Forum Netiquette for Newbies
Current time: 10-26-2021, 08:48 AM
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Author: Grunf
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Forum Netiquette for Newbies
Internet forums (also referred to as message boards) are a great way to connect to other people with similar interests. If you're new to a forum, it can be a daunting experience. Just like in real life, there's cliques, divas, and unwritten rules. Most of the time, however, joining a forum is a positive experience where you can meet new people or become part of a close-knit community. To ensure a smooth beginning, here are ten tips on netiquette that apply to most forums.

1. Don't Netspeak:
Quote:OMG!1! i saw johny dep @ teh mall tdy and he sad hi to me & askd me to mry bff Jil saw it hppn if u dont beleive me...

Netspeak refers to abbreviations (e.g., LOL, OMG, LMAO), misspellings, and a loose regard for punctuation. Abbreviations are usually acceptable so long as you use only one per paragraph. Nothing says newbie more than Netspeak. Sure, some Web sites thrive on Netspeak, but you can't go wrong writing in plain English. You'll be understood, and you don't risk getting mauled by a grammar nazi.

2. Be Courteous
Remember that there is a human being on the other side of the screen, too. They deserve to be treated with respect and courtesy, just as you would like to be treated. Moreover, everything you do online is on record and can haunt you for years to come.
They say the Internet never forgets. If you are smart, you will use this in your favor! Respect standard etiquette, follow the rules, help newbies, become an expert for a specific topic, and generously share your knowledge.

This tip is self-explanatory. If you don't know already, using all caps is considered shouting. Most people use caps as a way to standout in the thread comments. However, using all caps actually makes it harder to read your comment, and the only attention you'll receive is from forum members berating you and telling you that you're shouting.

4. Split up your text.
While forum members probably won't comment on splitting up your text, it's still something that will improve your post's readability. Dividing your sentences into paragraphs (three to four sentences per paragraph is a good number) ensures that people won't strain their eyes trying to read your post.

5. Don't spam:
Quote:This is great

People hate spammers. You hate spammers. But if you're new to a forum, posting posts containing thanks only will be considered spam. Your post will be deleted.

6. Don't be an echo, rather press the Thanks button:
Quote:I agree.
This tip mostly applies to forums that keep post counts next to your screen name. Forum members will think that you're just trying to boost your numbers if you post only a two-word comment. On other types of forums it may not matter as much. Still, people generally like to hear your full opinion instead of a simple "I agree" or "I disagree."

7. Use the search engine.
Before you create a thread/topic in the forum, check out the forum's search function to see if a similar thread has already been posted. At the very least, scan the first page of topics to see if your idea has already been discussed. If you don't find anything recent, then post away.

8. Don't be afraid of the regulars: Hi, I'm new. Please don't hurt me.
At the other end of the scale, sometimes new people are overly obsequious. You don't have to be timid. Follow tip number 9, and you'll become more confident that what you're posting is valuable, and that it's not necessary to load your posts with a bunch of qualifiers.

9. Lurk before you post.
Each forum has its own culture and nuances. Maybe using Netspeak is the norm and typing in plain English is conspicuous. Maybe you should be rude and load your posts with swears. Read a few threads before you post. Some people will read forums for weeks or even months before they contribute. While that may be overdoing it, you should at least get a handle on the personality of the forum.

With regards,
Forum Team
[-] The following 6 users say Thank You to Grunf for this post:
  • BennyP, Administrator , kowheng, Dell_Brett, usman, oanm2000

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