Good forum netiquette - a reminder

This board contains all our forum rules and guidelines which we expect all members to stick to (yes, that means YOU as well!!). Ignore at your peril! ;-)

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Good forum netiquette - a reminder

Post by iih » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:39 pm

Good Forum Netiquette - A Reminder

We've recently had a number of members with “problem posts”, posts that are difficult for our administrators and moderators to read. If our admins and moderators are having difficulty reading them, it's highly possible that other members will be having problems too! Making sure that your post's easily readable and clear to everyone not only helps other members, but increases your chances of other members reading and responding to your posts.

This is particularly important because with IIH affecting vision, a high number of our members will have visual problems, and may use specialist software such as screen magnifiers and text readers, and some issues can cause them great problems.

These posting guidelines are a combination of some general "netiquette" rules that generally apply to online forums, and some specific issues that you need to be aware of in relation specifically to IIH Support.

- AVOID USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS in either post titles or posts as they can appear as though you're shouting, and can be difficult to read if a whole post is written in capitals.

- More than one exclamation mark or question mark at the end of a sentence is quite annoying, and rarely necessary!

- Avoid using web abbreviations such as OMG, IMHO for example, as many members may be unfamiliar with these and might not understand what they mean. For the same reason emoticons, for example ;-) should generally be avoided as emoticons are unsuitable for those with visual problems and many people may not understand them.

- Be sensible with your use of smileys within posts, particularly the animated ones, and avoid using numerous smileys in your posts. Posts that are full of smileys can cause particular problem for members using magnification software, and can generally distract from your message. Post which are deemed to have an inappropriate number of smilies may be moderated.

Do not use excessively large font sizes, as it is considered to be SHOUTING and will be edited back down to the default size by the moderators.

Please do not use font colours other than the forum's default font colour for posts, except for emphasis (for example, a heading, or one or two words you want to emphasise. Some font colours can be very difficult to read for some members with specific visual problems who may be using coloured overlays, or one of the alternate forum colour schemes, and using colours other than the default text colour can make text very difficult to read for some members. Posts in colours which are deemed unsuitable will be edited by the moderators.

We're not all perfect spellers (but the forum does have a spell check facility – button below the posting form), but posts which contain an excessive amount of spelling errors, abbreviations, lack of punctuation or capitalisation, or any other form of posting which makes the post difficult to read will receive a warning from a Moderator. If the post is not made acceptable within 3 days of the warning, it will be deleted or moved without further warning. Posts which use no capitalisation or punctuation cause particular problems for anyone using magnification, as only a small part of the screen is visible, and it's difficult to keep track of where you are if a post isn't split into sentences and doesn't have capitals where appropriate and punctuation.

- If your post is long, split it into paragraphs. A large "wall" of text is unappealing, and hard work to read, and again can cause problems for members using specialist software.

- Please use an appropriate thread title for your message. Summarise the problem briefly in the topic title, which makes it a lot easier for people who might be searching for information on a particular topic or those who need to find information quickly. Don't use all capitals. An example of a bad subject would be "OMG HELP ME!!!!". A good subject might be, "I need advice on what to do after a lumbar puncture”. Using the second example tells other forum members what the thread's about and what information they're likely to find in it. Some members might read all new messages since their last visit, while others may choose to read only those that interest them, and with a clear subject title it makes it so much easier for them to see without going into the thread, and helps out members searching for information too.

- Don't post about a totally different subject on an existing thread - if your post's on a different subject, start a new thread - it helps other members who might be searching for information on a particular subject.

The basic message is that if your post isn't clear and readable to our administrators and moderators, then it's probably not clear and readable to a large number of our members either. In accordance with the forum rules, posts that aren't easily readable will be edited by our moderators and a warning issued. Repeated warnings may result in a temporary ban from the forum.

We don't make rules and issue guidelines because we like doing it – in fact it's less work for us if we don't – but because we want all of our forum members to be able to use the forum easily. Please be considerate towards other forum members and think before you post.


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