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There has been lots of drama in the forums lately, which is no one's fault and for no real reason, so I figured I'd post a general idea of forum etiquette to remind members what is and isn't appropriate and something to guide newcomers. Let me know if anything should be added or changed.

1- Be nice to newbies: Be nice to everyone actually, but especially new members. Obviously this is a place for sharing and learning about hedgehogs and care, and no learning gets accomplished if we can't be nice. Treat everyone with respect.

2- Read before asking: There are many many many times when the same questions get repeatedly asked by prospective and new hedgie owners. It saves everyone time and energy if you quickly scan or search for a topic before creating your own post. If you can't find what you're looking for, then ask and I'm sure plenty of people will be willing to help.

3- Don't cross-post: Cross posting, shotgun posting, or double posting (all have generally the same meaning) is when someone posts the same question in two different boards. It's confusing and unnecessary. Most members read all the boards, and there is no reason that anyone should have to read the same thing twice.

4- Keep it relevant: Not every post needs a response. If you have an opinion or an answer to a question, responses are welcome, but posts such as "ok" or "I agree" can be left out as they don't really contribute to the discussion. Keep personal attacks out of otherwise helpful threads. Also, for questions vaguely or not related to hedgehogs- we do have an off-topic board.

5- Post Subject Titles: When you post a new topic, make sure the title tells us something about it. Titles such as "HELP" or "What's Happening?" or "Is this Normal?" Don't tell us anything. You're more likely to get fast and helpful replies if the title is relevant or a short description is added.

6- Respect the admins and breeders: They know their stuff. Chances are if Bryan tells you a color, don't argue. If Nancy or another breeder answers a health question, take their advice into consideration. I'm not saying you always have to agree with them, I'm just saying that they have the most experience and are the most reliable sources available.

7- Netspeak is frowned upon: We don't want to be reading "lyke dis & dat stuf" and "w/e" and "idk" and "u r so kewl"... seriously? Type it so that people understand what you're saying and don't need a slang/webspeak dictionary to understand. Also, avoiding using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS because it makes you sound like you're shouting, so unless you are actually shouting- don't do it.

Acceptable Netspeak:
LOL- laugh out loud
ok- okay
IMO- In my opinion
IMHO- in my honest/humble opinion
JMO- just my opinion

Remember- Be courteous!Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion and the most we can do is give our opinions and advice. No one is forced to do anything(although I don't know why you wouldn't). Healthy debates and helping each other are great; personal attacks and hissy fits are not.
 

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Good post.

I think certain netspeak is ok, IMO, JMO, IMHO, lol, I think are ok but not everyone will know what they mean. Things like "u r so kewl" is just plain annoying. :lol:

I'd also like to mention that many people are members of numerous forums. Often a persons behaviour on a forum will follow them from forum to forum. If you acted obnoxious on one forum and switch forums, chances are your reputation will precede you. If you want to be taken seriously, change your behaviour. I'd also like to point out, that sometimes the impatience with some new people is because they are known from other forums. :)
 

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Could you add one more rule to the etiquette?

I'd like to see members posting appropriate SUBJECT titles. Not one word titles such as:
HELP
FINALLY
UMM
WHAT
WHY
:arrow: finish your thought with a short description, and you'll probably get quicker or better replies.
 

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Yes! Everyone needs to read this!

I have only been on this forum for a short while and have witnessed, and been the victim of, malicious, unhelpful posters.

Everyone here needs to chill and realize that we should be helping each other.

Please, please! Everyone take a look at your posts and ask yourself if you are really being helpful in what you say and post.

I thought this was a great place for Hedgie lovers but my opinion is quickly changing... can you restore my faith in this site?
 

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Yer_Daddy said:
Yes! Everyone needs to read this!

I have only been on this forum for a short while and have witnessed, and been the victim of, malicious, unhelpful posters.

Everyone here needs to chill and realize that we should be helping each other.

Please, please! Everyone take a look at your posts and ask yourself if you are really being helpful in what you say and post.

I thought this was a great place for Hedgie lovers but my opinion is quickly changing... can you restore my faith in this site?
You know, I went back through all 30 of your posts and all your threads and there was ONE disagreement with you re using newspaper. You were given good advice and decided to argue about it, take offense and get all huffy because someone told you you were wrong.

I wish there was a warning sign when someone really wanted advice and another one when all they want is to be stroked and told they are the perfect hedgehog caretaker.

And that's what leads to the problems. New posters come here, post claiming to want advice and then get their panties in a bunch when the advice disagrees with what they believe and what they want to do. In reality, they just want to be absolved of guilt from making mistakes and they don't take it well when that doesn't happen.

Some people love hedgehogs more than others. To those who truly love hedgehogs, thank you for putting them first.
 

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HedgeMom said:
And that's what leads to the problems. New posters come here, post claiming to want advice and then get their panties in a bunch when the advice disagrees with what they believe and what they want to do. In reality, they just want to be absolved of guilt from making mistakes and they don't take it well when that doesn't happen.
I can see the other side of this. Yes, some people get huffy and defensive and don't take criticism and advice well. (I'll be the first to admit I don't always take criticism well, especially if I feel that it is given in a less than polite or tactful manner.) That is exactly the problem that many posters have with others on the forums. While people seeking advice need to be willing to accept the criticisms or advice that are offered, those responding to questions and situations need to be careful in how they come across. Sometimes we get carried away in our desire to do what we feel is in the best interest of the hedgie and fail to acknowledge that someone has other opinions, or is not seeking advice in their post. It's fine to give advice in a polite, appropriate way, but when another poster indicates that they appreciate the advice but do not wish to continue the conversation, then those who responded to the post need to respect that.

I'm not saying that some issues don't deserve prompt and straight forward opinions. Anytime that the health and wellness of a hedgie is in jeopardy, we need to help the owner of the hedgie correct the situation. I think that everyone needs to consider how their posts will be taken. Written words lack the tone and unseen cues of spoken words. Sometimes something that is said without the intention of being rude or pushy can come across as such to others who read the words.

I've been on the receiving end of post such as the ones Yer_Daddy is referring too. I was at the point of leaving the forums. Fortunately many people backed me in what I said and how I tried to resolve the issue. Without that, one person would have turned me away from these forums. That would have been such a shame. I gain new and helpful information everyday on here, but I admit I have to overlook the way some people react to each other at times.
 

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Thank you for a wonderful topic. Everyone should read this. As for the currant controversy I can see both sides. Sometimes some people can be pretty belligerent on topics that don't call for it. I have been offended by posts that were not mine and I agreed with the thought behind it! They need to remember that they are talking to actual people. If you wouldn't say it to someones face (especially when you don't really know them) then it shouldn't be said. And some people are just too sensitive. Remember that this is a forum of people that want the very best for every single Hedgehog out there and are very passionate. Even if someone or something is not exactly to your liking don't just leave. As magenh said there is a LOT of good, helpful information on this site. Would you refuse to eat a piece of meat (real or tofu for those vegetarians out there) that maybe had a small part that was burnt? Would you throw out a whole steak because there was some fat on the edge? Don't leave the forum because of some problems. Work around it and ignore the bad parts!

Mallasfamily
 

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I'd like to bring this thread to everyone's attention as a reminder of how we should and should not post and behave on forums. Following a few basic language rules would help immensely for those of us trying to read posts.

1. Proper punctuation. We learn in grade 2 that a sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with either a period or question mark. Run on sentences are not only difficult to read, but annoying and often people do not bother even to read.

2. Paragraphs. We learn about paragraphs in grade 3. A paragraph is a group of sentences about one subject. When we switch to a different subject, we make a new paragraph with a blank line between.

3. Subject line. A subject line that gives an idea of what the post is about will give quicker responses. For instance. "OMG I need help" not only tells the person reading it nothing about what is wrong but the use of net speak gives the impression of drama. A better subject line would be "Help, cold hedgie". This tells the reader what the post is about.

Many people, myself included, come on here multiple times per day but only for a few minutes at a time. When looking at the new posts, I am going to read and reply to "Help, cold hedgie" immediately and may not even have time to get to "OMG I need help".

4. Capitals. Capitalizing all letters is not only annoying, difficult to read but is considered yelling.

Capitalizing the first letter of each word is also annoying and difficult to read and goes back to following the simple punctuation rules we learned in grade 2. Capitals belong at the beginning of a sentence and for proper names.

Capitalizing random words helps highlight the importance and is fine to do in some circumstances.

5. Spelling. Not everyone can spell well. For some, English is not their first language. We Canadians spell certain words different than those in the US and spell checkers give US spelling of words. Random spelling mistakes are fine, nobody is perfect but at least give it a good try.

Except for a few words, netspeak is not only annoying to read but generally the post is not taken as seriously as one that is written in normal words. LOL and IMO are generally considered okay to use.


You are judged by how you present yourself. We don't expect perfection but unless you are 7 years old, you have learned basic punctuation, capitalization and sentence structure. Please use it. Netspeak is fine to use when you are chatting with a friend but otherwise is annoying to the reader and puts forth an immature impression of you.
 

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Thanks a lot for this post, I totally agree with everything say. I am guilty of sometimes using netspeak such as OMG and BTW, but I promise I will avoid them as much as possible. Also, it would be nice from me to point out that if someone doesn't understand what I tried to say it is okay for them to ask me to rephrase that, and I think it goes both ways. English is not my first language and sometimes I might find it difficult to explain myself or to understand what others are saying.
 

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I wouldn't do that, I would actually be eternally thankful to you for correcting me, it is the only way to get better at something :)
 

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This is not really necessary as a remark, but I am writing it anyway. Thank you Christemo. Most people on here are so passionate about the welfare and health of hedgies that I believe they feel it is their responsibility (which it is) to point out potentially harmful or unhealthy situations or care when necessary. It is not meant to be hurtful to the person, but yo prevent hurt to the hedgie.
 

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I know this is a sticky, so most people would come across this... but I just wanted to pull this back up to remind everyone on the forum how we can all help each other and our hedgies best!
I have noticed a lot of vague titles lately, seeing "HELP" five times is not only mildly irritating, but it makes it hard to take any seriously. Titles with descriptive wording make it easier for people with answers to come forward, make people take notice, and are easier for people looking for things to search.
I hope it's alright to bring up an old thread, since that can be annoying... but I feel like this is a wonderful reminder for all of us!
 

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I know this is a sticky, so most people would come across this... but I just wanted to pull this back up to remind everyone on the forum how we can all help each other and our hedgies best!
I have noticed a lot of vague titles lately, seeing "HELP" five times is not only mildly irritating, but it makes it hard to take any seriously. Titles with descriptive wording make it easier for people with answers to come forward, make people take notice, and are easier for people looking for things to search.
I hope it's alright to bring up an old thread, since that can be annoying... but I feel like this is a wonderful reminder for all of us!
I knew there was something else I wanted to add to yesterdays Reminder thread but I couldn't think of what it was. This was it. Thank you for posting. :)

I rarely bother to open threads with dramatic vague titles.
 
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