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Forum posting best practices

The following are guidelines on how to best use the TT chat forum. They describe the best practices for forum posting. Note that these are guidelines only. They are not rules. To break these guidelines is not an offence. All members are, however, encouraged to try and post according to the guidelines.

Topic titles

Good topic titles make the forum easier to browse and easier for information to be retrieved via the search function. Thus great care should be taken when choosing a title for a new forum topic. Let's suppose you're ill and have turned to Toytown Munich for medical assistance...
  • HELP!!! - this is a bad title
  • English-speaking doctors in Munich - some recommendations - this is a good title
A reader should be able to easily determine what the content of a topic is about simply by reading the title. Note how in the first example above the reader does not know what the post is about until after they click the title link and read the first post. In the second example, however, it is immediately clear what the subject of the posting is. For more details on how to formulate the perfect title please read: forum topic titles

Posting weblinks

When posting a weblink please use accurately descriptive link-text. See the following two examples:
  • I particularly enjoyed reading this topic - this is bad style
  • I particularly enjoyed reading the topic about house plants - this is good style
Note how in the first example it is not clear what the linked page is about. The reader must click the link and read the resulting page before they can determine what the page is about. In the second example it is clear that the linked page is about "house plants". Thus, if the reader is not interested in house plants they know that they don't need to click the link.

Posting images

When posting an image to the TT chat forum it is better to use the "attachment" function rather than the "IMG" tag.
  • Do not use this button:
  • Use the button labelled "Add This Attachment" instead
This is because attachments are uploaded to the TT webserver, whereas the IMG tag is a hotlinked image from a third-party remote server. Hotlinking is bad because the remote server then has control over what image appears on the TT page. If the remote server re-organises their file-structure, is serving too slowly, or goes offline completely, then the image will appear broken on the TT page. Also, a malicious administrator on the remote server might decide to replace the image with something inappropriate and entirely not what was intended by the TT poster. Hotlinking is also tantamount to bandwidth theft. The IMG hotlinking function is only enabled on TT because it is occasionally useful. It should be used with extreme restraint however.

Choosing a category for a new topic

Take care to choose the most appropriate category for your new topic. Advertisements belong in the "Classifieds" categories, discussion topics belong in the main discussion categories. Any topic which is not related to Munich or Germany belongs in the "Miscellaneous and random" category.

Quoting

The chat forum quote feature is widely mis-used. The most common type of mis-use is "redundant quoting" - this refers to the quoting of a post in its entirety when the quote post appears immediately prior to the current post. There is no need to quote at all if you are replying to the last post in a topic. All redundant quoting achieves is to make the reader scroll through two copies of the same text, thus causing annoyance. More tips to follow...

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