Being helpful in posts

Like most online communities the IFC has various rules for each category. These rules help to define what can and can’t be posted as well as guidelines for quality. Many people join this community on a daily basis and it will take them a short amount of time to ramp up and become familiar with the rules that many of you have dealt with for a long time.

I have seen an increase of some behavior that may come off as unwelcoming to new people. I would like to offer up some advice on ways to be more welcoming to others by providing helpful advice.

  1. Read the thread before you post. You don’t get bonus points for being the sixth person to tell someone that they must be a certain trust level to post in that category. If it has already been said above, leave it alone and move on.

  2. You were once new. I see new members come to the forum and post a simple question. Veteran members reply like it is common knowledge and can be very short and come off abrasive. Remember that you were once new and had questions as well.

  3. Education is key. There is a great wealth of knowledge in the community. Along with that comes a large number of tutorials that can and should be referenced. When someone has a question, before simply replying with a short answer, see if there is a tutorial you can point the user to. Chances are others will have the same question and can benefit from the responses.

  4. Be informative. There was a thread where a number of people replied and referenced the rules of the category. Everyone pasted the link to the rules post but nobody ever said what was actually wrong with the post to begin with. Was it the title? Was it the content? Were there too many pictures? Don’t just blindly state something is wrong without being specific. Even better is to send the user a PM, which leads me to the next point…

  5. Private message instead of replying. Do you see a spelling mistake? Is an event not in the correct format? Instead of replying “You spelled the city wrong”, send them a PM politely informing them of it. They get the notification which may be more alerting than a reply.

  6. Let support handle support. Unless you are sure you know what you are talking about, let the support staff handle the support topics. There is no reason to suggest a reinstall as the first reply to a support topic. Clearing the cache only works on certain elements. etc. We appreciate the willingness to help but once support staff starts replying it may be best to step back from the thread. Often times this causes confusion to the user who is replying to multiple conversations which may delay a resolution. For more information on support topics, please review this thread. Help us, help you!

This community is great at helping each other out. We just need to remember a few things to help out more and to be more informative to new members.