OurBoard Support welcome well-mannered and considerate members sharing and exchanging information, on anything related to message boards or forums, by means of group discussion. In order for this to work well, the viewpoint of the reader — and particularly the later reader — is what is most important.
There are more readers than posters. An average topic has over 30 views per post; what does that tell you? Whatever you add to a topic, will be read by many. A topic should be easily read from beginning to end and make sense. Some practices can disrupt this flow.
What we want to encourage is for members to think before pressing the button.
- Use search before creating a new topic.
- Try and post in the right place.
- Create a great subject line.
- Make a good post.
- Do not use all capitals anywhere.
- Use quotes properly to aid the conversation.
- Do not make two posts in the same topic in a row.
- Only edit older posts with caution.
- Do not post personal details.
- Avoid arguments.
- Personal attacks are never OK.
- Do not feed the trolls.
- Try and stay on the topic being discussed.
- Do not disrupt topics with intrusive signatures.
- A little about the personal message system.
- Report inappropriate posts and PMs.
Before posting a new question, consider if your question may have been asked and answered before. This will give you a much quicker answer. Please make use of the forum's search feature to check.
Topics or Posts in the Wrong Place
Please try and check that the topic you are starting is in the correct section of the forums. Moderators will move topics that are obviously in the wrong section or may split a topic to keep things organized and meaningful.
Create a Great Subject Line
It benefits a reader to know what is in a topic before they open it. It benefits the searcher by helping them find the topics they seek. It benefits the poster by attracting the right sort of reader and perhaps respondent.
The subject line should summarize what your post is about and use title case only. Punctuation should be avoided.
Moderators may edit the subject line to improve clarity or add related detail as the topic progresses.
Make Your Post Count
Over 90% of help topics can be answered in the first reply, if it contains all the relevent detail.
If you are in a hurry for an answer, please take your time constructing your opening post; this also saves volunteer helpers' time. Relevant information may be: device or PC, Operating System, version, patch level, browser, version, a clear description of how the symptom can be reproduced, a clear description of the symptom itself, links to relevant pages, where the symptom can either be seen or reproduced, etc. Being able to see the issue, is often sufficient to have it addressed. In the case of a skin, theme or style issue, it is almost essential that the page/s can be viewed. In the case where a page may be strictly private, it may be sufficient to copy all HTML and CSS into a post. Please use code tags around any code you may post, so it is easier read and doesn't get mangled in the posting process.
Please do not create posts or subjects all in capital letters. Capital letters are offensive to the eye and more difficult to read. A former forum practice was to use capitals to emphasize a word or statement and really there is no need for this either, when bold or italic format can be better used instead and even these should be used sparingly.
Use of Quotes
Quotes can be a very useful way of making your reply to a post clearer by indicating the point you are referring to. However using them incorrectly can be annoying and make topics very hard to read. In all cases you should think before quoting and wherever possible only use a part of the post you are replying to in order to make it clear which bit of a post your reply refers to.
The following rules apply to the use of quotes.
- Only quote the full content of a post if:
- The post is short and only contains one point.
- You find that your reply has been forced onto a new page (then edit in the full quote if it's needed).
- Do not quote images.
Moderators will remove unnecessary full quotes where they are posted immediately after the post being replied to.
Back to Back Posting
Posting two successive messages is generally unnecessary and makes a topic harder to follow. If you have something to add and your post has not been replied to, just edit in the additional information.
Editing posts, which have been replied to, has the potential to improve or destroy a topic. In general, please try to avoid this practice. Your edits could easily be overlooked when a topic is current. In some cases though, correcting an error may be wise and it may be worthwhile creating a new post to draw attention to the edit. An example may be where a crucial typo has been made.
Posts may only be edited within a 90 minute window from the time of posting. This both encourages a better quality of post first time around and discourages retrospective editing. You may PM a Moderator outwith this period to edit the post for you, if the edit is absolutely essential to the meaning of things.
Persistent retrospective editors that do not follow the spirit, will be denied the ability to edit.
Posting of Personal Details
Just don't do it! Examples are: Full name, address, phone number, email address. Please use the PM or Email button to communicate with forum members. Business contacts are generally OK but again avoid the public posting of email addresses. By all means link to these off-site.
There is a fine line between discussion and argument, which is at times hard to define. In general a discussion becomes an argument when the postings become personal and if this starts to become obvious then the Moderators will take necessary action which may include removal or locking of posts.
These are usually caused by discussions turning into serious arguments as mentioned above. Please think before posting anything that would be defined as this sort of attack. For example "Username is an idiot". Personal attacks, including those in personal forum messages or emails, are not welcome on these forums and will be dealt with firmly. As the moderators do not have access to personal forum messages or emails any action would only be in response to a specific complaint by the recipient.
A troll is a person who posts inflammatory messages, to disrupt the discussion or to upset its participants. The word, or its derivative, "trolling", is also used to describe such messages or the act of posting them. This behavior will not be tolerated.
It is inevitable that topics can veer off course. Rather than drag a thread off topic, you should start a new thread in the appropriate forum and post a link in the original thread. Please note that reasonable deviations from a topic's starting point are allowed, if discussions on the topic's original subject have finished.
The posting of responses to topics that add little or nothing to the topic being discussed will not be tolerated. Such posts will be removed.
The use of signatures is a privilege and not a right. Signatures have the ability to interrupt the discussion flow, especially if they are on the large side. Please keep these to a minimum size and avoid their overuse. There is no advantage to spamming a topic with multiple signatures, so please do not enable signatures by default and only use them discretely. If the signature is just your name, this is fine! Signatures are diabled in the help forums, to make topics easier to follow.
Misuse of signatures may result in the privilege being withdrawn from that member.
Personal Message System
Personal Messages (PMs) are a means of providing private communication exchange between two or more forum members. A restriction is in place, limiting these to 300 messages per folder. If you exceed this limit, you will not be able to view later communication, until you delete some messages.
It is a wise idea to retain email notifications of PMs as a record of their content. It is further possible to export your PMs and import these to a spreadsheet format, for your records.
Note: A PM "stuck" in your outbox, simply means the recipient has not read that PM (but may have read the email notification).
If a member is found to be abusing the PM system, their privilege to use the PM system may be withdrawn.
Use the Report Feature
If you happen to come across inappropriate topics, posts or personal messages, please do not react to these. Actively ignoring them is the best thing to do in all circumstances. Instead, alert forum staff to the issue by using the report feature, linked to directly underneath all posts and PMs. Let staff deal with the issue.