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This is a question Off Topic

Are you a QOTWer? Do you want to start a thread that isn't a direct answer to the current QOTW? Then this place, gentle poster, is your friend.

(, Sun 1 Apr 2001, 1:00)
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QOTW FAQ - First draft
Hello /questions boarders!

This is the first draft of an FAQ for the QOTW compiled by No3L and me from various grunts and gripes on this board over the last few weeks.

What do you think. Is it too wordy? Not wordy enough? Anything missing? Too patronising? Not patronising enough? Not enough swearing?

Comments please:

EDIT: Moved into replies, so it complies with its own etiquette guidelines :-)
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 5:26, Reply)
Here it is:

EDITED to remove the 'rules' bits, leaving mostly useful information for new posters

The questions board is the wordiest bit of b3ta. If you want to write something, this is probably the place to do it.

*****EDITED OUT******
The Rules in brief:

Don't be a cunt.


The Rules in more detail:

*****EDITED OUT******

Before you click 'post this message', ask yourself if your entry is:

* interesting?
* moving?
* amusing?
* topical?

If it's none of these things, think twice before posting. If it's any of these things, we love you. If you've got an entertaining story, we want to read it.

*****EDITED***** * Here's a spell-checker.

* Use NSFW. If you link to anything that might be a problem if your boss glimpsed it, mark it clearly as NSFW (Not Safe For Work).

* Stay on-topic (unless in Off Topic)

* Vote! If you like a post, click 'I like this' (you need to be logged in). The posts with the most votes go on the 'Best' page on Thursday when the question closes.

*****EDITED OUT******
* If you don't like a post, say nothing. Constructive criticism is welcome, but this is not the place to insult another member's writing.
*****EDITED OUT******

*****EDITED***** * Do not post or link to porn. Failure to comply with this may result in a ban.

* If you really don't like a particular poster, the 'Ignore' link will block all posts from that person. You can manage your block list or keep track of member activity with the 'b3ta friends' feature.


When are the new questions set up?

There is a new question set up every week, on a Thursday.

Can I answer one of the old questions?

Sorry, but once the question is closed, no more answers can be added. You can always post your answer on the Off Topic board though.

What does it mean when someone replies to my post with a *click*?

It's b3ta slang for "I enjoyed that so I clicked on the 'I like this!' link". Consider it a compliment!

I have a great idea for a question... what now?

You can submit your suggestion here.

Can I view posts by popularity before the question closes, like on the main board, the talk board and the links board?

Currently, no. This feature has been suggested several times so hopefully it will be implemented soon. New feature requests can be posted here.

I want to get on the 'Best' page! Which posts tend to get the most votes?

Read some of the 'Previous question archive' answers to see the kind of material that has received the most votes in the past. As a general rule, well-written material will do well. If a post has a theme with universal appeal, whatever the subject, it will probably earn a place on the 'Best' board.

Will posting here get me in the newsletter?

The Magic Donkey scans the 'Best' page looking for interesting stories. Short posts stand a better chance of being in the newsletter itself, but longer stories sometimes get linked too.

For Off Topic:

What are these 'Home Sweet Home' posts all about?

'Home Sweet Home' was created so the regular QOTW posters could chat in one place. It uses a single threaded layout, unlike the talk board. New posters are always welcome, so please drop in any time and say hi.

What is the board etiquette?

*****EDITED*****: It's good manners to put long posts in the reply to your /Off Topic post to make the main board easy to navigate, but that's about it.

(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 5:27, Reply)
If it's possible
it could be included in the main b3ta faq, and linked from the new post/reply page - just like on /links, for best exposure.
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 6:22, Reply)
Excellent work!
Gets a click from me.
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 7:37, Reply)
Good point there...
If you like what you see here, please click I like this! so your fans who use their Friends' Activity page, but don't visit Off Topic, get to see this post.
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 7:53, Reply)
I think it should be possible to insult
people's writing occasionaly.

If their post is a post of such vitriol or poorly concieved English then really we are doing the poster a favour by letting them know that they are a twerp.
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 7:58, Reply)
I agree in principle - a comment on the quality of the writing, or if someone says something that's just plain wrong, yeah. But persecuting someone for being emo, lying or not to your tastes should be discouraged.

I think 'Don't be a cunt' sums that up quite well.
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 8:16, Reply)
Can you add
Don't use too many line breaks to fill up space to make your post look bigger, it's not big, it's not clever and neither are you.
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 8:42, Reply)
Seems fine to me
I'm less bothered by some of the cuntishness/NSFW stuff than some of you for various reasons, but I'm certainly not opposed to having such an FAQ.

(of course I already abide by all those rules :D *smugs*)
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 8:46, Reply)
Don't be a cunt?
I'll just go home then, shall I?

You cunt.
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 9:11, Reply)
Good point
Can we edit the FAQ so it reads:

Don't be a cunt, unless you are the officially appointed Off Topic cunt. Bert is filling this position for 2009; elections will be held every December.
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 9:13, Reply)
An excellent idea, Sam
but only if the elections are rigged in my favour.

I think a little bit of light-hearted cuntishness goes down quite well, you can't outlaw it completely.
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 9:17, Reply)
Yeah, well rules are made to be broken and all that
And we know you, so you're accepted.

Plus I appreciate the well spelt cuntishness, it's easier on the eye!

Oh dear, this post is getting a bit nice.

Thou villainous rampallian pumpion!

(Check this out, pretty funny!)
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 9:21, Reply)
Not enough badly-drawn cocks

(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 9:27, Reply)
"The posts with the most votes go on the 'Best' page on Thursday when the question closes"
My post was half way down the 'Best of' page when the question closed but was then removed.
I don't really care but I am intrigued as to why.
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 10:26, Reply)
I disagree with:
"If you don't like a post, say nothing. Constructive criticism is welcome, but this is not the place to insult another member's writing"

but then I also disagree with Off Topic.

Actually, I disagree with rules. Call them heuristics or guidelines and more people might be less inclined to ignore them.

Also: can we just separate QOTW from Off Topic entirely? Then you can have your wee rules for this place and we can just carry on as normal over on QOTW.
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 11:16, Reply)
is a hangover from the /links faq and perhaps should be changed.

The idea behind the faq is that it covers all of QOTW. There's been an increasing amount of shit both in the questions and in OT - it's an attempt to bring QOTW back to its former glory.

Christ, what a wanky sentence.
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 11:52, Reply)
I would rather
see QOTW separated from Off Topic. They have very little in common.

Also, there's always been shit in QOTW. Has there really been a quantifiable rise in it? Where's the evidence for this? How is it unrelated to that week's topic, for example? And one way of reducing shit on QOTW is to be mean to the people who post it...
(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 11:56, Reply)
to that end, here is my Bugs and Features request for QOTW/Off Topic devolution:

(, Fri 23 Jan 2009, 12:02, Reply)
You might have a point. I don't personally bother to comment when I don't like a post, but telling the poster what you *really* think works for a lot of people.

This is b3ta too, so it's often amusing to read a particularly scathing attack; often more so than the original post.

What's the consensus on this? Reply comments can contain whatever you like, as long as they are *well-written* (and preferably funny too), then being a cunt is actually okay

If we're in agreement, I'll make the necessary changes to the FAQ wording. I'll stick a poll on the board a bit later.

Edit: Poll is HERE
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 7:03, Reply)

(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 10:29, Reply)
Another poll about something CHCB said
Are QOTW and QOTWOT separate entities?

Will add some contributions to the FAQ later.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 13:54, Reply)
Frequently asked questions
on Qotw?

For fucks sake, the only question that gets asked on there is "bindun?"

its an internet forum, people post, troll, flame and blather, who cares? seriously, who. the. fuck. cares?

the first time some gumption starts throwing "oh god read the faq you silly new person" replies to posts is the day another forum disappears up its own self indulgent arsehole.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 14:56, Reply)
^^^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^^^
This is exactly what I was trying to say.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 15:05, Reply)
I agree
With everything CHCB has said on this.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 15:14, Reply)
Ahhhhh! to be young and so opiniated.
I don't miss any of it.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 15:37, Reply)
I don't get the vehement opposition
Halfy/CHCB. Do you really think an FAQ is unnecessary? Every other board has one, they are a useful source of information for me and I've been reading b3ta since it started. Bear in mind it's not aimed at regular posters so much as new ones.

I honestly think it might help new posters get comfy and hopefully it will produce more interesting, literate stories. Forums with no guidelines end up like 4chan.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 16:36, Reply)
Every other board
also have people called "nazis" who beat new people around the metaphorical head for not paying attention and posting guidelines setup by an infinitally small minority of the total posting population.

If you need any faq whatsoever all there should be is something along the lines of

Answer the question in whatever way you see fit, and no fucking porn, some of us like our jobs thankyou, but seeing as no porn is a B3ta policy its a given on all of the boards

all the rest is just blah. If you can't work out most of the rest its because you are either not in a b3ta clique or very stupid, in the same manner as every other forum I have been on.

Like Home sweet home we used to have a Shovel (A pub in Lye) post every friday on the BBC 606 board many many moons ago purely because we argued (successfully) that although the site is about football we do not talk ecxclusively about football even in the ground during a game, so why limit us on a similar, broader scale?

Punctuation, grammar and spelling? bah humbag, quickly typed missives in the 30 seconds you have at your desk in case a manager sees you is not going to be perfect, drunk or high on substances isn't going to improve your clarity and spelling either. Its all just a load of piffle.

Petition Rob and the B3ta overlords if you want, I just don't see the requirements, and you can lose the rules bit at the top as well, I think some of the posters here are total twats, im sure some posters think im a total twat, I dont worry and im sure they don't either.

Whats the difference between a flaming reply, a pointing out the error of the posters missive, calling them a cunt or ingoring them?

nothing at all, its all insubstational transient guff anyway.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 16:54, Reply)
I am against forums with rules
because they usually turn people into arseholes: either arseholes who flout the rules on purpose or arseholes who self-righteously and indignantly lay down the law.

A couple of words in the existing FAQ on the nature of QOTW doesn't bother me so much, but I really don't see who is being harmed by the cretins who bash the keyboards with their sixth toe in their attempt at a decent story. So there's a few boring posts? So what? If people don't like it, they can a) not read it; or b) tell them.

The thing I like about b3ta is that there aren't rules and you can say anything you like. People who are complete fucktards tend not to get it and disappear after a while. People who are boring make the good stories stand out all the more amid the dross. It's only for a week each time and then it's handily condensed into a nifty little 'Best Of' digest.

It's just a place where people type some stuff.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 16:57, Reply)
OK, I've made a few changes
What's left is mostly informational now. Hopefully this appeases those with a morbid fear of rules, guidelines, instruction manuals, that kind of thing.

The intention is to help attract new posters to QOTW who might otherwise hold off posting. I'd been reading b3ta for four years before I created an account, and that was only so I could post a story.

Thanks for all the comments.
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 17:30, Reply)
"It uses a single threaded layout, unlike the talk board. New posters are always welcome, so please drop in any time and say hi."
You mixed up your commas and full stops here.

"Unlike the talk board, new posters are always welcome..."
(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 19:39, Reply)
Nice one mike

(, Sat 24 Jan 2009, 20:27, Reply)
Ten points
and a cookie Mike...
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 5:27, Reply)
I am completely with CHCB and Halfy on this.
If the intention is to press ahead and have these rules guidelines after all these successful years, at least remove words such as 'sorry' and 'love' and all the exclamation marks.
(, Sun 25 Jan 2009, 10:41, Reply)
That's just nit-picking. The information here maintains the written style of the main FAQ. Some of the points are even quoted from it.

I've submitted it to the powers that be in its present form as this represents a fair compromise between the various viewpoints in the comments.

I think the doubters will see eventually that, if it does get published to the site, nothing will radically change. There will still be trolls, illiterate twats, boring posts about nothing in particular etc. However, there may also be some new posters lured in who have some golden stories to tell.

If QOTW degenerates into the "self-indulgent" mire that terrifies the vociferous few opposing any kind of FAQ, I will eat Bert Monkeysex's giganticock.
(, Mon 26 Jan 2009, 3:27, Reply)
It's not nit-picking.
The text as it stands sounds patronising and will do nothing to encourage the vitriol, cynicism and wit that many of us enjoy.
(, Mon 26 Jan 2009, 9:10, Reply)

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