Forum 'Netiquette'

Discussion in 'Forum Rules and Guidelines' started by ChrisR, May 10, 2010.

  1. ChrisR

    ChrisR Administrator Emeritus Staff Member Super Moderator

    Jun 22, 2006
    Likes Received:
    England, UK
    What is 'Netiquette'? Netiquette is an unofficial code of conduct for behaving appropriately towards other people online. The world of cyberspace is a culture in it's own right, and like any other foreign culture, we are all liable to make unintentional blunders from time to time. Somebody may, in all innocence, say something to which others may take offence or vice-versa. To make matters worse, it can often be very easy to forget that we are interacting with real people, with real feelings, instead of a computer screen.

    There are a few key points to remember while interacting with other people on the internet, and they are as follows:
    • Treat others in the same way that you expect to be treated yourself: Whenever we communicate with each other via a computer screen, we don't have the benefit of using facial expressions, tone of voice, or gestures, so it can be very easy for others to misinterpret our meaning or mood. Simply re-read your post before you send it, and ask yourself if you would say those words to the other person's face, or how you would feel if somebody else were saying those words to you? If you are not positive, then consider inserting a smiley icon, they're not only there just for fun, they can also be a very useful tool for expressing yourself in the appropriate manner of your post.

    • Too much information, too soon: Whenever you post in a forum, or any discussion group, you are taking up other people's time. Granted those other people are in the forum because they choose to be, but still you want to make sure that the time they spend reading your post is worthwhile. If you have a lot of information that you want to share, consider breaking it down a bit. Post the main point of your story and save the rest for further discussion. Many people will lose interest if they see a huge post, not because your experience is boring, but a lot of people don't have the time or the attention span to read paragraph after paragraph. There is also no need to post the same information in more than one section. Use quotes from the post you are replying to only if necessary, but only the relevant part, not the whole post. Also, when people respond to your post, it is always good courtesy to thank them for their time and interest.

    • Respect other people's privacy: It's always good to remember that not everybody finds it so easy to share personal stories on the internet with other people who are strangers. It takes time to feel comfortable and put your trust in other members of a forum. So when new members sometimes appear to be a bit 'sparse' with their information, don't put any pressure on them to tell more. It's better to invite them to share more only if they feel comfortable enough to do so. Such pressure can put a new member off making any return visits to the forum.

    • Thread Hijacking: Sometimes it can take a lot for a person to become a new member and share their personal memories for the first time in a forum, so the last thing they want to see is another member jump in and 'take over' the thread with their own experiences. Unless the poster is asking a general question, then by all means, go ahead and share your own story, but keep it brief, and only share if it is relevant to the thread, or if you feel that your experiences can be of any benefit to the thread starter.

    Finally, please read the Forum Posting Guidelines before making your first post. Everybody in the forum, including the staff, want you to feel as welcome as possible. Any potential disagreements or misunderstandings can nearly always be avoided if you take a few moments to read the guidelines first.

    Netiquette is mostly common sense, but if we all observe these few simple guidelines, then the forum will always be a warm and friendly place to visit and share, and make new friends :)

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