The Veritas Society

The Auditorium => Main Hall => Topic started by: Sethair on February 28, 2009, 07:09:53 AM

Title: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Sethair on February 28, 2009, 07:09:53 AM
[This article was written by a friend on another forum. Original author link at the bottom]

Gain and keep the respect of your peers, and get better and faster answers to your questions.

After years of participation in online forums, I've identified a few important rules to follow if you want both respect from your peers and results from your queries. I've listed these points below, with explanations of each. If you feel that one or more of these points describes you, it probably does!

Forum Subjects

If you are on a board that has multiple forums, each with its own description of what kind of stuff should go into that forum, read the blasted descriptions before you post! Nothing pisses moderators off faster than having to police your poorly aimed topics, and even if they let you be, your fellow posters will probably chew you out for wasting their time.

Subject Lines

Folks, these are there for a reason. They let other people know what you want to talk about. Don't make them impossible to figure out, with meaningless drivel like "Wanted to know", or "My Opinion". Put real, useful clues in them to explain the post topic. This gets the attention of people who have an interest in the subject, rather than either a)being ignored, which gets you no responses/help, or b) annoying people who open your message just in case, because they don't want to miss anything, and find their time wasted.

Please consider. If you are reading the posts on a board, and see a subject like "A Question...", what does this tell you about the post inside? Absolutely nothing! What does it tell you about the poster? Probably that they can't organize their thoughts well enough to be worth reading in the first place!

Language Skills

Look, no one expects a PhD in literature on a forum, but if you write as though you were an idiot, people will think you are an idiot. The basics of spelling, punctuation, and grammar are not beyond the grasp of an 8-year-old, so you should probably do OK, if you at least try. And don't give me any crap about how you never went to school, have a learning disability, or no one on your MMORPG has any trouble understanding you! All we're asking is that you try, just a little. This isn't just about people being anal, we don't understand what you are saying! The harder people have to work to read your post, the more negatively inclined they will be toward you and your subject.

Spelling's a big one. It's really a no-brainer. If you have spelling issues, use a spell checker. You don't even have to do any of the work yourself, for Pete's sake! Also, if you choose to use an unfamiliar word, make sure it's the right one. Many words sound the same, but are spelled differently, and mean completely different things. Picking the wrong one makes you look like an uneducated boob. If I write a post about taking the sun to school this morning, you'll probably figure out what I really meant, but you'll think I'm a dumb-ass...

Punctuation is also a huge deal, despite what you might think. Again, we don't need thesis-level work on the correct usage of semicolons in the case of multiple adjectival clauses here, just follow three simple rules:

   1. When you reach the end of a complete thought, put in a period and a space or two. We call this a sentence. Start the next one with a capital letter.
   2. Wherever you would pause while saying the sentence out loud, put in a comma. This way we know what parts of a sentence are linked together.
   3. When you've put together a bunch of sentences that relate to a common point, and are going to move on to a new point, you have completed a paragraph. In honor of this rare and joyous event, skip a line before you start the next one.

Grammar's a tough one, I'll admit it. Even the most anal board posters will sometimes disagree on what's the right way to say something. Just give it your best shot, and know that of the three language skills, this is the one most people will give you a pass on, as long as you get the others right.

Message Length

Throw us a bone here, folks, if you've answered a post with a one or two word response, you are wasting all our time and resources at the very least, and are risking banishment for trying to boost you post count at the worst. This will not make you any friends.

Likewise, give our eyeballs a break on the long ones, people! This is a tough one. How do you find the line between a well reasoned, detailed response versus a droning, endless lecture/sermon? Well, here's a simple guideline. If your logic to describe a single point requires more than one paragraph, and you have more than one point to make, you are writing a lecture. I refer you to my basic point from the language skills section: "The harder people have to work to read your post, the more negatively inclined they will be toward you and your subject." If you find yourself writing a lecture, consider a) putting it in multiple posts, if you only have two or three points, b) assuming your audience can think rationally and only writing a couple of sentences per point (this has risks, including the need to re-explain misunderstood points later), or c) summarizing your essay in your post, and then putting in links to one or more articles (like this one) which give your detailed rationales for those invested enough in the topic to go read them.

Discussions vs. Arguments

You will *NEVER* win a debate by attacking your opponent individually. Period. You can pick apart their logic. You can even quote their own previous statements back to them. However, as soon as you use a phrase like "You always do this", "The problem with people like you is", or "You don't seem to be capable of understanding my simple logic", you have crossed the line. In fact, if you even say something that implies a personal attack, you have crossed the line. From that point on, barring well orchestrated outside intervention and/or mediation, your exchange will no longer bear any fruit, because an attacked mind is on the defensive, and closed to anything further you have to say. All you can do from there is gather supporters and let the flame war begin.

So before you let your frustration, however understandable or warranted, be expressed in your message, consider that a) you may have misunderstood them, b) they may have misunderstood you, and c) even if neither of the previous are true, the moment you click the send button on an attacking message, you've already conceded defeat.




[Posted with permission from Blaise Hartley, http://www.webupon.com/Social-Networks/How-to-Talk-to-People-on-a-Discussion-Forum.324625 ]
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tsumaru on February 28, 2009, 10:50:32 PM
I have a better idea. Flame.

Actually I didn't read it yet. But yeah, I'm skeptical that anyone who needs to be told how to talk on a discussion board is likely to listen in the first place. *shrugs*
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: kobok on February 28, 2009, 11:44:13 PM
Actually I didn't read it yet. But yeah, I'm skeptical that anyone who needs to be told how to talk on a discussion board is likely to listen in the first place.

Ah, the irony.  It is palpable.  :)
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tsumaru on March 01, 2009, 12:29:51 AM
It's not really.



Irony, that is. Not really irony.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Aurafire on March 01, 2009, 10:21:52 PM
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say this was directed at someone.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Void on March 02, 2009, 01:10:45 AM
Everyone talks and acts in different ways. Some people talk alot, some a little. Some are abusive, some are wise in their discussions. Some people are opinionated, others are educated in their opinion.

As long as people are not being abusive on the boards, its ok. Everyone is entitled to say, or not say, what they feel/think/know/experience.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Sethair on March 02, 2009, 07:35:30 AM
The article is a good thing for everyone to follow. It will stop your transformation into troll dead in it tracks.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Faijer on March 02, 2009, 08:22:59 AM
Being a troll is a state of mind, not merely a behaviour.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Void on March 02, 2009, 12:08:07 PM
Being a troll is a state of mind, not merely a behaviour.

Yeah, its amazing how much behaviour is a mindset :)
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tankdown on March 02, 2009, 04:43:09 PM
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say this was directed at someone.
Do you think I should pay attention? :D
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: NathanE on March 02, 2009, 09:24:22 PM
Well since I don't post that much. I can agree with most of the points however I just have a hard time following them; Because I like to good off when I am not working.

Oh and Tankdown it helps people understand you.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tsumaru on March 02, 2009, 09:31:23 PM
How does one "good off"?
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tankdown on March 03, 2009, 12:04:19 PM
How does one "good off"?
Oh come on...you know "good off".  :wink:
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Faijer on March 03, 2009, 03:08:22 PM
Good off: Where two heroes for good duke it out in a no-holds-barred match. E.g. when Batman totally pounded on Superman (figs. 1-4).

Fig 1. (http://www.nopoint.org/uploaded_images/676-550x-Superman-v-Batman-700697.jpg)
Fig 2. (http://www.canmag.com/images/front/moviesetc/batmansuperman.jpg)
Fig 3. (http://i382.photobucket.com/albums/oo261/8-2-B-4-9-5/Superman_Vs_Batman.jpg)
Fig 4. (http://www.georgehernandez.com/h/aaBlog/Media/2008/0718-Im_The_Batman.gif)
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tankdown on March 03, 2009, 03:27:14 PM
Batman is a cheater, superman can fight with his bare hands but noooo batman needs tools.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: NathanE on March 03, 2009, 07:34:34 PM
Batman wins though by infusing his blood with kryptonyt.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Cheezee on March 04, 2009, 09:11:25 AM
Superman's the cheater, he isn't even human.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tankdown on March 04, 2009, 01:26:29 PM
That is racist you sick little man.... :mad:

He can't help it that he was born that way! :P
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Cheezee on March 04, 2009, 01:51:26 PM
It's not racist. It's speciist.
And why is it? It's like fighting an unarmed man with aerial barrage
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tsumaru on March 04, 2009, 09:14:41 PM
This thread rocks. Did it get stickied?
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Sethair on March 05, 2009, 06:54:44 AM
Well, I am going to lock this read. No matter how much I giggle at the discussion inside, its not helpful to the article posted.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Orthas on March 05, 2009, 10:41:59 AM
YRAH  :cool:
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Cheezee on March 05, 2009, 12:02:20 PM
A wild YRAH!
Pikachu uses thunder!
It's not very effective...
Yrah uses growl!
It's very effective!
Pikatchu faints...
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Sethair on March 05, 2009, 06:01:20 PM
Now that was rude! LOL
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tsumaru on March 05, 2009, 07:05:02 PM
How can growl be very effective? You don't know your pokemon very well at all. It doesn't even cause damage - it just lowers the attack rating of the opponent.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Cheezee on March 06, 2009, 07:19:59 AM
I know that growl itself is not an offensive attack, but that it jsut lowers the enemy's attack. However, note hoe it was used by YRAH!.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Aurafire on March 06, 2009, 08:38:23 AM
Indeed. A nice YRAH accompanied by a growl is enough to scare Pikachu into a Pokeball. A feat which never could be accomplished otherwise.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tankdown on March 06, 2009, 11:55:16 AM
Indeed, you need to study you yrahology  more Tsumaru
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tsumaru on March 06, 2009, 07:07:07 PM
You need to study English grammar.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: NathanE on March 06, 2009, 08:08:33 PM
So one of my falcons syndrome moments killed the topic... nice I really fell out of my chair laughing. *smiles*
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tsumaru on March 06, 2009, 08:21:42 PM
You're not Falcon. Gtfo you poser.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Jeckel on March 07, 2009, 03:56:58 AM
what the hell is this? Seriously?
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Steve on March 07, 2009, 08:50:22 AM
This is an example of how people talk to one another on discussion forums, just like the title says >_>

~Steve
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tsumaru on March 07, 2009, 07:38:18 PM
Steve win. Endgame.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Aurafire on March 07, 2009, 08:33:31 PM
End what game? I think you mean to say "Thug Aim" :teethy:
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tsumaru on March 07, 2009, 08:59:59 PM
I think you mean to say "I fail at life."
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Dutie on March 08, 2009, 06:20:31 AM
Oh Tsu, you're such a funny troll!   :HA!: :HA!:
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Tankdown on March 08, 2009, 02:08:44 PM
You need to study English grammar.
YRAH
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: MikeWho on May 30, 2009, 06:28:10 PM
I cannot believe that people on this board actually needed something like this to be posted.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Steve on May 30, 2009, 07:19:11 PM
Oh, don't be so pessimistic. The topic wasn't for everyone on the forums, just for you Mike ;)

~Steve
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: MikeWho on June 01, 2009, 01:05:37 AM
is that why im still a veritas greenhorn i wonder  :confused:

on another note, i see your having the usual with aunt clair.  :P

Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: lidwen on June 01, 2009, 05:54:01 AM
I'm still settling in and I've been here for two or three years. The forums is a poison that must be taken only on occasion, else you wind up like solstice.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: MikeWho on June 01, 2009, 04:49:24 PM
"drinking my little pony." Dude that is scary.

Yeah, I feel you on the "poison" note, I think a good 90% of everything I post is met with disagreement. Then of course, I wont be online, and I will be thinking about how to win the argument.. yeah, forums are poisonous.

What happened to Solstice?
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Orthas on June 02, 2009, 02:47:01 AM
What didn't happen to Solstice?
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Sethair on June 02, 2009, 08:16:41 AM
Its very rare you find someone that agrees with you here. :P
Title: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: MightyFalcon on June 03, 2009, 09:17:00 PM
That is in fact thr very essense of this place. One never ending debate. Both its strength and weakness. Without it we would wind up in a deadlock most of the time, people would get bored and not show up anymore.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Raitaro on June 04, 2009, 03:41:06 AM
Your signature is wrong. Lions will often waste a huge part of a carcass simply because they are full. They may be slightly peckish, take down a wilderbeast and then eat it's lungs leaving the rest.

 Other animals than humans waste.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Cheezee on June 04, 2009, 07:29:49 AM
Pandas are another example
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Steve on June 04, 2009, 06:38:18 PM
Pandas are another example
http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/g/genma.htm Genma is just giving pandas a bad name! They're actually sweet and lovable creatures with mystical magical powers that ... I'll stop here >_>

~Steve
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Mindlessinvalid on April 07, 2011, 05:44:28 PM
Nice Ranma 1/2 reference steve.

I only watched the first episode of that one before I got bored, but from what I hear it's a good show.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: MariusAnil on November 21, 2011, 10:07:28 PM
One question.... What is a troll? I've heard the term on several forums. I know the word is derogatory though just not its direct definition concerning the subject of forums.
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: Violet on November 22, 2011, 02:33:34 AM
One question.... What is a troll? I've heard the term on several forums. I know the word is derogatory though just not its direct definition concerning the subject of forums.
A troll is someone who's on the forums only to annoy as much people there as he can. Also, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29) seems to have an article about it. (There's even an essay about it on meta.wikipedia. Some people have too much time on their hands.)
Title: Re: How to Talk to People on a Discussion Forum
Post by: The Yellow Magician on April 26, 2013, 11:18:40 PM
[This article was written by a friend on another forum. Original author link at the bottom]

Gain and keep the respect of your peers, and get better and faster answers to your questions.

After years of participation in online forums, I've identified a few important rules to follow if you want both respect from your peers and results from your queries. I've listed these points below, with explanations of each. If you feel that one or more of these points describes you, it probably does!

Forum Subjects

If you are on a board that has multiple forums, each with its own description of what kind of stuff should go into that forum, read the blasted descriptions before you post! Nothing pisses moderators off faster than having to police your poorly aimed topics, and even if they let you be, your fellow posters will probably chew you out for wasting their time.

Subject Lines

Folks, these are there for a reason. They let other people know what you want to talk about. Don't make them impossible to figure out, with meaningless drivel like "Wanted to know", or "My Opinion". Put real, useful clues in them to explain the post topic. This gets the attention of people who have an interest in the subject, rather than either a)being ignored, which gets you no responses/help, or b) annoying people who open your message just in case, because they don't want to miss anything, and find their time wasted.

Please consider. If you are reading the posts on a board, and see a subject like "A Question...", what does this tell you about the post inside? Absolutely nothing! What does it tell you about the poster? Probably that they can't organize their thoughts well enough to be worth reading in the first place!

Language Skills

Look, no one expects a PhD in literature on a forum, but if you write as though you were an idiot, people will think you are an idiot. The basics of spelling, punctuation, and grammar are not beyond the grasp of an 8-year-old, so you should probably do OK, if you at least try. And don't give me any crap about how you never went to school, have a learning disability, or no one on your MMORPG has any trouble understanding you! All we're asking is that you try, just a little. This isn't just about people being anal, we don't understand what you are saying! The harder people have to work to read your post, the more negatively inclined they will be toward you and your subject.

Spelling's a big one. It's really a no-brainer. If you have spelling issues, use a spell checker. You don't even have to do any of the work yourself, for Pete's sake! Also, if you choose to use an unfamiliar word, make sure it's the right one. Many words sound the same, but are spelled differently, and mean completely different things. Picking the wrong one makes you look like an uneducated boob. If I write a post about taking the sun to school this morning, you'll probably figure out what I really meant, but you'll think I'm a dumb-ass...

Punctuation is also a huge deal, despite what you might think. Again, we don't need thesis-level work on the correct usage of semicolons in the case of multiple adjectival clauses here, just follow three simple rules:

   1. When you reach the end of a complete thought, put in a period and a space or two. We call this a sentence. Start the next one with a capital letter.
   2. Wherever you would pause while saying the sentence out loud, put in a comma. This way we know what parts of a sentence are linked together.
   3. When you've put together a bunch of sentences that relate to a common point, and are going to move on to a new point, you have completed a paragraph. In honor of this rare and joyous event, skip a line before you start the next one.

Grammar's a tough one, I'll admit it. Even the most anal board posters will sometimes disagree on what's the right way to say something. Just give it your best shot, and know that of the three language skills, this is the one most people will give you a pass on, as long as you get the others right.

Message Length

Throw us a bone here, folks, if you've answered a post with a one or two word response, you are wasting all our time and resources at the very least, and are risking banishment for trying to boost you post count at the worst. This will not make you any friends.

Likewise, give our eyeballs a break on the long ones, people! This is a tough one. How do you find the line between a well reasoned, detailed response versus a droning, endless lecture/sermon? Well, here's a simple guideline. If your logic to describe a single point requires more than one paragraph, and you have more than one point to make, you are writing a lecture. I refer you to my basic point from the language skills section: "The harder people have to work to read your post, the more negatively inclined they will be toward you and your subject." If you find yourself writing a lecture, consider a) putting it in multiple posts, if you only have two or three points, b) assuming your audience can think rationally and only writing a couple of sentences per point (this has risks, including the need to re-explain misunderstood points later), or c) summarizing your essay in your post, and then putting in links to one or more articles (like this one) which give your detailed rationales for those invested enough in the topic to go read them.

Discussions vs. Arguments

You will *NEVER* win a debate by attacking your opponent individually. Period. You can pick apart their logic. You can even quote their own previous statements back to them. However, as soon as you use a phrase like "You always do this", "The problem with people like you is", or "You don't seem to be capable of understanding my simple logic", you have crossed the line. In fact, if you even say something that implies a personal attack, you have crossed the line. From that point on, barring well orchestrated outside intervention and/or mediation, your exchange will no longer bear any fruit, because an attacked mind is on the defensive, and closed to anything further you have to say. All you can do from there is gather supporters and let the flame war begin.

So before you let your frustration, however understandable or warranted, be expressed in your message, consider that a) you may have misunderstood them, b) they may have misunderstood you, and c) even if neither of the previous are true, the moment you click the send button on an attacking message, you've already conceded defeat.




[Posted with permission from Blaise Hartley, http://www.webupon.com/Social-Networks/How-to-Talk-to-People-on-a-Discussion-Forum.324625 ]

I think you are asking too much from a mainly American forum. That's my 2 cents.  :cool: