Forum terminology, etiquette, and conventions!
Hullo Scratchers, new or old, and welcome to the Forum terminology, etiquette, and conventions! post, as well as the forums! You must be excited, but first let's learn a few things so you can make the most of these forums.
There is already a wonderful guide on how forums work here, however that one didn't cover the finer, more subtle points of forums, so I decided to completely rewrite it in a new post so that at least the basics would be explained.
Here, I'll be explaining what a forum is, how they work, the terminology used in them, and how to behave properly. And best of all? This is tailored to people who have never encountered forums before!
First of all, you may be asking “What is a forum”? As defined by Marriam-Webster, a forum is a “a public meeting place for open discussion”. This means that here on the Scratch forums (and other forums you may come across), you get a chance to pretty much talk about stuff (depending on the forums). For example, I'm certain you'll end up discussing about this post.
To get to the Scratch forums, scroll down to the bottom of any page, and under “Community”, there should be a link labeled “Discussion Forums”. That will take you to the forum hub– What?
You might be a little overwhelmed at the extremely long list that is presented to you, but first you should be celebrating. Welcome to the forums!
Within forums, there can be other forums, each having a specific subject. Generally, you should only discuss stuff related to the subject of the forum, and shouldn't post off topic things (more on that later). The different forums and their purposes are as follows:
Where the Scratch Team can post announcements. If they are recent you can discuss on them, but they will be locked after a bit (see below)
You're in the New Scratchers forum right now. This is where people can introduce themselves (and get welcomed) and learn about the community (and forums).
This is where you can ask your Scratch scripting questions.
This is where you can show off your projects and studios!
If you need ideas for projects, this is where you'd go! You can also give ideas, too.
This is where you can work together with others to create projects.
If you need assets for your project, you can always request others to do it!
If you need to know something about Scratch, post here! You can also help answer questions.
Propose new things to add to Scratch here!
Scratch being buggy today? Post here about any bugs and glitches in Scratch you find!
Talk about “advanced things”, such as advanced aspects of Scratch or mods.
Scratch isn't just limited to computers! Talk about connecting Scratch with the real world to do some cool things!
Talk about creating Scratch Extensions with ScratchX here.
Discuss Scratch's open source projects, such as Scratch Blocks.
Discuss what you're creating outside of Scratch! Be it music, art, even games in other engines.
Video games, books, TV shows, discuss them all!
Whew, that was long. Anyway, the above summarizes every main forum here on Scratch.
Below all those forums comes the languages section, which were created for those who are non-English speakers. At the bottom, you can also discuss how to help translate Scratch.
Now that you know what the forums are, let's learn what you do in them. It may seem easy, but it's important to understand the various components and terminology of forums, so that they can be used effectively:
- thread/topic: Forums are divided into what we call “threads” or “topics”. These topics also have their own subject, which you can talk about. You can create a new topic by pressing the “New Topic” button in the top right corner.
- reply: Forums wouldn't be forums without replies. To reply to a topic, simply scroll to the button and type what you want in the text box. Press submit once you've finished. Also called “posts”, these make up the backbone of forums, and are the basis of discussion. Feel free to reply below :)
- original post/original poster/OP: This can refer to either the first post in a topic, or the person who created the topic. This is usually shortened to OP.
- stickied/pinned topic: If the Scratch Team find a topic noteworthy, they may “sticky” or “pin” it. This means that it permanently stays at the top of whatever forum it is in, until it is unstickied/unpinned (see below).
- closed/locked topic: When a topic is closed/locked, it will turn gray, and normal users can no longer reply. This is usually because the topic has already been solved, or it created large amounts of spam or necrodiscussing (see below)
- spam: Any post or comment of any kind that is essentially useless is called spam. Easy enough, eh?
- blockspam: Same as above, but this time you're spamming with Scratchblocks. This means you're using Scratchblocks for no good reason.
- bumping a topic: if a thread gets no replies, it will fall down deeper into the forums to make way for more active topics. “Bumping” a topic means replying something like “bump” to send it back to the top of the forum, so that (hopefully) new discussion will be sparked.
- necropost: As said, inactive topics generally fall deep into the forums. However, if those topics are no longer relevant/resolved and someone bumps it back up, it's called a necropost. The name is related to necromancy (raising the dead), so essentially you're reviving a long dead post that has either been solved or is outdated. “Necrodiscussions” is where everybody discusses on a necropost.
- resolved: Once a topic becomes solved (meaning the question or idea of the OP is answered), it basically becomes a “resolved” post. That means that there isn't much reason to post there anymore. Continuing to discuss isn't against the rules if it's constructive, though (see below).
Great! Now you understand all the jargon that comprises forums! Now you're ready to post all you can, all you want, where you want, and nobody can stop you HAHAHAHAH–
No. You can't.
“Forum etiquette” is a set of rules generally unspoken that mostly apply to forums. It teaches you how to use forums effectively, how to be nice, and what not to do. Here are some basic points of forum etiquette and conventions:
- don't post personal information about yourself or someone else (also against the Community Guidelines)
- don't spam
- try to avoid necroposting unless what you have to say is constructive, or helps the discussion (necroposts generally don't apply to pinned topics, or those in Announcements or Suggestions, but still please keep it constructive)
- stay on topic (this is not a free for all, so make sure you post in the correct forums and try to avoid talking about something completely unrelated; make another thread for that)
- don't troll (it's when you basically break the rules for no reason)
- posting in ALL CAPS is considered shouting in the Internet (YES. AVOID POSTING IN FULL CAPS IF YOU CAN, BUT THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE – THERE ARE SOME EXCEPTIONS, THOUGH)
- don't insult others or create flame wars (a flame war is where everyone gets into a rather heated argument, often involving inappropriate words)
- don't advertise (you may advertise your projects, studios, and contests in the show and tell forums, and your signatures, though; see below for information on signatures)
- avoid misquoting anyone (essentially when you quote someone wrong)
- TL;DR, treat others how you want to be treated.
- There is a “report” button in the bottom right corner of every post. However, that button seems to have been repurposed into a “Contact Scratch Team about this post” button, so use that in case you need to talk to the ST about a post. You can use it to report posts that were bad, or you can use to to also request that the ST close a post (to prevent spam or necroposts), to request that a post be stickied, to request that a post be moved (if it's off topic), or for any other reasons you may need. I have reported this post so that the ST can sticky it.
- Keep in mind that New Scratchers have the following additional restrictions: they can't post images and they have to wait longer between posts than full Scratchers. They also can't edit posts once they leave the page (next point).
- To edit posts, you can click the “edit” button which is also in the bottom right corner. Scratchers may edit their posts whenever they want, but New Scratchers can only edit their posts if they don't leave the page.
- In many forums, a post count is usually place underneath the poster's details on the left. This signifies how many posts you have. The reason why your post count is not exact (if it's under 100) is to prevent bragging. You can go here to check your exact post count.
- Under every post you may sometimes find a grayed out line and then a bit of text that seems to be advertising. That's fine! That is called a signature and is one of the few places you can advertise. To make a signature, go to the forum hub and scroll all the way down; you'll come across a link in the bottom left corner that says “Change your signature”. It will get attached to the bottom of every post. I have a signature, see if you can find it!
- Try to avoid overusing Scratchblocks in signatures or posts. They have the potential to completely break someone's browser.
- Try to use your best English when using the main forums. This makes it easier for people to understand and allows them to help you to the fullest extent. Feel free to speak other languages in the language forums.
- The timed rules . . . Occasionally, the 120 second rule for New Scratchers gets increased for special events (such as the Hour of Code) to further prevent spam. Moderators and the ST have the 0 second rule.
The hope is that you read the lengthy post above and understood it all, so that you can finally get integrated into the discussion forums. Once you understand the above, get posting! Make sure you check out all the other stickies as well, as they can help you get started!
Good luck, and Scratch on!
NOTE: I promise you that this is not a random tutorial :P