Etiquette for Message Boards

Newbieposter synthesized a long thread on GoaD about etiquette on his blog here. These are copied here as good suggestions.

  • DON’T USE ALL CAPS – it’s considered shouting.
  • Don’t “hijack” threads. If you want to take a thread in a different direction, start a new one. Learn the acronyms and more about GOAD at http://goadies.org/faq/acronyms/
  • Use a clear thread name, because some read each thread but others only skim for topics that interest them.
  • Punctuation and paragraph breaks make reading posts easier. The Faulkner-ish stream of consciousness style of posting is tough to follow.
  • Please don’t post and disappear – that’s a “drive-by”. If you are looking for advice, some feedback to the people who offer it up is nice.
  • Read a lot to learn the ropes – “lurking”, in other words. Get a feel for the tone of the board before jumping in.
  • Read a few days’ worth of posts to see if whatever basic question you are about to ask has recently been answered.
  • Even a KITA or a “tell it like it is” can be couched in words that will encourage.
  • This is a two-dimensional media. Irony, sarcasm and humor don’t translate well. Consider using emoticons, even if you don’t like them.
  • Don’t interpret tone or intent where there may not be any.
  • Do your homework – Check the basic WW materials for info before posting a question.
  • Respect each others opinions, even if we don’t agree with them. Type a message as if your were speaking to that person’s face. It is often easy to forget there is a real person behind each of these messages.
  • Have an idea of who you are, and how you want to be known before you post. You *are* what you post.
  • Think twice; post once. (The “carpenter’s rule” for Message Boards.)
  • Don’t assume everyone’s first language is English or that they have the same educational background as you.
  • Don’t mock someone just to get a laugh.
  • Accept that if someone posts incorrect scientific/biological info on GoaD, it will be corrected. Better to have your ego a little bruised but have accurate info.
  • Opinions aren’t facts. Keep that distinction clear in your posts, and as you read others’ comments.
  • Don’t be afraid to post just because you disagree with someone’s opinion.