How to be helpful on the IFC:
This message is regarding how to make the transition from being a community member, to being a helpful community member.
Disclaimer: I am usually a chill guy. I am using my professionalism right now. PM me and you get to set the mood in our conversation :)
How to be helpful in your posts (responses):
Whenever you are commenting on a topic, it is important to use grammar. Commenting “lmao ikr” on a post is not very helpful to the OP (original poster), and makes you sound immature. Maturity and professionalism are crucial on the IFC, especially in helping someone out.
Be clear and concise. Keep in mind that there are many helpful, funny, and smart users on this forum that do not speak English as a first language. Writing a paragraph to them about how to reinstall the app would not be a productive mode of communication.
Use appropriate wording. If you are describing throwing someone out of a window, sure “defenestration” technically would be the correct word, but you should say, “throwing someone out of a window.” This is because the majority of the forum doesn’t know what the word “defenestration” means.
Formatting matters. If you look at this post, you can see that I have used bolding, italics, many font sizes, links, and pictures. All of this catches the reader’s eye much better than a paragraph of boring normal fonts. It is also crucial you use bolding to emphasize words or phrases that matter. I did this by bolding a key phrase in each bullet point. Find more formatting tips in How to use the IFC.
Ask yourself: is this really necessary? Do not every create a post that is repeating what others have already said. Also do not “roast” people. It is unnecessary and just adds work on for our wonderful moderation team.
- Before creating a topic in any category, make sure to read the category guidelines. These are pinned to the category and created by Misha. These will tell you important information about the category, such as: Only one #screenshots-and-videos post every 24 hours.
- Formatting matters even more in topics. Many of your posts will be long, so include photos and polls during the topic to involve the reader. Usually, you should put polls at the end, however, there are exceptions.
- Does it look bad to post question topics? Not if done correctly. Of course, nobody knows everything and asking questions is very normal. Be sure to include the question in the title. Make your topic short & sweet. Ensure that it is clear to the reader exactly what information you want to acquire.
- Use the right category. I hope this goes without saying, but please do. It looks terrible to have a valid question or make a great, informative post and put it in the wrong category. If which category to put your topic in is unclear, take a look at the category guidelines for the categories in question.
Joining a VA:
One of the best ways to get connected in the community and make friends and connections is by joining a VA or Virtual Airline.
You can start by finding a VA that is either interesting to you, or an airline that you like. You can find a list of VAs here: https://ifvarb.com/database.php.
Once you follow these steps and begin to become a respected and helpful user, consider applying for VA staff. If you want to help a VA from the start, look here: Prospective VA Staff Request Thread to see prospective VAs that are in need of staff. Also, many VAs will list their vacant positions on their threads in #live:va.
Many VAs tend to promote their outstanding pilots into staff positions, so if you join a VA as a pilot and do an excellent job, you might not have to even apply for staff. Good, active staff members are always in high demand.
Creating Tutorials/Community Messages
In general, hold off on creating tutorials/messages such as this one. Only create topics such as these if you see a need for it in the community and feel that there are people that will be affected by it. In this case, I have been asked by many users, “How can I be a better/more helpful IFC user?” I made this post to answer that. Never create these to get likes, shares, or attention. Moderators can see through that. They will know if you are doing it for the attention or for the good of the forum.
Remember, it can never hurt to contact a moderator with questions.
What if I don’t speak English?
It is important to remember a few things:
- There is no requirement to be fluent in English to be on the IFC.
- You will likely be able to find friends that speak the same language as you.
- Additionally if your reader are having trouble understanding your posts, don’t hesitate to use translate.google.com.
Why am I still a basic?
There are a lot of possible answers, which you can see here: Why have I not reached TL* yet?. Also remember, trust level has no correlation to how helpful you can be as a user.
Why are a lot of my posts being flagged?
There are many reasons for which your posts are flagged. Make sure to follow Community Guidelines. You should be adding on, not repeating or degrading other users.
In conclusion, I am no expert, in fact, I have never been TL3 (Regular). I created this to share my journey of becoming a helpful user (hopefully), and inspire other users to reach this. Becoming a good user on the forum doesn’t mean becoming a regular, it simply means doing good.
Put others before yourself.
“Well done is better than well said.” -Ben Franklin
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