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Forum Etiquette Guide

Started by MaestroUGC, February 04, 2016, 12:11:22 PM

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Forum Etiquette Guide:
These are not hard rules, but rather a guide for general behavior we expect from our members.

I - I'm New, What Do I Do?
 - If you're new to a community, everyone will assume you're new to the Internet. As such, post slowly and ease your way in. It's up to you to display restraint and good behavior to the rest of us; we won't assume you're mature and we won't believe you if you say so.

 - "I've been lurking for a few months, I think I know how you guys interact here." No you don't, lurk some more. Most communities have a very specific sense of humor, but it is not shared by every member; it's best to ease your way into a conversation.

 - Just because you're new doesn't mean the Moderators will be lenient on you, nor will anybody else for that matter. If you're here you're expected to know what you're doing. If you don't, consult the Forum Rules and this Guide you're currently reading.

 - "People seem to be ignoring me when I post, did I do something wrong?" In most cases, no. It just takes time for people to warm up to new members. As long as you aren't obnoxious or breaking any rules you'll be fine. Just give it some time.


 - Sarcasm doesn't work on the internet; always assume whatever you post will be taken literally.

 - As a guideline when posting: Excessive use of emoticons, poor grammar/punctuation, and displays of poor context deduction skills are generally frowned upon. In most cases, they make you look like a child, and as a result you'll be treated like one.
Try to do everything; you're bound to succeed with at least one.


II - Is this a Good Post?
 - "I've registered a new account and I'm ready to make my first post." Your first post is your impression to the community, so you should probably take extra care with what you say in it.

 - You can introduce yourself in The Introduction Thread. There you can say everything you want about yourself without worrying about interrupting a conversation else where. THIS IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Or, if you're an arranger you can make your own Personal Arrangement Thread. Be advised, this is not the place for idle chat or a proper introduction. The Personal Arrangement threads are places where you can compile the arrangements you've made and where you can receive feedback on them.

 - "I've introduced myself. Now what?" Jump in on a conversation somewhere. Since you're new, the Mods would like to advise you not to post absolutely everywhere every chance you get. Good places to start would be the Post Your Thoughts of the Moment Thread (PYTotMT), Rant Topic, Made My Day, or any of the current Gaming Threads.

 - "I've typed up a post, can I just hit 'Post'?" Haha, no! Did you proofread it yet? Some things to check for:
 - Is what I said clear and easily understood by other people?
 - How's my spelling/grammar?
 - Can this in any way be construed as an attack on another member?
 - Is what I'm saying knowingly controversial or otherwise intending to spark a fight?
 - Do I intend to earnestly discuss what I'm going to post, or am I just looking for some amusement?
 - Would I get upset if this post was directed to me, or if it implied the opposite of what I'm saying?
 - We're not going to tell you what the answers should be, instead we're just going to highlight the "Don't be a Dick" rule; the Golden Rule of the Internet.

 - "Oh no, I just made a post that I realized could be a problem, what do I do?" It depends on how long it's been since you posted. If you wish to further clarify something you said, or if you want to remove something particularly harmful, you can edit your post to do so. Keep in mind, your original post may have been seen by the time you do that, so you could face disciplinary action regardless. There's no excuse for hasty posting, so you can't use the "I wasn't thinking" defense.

 - "What's this 'Spam' I keep hearing about? It sounds delicious." Spam, otherwise known as garbage or s***-posting, are posts that do not contribute to the conversation at hand."

 - "How do I know if I'm spamming?" Simple, does your post meet these requirements?
 - Am I actively contributing to the conversation? Can someone respond to what I'm saying? One word responses or posts that don't contain a coherent thought are not contributions to the discussion.
 - Am I interrupting a discussion with something unrelated? It's one thing to go on a tangent, but if your post is totally unrelated, it can be considered a Topic Derail. Best case is people will ignore it, worst case, if you're obnoxious enough about it you can face a ban.
 - Does my post only contain a picture or links? Depending on the context, this may be acceptable. Generally you want to refrain from posting too many pictures in the first place; but feel free to post a funny picture or video you find in the Pictures/Videos thread.
 - How frequently am I posting? If the answer is 'more than twice in a row in a single thread' then the answer is too much.

 - "What if no one has posted in a thread for a few days/weeks?" That's what we refer to as "Bumping". A few general rules:
 - If you were the last person to post in a thread and it's been less than a week, edit your last post. If you were the last person to post in a thread and a week or more has passed, or if you're bringing up a new subject, you may make a new post.
 - If the thread hasn't been active in over a month, proceed with caution. When in doubt, ask a mod.
 - If the thread hasn't been active in less than 6 months, ask a Mod. They'll tell you if it's worth bumping the thread or simply posting it elsewhere.
 - If the thread hasn't been posted in over 6 months: Do not post there. That is a dead thread and you would be "necrobumping", which is ban able. If you feel your post would incite new discussions, then ask a Mod. If they decide it's not worth the necrobump, they will either say post it elsewhere or make a new thread. If you necrobump a thread without prior mod permission, you will be banned regardless of how active the thread becomes.

 - "I have an idea for a new Thread, can I make it?" There's a few things you should do before making a New Thread:
 - Will this thread be able to sustain a lasting conversation? Will it die after a few days and just be forgotten? You can gauge interest by asking people in the Discord server if they'd use your thread. If they aren't interested there then they likely won't be interested here. If not, then post your comment in the PYTofMT or wherever it might be suitable.
 - If people would use it, run a search; check to see if this thread already exists. If it doesn't, then make your thread. If it does exist, and if the thread isn't dead yet, then just use that one. If it is dead ask a Mod if they want you to use it or start a new one.
 - There is no reason to make a new thread in most cases. There is definitely no reason to make a new thread every week. Odds are good you can talk about whatever it is elsewhere on the forum. As such the Mods reserve the right to lock a thread for Spam and ban its creator.

A few additional Posting Guidelines:
 - There's no limit to making posts, as long as you're actively contributing to those conversations. If you're repeatedly making empty posts across the forum, it will be considered spam and you will be banned.
 - No "Vague Posting". If you don't want to talk about something, don't bring it up in the first place. It contributes absolutely nothing and makes you look like an attention seeker. If you want to talk about it privately, a public forum is not the place to do so. It will be considered spam and you will banned. If you just want to vent, either be specific and do it in the right place (The Rant Thread) or be vague in the Discord Server.
 - Making the same post repeatedly in a single thread, or even elsewhere on the forums, is spam; if you need to repeat yourself a quote will do. If you're just saying the same thing over and over again without modifying, clarifying, or using its content to directly respond to people you are not actively contributing to the conversation. We heard you the first time, we get it.
 - The double posting/necrobumping rule does not apply to your own Arrangement Thread, or other creative threads (like art, original compositions, reviews, etc.) as long as you're bumping it with a new arrangement or appropriate creative content. If you wish to comment on someone else's dead arrangement thread, just send them a PM. Try to avoid "I'm planning to do X, Y and Z" posts if you're going to necro-bump; just post the material when it's ready.
Try to do everything; you're bound to succeed with at least one.


III - How to Engage with Other Members
 - In most cases you will likely be communicating through the various threads, making general conversation about whatever the topic is. In these threads you must remember that you aren't the only person there, so whatever you say will be seen by everybody. Nobody wants to have to talk around a one-on-one conversation, and failure to do so privately may be considered spam from both parties.

 - Other times, you may wish to have a private dialogue with another member independent of the discussion threads. In this case simply PM them; through PMs you can discuss whatever you feel and not have to worry about spamming the forums. Just keep in mind the rules about harassment and watch what you say.

 - "Forum member A said something mean about me." If you feel you are being attacked or harassed by another member, either bring it up to a Moderator or use the Report Button on the offending post. Keep in mind this will be at the Moderators' discretion in determining guilt, so don't get upset if we deem the post unoffending. See the Forum Rules for more details.

 - "I have this funny chat log, can I post it?" If it's from the NSM Discord server, post away! It's considered a public space so just watch what you say because anybody can read it. If it's a private log between you and another member(s), then make sure you have permission from them to post it. The same applies to private messages.
Try to do everything; you're bound to succeed with at least one.


IV - Additional Forum Guidelines
 - "I notice that some of your forum games are designed to encourage spamming? Isn't that against the rules?" Some of the games, like The Werewolf Game, have rules in place that prohibit editing posts, encourage direct conversations and prioritize posting frequency. The Forum Games Sub-Forum don't count your posts and, due to its nature, is usually not considered spam. However, the Mods reserve the right to shut down any of those threads should we deem it destructive or otherwise causes problems.

 - "Can I advertise my YouTube/Twitch/Kickstarter etc. here?" There's a spot called your Signature on your Forum Profile in which you can put referral links and such for people to click on. As per the rules, you must clearly state where those links lead. If you have a YouTube or Twitch Channel you wish to advertise, you can make a thread for them in the Creativity Corner. However if you come here just to dump a few links and leave your thread will be deleted, so come in and know us better, man! See the Forum Rules regarding other referral links.
Try to do everything; you're bound to succeed with at least one.