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Anything to add to this? (long post alert)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
......or.....is this too stupid for words or is it wondrously humorous and clever? Your contributions and input requested for this document I wrote for a forum I'm hoping to set up. Mod note - I'm not sure of the best forum to place this in so I'm just throwing it here for you to decide. Mod note #2 - it's a non-competing forum.

Newbie's Guide to Forums

Forum, message board, bulletin board, the board - all refer to pretty much the same thing. The metaphor is the household bulletin board or fridge door, where family members can leave messages for each other and get responses without actually having to talk to or see the other family members. Likewise, a forum is a community of people with a single common interest gathered together in one place to leave each other messages in plain view of everyone else. Their messages get replies, and so a discussion ensues in which the parties don't have to be in the same place at the same time. Nor do they often want to. The discussions aren't limited to the common interest, but can be about anything that generates interest, or the forum allows, or the members can get away with.

Newbie - a new member, expected to ask dumb questions and make dumb mistakes, so everybody be nice to the newbies.

Post (n.) - an individual message, somebody's idea of communicating an interesting and worthwhile thought.

Post (v.) - appending a new post to a thread, or starting a new topic, which if it's a good topic promptly dies on the vine and if a dumb topic runs for two years and two hundred pages.

Opening post - the first post in a thread. Supposedly begins the topic for the thread. Until somebody goes off-topic.

Off-topic - usually by the third or fourth post the topic starts meandering when someone is reminded of something totally unrelated and brings it into the discussion. This is often when the best debates take off.

Thread - collection of messages in linear, or chronological order, about about the thread's topic. (See "off-topic")

Forum - a collection of threads about similar topics. Or maybe not, depending on how rigorous the moderation is.

Sub-forum - a child forum underneath a parent forum. Forums cannot reproduce without help from their administrators. There is, as of yet, no term for this.

Index - the list of threads in a forum. The thread with the newest post that you haven't read yet is at the top. The index that each member sees is different, because each member has opened and read different threads. If you're confused, just read everything.

Locked - a thread is "frozen" when a moderator or administrator disables the ability for members to reply to a thread. If no posts have been deleted, a locked thread reveals the silliness that caused it to be locked to the entire world, and here's the important part ... and who the authors of that silliness are. Locking a thread only involves clicking a button, which doesn't take much effort, so don't give the moderators an excuse.

Moderator - a member who moderates discussion, keeps threads on topic (sometimes desperately), monitors for rules and policy violations (as unobtrusively as possible), locks threads, deletes posts, gives warnings, etc. when somebody's been naughty, and generally leaps tall buildings in a single bound while online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Moderating activities are referred to as "moderation" which in this context, hopefully also is accompanied by actingly moderately.

Administrator - the big boss, the oracle on the mount, the great kahuna; to whom every knee must bow, even the stiffest of moderators; often the dumb jerk who had the hairy idea to start up this board in the first place.

Private Message - kind of like company email, except the company isn't watching.

BBCode - a secret code that is used by the message editor to format your message in ways totally unexpected to you, virtually impossible to decipher, and almost as hard to use. It takes many years of posting to master BBCode.

Censor - software connected to the message editor that garbles messages by replacing naughty words with silly ones.

Smilies - little, yellow, round faces, not always in sunny dispositions, that are strategically placed in your message to impart body language without which your message will most likely be interpreted exactly the opposite of what you intended.

Emoticon - emoticons have gone the way of the dinosaur and have been succeeded by smilies, so no definition is given here. Some anachronists still use them, however, so in that case, just google it.

Googling it - that's not part of board lingo. Google it if you need to know.

Signature - not your actual signature, but something you can put in your profile that will display at the end of all your posts, kind of like, well, your signature.

Avatar - a little picture that represents you, so choose something good. You are good, aren't you?

Profile - whatever you choose to reveal about yourself to the online world, which hopefully isn't too much.

Username or screename - a word used to refer to you when you're online and which can display how imaginative you can be. Or not. Be careful of being too imaginative. At best, you'll get dumb questions from other users and at worst, kicked off the board.

User - a member. Hmmm. Does this say something about our society?

Ban - when a member does something really, really bad, and the moderators don't want that member around any more, the member is banned. The banned member can no longer log on to the board and receives a nasty message if they try to do so. The account is not actually deleted, as the board owner likes to run up the member list with inactive members so as to make the board appear more active than it really is.

IP Ban - when a member is banned by their IP address, so they can't re-register under a different username.

Troll - someone who comes to a forum for the sole purpose of causing havoc. His purpose is to get his jollies by making the board members, moderators, and administrator look like idiots. There is a way to make the troll look like an idiot. See the thread entitled "There Be Trolls..."

Spam - unwanted and unsolicited meat....er, mail.....er, messages.....er, well, just about anything posted the board owner doesn't want on the board, so the definition is up to the board owner and varies from one board to the next. See the tread entitled "Spam is more than just meat."

Nuking spam - a favorite pasttime of moderators, and just about the only fun they get to have (other than talking about the members behind their backs, but I don't allow that here. Where, oh where is Geppetto when I really need him?)

FAQs - stands for "Frequently Asked Questions" and if you expected the facts in the FAQs, you may be disappointed as the questioned referenced in the document are usually all the ones you already know the answers to and none of the ones you're looking for the answers to.

Search - a forum function designed to elicit maximum frustration when trying to find one particular tidbit of information secreted deep within a forum's postings. Try googling it if you really need to know.

Log in - type in your username and your password and if you remembered both correctly, you're allowed to post.

Log out - there's never any need to log out so I don't know why that's even there.
post #2 of 16
It sounds good, Tim - very humorous! I noticed one typo:
Quote:
FAQs - stands for "Frequently Asked Questions" and if you expected the facts in the FAQs, you may be disappointed as the questioned referenced in the document are usually all the ones you already know the answers to and none of the ones you're looking for the answers to.
Shouldn't that be questions referenced?
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes, thanks. I'm surprised there's not more. I wrote that after bedtime. I thought I'd get started and just put a few down and then I got going and couldn't stop.
post #4 of 16
This one is my favorite, for obvious reasons:
Quote:
Moderator - a member who moderates discussion, keeps threads on topic (sometimes desperately), monitors for rules and policy violations (as unobtrusively as possible), locks threads, deletes posts, gives warnings, etc. when somebody's been naughty, and generally leaps tall buildings in a single bound while online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Moderating activities are referred to as "moderation" which in this context, hopefully also is accompanied by actingly moderately.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm a mod on a small, lightly-trafficked financial forum. I can't imagine what kinds of demands on your time there must be for this busy place.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I'm a mod on a small, lightly-trafficked financial forum. I can't imagine what kinds of demands on your time there must be for this busy place.
Let's just say that I was here for three or four hours yesterday, and never made it to the Lounge!

You might want to add a reminder that members should report objectionable posts or spam, rather than giving the OP the attention he/she craves by replying.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes, that's in the documents referenced "There be trolls in the land" and "Spam is more than just meat."
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Yes, that's in the documents referenced "There be trolls in the land" and "Spam is more than just meat."
You might want to be redundant, and put it in your post anyway. A lot of people just can't be bothered to follow links, or read stickies. You can spend ages "polishing" a post to be stuck, only to find that members complain when you provide them with a link to the sticky when they ask a question they could quite easily have found the answer to by reading the stickies.
post #9 of 16
I'm in rush, so I can't say I really proofed it, but gosh, you're a good writer! Well done!
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
...You can spend ages "polishing" a post to be stuck, only to find that members complain when you provide them with a link to the sticky when they ask a question they could quite easily have found the answer to by reading the stickies.
I've done that myself.

That's life in the trenches, I guess......
post #11 of 16
Ehehehehehehe very funny Love the underlying sarcasm!
post #12 of 16
Sorry to be so late finding this thread. It's great.

I did notice that in the description of a "thread", the word about is repeated.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for your suggestions. I corrected the errors mentioned and added these:
  • Flooding - what trolls and spammers often try to do -- posting many, many posts in as short a time as possible, making a big mess for forum staff to clean up. This is why most boards have a posting delay.

  • Lurk - hanging around a forum without posting. It's fine to lurk, but we'd rather you sign up and post. Nobody can have any fun if everybody is invisible.

  • 56K Warning - alerting people still using telephone modems of a long post with lots of embedded pictures that would take a long time to download and render. People who like to sit and stare at a blank white page in their browser window can ignore this warning. White is such a soothing color.

  • Rant - a colorful post in which a member gives vent to their feelings about one of their hot-button issues. Posting a rant is much better therapy than punching holes in walls.

  • Flame - also a colorful post but instead of punching the wall, a member punches another member by attacking them personally. This is not nice and is frowned upon by forum administration. You're allowed to respectfully and politely destroy another member's opinions and ideas, but not their person, their character, or their lineage. Flames will quickly be doused by admin and the arsonist slapped into the slammer.

  • ETA - "edited to add" - when you change your mind about something you posted and edit it out, then add something else to cover your reason for editing.
post #14 of 16
I have not seen this dry wit from you before Tim.

Well done.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Mmmmm....I guess it's all been pretty wet before.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Mmmmm....I guess it's all been pretty wet before.
Wet wit Tim?
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