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Forum use - guidelines and netiquette


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A few suggestions to keep things running smoothly
As a last resort, folk who persistently don't play by the rules will be warned, temporarily banned, and potentially permanently banned.
Engage in discussion - Our aim is to provide a welcoming space for discussion that develops over time as ideas and opinions are posed and reflected upon: don't just bomb-in your point without taking the time to engage with what other forum members have written, don't just post links without explanation or comment, and be prepared to back up your points with evidence or reasoning.

Avoid sweeping statements and generalised moaning, particularly with regard to whole local authorities, political parties, governments or organisations - These activities translate as "blah, blah, moan, moan" and do nothing to encourage constructive debate. If you have specific examples and/or reasoning, please refer to them and keep them relevant to the topic's subject matter.

Stay calm! - Shetlink is a place where people of differing opinions engage in discussion. Please remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion and that by posting messages you may not get a response you agree with!

Needless Negativity - We want to the forums to be a friendly, supportive and positive 'living room' where people can discuss issues and share their thoughts. As such we welcome and encourage constructive criticism and discussion, but discourage needless negativity, antagonism and hostility. 

Repetitious overly negative, antagonistic and hostile posts discourage other people from joining in discussions - this is the number one complaint the Shetlink moderators receive and is the main reason folk stop, or don't start, contributing the forums. All too often threads are snuffed out due to voracious and repetitive groaning, griping and belly-aching.

The odd rant, moan and whine are inevitable but there's a line to be drawn.

Don't purposely post misleading information - there's too much bruck written on the internet already. Let's keep Shetlink a place where discussion is based on facts.

Sarcasm, insinuation, rhetorical questioning and generally skirting around the point - this has its place in debate, but for there comes a point when you have to nail your colours to the mast and spit it out!

Use font formatting sparingly - in particular ALL CAPS translates as shouting. Make your point through reasoning, not formatting.

Avoid starting a new discussion thread if there's already a relevant one - the forums become confused and discussions difficult to follow when there are multiple threads dealing with similar or identical subject matter, so we encourage users to post in existing threads whenever possible. This gives new posts a chronological order, provides background information to new posts, keeps popular topics active and acts as a running archive of subjects. New topics which are deemed as dealing with the same subject matter as existing threads may be locked and/or merged with the existing thread

Don't use unnecessary and/or long quotes - When using the quote function, only quote the parts of a previous post directly relevant to your reply. Unnecessary quotations make page lengths excessive and unwieldy to navigate.

There is no need to quote the whole post made immediately prior to yours. Doing so breaks the flow of the conversation and forces people to re-read posts.

Alternatively, use a "^" symbol (to indicate you are refering to the post immediately above yours), use "" (to indicate you have truncated a long quote) or just post a reply!

Do not crosspost/ multipost - Please do not post the same message several times and/or in different areas of the forums. Messages should be posted only once, in the most appropriate thread. Crossposts may be removed without notice.

Give new threads appropriate and descriptive names - It makes it easier for folk to find subjects they're interested in, and saves them wasting their time on subjects they're not. Titles like "Look at this", "Lerwick" and "Advice needed" are not very helpful

Use abbreviations sparingly - The forums are for the use of a wide range of people, many of whom have no idea what abbreviated terms such as LMAO, LOL etc mean!

Don't post very large images - it can take ages to load and affects the formatting of the web page. Remember, not every forum user will have the same connection speed you do, nor a 42" plasma screen to view huge images. And please make sure the images are relevant and have context.
The Shetlink team

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