Shattered Kingdoms

Where Roleplay and Tactics Collide
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 Post subject: Forum Etiquette (aka Netiquette)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2002 5:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2002 4:00 pm
Posts: 2732
Location: Australia
SK Character: Viltrax
After seeing the quality of posts vary widely, I thought it a good time to post something on how to post, style of posting and just plain common courtesy when it comes to asking questions and providing answers.

Where should I post?
Before you write anything, please consider where you are going to write it. Each of the forums cater to specific needs and areas of SK. Please choose the most appropriate one and bear in mind what is and is not allowed in the forum you choose.

Just how polite should I be?
Next, is what you yourself write. If asking a question for the first time, most people will give you a bit of leeway and try to help despite obvious problems with your post (bad spelling, no punctuation, little knowledge of the game). We've all been there and for the most part, everyone is will to lend a hand. Part of this also means not posting in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS - to do so comes across to the reader as 'shouting' and such posts are quite often skipped without being read at all.

Why doesn't anyone answer me?
When it comes to style, some of the points raised earlier are the most valid: if someone can't read your post, they aren't going to respond. If the spelling is so bad, the punctuation non-existant and long sentences that run on into each other is the only way you can write, perhaps you should take the time to spread out your thoughts into coherent points.

But isn't the server disk space precious?
Each character you type is 8 bits. That's 1 byte. One megabyte is about one million of those characters. The server has gigabytes - that's about one thousand megabytes! So you see, we've really tried to make it easy for you to use all those extra keys on your keyboard! Even if you only press enter a few times to spread out your points, the extra space alone is a great improvement when it comes to understanding a message.

But I'm from Timbuktoo!
Everyone who does not have English as their first language must struggle, I agree. I feel for them and at the same time I welcome them. Theirs is a new and quite often unique perspective - not only linguistically but also other cultures - which have proved to be beneficial to SK many times. In posting messages however, the struggle is made most apparent. Try to use spell-checking outside the forums first - maybe even have someone else proof-read your post for you, if it is a large one on a topic that you really want to get across clearly.

Replying: To quote or not to quote...
The phpBB forums are powerful and present posts and their replies right next to each other, in a logical order. Often you shouldn't need to quote any text at all, since the post you are replying to is (usually) directly above yours. However if there is a specific point you are responding to, by all means isolate a few words of the original post and quote it - this allows people to better understand which area you are replying to. It is very rare, however, that you should need to quote an ENTIRE prior post as a large block at the top of your message. Doing so only makes your message a few screen-scrolls down and makes it harder to see it in context with other posts.

Signatures, Footers and Avatars
So, you want to be the most unique person on the block, eh? To quote a saying, 'Everybody else does too'. A signature should be brief and not your entire profile. If folks want to know all about you the person, then on the forums they can click on your name and get nearly a whole biography, should you wish to enter all the information and make it public. Try and keep signature panels brief so folks aren't reading two posts in one: your message, then your signature too.

No-one else has a problem with the way I write!
Some useful links on the 'net that go into much more depth about common courtesies when posting messages and writing email on the Internet are listed below -

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