Joined: 30 Nov 2002
Location: The Shiny Castle in the Sky, Full of Cotton Candy and Hazelnut Lattes
FORUM PRIMER - PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING
Please read this topic before posting on the forums as it contains mucho important information about how best to use them.
Are you new to ARGs? Check out imbri's fantasmic ARG Starting Guide (and find out what the heck ARG stands for!)
Before posting, your first port of call should be the resources already listed here:
General Posting Guidelines
- Forum Search – usually, a simple search on your main keywords will suffice; however, sometimes you will need to perform more than one search on varying keywords to answer your inquiry. Keep in mind that a question like “when has ‘this’ been discovered?” can usually be answered by a search on “this” – the earliest-dated link will almost always end up being the post relating the discovery of “this.” Also, please keep in mind that searching should not be limited exclusively to questions – you should utilize it any time that you are not sure that your idea is already being/has been addressed. If you are looking for a specific update remember you can search by topic title, message only or in both.
- People in chat (who will usually be happy to help if asked nicely). If you are unfamiliar with IRC, please refer to this thread
The main reason topics balloon up into hundreds of posts is that people have not used the resources above. It is also very important that you read through the topic you are about to reply to.
Repeated information is annoying for everyone and makes it much harder to use the forums, so although you may spend 10 minutes to read through a few pages, people will respect you more and you will help keep the whole forum a lot more organised.
The same goes for agreement posts. If you are just posting an agreement to someone’s idea without including anything additional, then perhaps you could hold off replying until you come up with your own speculation or can add something to the thread. If you do really want to congratulate/agree with someone on an idea or post, feel free to PM them through the board.
Please give some consideration to the placement of your post. Chances are that the appropriate thread for your post already exists – just browse the boards’ thread titles. Posting your speculation as a new thread should usually be reserved for topics that have not been discussed, are general enough to allow different angles of view to be taken on them within that thread, and are backed up by enough evidence to be distinguished from “trivia”.
Please try to keep threads on topic. Conversely, if you see a post in a thread where it does not belong, please don’t hesitate quoting it in an appropriate thread and replying to it there, or at least pointing an off-topic poster in the right direction! This will make the discussion much more enjoyable, and the game much more easy to follow.
Thread/Post titles (or what should I title my post?)
The best title is something that is descriptive and informative. A title like "Look what I found..." doesn't indicate what the subject of the thread is going to be. A title like "[UPDATE] New in-game site - www.example.com" is much better.
Why shouldn't I just post whatever I want on the first thread I see? (or why do I keep getting told I'm posting in the wrong place?)
The key to being an effective team is to stay organized. No one wants to waste their time on a puzzle that has already been solved in another thread. Nor does anyone want to read about the same update 23 times in different threads. By keeping the discussions focused we can be a more effective team and we can have more fun!
LABELS - Your subject MUST begin with a label, specifying the category in which it is being posted. The label should be square-bracketed so that it can be easily found in search and if your topic is an update remember to include a date in the format DDth Month to avoid international differences. (eg. [UPDATE] New email from Sente – 1st January)
RELEVANCE - Your post should tell us something we may not have thought of or realized before.
CLARITY - If your post is ill-written or hard to understand, we will ask you to change it.
NEW - New in-game website, phone number, or e-mail from the game.
UPDATE - Use this when an in-game web site, voicemail number or e-mail autoresponder has changed its content. (DO NOT POST OLD NEWS USING "NEW" OR "UPDATE"!!!)
SPEC - Speculation. You think your post might be right, and some evidence supports your view, but the point is not conclusive.
OFFTOPIC or OT - This post is totally unrelated to the game. Posts like this can actually go elsewhere, because of the diverse sections of Unforums.
TRIVIA - Facts about the game which COULD be relevant, but which, as far as you can tell, probably aren't.
INFO – When posting information relevant to the game.
HUMOUR - A post which is teh funny.
EMAIL - An email coming from an in-game source.
INTERACTION – Until an interaction forum is made if needed, all character interaction should be labeled with this.
PUZZLE - A post about game-related puzzles, passwords, credit numbers, voicemail codes, etc. If the answer has been found, the PUZZLE label should be changed to SOLVED.
SOURCE - Analysis of the HTML source code underlying game-related pages.
EVENT - For any real world events/meetings which happen.
META - Discussions of what the moderators are doing wrong, new labels we should use, how people ought to play the game, or about the Unforums organization generally.
TROUT - The polite response to a redundant or factually false post. The word "trout" is a term of respect. Read about it here. Although meant as a friendly term, trout can be overused. If you are going to trout someone, always remember to provide a link to where the information has already been posted or you are not helping the original poster. If someone has already trouted a post, there’s no need to do it again - once is enough.
OUT OF GAME or OOG - A label for websites, puzzles, emails, etc. that are not confirmed as being part of the current game. Topics may have some relation to the game, differing this label from OFFTOPIC/OT.
You should use multiple labels, when appropriate. For example, speculation as to how to solve a login puzzle should go into [SPEC][PUZZLE]. (Of course, it's unlikely that any such discussion is relevant any longer, but that's how you'd label it under the current system.)
Subjectivity and Censorship
Yes, the final guideline, "Moderator's preference," is subjective. Maybe we ARE refusing to post your stuff just because we have a personal grudge against you. We have the full right to do so, which we will try to wield with responsibility and tact. Sometimes we will fail. When we do, you should flame us *mercilessly*.
Edited for content, conciseness and flowery language by Wishi-San. Thanks Wishi!
Added imbri's ARG beginner's guide - Wishi-san