##Guide to Creating Useful and Constructive Topics
Hello everyone. Before you ask, this is a follow up from this topic here: How to Create a Good Topic, but with the amount of members on the forum growing daily, I believe this needs to be brought back up, and added upon.
Every day, regulars and well-doing users of this forum come across numerous topics that don’t fit the guidelines of this forum set out by our moderators and staff at FDS. These include, but are not limited to: duplicates, stupid questions, misfit threads and others; all that don’t contribute constructively, when thinking about how this is a simulator forum.
After watching this disarray, I decided to write a post about what I have observed, what I have seen and what I have come to believe is the right thing to do. Notice: Following these guidelines are not a requirement on this forum, and this is not backed by moderators. This post is simply for courtesy to regulars (who are the first line of defence), the moderators (who work tirelessly to make this forum a better place) and the readers, who you influence by creating a topic.
As said before by Jan here, topic titles are a big issue here.
The following titles just don’t cut it.
- Your Opinion
- So This Happened
- What Do You Guys Think
- What is it?
These titles are clickbait, and are not constructive to the conversation. They do not tell the reader what the topic is about, and often have to be changed by a regular. A guide to follow is this: (copied from here)
- Be Accurate & Descriptive: Try to explain what the topic is about
- Do not mislead: Don’t write something in the title and then change your mind in the post
- Neutral point of view: Titles should be neutral. The post may not be, but the title should.
- No Swearing: Swearing is very restricted on this forum, and it should definitely not occur in a title
- Don’t use excess characters, or excess words: Keep it simple
My rule of thumb (You don’t need to copy this) for creating titles is this: If the title makes sense as a sentence, you can use conventional capitalization (only capitalizing the first word) but if it doesn’t, capitalize using up-style (capitalizing all but short words). So, although you don’t need to follow this, we (the community) expect you to capitalize the first word at least.
When describing your topic, it’s important to convey the message that you decided to make a topic on in the first place. Try to convince your reader as soon as possible, and don’t go off-topic. If your topic requires a lot of text, feel free to elaborate, but if it’s a simple idea, keep it simple. We don’t want to have to read through more than we have to, and most of the time it makes it harder to understand. Photos are limited to constructive visuals only please. Emojis are also restricted as they’re often not meaningful to the topic.
Each category has their own rules & regulations, which you definitely should read before posting. They’re pinned to each category.
If you post something not needed, or with something wrong, it would often result in a flag and/or a closed post.
Biggest problems that result in a closed post:
- Duplicates (below)
- Wrong Location (below)
- Un-useful support requests (see here)
- More than one request per feature topic
- More than one photo per feature topic
- Off-topic posts (please don’t make one, unless you are a regular and can post in the lounge.
Understand which category you’re posting in, so regulars/mods don’t have to change the location. Please don’t just place it in the wrong category.
If you aren’t a high enough trust level, you won’t be able to post in some of the categories. You just have to wait until you level up to post your topic. Note: If you post a topic that is meant to go into a category you can’t reach yet, regulars and mod won’t move it, and it will result in a closed topic. This is the purpose of each category:
- Real World Aviation: Anything to do with Aviation in real life. Examples: posts about airlines, airplanes, aircraft manufacturers, or aviation societies. Can be videos you’d like to share.
- Spotting: Pictures/Videos that you’ve taken from plane spotting.
- Events: Launch your events here. Enough Said
- VA: Post VA stuff here. This is my department, so make sure you know what you’re doing ;) (see here)
- ATC: Post anything ATC here. Examples: “I’m controlling at such and such”, questions, or procedures.
- Live: Anything else about Live that doesn’t fit in any sub-category.
- Features: Requests of features that you think should be added to the game. Make sure it isn’t a duplicate.
- Support: This is where you can contact a staff member about a problem with the game. Make sure it is structured correctly, so David can help you easily.
- Lounge: Only available to regulars, but it is completely off-topic.
- Developer: Only should be used if you are an airport editor, a developer for IF, or a developer for an external IF app.
- Tutorials: Tutorials that provide help on a certain aspect of the game. Only tutorials for IF go here.
- Meta: Anything to do with the forum itself. Including tutorials or questions.
- Announcements: Only staff can post here. It’s just for updates.
Please comment in a constructive manner, which is on-topic with the original post, and is an educated post. There’s a reason why you can’t post a post less than 10 characters, because it stops un-needed comments.
These guidelines aren’t regulations that you must follow, but following these would show courtesy to the entire forum community. We see so many posts that don’t respect the community guidelines, so for all of our sakes, try to make constructive topics, that support the conversation, rather than ruin it.