General Forum Rules
Updated July 19, 2008
Thank you for following these rules, they help to ensure that all our members have a positive and responsive experience on the forums.
Repeat violators of any of these rules may find themselves subject to loss of posting privileges, after due warning.
These rules are to be considered part of MacNN Forums' Terms of Service. If you do not agree to these terms, then you must discontinue use of the forums.
Remember that moderators and administrators have the final say on any moderation decision, including the right to close, rename, or delete any thread, or edit or delete any post, for any reason. While the action will generally be explained, this explanation is voluntary and may not be provided, even upon request.
Remember also that just because a moderator has not noticed a violation does not mean that the rule is no longer valid, no longer being enforced, etc. All rules listed here (plus any at a moderator's discretion) are valid and binding.
It is not appropriate to challenge ongoing moderation in a thread. A Private Message to the moderator that is taking action is the proper method to challenge his/her moderation, while the Feedback Forum is the best place to discuss overall and global issues, or issues where the appropriate contact party is not obvious.
To find out who moderates which forum, check out THIS LINK.
Step 1: Search and Research
First, search to see if anyone has posted the same question or item. If you have a question, search for relevant keywords. (It helps to restrict your search to the relevant forum.) Do a general web search for the problem, too — you're probably not the first person to encounter it.
If it's a really hot topic (like a new program or device), chances are there are already one or more active threads about it. Look in those before posting.
If you have a link that you think might interest people, search the forum you planned to post in for the URL you planned to link to. Especially if it's older than just 1 or 2 days, it's probably already been shown here before and thus not of interest to most.
Don't resurrect ancient threads. If your search finds a relevant thread that doesn't answer your question, but that's more than about 6 months old, the information in it is probably partly outdated. Instead, post a new thread, but include a link to the old thread as a reference. This shows people that you did your homework.
Step 2: Choose where to post
Carefully choose which forum to post in. The correct one is the one that most narrowly fits the specific problem. (For example, if your problem is getting Photoshop to run on an iMac, post in Applications, because it's not an iMac-specific problem.) Don't use the Lounge as a catch-all because you don't know where your problem goes. Don't post wherever and declare "I didn't know where this should go, so I put it here" — take the time to find out. Do not post your question in more than one forum. Miscategorized posts may be moved, closed, or deleted without further notice.
Check the forum you plan to post in for any sticky threads: these contain common questions, or rules concerning that forum.
Step 3: Name the thread
Choose a thread title carefully. It should be a super-short summary of the question. Do not announce that you have a question — we already know that, because you wouldn't be posting otherwise. Do not mark your subject with any emphasis like "Need help!", "Please!" "Urgent!", etc. That is just noise that reduces your chances of people reading your thread.
Good title: "Photoshop error on launch"
Bad titles: "Help!", "Photoshop problem!! Urgent!!"
Step 4: Post your question
Ask your question correctly. "How to ask questions the right way" is a good place to start. (Though it's written with Linux questions in mind, the same principles apply.) Again, leave out pleas for help and just stick to describing the problem.
Step 5: Follow up
Thank those who took the time to respond, and follow up with a report of whether their suggestions did or did not help.
- No adult content. We have many underage members, and many members view the forums from the workplace, where adult content may violate regulations.
- No piracy. Threads that share software or media illegally, explain how to pirate, solicit information on how to pirate, etc. will be removed.
- Remain civil. While we don't censor based on your point of view, you must present your views in a civil manner.
- If you are going to bicker with someone, do it via private message, email, or instant messaging. There's no need to annoy everyone with it.
- No threads about other members.
- Don't post nonsense threads, +1 posts, or anything else with no semantic value.
- Don't hijack or derail threads. Stay on topic. If you want to discuss a detail or offshoot, start another thread.
- Don't ask for replies via email or private message. That defeats the purpose of a forum, of allowing everyone to see the question and replies.
- Spell check your posts and use proper grammar. Not only is it less annoying for the reader, but it helps prevent people from attacking your spelling and grammar rather than having real discussion.
- Don't put in a line break after each line. The browser will wrap the text for you.
- Don't use images except where necessary. Most of the time, a text description is more than enough. If you do use screenshots, crop it to just the area where the specific problem appears. We don't need to see your whole desktop. Remember the inline image rules below. Use a link when in doubt.
- Don't try to use HTML in posts — it will not work. Use vB Code to format your posts instead.
Our current signature rules give you two options:
- an image (200x50px max, 10KB max, non-animated) and up to one line of text, OR
- no image, and up to four lines of text.
In either case, blank lines do count, and lines must be of reasonable length so they don't wrap on most screens (think 900px browser window width). The SPOILER tag should also not be used in your signature.
Inline images may not be wider than 1024 pixels, nor taller than 1500 pixels. The forum image resizer will proportionally reduce all large images to a maximum display width of 500 pixels. However, we still require the source image to be no larger than 1024 wide x 1500 high. Posting smaller images will accelerate thread loading speed.
Threads that expect to have frequent larger pictures in them should use a thread title that explicitly includes "Picture Thread", "JPEG Orgy" or something to that effect. This warning is useful to those with limited bandwidth..
Images posted in violation of this rule are subject to deletion.
Note that we do not host images. You must provide your own image hosting. Many members use ImageShack (free) for this.
We take a strict zero-tolerance stance on spam. Any commercial messages (other than product announcements from active forum participants, or with prior permission, and are prefixed with [Ann]), posts linking to free iPod/Mac/Xbox/etc sites, will be immediately closed, the links removed, and the poster banned with no warning.