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~*RULES*~ READ 'em BEFORE posting! Please?

Postby Tick-Tock » 09/01/2007 12:18 PM

Hello and welcome to the Gossip And Chatter Forum.  Have fun and feel free to talk about whatever you want here, within reason.  What does this mean?  It means:

-No Religion (or religious statements or judgments).  Philosophy, however, is permitted and welcomed.
-No Politics.
-No Flaming (insults, degradation, or intolerance) or Spam (advertising).  Avoid one word and 'me too' posts, please.

Please keep in mind that all of Baal's rules laid out in the Rules Section still apply here.  Fifth warning, and you're out.  That means that an Administrator (most likely Baal) will, with one click, nuke your account.  So, don't make us get the Bomb - please be civil, respectful, and kind.  Intelligent discussion is encouraged, but if you just want to chit-chat that's fine too.  I am the Watcher (read: Moderator) here, so if you have any problems in this section or spot a breach of these rules, don't hesitate to tell me (or Baal, if I'm not around).  It's my job to make sure things run smoothly here, and, believe me, they will.  With this in mind, have fun!  If you want to read on, I've posted some guidelines for good posting.  They're not rules, and you don't have to follow them (I won't enforce the one word post rule until things become a problem), but if you feel like being nice and maybe broadening your horizons, I encourage you to follow them.  


PS:  http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/posting.php  Watch, and learn. :P
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Postby Tick-Tock » 09/01/2007 12:20 PM

I found this posted on another forum, and I thought it was good and well written enough to merit posting again here (edited for these forums).  I give to you:

Rosencrantz's 95 Theses To Better Posting, Now being nailed on a screen near you.

originally written by Rosenphelia Godot of the Elder Scrolls Forums!


This is pretty much designed to be a newbie's guide in how to better contribute to the community here in the Community Discussion section. It contains useful material on how to make better posts that get quoted and commented on without flame, and how to start and maintain threads without a single flame war happening. I will bold and italicize important parts of this document so you don't have to read through the whole thing to get a gist of what's expected of you as part of the community.

So let's get started. This guide will be separated into two sections: Community and Discussion. The former will be general guidelines about how to behave like a community and the latter will be about how to better contribute and start discussions.


1. The word community implies camaraderie, fraternity, tolerance, respect, and coexistence.

2. It's not necessary to love each other, but it is necessary to RESPECT each other.

3. Don't INSULT your fellow members. You may disagree with them, and given reason, argue and debate with them, but such disagreements should not be fueled by insults.

4. Every single poster here has just as much right as you do to participate and use these forums. Therefore, please don't say things like "shut up" or "be quiet".

5. Racism or even hints of judging people's personal lives based on scrap information which may or may not be true, is NOT conducive to building a good community. Just because someone plays WoW does not mean they have no social lives. Just because someone likes Halo 2 does not make them souless fanboys.

6. Chances are, something you like very much is disliked very much by somebody on these forums. Just as you have every right to like it, they have every right to DISLIKE it. You can discuss and debate about the pro's and con's of such something, but both of you have equal rights to like/dislike whatever you want, and it does not make you a more elite or worse person because of it.


Now the bulk of this document: how to start, maintain, and contribute to a discussion:

Starting a thread:

1. Before you start a thread, ask yourself:

"How much potential does this topic have of drifting off towards politics and religion, which are not allowed?
"How can I word the thread such to steer it off these tabooed topics?"

Ex.: I want to start a thread discussion OIL PRICES.

Clearly, the chances of this topic drifting into political discussion is great. However, I really feel like this topic should be talked about, so I will word it thusly:

"How has the rising oil prices affected you PERSONALLY?", and give many personal anecdotes about the inconveniences brought onto me by the rising oil prices in the body of the thread.

Will this guarrantee that the thread will not degenerate into politics? No, but it certainly decreases the risk and makes it easier for posters to stay away from these taboos.

2. ALWAYS maintain your thread! You started the thread, and now, it's your responsibility as thread starter to make sure everything runs smoothly and efficiently. This means keeping an eye on all the responses and making sure they're on topic. I usually use the following tricks and methods when I see someone posting something that could potentially lead the thread to ruin:

a. PRIVATE MESSAGE the offending poster and request him/her to edit his post. Explain politely the reasons why. Usually they will agree to it.

b. Address the post above the offending post and pretend the offending post never existed. Post an interesting response or something worth people's attention, and distract your readers away from the offending post and attract them back on topic.

c. Attract the aggression onto yourself! This is a tricky tactic and takes someone with a good grasp of speechcraft to pull off. Basically, if someone makes an aggressive and possibly hostile post, draw the hostility onto yourself and channel it back ontopic. The best way to show this tactic is with an example:

You started a thread about Guild Wars, and everything's going fine, until someone posted, "LOL! GW is for newbies. WoW is so much better. Only poor people who can't afford monthly fees play GW."

Okay, so that's a hostile post that could lead to a potential flame war. You've PM'ed the guy and he hasn't responded kindly. This is what I would do: reply to his post and say,

"Ha! WRONG! Just because a game has monthly fees doesn't make it better. Take, for example, WoW's PvP system. Certainly we can all agree GW has a better PvP system? For example, have you ever played a distraction ranger, or a healing monk, and felt the adrenaline pumping as you took down one caster after the next or kept your team alive from the brink of death?"

This will hopefully generate a chain of similar stories from your readers, eager to share their Guild Wars PvP experiences and drown out the aggressive poster's voice.

d. When in doubt, REPORT the post!. The moderators are here for a reason. Report it! Write a polite message to whichever moderator is currently active, such as "Please edit out the profanity in this post, thank you very much!"

3. All topics have the potential to make excellent threads. However, you must expand upon the topic as to leave room for discussion!

For example, if you want to start a discussion about popular music, the following would be a bad example of a thread:

"Hey guys. What do you think about pop music? I think it sucks."

This kind of thread will usually turn out to be very unproductive and cause great amounts of directionless spam, because it's so general, and your readers will find it very difficult to pinpoint exactly where the thread should go.

Instead, you could list pop music that you dislike, and pop music that you enjoy, and cite specific reasons why, and ask your readers if they agree or disagree with your assessment. This way, you will give the thread a direction to evolve, and a purpose to explore.

4. Polls are excellent tools to probe and quantify your readers' responses, but remember that Polls are support tools to enforce the body of a thread. You cannot have a poll without a meaty thread to support. Don't make polls without explaining in detail the topic presented and the choices given in the body of your thread. Threads such as "Who's your favorite artist" can lead to excellent discussions, but only if you give a hearty and substantial thread to explain and direct the poll. A POLL ALONE DOES NOT MAKE A PRODUCTIVE THREAD!

5. When in doubt on whether or not you should start a thread with the topic you want, PRIVATE MESSAGE a moderator and ask for their opinion first. The Moderators are your friends and peers. They will help you.

Contributing to a topic:

1. One word posts should be avoided, unless the word is really, really, really worth a thousand pictures. If you disagree with the post above you, don't post "No". Post "No", and explain why you disagree. This includes emoticon posts, where the entire post is ":)".

2. You can be funny. Feel free to be funny. Random remarks and interjections is not funny.

3. Please feel free to debate or argue, but OBSERVE the basic debate rules!

a. Feel free to attack your opponent's argument, but NEVER attack your opponent.



"WRONG! Your statement that Unreal Tournament takes no skills to get good at is misinformed. Here's why I think so:"


"WRONG! You think Unreal Tournament takes no skills because you suck and are a skilless newbie with the reflexes of a lump of rock on prozac."

b. Your opponent is not your enemy! He does not hate you! Though your opponent might disagree with your opinions, this does not mean he hates you. It just means he has a different viewpoint than you do, and we're all allowed to have that luxury.

c. Address every valid point! Don't respond only to those arguments which you are sure you can counter. Respond to everything. If one of your opponent's arguments has merit and contains truth, then:

d. DON'T be afraid to concede! This is not a battle of manhood. If your opponent made an insightful argument which you cannot counter within reason, don't ignore it. Acknowledge it, and say "You have a point there. I didn't quite see it that way." It makes you seem a less vindictive person.

Rule zero of debating: YOU DON'T have to like your opponent, but you DO have to RESPECT him/her.

4. If someone is clearly trying to pick a fight, DO NOT respond in kind! If someone is clearly trying to be hostile and bait attacks, DON'T RESPOND! Just ignore it, and pretend the post was never made.

5. If you see a thread that has clearly degenerated into flame or spam, it is your duty to REPORT THE THREAD and get it fixed. That's the what the moderators are for. It doesn't mean you have a personal vendetta against the thread starter, or that you're a snitch, it just means you've done your part in clearing up the community discussion.

6. (From Stephen) - Don't quote inappropriate posts: Quoting spam, trolling, or outright flames only makes the jobs of a moderator editing a thread, in the attempts to save it before a lock, much more time consuming, and thus, difficult/frustrating. If you want something to stay open, then use the report button

7. (From Momaw) When you're quoting material, edit the quote for relevance. If a person posts a thousand word essay on the history of flanged widgets, and you wish to correct one single fact, don't quote the entire thing. Only quote the part to which you are actually replying. If you are addressing multiple points, split the quote up and reply to each block separately.

a.) This is makes it easier for people to actually see what you're talking about, instead of having to flip back and forth between what you wrote, and the quote, to find what the original poster said.

b.) It makes the thread more compact, so that readers can quickly find new material.


If you actually took the time to read all that, I truly thank you.  Please don't think I'm an ogre, or that I don't allow any fun in here.  Far from it - I want everyone to have as much fun as possible, but I just don't want to see another forum go down to spam and flame wars.  I truly believe following these suggestions will lead to a better community for everyone.  Who wouldn't want that?

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