The shoutbox is a useful and fun feature - it's a quick and easy way to post stuff that has a short expiration date. It's a good way to talk about the weird Mexican fettucini you ate yesterday or to goof off with zany forum emoticons. It's also great when brainstorming ideas for a project or for a zillion other things. First, however, here's a couple of notes about using the shoutbox properly:
I. Don't be afraid to create actual topics!
The shoutbox has its uses, but don't let the convenience of the shoutbox cause you to neglect the regular forums. If a post has serious discussion value, or if it's something that you'd like a lot of people to see, make a topic. Likewise, anything that's lengthy or in-depth generally deserves its own topic, so try not to make long series of shouts unless there's a good reason to do so. And, of course, don't use the shoutbox to reply to existing topics.
II. Regular forum rules still apply!
As online forums go, this place is remarkably civil and clean. However, just as a reminder, the forum rules still apply to the shoutbox, even if the comments might get paged quickly. In particular, don't bring outside disputes to the shoutbox - this is about the only trouble we've ever had here, but we've had a few incidents involving members arguing about things that happened on other forums. It's fine to complain about your little sister or a bad experience you've had on another forum, but please don't go too far, and above all, don't use the BT Forums shoutbox to prolong disagreements that originated elsewhere. When in doubt, keep things lighthearted and don't take stuff overly seriously on the Internet world. The first paragraph of this topic may be a useful reminder:
Never change your avatar
Aug 5th, 2012 @ 3:23 pm Perma-link
Course clear! You got a card.