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Site Ettiquette


boyblunda

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I am a novice compared to many of the members on this site and have often struggled with regard to issues of when to add to an old thread versus when to start a new thread. I do spend time in the archives and I am amazed by the wealth of quality information available from past contributions - most of which are from well before my time here.

I was pleased to see Enrique's post with regard to adding to an old thread Versus starting a new thread and was concerned that this valuable kick start to a possible discussion might be lost in the other recent topic discussing "reputation".

ENRIQUE'S POST READS IN PART:

Some would have you post a completely new thread rather than post to an old thread, and others would have you post to the old thread to keep all the related questions / answers / variations of topic / related variations within the same thread(s).

The common agreement however, is that EVERYONE (except for those that don't wish to be included) hates the person who drags up an old old post simply to post that they also had the same problem and agreed that the solution given was the one to use as that is what they did. That is, they added absolutely NOTHING to the thread, and essentially said "Me too!" this is the real waste of time for everyone.

My opinion is that if in searching you find a post that answers your question / search, but you had different symptoms, or fix(es) then definitely add to the post as what you are positng ADDS to the post.

However, DO read the post thoroughly and completely, there have been times when new members have begun to offer their 2 cents worth on how to trouble shoot a problem that, if they'd read to the end of the thread, they would have realized that that problem had already been solved. Also remember that you are posting to an old thread, so that posting a question to the ORIGINAL poster, may be useless.

I think that adding to an old thread that is informative with NEW information ADDS to the value of the thread and the archives. It not only helps compact the archives, (instead of 30+ posts on the same subject, you only have a half dozen or so) it also allows future new people the opportunity to quickly review a LOT of knowledge without having to read the same replies over and over again.

However, just because you're lazy and don't want to sift through the replies, or to do the basic search, well in my opinion, you should NOT start a new thread. That's what earns MY telling them...go search the archives.

Thanks Enrique for that post - it helped me a great deal and if no one ever responds to this thread, I would read that post again as a personal guide of how I would like to operate on this site.

I have seen many comments from members about the appropriate place or method involved with adding to or reviving old threads but I believe these comments have not been clear or consistent. Not much would be gained by mentioning examples of these comments and there is a risk of reviving old arguments so maybe we could address this issue in abstract ruffling feathers.

There are other ettiquette issues that might be included in this thread such as :

Off Topic Comments or Hijacking

Searching before asking

On a related topic, I would like to commend members on this site for the degree of tolerance generally shown to people who make dumb comments, newbies, those having a bad day etc etc. Sometimes there are reactions but I personally think that members and moderators do a great job of keeping a lid on things.

Hoping for some discussion and consensus without trying to create offense.

Dave

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How about if you find an old thread, and the question was never fully answered? Is it ok to bring it up to see if a solution was ever properly arrived at? How about if some test/race/event was proposed, but never followed through on? Is it ok to bring it up to ask if that ever got accomplished?

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I certainly agree with Enrique, but when reviving an old thread, how about starting off with "I know this is an old thread, but . . . " That way, there is no question that you've read it and either have somehing to add (as maybe David's case) or looking for follow-up/solution/accomplishment (as in Max's case).

Just my .02

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Since I inadvertently started this....LOL

Miles makes a good point, and it would definitely remind people that the new post they are reading is being added to an old post.

Max's point about a thread not fully answering a question / problem is going to be a problem. The main problem now is that there have been so many threads started on the same subject(s) that it takes hours to sift through them all.

Add to that that some new folks will post the same question in two and three different forums thinking that each has it's own group of devoted readers and ignoring the fact that ALL new posts are shown on the Main Page at the bottom. What happens then is that they'll get some folks answering one, not the other, and other folks reversing that. So now you have two and more posts all with incomplete answers.

Here is a link to a search for "Gasoline Fumes"....you get 10 hits.

http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/search.php?searchid=338796

In this post:

http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16215

The latest addition to " Gasoline Fumes In The Car!?" you have a relatively new member saying...I've looked and I still have the problem. The next few posts basically re-iterate the littany of fixes until he gets asked if he realized he was bringing up an old post. All salient points to this new thread.

While you may think that the question "Did you notice this was an old post?" is rude and out of place, if you look at the search I posted, you'll see that this post is not the only one to deal with gasoline fumes. Pull up the last one "Getting high off gas fumes.." and you'll see that even then it was an old repeated post (June 2002). But it belies the new poster's actions. If he in fact HAD tried the various suggestions, it's questionable that he would still have the problem. (Off topic: That last post also shows why Mike wants to remove "image leeching", there is a post with some excellent documentation, that is now useless, because the original host site for the pictures is no longer there, or no longer allowing re-direct.)

That's where you run into the apathy that some people have. It boils down to this..."That sounds complicated, I don't want to do that." or "I don't think that's right, so I'll ignore it." When in fact, they came here looking for answers, but they didn't like the answers they were given, so they ask again hoping someone will say...Abra ca Zaam....it's now fixed. Except now they've drudged up an old post and complained that it didn't answer their question.

Heck, if anyone can come up with a FAST way of removing the plastic panels in the back of the car WITHOUT breaking them or losing the rivets/pins...I'm ready to listen. But therein lies the problem, some of the fixes ARE NOT EASY! (Unless you use one of my favorites which is to simply find a mechanic to do it for you.)

But you should at least give the rest of us the courtesy to read through all the posts that come up before you decide you've discovered a new gasoline fume problem, and bring up an old post.

Hope this helps clarify, MY opinion, as that is all it is.

E

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So if I can try to summarize and add to what has been contributed so far (please tell me if I amnot reading things as they are meant or intended to be):

• There are points and personal preferences for posting to an old thread versus creating a new thread and vice versa plus there are some borderline areas.

• It is good etiquette to search and read previous posts before posting new threads or adding to old or other threads

• It is good value to post to an old thread when your post is adding information to that thread

• If adding to an old thread, thoroughly and completely read the previous posts and consider starting your post with something like “"I know this is an old thread, but . . . "

• Carefully choose the appropriate forum for posting a new thread

• Carefully choose the title for a thread so that the contents may show up in a search

There are additional points that could also be included in this topic and I remember individual comments from members about :

• The size of pictures posted into signatures or within posts that can take up space and time particularly for those downloading on a dial up connection

• Hijacking or off topic conversations within threads

Any further comments on any etiquette related thoughts most welcome.

EDIT:

Okay I am a little embarrassed now that I have done a search and found this thread started by Arne only a little over 7 months ago. Sorry to you and others who posted Arne – no disrespect meant. http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20936&highlight=etiquette.

Quote from Arne

1.) Lighten up on the noobs and other mis-posters. Yes, maybe they don't know anything. Why? Probably because they're noobs! (We've all been there.) But they may have fresh ideas and info to offer, once they get rolling, so we don't want to chase them off after their first few posts. You can count on them continuing to ask about putting 240Z bumpers on their 280Z, and probably to ask that question in the Tech Articles forum. Oh well. It's going to happen, we need to accept it and move on. Assure them that it has been asked before, maybe link them to a simple search on their topic and let them learn from there.

2.) We need to think about how our replies to other folks' posts sound, before we hit submit. (I'm personally bad about this one.) Use the Preview button and read it through. If we don't agree, fine, but don't try to be sarcastic or 'cute' with your reply - sarcasm and such doesn't come across well in this medium because facial expressions and tone of voice are absent. It often just ends up sounding mean.

EDIT 2:

And a quote from AlanT HS30-H on Hanging Threads in http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4126&highlight=etiquette

“So maybe a little guidance on posting etiquette from the powers that be is in order? I don't contribute or participate in any other sites like this one - so I'm sure that I for one could do with a little help on what to do and what not to do. I certainly do try to make sure that any threads or posts that I subscribe to are not left "hanging" wherever possible.”

Regards

Dave

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"• Hijacking or off topic conversations within threads"

One think I particularly like about this site is you never know where a thread will end up.

They are more like convesations.

A thread could start about one thing and 3 pages later you're discussing something completely different.

I think this place would be less enjoyable if there were admins constanly telling people to keep it on topic.

I've noticed some thread hijacks, where it seems the user has hit "post reply", when they meant to hit "new thread", and posted something completely unrelated.

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I think the only guide the threadsposts need is respect.

1)Respect the intentions of the thread starter(unless they were disrespectful-then report the thread)

2) Respect those who have posted before you(unless they were disrespectful-then report the post)

3) Respect those who would read your post.

If every post was written like it was to your Mother, your father, or your best friend, the small number of problems that are occassionally in the threads would evaporate, and the "conversations" would remain essentially pointed and informative-yet fun.

Lets not forget that if we all condemn this site to posting threads that have no or limited coverage the archive, we would be spending a great deal of time waiting for something new in a 30something year old car to show up, or technology to change. I would venture a guess that other than the history of the Z, and conversations about Datsun literature and the differences in the series one cars(later versions did not have nearly the variation in parts example to example), there would not be a whole lot of classic Z related info that the archives don't already contain. Even this thread has several incarnations in the archives...

I will admit that a questions on some purely specification or procedural data gets old-how many threads on how to successfully pull a spindle pin do we really need? But maybe that should be taken as the proof of a need several members have brought up. The need to consolodate some procedural topics into a single complete(at current technology) technical article. I am not saying to remove old threads, simply to make an article that is easy to find and complete-respecting the needs (and skills)of the newbie...

Will

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Here's something to think about: if you see a thread pop up about a particular topic (or if you are the threadstarter) and you can recall a similar relevant thread (or find such a thread in a subsequent search of your own), why not include a link to that thread so that it becomes easier to get to good information? That happens a lot over at Hybridz, where somebody will post a question, then immediately post a followup that says something to the effect of "ran a search, and found the answer. sorry." It would be much more useful if said answer was linked in the post, so if your thread comes up in a search, you can use the link to find what you need. Also, use accurate subject lines in your threads, so they look relevant right away instead of "thoughts on this" or "WTF?! is happening?" or whatever.

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I think this place would be less enjoyable if there were admins constanly telling people to keep it on topic.

Absolutely! We have enjoyed a relative free form forum, that has successfully fulfilled it's objective as an information source as well as maintained a general comfortable, relaxed and friendly environment. True, there has been "those times", but no more than can be expected. In my experience, what we enjoy here is rare and worthwhile. I personally find little to take offense to, and see no calling for more control.

When you consider how much more an effective communication channel this has been, over the previous method of internet mailing lists, you'll conclude that the internet bb has/is revolutionized forum communication. On the web today, you will find few that have developed and implemented this method better than this site. We can thank Mike for that, but it has been the some total of the population that uses it (YOU) that has really shaped this forum.

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one thing most of the newbies seem to pick up fairly quick is the more relaxed, mature and friendly attitudes of the folks here.

i've noticed on some of their initial posts, they come in with very forceful postings. you can tell some feel they must 'establish' themselves based on their experience at other sites.

then, they seem to tone it down when they either read the responses from others here or are told in no uncertain terms that it's not tolerated.

i've even been pleasantly surprised when they actually apologize for their mistaken behavior and realize most of those games aren't played here.

i cut them slack, because they usually end up being good, respectful members.

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