What is allowed in posts? Rules/Etiquette

paul_in_mn(4b)July 22, 2012

A few posts recently asking what is allowed in posts and hoping they hadn't violated any posting rules. The recent posed questions seem to be about rules of the forum, and also about etiquette.

Gardenweb has a few rules at bottom of the page where you create a posting. Mainly - Don't violate copyright, and no advertising.

And also a few guidelines in their Terms of Service. Too long to copy and post here, but worth a read thru. Mostly about rights. (linked below)

Regarding etiquette, most is common sense. but found this list of tips that seemed useful and generic. Many of these have been expressed as replies to poster questions on this forum.

25 Forum Posting Etiquette Tips


1. Read the forums rules and guidelines before posting for the first time.

2. Search the other posts to see if your topic is already covered.

3. Use a meaningful title for your thread.

4. Do not use a forum to promote your product, service or business.

5. Be civil. Personal differences should be handled through email or IM and not through posts displayed to everyone.

6. Stay on topic.

7. Ignore spammers, respond to them personally and not through the board, or report them.

8. Do not submit a post that requires readers to download a large attachment. Either explain the attachment or, better yet, provide a link to the information.

9. Use plain text over HTML if you want your post to be readable by everyone.

10. In order to be understood by most people, use correct spelling, grammar and avoid slang unless you know the word or phrase will be understood by other members.

11. Do not double post (post the same message twice in one thread) or cross post (place the same message across several forums).

12. Act in a give and take manner; help others as often as or more than you ask for help.

13. Do not use all caps or SHOUT in your posts. In addition, one exclamation point is enough.

14. When replying to a post, do not quote more from the previous post than you have to.

15. Do not post new problems on someone else's thread and interrupt a topic of discussion.

16. Do not use someone else's thread for a private conversation.

17. Most forums prohibit warez, cracks or illegal downloading of software and similar topics.

18. Watch your sense of humor, posts may be read by people from a variety of backgrounds and ages.

19. Do not use a huge and annoying signature, a modest signature is fine, moderators may remove large ones anyway.

20. Do not post any information that you want private. Posts should not contain personal, identifiable information or content embarrassing to others.

21. Do not post content that violates a copyright.

22. Do not post "empty" or useless responses, such as just "lol" or "cool." Only post responses when you have something to contribute.

23. Write concisely and do not ramble.

24. Do not use words like "urgent" or "important" in your subject line, be patient.

25. Do not chastise newbies.

What are your thoughts? What are the de facto rules of the forum?


Here is a link that might be useful: GW Terms of Service: Guidelines

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irawon(5a Ottawa)

Paul, thanks for posting these rules. I've made them a part of my clippings.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 10:34AM
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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

I like #25. I remember when I first started to come to this forum, I asked a question about watering and got some sarcastic responses from a couple people. It was a few years before I came back much at all.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Wendys_garden(5b Great Lakes)

#25 - not just newbies. Don't chastise anyone.
Express your opinion, yes. Disagree, yes.
There is just no call for chastising.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Being civil is important. Just last week there was a huge disagreement on a thread on this forum; name callng, insulting and general rudeness, snottiness and hatefulness. Not a good respresentation of this forum, and not a thread I even wanted to read, much less post on. I know there are topics people feel strongly about, but agree to disagree, and if you can't say something nice or even civil to someone else, don't say anything. :)


    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 3:30PM
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irawon(5a Ottawa)

Mosswitch, I agree with you 100%. I was really upset with one of the threads. I don't believe in labeling people. I wasn't the person being labeled. I was upset and composed a reply. I usually wait 24 hours before posting a comment if I'm upset. I ended up not posting. Perhaps I should have. I believe it's important that people feef comfortable stating opinions that might not be popular. If someone disagees the post should be critical of the opinion and not the person.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 8:30PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

I agree as well. When someone posts an idea that is questioned and discussed. Then we should be able to discuss that idea and its merits without taking it personally. Disagreement is to be expected from time to time, and we need to be able to evaluate whether or not a cultural practice is helpful in a rational and evidence based manner. Polite discourse should always be practiced.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 11:04PM
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go out of the way to encourage new members, without too much 'gush'

avoid the noid id posts (unless very well documented with VP, flower time, type, picture, and, well, online noid is a real big waste of time and effort, imho)

in my other, and much longer hobby of ham radio, I was told to avoid politics and religion in discussions with new radio ops I met.



    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 11:14PM
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HH, I'll counter that for a lot of new members, the noid posting may have been the reason to make their first post or exposure to the hosta forum.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 11:41PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Too many rules! This is a public forum. If you have an opinion you would like to express, do so. If you don't like someones opinion/post say so. Just give a good reason why you agree/disagree with the the reasoning behind the post. Let the multitudes decide for themselves. I enjoy a lively debate as long as the participants are civil.

If all we did here is show pics of hostas we bought it would be very boring. You can go to the Hosta Library to see pics.

Here, we talk about growing them, and the trials and tribulations and the waaaaahooos of growing them under all sorts of different conditions.

If a post bothers you...don't go there and respond. It will go away by itself if enough people find it repugnant.

Hostas are fun. Keep it that way.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 1:28AM
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irawon(5a Ottawa)

"If a post bothers you...don't go there and respond. It will go away by itself if enough people find it repugnant."

Babka, the post will go away but the uncivilized behaviour remains. That's why rule #5 is important.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 8:05AM
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