There are some standards of etiquette that should be followed when posting to our message board. Remember, the idea of these internet constructs is the same as a massive group discussion. And just like a discussion in real life, it can be very disconcerting and upsetting to have someone disrupt the conversation.
Here are some general guidelines you can follow to make these discussions more comfortable for all.
Read the TOS - This section provides our Terms Of Service and some commonly asked questions. It is a good idea to read this before you post.
Read Before Posting - It is usually a good idea to check backwards a few days and see if your question has already been answered or your comment has already been recently made.
Be gentle with new members - Everyone has to be new at some time in their life. Remember back when you joined the list and didn't know all of the rules and regulations either. So don't jump all over someone, especially someone new, just because they don't understand some of the rules or social conventions.
No flaming - You know, it really does not matter how stupid or idiotic that post was - resist the temptation to flame. You are only making yourself look stupid if you do.
Avoid Profanity - Unless, of course, it's very clear that it's acceptable and even desired on the list, it's a good idea to avoid profanity. It just tends to start flame wars and makes you look bad.
Remember messages last forever - Don't ever post anything that you would not want your wife, kids, boss and co-workers to find out. Messages have this annoying habit of lasting forever and popping up at the strangest time.
Stay On Topic - Something that you should normally do is stay on the topic of the list. If you do want to post off-topic messages, be sure and (a) read the FAQ to be sure it's allowed at all, (b) lurk for a while to be certain it's allowed (others will do it if so), and (c) add something like "OT:" or "off Topic:" to the subject to show it's off topic. This allows people who are not interested to ignore the post.
When replying, quote wisely - There is usually no need to reply and include the 500 lines of messages, including all of the previous replies. Use some judgment and cut out all of the original text except for just enough to show what you are replying to.
Don't crosspost - It's usually considered very bad form to send a message to more than one list or category at a time. This is because people often read multiple lists, and crossposting forces them to read (and download) your message more than once.
Keep signatures of a reasonable length - A one to four line signature is acceptable. More than that is considered bad form, and anything over 6 lines may get you banned or scolded.
Keep advertising out of signatures - We all know you believe in your products, especially those pay-to-surf programs which have made you an astounding 25 cents to date, but please don't bombard the group with them. A link to one or two of your own sites is fine, perhaps a quote is acceptable, but affiliate links belong on your own site, not cluttering up people's inboxes.
Avoid link dropping - Avoid messages like "Check out http://blah, it's great". If you have a site which is on-topic and of interest, then post a message explaining why and what, not just a link.
Don't spam - Please don't post advertisements. Forums which allow advertising tend to become very useless very fast.
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