Netiquette

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by Gordo, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    As a self described "interloper", and as someone who has made my share of mistakes as I try to master the "art" of posting on the internet, I wonder if anyone can suggest some basic rules of thumb pertaining to such posts in general, and more specifically to posting on the UBC forums that might contribute to the maintenance of a congenial and friendly atmosphere? Although differences of opinion are bound to occur,I remember Daniel's comparison to one's behavior around a dinner table, and I think that is the best guide I can think of. Any other thoughts?
     
  2. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I thought the model he used was a cocktail party, which would have us all a little more relaxed... but whether we are here with drink in hand or not, I think it is as incumbent on a forum as in person to be diplomatic in disagreement. Rather than attacking a position, can one ask to have it explained? Rather than assuming someone is a bad person for having a silly question or a silly answer, can we just deal with the question or answer? We do have one prerogative here that I often have to discipline myself to use but enjoy when I do: the right to remain silent. See a stupid question or post that tempts you to be rude? Why say anything? Silence sometimes speaks volumes.

    But having said that, a silly question can also be adroitly addressed in such a way that it does generate a valuable discussion; I'm still a student of that art and remain grateful for the times when my own fumbling attempts at conversation-opening have been rescued by some smooth operators.
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    This is the thread referred to by Gordo: the (unfinished) Forum Charter
     
  4. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank you Daniel - it was specifically 3.0 of the proposed charter rules. Karin, I agree that sometimes silence may be the best response, but sometimes, as you so eloquently mentioned, a request for a clarification or a polite disagreement may be equally appropriate. This is, at best, an imperfect medium for conveying precisely our exact thoughts and emotions, but I think with practice there is ample opportunity for improvement by all of us.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The difference between UBC and GW, for instance is the moderation. Jerk behaviors seem to be a constant. Before settling on GW, and later UBC as well I visited some unmoderated gardening chats. Unbelievable!
     
  6. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Moderation is indeed a key to a successful forum, and a forum charter or some sort of rules a useful tool. There are some complicating elements though. For example, the more rules and standards you have, the more active and consistent moderating you have to have to keep the site credible and the standards functioning. In addition, every act of moderation sets up higher expectations of moderator functioning, and perhaps reduces participants' own sense of responsibility to ensure the veracity of their own information, and to correct whatever they see that they believe to be wrong.

    There was a recent thread, now closed, in which a thread starter was reprimanded by the moderator for not being adequately scientific. However, that opens a floodgate of issues as to the degree of obligation held by the moderator if answers provided by forum members are not factually correct. What if someone asks for a plant suitable for woodland gardening and is told to look into alpine plants?

    Whatever the pitfalls of moderating, however, I do agree it is best to have some, and Daniel may be as close to the ideal as it is possible to get. As to models for the conversation, I actually think cocktail party (which I must have heard elsewhere) is the better model, as participants always have the option of walking away from a conversation, which is less the case at dinner.

    Cheers!
     
  7. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    The internet is such a huge place, and I find much of my time is spent sorting for content: accuracy, relevance to me, etc. Over time, I evaluate various sites and those that satisfy me are retained, others are not. I don't feel the need nor do I have the time to sort thru material that is, again to me off topic.
    A well focussed, well moderated site such as the UBCBG site is of enormous value to me. Other well focussed sites are similarly valuable or entertaining or even tittillating to others, and I say "Viva la difference", but I won't be participating. Thanks Daniel, and thanks to all share my interest/obsession.

    Ralph
     
  8. Buckthorne

    Buckthorne Member

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    I used to be a contributor on DG but when I found myself to have been censored for what was called profanity (which, in fact was blaspheme and not profane at all) I thought that the moderation had gone too far in that direction as well. (The word I used was "damned" in reference to a deer)

    With any luck, I won't be chastised for the same thing here. Since we are on topic, I'm wondering if others feel that I was out of line as well?
     
  9. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I've taught my kids that there are times when swearing is suitable, and times when it isn't. I think that when deer have eaten or threaten to eat your garden, that time is suitable. In posting, the alternative to actually saying a bad word is to use a selection of signs - &*^%^%# - which I usually interpret as being a heck of a lot worse than the word "damned." I'd rather read "damned" than think the other things. However, having said that, how do you explain that damned is allowed and the word I think of when I read *&^%%&" is not?

    I do read forums where the word that begins with F and ends with UCK (that's FiretrUCK, by the way) is commonly used, and those forums are also moderated, sometimes quite aggressively. Interestingly, these are sites where very insightful commentary is to be found, and people mostly seem to use the word quite suitably (the way I teach my kids), not gratuitously. I think it is the public nature of the usage that is shocking, not its usage as such.

    I think forums find their norms, and when moderator and forum get along well, the moderators are probably enforcing the standards that the forums themselves gravitate towards. So if you didn't like not being able to say a certain word, then that wasn't the forum for you; rather, it is for people who prefer not to use that word.
     
  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Depends on context, really. If it is used referring to another member of the forums, you'd be well on your way to being asked to leave. If it is used in reference to deer, likely not. Again, the analogy that comes up is whether you would say what you say in the presence of strangers at a sit-down dinner, with an infinite amount of people listening to the conversation.
     
  11. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    As if the damned deer weren't enough, now we've got $#*&# racoons!

    Ralph
     
  12. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Heh.
     
  13. Buckthorne

    Buckthorne Member

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    Karin,

    Well true enough. I myself came to the conclusion that that forum and I were not a good fit. I responded to their annoucement of my censorship with a request that they drop my membership, that their piety was duly noted, and that I looked forward to making their acquaintance in heaven.

    Ralph

    I have recenlty come to the conclusion that old appliances and rusty cars proliferate so in the front yards of rural Maine because Yankee ingenuity have lead us to the conclusion that that is all that will survive the onslaught of the wild life.
     

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