Common Forum Mistakes--and How to Avoid Them

As a flood of new members begins to arrive, I thought it would be a good idea to post this list of relatively common forum mistakes and how to avoid them. I’m starting to see the number of these go up once again, as happens around this time of year. So, here’s your reminder for the year.

Failing to search before you post. Searching can uncover the answer without your having to post a new thread. It can also uncover related material. To search: Go to the orange bar at the top of every page. Search is the middle button of the three with arrows. Click it and you can enter your topic. If you have an idea of who would have posted a thread, or when, or where, click “Advanced Search” below the entry field. CD-Media and some other places on the forum have search features, too.

Asking a question that could have been easily answered from the current rules. The first thing to happen will be either a “Search before you post!” because 47 other people asked the same thing, or a “Read the manual!” because it’s staring you in the face if you do. See, most PDF readers have this little feature: hit CTRL-F, and they have a search feature.

Now, if you can’t find something, or it’s questionable, post away with some evidence you’ve searched. We’ll do our best to answer. If we can’t, go to the FRC Q&A. Bear in mind that *none *of the answers you’ll get here are official unless they quote or reference an official answer from either the manual or the Q&A, and even then, take them with a grain of salt. Hotly debated items that could go multiple directions will probably wind up on the Q&A pretty quickly. Oh, and speaking of the Q&A: checking there for the answer helps too.

Resurrecting an old thread. Sure, searching is good. But it can turn up old threads that haven’t been locked yet. If you forget to check the date, you might revive a dead thread inadvertently. My personal rule of thumb is, one year old or more is probably worth starting a new thread and linking back to the old one. Shorter times or spinoff topics could also warrant linking the old thread.

Anonymous/duplicate accounts. If you MUST vent anonymously, or deal with an issue without giving a clue that it’s you, there is a forum called “First-Aholics Anonymous Mailbox”. This forum is moderated; a moderator will get your post and post it under their name. Duplicate accounts are often merged with your old one by a moderator or deleted because duplicate and anonymous accounts are prohibited by forum rules.

Atrocious spelling and grammar. Can I read it? Yes. Can others read it? Yes. But it’s not professional, and it makes it harder to read what you want us to read. Please make an effort to spell things correctly, or use proper capitalization and punctuation. We’ll be much more likely to read your posts then. Oh, yeah—CD does have a spell checker. That might help.

“Bump” posts. “I need help with XYZ!” followed almost immediately by something to the effect of “Is anyone going to answer?” is a bump post. They are prohibited by Chief Delphi forum rules, probably because they are annoying to others and won’t get your question answered any faster.

<font face=“Verdana”><font size=“2”>**Attack posts. **Every now and again, someone will come around and say something to the effect of “The refs (GDC, other teams, volunteers, etc.) made ABC mistake and it ruined our event, blah, blah, blah!” Guess what, the above-named groups are human. They make mistakes. You’re human, too. You make mistakes. Give them a break. Sure, you may have had a call go against you and it may have even been a bad call. But you can’t change it after the fact. Live with it and grow stronger.

Within my two cents I actually think this should be two items.

**Atrocious spelling and grammar.**H3y, is som1 out ther? Please leave the leet speak to instant messages and texts. We try to keep CD respectable. Part of that is making sure it looks respectable. If you wouldn’t put it in an English paper, than don’t put it here.

Simple spelling and grammar mistakes. Can I read it? Yes. Can others read it? Yes. But it’s not professional, and it makes it harder to read what you want us to read. Please make an effort to spell things correctly, or use proper capitalization and punctuation. Go over your post once or twice before hitting the post button (the number of rereads should be directly proportional to the length of your post). We’ll be much more likely to read your posts them. Oh, yeah—CD does have a spell checker. That might help.

Admit your mistakes - We all make them, if you are having a rough day and mouth off apologize and move on. We have all made mistakes and there is no shame in them. How would we learn to walk if we didn’t learn to fall first?

Personal Attacks - No exceptions, even if a person is a total jerk (or your word of choice) you don’t need to call them that. It doesn’t do anything for your argument other than make you look bad.

Reputation: You probably won’t have to worry about getting bad rep (we tend to be pretty sparing with these) but should you end up taking a few hits in this area make sure that you keep your head. Don’t whine, complain, or act immaturely about it (it’s sort of frowned upon). If you genuinely have a question about someone’s red gifts PM them (they will be able to explain and point you in the right direction). General rule: they’re just dots, don’t forget worry about them and you’ll do fine.

Remember, FIRST is supposed to be fun. Keeping that in mind will help things go better.

When you login it says when you last visited on the portal, therefore someone will see it and reply.

**Read the whole thread. **Especially when we get the game hints it is important to read the whole thread so nothing is repeated or you don’t ask a question that has already been answered. I see evidence that people are not reading the whole of a thread that is active now. There is a function to search a thread in the bar below the uppermost Post Reply button. (Exceptions for chit-chat game threads are in place.)

Things like this

Nimble is a great word to think about when participating in ChiefDelphi.

Dancers and athletes understand the importance of staying nimble. Read the examples in this link that I’ve provided: ‘a nimble mind’, ‘a nimble listener’.

If you are so married to one way of thinking that it bogs you down, you have lost your nimbleness and ability to think, problem solve, assess, or provide resources - quickly and reasonably.

I once had the honor of teaching parts of the Messiah to a choir that consisted mainly of retired adults. I had a very strong bass section. The problem was that they were too heavy, tone-deaf, and didn’t follow direction well. This is not good when it comes to the Messiah.

I thought and I thought and I thought about it over a weekend and I decided to use a visual. (At the time, I was still in my teens and was volunteered to be the choral director for this group without knowing anything about them.) I decided to ask the choir to join me in a circle. When we had gathered in a circle, I then asked them to join me in acting like ballerinas. Actually, hippopotami ballerinas. In pink tutus. Yup. They all giggled and twirled and had a great time and then they went back to their benches when I queued the organist. I directed my remarks to the bass section and what I asked them to do was to think of a hippopotamus in a tutu poised on her toes, as they learned and sang the notes that I was asking them to.

Nimble.

They did as they were asked and they brought the house down during the performance, I kid you not. For many years following that magical performance, they would find cards and send them to me. I reckon that you can guess what lovely creature graced the front of the cards. :slight_smile:

Stay nimble. Be prepared for the tone or the topic to change from thread to thread. Stay alert and prepared to respond appropriately in a thread. If you are not sure, wait for a little while and gather your thoughts. If you are still unsure, pm someone that you respect and ask them for their opinion. I do this all of the time.

Jane