Forums are one of the best mediums that we could use to find information about a topic or to get help in troubleshooting. While participating in forums, we should make sure that our participation will not hurt other participants. Factors like ego, posts written in manner that is difficult to understand and spamming could make other participants unhappy. Let’s discuss some mistakes which people do while participating in forums that could hurt other participants.
1) Long Posts: When we post a question while starting a new thread, we tend to write a lot of information. Most of the information could be totally unrelated to the problem. This can confuse other participants as they will have to struggle to find out what exactly your problem is. So don’t try to tell a story but focus on what exactly your problem is and ask that question only.
2) Too many problems in one post: This is another mistake that people do which can lead to long posts. Simply ask one question per thread.
3) Unrelated replies: Sometimes, you will see replies like “Even I’m facing the same problem” or “Excellent solution”. This kind of replies won’t add any benefit neither to the person who started that thread nor to the people who will be reading it. Don’t post replies unless you are going to provide information or solution to the question asked in the thread.
4) Ego: While participating in forums please keep your ego away and don’t insult other participants. I noticed this in one forum, where one guy had asked a question in a way which was too difficult to understand. Whenever people used to reply requesting to explain the problem properly, he used to reply back saying that he is not going to modify the question and if the person can’t understand the problem then it’s not his fault. He never attempted to ask the question properly. Finally, other participants ignored that post totally. Don’t forget that people take time to understand your problem and to solve it.
5) Ignoring the thread after solving problem: Once the problem is solved, many people ignore the thread which they had started to request a solution for the problem. Don’t do this. If your problem is solved because of the contribution made by participants, then reply back saying thanks. If you were able to solve problem yourself, then post a reply informing that the problem is already solved. But in this case also, don’t forget to say thanks.
6) Spamming: Some people start a thread that points to their website. It might be ok to have such posts in some forums but most of the people will consider it as spam. You are allowed to put link to your website in your signature. Start a thread only if you have a genuine problem.
If you could avoid these mistakes then other participants will like to participate in all your future threads. Also, it will increase your reputation in the forum. Other than these, make sure that you have understood the rules made by the forum administrator before posting or starting a new thread. Following those rules and avoiding these six mistakes will get you good results from your participation in forums.