Forum Etiquette

Acceptable Use Policy and General Information
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Forum Etiquette

Post by Pyrrho » Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:01 am

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with using message boards such as this one, and for those of you who are old hands at it, we provide here a set of suggestions for forum etiquette.


Never Forget that the Person on the Other Side is Human
Because your interaction with the network is through a computer it is easy to forget that there are people "out there." Situations arise where emotions erupt into a verbal free-for-all that can lead to hurt feelings.

Do not attack people if you cannot persuade them with your presentation of the facts. Screaming, cursing, and abusing others only serves to make people think less of you and less willing to help you when you need it.

If you are upset at something or someone, wait until you have had a chance to calm down and think about it. Hasty words create more problems than they solve. Try not to say anything to others you would not say to them in person in a room full of people.

Be Careful What You Say About Yourself and Others
Think twice before you post personal information about yourself or others. This is a public forum. Please respect people's privacy and protect your own by not posting private information.

Be Brief
Never say in ten words what you can say in fewer. Say it succinctly and it will have a greater impact. Remember that the longer you make your article, the fewer people will bother to read it.

Your Postings Reflect Upon You
If you can write, you can think; if you can think, you can think when you write. Take some time to make sure each posting is something that will not embarrass you later. Minimize your spelling errors and make sure that the article is easy to read and understand. Writing is an art and to do it well requires practice. Since much of how people judge you on the net is based on your writing, such time is well spent.

Use Descriptive Titles
The subject line of an article is there to enable a person with a limited amount of time to decide whether or not to read your article. Tell people what the article is about before they read it. Keep your titles short and to the point.

Be Careful with Humor and Sarcasm
Without the voice inflections and body language of personal communications, it is easy for a remark meant to be funny to be misinterpreted. Subtle humor tends to get lost, so take steps to make sure that people realize you are trying to be funny. Our gallery of "emoticons" can help you make this clear. No matter how broad the humor or satire, it is safer to remind people that you are being funny.

But also be aware that quite frequently satire is posted without any explicit indications. If an article outrages you strongly, ask yourself if it just may have been unmarked satire, or, ask the author to clarify their statements.

Only Post a Message Once
Avoid posting messages to more than one subforum unless you are sure it is appropriate.

Quote Selectively
It is common form to edit your posts to exclude those parts of another person's article that you are not addressing in your reply.

Edit Sparingly
It is considered impolite to edit a post in order to change the content long after it has been posted and replied to. Sometimes people do this in order to change the context of their original statements or to make it appear that they had said something completely different from their original statements. It never works. People always know, and it will reflect poorly upon your character.

Cite Appropriate References
If you are using facts to support a cause, state where they came from. Don't take someone else's ideas and use them as your own. You don't want someone pretending that your ideas are theirs; show them the same respect.

Mark Spoilers
When you post something (like a movie review that discusses a detail of the plot) which might spoil a surprise for other people, please mark your message with a warning so that they can skip the message. When you post a message with a spoiler in it make sure the word "spoiler" is part of the "Subject:" line.

Spelling Flames Considered Harmful
It is important to remember that we all make mistakes, and that there are many users who use English as a second language. There are also a number of people who suffer from dyslexia and who have difficulty noticing their spelling mistakes. If you feel that you must make a comment on the quality of a posting, please do so by PM, not on the public forum.

Posts or links that are "not safe for work"
If it is necessary for you to post content or link to content that could be considered "not safe for work", e.g. a discussion of scatological terms, or a link to a website that is likely to be blocked by censoring software, please insert the acronym "NSFW" at the head of your topic title or at the head of your post, as a courtesy to other users. For example:

NSFW A discussion of scatological terms



Using NSFW will let people know that if they read the text or click on the link, they are taking a risk, thus allowing them to make an informed decision. Please remember that "NSFW" does not mean users may link to obscene content or malicious computer code.

Adapted from "A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community" by Chuq Von Rospach. The original article is in the public domain.
Last edited by Pyrrho on Sun May 21, 2006 3:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Pyrrho » Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:38 pm

We suggest these conventions when posting to this forum:

Avoid long hyperlinks
Although our forum software has been modified to add scroll bars to your posts if you use long text strings that exceed the width of the screen, we do suggest that you use the "URL" bbcode to encapsulate your hyperlinks. For example:

Code: Select all

[url=]The Nexus[/url]

Will appear as:

The Nexus

Alternatively, many people use TinyURL* to reduce long hyperlinks. Thus, the link in our example, which is 83 characters long, is reduced at TinyURL to a 24-character link:

Posting in all capital letters is the Internet equivalent of SHOUTING and is considered to be quite rude.

Post using type that is readable
Posting in extremely small type is almost as rude as shouting. Using text in hard-to-read colors won't gain you any friends, either.

Images should be reasonably sized
We suggest that you restrict the width of any images you include in your posts to 600 pixels. Our forum software has been modified to automatically resize images that are wider than the forum layout, but this is dependent upon Javascript, and not all browsers will have Javascript enabled. Please respect the needs of other users and keep images to 600 pixels wide or less. If you must refer to very large images, please post a link to the image instead of embedding the image in your post.

Note: the posting of images is disabled. Also, the "resizing" modification has been removed because it caused problems with the display of posted messages. - 5-15-05

*Please note that this is not an endorsement of the TinyURL service. If you use TinyURL, you do so at your own risk.
Last edited by Pyrrho on Sun May 15, 2005 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Pyrrho » Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:07 am

People often use these and other acronyms on message boards.

Code: Select all

AAMOF      As a matter of fact 
AFAIK      As Far as I Know 
AFK        Away From Keyboard
AKA        Also Known As
ASAP       As Soon As Possible 
ATM        At the moment 
BRB        Be Right Back
BTDT       Been There, Done That 
BTW        By the way 
DIY        Do it yourself 
EOD        End of Discussion 
FAQ        Frequently Asked Questions
FWIW       For What It's Worth 
FYI        For Your Information
GIGO       Garbage In, Garbage Out

IMHO       In My Humble Opinion 
IMLTHO     In My Less Than Humble Opinion
IMO        In My Opinion
IOW        In other words
IIRC       If I remember correctly
IRL        In Real Life 
JK or J/K  Just Kidding
LMAO       Laughing my arse off 
LOL        Laughing Out Loud

MYOB       Mind Your Own Business 
NM         Never Mind
NP         No problem
OIC        Oh, I See 
OMG        Oh my god.
OT         Off Topic
OTOH       On The Other Hand
OTT        Over The Top
POV        Point of View
ROFL       Rolling on Floor Laughing
WB         Welcome Back
WTG        Way To Go
WYSIWYG    What You See Is What You Get