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Leofric
Sunday, October 2nd, 2005, 12:17 AM
I'm relatively new to the forum and to online fora in general, and I'm not really certain about codes of etiquette you know, what is considered rude, what is nice, and so forth. I was hoping we could get a discussion going on how you like to be treated on the forum. Clearly violations of the rules are rude, and everyone knows that talking down to someone isn't very nice. But there are other issues that don't extend so easily from just normal conversation rules. Some of my specific questions are the following:


When and why is it acceptable to PM someone?
Are there special rules about how to write PMs?
How should one iconically label a post? How bad is icon/topic mismatch?
If you want to discuss a tangential issue raised in a given thread, how do you politely do so without dragging the conversation away from the thread's topic?
Is it bad to give/withhold reputation points?
How should one properly use quote tags? Also, is it better to quote a whole block of text and then refer to it point by point in a block, or is it better to intermix quotes and point-by-point replies? And is it acceptable/preferable to refer clearly to a previous post without tagging a quote?


There might be other questions I ought to ask that I don't know about. If so, please ask them for me.

Maybe I'm worrying for no good reason, but communities do have a lot of unspoken rules about how to format communication, and this format is new to me. I just don't want to unintentionally offend anybody.

Glenlivet
Sunday, October 2nd, 2005, 12:21 AM
I wish we had more people like you. :)

QuietWind
Sunday, October 2nd, 2005, 03:21 AM
I'll try and answer some or all of your questions, but these are just my opnions and do not necessarily reflect anyone else.

1&2) I think it is acceptable to PM someone for just about any reason, provided that you remain courteous and still abide by the rules. I see the PM feature as a sort of "forum e-mail." Since not everyone puts their personal messaging info. or e-mail info. available, the PM system is a way that you can connect with someone on a more personal note.

3) Iconically lableing a post is to your discretion, and if in doubt, you don't have to use an icon at all. I don't think there is a such thing as an iconically mismatched post. The icon is simply your expression of what is being posted. For example, the poster may use the mad face to lable his post, but someone else reading the post may not see the emotionality in it quite the same way. The second person may disagree, and they are entitled to their opnion/emotion on the topic the same way the original poster is. The icon merely reflects an aspect of the poster and their intentions.

4) If you are concerned about discussing something that is off-topic, you may want to preface it with saying that it is slighly off-topic. The thing I consider regarding violations of the rule for off-topic posts is the nature of the posts. For example, the new topic may not be entirely off-topic. So many topics are related or close in proximity of each other. When someone brings up one, there is a natural tendency to interject the other. Or the minor topic brought up might be a part of an even larger picture. Usually a real off topic comment is one that is way out in left field. If unsure, just say that it may be off topic, but...... Or say that the topic brought up an interesting thought that would make a good discussion....and then say what it is. Honestly, I see threads get "off topic" many times, but they are not what I would consider to be "off topic." If a new dicussion does indeed arise within a thread, usually after a couple of posts, a moderator will split the thread and make it a seperate thread altogether. Another option is that you can make a whole new thread, on the whole new topic, but include a link to the original thread. What I consider off-topic are things like ad hominems, people interjecting a comment on their sex life, etc. They are things that are totally irrelevant.

5) If you see a good post that you agree with, by all means, feel free to give reputation points. That is what it is there for. Nothing wrong with witholding points either. You can even give negative rep points if you feel a post is particularly bad, but honestly, I do not think too many people do this, and do you really want it coming back at you? :P

6) Regarding quote tags, I think either way you mentioned is acceptable. You can block quote and then reply, or individually quote each point and reply. The second takes a little more effort on your part. Most people (and I may later regret saying "most"), usually use a logical sequence in their reply so that it is clear which points they are addressing. If someone is afraid it may get confusing, then they may want to break it up. I also think it is perfectly acceptable to clearly reply to a previous post without quoting them. For those who do not do so, I would recommend using the person's username that you are referring to, in order to help make it clear. (Leofric, you already do this, I have observed.) The thing I dislike is when the post seems to have nothing to do with the quote and you wonder if the person even bothered to read the thing they were quoting. Misunderstandings do occur, though.

Anyhow, I hope this makes sense. If someone doesn't understand what I say, just ask. I can be quite confusing at times.;)

Leofric, I honestly can say that I haven't seen you do anything that I would consider to be out of line or improper-- if that is what you are concerned about. :P

Sifsvina
Sunday, October 2nd, 2005, 05:01 AM
As confusion sometimes arises from someone posting something they think is funny and it being misunderstood (this can happen even when everyone's first language is the same:-) it is advisable to indicate when a response is meant to be ironic or funny, smilies work well for this. And threads with long strings of personal comments that only a few might understand are tedious.
My 2cents:-)
:valkyrie

Dr. Solar Wolff
Sunday, October 2nd, 2005, 06:13 AM
Leofric,

In general the proper etiquete is to refer problems/questions to Aeternitas since she always knows what to do and can set problems into proper perspective. Jennifer is also wonderful at this. Otherwise, if you have drunk too much beer and are about to make a questionable comment to a person of the opposite sex or get pissed and are about to tell someone off, this is the exact time to switch over to Stormfront and leave the moderation problems to them.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Sunday, October 2nd, 2005, 06:13 AM
Leofric,

In general the proper etiquete is to refer problems/questions to Aeternitas since she always knows what to do and can set problems into proper perspective. Jennifer is also wonderful at this. Otherwise, if you have drunk too much beer and are about to make a questionable comment to a person of the opposite sex or get pissed and are about to tell someone off, this is the exact time to switch over to Stormfront and leave the moderation problems to them.