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MSFN Forum Etiquette

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Okay, please add here, the rules that you think shouldn't forcibly be enforced - rather, a set of "good behaviour" rules, which everyone is expected to follow.

If you get p***ed off with someone for not following an unwritten rule, you know what to do now! Mention here any of your new "etiquette" addition, and post a link to this topic - so that the person can become a positive contributor towards good conduct on the forum. All which was unwritten rules till now, hereby get a promotion by being written here (but will not be forcibly enforced, these are to be followed voluntarily).

I'll add any contents of posts here into the main list, and remove it, to keep the topic easy to read.

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1. Search the forum, before asking something.

2. Again, search. (there is the google search toolbar, and the forum's own search facility)

3. SEARCH ! (so that no time is wasted in repeating what was discussed ages ago)

4. If you're new to the forums, spend time familiarising yourself with the rules, and the way you're expected to conduct yourself. Otherwise, you can be sure you won't have a good time interacting with others on the forum.

5. Post a new topic only after you're certain your problem was not already discussed elsewhere in a topic on the forum. After all, there's any number of people here, and its VERY unlikely that you are the first person with the issue that you want resolved - most of of the time, each new wave of members post the same things over and over again, which gets not too nice to handle. And dont multi-post the same content across threads.

When someone tells you that your topic ought to have been in a different section, DO NOT re-post. Instead, ask a moderator to move it to where it should be.

6. When you post a new topic, give it a name that describes your post. If its not descriptory enough, people will just skip reading it.

7. Stick to the topic, without straying too far off. Never lose your cool, if an argument is on - anger will only invite closure of the topic, or banning you.

8. Don't add junk/chit-chat posts to important and community-service threads

(example: the Registry Tweaks, Hotfixes for XPSP2 threads)

Post only what really makes sense to be there - something that is relevant even months later. It squeezes the hell out of the person in charge of the topic, to see nonsense posted all over, thereby making the thread grow too big to be of any use.

9. If you have some issue, which you expect to be solved with help on the forum, GIVE DETAILS of what you tried yourself. If you have a problem with which you can't be bothered to spend a minute to explain, don't look forward to any help that needs time to solve! Everyone's time is valuable. Poking and prodding information out of you to help *YOU* is not a very lucrative thing to do.

10. When quoting from a previous post, quote only as much as is needed. A good thumb rule, is to ensure that your quoted text is only the part of the post you're replying to.

Trim your follow-ups.

Do not quote the entire content of the message to which you are replying. Include only as much as is necessary for context. Remember that if someone wants to read the original message, they can; it is easily accessible. A good rule of thumb is, don't include more quoted text than new text.

11. English not being your mother-tongue, is no excuse for horribly worded and grammatically poor posts. If you can't be bothered to express yourself so that we can understand you, nor should we be expected to spend time translating your post and trying to make sense of it. Especially, when the language gets technical, it helps if your language skill is atleast past the base-level. We have plenty of non-native English speakers here - so you're not alone, if you don't speak English as a native tongue.

12. If you're posting code, or contents from system files, use the

 tags. So that we can tell the difference between your post and the code. If there's code, we'd normally skip it over, to see if the question it relates to, is worth our time to answer. So posting lots of code, with no formatting nor differentiating your question - is the surest way to not get an answer.

[color=purple]13. [/color] Do not make extra-long posts, rambling for ages together. Keep it such that a quick 10-second scan of your post is enough to understand what you're saying. If you think your post might get too long, use segmenting into numbered points, and CODE tags, etc.

[color=purple]14. [/color] If you ask a question in a forum thread, and you get responses to it, its your duty to add a post at the end telling which response was useful for you. That way, the others get to know what to do when they themselves feel like asking that question later on - they can just search and find out, instead of wasting time on asking the same question again (and being told back that it has already been discussed :P ).

[color=purple]15. [/color] Seeing a 10-line post being split-up into 4 posts (this is just an example, you get the drift of what is meant!) will invite the anger of the moderator as well - greed for post-count will not be allowed to lead to a messy thread.

[color=purple]16. [/color] Don't self-promote your site, the moment you sign-up. Wait till you have atleast 10 posts to your name, before talking about your own site (in the "websites and boards" forum).

[color=purple]17. [/color] If someone looks like a person who is most likely to know the answer to your question, *NEVER* directly PM him/her.

Sending personal messages to a member for tech-support questions is not very polite. Use the forums for that.

[b]Why is this?[/b]

Remember that for whoever is most likely to help you, a lot of the pay back is in being seen by the community as a helpful member - or getting recognised. Most members come to the forums when they have the time to spare, and would like what they post to be useful to the maximum number of people possible.

So when you have anything to be asked, it will be perceived as being demanding if you PM a member with your question. If you feel that what you're asking is too trivial, or may be made fun of if you post it - there's nothing to worry about - our forum is a very friendly place, and everybody who has the wherewithal to help you solve your problem will try their best to do so, without any prejudice against anybody.

Asking a technical/general question in a PM is not polite!!

The downside to resolving these questions through PM'ing is that the other people in the community are deprived of sharing the benefit of the solution. The purpose of PM'ing is widely accepted to be used for personal conversations, or for talking about things that the forum does not cover.

But there come certain situations, when you think a certain member can help you. In such cases, post your question in the forums for discussion and solving - in the appropriate section and topic. And then PM a link (URL) of the page/topic to the member whom you think could be of help to you. You can also PM any other details that you want to keep private. This person will then (if he/she knows an answer) come to the thread whose link you had PM'ed, and respond there. This is so that more people will know what your question is, and the person you PM'ed or somebody else will answer there - that way, you will also get a faster resolution of your problem. More people are benefited too, since a publicly posted topic is kept for future reference and can be searched in the future, by people who have the same question as you.

Finally, e-mailing an individual directly with your query is not a nice thing to do. Again, that should be treated as a very rare option - post your question in a forum thread first, then contact over e-mail. (the forum allows you to directly email a person from his profile)

While MSFN is close-knit enough to offer individual attention on the forums, there are no guarantees of attention. It could be some days before someone who knows what you are asking about comes across your post. If you need guaranteed support/answers remember paid help-desks exist for exactly that purpose. 

[color=purple]18. [/color] Being gentle on the forum, and following the rules set by the administrators will keep your MSFN experience good.

[b]Highly recommended reading:[/b] How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

Edited by prathapml

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speaking of "Etiquette's" a polite "thank you" or "thx alot!" is always great!

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