Forum Posting Rules
Author: LenMoz
Creation Date: 12/9/2019 10:38 PM
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LenMoz

#1
I searched the forum and the Wiki, using "Forum", to find the rules for posting. I found nothing. I am constantly seeing comments from Eugene correcting users for not properly posting. It would be useful to enumerate these rules, "one subject per thread", "improper topic name", "search before starting a new topic". As far as I can tell these rules are unwritten, arbitrarily applied, and known only by Eugene. If I've missed something, I apologize, but I'm tired of these constant user criticisms.

I would suggest not only documenting these rules, but also prominently referring users to these rules, perhaps as a link at the top of each forum-related page, to the right of "Most Recent Posts", for instance.

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Eugene

#2
Thank you for your suggestion.

While I shouldn't be deemed apologetic for what I'm doing because this is being done exclusively for the best purposes, you're right that the "rules" are informal. This is good because generally users won't bother reading some rules and sticking to them. Thereby what I do should not be seen as criticism (as you imply) - it's rather investment of my own time to teach users how to search, name threads properly, formulate effective search queries and so on. It comes from nearly 1 1/2 decades of responding to tickets, email and forum posts and constant effort in keeping the forum organized and accessible by:

* cleaning it from duplicate posts,
* renaming poorly named threads ("a wise man's question contains half of the answer"),
* appending superfluous new threads to "established" existing discussions,
* moving posts out of inappropriately chosen forum categories,
* deleting spam and banning spammers etc.

In other words, everything so that users could easily find information at their fingertips. The best practices, netiquette and suggestions come from the known gems like this:

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

To reiterate, having some formal, strict rules may only make users retract from posting. From experience, users sometimes just do the opposite of what is being kindly suggested to them despite illustrations or visible links in bold. Why? I have no idea.

QUOTE:
but I'm tired of these constant user criticisms.

A possible solution for recreation might be to not follow my forum postings so relentlessly ;)
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LenMoz

#3
My observation is that, while there are repeat offenders, the more frequent offenders are new users. They have no idea of the "rules". As a new user, I may be reluctant to start a new topic, but rather tiptoe in by extending an existing topic. Most forums are more free-wheeling in this respect. That is the genesis of of my suggestion to bring attention to them. Call them "posting suggestions" if you prefer gentler language.

My suggestion is in the interest of improving the user experience using the Forums.

QUOTE:
users won't bother reading some rules and sticking to them.
I disagree.
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Eugene

#4
Excellent guidelines by StackOverflow, I couldn't have said any better. With accent on coding issues but illustrates the idea:

How do I ask a good question?

That short Examples section they compiled is amazing. Here at WL forum, users most always tend to pick the wrong topic title that has to rename to get rid of parasite words and useless emotions ("problem, confusion, doesn't work, help" and so on). That's why I stressed that "a wise man's question contains half of the answer".
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