Forum Etiquette

Guidelines Before Posting
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Forum Etiquette

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Forum etiquette (sometimes called “Netiquette”) refers to a code of conduct for use in forum postings. If you mind your manners in the following ways, you and your peers on the forum will get along fine.

Getting Along

1. Search the forum before starting a new topic. Before creating a new topic, you can use our search function to scan the forum and see if a similar topic already exists. In many cases, you will uncover more information by reading previous posts than by starting a new topic. The reason for this is simple: people don’t like repeating themselves.

2. Think before you post. Ask yourself these questions:

• Has my question/request/information already been asked/expressed?
• Am I adding anything new/significant to the topic? Is it related to the topic?
• Is this something I want to include in a public, possibly permanent, forum?

3. Post clearly. Ambiguous questions can lead to no response, leaving the poster discouraged. Instead, make sure to provide as much essential information as is necessary to get your point/question across.

4. Reread your post. You should check your post for spelling, grammar, and tone.

5. Check your tone of voice. With few exceptions, forum tone should be neutral. Since computers can’t portray the inflection or tone in a person’s voice, how you word your post directly affects how people will respond.
Avoid using all capital letters. THIS IS CONSIDERED SHOUTING.

6. Use an informative subject heading. The subject line of a post is what will first attract people to read it. If it’s vague, confusing, inflammatory, or doesn’t describe what’s contained within, no one will read it or respond and chances are it will be removed.

Good subject: Notating vs. Sequencing in Overture
Good subject: How do I Enter Multiple Voices on a Track?
Bad subject: Overture Sucks!!!
Bad subject: I want to set up 16 tracks but can’t figure out how all the tracks are supposed to be configured between the library panel or inserting a track.

7. Don’t crosspost. If you haven’t gotten a response to your post, don’t repost it across multiple forums. Instead, try to be patient.

8. Trim signatures. Signatures are common at the end of posts. They can include a small picture, quote, your computer specifications, or song lyrics. Ideally, something that represents you in some way.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your signature under four lines. Anything more will compete with the content of your post and compromise the readability of the bulletin board.

9. Not sure? Get permission. If you have a post, video, music, or pictures that you’d like to share but aren’t sure if it's appropriate for the forum, simply request permission from an administrator for further clarity.

10. Quote sparingly. Quote brief excerpts from previous posts, enough to orient the reader only.

Helpful Vocabulary List of Unhelpful Behavior

Whether you are new to forums or not, you may come across what looks like another language. Most of this jargon pertains to unsavory behavior which usually results in warnings, post removal, or banning. Please review these terms before posting.

Trolling. Trolling is the art of posting something specifically intended to stir up trouble. The troll then sits back and watches as other members jump in and start arguing.

Flaming. Flaming is similar to trolling in that it is a post with negative intentions. A flame is when a poster says something negative in an attempt to get a more negative response. This behavior can beget a “flame war,” wherein the poster and the reader(s) argue back and forth.

Hijacking. Hijacking a topic occurs when a new poster changes the topic in a thread already opened by another poster. To avoid confusion and hurt feelings, start a new topic.

Double posting. Double posting means posting the same post more than once in the same thread, or in multiple threads and forums on the same site.

Shotgun posting (also known as crossposting). Shotgun posting means posting the same information or question on several different sites, or across multiple forums on the same site, at the same time.

Lurking. Lurking means regularly reading the posts on a bulletin board, but never (or seldom) contributing anything. Lurkers don’t usually cause trouble and are typically tolerated. In a forum where participation counts though, lurkers should make an effort to join the discussion.

Deceptive Lurking. Deceptive lurking, is similar to lurking but refers to calculatingly biding one's time, and then contributing with one or more of the unhelpful behaviors outlined here.

Creating additional/false accounts. Refers to members who have been administered to and proceed to create an additional account or accounts designed to specifically provoke a response, antagonize, subvert, or otherwise draw attention to themselves and topics that have already been expressed.

Bumping. Bumping is posting just to keep your topic at the top of the list.

Newbie (also known as “noob”). Newbies are characterized by asking the wrong questions, including ones that seem obvious (or whose answers seem easy to find). However, every member of a forum was once a newbie, so cut the noob some slack.

One-way conversations. If you are in a one-way conversation, you are talking at someone, rather than with someone on the forum. If you are in a two-way conversation, participants are both listening and talking. We try to encourage the two-way approach on this forum. Try to avoid repeatedly replying to your own posts, especially when others have not responded or deliberately requested more information about the subject.

Bringing private messages to the public sphere. Simply allow your private discussions, concerns, and desires to pass through the guidelines of our forum before presenting them here (publicly).
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