right. Agree though, one do not know what is out there about yourself and who might take advantage of your information that might hurt you in the end instead.

Let's be wary of the dangers and just not become paranoid about these things. Balance is key here.

Heinrich, jy is so slim man, jy moes 'n tweeling gewees het ;) . Dis egter waar wat jy se. Mens wil nie aanmekaar oor jou skouer kyk nie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pretor
... daar's hoeka 'n paar mense op die Forum oor wie ek wonner of hulle 'for real' is

Unfortunately there is absolutely no way, on this type of forum, that you can ever really answer that question. Whether they put all their details in their profiles or not, that's no guarantee because the unscrupulous can easily fabricate information that, superficially, appears legitimate. The safest is to evaluate what they post and, fortunately, there is the "Ignore user" facility. I, for one, will never put my full pedigree down in the profile section of a public forum. To my mind, that kind of information is priviledged and only available when a certain amount of trust has been established with somebody.

Perhaps the other issue that we can all work on is the rules of engaging in debate with other users, especially when contentious issues are being discussed (quite frequently when SA is the topic). For a start, I would like to propose the following:

1. Stick to the facts and avoid sweeping generalizations. It is very easy to allow personal opinion that is without factual basis to cloud ones view of the world.

2. Remember, you can never prove anything, you can only provide support for an argument. On the other hand, it is very easy to disprove any argument/hypothesis simply by providing one example of an exception.

3. Avoid name calling. Treat others with respect. Attack, with well thought out, factual arguments their arguments if you disagree with them. Play the ball, not the man (or woman to be PC).

4. Be willing to accept criticism and/or counter-arguments.

5. Be tolerant of the views of others. They may have a very different background from yourself.

6. Admit when you are wrong.

7. Apologise if you were discourteous.

8. Don't make any statement that you won't be willing to defend in public.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Pretor, agree 100% with your post. There are far too many unscrupulous people out there and if you divulge too much personal information on a public domain you are looking for trouble.

The majority of US on this forum in the heat of debate (as you mentioned controversial issues such as South Africa) have transgressed all or a few of the debating guidelines you propose. It may be an idea for the forum fathers to include your proposal in SACanada Websites Usage Terms.

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorcerer

This is very good indeed. I agree that posting ones personal details on a forum is quite dangerous.

I might be a bit paranoid about this, and it has cost me at times. But I gladly take that abuse.

Having been a moderator on another forum, I can tell you it's very difficult to make calls at times when a Hi-Jack of a thread is occurring. I mean, the posters my be a bit off topic, but the topic they're engaged in is related to a certain extend. That makes the life of a moderator all but fun.

I do think we should all, including me, keep our emotions out of debates.

Very good guidelines these. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alwyn

Hi Cathy,

I think the lady you referred to that died in that accident was Grace Kelly. Unless 2 people died in that same interesting manner...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cathy K

Nee Alwyn, my feite is heeltemal korrek. Ek is daarvan bewus dat Grace Kelly ook in 'n motorongeluk omgekom het, maar in haar geval is sy nie verwurg toe haar serp in die speke van haar outydse motor beland het nie. Isadora Duncan het in 1927 gesterf.

Isadora Duncan was a famous dancer, Grace Kelly was an actress. Ms Kelly had a stroke while driving her car and died in the subsequent accident.

Onthou reël 7 van Forum etiket. :D

Cathy K.

Edited by Die Kotzé's

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
boeg

Two other interrelated points:

1. Cut and pasting barely relevant posts from other threads leads to duplication and exasperation (this is probably part of hi-jacking);

2. When you want to reply to someone else's post, it is not always necessary to quote that person's whole post. Perhaps just select the particular sentence or paragraph that you want to refer to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moedeloos

I've just changed my whole profile now. Deleted most of the info !!! Just thought you all should know !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Toni

Think I was guilty of (unintentional) hijacking. Apologies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MaryJane

Been reading up and thought it might be a good idea to bump this up. All original points above are definitely still valid.

Some suggested additions:

  1. If you find any future posts offensive or violating the SACanada usage terms, but do not want to out yourself to the general public, please use the "Report" button under the comment or rather PM a host/admin. This ensures that the post is brought to the host team’s attention and dealt with if so required.
  2. This of course does not mean that you can’t post or comment if you have a differing opinion. The forum strives to create an atmosphere where everyone can have a say (whether the same or not or in between) because this allows us all to gain other ideas and perspectives. Do make sure though that if you engage in debate, to keep it healthy and constructive. At times, it can be hard, but be civil. See pretor’s guidelines on debate engagement above.
  3. Please respect the host team. Hosts are tasked with the responsibility of keeping the peace, maintaining order and ensuring that the forum remains constructive for the majority. Generally, peaceful solutions will be sought for issues but hosts are only human. There will be times when some decisions made will not please everyone.

Other than those, here’s wishing everyone a happy 2016 at SACanada!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Great that you've highlighted this again MJ. We've been lucky with our SACanada folk, not too many transgressions in recent years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hennie Calgary

I've just changed my whole profile now. Deleted most of the info !!! Just thought you all should know !

Hahaha, Moedeloos, the "Ellisras" is still a giveaway! Nowhere to hide once you leave the Bushveld ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MaryJane

Hi forumites, newbies and oldies....

Please be mindful about sending the same messages on the forums. Try and avoid copying and pasting the same message across several threads so that you don't get flagged as a spammer.

Thank you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hennie Calgary
On 2008-02-23 at 1:20 AM, boeg said:

2. When you want to reply to someone else's post, it is not always necessary to quote that person's whole post. Perhaps just select the particular sentence or paragraph that you want to refer to.

I'd also ask to reinforce this one. Note that you can "quote", and then edit the text inside the quote box to only show the sentence you wish to highlight. No need to duplicate the complete post each time as the discussion goes back and forth and sideways!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this