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Halfbakery etiquette guide

Moral guidance for users
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
  [vote for,

Halfbakery already has a help section which explains how the site functions, but it is in the factual style of an instruction manual or help file. What I would like is guidance to subtler issues of behaviour, to help me and other users answer questions like?

1. When is it ok to delete your ideas? What should I do if I get [marked for deletion]?

2. Can I modify my annotations to remove my mistakes, even if that makes later posters look stupid?

3. When is it ok to delete other people's notes?

4. How far can I wander off-topic?

5. How many parodies of songs from The Sound Of Music can I post before people get pissed off?

I know the way these things work, the people who need to read them are never the ones who do read them. I'm sure a lot of topics have been covered to death in annotations; but we need to gather this collective wisdom. And it can be hard to observe processes in action when they happen to other people, especially if they involve deletion.

I'm not really looking for definitive yes/no rules (and in any case, being familiar with Kant's Critique of Judgement*, I understand that no definitive rules can exist that do not require the exercise of additional discrimination to be applied), but people could annotate this with examples of fair and unfair behaviour. Or else, implement a collection of "Frequently asked annotations".

Alternatively, we could have a Dear Deidre-type advice column, possibly run by an expert system; based on most advice columns you wouldn't need much in the way of decision-making rules.

Also, instead of deleting ideas, might it not be more polite to freeze them, so we don't lose people's annotations, but can't waste any more time/bytes discussing irrelevant idea.

* Judgement with an e is the UK spelling.

pottedstu, Oct 05 2001


       A few answers:
1. It's always okay to delete your ideas. It is never okay to delete *my* ideas.
2. Making later posters look stupid is the whole point.
3. Same principle as no. 1.
4. Nowhere near as far as Rod's Tiger.
5. Personally, stu, I like your parodies. (See, this demonstrates one of those subtle etiquette rules: Compliment the idea's author and your annotation won't get deleted.)
beauxeault, Oct 05 2001

       FIrstly, no, we don't want an etiquette guide. That will (a) make it too easy; (b) make newbies excited that they're breaking rules; (c) we can't make up more rules as we go along. (I know you said etiquette and guide, but let me call them rules - you know as well as I do that people will treat them as such).

c.f. UB's annotation to Deprocrastinator, and my 'Praise ideas' posting. Also see some of the annotations to that. Guaranteed, people will think that by posting this you are insecure. They thought I was. Remember the internet is a wonderful thing, dynamic and entirely user-controlled, whether the user is one who is locally in a position of true authority (jutta) or subjective authority (advanced 'bakers), or indeed plebeians such as you and I. You have demonstrated an understanding of this place. Now go forth and bakify.
lewisgirl, Oct 05 2001

       <karate kid>Study! Work hard! You follow rules, but then transcend rules. You are one with HalfBakery. Idea, annotation, counter-annotation, parry, thrust. Breathe in through nose, out through mouth</karate kid>
hippo, Oct 05 2001

       As Eddie Cochrane didn't say, there are three steps to halfbakery heaven...
Step One, google.
Step Two, 1/2 bakery search.
Step Three, Tuck in!
DrBob, Oct 05 2001

       I guess I kind of expected this response, apart from the fact that no one spotted the rogue question mark at the end of paragraph 1 (I only just noticed it). Possibly people think I'm polite because I don't dare delete anything, although I sometimes feel I've annotated every other idea on this site. On the other hand, the only time I ever voted on my own idea, it was a -ve, which is arguably worse than a yay. And I find it amuses my real-world friends if I run my really stupid ideas by them first (one of them's an expert in the putrefaction of milk, which has come in very useful). But I will strive for ever greaterness. I'm just worried I talk about myself too much. So I'll stop.   

       And [lg]: no plebeian you, although you're no PeterSealy/UnaBubba, for which we're all thankful (1 of each being just right).   

       Still, something good has come out of this. Until this afternoon, I thought it was "ettiquette". But I still don't know if I should delete my crap ideas.
pottedstu, Oct 05 2001

       Crap ideas, to me, are the ones which attract little or no enthusiasm from the 'Bakers.   

       When you post your idea, you'll normally find that within twelve hours there will be two annotations that you can choose to ignore. One is from [UnaBubba] saying something very sharp and sometimes so tenuously related to the idea that, if you didn’t know better, would think he spends the majority of his free time taking inkblot tests. And the second is a classic [PeterSealy] telling you that your idea is completely and utterly Baked because way back, a permutation of a permutation of the germ of a related idea was thought of by somebody whose name nobody cares to remember anyway.   

       Then there’ll be the usual stacks-on of pun, technical, and philosophical points-of-view, pun, pun, some pedantry, ‘all hail [jutta]’ posts, pun and lashings of wit. Now hopefully, (and this is only my opinion,) if your idea was any good, either there will be a lot of croissants, or the annotations will finish up on a completely different subject to your idea.   

       I delete my ideas that attract a lot of cats, but not many annotations telling me why the idea is crap, or how to make it better - the obvious message there is ‘this is crap, end of story’. I also delete those ideas that attract no annotations – the message there is ‘this is boring’. High croissant scoring ideas aren’t necessarily good by any stretch, but I keep them to inflate my ego. I delete unsuccessful ideas within a week, otherwise I'll forget.   

       I know that it's not the best system. And yes, I realise that if "Vagina Jam" were my idea, it would be a keeper, but that’s what I’ve come up with. Try and stop me.   

       Ultimately, the etiquette guide is intrinsic in the ideas. If I were [PeterSealy], I might even say it is Baked, in the ideas. When, in the future Hotcakes read this idea, “Praising decent ideas a little more often so people don't get upset and run away.”, “Voting Discussion Guideline”, et al., they’ll pretty quickly get the picture.
sdm, Oct 06 2001

       Always delete beauxeault's annotations. Thanks in advance.
iuvare, Oct 06 2001

       Thought processes, or voices?
sdm, Oct 06 2001

       I don't delete annotations. Granted, I have few ideas posted and most of them have been well received, so...I wouldn't delete an annotation unless it was offensive.   

       Don't post things using custard, nanotech, genetic modificiation, Bluetooth, or explosions.   

       If you do, don't whine when it gets boned.   

       Try and keep things at least SLIGHTLY practical. 'Dismantling the Moon to build a really big staircase to Jupiter' is stupid.   

       NEVER say "Let someone else figure it out". If you don't have any idea how to do it, don't bother posting it. Needing help on details is one thing, but the Dilbert style 'I didn't know how to design a power supply, so here's a block of wood with a nail in it. You can modify it if you need to' is irritating.   

       Don't try to argue from authority without something to back you up. <See 'A REAL Anti-Gravity Generator'>. If you assert that something IS, be prepared to supply its name and address.   

       Arguing with people is ok, but if you're a jerk, everyone will ignore you and make fun of you and dogs will refuse to be seen with you. Being correct or at least amusing when you argue is best. And ghod help you if you misuse apostrophes and El Pedanto comes for you.
StarChaser, Oct 06 2001

       Rods Tiger: I take it you haven't heard the dance remix album? It does have a great reggae version of 'Spirit of Man'. For real.   

       On topic: I've only ever deleted one or two of my own ideas, because usually I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I do however post up my own m-f-d / m-f-e annos on some of them, for various reasons: ones that don't get any interest; ones that look pants in retrospect; one-off jokes that don't have any staying power. Leave them to the mercy of jutta, I reckon.   

       I haven't deleted an anno yet and I'm not sure I would. Even if it was a truly offensive beyond-the-pale remark, I'd rather give the troll a sound thrashing in a polite and sophisticated - yet savage - rebuttal. And remarks that are just irrelevant sometimes give rise to the funniest threads I've read on the 1/2 B. If I wittered on about something that I found tremendously amusing on someone else's idea, however... well, it's the author's right to send my bad pun or parody song to oblivion where it belongs.   

       Anyhoo, etiquette is just respect for other people and the environment itself, IMHO, along with a certain level of critical self-awareness. Personally, I rather quickly became interested enough to check out the *guidelines* ideas (as mentioned by [sdm]), find out what the older 1/2bakers think of doughboys (hotcakes, newbies, whatever...) and judge my own behaviour accordingly. It may not have radically changed the way I post or annotate but it did help inform my understanding of what to do and what not to do on the 1/2B. I rather suspect, though, that the ones who need an etiquette guide most of all are the mad, wandering trolls who will never actually find it on the 1/2B, never mind use it.   

       But what do I know? I am a doughboy myself, after all.
Guy Fox, Oct 06 2001

       <rant> lol, TYPING IDEAS IN ALL CAPS and exessive :)s should all be avoided at all costs!!!!!!!<\rant> oh and rants...
RobertKidney, Oct 06 2001

       Personally, I don't like the idea of "rules" not already set being imposed on the halfbakery as it would/could deter some of the more oddball ideas that actually are good. Besides that, personalities may not vary so much as people wouldn't want to violate rules. Most rules here are unwritten law that you may have to brush against before you find out about them, but my suggestions include not making too many mentions of trends that have passed (custard, paintball this-and-that, etc.). Yes, when those ideas were newer they were frenzied upon and spawned countless side-ideas, but they grow old and bitter, just like many of the 1/2 bakers here.

Internet cuteness is, often times, very harshly criticized. Take Sparki for example. Name and ideas just reek of ^___^ kewt<3! which pisses most of us off (for the record, I thought the whole situation was funny).

Basically, I can sum it up as such:

Don't be annoying
Don't try to piss anyone off
Don't try to NOT piss anyone off. (Not only because that's impossible since most people here are always pissed at everything, but also because that makes it too boring around here)
depending on who criticizes, it may be taken to the point of them calling you a moron for pretty much anything
Be yourself. Or someone else, hell, I don't care. Just have some personality.
AfroAssault, Oct 07 2001

       I find this rather amusing. Proud to be new and disturbed that anyone feels a guide is needed. If we get it wrong then so be it, deal with it!
sven3012, Oct 08 2001

       How much time do you guys spend on here? It *must* be excessive. Even my hour or two per day gets noticed at work, but I love the way that the HB doesn't look like a typical website at first glance (to my boss), due to the lack of ads. I think that buys me some breathing space.
stupop, Oct 08 2001

       Your boss is a HalfBakery regular. That's why you get away with it.
hippo, Oct 08 2001

       Rule of thumb: Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.
thumbwax, Feb 13 2002

       // I believe it was either hippo or waugs, insinuated that I pretty much had no mind of my own. //   

       That must have been that no-good trouble maker hippo. I would never do such a thing. (blink, blink)   

       I'll take credit for the sound talking-to, however (though I have no recollection of it).
waugsqueke, Feb 22 2002

       Oh yes, I remember now. If you find me inspiring, God help you, woman.
waugsqueke, Feb 25 2002

       Selling yourself short there, Mr. Queke.
bristolz, Feb 26 2002

       No, I don't think he is. <muffled sniggers>
hippo, Feb 26 2002

       I'd rather sell myself tall, Ms. Stolz.
waugsqueke, Feb 26 2002

       Is that legal? <See what I mean about the sniggers?>
bristolz, Feb 27 2002

       Doesn't matter if it's legal if it's not possible. Selling myself long... that has possibilities. <Snickers, sniggers - I told you he was a trouble maker.>   

       Blatant attempt to divert back on topic follows.   

       //1. When is it ok to delete your ideas? What should I do if I get [marked for deletion]? //   

       You have m-f-d'ed your own idea in asking the question.
waugsqueke, Feb 27 2002


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