SMF Community Helpers > SMF Documentation Help

WIP: Forum ettiquette.

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K@:
I was wondering if this should be on the ol' wiki. Maybe it could even replace the ol' "Help us to help you" thing, too?

Anything I've missed/got wrong/etc?

Firstly, if you're asking for help/support, try to be succinct. Topics with the title "HELP!", "IT'S BROKEN" and the like aren't terribly helpful. Try to give us a good clue, in the title, as to what your problem is. That way, someone who doesn't have a clue about whatever your problem is won't waste precious time having to look at something that they can't help with, giving them more time to dedicate to the things that they CAN help with.

Secondly, try to give as much information as you can, in your post. Which mods you have installed, for example. Whether the problem occurs when you use a certain theme, or with all themes. Did the problem crop-up after you installed a mod, or made any other changes? If so, what were those mods/changes? That kind of thing. The main reason, for this, is that you're more likely to get the help that you need, quickly, if people don't have to waste time asking questions about such things.

Once you've made your post, please, be patient. We may be in a different part of the world to you. Hence, when you post, we might be in bed, asleep, or something. We're all volunteers, here, too. We do this because we want to help people get on with the SMF software. But, of course, it's not our job. Some of us have jobs, too, so the time that we can dedicate to SMF isn't, perhaps, as much as we'd like. Even those of us that don't have jobs, have real lives. At all times, real life is more important than SMF. So, we may be doing things that are really important. Your forum may be down. But, we might have family members who are unwell, pets who are unwell, good TV programmes we want to watch (There are some good ones, I'm told. Not seen any evidence, of that, myself, but...) So, please don't bump your topics for at least twenty-four hours. If you do, well, nothing personal. But, your topic is likely to be ignored. If you have more information, don't bump your topic, edit your post. If someone can help you, they will. As soon as they see your post. So, bumping it really isn't going to make one iota of difference to how quickly you'll get the help you need.

In a similar fashoon, using caps-lock in topic titles really isn't going to help you. In truth, the exact opposite is true. In the forum world, using caps-lock is regarded as SHOUTING! Shouting, in an attempt to be heard over others, is incredibly rude. So, you might-well find that your topic's ignored. (Or, if you're lucky, edited).

Another thing that some members try, is making duplicate posts, in different boards (Or even the same board, believe it, or not). That's totally NOT the way to get the help you need. Most importantly, it's likely to get confusing, because two people might be responding to each topic, each one unaware of what the other person's suggesting. That can lead to problems, as I'm sure you can see.

If you have more than one issue, it would normally be helpful to make separate topics about each issue. That way, someone who can help with one of them is more likely to help you. If they see loads of them, they might well just skip past your post, entirely. Plus, of course, the topic's less likely to get confusing. Remember, too, that others might search the forum for answers and not see one, if it's jumbled-up in responses to the other stuff. Much the same can be said about adding your problem to the end of a similar topic that someone else has started. Those problems may well, on the face of things, be very similar. But, of course, they might not be as similar as you think. So, starting a new topic is a far better way to go. You could, of course, say something like "My problem is similar to this one <link>". But, it's always best to start a new topic.

Try to be calm and friendly. Now, I know we're only human. (Well, most of us, anyway). When our forum dies, some of us panic. We feel like we're letting our members down, if we don't fix things as quickly as we can. But, if you keep calm and treat others in the way that you want them to treat you, others are more likely to give you the help that you need, in a calm, friendly way. Now, surely, that's what we all want, isn't it?

Old Fossil:
Asking users not to type a whole post in BOLD would be a good addition too.

Sorry K@ I had to add it.

 ;D

K@:
Tosser. ;)

I did that to differentiate between my own waffling and my weird attempt at official waffling. :P

Shambles:
Great post. I do find "help me" titles slightly annoying.

But please explain "caps-lcok" as it sounds quite rude  :P

K@:
It's the pervert's version of "Caps-lock".

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