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Forum Netiquette
"How to behave on Hogwarts New Zealand"​
Netiquette is 'Network Etiquette', or, put more simply, how to behave in a proper and respectful manner on the internet (and specifically on this website).
Most of these points will apply to out of character areas of the site, but they could apply to in character areas too. These aren't rules per se, but they're recommendations which we would very much like to see followed and may enforce from time to time.

General Behaviour & Posting
  • Be Friendly
    This is basic common sense. When you post somewhere be nice to the people who you're talking to and they, in turn, will be nice to you.
  • Don't Shout
    We all have this really cool key on our keyboards called 'Caps Lock'. Well, whoever came up with that one should be shot. Sometimes caps can help you get your idea across and add emphasis to a key word, but usually it's just read as SHOUTING. So don't use it if you can avoid it.
  • Chat Speak
    Try to avoid using chat speak in conversations. "Talking lyk dis" can be very annoying to try to decipher in long paragraphs. "BRB" is not necessary in public topics and "GTG" is likely best put in sentence form and only truly a accepted post in the general discussions topic.
  • Giant text can stretch screens too
    Try to keep any text you post at a decent size. Once it gets too large to read coherently, or starts stretching pages or something, then it may be getting into the area of an obnoxious post.
  • Long strings of characters
    Don't use them. Sometimes people get frustrated and will post "dhjsdfjhjkh1l2juj3gjdfdh" and then continue that for a really long time with no spaces. That stretches the board. Avoid doing it.
    Likewise goes when people try to indicate a break in their post and put a series of hyphens " --------- " and stretch the board. Just use the
    BB Code. :) It does it for you.
  • Avoid double posting!
    Double posting happens now and then and isn't a big deal, but don't make a habit of it! Trying to make a string of posts in a row, or talking to yourself in a topic, is not cool. If nobody is replying don't bump the topic, just wait it out, or PM somebody and coax them into a reply.
  • Try to stay on topic
    If you're posting in a specific discussion thread don't try to arbitrarily change the topic. Sometimes discussions get a little off topic and that's fine, but keep things as focused as you can.
  • There is such a thing as too many quotes
    A scary thought to some of you, I'm sure, but it's true. The quote feature is a blessing and a curse, so try to use it in moderation. Long chains of quotations aren't enjoyed and will be 'snipped' from your post if they're seen. If you notice a quote chain getting too long reduce it yourself or place it in some
  • Don't use too many emoticons, either.
    I like emoticons just as much (and a little bit more) than the next person, but there is a time when they become excessive. Clicking the same emoticon twenty times is ridiculous and can be considered annoying one maybe three of those emoticons would have sufficed. ;)
  • "Private messages deserve private replies"
    If a member or an administrator contacts you via the personal message system there is likely reason for it. Replying to private/personal messages in a open/public thread isn't always considered the best of etiquette, so try to avoid it when you can.
  • Post count
    There is no such thing. There never was. ;) Post count is a integer value which simply says how many posts you've made on the forum. It means nothing more, and nothing less. It doesn't indicate quality or importance or dedication. All it indicates is a quantity. So please don't make more out of such numbers than need be.
  • Stick with English
    While we recognize many members speak more than one language and for many English is not your first language please only post in English. The off word in another language for added effect, or a sentence or two in a language with a translated version beneath is fine but whole posts untranslated in obscure languages is not fair to those members who do not speak that language.
  • Recognize linguistic differences
    Remember that we have members from all over the globe on this forum. Not all of them speak English natively and even if they do many nations have varied forms of English, each with different spellings of different words. Try not to mock grammar and be as constructive as you can be. The occasional joke at a person (who you're comfortable with) might be acceptable, but grammar Nazis might want to watch it.
  • Count in your head
    Let's face it. Sometimes users annoy us and we're about ready explode. They probably deserve to be exploded upon, too. I know the feeling. When somebody posts something that just presses your buttons and you type out that really awesome quick witted reply to them freeze before posting it. Count to ten in your head (or out loud if it helps) and read over what you've written. That other user is a human being too and whatever they posted/for whatever reason they posted it you don't want to risk getting yourself in some trouble or making an enemy.
  • "It affects my character, too!"
    If you plan with another person on HNZ for your characters to do something together, just changing those plans without talking to the other person isn't fair. As much as it's your character you're changing plans for, it's their character you're influencing as well. Try to discuss changes in plans before doing them - or at the very least give a heads-up to the other person. It's just common courtesy.
Posting a New Topic
(In an out of character forum)
  • Don't expect instant replies
    This can likely go for a topic anywhere. Just because you don't receive the response you want immediately doesn't mean people haven't read your thread or don't plan to reply. Expect a delay and be prepared to be patient.
  • Don't post duplicate topics
    Don't post a thread about something there is already a thread about. Duplicate topics can become very annoying and may be removed. If one already exists just go to that one and post what you were going to in your topic there.
  • 'Free Speech' doesn't exist
    You don't have a soap box which you can whip out at any time to say whatever you please. This forum is not a democracy, though we try to make it seem like it might be. We don't arbitrarily censor posts but keep in mind that your post should be respectful and constructive. We can remove any topic we'd like, and don't necessarily have to offer a reason. Usually it's nothing personal and we will tell you why if you ask.
Signatures and Avatars
  • Keep your signature at a decent size
    We have a rule in effect for signatures that images in them can only be 500 pixels in width and 300 pixels in height. However we do not quantify maximum number of images allowed in signatures, amount of text, size of text, etc. We leave such things to your discretion. So when choosing your signature keep other users in mind.
  • Keep your signature and avatar tasteful
    Avoid using any distasteful images or phrases in your signature and avatar. Trying to avoid the use of topless males is included.
  • Celebrities
    There is no official rule regarding celebrity "playbys" nor will there be, but making it known that you're using a certain celebrity can aid others in trying to avoid using the same celebrity (if they desire originality). You can make note of such things here.
    If a celebrity you desire to use is on the list, worry not! You may use the celebrity regardless. There is no "claiming" celebrities, and no extra rights regarding celebrity images given to those that are listed on a list. The only face you have rights to is your own.
  • Animation
    Excessive animation in signature or avatar images, along with any images that flash bright colours, can be distracting and possibly hazardous to some user's health. Please be both cautious and courteous when choosing what images you use where.
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