You are probably wondering, I’m not new to the world of online forums! But perhaps there might have just been someone who has just leaped into it! This guide is designed to advise new members, on the various items and features of forums you may come across. These are general tips, in the which may not apply to very type of community, due to each one being different in their own way.
You are free to skip this if you are a veteran of being on various forums, but be sure to give at-least one or two a read – you may learn something new! I will touch upon following forum guidelines, right through to setting your own profile, such as using your own avatar or signature.
I do hope these tips prove to be useful to you!
Reading and Abiding the Forum Guidelines
Your first stop right immediately after registering should be giving the forum-wide rules a good and thorough read. The most common ones you may notice are ‘No spam, no flaming other users, no double posting’, There are much more other than these in most communities, so be sure not to overlook this, otherwise you may run into trouble during your stay on the forum.
There also may be section-specific rules which apply to a certain section of a forum. If you intend to use those specific sections of the forum, be sure to abide by these.
Updating Your Profile
Your newly-created profile can be filled by lots of information about yourself so others can get to know you, and you may even have something in common with another user! This can be a good start to making new friends, and to make your stay more pleasant.
Of course, most fields are optional, and you choose to be ‘anonymous’ but that’s no fun! Other tools include setting your own avatar and signature – you are able to get an image to represent you, by either simply by doing a search on Google Images of your favorite anime or gaming character, for example. A custom-made one is also an option, if you have skills in graphic design!
Try to be truthful when setting your age and location (Country will suffice) because if you reveal that you in-fact lied about either, members can get annoyed. However, Keep the following in mind, do not reveal any personal details such as your address, credit card details, or phone number!
Getting to Know The Staff
Not a requirement, but it can certainly come in handy should you witness an arising issue that you may come across, or if you manage to be in the middle of a confrontation with other users. It will be nice to have a friendly and supportive staff by your side, whenever you need a helping hand! Be sure to report anything amiss, or an heated argument between parties to resolve them quickly and efficiently, so that you are able to enjoy your stay. Staff Members are like regular members too, and may have your best interests at heart. They will always consider every side of a story!
Contribute and Share Your Interests
The common reason for joining a community, is to post your views on many subjects that you have a keen interest in! Communicating via threads or topics is a nice way to get your ideas thrown out about a particular subject, or even by suggesting how to improve the forum, such as recommending a new feature (New theme or style for example). Though you will need to make sure that you explain how it will benefit the forum, and list any potential bad points.
Discuss the latest movies, games, and much more with your peers! General chat about everyday life and problems can be shared, but make sure you don’t take it too far and reveal too many personal issues.
Private Messaging System
All forums have this feature. What is it? This is something that you can use, that gives you the ability to contact other users directly, and in confidence. Be sure not to abuse this privilege, otherwise Administrators may decide to revoke it. You may receive an alert when you receive a PM, and be sure to respond quickly (especially if it’s important!). Don’t send excessive spam PM’s to other users, or offend other members. Treat everyone with respect and they’ll do the same in return. If you need to forward a message, look for the ‘forward’ button located within the PM.
You may also need to delete some to make space for new messages if needs be. Brief profile information about the sender will be listed such as post count, position, avatar, and location.
And there you have it! There are many other points to consider when joining a forum. Remember, when in doubt, contact a staff member on that particular forum, if you need any help or have a question regarding something.
Keep in mind the following tips:
- Forum Rules – Try not to skip this vital step, Most rules can be accessed easily from on a navigation bar or forum page. Do not skim through, as this will increase your risk of overlooking a rule and running into trouble along the way.
- Profile Information – Do not reveal any personal details such as your mobile number. Include what your interests and hobbies are (this will be a good start), and it will prove to others that you’re a genuine member of the community. Set up an avatar, so you have an identity of sorts.
- Who are the staff members? – Befriending the very members who manage the forum will help you out in a tight situation. It will also be useful to know which positions they hold, such as Administrator or Moderator, As both have various levels of permissions.
- Contribute to the Community! – The main reason you joined in the first place, perhaps? You’re not alone! Becoming an active and trusted member of the community, will show that you’re a dedicated individual and like to share your thoughts and ideas with others! Don’t be a lurker, be recognized!
- Private messaging – The most preferred method of contacting others directly between two members. There are limits though, and be sure not to over-cross them. All forum-wide rules apply to sending PM’s (within reason).