Advice on how to write messages
Before starting a new thread, one should use the search engine to see if a similar problem has not already been discussed. If so, and the thread only answers part of your question, choose an appropriate forum to start your own topic.
When users reply to your message, you can reply in the same thread to continue the discussion. You can even respond to your own message after several hours to have it at the top of the list again.
However, do not ask for an immediate response from other users; do not forget that people on the site are volunteers and they might not have the solution to your problem.
If no thread regarding your problem has been posted yet, you can post a new message by choosing the appropriate forum.
Forum discussions are radically different from traditional ones, as the messages are posted as text and are often written quickly.
Therefore, a message written in all capital letters "looks like" shouting and is often interpreted as a sign of irritation. The same goes for a message which ends in a long string of punctuation marks. It is therefore recommended to use such a style with moderation. Here's an example of what should not be typed:
CAN YOU HELP ME ?!?!?!???
Users are also asked to take great care to check their spelling and minimise the use of (sms) text-message-style abbreviations. A message written in shorthand, or one which is hard to read due to the number of spelling errors, may be deleted to make the forum easier to read.
Since messages posted on the bulletin board are not always able to reflect the poster's state of mind, you are allowed (and are generally advised) to use http://en.kioskea.net/contents/www/smiley.php3
, which are symbols that let you indicate your tone to those reading your message.
The title of the thread is the first thing users see on the forum.
A thread with a well-written title will have a better chance to be read and thus get answers. Therefore, thread titles must contain keywords which introduce your problem and, of course, they should not be written in all capital letters.
Here are a few examples of good thread titles:
- Peanuts in sausages?
- Atkins diet - dangers ?
- Looking for information about supplementary health coverage
- When to undergo a colloscopy ?
Therefore, you should not enter a title which, instead of referring directly to the subject of your request, includes only words like these:
- Need help
- Heeeelp !
- PLEAASE !
- Help me
Describing the Problem
When a user posts a message about his or her problem, he or she usually knows its context. However, forum readers cannot help unless they have more details.
Therefore, it is essential to describe the problem as completely as possible, and to specify the context of the problem.