Saturday, April 16, 2016

Message Board Etiquette And Other Online Essentials

As we await the draft I have once again had the annual posting issues that seem to fester on every forum/message board at least once a year. I find that even the most senior members of any given message board community tend to forget the basic rules of message boards everywhere, so today why not a review !

Tone and Courtesy in Writing

The "tone" is a very important part of electronic communication. When you read your message out loud, does it sound the way you would speak to another person in a room ?
  • Humor can be difficult to convey in text, so make sure everyone realizes when you are trying to be funny. It is easy for messages to be misinterpreted since there are no physical gestures or voice inflections that accompany the text.
  • Think through and re-read your comments before you post them.
  • Be nice. Refrain from inappropriate language and derogatory or personal attacks.
  • Make a personal commitment to learning about, understanding, and supporting your peers.
  • Assume the best of others in the community and expect the best from them.
  • Disagree with ideas, but avoid challenges that may be interpreted as a personal attack.
  • Be open to be challenged or confronted on your ideas or prejudices.
  • Challenge others with the intent of facilitating growth. Do not demean, harass or embarrass others.
  • Encourage others to develop and share their ideas
  • Don't Be A Troll: Trolls are users who find flame filled threads on a board and keep replying to them just to keep a board stirred up. This will get you banned quickly on most message boards. 
  • This kind of behavior is why so many forums have a list of posting rules and consequences for breaking them. Some may say this behavior is more prominent among immature teens, but that is in no way the case. Many of the worst offenders are adults who should know better. The veil of anonymity seems to bring out the worst in these people, and any bullying tendencies they have tend to become magnified in the semi-protection of an anonymous forum.
  • Do not use someone else’s thread for a private conversation. PM them
  • Write concisely and do not ramble on and on, make your point and move on.
  • Most of the rest of forum etiquette involves using the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. Behaving as a reasonable adult, even in the face of being flamed, is always the best course of action. If a poster becomes harassing, obscene or personal, do not retaliate. Instead, cut and paste the offensive post(s) into an pm or e-mail and quickly report it to the moderator or forum administrator.

            My last comment here is for those of you who love to hark on moderators and admin for being Nazi's. It's their job to keep topics and the community on track without the  above guidelines being broken. If you drift off course then delete your post and push away from the key board.. don't blame your bad day on the forum community or staff.

Many forum owners hold different standards for their community, read the terms of use and rules of the community before posting or ask the admin.

            Thanks for reading and have a great weekend !

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