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Forum Etiquette PMs

steffee

Active Member
In that other thread, abc made a suggestion about another forum she visits whereby upon joining you are sent a friendly PM welcoming you to the forum, and containing a few hints on settling in.

As the majoriy of bookandreader misunderstandings seem to stem from people posting duplicate and/or illiterate and grammatically dreadful threads / posts, would it not be possible for the mods here to follow a similar strategy?

Admittedly, when I joined this (or any other, for that matter) forum, I didn't bother with "Please read this FIRST!!" type threads, and I doubt many do, but it is hard to ignore a PM.
 

pontalba

Well-Known Member
That sounds like an excellent idea. I saw ABC's post, and it sounded like it was workable. If a "form p.m." was made up ahead of time,
perhaps it could be set up to automatically be sent to all newly registered members. That way, as I know members register pretty frequently, there would be no extra burden on the mods.
 

abecedarian

Well-Known Member
One nice thing about this pm was that it looked very personal, with pictures and different font colors and such. It didn't look like a form letter.
 

Halo

New Member
I saw abc's post in the other thread and meant to reply, but got sidetracked.

In principle, I think it is a very nice idea. The "welcoming" part of it we already do anyway in Members' Introductions, but the hints and etiquette part of it would be very helpful.

However, as we get so many people joining, it would create a heck of a lot of work. I like pontalba's suggestion, that it would be good if it could be sent out automatically to new members when they sign up.
 

SFG75

Well-Known Member
steffee said:
In that other thread, abc made a suggestion about another forum she visits whereby upon joining you are sent a friendly PM welcoming you to the forum, and containing a few hints on settling in.

As the majoriy of bookandreader misunderstandings seem to stem from people posting duplicate and/or illiterate and grammatically dreadful threads / posts, would it not be possible for the mods here to follow a similar strategy?

Admittedly, when I joined this (or any other, for that matter) forum, I didn't bother with "Please read this FIRST!!" type threads, and I doubt many do, but it is hard to ignore a PM.

An absolutely smashing idea. A lot of forums that I belong to do that as well. saves the mods a lot of busywork in regards to duplicate threads, repetitive "how do you..." questions, etc.:)
 
I think that one of the biggest problems with an automated PM system is that if it becomes obvious that it's a "stock" message, people will stop reading it. On many forums I've seen auto-PM used but the way people see it, if it's "automated" anything, they tend to avoid reading it. People will generally be suspicious of any PM lying in their inbox when they're newly registered and dismiss it as yet another "welcome" mail.
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
Nobody seems to have mentioned FAQ yet.
They also get published to be unread?
Peder
 

abecedarian

Well-Known Member
Peder said:
Nobody seems to have mentioned FAQ yet.
They also get published to be unread?
Peder

That's the reason I haven't mentioned FAQ. Here's what the message looked like:
Welcome to





DiscussCooking.com.

abecedarian





We're so glad you've chosen to become a member of our ever-growing community.


I'm jkath, and it will be my pleasure to help you get started with our forum.
If you have any questions, or aren't sure where to look for something, please ask me or any other site helper and we'll be happy to help!





You'll notice that below your name
it will say "Assistant Cook".
(This means you've posted less than 50 times.
After a bit of recipe sharing, questions, answers and general chit chat, you'll notice your title will change.)





There are some abbreviations that are used around here
quite a lot, so here's a quick "key" for them:


DC = Discuss Cooking
TNT = Tried and True



ISO = In Search Of

REC = Recipe



EVOO = Extra Virgin Olive Oil

DW or DH = Dear Wife or Dear Husband




User CP
You can use this toolbar feature to add:


* an avatar picture (80 by 80 pixels or 64.0 KB, whichever is smaller).,
* a signature (such as a favorite quote)
* your birthday
* your time zone
* your profile (hobbies, etc)
* See what nice things people have said to you in Karma


Karma
We have a Karma system, which enables you to give a nice "pat on the back" to someone, either for sharing a fantastic recipe, or perhaps for answering a question for you. This is left to your own discretion, and is not mandatory.




Here's a link for more info on our policies, etc:


Frequently Asked Questions - click here
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Again, welcome to DiscussCooking.com.
I know you'll like it here!





~ jkath ~



-Hospitality



__________________

The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I thought it was a friendly way to convey needed information..
 

mehastings

Active Member
While I think it would be a great idea to PM new members, I agree that a very obvious form letter would be dreadful. First of all, it looks tacky. Secondly, I can't believe that every new member would bother to read it. New members who join, post intro threads and genuinely want to discuss would read it, but for the most part those aren't the people everyone has a problem with. It seems that people who join to get homework help or promote their books generally don't even read the MA. How can we expect that they will read a lengthy form PM about searching, not advertising and correct grammar?
 

Ronny

Well-Known Member
Maybe you could make a sticky thread in the introduction area that gives some tips for posting and navigating the site? You're welcome PM could then have a link to that if they are interested.
 

Stewart

Active Member
mehastings said:
New members who join, post intro threads and genuinely want to discuss would read it, but for the most part those aren't the people everyone has a problem with. It seems that people who join to get homework help or promote their books generally don't even read the MA. How can we expect that they will read a lengthy form PM about searching, not advertising and correct grammar?

Well, if they don't read it we could verbally batter them. They have been warned. :D
 

abecedarian

Well-Known Member
Stewart said:
Well, if they don't read it we could verbally batter them. They have been warned. :D

But then we'd get battered in return, and with all that batter flying around, things will get pretty messy:p ;)
 

SFG75

Well-Known Member
The essential info could be in the form of a stickie at the top of each thread selection. Perhaps a title along: "Click here first if you're new!" or something like that. I've seen that a lot as well.
 

Motokid

New Member
Yeah, that's what's needed. More stickies. A longer Membership Agreement, and private messages sent to every new member. We need more rules. More regulations and stipulations. Haven't you read the fine print yet?

And all this will accomplish what?

The majority of people won't read it, don't read it, and those that might, will post the way they want regardless.

The bottom line is there needs to be consistency, openness, and honesty with how this place operates. The only way that's going to happen is through open discussion, and a membership that practices acceptance and restraint when dealing with a new member who just doesn't seem to fit in right away.

Creating what appears to be more rules, guidelines, and a specific etiquette is simply going to reflect a stuffy, cersored, and bland kind of place to hang out.
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
Well, just when I wanted to agree with posts by harishankar(?) and ABC, I can't seem to find the first one of them (the one with the links). In any event, both seem to rest on the ideas of persuasion, tolerance and inclusion, rather than coercion, punishment and exclusion. I think the one approach to personal relations succeeds much better than the other.
Peder
 
Peder, thanks. I always believe that you can never enforce guidelines. Community etiquette is a learned skill. When I join a particular forum, over time, I will start fitting into that community and how that community behaves. That's called "groupthink" (yes, I'm an MBA student ;)) You see, it's important for the leaders of the community to set the tone of behaviour and when a majority of people start following them, the "trickle-down" effect will come into effect. The underlying premise is strong leadership.

Online forums offer a trickier challenge because there's no personal contact, but only contact through text messages. It's imperative that all communication be clear, focussed and set the right tone. Especially from the leadership.

Of course, there are going to be troublesome members. You cannot avoid them. They form a very small part of the internet and they won't fit in. Certainly have rules to deal with situations caused by such people, but don't let the rules rule you...
 

Peder

Well-Known Member
Harishankar,
Thanks to you too.
A favorite author of mine says that "once you have seen the picture in the puzzle you can't unsee it." Sometimes it takes some doing to see it the first time but, indeed, once it has been seen it cannot be unseen.

Good luck in your career,
Peder
 

Kenny Shovel

Active Member
Motokid said:
The bottom line is there needs to be consistency, openness, and honesty with how this place operates. The only way that's going to happen is through open discussion, and a membership that practices acceptance and restraint when dealing with a new member who just doesn't seem to fit in right away.

Whilst I can agree with what you've said here, I don't see the problem with an automated introductory PM. We want to encourage new members, and give them a chance to find out what the place is about before jumping all over them, but it's worth letting them know that this is an international board with many members for whom English is not the first language. As such, messages need to be as clear as possible, with abbreviations and slang kept to a minimum.

GR8 tlkin 2 ya. Peace out!

K-S
 

Motokid

New Member
Kenny,

I don't think there's anything wrong with a "welcome" pm except that I think the majority of new members won't read it, just like the majority don't read the Membership Agreement.

And, it would require that the Forum has some very active moderators to do the job, or it would require a very sterile, "form letter" type pm which might actually do more harm than good.

It's probably a much better idea to just let the members that are active at the time of a newb's first few posts handle the welcomes, and try to politely point the newb in a forum friendly direction.

Lead by example. Post as you would like others to post.
 
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