Last Updated 07/20/14
Hi there! If you are reading this, there's at least a small chance that you are new here. And furthermore, you may feel like you are being picked on, that you are being treated unfairly, or people are just plain mean here. But good news: it's not us, it's you. And therefore it's fixable.
Now pay attention! Compiled for your education below is a friendly, helpful list of do's and don'ts, presented in no particular order, that will help transform you from lame to not-quite-as-lame.
You're welcome! And good luck.
1) Use Reasonably Decent Spelling And Grammar (Or: spl gd plz k thx bai)
Yes, we get it, no one is writing a thesis here. But you are participating in a (mostly) written medium. An occasional typo or grammatical slip-up is not a big deal, but if you just choose to ignore proper word-smithing all the time, a lot of people will stob taking you seriously.
1a) EXCEPTION: If English is not your native language, you should receive more latitude when it comes to spelling and grammar. But you may need to let people know if this applies to you.
1b) Try to limit your use of txt speak, lol speak, or other nerd speak. Use, don't overuse.
1c) If you keep making the same mistake over and over, and people keep making fun of you for it....and you want them to stop....STOP DOING IT!
1d) If you willingly make mistakes, and/or complain when you are called out for your mistakes, it's only going to get worse for you.
1e) Most (all?) browsers support a spell-check feature. Use it, especially if it has an auto-notify feature such as the red underline in Firefox. At the same time, don't use it blindly. Don't let it change "bluescreen" to "smokescreen," for instance.
1f) Basically, this.
2) Don't Complain About Projects
2a) Don't Make Unreasonable Requests/Demands When Trying To Obtain A Project
There are a lot of great projects that are discussed here, and most of them are available to anyone who is a little polite. When asking how to obtain a project, don't be a jerk. Remember that no one owes you anything, and we rely on the kindness of others to share these projects.
Be polite. And if that doesn't work, move on.
2b) Don't Complain About Project Availability
Don't complain if someone doesn't want a project shared. Don't complain that a project is not available on torrents, newsgroups, or file sharing services. Don't complain if your ISP won't let you download a project and no one will send you a physical copy. Don't complain if you can't afford a newsgroup membership.
2c) Don't Complain About Estimated Project Completion Dates
No one is working on projects here to make a living (at least, they had better not be, since it would be against the rules). As such, real life frequently delays projects, and a little understanding goes a long way. Don't complain if a project is put on hold or isn't finished by the projected date.
2d) Don't Complain About Project Specifics
Feel free to make suggestions about projects that are in-the-works, especially if the person doing the project has indicated they are interested in suggestions. But don't overdo it. Don't repeat suggestions that have already been made and rejected, and don't get upset if your idea isn't implemented. If it bothers you that much, go make your own project.
3) Don't Complain About A Lack Of Responses
No doubt it's a bummer when you post information about a project and no one comments on it. There's nothing wrong with bumping your project thread once or twice to try and generate additional interest.
But don't complain about a lack of responses. You can't force people to take an interest in something they don't care about.
4) Avoid Displaying Rage And Using Excessive Profanity
An occasional swear word, especially if used in a joking manner, is fine. But don't go overboard. And don't lose your cool. It's an easy way to get banned.
If you do find yourself getting worked up, preview your post before you submit it, and ask yourself two questions:
-If the person you are replying to was standing in front of you, would you actually say these things to their face?
-If you were to say these things, would the person probably punch you in return?
If the answer is no to the first question, don't post. And if the answer is yes to both questions, and you post anyway...seek professional help.
5) Listen To What You Are Being Told
6) Don't Be Ultra-Defensive
7) Listen To Constructive Criticism
8) Don't Create A Thread For Every Thought You Have
9) Don't Complain About How You Are Being Treated
10) Don't Delete All Your Posts In A Thread
11) If You Abandon A Project, Do It The Right Way
You are under no obligation to finish a project. But when you announce a project, and people are interested in it, it's only fair to let them know if you abandon it. Not to mention why you abandoned it. You don't need to go into detail, even a simple "I'm too busy" will suffice.
What will not suffice is deleting all your posts about the project. Or abandoning your project with rage because someone questions some part of it. Or abandoning a project every week.
12) Don't Use Personal Issues As An Excuse For Poor Behavior
You are having a rough time lately. Maybe you've had a rough day, or month, or year. Heck, maybe you've had a rough life. We get it, and we sympathize. Really, we do. But life sucking is not an excuse for you to act like an idiot. So don't do it.
And if you do it, don't keep doing it. People will cut you some extra slack if you are going through tough times. But we all have our limits.
13) Don't Create Massive Walls of Text, Especially If You Are Just Rambling
14) If You Are Going To Ask For Stuff In Your First Post On The Forum, Be Polite
It's bad form to use your very first post to ask for something. You're much better off spending a little time letting people get to know you first. Participate in a discussion. Start an interesting thread. Tell us what kind of dog you would be if you were reincarnated into a dog...and then ask for help finding what you need...and then stick around! The chances of someone helping you will be much greater if you put a little effort into it.
Having said that, if you can't be bothered, at least be polite about it.
15) Don't Complain About Donations - How They Are Used, Asking For Money Back For No Reason, Assuming They Entitle You To Stuff, etc.
16) Don't Post Massive Images
17) Don't Quote Massive Image Posts
18) Don't Quote Massive Walls Of Text, Especially If You Just Say "I Agree"
19) Limit Personal Attacks To Jokes, And Be Clear About Your Intent
On the internet, it's all too easy to make personal attacks. Unlike real life, there are few repercussions when you deliberately offend someone on a forum (although you might get banned). But if you stoop to this level, you will quickly get a reputation that is often difficult to shed: Big Jerkface Poopybrains.
You don't have to agree with everyone on everything, but limit your firm-but-polite attacks to the subject at hand. Don't go calling people names or talking inappropriately about their private parts or family members.
Of course, feel free to attack someone if you are only joking. But make sure your intent is clear. A "winky" emoticon or some similar gesture usually will help with this, but it's often a good idea to limit personal attack jokes to people who will already know you are joking.
If your joke is taken seriously, just apologize, you big-eared jerkface. ;-)
20) Don't Treat Your Opinion As Fact
21) Think/Read Before You Post
22) Know Your Audience
23) Understand Why Your Track Record Matters
24) Have A Sense Of Humor About Yourself
25) Know When To Quit
26) Don't Threaten To Leave Or Ask To Be Banned
(ed note: Please feel free to suggest additional topics, and also note that topics will be fleshed out with write-ups as time allows)