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Neo-Manners


by _shakky_

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THE NEOBOARDS -- Manners. Some people have them, and some people don't. Or perhaps we all have them, and some of us have let ours rust a bit. Whether you're a newbie or an oldy-moldy, manners (or the lack of) are what makes a first impression at the NeoBoards. It only makes sense that good manners will create a good impression... so why not take a step back and just look at your manners? Try to see what others are seeing to get a good picture of yourself. Do other see you as irksome? Angelic?

The Power Of The Polite

The most important part of having good manners at the NeoBoards... (drumroll, please) is politeness. Not too hard to believe. If the first topic you post at Neopets declares how dumb everyone else is compared to you, you won't be greeted kindly. This goes for any topic, actually. If you're asking a question, such as "How do I get _____ avatar?" and someone gives you an answer, don't chew them out if they accidentally give the wrong one. Maybe they couldn't tell you meant the other Angelpuss avatar. They're not likely to try and help you again if you're ungrateful. Also, if someone doesn't immediately reply to your topic, don't get upset and start accusing the people of being rude. Some boards move so quickly that after two seconds they'll disappear off the front page. Well, this isn't such a hard concept to comprehend, so let's move on...

n00b

If you've ever gone to a topic on the Neoboards, chances are you've seen this word. Many times. Basically, this is a word that means a stupid person, reserved for people who post any sort of "stupidity." The difference between a newbie and a n00b? A newbie refers to someone who is actually a Newbie in status--someone who has a very young account. So "newb" doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as "n00b."

Lately it seems as though the new fad is calling people n00bs right and left. Some people ask questions that might seem silly to you, but the asker usually doesn't know the answer. It's true, it would be better if everyone with a question went to the Help board, but calling them a n00b isn't fixing anything. Either answer their question or redirect them to the Help board.

On the occasion someone is being genuinely irritating and knows it, don't bother calling them a n00b. Ignore the board. If you post there, you'll just bump the topic back up to the top, giving it more attention than it had before. It's irritating when people keep bumping up boards that stretch out the screen (a recent problem at the Avatar Board).

Personally, I've always thought that calling someone a n00b just proved your own n00bishness. If you've gone out of your way to insult someone with the word, it doesn't add to your character. You and your alleged n00b will both look foolish...

Posting Contest Answers

I have a huge issue with this. Every time the Lenny Conundrum comes out, someone can be found blabbing the answer all over the boards. I'm not sure if this goes for the Mystery Pic as well, but I'm guessing it does. It's extremely unfair for users who actually worked to find the answer. You might think you're doing a favor to everyone, sharing your infinite kindness by giving them the answer, but it's more likely you'll get reported, booed, hissed, and end up with a warning. But really, if you were bright enough to figure out the answer in the first place, you should be bright enough to read the note about not sharing answers...

Of course, there are party poopers out there who're thinking, "Ha, I don't care if I get reported/booed/hissed at." So they post a board with the answer. WHEN YOU SEE A BOARD WITH THE ANSWER, LEAVE IT ALONE!!! DON'T POST ANYTHING! YOU'LL JUST BUMP IT BACK TO THE TOP FOR MORE PEOPLE TO SEE! Posting something to make them feel foolish, or telling them you're reporting them, isn't helping. With each fresh post, the board goes back to the top... which negates the purpose of your raving mad post. I hope that in the near future, the staff will make posting the answer to any contest a freezable offense (hint, hint). Of course, that isn't very likely, but one can wish...

Stay on Topic

There's not a lot to be said here. Boards such as "I ate a cookie" and "omg my bf dumped me i'm gunna cry now" aren't welcomed. They clutter up the space, have absolutely no relation to Neopets, and are likely to attract n00b-callers. The majority of people couldn't care less, and instead of showing sympathy they'll show contempt. Now, if the Pant Devil just stole your Regulation Meridell Crossbow, you will receive sympathy; that's fine to post. Do keep your one-on-one conversations in Neomail, please. Don't expect privacy on the Neoboards--for every active chatter there are probably at least ten lurkers (people who read the boards but don't post, usually for lack of anything to say). Telling someone to go away because you're having a private conversation is a surefire way to make them stay. (The wonders of reverse psychology...)

Item Giveaways and Contests

Contests are against the rules! You can get your account iced by promising any sort of item for any sort of contest (yes, this includes avatar simon says). Feel free to hold a competition, however, as long as you make it clear that you don't intend to give away a prize. People should be competing for the fun of it, not for an item. The reasoning behind this rule is that scamming is a problem. Some chatters say they're holding a contest in their shop--whoever buys the most stuff wins an item--but this is most likely a scam. There's no guarantee they'll do any such thing... they just want your Neopoints.

Item giveaways? I know what you're thinking: What's wrong with those? Unfortunately, making boards about item giveaways promotes begging. Some of the less wealthy Neopians see these topics and develop the notion that they too can subsist on the handouts of others. Random boards of kindness attract beggars--who can resist free stuff? So then we see topics that look like this:

"can i have some NP?"

"will u give me stuff u don't need?"

And variations of the sort. Some beggars are polite and say please but the message is still the same... I usually ignore this sort of topic or Neomail, and reply to it saying "Yes, you can have some NP. Try the Games section, there are lots of opportunities to make NP there."

I'm not saying you should be a complete penny-pinching scrooge unwilling to commit any act of kindness. I just don't think it's a good idea to make a topic about it... keep it fairly discreet. If you want, send items to people if you think they deserve it. There's no reason not to give gifts, just try not to promote begging while you do it.

Chatspeak and Grammar

Chatspeak is becoming a cliché issue in the Times. But unlike other articles, I'm not going to condemn it. I really don't care if you use chatspeak, to be honest. Well, I do prefer regular English, but chatspeak won't make my brain explode or anything. I'm certainly not advocating it, but as long as people can understand what you're trying to say without difficulty, feel free to use your chatspeak.

If you are going to use regular English on the Neoboards, try to keep your grammar decent, please! I don't mean you need to dot your i's and cross your t's perfectly (not like you actually could do anything about that with a keyboard). I don't care if a typo sneaks into your sentences. If you accidentally misspell a word, that's fine, too. I'm talking about horrifically bad grammar. The sort that's SO BAD that if it really was your best try, you wouldn't be able to operate or understand a computer. There are people who have difficulty spelling out there, but when you start putting spaces in the middle of words (even if they are spelled wrong) there's a problem. Let me give you an example.

"omg i le iik fownde a chucota onn et h flore"

Translation: "OMG, I like found a Chokato on the floor!" Could you tell what it was supposed to be? Neither could I. It's no joke, this sort of topic shows up every now and then. It's rampant with mistakes... either the person who wrote it was typing WAY TOO FAST for their ability, or was doing it on purpose, in which case they fit into the "intentionally irritating" category. Either way, it takes the skill of a cryptographer to decipher the horribly mutilated English language, and typing like that doesn't say much about your intelligence.

Other stuff

Every board is different, and every one has its own "customs." It's really cute, actually. There are different turns of phrase at each board, and only the inhabitants of that particular board will know what it means. For example, going to the BD board for the very first time can be quite confusing, because you won't know what all the initials mean. SuAP? H4K? WotDF? (Super Attack Pea, H4000 Helmet, Wand of the Dark Faerie) There are some really silly acronyms at the AC (avatar chat). BAD stands for the Boiled Avocado Dumplings (or something like that, I believe). These little customs and terms become second nature once you have chosen a board for your home... but in the meantime, don't hesitate to ask someone if their board considers a certain action/phrase taboo.

In summary...

It's not too hard to maintain your dignity on the Neoboards. Actually, it's easy. Do be courteous to everyone--and they'll usually be courteous to you. If someone's bothering you, ignore them or leave the board, but don't start making sharp retorts--it just gives them more firewood to burn. Don't post contest answers... you'll just make a lot of new enemies. Do stay on topic; it's really easy. Throw in a comment about your avatar, your new Battledome weapon, your newest short story, a question, and you should be able to rustle up people's interest in what you have to say.

Try not to announce the fact that you're giving away items; every random board of kindness that you'll ever see is a beggar magnet. Don't guarantee prizes in contests... you're risking being frozen! And please do make your topics on the coherent side...

So mind your manners at the Neoboards, and you'll find them to be a useful, entertaining, and cheery resource.

 
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