[GUIDE] Forum Etiquette and Use

Discussion in 'Empire Help & Support' started by Hashhog, May 25, 2015.

    A guide for the forum newbie

    The forums may look simple, but there are several basic courtesies that are important to be aware of when using them. For someone new to the idea of forums, it can be a bit tricky to pick up all of these terms and rules. What is a bump? How can I stop myself from double-posting? These are some things you might ask. This guide will cover many of the general forum ideals that aren't specifically covered in the rules section.

    Forum Rules
    The first rule of the forums is to know the rules. This guide is meant as a general informational center, but a full directory of concrete rules can be found HERE. Please read over these rules before attempting to leap into the forums in order to keep them safe, clean, and happy. :)

    Bumps: What are they and how do I use them?
    One of the most common words you'll encounter on the forums is "bump." Bump is an acronym. It stands for Bring Up My Post. A bump, usually consisting of a post with no content other than the word "bump," is used to move a user's thread to the top of the Recently Active Threads list so that it is more likely to be viewed. While bumps are useful, notice that because they don't contain relevant content, they can quickly become spam. Therefore, one of the forum's many rules is that you can only post a bump three hours after the last post by any player in your thread.

    Double-Posting: What it is and how to prevent it
    One of the great rules of the forums is that there is no spam allowed. Double-posting, the act of posting multiple times in a row when one post could have been used, is a form of this. To avoid double-posting, if you think of any extra information that you want to include in the post, click the Edit button (located to the left below the signature of a post) and add it in before re-submitting the post.
    Many people prefix their added information with EDIT: in order to demonstrate to readers that new information has been added; however, this is not obligatory, and it is okay not to do so.
    Note that it can be okay to post again a few hours after the first post, as editing does not create a new, attention-gaining response.

    Spoilers and Quotes: Usage
    A couple of useful tools a player might enjoy using are Spoilers and Quotes. A spoiler is created by using the following template:
    [spoiler=SPOILER NAME]Information Inside[/spoiler]
    That would yield this:
    Information Inside
    Spoilers are useful for containing large blocks of text or lists of images in order to keep a thread more orderly and clean. Occasionally spoilers break and create empty spoilers in addition to the purposeful ones. For information on how to fix this, go to this link.
    Next up is Quotes. A quote helps to tell the reader which post your response is referring to, and it also provides a link to said post. You can quote a player by clicking the Reply button located to the right below their signature.
    When quoting a player, you'll notice the quote has many useful sections. The arrow in the top left of a quote can be clicked and will lead the clicker to the original post. The top left of a quote also lists the author of said quote. For an example of a quote, see below:
    Again, quoting helps keep the flow of the conversation. When you are responding to another player's message, you should always use a quote. Note that you can quote multiple players in the same post.

    The Report Button: Fixing/Locking Threads
    As a normal player, you are unable to change the title of or delete your threads. However, you can use the Report button on the main post of one of your threads to politely request that your thread by locked (if you wish that it be closed) or the title changed rather than creating a new thread. Note that the Report button should not be used lightly, as it is primarily used to report posts that are considered to be offensive or spammy. The Report button is located at the bottom of a post, below the signature and to the right of the Edit button.

    External Sources: Images, YouTube videos, and Links
    To add a link to the post, use the following format:
    [url]WEBSITE URL[/url]
    Alternatively, you can do this (assume example.com is the website url):
    [url=example.com]Clicked Text[/url]
    The second option yields Clicked Text.
    To upload an image, the best option is to use an image-hosting website such as imgur.com to upload your images. Then get the image link from the website and do the following:
    [img]IMAGE LINK[/img]
    Finally, it is quite simple to add a YouTube video to a forum post. If you have a random YouTube link such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUqQt8mD99c, you would take away the end part (zUqQt8mD99c) and then just use the following format:

    Signatures and Avatars: Customizing your forum identity
    Two cool things you can customize are your signature and your avatar. A player's avatar is an image that appears next to each and every one of their posts, whether in comments, on a profile, or in a thread, and often is associated with the player. A signature, on the other hand, is a large section that appears below all of a player's posts in the threads. Signatures can be used to display links as well as images and typing.
    To customize your signature and avatar, go to the top right corner of your forum page and click the drop-down arrow next to your name. Signature and Avatar can be found towards the bottom of the left side of the long list of links that follows. Click on them to go to an area where you can add an avatar or signature.

    Forum Titles and Trophies
    You might notice that many members have forum titles. If you are a staff member or team member, your title will appear beneath your name next to your post. Note that if you are on more than one team, only one of the titles will appear (staff title over Contribution title over Build title over Stream title).
    If you are a supporter, your supporter rank (Diamond Supporter, Gold Supporter, Iron Supporter) will appear (unless you are a team member).
    You will also have a forum rank displayed (New Member, Member, Active Member, or Well-Known Member). You can get a higher forum title by earning Trophies, awards given for completing certain forum goals that usually have to do with getting likes or posting.
    For a list of all trophies, go to THIS link.

    Locating Members on the Forums
    If you're looking to get to a specific member's profile, you can go to THIS LINK by clicking the Members tap located towards the top of the page. You can then use the Find Members search bar (located on the right side of the page) to look up an existing forum member in order to access their profile.
    To view a list of staff members, go to this link.

    Basic Forum Vocab
    Avatar - The image that represents a user and appears by their name in the forums (can be customized by the player)
    Bump - Standing for Bring Up My Post, a bump is a post without content used to bring a thread to the top of the Recently Viewed Threads list
    Flaming - The act of posting aggressively with the intent to cause anger or upset (this is illegal on the forums)
    OP - On the forums, this stands for "Original Poster" and refers to the first post in a thread.
    Signature - A section of writing, images, or links that appear below each post a player makes (can be customized by the player)
    Spam - A post or posts that simply take up posting space and do not add any information relevant to the topic
    Thread - A single link on the forums that discusses some specific topic or idea
    TBA and TBD - Stand for To Be Announced and To Be Decided respectively. This means that whatever detail the TBA/TBD is referring to will be announced later.
  2. First! Is this considered spam?
    Gawadrolt likes this.
  3. If you asked that on any random thread or were doing this to troll, it would be. However, because it's a genuine question that pertains to the thread, then no, it probably wouldn't be considered spam.
    On the other hand, it should be noted that many people consider just shouting a number in a thread (i.e. posts that just say First!) to be spam. :) Again, your post is probably okay because it included a relevant question.

    EDIT: It's possible I misunderstood your post. If the question refers to your post as a whole, then no. If it refers to the act of just saying "First!" then yes. :)
    IronDoesPvp, FDNY21 and 607 like this.
  4. While we're on the topic of the forums, may I add a little part regarding rules in this comment?
    That post is against the rules. In specific, Forum Rule #1:


    Edit: You also ninja-edited me while I was typing - so to answer your new question, yes, according to the rules it is spam.
    ThaKloned, FDNY21, Korszak and 4 others like this.
  5. I know in some forum sections that the minimum bump time is actually 6 hours, and not 3.

    Also something that could be added is to link players to someone's account page.

    Do this:

    Wrap the player's name in those brackets. It will look like this if you do it right: Bro_im_infinite
    SkareCboi, 607 and Hashhog like this.
  6. That was changed :) just not officially changed by krysyy in the rules for the products businesses services.
    PenguinDJ likes this.
  7. I'd like to add something which is IMO also very important. Other than that, awesome work here Hashhog, I think post like yours can be really helping players to remind themselves of those important issues. Lets not forget people: were all new once, and looking back at being new is a whole lot easier than actually being new.

    So, I really think this can help too:

    When in doubt: Ask those who are bound to know!

    The moderators aren't simply out there "to get the offenders" but instead their job is to make sure that we can all enjoy a pleasant time on the Empire and to reduce the risk that one (optionally group of) players are spoiling it for another.

    But what if you're not sure about that specific rule? What if you're really not out to cause trouble, but still would like to know if what you're doing is abiding by the rules?

    Simple: find someone who is bound to know, ask them! And if you're for some reason not comfortable with talking to a moderator (awww, just look at BlackModPony, surely those big fluffy eyes wouldn't think of being mean to you? trust me: all you risk is him coming after you with the holy SMP8 fish of marriage to try and make sure that you'll never leave that wonderful Minecraft block you just found)...

    smp8's influence does it again ;) Erhm, where was I?

    Right! More seriously: if for some reason you are not feeling comfortable with this then just ask a volunteer aka. community team member. One of the reasons we're in one of those teams to begin with is because we'd like to help. Sure: some focus on building, others on general EMC knowledge and the third on making movies and posting them on Youtube (mentioning the community teams in alphabetic order: Build, Contrib & Youtube). But no matter what team we're on we'll all like to help you out if we can.

    So definitely go there if you don't feel comfortable with directly asking a moderator (which you shouldn't be: asking about the rules before risking to break them will always be appreciated).
    EnderMagic4, 607 and Hashhog like this.
  8. Added three new sections on Forum Titles/Trophies, Signatures and Avatars, and locating members on the forums. I also added a bit on YouTube videos to the external sources area.
    ShelLuser and f_Builder_s like this.
  9. Ah, I wish this post existed when I was a forum newbie. It would've been a huge help to me on the first thread I made. =P Nice one, hashy-boo!
    hashhog3000 likes this.
  10. Ah, I like it!
    I think you should double-post after a few hours have passed since your original post, though. Else people will probably miss the new content, as an edit doesn't give you an alert.
    PenguinDJ and hashhog3000 like this.
  11. Bump. :)

    I added a small note on that, as it's a very good point. :) Unfortunately, I can't elaborate much more, because that 1000 character limit is chomping down hard. If the need for more sections arises, I'll move into the second post in the thread. :)
  12. ooooo nice grammar usage
    hashhog3000 likes this.
  13. I was about to post this thread! I had the draft ready and everything! lol

    In all seriousness, thanks a million, hash! I felt that the community really needed this :)
    607, hashhog3000 and Ultimamaxx like this.
  14. Bump. I'm glad to see that the guide is appreciated. If you have any suggestions for things that could be added, please let me know and I'll start working on adding new sections. :)
    607 likes this.
  15. This is a bump. :)
    Best demo bump ever
    PenguinDJ likes this.
  16. Bumping this guide for the first time in a couple of weeks. :)
    607 likes this.
  17. Midweek bump for all forum newbies. :)