Forum Etiquette

Our discussion forum enables participants to communicate online using text. Participants can receive posts by email, and/or log onto our forum to view them. On our forum, posts (messages) are arranged by thread (all responses to a given post), with replies indented below their antecedent post.

Please read and follow the given guidelines below when using our forum:

Be Considerate

  • No ‘flaming’ – in other words, avoid personal attacks, pettiness, abuse. Respect other users, and if you disagree with them, explain why.
  • No ‘trolling’ – trolls are posts deliberately designed to provoke an angry response. That doesn’t mean you can’t be controversial, if you really mean it.
  • No personal disputes – if it gets personal, take it offline.
  • Don’t be patronising or sarcastic. It comes across about ten times worse online.
  • Avoid typing in ALL CAPS, which is considered shouting or yelling.
  • Learn to let go – don’t keep harping on about the same thing, or harking back to previous arguments. It is rarely productive, and you always end up going round in circles.
  • If someone else’s post offends you, don’t fight back online. It can be easy to sound rude without meaning to, especially if English is not your native language. However, if you really are troubled by the post, don’t respond – contact us about it instead.

Be Effective

  • Post in the most appropriate forum (and only in one forum).
  • Stay on topic – try to focus on the original topic. In particular, don’t change subject in the middle of an existing thread – just start a new topic.
  • Conversely, don’t start a new topic if your post relates to an existing one – reply to the existing thread instead. Make sure you reply to the appropriate post, not just the last post in the thread
  • When starting a new topic, make the subject line clear and informative. It makes the topic easy to find.
  • Make sure you’re understood, even by non-native English speakers. Try to write full sentences, and avoid text-message abbreviations or slang.
  • If asking a question, provide as much information as possible, what you’ve already considered, where you’ve already read etc.
  • Read what’s already there before posting. You may be repeating what others have already said or asked.

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