Tips for New Forum Users

Filed in Uncategorized by on February 27, 2009 0 Comments

Ah, the wonderful world of forums… a place where the brilliant minded, the average Joe, and the deeply troubled can all come together to have heated arguments about nothing of great importance. Pessimism aside, there actually are a lot of great people out there to talk to, get advice from, share ideas with, and so on. Not to mention the ways in which you can use forums as a powerful medium to connect your business to its customers. I’ll talk about that another time, though, as this article’s purpose is to make sure you avoid the pitfalls of so many others in an effort get what you want out of the forums as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Basic Tips

  • Basic Terminology:
    • Forum – A discussion board (also known as: message board).
    • Thread (Sometimes called a Post, much to the confusion of new users) – A new conversation on a forum. You can create more posts within this thread to continue that particular conversation.
    • Post – An entry in a thread.
  • Common Forum Functions:
    • Quotations
      • Most forums nowadays have this excellent feature. When reading through a forum thread you might see a user’s post that you want to quote in your own post in the same thread. This feature immediately copies it and then pastes it within your reply post in an organized manner.
    • Edit
      • Many forums allow you to make edits to your post for a limited amount of time after the initial posting (often 90 minutes). Make sure to make your final tweaks within that time span or risk looking like a fool and being thoroughly humiliated by internet nerds.
    • Search
      • This allows you to search the entire message board history to find threads on whatever keywords you input.
  • Common Forum Etiquette
    • When writing on a forum do not capitalize every letter in your sentence in an effort to garner attention. While this might work, it won’t be the kind attention you want. Writing in all “Caps” is seen as the textual equivalent of SHOUTING TO THE PERSON YOU’RE STANDING NEXT TO.
    • Before you post, make sure you search for your topic. If you are going to talk about something that has been answered multiple times you will more than likely get: no responses or angry responses… neither will help you much.
    • If you looking for help with something (such as technical support) make sure to provide as much information as possible in your opening post. Trust me when I say that the more information you provide, the more people will help you and the better the help will be. If you offer the bare minimum in your opening post of your thread with the expectation of giving more info once people respond then you might be waiting for a very long time.

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