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Examples for Proper Posting

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  • Examples for Proper Posting

    This thread will play host to some of the most common forum issues, offer up examples as to why they are moderated, and how to work within the rules to post what's on your mind. Believe it or not, there are ways to say whatever you feel needs to be said that won't result in post/thread removals.

    As examples are added, they will be linked here.

    "Commenting on Games Unrelated to the Topic " - ( added: 3/25/06 )
    "Responding to Another Poster Directly" - ( added: 3/25/06 )
    "I Agree/Disagree" - ( added: 3/25/06 )
    "Letting a Post Stand on its Own Merits " - (added: 3/25/06)

  • #2
    Commenting on Games Unrelated to the Topic

    It seems that any time a video game is mentioned (particularly MMOGs), someone innevitably compares the game to something else, mentions their experiences in another game, or simply comments on another game without any kind of corelation mentioned.

    In these cases, the post is removed or editted to remove references to the other games. The primary reason we do this is to try to negate derails before they happen. But, a close second in the "reason" department is to prevent "flaming".

    See anytime an unrequested comparison is levied, someone takes it personally, despite the fact that it's rarely personal. They immediately move to a defensive posture and begin ignoring the forum rules in an attempt to defend "their" game or their position. Defensive responses usually lead to other defensive responses. Then someone directs their angst at a previous poster and the next thing you know... poof... flame war.

    So, how do we say what we want without breaking the rules?

    First and foremost, do not direct your comments about other games AT another poster. Say what's on your mind without using their post as a departure point. And, if you absolutely HAVE to compare two games, start a new thread, offer pros and cons for each game, and be reasonable. If all you have to say is negative things, then it really won't do anything for the forum except cause disruption.

    And, if you need to refer to another game in a thread where it has not been specifically made a part of the topic BY the original poster, simply find ways to leave the game's name out of your commentary.

    Problem response: "WoW is so much better than EQ because they actually took the time to <insert solution>"

    Reasonable response: "I played another game that solved that problem by <insert solution>"

    See what happened there? The response is not directed at anyone and it talks about another game without being specific, yet the other game's solution was still made available as response to the initial question.

    It didn't force the other person into a position of defending "their" game. It doesn't give room for a personal preference to cloud the point. And it offered up the same information without appearing adversarial.


    Now, if someone posts like that (withing the rules), and YOU are curious about what game they are talking about... simply PM them to ask. I'm sure they'd be happy to link you to the game in question.


    • #3
      Responding to Another Poster Directly

      On message boards such as this, it's common place to respond directly to someone so that the other person knows you're speaking to them.

      Well, to be honest, if you feel you have to respond directly to someone, it's probably best to send them a Private Message. So, the solution here, is to simply post your response without directing it at anyone. Just write as if the person knows you're speaking to them. If the information is pertinent enough that you feel it should be in the thread rather than in a PM, then it doesn't really need to directed specifically to anyone since you're speaking to everyone, right?

      And why do we moderate posts directed at other posters specifically? Well, even when it's not intended as such, some people take direct responses as a challenge to their statements. They respond defensively and defensiveness often leads to outright flaming. That's why, if a response NEEDS to be directed at someone specific, it should be done via PM. That way if a flamewar insues, it's between the two of you and doesn't drag the rest of the forums into it.

      Problem response: "Frank, the problem with trying to balance classes is..."

      Reasonable response: "The problem with trying to balance classes is..."

      See? In the reasonable response, Frank isn't the target of the response the issue is. Because of that Frank will probably be much less likely to take the comments as a direct challenge to his post and fall into a defensive posture. And, all the while, whether it agrees with, disagrees with, or is nuetral toward Frank's comments, the information has still been presented for the rest of the readers to see.


      • #4
        I Agree/Disagree

        It seems to be human nature to preempt certain responses with "I agree" or "I disagree". Unfortunately, on the net, that just seems to open the door for defensive and inflamatory responses. So, on these forums, I agree/disagree posts tend to get moderated in some form or fashion. In these cases we typically just edit "I agree/disagree" out of the post and move on.

        From the persepective of the moderators and myself to say "I agree" or "I disagree" is unnecessary as the context of your post is likely to show that you agree or disagree with a previous poster.

        Problem response: "I disagree, gaming companies shouldn't..."

        Reasonable response: "In my opinion, gaming companies shouldn't..."

        The issue here is that the simple act of saying "I agree" or "I disagree" makes a post feel like a direct challenge to existing posts. So, rather than being a statement of ones own opinion it becomes an argument against someone elses. Interesting that such a simple preface to a post can put other posters into an embattled frame or mind. But the truth is: it does, whether it's warranted or not.

        So the reasonable response is to state your own opinion without qualifying it. Your opinion is simply your opinion whether it runs parallel to someone else's post or not.


        Usually, it's the "I disagree" preface that causes problems as it is misconstrued as a negative statement rather than just a brief qualifier of your own position. But, it's easier for the moderators to just remove both so that "I agree" posts are not targetted by "I disagree" people who have been moderated.


        • #5
          Letting a Post Stand on its Own Merits

          Some users demonstrate an inability to comment on an issue without referring back to another users post either via [quote] or by responding to other users and/or their statements directly. This kind of response fosters an argumentative feel within the thread itself, and, like many of the other reasons we moderate threads, compels other posters to respond defensively.

          So, we encourage a posting style in which forum goers generate their own posts by stating their own opinions and using their own experiences as the primary basis for the post itself, rather than using another users comments as a departure point. Where that might sound needlessly complex, it's really quite simple.

          Read a post, formulate your opinion, write your opinion without referencing the previous post. Simply put, your opinion of an issue shouldn't be governed by someone else's response.