Forum Etiquette :)

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madel
 
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 10:25 pm
So...I'm fairly new here...if not in time (all right, I don't think I quite have a month under my belt, so I'm still new even in that way) then certainly still in post count (and where I hover around...So I like the shallow end of the pool...what's wrong with that?! *acts defensive even though no one is attacking*). I've read everything I've found on the forum rules and any extensions there of, but I haven't come across anything that's answered my "real" questions about the forum.

So I pose this question: What are the do's and don'ts that aren't written anywhere but are just sort of followed by general concensus anyway?

For example, I noted that in one of the threads I've posted in I've been "thanked" by the original poster in both posts, even though I'm pretty sure he or she disagrees with some portion of what I've said, and noticed that he or she has thanked everyone else as well...so I assume it's a courtesy thing. Is this something that most people do, or is it unique to this particular person (more or less)?

Another: When someone thanks someone else...is it the norm to pm the person/people and thank them for the thanks...?

When should one hit the reputation button versus thank the person...?

Those are the things I can think of right now, but please! Do share any others you think of! For example, are there phrases that are no-no's? Are there...uh...numbers...that one should...uh...avoid... *is reaching*

??? Smile Thanks!
 
Arjen
 
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 02:05 am
@madel,
Hi Madel,

I have wondered about the same thing you are. I think the best thing I can do is just state what I have noticed and then hope more people will give their ideas and observations.

I think that there are no rules, really. Some people hardly give any thanks, others hand 'em out by the bucket. Everybody just does what he or she wants. I have noticed the same courtesy thing you have noticed. I have also noticed that Justin for instance gives thanks for constructive posts such as introductions to philosophers and often also to new members. Others give thanks to posts that contain information that they did not know before and some people thank posts that address a certain issue, not so much solve it or agree with it.
I personally thank serious posts, constructive posts (which are serious 99% of the time) and often I also thank posts addressing an issue. I do not have to agree with what the poster is saying one bit. I often thank people for the conversation and alterior views as well.

Reputation on the other hand is something else. Contrary to thanks you cannot remove it afterwards, which made me more reluctant to give it to people. I one gave it to somebody because he was patiently arguing his case with somebody for 7 pages or so. I wanted to remove the reputation later because he got insulting is his posts after that and tried to use all sorts of ways to motivate his idea as superior. The munchhauser trilemma comes to mind.
So, reputation I have give to VideCorSpoon for his logic Symposiae, to Bogey for the way he holds himself towards new members, to Justin for the way he holds himself to all members and so on. I view those more as achievements. Sometme I cannot give reputation though. The forum then tells me that I have give reputation to that person too recently. I am not sure how long to wait for it, but not posting a while had the desired effect and besides one can remember that one wanted to give somebody reputation.

Well, I hope this helps you out a bit.

Smile
 
Deftil
 
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 02:37 am
@Arjen,
Heh, before now I thought the rep system was tied directly to getting thanks, but now I realize there is a separate rep button from the thanks button.
 
jgweed
 
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 08:05 am
@Deftil,
I follow Arjen's "rules" for thanking a Member for a post that is 1) well-expressed and presented, whether or not it agrees with my position,2) makes a significant contribution to a thread's discussion, or 3) makes a contribution to the quality of the forum itself. In a way, this act by itself increases the poster's reputation by adding to the thanked post count, so I am myself careful in its use.

Being rather new here myself, I have refrained from adding to anyone's reputation until I am more "at home" with what is happening in the community in general and more familiar with the overall quality of Member's posts. I have always assumed that "thanks" are for individual posts, and reputation is reserved to recognize overall and significant contributions to the community in general.

Every on-line community builds up over time "rules of usage" or "style sheets" that are never stated but must be learned by acquaintance with forum contents from which they are derived. These are in addition to commonly recognized forum etiquette that applies across many boards and forums.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 09:28 am
@madel,
I very rarely give out thanks and generally when I do it is for a post that sparks my own line of thought.

I was not aware of the reputation button, and I don't even know what it does.
 
Justin
 
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 09:30 am
@madel,
madel wrote:
So...I'm fairly new here...if not in time (all right, I don't think I quite have a month under my belt, so I'm still new even in that way) then certainly still in post count (and where I hover around...So I like the shallow end of the pool...what's wrong with that?! *acts defensive even though no one is attacking*). I've read everything I've found on the forum rules and any extensions there of, but I haven't come across anything that's answered my "real" questions about the forum.


I will do better to provide more documentation in the very near future. Thank you for asking.

madel wrote:
So I pose this question: What are the do's and don'ts that aren't written anywhere but are just sort of followed by general concensus anyway?


The general forum rules are located here.

madel wrote:
For example, I noted that in one of the threads I've posted in I've been "thanked" by the original poster in both posts, even though I'm pretty sure he or she disagrees with some portion of what I've said, and noticed that he or she has thanked everyone else as well...so I assume it's a courtesy thing. Is this something that most people do, or is it unique to this particular person (more or less)?


Thank You is a way of thanking the member for what they have posted without typing a response that says thank you. Like Arjen and jgweed have explained, Thank You is a courtesy and doesn't mean that you agree with what's said but you thank the member for taking the time to respond. I also thank posts that are productive and insightful and it does increase the user reputation. Reputations will eventually be used more frequently as the forum progresses but negative reputations aren't good. Your reputation takes time to build and follows you throughout the forums.

madel wrote:
Another: When someone thanks someone else...is it the norm to pm the person/people and thank them for the thanks...?


No, not necessary. They can go into their profile and see how many people have thanked them.

madel wrote:
When should one hit the reputation button versus thank the person...?


If you find a post that is non-productive or just garbage or hateful or just totally off the wall, you can click the reputation icon (http://www.philosophyforum.com/forum/images/PHBlue/buttons/reputation.gif) and leave a reputation based on that individual post. This is more of an approve or disapprove feature. Again, it doesn't mean that you agree, just means that you either approve or disapprove of the content of that post. If it's demeaning or belittling other members, this would be something to disapprove and leave a negative reputation strike. Likewise, if a post is real bad or breaking the rules, please report it (http://www.philosophyforum.com/forum/images/PHBlue/buttons/report.gif) and with both, always leave a note or comment. Reported posts are automatically sent to the moderators forum for review. All mods see these.

Great questions and hope this has helped to answer at least some of these for you. Documentation is on the list.
 
madel
 
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 12:08 pm
@Justin,
This is great information Smile Thank you all Wink

So what are the cold-hard-facts with regards to reputation, then, I wonder? For example, I'm a geek and frequent a Dungeons and Dragons forum as well with a similar set up (except the thanks...no thanks option...which would probably make that site a little more...balanced...anyway...) and how much reputation one can give is based on post count, and the little green squares show up after every, say, 100 "points" of reputation (we call it XP...cause we're geeks...).

So is the "system" uber-secret, or does someone out there know how all of this works numerically...? /is Justin willing to say...?

If everyone is more or less in the dark about how the system by-the-numbers works, then I can see advantages to this. Namely, it lessens the importance of reputation and thanks which means it's not so prone to being abused (another problem I've seen on other sites).

Quote:
Sometme I cannot give reputation though. The forum then tells me that I have give reputation to that person too recently. I am not sure how long to wait for it, but not posting a while had the desired effect and besides one can remember that one wanted to give somebody reputation.

If this forum is at all set up like the DnD forum I"m on, then this is a sort of "spread the love" system: The system is set up to only allow a person to give one person x amount of reputation in a row. Chances are, once you give rep to someone else, you'll be able to give the first person more. It probably works something like that. Might also be based on a time frame...?

This function is, obviously, to keep the system from being abused. It's funny how fanatical people can get about little green dots!

Taking all of this into account...I need more information! I'm prone to being that obnoxious member who gives out reputation because I want to tell the person what it was I liked (or didnt' like...though I doubt I'd use this option but rarely if ever) specifically about the post. But I don't want to do that if giving rep "means more" numerically than giving a thanks does, unless the post is really very good.

And yes, I'm one of those people who sit happily on the fence, cautiously wieghing evidence until I have enough of it to decide anything. I then climb, cautiously down to one side or ther other, but hold on to the fence in case I find something there to make me change my mind...then back to fence sitting Wink

Sadly, even this sort of thing is not immune.

I think I gave someone reputation back when I was very very new, before I noticed that thanks seemed to be the more popular option...so I've held off on scales button.

As to other forum rules of etiquette...what about in posting styles...anything unspokenly "firm"? No attacking mothers, for example, or...uh...I can't think of anything less silly.

I do note that everyone is, for the most part, very polite, which while it harkens back to the forum rules as written, the extent to which it is followed seems to fall more under the unspoken rules.

Anything like that that anyone else has noticed...?
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 02:18 pm
@madel,
I would actually use the scale button more often if I was allowed. Every time I try it says I've given out too much rep. It would be nice if the system was changed so that I could spread the rep by scale more fluently. But I usually thank posts for the same reasons Arjen does.

Here's an unspoken rule though. Unless you are a pro philosopher, don't get into a heated debate with Aedes. You just can't win.

When I started out on the forums and still, I bet I sound pretty silly, childish compared to you geeks. Just learn the terms fast, that's all.
 
madel
 
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 02:39 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Quote:
Unless you are a pro philosopher, don't get into a heated debate with Aedes. You just can't win.

Ha ha! Duly noted!
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 03:01 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Well honestly the one thing I find amusing is when people thank the opposite side of the argument strictly because it is a position against yours. Also, on several occasions, I had been chastised for thanking a discussion and having that very "thanks" thrown in my face because they had taken it to mean I totally agreed with their position. Thanks can be a bad thing. But I think that overall, the thanking system is well intentioned and valuable.

In a way, I think of discourse on the forum like an 18th century duel between gentlemen. Though there was an issue that necessitated the duel, the two parties have it out and hopefully settle one way or the other in a civilized way. Thanking is the honorable intention in the argument that says, though we may be fighting, we are doing so in the best interests of philosophy.

Personally, I guess I could be consider one who just hands out thanks. But I don't see it that way. I have always held from the beginning of my time on philosophy forum that one should thank the discussion and not the individual. The "thanks" button acknowledges the appreciation of the philosophical discussion. The individual is in turn thanked by the rep scale. There is a clear division in my opinion. I give rep to people who I feel consider the best interests of philosophy in their conduct and comments.

One of the main reasons I thank the discussions the way I do is because there are a good deal of people who are making a genuine effort to contribute, though they may not be entirely clear or cogent in their suppositions. Those people deserve thanks just as much as people that are entirely versed in the subject. If they are engaged in the discussion, they deserve recognition for that.

If the discussion is productive and in the best interests of philosophical discourse, how could I not thank the discussion.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 04:13 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Good info here, thanks for bringing it up Madel.

I didn't know that Increase Rep function existed either. The big "thanks" at the bottom was; however, very visible so that's what I've used. I'll generally thank someone who brings a new perspective, facilitated the discussion or adds a dash of clarification that hits just right.

Good communicators with thoughts that enhance our exchange... them's the folk we need to hold on to Smile
 
Justin
 
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 06:37 pm
@Khethil,
Yes, overall I have to agree. As Vide pointed out, the thank you isn't necessarily for agreeing, it's for thanking someone for being involved and offering productive and insightful commentary to the discussion. There are those to thank even if we don't agree with them, it's in the way they conduct themselves in the forum.

More than anything else, it's etiquette. If you treat others respectfully and offer insight and ideas or even a solid opposing view, then people should thank you.

Now, on the others side of it, the reputation portion of it can be added if you agree with what's said by adding a comment in the reputation. If there is a thank you given, it's limited right now to how many thank yous per day so the system is not abused. I'll definitely refine this Holiday as it does need to be refined a bit. There are also some other modifications that can be done to integrate some really neat stuff into the forums which have been considered.

Hard facts on reputation... we'll take a closer look at that function and come up with some sort of plan and explanation as it is needed. I was currently using it more for the weeding out the negative reputations than anything else. If it's going down and not going up, then something is wrong with that picture. We can all disagree yet be respectful of one another. That's really the beauty of it.

Thank you all for your questions and comments.
 
Deftil
 
Reply Mon 6 Oct, 2008 07:00 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Justin;26810 wrote:
If you find a post that is non-productive or just garbage or hateful or just totally off the wall, you can click the reputation icon (http://www.philosophyforum.com/forum/images/PHBlue/buttons/reputation.gif) and leave a reputation based on that individual post. This is more of an approve or disapprove feature. Again, it doesn't mean that you agree, just means that you either approve or disapprove of the content of that post. If it's demeaning or belittling other members, this would be something to disapprove and leave a negative reputation strike.

One thing I noticed is that through the rep icon you can only "approve" of someone's post and not "disapprove" of it. Is it supposed to be like that? I get the impression from the above you've said that you should be able to disapprove of someone's post through the rep icon. I'm only on 1 other forum that has a rep system like this, and on that one you can either approve or disapprove of their post.

Holiday20310401 wrote:
Unless you are a pro philosopher, don't get into a heated debate with Aedes. You just can't win.

Depending on Aedes tactics to winning a debate, this may be the perfect reason to get into a debate with him/her. If they use questionable logic and shady tactics to "win" debates, then getting into debate with them is probably mostly unproductive, but if they consistently seem to win debates because of their wealth of knowledge and powerful use of reason and logic, then getting into debate with them is likely a great way to improve your own debating and reasoning skills! I often find that philosophical debate is more ueful for learning than for teaching.
 
 

 
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