Community Member Participation Ten Guidelines and Best Practices


ZDNet is dedicated to developing and maintaining a friendly online community, where members of all technical backgrounds feel relaxed and comfortable. Like any community, ZDNet has certain standards. When members join our community, they agree to abide by these rules. Repeated violations of these standards may result in a member being barred from entry or participation in the community discussions.


Ten guidelines for community participation: Respect others’ opinions - We all have opinions and want to express them. Attack ideas, not people. Come up with a well-thought out counterpoint, or just move on. Abusive comments will not be tolerated, and we reserve the right to remove the comment without warning and/or ban you.
 

1. Don’t promote or sell your goods - That’s what advertising is for, and we’ve got spots for that. You be cheap, we be deletin’. No SPAMing of any kind will be tolerated.

 

2. Fanboy banter will not be tolerated - If you have nothing better to say than “[ insert brand/OS of preference ] rulz!!!” then don’t bother. It’s lame and you sound dumb. Every brand/OS/product/etc has its positives and negatives, uses, etc. If you don’t know this, you should just keep reading until you do.

 

3. No trolling - You know the type - the ones that like to disrupt normal on-topic discussion with off-topic comments in a sole effort to bait, irritate and cause disruption and mayhem. Don’t feed the trolls, take the bait and ruin the conversation for everyone else. Report them and move on.

 

4. Be kind to new users - As you were once a new user, be kind and helpful to the new folks.

 

5. No profanity, racial slurs and/or sexual innuendos - If you wouldn’t say it in front of your grandmother or kids, then don’t say it.

 

6. Don’t abuse the “report abuse” - Be fair and use it sparingly. If you make extra work for us flagging legit stuff, we’ll remove your permissions and/or ban you. We know who you are.

 

7. Keep it on topic - If you want to go off topic, please check out our After Hours discussion boards on our sister site - TechRepublic.com.

 

8. No Piracy or unlawful activities - This community forum is a place for ideas and constructive participation, and not a place to violate any laws or to discuss illegal activities. You post it, we will ban your account and you run the risk of being reported to the local authorities.

 

9. No flaming - Goes with being respectful of others. Resist the urge, and be respectful and objective at all times. You flame, we torch. Your account becomes toast. And not the tasty kind.



Other general rules of conduct

You shall not post on these forums any Content which (a) is libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, abusive, harassing or threatening, (b) contains viruses or other contaminating or destructive features, (c) violates the rights of others, such as Content which infringes any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret or violates any right of privacy or publicity, or (d) otherwise violates any applicable law. For more information, please read CBS Interactive's Site Terms of Use.



Best practices - These will help gain you respect, karma and points when interacting with others:
 

1. Be clear in your message - Think before firing off a half baked response. You end up sounding less intelligent than you probably are.

 

2. Vote/Like objectively - If you disagree with an opinion, it doesn’t mean you shouldn't vote/like it up, you CAN vote/like for something that you disagree with, when a comment is well written

 

3. Friend and Foe voting - vote/like based on quality and factual content, not who’s posting

 

4. Don’t use all caps - it’s considered SHOUTING, and it’s not pleasant.

 

5. Build your identity (reputation) - Here’s your chance to build your personal brand and reputation. Be helpful and courteous, and the karma will come back to you.

 

6. Don’t be an obnoxious know-it-all - There is ALWAYS someone who knows more than you.

 

7. Use of superlatives is frowned upon - Don’t use “best”, “greatest”, etc, unless you can back it up with hard facts or state that it’s your opinion. Good comments keep it objective.

 

8. Don’t comment just to comment - If you aren’t adding value, helping the discussion, working to educate others, want to ask the community for help/opinion, then come back when you do, otherwise you risk being branded a troll.

 

9. Add new insights and ideas to the conversation - People appreciate new ideas and new angles to opinions, and well thought counter-points.