Netiquette on GoldToken

"Netiquette" stands for "Internet Etiquette", and refers to the set of practices created over the years to make the Internet experience pleasant for everyone. Like other forms of etiquette, netiquette is primarily concerned with matters of courtesy in communications. The following sections provide more information.

1.) Netiquette Basics
  • Help the newbies
  • Research before asking
  • Remember emotion
2.) Netiquette Posting:
  • Be brief
  • Use white space
  • Use descriptive subject lines
  • Stay on-topic
  • Avoid flaming
3.) Netiquette Confidentiality
  • Don't publicize others email addresses
  • Never share what you don't read
  • Remember archiving

Small Green Horse1.) Netiquette BasicsSmall Green Horse

New users on GoldToken are sometimes called "newbies". Everybody was a newbie once. It is considered to be very good netiquette to share your knowledge and help others who ask questions on the boards, in clubs, and by messages, thereby passing on some of the knowledge you have gained through your experience here. Help the newbies as you wish you were helped.

22 Research Before Asking

People on the Internet often get far more email and messages than they can deal with. As a common courtesy to do your part to minimize this on GoldToken, you should always check the [ Info ] pages (located at the bottom of your game sheet) for the answer to a question before posting on the boards. If it turns out that the question was easily obtainable in an obvious place, you may annoy the other person and embarrass yourself by throwing in an unrelated answer.

22 Remember Emotion

Don't use capitals unnecessarily -- it designates shouting, and is considered rude, as in the following:
For those with visual difficulties, the use of capitals is the wrong way to help visibility as it makes reading far more difficult for everyone else. Instead, be considerate by learning how to: [ Enlarge Text in Your Web Browser ].

If you want to emphasize a word, use stars or underlines sparingly.
    • I think the facts **prove** this point.
    • I think the facts prove this point.
You can use smileys sparingly to signal emotions like smiles, winks, sadness, surprise, etc.
    • I wish I'd read this before! ;-)
    • I wish I'd read this before. :o(
Remember that subtle emotions and meanings do not transmit very well over messages and posts. Satire and humor is particularly hard to transmit, and sometimes comes across as rude and contemptuous. Particularly avoid sarcasm, which rarely communicate well. Similarly, don't over-react to messages or posts you see on the boards. What looks to you like an insulting or mean message may only be an absent minded and poor choice of phrasing, and not meant the way you perceived it.

Be particularly polite when disagreeing with others. Wherever possible, acknowledge good points made, and then respectfully describe the areas where you disagree to produce the most productive conversation.

Small Purple Horse2.) Netiquette PostingSmall Purple Horse

The following rules of netiquette apply to the sending and posting of messages.

22 Be Brief

Be brief. It takes considerable time and effort to read long messages. If you receive a lot of messages, and a lot of them are long, then it is likely that you won't be able to read them all. You can do your part to reduce this workload by using brevity to maximize clarity.

This rule is less absolute on the boards, and much less so again for clubs, since the obligation to read these messages is correspondingly less.

22 Use White Space

Use white space to enhance readability. The more you have to say, the more important this is. Put a blank line at the beginning of messages, so that when they are read by someone the message will have some blank space between it and the header.

A blank line between paragraphs greatly helps readability. This page is a good example. Thoughts and ideas are broken up to make reading and understanding it easier.

Put a URL on a separate line, and indented a couple of spaces. It makes it stand out on it's own, like this below:

22 Use Descriptive Subject Lines

What with work, friends, mailing lists, and spam, many people get more email and messages than they can easily read. You can greatly help potential readers remember what your message is about, and decide whether or not to read it, with a descriptive subject line.

The subject line is one of the only fields displayed in a message. A short, meaningful subject is the most useful element of information when one wants to identify an message's purpose at a glance. Some examples of ambiguous and meaningful subjects are provided below.

Bad SubjectsGood Subjects
whyQuestion Regarding Play
RequestStrategy in losing?
clubClub Meeting Tues -- Team Comments DB

22 Stay On-Topic

Never post off-topic messages, not related to the main subject in the thread you are posting to. This takes judgment, and you should ask yourself a basic question: is this posting likely to be of interest to this group or topic, or is there another forum that is more appropriate? You might get a better response by searching for a group or forum more directly applicable to your message.

Trolling is the act of posting a message highly off-topic or otherwise calculated to arouse controversy and hopefully cause a flame war. The best response to a troll's posting is no response, to recognize the purpose and ignore the bait. Additional information on troll control is found on this wiki: [ Trolling ]

22 Avoid Flaming

"There is a problem with this brave new world in that a lot of people don't appreciate there's another human being at the other keyboard. Flaming is a real problem -- especially on public forums. This is all a new facet of modern technology as well. People rarely trade insults in real life like they do on Internet. There's a tendency to stereotype your opponent into categories."
"This more on Internet forums than any place else. This somewhat based on maturity -- a lot of folk on the Internet are students who aren't paying for their time on the system. Mature adults are normally slightly older, not so hot-headed and are paying for their time."
- Scott Hatton, "The Net and Netizens: The Impact the Net has on People's Lives", Fall/Winter 1994/1995.
Flaming is the act of sending someone an outrageously insulting message, whether by private message or in a public forum, usually because someone disagrees with something some else have said. A good flame mixes a razor sharp wit with a devastating put-down so that the other person will only make themselves look silly if they dare disagree -- "The absurdity of your ideas is exceeded only by the incoherence of your remarks, beginning with..."

Some people support and encourage the use of flaming to enforce good netiquette, but it rarely has this effect. A flame can sometimes be funny, and may feel good to the sender, but should be resisted whenever possible. A flame can give the impression that you are unable to respond with more reasonable language, and can genuinely hurt the other person. In general, you should take a disagreement with another user to private messaging, and into a civil and personal exchange between the two of you, letting others carry on with the discussion. Also, keep in mind the considerable limitations on accurate communication of emotion in a text medium.

Small Red Horse3.) Netiquette Of ConfidentialitySmall Red Horse

22 Don't Publicize Other People's Email Addresses or Personal Information:

Don't distribute other people's email addresses or personal information to strangers by email or by posting messages to forums, unless the email is on a public work and obviously intended for distribution. Otherwise, you may be responsible for someone getting spam email from commercial sites, strange email from unwanted strangers, or worse!

22 Never Share What You Don't Read:

Never post, forward an email you haven't read, or send someone an attachment you haven't examined. Many people have been badly embarrassed by forgetting this rule, and the page, email or attachment turned out to contain information they really shouldn't have forwarded or posted.

22 Remember Archiving:

Remember that many players save copies of messages, posts from the public boards and even some clubs archive information. It is actually fairly common to copy and paste received messages to use as reference point later. If you aren't prepared to have your words archived and recalled at a later time, then don't send or post the message. This is especially important to remember if your message contains information about third parties.

With few guides for ordinary people, the Net has grown, in a large part, one person at a time -- if somebody helps you learn your way around, it's almost expected you'll repay the favor some day by helping somebody else. Following a few unwritten rules as noted above, can make all or our journeys online much more pleasant!