A beginners guide to online message boards
Message boards come in many sizes and topics, but there are a few things that will keep you from making a fool of yourself when you join these.
Rules of the Board
Most popular message boards has some sort of rules posting. When you first start out on a message board it is best to take a few minutes to see if you can find this. It can be under an FAQ, or just simply rules. These are typically stickied, meaning that they are constantly stuck at the top of the message lists. Some boards have varying rules based on the sub section you are in, so it pays to look for these. If you do not adhere to these rules you maybe warned, have your posts deleted, or simply be banned from the board. Some boards just ask for people to use common sense. Do not spam the boards, directly attack one another, and etc.
Spelling and Grammar
One way that you can draw unwelcome attention to yourself, is to make silly mistakes when posting. Unless you are posting from a mobile phone, there is really no reason to use texting speak while posting. I know personally, if someone starts using the letter U rather then the word you, I am less likely to respond to them. While it may be quicker for you to type using such shortcuts, it is generally frowned upon.
While you do not need to have perfect spelling and grammar, those who refuse to even check their work will get ridiculed for it sooner or later. Running a simple spell check and briefly reading over your post will catch the more glaring of mistakes, saving you this hassle.
There are a couple of things you should avoid doing at all costs. Do not type in all caps, this denotes yelling and is very hard to read. These posts are usually skipped rather quickly. Something else you should avoid doing, is leaving out punctuation all together. The absence of periods, commas, and line breaks makes your posts look like a wall papered in text. Most people will not take the time to try to decipher such a mess.
Have you ever had a child, who contently asked you the same question over and over? This happens on line as well, seeing the tenth post of the day asking a particular question can become tiring for the people answering. Almost all boards have some sort of search feature available to posters. Doing a quick search can sometimes net you the answer to a question, without having to wait for someone to respond.
Don’t expect your post to be immediately responded to, it takes time. Too often I have seen people bumping posts, bumping being just a simple response to their first post to bring it back up to the top to get attention, within five minutes of the original. If you need the answer right away searching on line maybe your best bet. Repeatedly bumping your post trying to get someone to respond quicker does not achieve this and may even raise the ire of the moderators.
Following these tips will help make joining a message board much easier.
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