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Netiquette (rules of conduct in the forum)

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  • Netiquette (rules of conduct in the forum)

    Netiquette (rules of conduct in the forum)

    For those who don't know what the word netiquette means: it is a made-up word from (inter)net and etiquette, i.e. it refers to a code of rules of conduct for dealing with each other in electronic media.
    This article is intended to help you become familiar with the customs and practices that have become established when exchanging information on the Internet, and to help you overcome the most important stumbling blocks. Although the rules are written for dealing with public discussion forums, such as newsgroups or mailing lists, they apply mutatis mutandis to other methods of communication, e.g. chat, mail, World Wide Web.

    1. never forget that there is a human being sitting on the other side of the table.

    Unfortunately, most people do not think at the moment of writing their articles and mails that the messages are read not exclusively by computers, but also by (other?) living beings, first of all by humans.

    Your message can be read by people all over the world. Always keep this in mind and don't get carried away with verbal outbursts. Remember, the more outrageous and rude you are, the fewer people will be willing to help you if you ever need something.

    A simple rule of thumb: never write anything that you wouldn't say to the addressee's face in front of other people.

    2. Read first, think later. Read again, think again.

    The risk of misunderstanding is especially high in a written medium. Make sure several times that the author of the post to which you want to respond meant what you think. In particular, check to see if irony, sarcasm, or a similar variant of humor may have been used without marking it with the smiley symbol "".

    In general, formulate your contributions as precisely and briefly as possible, so that no queries are necessary if possible. Pay attention to form and spelling.

    3. share something new!

    Your contribution is public and can be read worldwide. Therefore, share something new when you post!

    To avoid asking the same questions over and over again, the forum has an integrated full text search.
    Before creating a new post, please check if the topic/question has not already been sufficiently covered in the forum!

    Enter a text or the part of a text that could best describe your problem. The full text search also takes into account the headers of posts, i.e. author, topic and e-mail address. Please make good use of the search function, because no one, especially participants who have been around a while, wants to rehash the same problems over and over again.

    Make your point of view clear, and express yourself in an understandable way. By arguing coherently, you can avoid many misunderstandings from the outset.

    Remember, however, that no one likes to read posts that are several hundred lines long. Your contribution should be short and concise, but without sacrificing comprehension.

    4. your contributions speak for you -- be proud of them!

    Most people on the net only know and judge you based on what you write in forums and mail. Therefore, try to make your posts easy to understand and as error-free as possible.

    A Duden or dictionary next to the computer may seem to some as an exaggeration, but on the other hand a contribution that is as error-free as possible (spelling and punctuation!) and well formulated will be taken more seriously than a contribution that is almost illegible due to errors or incomprehensible due to poor choice of words.

    Keep in mind that your concern will be poorly represented by a contribution that does not meet elementary requirements of style, form and level.

    Maybe your future colleagues or your future boss will read it. Prejudices are easily formed.

    5. take your time when writing a contribution!

    Some people think it is enough to "hack" a post into the computer in a few minutes. However, especially with regard to the previous points, this is hardly possible. You should take your time to write a post.

    Before writing, make sure that others have not already written an equivalent response.

    Each post should be read through and revised completely at least once before final submission. For this purpose, it is recommended to use the preview function ("Preview" button in the contribution form). This way you can see how your post will look later in the forum.

    Sometimes it is also recommended to sleep on the post again. Often the next day it turns out that you reacted too impulsively or wrote an insult.

    6. do not neglect the presentation of your contribution!

    Capitalization makes the text more readable. Paragraphs serve to structure and loosen up the text. Furthermore, dots and commas should be a matter of course.

    Your own text and quoted text should always be separated by a blank line. It is better not to use justification, as spaces of varying width make reading more difficult.

    Avoid excessive use of smilies, capitalization, lowercase and boldface.
    You can also find further basic tips on text layout in the Duden (rules for typing) or in the corresponding DIN 5008 (writing and layout rules for word processing).

    7. Pay attention to the "Subject:" line!

    When writing a contribution, please pay special attention to the content of the "Subject:" line. Here should be described in short words the content of the post, so that a reader can decide whether it is of interest to him or not.

    So, the most important thing should be at the beginning of the topic line.

    In the specialist forums, use the categories, such as "Exhaust system" or "Electrics" to categorize the topic more precisely. Later, it will be easier to search for posts on the individual categories, such as "Electrics".

    8. think about the readership!

    Before posting, think about the people you want to reach with your message.

    For example, a post titled "Failure of a Cylinder Bank" is certainly much better off in the "Engineering" forum than in the "Smalltalk" forum.
    The basic topic of all forums is dedicated to the 8 series BMW, in all forums! If you have a topic that has nothing to do with it, please turn to other web forums or use the "Smalltalk" forum.

    If possible, answer only sensibly and do not write e.g. only "thank you" or similar.

    Multiposting" of the (same) post in several forums or posting the same post several times in one forum is undesirable. If you do not know where the topic belongs, then read the description of the forums again. If this does not help you, then post the contribution first in "Germany, Switzerland, Austria" forum.

    9. be careful with humor, irony and sarcasm!

    Make sure that you mark your ironically meant remarks in such a way that no misunderstandings are provoked. Remember: In a written medium, none of your facial expressions and gestures come across that you would use in personal conversations.

    There are a number of symbols on the web for this purpose called smileys, the most common of which are "" and "". If you don't immediately see what these smiley symbols are supposed to mean, just put your head on your left shoulder and look again ...

    For the reader, if a text seems misleading or illogical, consider that it could be meant ironically or sarcastically. 10.

    10. shorten quoted text to the necessary minimum!

    It is a good habit to quote short excerpts of the text you are referring to verbatim and preface your own text. To do this, use the button in the post you want to quote.

    Make it a habit to leave just enough of the original text so that the reader does not lose the context. Quoted text (quote) is only a rough guide to your thoughts, what is much more important is what you have new, interesting, own thoughts to add.

    If possible, do not quote text that has already been quoted again. Instead of quoting text verbatim, you can also replace it with a short paraphrase enclosed in square brackets [...].

    However, do not omit the original text altogether either (zero quotation)! The reader of your post will most likely not remember the exact post you are referring to and will have great difficulty making sense of your remarks without a thought support.

    Citing signature or signature is an unfortunately widespread bad habit and undesirable unless it is referred to in terms of content.

    For a detailed, very good guide on how to properly cite, see

    11. use e-mail or PM (Private Message)!

    If you want to communicate something to the author of a post, please consider whether this would enrich the ongoing discussion and might interest others -- or whether a simple e-Mail or PM would be more appropriate.

    Example: Heated discussions sometimes degenerate into wild orgies of abuse (so-called "flame wars"). Then, at the latest, the time has come when no one but the disputants is interested in the discussion any more.

    It is also better to report spelling mistakes, technical problems, obvious errors, or netiquette violations via email or PM, if possible. (This exceptionally does not apply to moderators, whose job it is to keep the discussion orderly).

    It is usually impolite to post replies by email or PM in addition publicly. You should choose: either email or forums, but not both. If you do it anyway, be sure to indicate this at the beginning of the message, such as "[posted and mailed]". But remember: It's better to choose one communication medium -- e-mail or forums!

    In general, if you want to communicate something that is likely to interest other people, use the forums. Otherwise, email or PM is more appropriate.

    If you realize that you posted something incorrectly or meant to say something differently, change your post. Use the button in your post to do so.

    Note: Changing a post should only happen if it is absolutely necessary - especially if your post has already been replied to! Because other forum participants may refer to your original post and the whole topic becomes incomprehensible if the original post is changed. Therefore: Think first, then post!

    Reply to your own posts if you have found a solution to a problem yourself in the meantime and tell the other participants how you solved the problem (see next section). This will save the other helpful participants from having to search for an answer to the question or for a solution to the problem behind it. In the time saved in this way, solutions can then be found for other problems.

    Otherwise, avoid an answer to yourself!

    12. give a collection of your realizations to the net!

    If you have asked a question to the net community and received answers to it outside of the forum, e.g. personally or by email or PM, which could possibly interest other people, summarize the results (meaningfully shortened), and let thereby also others profit from the answers to your question.

    Point this out from the start if you are going to post a summary anyway. This will help you avoid superfluous responses of the type "Please do post a summary.", "Please email me a summary.", "Send me a copy.", "Me too.", "Add me.", etc.

    Accordingly, for readers: If you would like someone to post a summary, ask them to do so by email or PM, definitely not publicly.

    Remember: it's considered rude to just ask questions and demand answers via email in a forum you don't read. No one likes to read forums where there are only questions but no answers.

    13. pay attention to the legal regulations!

    Be careful not to break any laws with your post:

    Be careful when quoting from copyrighted works. Do not commit crimes. Do not incite crimes.

    If you are unsure whether you might be violating someone's rights, ask them beforehand by email or PM what they think of your intentions.

    Posting emails or PMs is -- aside from its possible legal consequences -- grossly rude and should not be done without the explicit consent of the author.

    Since your posts can be read by an audience of millions, be cautious about what you write about others.

    Continued posting of posts that violate this netiquette is spamming and therefore a criminal offense! If you spam in the forums, the moderation may complain to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). They could block your access to the net.

    The net is not a lawless space!

    14. be careful with pseudonyms!

    The use of pseudonyms (nicknames) is permitted in the forums. With the nickname you appear to the other forum participants. Therefore, choose a nickname and keep it!

    A change of the user name is therefore only exceptionally after consultation with the Admin possible.

    The nickname can be chosen freely under consideration of the legal regulations and the good customs. reserves the right to delete nicknames and/or demand their immediate change if they are illegal, racist, pornographic, sexist or otherwise offensive. Further posting with these names will be considered spamming.

    By the way, pseudonyms or anonymous hosts offer no protection if one harms the forums or its participants or if one wants to commit crimes. As with most electronic media, it is possible to trace them back in the event of an emergency.

    15. be careful with commercial stuff!

    A certain amount of commercial information is tolerated in the forums. For example, addresses of companies that offer a certain product that someone has asked for. On the other hand, the dissemination of purely advertising information is considered impertinent. Especially if a certain volume is exceeded or posted without being asked.

    Advertising contributions with profit intentions are possible only after consultation with the Admin liable to pay the costs.

    Own developments for the 8ter are excluded from it and expressly desired.

    16. caution with pictures!

    You can insert external graphic files over the [img]-tags into your forum contributions.

    But this possibility should not be abused for large and/or squeaky banner ads. Only links to standard static graphics, i.e. those in GIF, JPEG, or PNG format, should be included here. In particular, do not link to animated GIFs (GIF89a)!

    Make sure that images do not exceed a size of 150 kB and 900 pixels wide! Larger images should not be inserted into the forum post via the [img] tag, but linked. E.G.:

    If the allowed size is exceeded, you have to expect that the moderator will change the posts and in case of repetition will issue a warning.

    Remember: All participants should get something out of the forums and your contribution, not only those with large bandwidth and high resolution.

    17. "Du" or "Sie"?

    From the German language of the forums arises the question whether one should "duzen" or "Siezen" other net participants in forums and mail. It usually applies: If you are on first-name terms, you want to be on first-name terms. If you are on first-name terms, you want to be on first-name terms.

    However, most participants in the 8 Forum are on first-name terms, regardless of their social position. And many who are on first-name terms do so only at first, because they did not yet know that most people prefer a "you". If one is gesiezt, one should nevertheless not immediately with the "you" begin, but ask before whether this is ok for the other.

    18. user profile: signatures, avatars

    User profile: In the member area, you can change your profile and specify, among other things, your name, your current vehicle, etc. It is a sign of politeness towards the other forum members to fill out the user profile as completely as possible. If you follow the netiquette and especially point 4 "Be proud of your contributions", you have no reason to hide or appear anonymous in the forum.

    Signature: Also in the member area you can set a signature. Here it is not allowed to place advertisements, banners or larger images (larger than 600x100 pixels). The signature should not take up more space than a 600x100 pixel (width x height) image.

    User picture/avatar: In the member area you can change your user picture/avatar. Only meaningful pictures are allowed here, i.e. pictures of the member himself, or of his car or a combination thereof. Everything else is not wanted! In case of doubt you should contact a moderator and clarify if your picture is ok or not.

    19. unwanted topics/posts in the forum

    In addition to the things already mentioned in the other points of the netiquette (compare e.g. point 13 "legal regulations and point 15 "caution with commercial"), all contributions that could affect the general level of the forum are undesirable. This includes, among other things, any jokes that a teacher would not be allowed to tell in front of his class and pictures that show, for example, naked genitals, etc.

    Posts about ETK, TIS, etc.: People often ask about ETK or TIS on the forum. This is software for the Electronic Parts Catalog (ETK), and the Technical Information System (TIS). These and similar applications may only be used by the BMW Group itself and BMW workshops. An information system via the Internet ( is available for other workshops.

    Use outside this circle of users is not permitted. Questions e.g. about these CDs, sources of supply for the software as well as installation and operating instructions are therefore not allowed in the public forum and will be deleted.

    Advertising for other internet sites/forums: In accordance with the customs and rules of other forums and boards, we follow the general procedure here in that we do not allow members to be specifically "poached" for other forums and to write posts that are solely for the purpose of advertising for other sites. For answering technical questions, it is allowed to refer to specific contents of other pages. This also applies to thematically appropriate information, such as news, etc.

    20. moderation in the forum

    Why moderation?
    As experience has shown, there are always troublemakers in the forum, who can cause damage to the entire forum in a short time through appropriate contributions. To prevent this, the forum is kept "clean" with the help of moderators.
    If illegal contributions are posted, they must be removed as soon as possible, otherwise it could lead to negative, up to civil and criminal consequences and possibly even to the shutdown of the forum. Therefore, it is important that the forum is monitored in some way.

    What additional rights/functions does a moderator have?
    Moderators have the technical ability to move, merge, edit or delete posts or entire threads in their forum.

    When does a moderator intervene in the forum?
    Posts in the forum will only be moved, edited or deleted by moderators if they violate netiquette or the terms of use. Whether a forum post does not comply with the netiquette or the terms of use is in doubt at the discretion of the moderator. If a moderator intervenes, he refers to the corresponding point in the netiquette that has been violated.

    How do I behave towards moderators?
    Moderators are only human and not free of mistakes. All forum members should be grateful to them for spending their free time to keep order in the forum. Often decisions of forum members can not be understood, for example when a post was deleted. This is understandable, but you should still trust that the moderator has acted in the spirit of the forum. If this is not the case from your point of view, this can be reported to the moderator or the administrator via email or PM. Under no circumstances, however, should the moderator's authority be questioned by public criticism, i.e. decisions made by the moderator are not to be discussed publicly in the forum under any circumstances.

    Always remember: the administrators and moderators work very hard on this forum, even though it may not seem like it. They want to create an environment that pleases as many people as possible and they want to keep the order a little bit, but they can't please everyone. If ever a post is edited or a thread is closed: Think about why it happened or ask the admins/mods in a calm, matter-of-fact tone.

    Of course, the moderators cannot have their eyes everywhere. If you notice a post that violates netiquette or the terms of use, please report the post.

    21. why should I follow the netiquette?

    Your posts in the forum are read by many people around the world. Maybe you will meet one of them tomorrow on the street or at one of the regulars' tables or community meetings. So present yourself well in the forum!

    Why should I follow netiquette when others do not?
    You are not others. If others jump from a skyscraper, you don't have to jump after them. In extreme cases, the other person will be banned from this forum.

    And consider this: where would this lead if everyone here responded to an unsubtle posting in an even more unsubtle way. Such a thing is not tolerated here!

    Your admins and moderators