Forum Etiquette and the need for it

DosDawg posted 2nd of January 2010 in Community Voice. 9 comments.

How to Be a Good Forum Participant: A Guide to Web Forum Netiquette

Good internet etiquette -- also known as "netiquette" -- will help keep forums free of conflict, arguments and other pettiness that can drive internet users away from reading or posting on the forum.

Consider the following internet forum guidelines for etiquette.

  • Avoid typing in all caps or all bold, as this is the equivalent to yelling on an internet forum.
  • Avoid posting extremely long forum posts on a regular basis.
  • Read all of the posts in the thread before posting on the internet forum. This will help forum participants avoid repeating points that have already been discussed in depth.
  • Do not "hijack" forum threads. Stay on topic and avoid directing the thread away from the current line of conversation, particularly if the original poster is seeking an answer to a question. If you'd like to discuss a different issue or problem, it's best to start a new thread on the forum.
  • Avoid derogatory remarks about fellow forum participants; if a forum participant has a problem that they'd like to address with another individual, it's best to discuss the issue off-forum rather than in a more public forum setting.
  • When posting on a professional forum, like a forum for writers of a website, it's best to avoid derogatory remarks about the website, website staff, etc. Remember, there's a fine line between constructive and non-constructive criticism in many cases, and those lines can be blurred on the web due to the absence of indicators like tone of voice, facial expressions, etc.
  • Remember your audience. Who's reading the web forum? It's important to keep this in mind when making forum posts, as some forum discussions may be inappropriate depending on the forum audience.
  • Use emoticons and other symbols to indicate tone. When posting on an internet forum, there is an absence of indicators that help one to decipher tone and the forum poster's intention. In the absence of valuable voice tone, body language, facial expressions and other social cues, emoticons and symbols (smiley face, or "*smile*") can help make tone and intention clear to other forum participants.

More Tips to Avoid Conflict on Web Forums and to Maintain Good Netiquette

For web writers and other virtual employees/contractors, it's important to view the website's forum as a workplace and to keep proper office etiquette in mind. Making a post on a forum is like standing atop a desk one's office and making an announcement to fellow employees, supervisors/management and the company owners.

When considering whether a comment or remark is appropriate for a forum, it can be helpful to ask oneself, "Is this something I would say standing atop my desk, with my boss, co-workers, customers and company owner looking on?"

In a professional forum setting, it's also best to limit forum posts of a personal nature, whereas on other forums, personal remarks may be invited and welcome.

In the end, good forum etiquette will vary depending on the type of forum and purpose of the forum. By following the forum guidelines and basic forum and web etiquette, forum participants can enjoy effective and enjoyable exchanges on an internet forum.

The forums are getting absurdly difficult to deal with. The fact that Dolphin has been released there are a new influx of users on the forum. we are getting thread topics such as 2 questions , search options, and all kinds of non-descriptives, and these users have no idea that there is something wrong with doing that.

I have constant battles with people who ask incomplete sentences in real life, and much more difficult is it to deal with on the internet.

if you have 2 questions, use one of those questions in a descriptive format for your thread title. if you are looking for customization help, ask descriptively how to customize search options. if your RMS dont work, search the forums, im sure you will find 1001million others that have posted the exact same thing. CRON jobs not working search the forums. videos not upload, search the forums.

the questions that have been asked over a four day period i bet you can count on one hand the actual different subject lines and of those few rare questions that were asked that could be answered they were answered promptly.

there are others using this forum for a server support arena. if you have issues with your server setup and configuration, submit a ticket to your hosting service provider.

i am not posting any of this to be mean or hateful or to put off any of the newcomers. this needs to be iterated and understood. that there are rules and netiquette that needs to be followed across the internet in order to maintain some civilization about the whole entity.

suppose i call you on the phone and i say, this house, would you understand exactly which house i was speaking of, no, and then if we used three-way calling and called some other random number from the phone book, and as the person answered, we would both say 'this house'. would this next person know just from those simplistic words, exactly what we were needing?

no, so how is it that you can post on a forum words such as 2 questions, or search options? and truly expect to get the answer you are looking for.

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Is this a hint to me? Now I do try to follow these rules, at least until I start typing I try to follow them. But dang it, I keep getting reminded of Susie & bleachers and mini-skirts and... What what I talking about again?

Oh yeah... I forget now. Maybe it'll come to ME LATER! LOL
The basics of forum etiquette for the video-people:

Then again, on a proper forum software "netiquette" is much easier to enforce, but it seems that will never happen here.

PS Still no live links on blog comments? Unity does look "prettier", though.
Screw your etiquette you jerk. I am SICK OF posts like these - didn't even bother reading it. (j/k)
Please add:

Stop beginning your thread titles with words like 'Urgent!' or 'Emergency'

Stop entering one word posts like 'bump' every 10 minutes
well said dosdawg. you are deffinatly one of the most polite and understanding folks on the forums. i can understand your pains answering these questions and such. newbeeies like myself appreciate the patience SOME of you do have.

it took me some time, but once one learns to search the forums, most answers do lay there......other times, simply some of us can not find the answer or the suggestions did not work correctly. the work you guys do there is very helpfull and very appreciated!

as a see more responce, being one of the people that has asked some of the overasked questions, this "etiqutte" also applies to those who answer our questions.
Netiquette is good to have it keeps everything running smoothly, thing is though you need moderators to keep enforcing the Netiquette so members know that following the common rules isnt an option. It seems a thankless task though on here to be a moderator (unless times have changed) nobody seems to respect them, probably because they know that they have no powers to truly carry out the moderators duties (other than a quick post hide) So people just tend to do and say what they like. What some dont see more realise though, that with following the simple rules of Netiquette, things run a lot smoother, there is less drama and a more positive experience for everybody.

ive banged on about this next bit before, (even made a blog about it, which was taken down by the S.W.A.T as not relevant to the site LOL ) One thing that i do wish people would see as highly important to help everybody, and that is to take a few moments to think of a proper searchable friendly title for your problems you ask on the forum, then that makes it easier for others to find the answers by doing a search without cluttering up the forum with the same old stuff. A good tip is to think what you would put in the search and title your topic such.... only takes a moment and would be a big help to all in the future. "help emergency,how do i fix this ****ing thing, my hair is falling out with frustration etc" just doesn't help anybody and makes you look stupid and illiterate in the process, and of course you aren't, so please don't do it. :-)


"help emergency,how do i fix this ****ing thing, my hair is falling out with frustration etc" just doesn't help anybody and makes you look stupid and illiterate in the process

Actually, some of them ARE that illiterate, or at least they appear to be.
Andrew Boon
Good points - we'll add some points to the "Constitution" and will post about it tomorrow.
thank you very much andrew. we are all those of us who are regular in here and providing the help to both the developers and the members just need more clarity and control over how things are organized.

your help in this matter is greatly appreciated.

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