Peer Mediation Forum Guidelines

Support » Forum Guidelines

Forum Guidelines

Before posting please read the guidelines and be respectful of everyone. The intent of these forums is to provide ESL/EFL peer tyo peer comprehension mediation in understanding and interpreting assigned academic and/or literary text.

Search Before Posting

Questions that are posted in the forums may have been posted before, and received the same answers each time. Before starting a new thread, search the forums for the answer. If the only topics are similar, but not exact, do not post in that topic to ask for help, but create your own specificly detailed forum thread.

Post In the Best Place

The forums are subdivided into ‘Groups’ or ‘Teams’, with each ‘Team’ forum having its own online description on the ‘Team’ front page.

Choose the most suitable section for a new, text related topic, and post in only one section. Duplicate posts will be removed.

Choose the most appropriate section from the forum front page. Start a new topic by clicking the “Add New »” button to the right of the section’s title.

Choose A Good Topic Title

Use an appropriate meaningful title when making a new topic.

Be specific.  “URGENT HELP PLS!!!” is not a good title. A good title can be the difference between getting help and not.

Tag Topics Wisely

Tags are a great way to help others find related support requests. Be considerate of this when tagging topics. Avoid very general tags, like “information” and “problem.” Agree on a top-level classification structure as, for example, under such terms as “Genre” and “Idioms”, “Acronyms” or “Grammar”. Searching first is a great way to see what tags are being used by others with similar understanding problems.

Tags should be separated by commas.

Include as Much Information as Possible

Include details about the context, genre, and response urgency of the readings under review when posting text-related a topic.

If there are confusing quotes, copy them word for word into the post. It’s best to include the full error than to summarize – sometimes context and genre are important.

While screenshots cannot be uploaded, they can be linked to from places like CloudUp.

If a question relates to a specific site or page, and the site is publicly viewable, provide a link. This will allow people to see the issue and often leads to faster resolutions.

The forum is not designed to be a link portal; excessive linkage will be moderated, as will signatures or links with no associated question.

Links will not get removed any time later, unless in extreme circumstances. Google will capture links, so if that is a concern, please don’t link.

Avoid Signatures

As everyone’s username and gravatar is listed alongside their post, it is unnecessary to provide a signature in the WordPress forums.

Do Not Advertise or Promote Products

The forums are here for providing users with a venue to get help with problems and peer to peer mentoring.

Do not create topics with the intent of promoting any of the above. They will be deleted and accounts will be moderated.

Warn About Adult Content

Some sites contain content that is not suitable for a general audience or for viewing while at work.

Do Not Bump Posts

Do not bump posts. Bumping a post to “the top” does not help a topic get noticed. The volunteers who try to answer questions look for those without replies first. If someone bumps a post, then it disappears from the ‘No Replies’ view.

We have a list of threads without replies. When a post is bumped, it becomes harder for it to be discovered and reduces the chances of getting appropriate help. Some forum helpers use that list to prioritise over other answered threads.

Moderators will delete bumps they find. This is in order to help posts get back into the No Replies listing, where they are more likely to get an answer.

Finding Posts

A list of all posts and replies made by a user can be found on their profile:

All logged in users can click on the “Howdy, Your Name” link found on the sidebar for immediate access.

Helping Out

To assist people who wish to help others, a list of unanswered topics can be found in the “No Replies” link at the bottom of the front page. That page is often used by folks to find questions to answer next. This is also a good reason why nobody should bump their topics. Bumping is discouraged and bumps may be deleted by the moderators.

We do not expect everyone to know everything. Questions should be answered as fully as possible, with as much respect for humanity as possible. It is not a place for self promotion, solicitations, or to have a private conversation.

The point of helping out on the forums is to help out on the forums for everyone so, ideally, we shouldn’t be leaving something unanswered for the next person who has the same problem.

Reporting Threads (Modlook)

To bring a post to the attention of the moderators, add a tag called ‘modlook’ to the thread. That feed is checked very regularly by the moderating team.

The modlook tag is only for reporting issues with the forum itself. Using this tag in the hopes of attracting the attention of a moderator to a support question to get it answered faster is considered abuse.

Use the modlook tag on things like spam, people using signatures in their posts, or duplicate threads. Things that a forum moderator should see and correct.

Closing Posts

Posts are automatically closed after 12 months, if there are no new replies. We also reserve the right to close posts that are deemed non-productive to the community.

While many times non-productive posts are deleted, sometimes they have some relevance and instead are closed so the information remains, but discussion can no longer be furthered. This includes, but is not restricted to, posts on the following topics: Hosting recommendations (for or against), off topic conversations (i.e. non-WordPress), old/outdated topics, clearly resolved topics, excessive rudeness or antagonism, and requests for paid support.

Being ‘Mod Watched’ or Banned

The following message will appear if posts are caught as potential spam, or if an account has been flagged to require moderation:

This post has been held for moderation by our automated system. It will be reviewed within 72 hours.

Accounts are set to be moderated when the poster has a pattern of behavior that is questionable. For example, someone may be moderated for posting with their signature in a post multiple times, after being asked to stop. Or as another example, an account may be moderated if vulgarities are used.

Flagging an account to be moderated is a cool-down tactic used to allow the account to be monitored while still permitting the poster to participate on the forums. It just means the poster’s behavior caught our attention in a slightly negative way, and we want to keep an eye on them.

If this happens, please be patient. We review and approve all posts quickly, or edit them and reply, pointing out what’s wrong.

If actions escalate, users will be banned. There’s no one specific behavior to point at for this, but essentially if the poster starts lashing out, calling people names, making accusations, emailing people nasty messages, or challenging the authority of the moderators, they will be banned.

Don’t act like a bad person. We expect all posters to behave like adults. If this is impossible then they will not be permitted to post on the forums. Attempting to circumvent a ban will result in a perma-ban.

Harassing anyone is not permitted, and violations will be banned from all aspects of the forums.

We reserve the right to delete topics or posts that are off-topic or detrimental to the community, however, it is not the general policy to edit or delete forum posts unless they are spam, harassing, illegal, or outright abuse. We will not delete a post or remove a link just because an Internet search for a term brings up the forums first.

Users can edit a post for up to 60 minutes from the time of submission. After that, the post can only be edited by a moderator.

When a post is made and people contribute answers to an issue, that then becomes part of the community resource for others to benefit from and deleting posts removes this added value.

Forum topics will only be edited or deleted at the discretion of the moderators if they represent a valid legal, security, or safety concern.

Don’t post things that aren’t 100% okay to be public. We’ll delete them if we agree it’s a big enough deal, but ‘My SEO!’ is never an acceptable reason.

Deleting / Editing Reviews

Plugin and theme reviews are rarely deleted unless the posts are determined to be made by sockpuppets or harassers.

In general, opinions will not be deleted because they are negative. An opinion is someone’s experience with a process, be it good or bad. It is the responsibility of the developer to reply and handle complaints as an adult.

Reputation is impacted more by how a person handles complaints versus how they are treated by users.

Deleting Accounts

Accounts cannot be deleted, not even for obvious spammers, due to technical limitations of the system.

Usernames cannot be changed either. To use different username, create the new username and stop using the old one.

Contacting the Moderators

If a post needs moderator attention, use the tag modlook

If moderator help is needed in a different manner, the #forums channel is available in slack.

Following moderators ‘home’ and sending them unsolicited email is harassment. Moderators are people too and name calling because they won’t delete a post (or did delete one) is not welcome.

The Bad Stuff…

We need to keep the forums friendly, so, occasionally, topic content will be moderated. In severe cases, users may be blocked. This might mean anything from the light editing of some posts to complete removal of topics and deactivation of accounts. It should really go without saying, but the following are likely candidates for moderation or intervention

  • Do not post email addresses, ask others to post their email or solicit contacting people off of the forums.
  • Do not post login information, even test IDs and test passwords.
  • Do not post simply to request feedback on their site.
  • Do not post another person’s private information (job, gender, living situation, location, etc).
  • Do not harass or abuse people.
  • Do not post spam and affiliate links, offensive posts, posts without content, or flames.
  • Do not post in all caps.
  • Do not abuse mentions, they are not a tool to get faster responses.
  • Do not abuse the @ mention system in the forums. Users on this site can subscribe to a topic, using @ notifications for your replies in unnecessary and can become spammy and abusive. Please use it sparingly.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Every post is judged on its own merits.

And that’s all. Enjoy your stay at the forums! Oh.. And, when you’re done, please mark your topic as “Resolved”. Thanks.

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