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How to Be a Good Community Member

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Hey Lifeboaters!

In the last little while, we’ve worked on improving the forums itself, but one aspect that is also important to a good forum is a healthy community. In this guide, we hope to encourage more healthy, friendly discussions here on the forums. This is a long read, but we highly encourage you read through all of it.


Summary


  • Use common sense - if something seems like a bad idea, it’s probably a bad idea. Make sure your posts are respectful, make sense and don’t make senseless or unnecessary replies. In general, don’t be a dingbat, pay attention to others, and you’ll probably be fine.

General Behavior


  • Don’t insult other users.

Even if they started it, even if they “deserve” it - just don’t. You don’t need to be part of the problem, get a moderator to handle it.

  • Don’t cause drama.

Maybe it’s fun, but drama has no place in a healthy community. If you are consistently having a problem with a particular user, see here: The "Ignore" Feature. If the user is a forum-wide problem, you should also contact a moderator to deal with the issue.

  • Don’t “troll” others.

Nobody likes a troll - anyone caught “trolling” others or behaving in a similar negative manner will be banned and have any alts banned without hesitation.

  • Don’t call each other out for “spam” or similar - alert a moderator instead.

Calling someone out for a rule break just makes it worse, and doesn’t get a moderator there faster. Instead, flag the offending post/topic so a moderator can deal with it properly.

  • Follow the Rules and Guidelines.

The Rules and Guidelines are here:


Posting


  • Your posts should make sense.

Nobody wants to read a topic or post where they can’t tell what you’re trying to say! Check over what you’ve written to make sure the grammar at least mostly makes sense and the spelling is generally correct. There can’t be a discussion if nobody understands what you’re saying.

  • Your posts/topics should be purposeful.

Posts, especially topics, should have a clear purpose and discussion.

  • Your posts should be respectful.

We don’t tolerate insults against other forum members here, nor do we tolerate excessive negativity. Make sure that even if you’re criticizing something you’re still staying calm and respectful towards your fellow forum members. Topics shouldn’t target specific forum members in a negative manner.

  • Your posts should not incite drama.

You shouldn’t be participating in drama or inciting it. Yes it’s fun and exciting, but at the end of the day it is not a sign of a healthy community. The forums should be a safe and welcoming place for everyone.

  • Think before you post!

If something is making you angry, calm down before posting. Angry replies only serve to fan the flames of a dramatic topic, and if necessary don’t reply at all.


Topics


  • Topics should be somewhat original/unique.

We don’t need 5 topics in one day about one thing, if there’s an open discussion about something that you want to talk about, reply there instead!

  • Topics should be in the right category.

Each of the categories have descriptions detailing what they’re for. Often if a topic is created in the wrong category a Regular or moderator will move it to the correct one if possible, but it’s best if you put it in the correct place from the start.


Replies


  • Related ideas should be included in one reply when possible.

If you come up with something to add or want to add in something you forgot, use the edit button. Better still, make sure you’ve included everything you wanted to say before clicking the post button. Several posts from one user in a row can be spammy, and is simply unnecessary.

  • Replies should be related to the topic being discussed.

If the topic is about cats and you want to talk about dogs, make a new topic. Off-topic replies are liable to be flagged and hidden/deleted. Exceptions include if the creator of the topic wants to go off-track.

  • Replies should contribute to the discussion.

If your only response to a topic is “lol” or something similar, rethink posting it or add some more content. Single-word replies such as that take up space but don’t add anything to the discussion.

  • You should not be replying to topics older than 30 days.

This is called “bumping”. If you haven’t seen a topic come up in a while, check the time stamp on the upper right corner before replying to make sure it’s still recent. Digging up old posts will lead to the topic being locked and possible punishments if such behavior continues after several warnings.

  • Read the first post and previous replies of a topic carefully before replying.

This helps you understand fully what’s going on and provide a more comprehensive answer.


Done reading the guide? Now put the tips into action and start some good discussion!

Happy Lifeboating! :sailboat:


Changelog:


2019-02-19: Posted by @Penguin.
2019-04-28: Edited and re-pinned in light of new forum events.

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