12-24-05, 10:25 PM
We're trying to put together a guide to productive behavior on message boards. The idea is that you can use the internet to communicate, but if you get too wrapped up in 'who you are' and what kind of importance you could be construed to have, you go insane and forums start turning into the whining drama festivals that we all recognize as the intarweb. Some users at our forum and our admin came up with this guide to quality use of bulletin boards, but it's a work in progress and suggestions are appreciated.
12-24-05, 11:52 PM
You mean like this:
1) No abusive language or swearing ever allowed.
2) Try your best to respect other people's viewpoints and to understand where they are coming from, then answer accordingly.
3) Never use any condescending, belittling, or derogatory remarks against the other poster. Instead, reply in a calm, educated, rational, respectful way: this is a Science Forum (Sciforum.com).
4) If what you post might be questionable or debatable, or you think that what you post might result in an argument, then make sure you back up what you say with cited scientific references and/or additional sources for review by others.
5) Above all, just be nice to other people. If you don't agree, and the debate results in an impasse, with no progress in sight, then leave the thread. Do not post on it anymore. Sit back, have a cigar?, and rethink the situation. Ask yourself, "Where to go from here?" Restate your argument with citations and references to back it up, or possibly even start a new thread if the divergence of thought is that extreme where you can plainly see that there is no way that you are going to change the other person's point-of-view, belief, or opinion.
Above all, just be nice, rational, educated, and act respectable.
I too am also guilty of not following my own advice above: so I live and learn and learn as I write. I hope everyone else can do the same.