Author Topic: Forum Etiquette Guide  (Read 5565 times)

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Offline Jane S

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Forum Etiquette Guide
« on: March 19, 2011, 03:30:24 PM »
Here are some basic Forum Etiquette guidelines to enable all COL members, old and new, to share their interest in Cocker Spaniels in a friendly, supportive environment. These guidelines need to be read in conjunction with the forum Terms and Conditions which all members agree to when signing up to join - a copy of the T&Cs can be found HERE

This is a moderated forum which means we do not allow a "free for all" where anyone can say what they like no matter how outrageous or insulting to other users.The Mod Team will monitor the boards on a regular basis to ensure that the guidelines below are being followed. Anyone not following the guidelines may find their posts deleted or edited. Serious and/or persistent breaches may result in the offending member being banned. If any member spots any breaches of the guidelines or has concerns about the content of any post, please use the Report To Moderator button in the first instance.

CHECK YOUR QUESTION HAS NOT ALREADY BEEN ASKED BEFORE POSTING
Many questions have been asked and answered before at some stage so you can save yourself some time by using COL’s internal SEARCH function (the Search button is located towards the top of your screen). You should also check out recently posted topics, any pinned/sticky threads and our FAQ Section in case the answer to your problem can be found there.

POST ON THE APPROPRIATE FORUM
COL has a number of boards which relate to different areas of interest e.g. Behaviour, Health, Grooming etc. Please use the appropriate forum when starting a new topic or asking a question. If you are a new member, take the time to familiarise yourself with all the different boards before starting a topic as this will help you get a feel for which posts belong on which board. If you wish to share your photos, please use the appropriate Photo board and remember to read the Help & Instructions post first before doing so.

USE A MEANINGFUL TITLE FOR YOUR TOPIC
Try to sum up the essence of your question or topic in the title. Topic titles such as “Please Help” or “Any Ideas?” give the reader little idea of what the topic is about and could lead to a question receiving less attention than it merits.

KEEP ON TOPIC
Do try and keep to the topic of the thread. If you want to raise a new issue then consider whether a new topic is more appropriate.
 
DON'T POST MORE THAN ONE THREAD AT A TIME ON THE SAME SUBJECT
If you have started a thread recently, please post any further questions or updates relating to the same subject on the current thread rather than starting a new one. If you are posting an update, it's a good idea to alter the title of your thread to indicate the UPDATED status.

DON’T REVIVE OLD TOPICS
When replying to a topic, check the date it was started and don’t reply if you can see the topic was started months or even years ago unless you have a valid reason for doing so (e.g. you are adding a relevant update to your own topic). Reviving old threads can be confusing and lead to current threads receiving less attention.

DON'T DELETE YOUR POSTS
Please don't use the EDIT/MODIFY function to delete your posts. Doing so makes threads confusing and sometimes impossible to understand. If you start a thread and decide later you no longer want it to be publicly viewable, please contact a Moderator who will move the thread if there is a genuine reason for doing so.

REMEMBER THIS IS A DISCUSSION FORUM NOT A BLOG SITE
Forums by their nature are not suitable for lengthy personal diaries or blogs. If you wish to create an area where you can give a detailed personal account of your dog's activities or progress on a regular basis, it would be better to use one of the many free Blog sites eg www.blogger.com. You can then add a link to your blog in your signature/profile so that other members can read it.

REMEMBER LIBEL LAWS APPLY TO POSTS MADE ON INTERNET FORUMS
Be careful and think before you post potentially defamatory comments about named individuals or organisations. As most of this forum is open to the public to read, defamatory comments will show up in Google searches etc which is why we ask members not to post derogatory comments about named or easily identified breeders, rescue organisations etc. 

LANGUAGE
Bad language or swearing is NOT permitted – remember this is a family forum.
Please don’t use "text-speak" in your posts as many members may find this difficult to understand, particularly those for whom English is not their first language (we have quite a few overseas members). Try to make your posts easy to read and understand by using punctuation (and using the forum’s spell-check facility if necessary). Don’t post using all capital letters as this is considered “shouting” on internet forums.

PERSONAL DISPUTES
Please do not use this forum for personal disputes or for making snide remarks against other members (or members of the Moderating Team). You are expected to treat each other with respect and to take any personal disputes to a private mode of discussion off the forum.

RESPECT OTHER MEMBERS
Treat other members as you expect to be treated yourself.

Be polite and respect other people’s opinions, even if you do not agree with them. Differences of opinion are inevitable on any large forum with such a diverse membership but it should be possible to exchange views without being rude or insulting. Rudeness towards other members will not be tolerated. Bullying or harrassment of another member (whether on or off the forum) will result in an immediate ban.

Remember to use emoticons (smilies) to lighten your tone where appropriate as some posts may otherwise come across as harsher than you intended. However don’t go overboard with smilies – you don’t need a row of 20 to make your point.

MODERATING DECISIONS ARE FINAL
Moderating a busy forum can often be a difficult, thankless job as it is impossible to please all of the people all of time and there will always be some members who will not agree with some Moderating decisions. If a moderator has closed or removed a thread, chances are it will not be re-opened or put back, so please, do not make an issue of it. If you want to know why a thread has been moved or closed, please contact a member of the Mod Team privately using the PM system - don't start a thread on the forum.  Rudeness and personal abuse towards a Moderator will not be tolerated and will usually result in a Warning and suspension of forum privileges or a Ban in the worst cases. Badmouthing the forum or moderators on other websites will also usually result in a ban.

COPYRIGHT
Please don't copy and paste copyrighted material from either books/magazines or other forums/websites without acknowledging the source and obtaining permission to post on COL. If you're not sure if material is copyrighted, it's best to post a link to the site concerned rather than copy the content onto the forum. Similarly, please don't copy and paste posts/messages made on COL onto other forums/websites without the permission of the original poster - doing so is a breach of copyright.

ACCOUNT SECURITY
Don't share your COL password with anyone else but if you suspect your account has been accessed by another user without your permission, you should inform Admin immediately. If a member is found to have accessed another user's account without their permission, it will result in an immediate and permanent ban.

ADVERTISING
Advertising your business or products is not permitted on any board except the Shopping Board (subject to Conditions). Breeder/litter advertising is also not permitted unless you comply with our Rules which can be read HERE Breeder members may be placed temporarily on Limited Membership until we get to know them - this will not prevent breeder members who genuinely need help from asking for advice on the Breeding board but it will limit access to some boards and also the PM system.

Advertising other forums whether in signatures/profiles or in threads on the main boards is NOT permitted unless posted for genuine information purposes (eg cross-posting rescue threads from sites like Dogpages, links to hobby forums eg photography forums). Threads which seek to promote other canine forums will be deleted.

NO TROLLING
What is a troll? It's a person who posts something deliberately controversial and then sits back and watches as dozens of people jump in and start arguing. Sometimes trolls get their friends to join in or post under different names. Generally they will do anything it takes to get attention. If you see a post like this, please try and refrain from replying to it – it will probably be deleted anyway.

LEAVING THE FORUM
If you decide this forum is not for you, please note we do not normally delete membership accounts unless there are exceptional circumstances. As with any large forum, members come and go all the time and people who leave often come back after a while so we prefer not to delete accounts although they can be made "inactive" by making a request to Admin.  Even if your membership account is deleted, your posts will still remain on the forum (this applies to members who are banned too).

THREADS ABOUT PAST MEMBERS
Members should not post threads on any of the forum boards discussing if (or why) a particular member has left or been deleted from COL. Members should also not start threads on behalf of members who have left. Queries about past members should always be addressed privately to a member of the Mod/Admin Team using the PM system. If a member wishes to get in touch with another member who has either left or is not currently active, please send a PM to Admin.

Updated 2014
Jane