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The Official Etiquette Guide


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One of the biggest problems on forums these days is lack of good forum etiquette. What some of the newer users of message boards don't understand is that forums have a very different environment from a chatroom, an instant message conversation, or even an email correspondence. Users of respectable message boards are expected to act maturely. And therefore, to help some of our newer users, I have created this guide to maintaining good forum etiquette.

  • Use spelling and grammar correctly. Always capitalize the first letter in a sentence, even if you only have one to post. Always use periods. Capitalize only when necessary. Remember, all caps means you're yelling. Use commas and punctuation marks. The only excuse you can have for bad spelling or grammar is that you are not a native of an English-speaking country, and even then, you should do your best to learn English.
  • Don't post just to up your post count. In fact, don't even pay attention to your post count. The senior members of a forum aren't respected because they have lots of posts, but because they are good contributors. You should strive to do the same.
  • When you post, make it in-depth. Never just say "I agree" or "Good idea." Describe your idea. Say "I agree because..." or "Good idea. I think..." We want to hear a developed opinion, not just a short statement. Two or three word posts aren't really contributing anything to the forum.
  • Know what you're talking about. Most forums are a community of experts and enthusiasts, and they love to discuss their passions. However, if you go into a topic you don't know much about and say something ignorant, it'll really tick them off. Especially if you stated it with authority.
  • Never ask someone a question you can could easily get answered through a search engine or an encyclopedia. People expect you to find things out on your own instead of getting other members to do it for you. Laziness is frowned upon.
  • Make sure never to turn a topic into back-and-forth conversations on random things. Topics are made for a reason - to discuss something. If you go into a topic and turn it into something completely irrelevant from what it was intended to discuss, you're only ruining it for the users who seriously want to discuss that topic.
  • Don't just go through every topic in a forum posting in each one. Most people will find it hard to believe that you actually have something important to contribute to a topic if you post all over the place.
  • Don't overdramatize unimportant things. There is no need to post a sorry thread if you broke a rule, or make a big deal when something doesn't apply to you. If you made a mistake, no big deal. If you follow these rules, people will forget all about it in a month or so.
  • Don't freak out if no one responds. People have things they need to deal with outside of HelioNet. If you have a question and it has gone several days without being answered, kindly bump the thread up so others may see it.

These are just the basics of forum etiquette. You'll learn much more as you post and interact with the community. We won't chastise you for a mistake, but we expect you to do your best to follow this guide. Good luck, and happy foruming :)

© Copyright Helio Networks 2006-2009

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