A Guide to Proper Posting Etiquette
A good forum is nothing without good posters, and good posters, as you might expect, make good posts. But how does one go about making good posts? There’s no definitive answer to that question, but there are ways of making your posts better.
I) Check your Spelling and Grammar
No one’s perfect. We’re all bound to make mistakes now and then, and when your primary medium is text, the mistakes most commonly made relate to spelling and grammar. The Rules already state that your posts should be comprehensible, but “comprehensible” is just the bare minimum. Why stop there? Your posts will be easier to read (not to mention the fact that they will sound more intelligent) if you check them beforehand and try to minimize the errors.
II) Watch your language
Everyone has to blow off steam sometimes. Even among the staff are those who like to let the expletives fly freely. But please, don’t go overboard. If you feel like putting an f-bomb into your sentence because you want to emphasize something, that’s perfectly acceptable. But if you decided to put, say, eight f-bombs into every post on average, that’s just gratuitous and crude. Handle yourself with some class. If you’re really burning to say something and you can’t think of a cleaner way to get your point across, we’d strongly advise you to give us a head’s up: use SPOILER tags and let people know what’s coming.
III) Go easy on the Smileys/Memes
Smileys can be a gift to forumgoers, as they allow the poster to convey a variety of emotions in very little space. As with the language, however, try not to abuse them. Using just one should suffice; using the Saiyan smiley ten times in a row is just inane, and, frankly, silly. Make your smileys count.
Similarly, Internet memes become popular for good reasons (most of the time, at least): they usually start out as funny, absurd, shocking, clever, or some combination of those things. The problem, however, is their ubiquity: most of us have heard them several times before. Like with the language and smileys, try to control yourself. We don’t really need to be reminded that the cake is something other than the truth at every opportunity.
IV) Read the other posts
Part of the reason you should aspire to make good posts is because people will hopefully be reading them. Return the courtesy and read some (if not most) of the posts that precede yours before posting: you might find that the discussion is leaning in a different direction than you anticipated, or that someone else has already said what you wanted to say (and perhaps said it better than you could have). A little sense of context goes a long way.
V) Know how to handle adversity
As of the writing of this guide, there are over 100 moderators of these forums. That being the case, let them do their jobs themselves. If you see something out of line (or that might be out of line), report it and let them handle it. Vigilantism has little place in a community with functioning authorities.
VI) Look before you leap
As with any community, it pays to have some familiarity when joining. Before you start seriously posting (whether in the forums as a whole or a specific forum), read the rules, read some of the discussions currently taking place, and try to get a feel for the place. Before you do anything, ask yourself, “Am I doing the right thing here?”, and make sure that what you are doing won’t cause trouble. Remember that questions are always welcome, and that the staff are always glad to help.
Keep in mind that just because something is not listed here, does not mean it isn’t something you should consider when posting. Remember that your posts reflect upon you, which means they also reflect upon the community as a whole.
Guide written by Arc Blader, with thanks to the Bulbagarden Forums Staff