Author Topic: // The Massive Forum Guide //  (Read 3555 times)

Offline Redlinelies

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// The Massive Forum Guide //
« on: April 04, 2014, 08:24:52 pm »
// The Massive Forum Guide //

The wonders of a special or unique forum can completely swallow all our free time and attention. We share the same place and home with others around the world. Sometimes bigger and sometimes smaller groups of people and usually we all share some sort of interest for being a part of the same forum to begin with. However, excluding just that, we are a very different bunch. We the people come with different interests, experiences, behaviors, expectations and even decisions. My purpose of this guide is not really to explain the ins and outs of this particular forum and how to navigate it's menus, what this guide is for is to go into detail how to be a more behaved and understanding forum user(which means this guide and things said in here could be applied for any forum pretty much if you so please).

In the end it's really down to your "morale" and what you wish to stand for and what is worth representing to you. However what this guide will go through is really how to behave on many social forums, doesn't matter if you are new or an old user since there's always something to learn. I want to explain how to be a good sport and avoid causing issues for others or yourself. Now whether you want to take my word for all this is up to you. All I can do is to speak from my own experiences, what I've done and people I've met during the internet years and put some hopefully helpful sentences down regarding the matter of "Foruming".

Just to get one thing clear though, there will always be drama llamas and trolls or just plain through horrible people to make your foruming days so much more worse intentionally. However, this is really aimed towards people looking to make forums a better place that we share together. It's impossible to change the whole of internet but that's is not my intention with this post. I see both new and old users that could use some etiquette on forums and my hopes is that this would be read by someone and maybe they'd learn something new. We all start out somewhere and we learn by doing just like so many other things in life. But either way, let's get started!

(This guide WILL be text heavy!)

Initialize guide: "How to not be a complete forum derp"......Loading


-Making a planned approach onto the forum
This is mostly if you're completely new to the forum or the subject it holds, but lurking around the boards and getting to know the forum and community a bit first before jumping on never hurt anyone. This is not a suggestion to just be a complete mute, rather get to know the place and the people before just talking out about the things you know. I understand that we all can have experiences from earlier places and that we are entitled to an opinion, but keep yourself in check and avoid saying or doing something you'd regret later. You will most likely find a better time to say your part later down the road when you've gotten a bit more used to the forum or community. But let's not forget that you shouldn't go and randomly post in random threads and boards unless you know how forums works, or if you've checked up on stickies and rules and subjects around the boards. You will spend a few minutes the first time around reading up on things and it's nothing wrong with stalking the boards a while first before just going around posting everywhere.

-Quoting text the right way
Text doesn't write itself in this case, the people of the forum most of the time do instead. When it comes to cross thread posting and in general lots of information text someone wrote, make sure you put the quote information where it's due. I have seen in various places(this forum not being an exception) where people just copy peoples tutorials, helpful replies, information etc, directly from thread to thread into their own post without providing the source of "who" that typed it in the first place. We all can get a bit lazy sometimes, but if it isn't clear where the text comes from just include that little extra line that shows who wrote it because you didn't. Just a thing like mentioning in your post with your own words "This was written by -insertnamehere-" would suffice. It's just a bit disrespectful towards the one taking the time to type the information to begin with when you just snatch it and display it for someone that most likely haven't read it's original post anywhere. Now don't get me wrong, you don't need to quote a user every time you reply to their post or find something suiting or good they said, but informative text or replies taken from other threads is usually when you'd want to consider including who that wrote it.

-No forum is the same
Get to know your community and the types of people on the forum before criticizing them or their work, interests or dedication around the boards. Even though forums can be fairly similar on some aspects and how it's used or function, no community and no forum is the same, doesn't matter if it's about cats, race cars, computers, healthy food, games or building with clay. Even though you hold your own information and experiences, chances are there's others who has just been around the particular forum a bit longer than you, both behind and in front of the curtains. Just like before, put some time and effort into learning the ins and outs even if it means taking small steps. Your posts will be of more value to more users and even have more impact if you speak from knowledge about the particular forum/community rather than from ignorance and quick conclusions made from the outskirts of a circle. I'd say it takes a few months before you even start to scrape the surface of a bigger forum and community. So do things right and put some effort into getting to know your new home first, it will treat you better back this way.

-Same replies
In plain help threads or question threads there's no need to answer like the person above of you. There's also a differences between a post thinking or guessing, and a following up saying it is one way. With other words, unless it's a discussion thread or you got something different to provide or explain things in a different manner, posting the same thing as the one above will not provide much help. It's an easy and good way to get some extra posts onto your profile but just re-writing the same answer to a question that isn't about personal opinion is more likely to annoy than anything. Think about what you contribute to the thread and to aid it, putting a plaster on top of a bandage is only doing so much to help the bleeding at hand.

-Do not steal things from other posts or profiles
Like, anything at all. Pictures, tutorials, text, creations, ideas, this surely doesn't get people to enjoy your company. If it's one thing that easily causes drama or troubles on the forum(especially in places where people are a lot about creation and creativity), it's snatching peoples stuff. Just give credit or ask for permission in a pm over the forum and the worst that can happen is that you get a "no". People are protective over their things(some a bit too much), but many people know each other over the boards and they also keep track of their activities and posts. Respect your fellow users and their work or things posted, it will benefit everyone on the forum in the longer run and keep things safe and sound. This is not me saying that other stealing is okay, but the last thing you want to do is snatch things from people on the very same forum.

-Blank discussions and blank claims
It's one thing to ask or question matters but I will capitalize this to make it more clear. DO NOT CLAIM THINGS THAT AREN'T TRUE. There's a big difference between claiming something, and believing something. If you are going to claim things left and right learn about your subject first, or make sure that if you mention it's your personal point of view, why it is so, and how it got to be that way. Usually when threads explode to no end of negativity is when users boost the idea of false claims that in many of the times thrive on the negative nature of the subject it holds. We need to be clear with each other on a forum, and making sure you explain your reasoning of certain matters clearly is important, otherwise it might cause issues for everyone else.

-Don't ask for help if you aren't willing to receive it
We can all be a bit stubborn at times but when you ask for help, you ask for help. Many times before have I witnessed people that come on forums and boards asking for help regarding certain matters or looking for feedback, and then get angry for not getting the answer they were looking for and tell others how they are wrong. People will just try to help you based upon what they know and what information you provide to them. When users are taking their time trying to help you, just try to be polite since you are the one asking for help. There's many ways to explain how the reply you received isn't quite what was needed or how you were looking for something more specific.

-Try to improve your posts everyday
A forum is in general about posting, writing, reading and discussing. In general we the users on the forum make the content of what it holds, doesn't matter if it's a fancy sticky by an admin/moderator or a content thread made by a user. I myself can say that my typing has improved over the time I've been posting, and I've tried to improve not only for my own sake, but for everyone else that reads what is written and posted by me. We should always be respectful towards one another and understand that everyone's grammar or post spacing isn't perfect, that we need to leave space for everyone to breathe and improve rather than to be harsh and blunt about it. But you personally can always thrive for better grammar and spelling in your own posts, use paragraphs and focus on how it would be to read your text for others. My tip on this one is to go back to your old posts once in a while an re-read them and see what you could've done differently to make it better and more clear, or check up on some other names or people that you enjoy reading posts from. There's a lot to learn in the whole writing/typing part of foruming.

-You cannot be the center of attention all the time
Think how a forum would be if everyone talked only about themselves or the things they think about, there wouldn't be much discussion or communication to begin with. In this world there's a lot about "I" and "Me", forums also reflect this very well in certain cases. On forums however you shouldn't go into other peoples threads and steal the show by talking about something irrelevant, even less so if the thread subject is already about another particular user such as a bio for example. Try to make your own threads and don't be afraid to just leave a comment or feedback to someone once in a while. Overall respect peoples posts and content, they take pride in the work done whether it's a smaller or bigger post, don't ride it over and place your stuff in front like nothing.

-Private messaging is awesome!
Don't be afraid to use the PM function, it's a good tool. Some certain matters just doesn't fit as well on a public board as they do in a private message. Casual chatting is one thing for example since a forum in most cases and places is not for short "lol" replies. Even things like more private and personal matters or details just belong in PM rather than on the board for everyone to see. It's hard for me to properly explain this one, but just think about what it is you are posting before you click the post button and whether or not it would be suitable to PM that person instead.

-Pay attention to the Admins and Mods on any forum
This one might be rough for some to comprehend since they are still in the "Drop and bang your fists to the ground while screaming" stage of their lives, but if staff say something is going to be a certain way, that's how it will be. Their word is law and you are wandering around in their garden pretty much. Let me explain though that you don't have to be a kiss up, you don't have to love them, and you don't need to be their friend by any means, but you should not ignore what they might tell you. On any site out there the admins, mods or staff decide what happens around the boards, in the end it's really about how much the people running the forum let the users affect the forum and how they do their work or spend their time. If you are picking a fight with the ones running a forum you usually just end up with your feet further down in the mud and cursing like a sailor, all just because you couldn't paint on the walls of the forum. No staff is perfect, and wherever there's lots of people, there will be those who hate the system and demand change. But one thing that might be hard but can give disagreements a more honest chance to get somewhere is to ask for details of "why".

-The magical post count
Your postcount might be a fancy thing that brings joy to your day, but keep in mind that your posts are for OTHERS while the count itself is for YOU. When you make your post on the forum it's in the majority of the cases there for others to take use of, read up upon and reply to, while the post count on the other hand is more there for you. Sure it's fun to compare, see how you are gaining posts and even ranks, see how you are becoming a more regular user or veteran, but don't forget that your posts are going to be read too. See it a bit like writing a book and releasing it to the public, you can make a rushed, plain or just boring one, or you can take your time and effort into making it personal or even something to pave the road for other future writers, something to be proud of. The very same thing could be said about posts on a forum. There's nothing wrong with being proud of your posts or the amount you've achieved since you should be, you're contributing to the forum! But ask yourself once in a while how much the posts actually are doing so, empty posts can only lead so far.

-Mistakes happens
Everyone can make mistakes, players, moderators, admins, guests even. If something gets posted in the wrong section, if something wrong is being said, if someone is being a bit more harsh one day, a bit more dramatic, someone might step over their boundaries it's no need to scold them for it or try to put a spotlight for everyone to see. Look for the more repetitive behavior instead with the same names popping up over and over. The more time or the longer someone spends on a particular forum, the more likely it is that something wrong could be said or falls out of place for them.

-There's people behind the screens
There's people behind the screen on the internet, and so it is on a forum. Those who do not understand this just shout out or scream, or kick their words out towards people. Harsh topics, rude behavior and other downers can be avoided many of the times with a decent head on your shoulders. Don't be silly and avoid things that in general could offend people and end up in rude replies. And if you need to rant, rant in a good manner with the intentions of getting your point across, but trying to be civil. This is not a comedy show, this is not a rap off, not a locker room fight, nor a warzone, it's a forum.

-You may learn something new
You can learn something new even on a forum you've been on for years. Never stop looking for things to take in from other users that exist and you can learn from. Even things that could be complete annoyances, problems and issues to you personally could also learn you something later on. Just don't forget to keep the better experiences closer since it will keep you on steady ground.



Now on finishing notes I want to say that out over this written about in this post, there will always be people, personal happenings and events that could change how you will tackles some of the things on the forums you go to, but as long as your intentions are good and you keep in mind there's others out there more than you, you're probably on a good way.

(Typing therapy done~)
« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 11:03:20 am by Redlinelies »
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Offline kiaz1st

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Re: // The Massive Forum Guide //
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 08:41:21 pm »
You seem to be able to type down what's in my head, Red! You're utterly right, every forum works differently, and this should be an extremely helpful guide to new members, and should really help allot get a good start, as I remember when I first joined I did a few stupid things I regret, but time and lurking has done it's job ;3
« Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 02:39:12 am by kiaz1st »

Offline Redlinelies

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Re: // The Massive Forum Guide //
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2016, 12:50:48 pm »
Bumping this as I still find it very relevant for most.
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Offline Hakumi

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Re: // The Massive Forum Guide //
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2016, 05:03:47 pm »
This is actually the first time I'm seeing something like this.
Didn't think so much go into something that's rarely even touched upon, guess I learned something new ~!
But you certainly have hit the bullseye with this one and I guess I developed a bit on my own as well as my comprehension skills when it comes to the forums.

I'll be sure to refer to this because there's some things I need to correct for myself.

Thanks for sharing this guide ~!

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Offline Redlinelies

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Re: // The Massive Forum Guide //
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2016, 12:18:03 am »
Thank you for reading and noticing and feel free to share to your hearts content. Maybe I can get some small pictures up to break things up a bit nicer and make it more fun to read.
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Re: // The Massive Forum Guide //
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2016, 03:09:04 am »
Ahh, thanks so much for sharing this with us all, Red<3 It was very easy to understand and quite informative. Very nice with some very natural points that I'm sure will make everyone feel more confident in posting on the forums. It will surely be nice to use as a reference when posting on the forums. Thanks again~!
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Re: // The Massive Forum Guide //
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2016, 04:16:19 am »
Thank you Red for making it. It was very helpful, and useful. This would help lots of new users, and users who are getting into the forums.

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Offline Redlinelies

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Re: // The Massive Forum Guide //
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2016, 12:02:48 am »
Thank you guys, happy to hear.
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Re: // The Massive Forum Guide //
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2016, 08:01:22 pm »
Really enjoyed reading it, Helped me out alot! Hopefully people will read this, Thanks Red. You've put your skin and bones into this game to make it on fleek! Without a doubt did you do that. Being technically the Owner due to Kovu leaving this creation is hard. Thanks Red for everything you and the team have done!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 08:04:23 pm by pippapopper »

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Re: // The Massive Forum Guide //
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2016, 09:54:38 pm »
I'm going to bump this, considering I find it could very much apply to a few things I've seen going on, not to mention it's very useful for all our new members taking advantage of the open registration~

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