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#185434 - 10/15/09 07:01 PM Re: Internet Etiquette [Re: JBMat]
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1834
Loc: MINNESOTA

my problem is i type like i think and the....'s are pause while i move to the next thought..i took English 101 in 1965 and that was enough for me...thanks..if a post looks like its going bad i just quit on it.having a go around with a faceless someone on a computer screen is a joke and i know there are people out there who just like to pull someones chain to see what happens..CAP's are fine if you want to make a point..i guess.and after all it's just the Web not a PhD thesis....ok..?

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#185440 - 10/15/09 07:38 PM Re: Internet Etiquette [Re: CANOEDOGS]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Oh, yah, youse spellen cheque two
oar yews endup lookin like a dumber
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#185441 - 10/15/09 08:06 PM Re: Internet Etiquette [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2018
Loc: NE Illinois
Originally Posted By: JeanetteIsabelle
Originally Posted By: scafool
Un flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle

J'amène un flambeau comme un élément de mon EDC.

I bring a torch as part of my EDC.

Jeanette Isabelle


Now there is an excellent example of the complexity of understanding the English language and the need for patience on this - and any - forum. As I sit here trying to figure out why you'd be carrying a large stick with a kerosene-soaked cloth wrapped around one end ...

grin

Let alone why you'd store your kit in your boot [boot (British English) = trunk (American English) ... as in your car ].

crazy

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#185444 - 10/15/09 09:03 PM Re: Internet Etiquette [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Y_T_ Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Arizona
JeanetteIsabelle,
I think the fact that you're conscientious enough to ask, and that you've been online since you were a teenager, means you probably already know the etiquette. smile But offhand here's the things that I most often see. Maybe they'll help you or others.

In general I look at it this way: asking someone to read your post is asking them to do you a favor.
You can't expect someone to do you a favor if you make your post difficult or impossible to read. So take the time to follow basic netiquette.

* Always read the forum rules before you begin posting.
If you're new to a site you need to first read and accept the rules of that forum. This will save you a great deal of hassle, complaints and attacks from other members. If you do violate the rules then apologize and try to correct the mistake. I've seen far too many people barge onto a place, post entirely contrary to the vibe and rules of the site, then complain about how "mean" or "uptight" everyone is when in fact they are the ones who are out of line. Take responsibility and learn the guidelines.

* ALL CAPS is shouting when used for more than just a few words. And shouting is rude.
All caps for a word or phrase is ok as that use is just emphasis, like bold or italic. A sentence or more and you're shouting at someone. A paragraph or more and you're not only impossible to read but really annoying. (I see lots of people do this because they think leaving the caps lock on saves them the effort of hitting the shift key. When in reality it would be far better for them to have no capitals than all caps.)

* Make the effort to use proper punctuation (even if it's just a period) and capitalize your sentences. At least if there are more than 1 or 2 sentences. It really, really helps make your posts more readable.
Not everyone uses perfect grammar all the time, but at least use enough for basic comprehension. It doesn't matter if you're typing from your phone. We still can't read or comprehend your post when it's 4 lines of different thoughts that all run together, with no periods and no capitals to indicate where one begins and the other ends. Ditto for so many abbreviations or truncated words in an effort to save typing time. If no one knows what you just said then you didn't save any time at all. And if you're unable to properly express yourself via your mobile device then wait until you're at a computer. It's not life or death, so if you can't make your post comprehensible then you don't need to reply at that very moment.

* Include the person's name or their quote when you are responding to something specific. Snip out the small relevant sentence or passage if you're quoting a long post.
This helps avoid misunderstandings or confusion by identifying who and what you are addressing. Particularly when a thread is moving quickly and 2 or 3 people may have posted between you and the post you're referencing. It also makes it much easier for people to follow the discussion. Generally, if you're addressing the entire post you can just use the person's username or just a small snippet to indicate what post you're referencing. Quoting the entire block of their post is cumbersome for other users.

* Use paragraph breaks AND paragraph spaces to separate your thoughts in a readable manner.
If you don't know how or when to do this every 5 or so lines seems a good guideline. I've seen so many huge walls of text, like 30-50 lines, without a single paragraph break. Just lines and lines of text all running into each other like a single thought. Or if they use a paragraph break they don't actually use a space between the paragraphs, which makes the break itself almost useless. It's nearly impossible to wade through posts like that. Sometimes this is adopted by people who are also rambling only semi-coherently and frequently going off-topic to their own subject, which makes their post even harder to read.

There's a reason newspapers, magazines and books use paragraphs and spaces between paragraphs: it has been proven over and over to not only help with comprehension by dividing thoughts, but also greatly help with the act of reading by allowing the eye to take a break with those white spaces.

* Never, ever use post someone's personal information on a forum unless you have been given explicit permission to do so. Or unless they have already done so and you are quoting them.
This includes their real name (not user name/handle), spouse's real name, children's real names, phone numbers, addresses, school or workplace name, children's school, or any photos.

If in doubt PM them and ask first. The information can be viewed and used by anyone on the internet. The issue of internet safety is no joke. Deciding to be careless with someone else's info can cost them their job, their parental rights, or their personal safety. (Yes, all of these things have in fact occurred.) It can result in emotional or physical harassment, or outright stalking.

* If you're asking a question or for help ask it upfront, be concise, and strip out any personal life stuff and stress that's not relevant to your specific question.
Don't make people have to decipher your question in the middle of your life story or play detective trying to guess what your point is. Again, you're asking a favor so do so in the easiest manner. Sometimes you may find that after you've written your question post you then need to go back to edit and reorganize your thoughts to make your point clearer. That's ok.

I see this problem a lot with those who are new to the internet, particularly those who are upset about a topic. They'll post 10 paragraphs of rambling personal drama just to ask where to buy a flashlight. To the writer all these personal things are somehow related because they want you to know how stressed they are about their life and why they need that flashlight so badly and why you should take pity on them and help them. Unfortunately their method pretty much insures they won't get the help they need because no one can get through their post. People are often happy to help, you don't need to convince them with your tale of woe first. wink

* Do your research first: use the search feature, be informed, don't be a mall-ninja or poseur.
Use the search function before posting, especially if you are new. No matter how special mom thinks you are, you are not a unique snowflake. wink Chances are 100 people have asked the very same question or posted the very same article before you. And that means that members of the forum have already taken time out of their day to provide information at least once (and probably several) times before.

Don't disrespect their time. Read the prior posts. It's quicker, easier and often more informative than making a new one. If you can't find what you're looking for, but think it may exist just note that when you post: "Point me to the existing thread if this has been asked before." That lets people know you tried and generally gives you a more friendly reception.

In addition, try to avoid posting or debating an idea based on hearsay or uninformed opinion. You'll have fewer conflicts if you take a few moments to verify info or read the full article. If you're debating a point it can be helpful to quote your source or share background as to why you feel you're knowledgeable.

Finally, don't try to impress people by making up stuff, thinking you'll look more cool or be more respected. There will always be someone who actually was there, who actually did take that class, who actually did military or LEO service, who actually is knowledgeable on that weapon or situation. They'll recognize your bullcrap immediately and you'll look like an idiot when they call you out. We're not a competition, you don't need to be bigger, faster, tougher, whatever for people to like you. In fact, trying to do so will pretty much insure they don't.

* If you're confused, ask for clarification. If you screw up, apologize.
Both seem to go a long way to avoid problems. Much can be lost in tone and meaning via the internet, which is partly why emoticons were created. Sometimes sarcasm or humor doesn't translate, sometimes a concept is complex and difficult too express, sometimes we post to quickly to be clear, sometimes we simply misunderstand what we read. Ask if something seems really "off", apologize when you've misunderstood or goofed. Generally how someone handles a misunderstanding is more significant than the misunderstanding itself.

* Debate the post, not the person.
If you have a problem with the content of what someone has posted then question, debate, or correct that content. Don't make attacks about the person him/herself. When you do need to address the person separate from the post, try to keep it civil. "You seem ignorant of the details of the topic" or "your personal comments are inappropriate" is better than "you're a f*cking *sshole". If a debate is going on for an extended time it's sometimes better to continue it via private messages so both people can address the issue in a more detailed manner without derailing the thread.

(Though not stated as part of netiquette, my personal exception to this is trolls and people who are obviously playing out their personal issues in public. If you blatantly attack someone or obviously post to be inflammatory then you've opened the door for others to respond in kind.)

* If you're repeatedly having conflicts, first look at your own behavior.
If you're continually violating the guidelines above then you're at fault (at least to some degree) and need to make efforts to follow netiquette. If you're following the guidelines then look to see if you're in the right place. For example, posting on a conservative forum when you're a liberal is naturally going to breed conflict. If you're not out of line with the purpose of the site, then see the next rule.

* Accept that some people are just willful idiots or jerks and will create conflict no matter what you do.
Some people are just incapable of expressing themselves in a respectful manner, especially if there are personal issues or if they have particular prejudices. Others simply don't even try to communicate like a reasonable adult. If you find that you're repeatedly having conflicts look to see if it's often with the same people. Sometimes you find those individuals just start crap with everyone (the "I'm the resident tough guy jerk" persona), sometimes you find they're just idiots, sometimes you find they clearly have some personal issues and it's time to get the mods involved.

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#185445 - 10/15/09 09:15 PM Re: Internet Etiquette [Re: Y_T_]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4963
Loc: SOCAL
Y_T_'s post above could be a sticky.

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#185446 - 10/15/09 09:20 PM Re: Internet Etiquette [Re: Arney]
Jeanette_Isabelle Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1906
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
Originally Posted By: Arney
Actually, it may help us give more specific advice if you could clarify what kinds of situations have been giving you problems, Jeanette.

Let me begin by saying that the use of proper grammar would eliminate a lot of improper etiquette. One problem which seems to follow me wherever I go is the interaction with moderators. With the exception of the one time I was pulled into a conflict before I was officially a member of a given forum, I do what I can to be sure I understand the forum rules before I am officially a member of the said forum. Nevertheless I have been threatened by, temporarily banded by and had posts deleted by moderators. This is why I especially want to hear from moderators. A second problem I often come across is when someone says they want to move the current discussion to private messages. In the majority of the cases they want to say something to me that they don't want anyone else to hear. Hint. A third problem, I will admit, has to do with me. I don't let things go. When someone says to drop it, I don't.

This is somewhat off-topic. In another forum I was often asked, "Why so serious?" After being asked that question for a while, I answered it by posting my life's story in a thread. I was never asked that question since then.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"Hello? Cobra Bubbles? Aliens are attacking my house." -- Lilo Pelekai, Lilo and Stitch

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#185447 - 10/15/09 10:10 PM Re: Internet Etiquette [Re: Y_T_]
Jeanette_Isabelle Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1906
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
Originally Posted By: Y_T_
If a debate is going on for an extended time it's sometimes better to continue it via private messages so both people can address the issue in a more detailed manner without derailing the thread.

I have to disagree with this. Too often, when a conversation is moved from a public forum to private messages, the rules which govern a conversation in a public forum no longer apply in private messages.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"Hello? Cobra Bubbles? Aliens are attacking my house." -- Lilo Pelekai, Lilo and Stitch

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#185449 - 10/15/09 10:32 PM Re: Internet Etiquette [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Y_T_ Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: JeanetteIsabelle
This is why I especially want to hear from moderators.
In that case my advice would be to contact the moderators here directly and ask about tips to reduce conflicts or improve your behavior. Or if you haven't had problems here but are concerned, then PM them to just "check in" that you're behaving ok. My observation has been that calling out mods to resolve personal issues on in public setting is a no-no.


Originally Posted By: JeanetteIsabelle
A second problem I often come across is when someone says they want to move the current discussion to private messages. In the majority of the cases they want to say something to me that they don't want anyone else to hear. Hint.
It depends on the circumstance. If the conflict is tangental to the thread then often other members or a mod will ask that you take it to PMs since it's not relevant to the topic. In that case it muddies up the discussion. If the conflict is related to or a direct part of the topic I like to keep it in the thread because I feel it's a valid part of the discussion. But if it continues between the same 2 people for more than a few rounds, or starts to become unproductive then it's often best to either kill it or move it to PMs.

Usually I've found misunderstandings are best handled via PMs because it doesn't derail the thread. Then one or both people can return to the thread to edit their post if needed. However, when the argument becomes personal or it's clear the person is raging uninformed or unreasonable (or both) I don't do PMs. The reason is what you've mentioned, where the person has no real intention of trying to resolve the issue, they just want to say all the stuff they aren't allowed to say in public.

I've been in a few situations where on the public forum the person is all "oh, boo-hoo me, I'm so misunderstood and she's just taking it personally", then in private they're spewing ugly, vitriolic and curse-filled attacks which are indeed personal. Usually during a PM these individuals also directly or accidentally reveal that they're lying on the public forum. At best case they're just using it as an excuse to try to browbeat you to conceding their point, not have an actual give-and-take dialog. So in those cases I simply block them, delete any incoming messages, or report them to the mods for abuse. Though in fairness, those situations have been quite rare.


Originally Posted By: JeanetteIsabelle
A third problem, I will admit, has to do with me. I don't let things go. When someone says to drop it, I don't.
Honestly, that's not going to go well, ever. wink First, if you continue after someone says drop it you're being disrespectful, since they've already expressed a limit or boundary and you're ignoring it. If that person is a mod then you've set yourself up for probation or banishment.

Second, your time online will likely be much more enjoyable if you learn to recognize the situations where you have to "agree to disagree", as well as recognize the individuals who either cannot be reasoned with (due to ignorance or emotional issues) or don't wish to resolve the situation (out of hatefulness, spite, trolling, or simply an inability to admit they're wrong).

Just some thoughts. I haven't been on this particular forum long so I can't speak for your time here. That's just based on the past decade or more of other internet use. smile


Edited by Y_T_ (10/15/09 10:37 PM)
Edit Reason: grammar for comprehension

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#185450 - 10/15/09 10:34 PM Re: Internet Etiquette [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
My outlook has worked pretty well for 27+ years - treat online forums like pubs. What you say can be heard by anybody. Can be mis-heard by anybody. You get to hear everybody else's opinion, who can beat that? That can make anybody angry, sometime unreasonably. Speak (write) as clearly as you can muster, it helps. Treat people with the respect you expect to be treated with, but remember you won't get it from everyone. Some of us can't tell jokes. Not everyone will see the humor anyway. Some of us come off as geeky, boring know it alls, even when we're not. There are guys (and gals) just looking for a fight. There are some psychotics, shut-ins, just plain mean people. The right to a broadband connection is nearly an inalienable right, even for raving space loons. Just walk away, your time in the pub isn't worth their gratification. The best thing about this pub is you never have to fight your way out, and there is no last call, most nights. You may want to keep your anonymity online, because you never know who will show up on your doorstep sobbing about some shared experience. But like any pub you can drink and drink until you're stupid drunk, maybe no one will notice, or maybe a bartender (moderator) will warn you last call. You can share your hobbies in the real world in this pub too, including drinking. But finally, be good, be respectful (sorta) to the opposite sex, because you can learn and grow up alot and sometimes get laid if that's what you're looking for, and you don't want to get tossed out of your local, not too often.

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#185455 - 10/15/09 10:54 PM Re: Internet Etiquette [Re: Y_T_]
Jeanette_Isabelle Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1906
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
Originally Posted By: Y_T_
First, if you continue after someone says drop it you're being disrespectful, since they've already expressed a limit or boundary and you're ignoring it.

I did not see it that way. Personal boundaries are something I definitely understand. Thank-you for pointing that out.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"Hello? Cobra Bubbles? Aliens are attacking my house." -- Lilo Pelekai, Lilo and Stitch

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