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Netiquette: A Mod's guide to posting and keeping yourself safe...
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momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
Now that I have your attention! Since we seem to be spending a lot of time reminding people about not posting in all caps etc., I thought I'd dig around for some resources to help everyone with basic netiquette! I think this article says it quite well. I have added a few moderator notes in the spots with a bit more info about how we look at posts...

Internet Etiquette Tips for a Safe and Fun Online Experience Aug 6, 2007 Jace Shoemaker-Galloway

Proper manners are as important online as they are offline. Follow these 10 simple Netiquette guidelines for a fun and safe online experience!

Netiquette is a term derived from the words "Internet Etiquette” or “Network Etiquette" which describes the use of proper manners and behavior online. Internet Etiquette should be used in all areas of electronic means including email, chatting, blogging, forums, message boards, and so on.

It is important to treat others with dignity and respect both on and offline. Although the rules may vary depending on the specific forum used, the following Top 10 Netiquette guidelines will offer some basic Internet tips and suggestions to provide a pleasant and safe online experience.

1. Use Computer Courtesy

Whether a person is sending an email, chatting in a chat room or speaking in a forum, it is important to be courteous and respectful of others online. Always remember the Golden Rule!

2. Use Emoticons -

When communicating online, it can be difficult to gauge a writer's emotion. Unless a web camera or microphone is used, the writer's expression or emotion is difficult to determine. By using emoticons, the writer's proper emotion will be conveyed to the reader.

MOD NOTE: don't just post emoticons or smileys...say something! Don't go overboard with emoticons though; they can make a post hard to read

3. Be Brief Online -

It is important to keep messages short, especially when writing an email or typing in a chat room. By using common chat abbreviations or acronyms, not only will the reader appreciate the brevity of the message, it will save the author valuable time typing the message. Remember, keep it short and be brief!

MOD NOTE: don't use so many abbreviations that us old folks can't figure out what you're saying!

4. DON’T SHOUT

No matter what forum, writing in all capital letters is considered SHOUTING and is considered very rude. A word or two in caps is fine, but shouting is not recommended.

5. Pay Attention to Language Issues -

Improper, inappropriate or bad language may get a participant kicked out or permanently banned from a forum or group. It is also important to remember people from other countries may be participating in the conversation and language barriers may be an issue.

MOD NOTE: If in doubt about an expression or a word, don't use it!

6. Think Before Posting

It is important to note, what is posted online today, may come back and haunt the writer tomorrow. That silly or fun photograph posted on a social networking site, may keep that person from getting a job later on. Many colleges and employers are now searching social networking sites prior to hiring.

7. Keep Personal Information Private

Posting private and personal information in the wrong location can have serious consequences. Identity theft is a rapidly growing concern. Divulging too much information could give predators and those with bad intentions valuable information. Be careful where personal information is posted. If private information is posted in a group setting, read the guidelines prior to posting. Children should not post private information online.

8. Obey Copyright Laws

Obey copyright laws. Don’t steal!

9. Help Internet Newbies

Be patient and helpful with others. Remember, everyone was a newbie once.

10. Be Aware of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is increasing rapidly. Parents should talk honestly and openly to children about the issues of electronic bullying. Studies suggest most children do NOT tell a trusted adult if they are a victim of electronic bullying. If targeted by a cyberbully, do not respond. Keep all ORIGINAL correspondence, with dates and times if possible. If the messages are of a threatening nature or safety is a concern, contact local law enforcement as soon as possible.

By following these simple and straightforward Netiquette guidelines, the online experience will be enjoyable and safe for all!

MOD NOTE: Report any incidents of bullying or other abuse issues to Support through the ticket system; bear in mind that you will NOT be told the outcome of Support's investigations. Privacy issues prevent Support from sharing how they act in such cases.

Read more at Suite101: Top 10 Netiquette Guidelines: Internet Etiquette Tips for a Safe and Fun Online Experience http://internet.suite101.com/article.cfm/netiquette_guidelines#ixzz0lZwIf4XG

So have fun in the Forums but please mind your Ps & Qs (really have to look up what that means...lol) and watch your manners! Your fellow users WILL appreciate it!

Your moderating team


Users accessing urls to offsite websites do so at their own risk. iWin is not responsible for viruses, malware, computer malfunctions or any other problems which occur as a result of such access. Access to such sites should be through your browser and not the Game Manager.  

This message was edited 14 times. Last update was at Sat, 4 Jan 2014 07:46

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
Here is a quote I found that explains a bit of why typing in all caps is considered yelling; I think it explains it quite well, complete with examples...

FROM THE SITE - www.al6400.com/internet/netiquette
Sentence Capitalization
When writing out sentences or phrases, capitalizing an entire word often implies to the reader that you are yelling. As an example, let's take a simple sentence such as "Today is going to be a sunny day". At first glance, it would appear that the individual is simply stating in a calm voice that the weather is going to be good. Now let's change it to "Today IS going to be a sunny day". With the capitalization of the word "IS", most people would interpret it as if you are counteracting someone else's opinion by heavily emphasizing the word. If the sentence is then written out as "TODAY IS GOING TO BE A SUNNY DAY", it would generally be perceived as if you are overly excited and yelling this statement at others. Not only can writing words entirely in capital letters can confuse the reader, but it is also visually straining for many people to read.

So there you go...it's not a case of the mods being nit-picky, it's just polite and good manners...Dee, volunteer moderator  

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Thu, 22 Apr 2010 14:21

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
TODAY'S TOPIC - Message Flooding!
From - www.al6400.com/internet/netiquette
It's pretty safe to assume that when one posts up messages for others to read, they generally want their opinions to be heard. However, some people go through extreme lengths to accomplish this goal by frequently re-publishing their message in every place possible. Having to sift through dozens of duplicate messages that people did not find any interest in at the beginning only creates turmoil amongst users.

Well, I don't know about turmoil amongst the users but the mods will have something to say about it...If you cross-post your question across several threads, you're message flooding...if we notice it, we will delete the posts...so consider where best to ask your question or give your comment and post it there...and only there... and be patient! Someone may come along with an answer for you but it may take a while...bumping by posting to bring your thread back to the top is also a no-no...actually providing more information is fine but just saying "why is no one helping?" or "Hello" will not get you help faster but may just get that post deleted...

What can I say about posts that just say "Hi!"? Well, unless you're in the Featuring You section of the forums, I can say they will be deleted. I bring those types of posts up under Message Flooding since that's how we usually see them, spread out all over the forum...You don't get a prize for raising your post counts so don't bother to just post Hi to see your numbers go up...If you are posting to the Featuring You threads, try and share some (but not too much...) information about yourself...Introduce yourself; give the other users a reason to engage...

This concludes today's lesson in Netiquette...stay tuned for more tidbits...If there is a point about Netiquette you'd like more info about, let me know and I'll go digging and see what I can post to help you out!
 
joanietreb
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Messages: 538 , Offline
Dee, i've got a question about acronyms and/or selected shortcuts in communicating. Every once in a while, i'll receive a message of seemingly random initials. Is this from someone who can't type, or just some kids fooling around? Thanks for the netiquette lessons  
squeetosgal
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Messages: 41 , Offline
I'd like to know the answer to joanietreb's question as well-I've had that happen quite a bit lately.  
sophidia
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Messages: 437 , Offline
I get some messages once in a while,
The words seem to consist of random letters.
I never get an answer if i ask what it means.
Sometimes I think they use maybe a totally different keybord with a language like arabic or chinese
and it get converted here in a unreadable code.No idea if it is possible though.  

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Tue, 27 Apr 2010 09:00

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
Thanks for the suggestion ladies! I guess I have my research needs laid out for me for my next post...forum speak or text-speak...humm...let's see what I can find to help you out...Dee, volunteer moderator  
momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
Getting your point across is easier with clear communication. We aren't expecting everyone to be a column journalist, but a little effort is recommended. It's better for the writer to put in the effort once, rather than each reader having to do it. On the other hand - this isn't an English test. Heavy criticism of others is not appropriate.

So please avoid text-speak and huge sentences with no breaks etc and you should be fine. Apart from being irritating to read for many people, SMS text speak prevents the forum search facility from working properly. Emoticons or smileys used to convey emotions in your post are fine, within reason...Just posting a bunch of smileys or emoticons wil get your post deleted.... "Use your words" as my mom used to say!

IF you're curious about that cryptic message on your wall, here a few links to sites where text-speak or forum-speak acronyms can be found and decyphered...
http://netforbeginners.about.com/cs/netiquette101/a/abbreviations_2.htm
http://www.netlingo.com/dictionary/all.php

There is also something called Leet speak - too confusing for my liking but since it is used to really obscure messages, here is a link to how it works...but no Leet-speak in the forums please...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leet

There are a few acronyms I thought were awfully cute, unexpected or just funny, so here is a sample:
IANAL = I am not a lawyer
SWMBO = wife ('She Who Must Be Obeyed') (I particularly like this one!)
RTFM = Read The "Fantastic" Manual (edited by myself to maintain appropriateness to all rule...)
4COL = For Crying Out Loud
9 = Parent is watching
99 = Parent is no longer watching
AIAMU = And I'm A Monkey's Uncle
DEGT = Don't Even Go There
and finally

DUNA = Don't Use No Acronyms

I hope this helps a few of you figure out what that message on your wall might mean...just remember that sometimes, a bunch of apparently unconnected letters strung together might actually mean something but sometimes, it's just a bunch of letters strung together...


and now for the usual disclaimer - Users accessing urls to offsite websites do so at their own risk. iWin is not responsible for viruses, malware, computer malfunctions or any other problems which occur as a result of such access. Access to such sites should be through your browser and not the Game Manager  

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Sun, 2 May 2010 12:04

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
Today's issue - Language in the forums...are the mods just being prudes?

There, I've said it! There are certainly a few users out there who think we are when they see their posts edited for language issues...so this is posted in the hope that people posting to the Forums will understand where we are coming from on this issue and why the posts too often have those little asterisks in the middle of a sentence or posts...

This is a family site with younger members involved in the threads and on the games but anybody that comes onto the site with the expectations that it IS a family site, has the right to expect that they will not be assaulted with crude, rude and inappropriate wording in the posts that they read or on the walls that they visit...Posts that are appropriate viewing for everyone are expected and anything else will get deleted...

Think about what you post and ask yourself if you would want your son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandkids, grandmother, father-in-law, rabbi, minister, teacher etc seeing that. Is it an appropriate example to set as an adult to the younger generation or as one adult to another? Berating, ridiculing or flaming other users in the forum is not allowed. We are a community and will not tolerate this type of behavior; no one needs to be called "stupid" or "ignorant"...you get the idea. Respect for others is the key; if you're annoyed, then take a breath and consider whether a response is even necessary...probably not... and definitely not if you're just planning on taking a strip off someone...constructive criticism is one thing; just abusing someone else is never OK.

Some expressions are used by many but that doesn't mean they aren't offensive...this is an international community so what you think is ok may be extremely rude to someone else...some words just get used without any idea as to their origins...for example - a lot of words commonly used to add "punch" to a post are words with a sexual basis..I won't actually list examples because I'm sure you can figure out the words I mean...and a few others as well if you think about their meaning; I'm not a prude, just respectful of others and see no need to offend them just to make a point...so DO NOT post them in the forums because they will be deleted! No warning, no discussions, just gone! Arguing with the mods about deletion because of inappropriate language will get you nowhere...just watch the words you use and there will be no need for us to delete...seems easy enough... If in doubt, don't say it!

Remember that there is a diverse community here and consider your comments in that light; will it offend, insult, hurt or otherwise have a negative impact on other members? If the answer is yes, then you should rethink what you're about to post...everyone is entitled to their opinion but if it crosses the line and might do any of the previously listed, then feel free to express those opinions or comments, just not on these forums!
 

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Wed, 5 May 2010 07:31

momaie
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Well, it's been a while since I added to this thread but I've been pondering what to cover next...that and some wedding planning for my eldest has kept me just a tad busy...but I think I have come up with a topic that might be worth covering...so the topic of the day is "When is a post 1) off-topic or 2) flaming or trolling"...

Right, let's start with the easy one - Off-topic - seems obvious doesn't it? BUT just in case...An off-topic post would have little or no relevance to the discussion under way in the particular topic...like asking about one game when an entirely different game is being discussed or talking about a Hotel room problem in a Game Chat topic or talking about wanting more Opals while everyone else is talking about a problem they're having with clearing a quest in a game...posting off-topic can also be considered hijacking, as in turning a thread's discussion around to what you want to talk about, not what the others were discussing...If you want to talk about something else, start your own thread...after making sure there isn't one already started on the topic of course...

Depending on how off-topic the post is and whether it's the user's first time slipping up or a repeat offence, the post may be deleted or the user might just get a reminder to stay on topic..An off-topic post may be left in the topic with the warning for a while so the poster sees it but then it will get deleted. It's just a question of fairness to the user who started the topic and to the other users who have come along to share their ideas on the topic....So join in the discussions but keep to the topic being discussed; add something to the conversation! Agreeing with previous posters is very nice but please put your two cents worth in too! One thing though, throwing in a few words about the actual topic into a mainly off-topic post to try and pass it off as on-topic is a no-go...It will not save it from deletion...

Disagreeing is also ok as long as you express yourself respectfully and explain your point of view and share in the discussion in a positive manner...A discussion is, after all, a sharing of points of view...
 

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at Sat, 4 Jan 2014 07:52

momaie
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As I said in my last post, a discussion is a sharing of points of view...and that brings me to flaming and trolling...first a few definitions...courtesy of Wikipedia & Wikimedia, because everyone knows Wiki....

Flaming (also known as bashing) is hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users. Flaming usually occurs in the social context of a discussion board, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), Usenet, by e-mail, game servers such as Xbox Live or Playstation Network, and on Video-sharing websites. It is usually the result of the discussion of heated real-world issues like politics, sports, religion, and philosophy, or of issues that polarise subpopulations. Internet trolls frequently set out to incite flame wars for the sole purpose of offending or irritating other posters. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flaming_(Internet)

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Troll

Trolling is a violation of the implicit rules of Internet social spaces and is often done to inflame or invite conflict. It necessarily involves a value judgment made by one user about the value of another's contribution....The nature of trolls is to slip from any definition intended to constrain their actions and to find new and innovative ways to annoy....Not to be confused with large warty monsters thought to dwell under bridges, in caves etc.....
- http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/What_is_a_troll

Trolls can be costly in several ways. A troll can disrupt the discussion on a newsgroup, disseminate bad advice, and damage the feeling of trust in the newsgroup community.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Troll


Flaming and trolling in the Forums is clearly prohibited, as you can see if you check the Code of Conduct but, as trolls don't tend to follow the rules, it is an ongoing problem in many Forums and happens even here in the iWin community...Many trolling posts, although on initial reading may seem to just be a user's expression of his or her point of view, tend to have that little extra add-on that is meant to bait the community or, in some cases, a particular user, to react to the post itself...subtlety is the key to this as the post is written to appear genuine while the words are carefully chosen to incite conflict...

The golden rule about reacting to trolls is "Don't feed the Trolls", which really just means don't give the troll the satisfaction he or she seeks by reacting to their post...now, that works fine in theory as a troll's "raisin d'être" is to provoke and disrupt and if no one reacts, then the objective isn't being meant. Often another post by the same user or even a cohort, another user that has been primed to agree with the user, will show up in the topic...just to see if the desired reaction can be obtained. The same can be said of flaming posts; if you ignore them, the user may just give up. But remember that trolls are very good at what they do...otherwise they would stop trolling because there would be no fun in it. If they’re not good at it, they are too easily recognized and must move on quickly as the community catches on to their games.

There are always users who will scan a topic and decide to jump in to agree with the troll; it is what the trolls count on, that their seemingly genuine intervention will get the approval of other users and then the fun begins...their post has now been granted genuine status and the trolls leaves others to continue the game...it usually doesn't get very pretty after this...Sometimes, an intervention from the moderators is in order; we will delete posts that are deemed to be mainly posted to incite conflict, consist of inflammatory or extraneous messages, disseminate bad advice, or damage the feeling of trust in the community. The troll may actually use this to continue their games by pleading to others to take up their “torch” as they are being supposedly silenced by the mods or iWin from telling their “truth”…in effect becoming martyrs to the “cause”; unfortunately that cause is often not as valiant as the troll would have users think…Since the users have only part of the picture, it becomes quite easy to start the game on a whole new level…Users should always consider this – deletions of posts are not done on the whim of the moderators, we have specific guidelines to follow and there are often interactions on other levels that have impacted the decision (PMs, tickets submitted, etc). What users see is only part of the picture so beware of giving your support based on only one side of the story…you may just be being used to continue the game…

If the trolling posts aren't there, it is harder for the community to get pulled into the game and the troll, no longer fed as required, just goes off to find another feeding ground...but they have also been known to show up under another identity and start the game all over again...sigh...

The same thing happens on Hotel walls and is often more successful there as those walls are users' personal space and the offending posts can be more personalized and often more malicious...Hitting "Ignore" for that user will get them off your wall but then they usually move on to your friends' walls to see if they can stir that pot...sad state of affairs but it happens far too often in the Hotel, as any random visiting of rooms can show...Don't feed the trolls (or the flamers for that matter)! "Ignore" is a good start but if you get an offensive post from one on your wall, report them by flagging their room and filing a ticket with a screen shot of the offensive post. Warn your friends about the troll, preferably by PM so that the troll doesn't get the satisfaction of seeing that their post got a reaction...after all, that IS what they're looking for! Do not engage them in conversation as they have had practice at this game and will find a way to get the desired reaction if given the chance...Not everyone who posts negative things on your wall or in the Forums is a troll..some people are just very negative by nature but the same tactics would work well with them as well...Don't become a flaming poster yourself to get back at the offender; that in itself is the reaction they are looking for...in the Forums and on your Hotel walls, as in real life, just walk away...
 

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at Sat, 4 Jan 2014 07:56

sophidia
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Messages: 437 , Offline
Thank you for explaining the words flaming and troll.it gives a totally new dimension to the Harry Potter stories.
Are these words also used in for bringing "truths" in advertising and politics?  

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Mon, 21 Jun 2010 00:20

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
sophidia wrote:Thank you for explaining the words flaming and troll.it gives a totally new dimension to the Harry Potter stories.
Are these words also used in for bringing "truths" in advertising and politics?

Humm...politicians do their fair share of flaming and trolling, don't they? They can get people talking about stuff, based on the slimest of subtle, veiled accusations...certainly keeps the medias busy. Advertisers want to get you talking but if an advertiser spends its ad time flaming another company or product, I tend to tune out...but I can see that some advertisers might use the technique...

As for Harry Potter, sometimes a troll is just a troll...lol... ....
 
momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
I think it's time to cover Rule #7...DO NOT POST PERSONAL INFORMATION! Yes, I was yelling but it has to be heard loud & clear! The internet can be a lot of fun, meeting new people, sharing stories and finding out all kinds of new things...It's easy to get into a really comfortable space where, without thinking, you start sharing way too much! Unless you have met someone face to face or have other means of confirming who they are, it is never a good idea to share personal information with virtual "friends"....Anybody have pen pals when they were kids? We shared all kinds of stories and information with them but we knew where they were at least since we had an address to send those letters to...and our moms & dads had a way of checking on what we were saying and to whom...

With the internet, you don't really have a clue if the person you are sharing all your life's details with is even close to who they say they are...they may or may not be that sweet little thing that sends you recipes or that nice guy who is always so attentive and polite. Don't get me wrong, I have made some marvelous friends through the world of cyberspace...but some information just doesn't get shared unless I have some other way of confirming the person's identity. Posting private and personal information in the wrong location can have serious consequences. Identity theft is a rapidly growing concern. Divulging too much information could give predators and those with bad intentions valuable information. SO JUST BE CAREFUL! I see a lot of wall posts where people are sharing their email addresses with others...I could have collected quite a few over the past while, out there in the open for all to see. Please remember that anyone can wander the rooms in the Hotel and see those wall posts. If you really feel comfortable sharing your email address or other details, then please do so in a PM...at least then only the intended user gets it and not the whole cyberworld community...

TO ALL OUR YOUNGER USERS OUT THERE, THIS PART IS FOR YOU! It goes without saying that children should be extra careful about the information they share; the school they attend, the general area they live in, the teams they belong to, their parents' names, their user names on other sites...all information that can give a predator tools to find you. I see so many wall posts where information is shared with other users that just should NOT be given out! That "kid" who is just so into the same things you like may not be a child at all; they may just be drawing you out to get close and then find out all they need...Users aren't always who they say they are ...so keep your personal information to yourself. Always talk to a parent or adult that you trust and that you know in real life if someone asks you for personal information. NEVER share your email address with a virtual stranger...There are a lot of nice, friendly and helpful people on this site but they are not your parents...so have fun but be safe
!
 
marykruger
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Messages: 258 , Offline
Momaie, Thank you for the reminder. These are vitual people. Some are wonderful. Others seem to be wrighting a soap opera script. We can not be certain if others are not looking for a kind heart to take advantage of. We all need to reassess just how we reply to questions.
Perky
 
momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
This topic has been covered partially in another earlier post but it bears repeating and elaborating on as new users may not be clear on what it implies and some experienced users may need a refresher...so the subject under discussion today is how to avoid being a Pirate! Argg mateys and all that....Or a hijacker..sorry, don't know what they would say...don't really want to either...

Pirating or hijacking a thread is rude and very disrespectful of the initial poster's intent when he or she opened the topic. It's just a question of fairness to the user who started the topic and to the other users who have come along to share their ideas or their information on the topic....Now it's easy to start off on-topic and then veer off into your own issues but the point here is that it's not nice to just take over...remember way back in the school yard when there would be a group playing nicely together at a game they all wanted to play and then that one person came along and just took over...it didn't feel very nice now did it? It may not have been meant to hurt anyone but the ones who started the game ended up feeling like they had been pushed out...Well, consider how that initial poster feels when they see their topic just taken over and now discussing something totally different!

There have been a few cases in the iWin Forums where hijacked or pirated threads have deterioted into rants or complaints when all the initial poster wanted was to share an issue and see if others had the same problem...The moderators have been hesitant to jump in and stop the thread from going off-topic and even at times have actually participated, although unintentionally, in the hijacking of someone's thread by responding to the hijackers...It's not pretty, and it's not fair to the initial poster so we have begun enforcing the rules more stringently. We have learnt from past mistakes and hope that the users will understand.

Depending on how off-topic the post is and whether it's a first time slipping up or a repeat offense, the user might just get a reminder to stay on topic or have their post edited to make it so...Repeat offenses will just be deleted and any other off-topic posts from that user within the thread will also disappear...If you don't agree with a post being deleted, please feel free to contact one of the Moderators by PM for an explanation; do not ask why your post is gone in the topic in question...that ends up off-topic as well and will be deleted also...PMs are the way to go to find out what happened...After all, if your inital post was considered pirating, arguing or asking for explanations within the topic are just a continuation of the pirating...As they say in Star Wars - "Stay on target!"

The long and the short of it is - If you want to talk about something else, start your own thread...after making sure there isn't one already started on the topic of course...

 
momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
OK, this isn't actually in the Netiquette Rules I've been able to find in my research but I most definitely think it should be! Please READ the posts in a topic before adding your own comments! There are so many topics where a question asked and answered is posted again by another user just below the initial posts...what is with that? Really!

It is so frustrating to the moderating team to see these posts because it feels like we are just repeating ourselves and no one is actually looking at what we say...These types of posts just clutter the Forums, make topics long and difficult to get through and just drive everyone else crazy! So PLEASE READ the posts in a topic BEFORE you post! The answers are often there already and you may just learn other interesting stuff while you're at ti!

The same thing applies to those who insist on posting new topics when existing ones already exist; please use the Search iWin.com space to find out if there is already discussion happening about your chosen topic.....READ through the search results and check out the various topics that come up. We have started adding LOCKED or REFERRED to duplicate topic titles to make it obvious to users in a search that this topic is not available for posts but it can still be read! If you read it, you will often find the link to the main or master topic on the game or subject you are looking for...so we're back to PLEASE READ!

Maybe a picture will make it easier...

Pretty, pretty please???
 

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at Mon, 30 Jan 2012 08:08

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
I feel like my mom must have felt when we asked for the umpteenth time "Do you know where my (insert name of "lost" object here) is?" Her response? "Use your eyes!"

 

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at Sat, 4 Jan 2014 08:00

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
One of my siblings was reading this and reminded me that my mom's 2nd response to our "Mom, do you know where (insert "lost object name here"? query was "If I have to come up there..." ; you just knew she would find it in 2 seconds, right where it should be...if we had only opened our eyes!

If everyone puts in just a little effort, what you are looking for is quite often right there; it's just a matter of following the search guidelines we have given and reading the results. IF you really can't find an answer to your question or the hints you need to play on, by all means create a topic and ask away! All we ask is that you try looking first.

Remember that sometimes you may need to change the wording of your search to get results that are more specific to what you are looking for. Just typing in the complete and exact name of a game will reduce the number of results dramatically in some cases...Isn't it worth it to perhaps find the answers you seek right away rather than waiting for someone to notice your post and answer? After all, the objective is to get playing, not waiting...
 

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Tue, 18 Jan 2011 21:15

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline

This particular posting is in reaction to a few not so nice messages your moderating team has been experiencing over the past year...and some posts on Hotel walls that refer to us...Our message to all users about these is simple - DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER! Our "job" is to try and keep the Forums family friendly (language mainly), organized (referrals, locking, deleting duplicates...) and generally workable so that users can get around and find the help they want, without pulling out their hair or just plain giving up. For doing so, we have been subject to attack, some nastier than others, by PMs or in Forum posts and been the object of some rather rude comments on various Hotel walls...We do see those when we wander around looking for ideas for our own rooms or just to see what great rooms others have come up with...when we have time!

So spread the word; the moderators are just doing what iWin has asked us to do. We are not power-tripping nor are we sitting here rubbing our hands together in glee whenever there is a post to be edited or deleted or a topic to be referred or locked....Sometimes, these attacks make us wonder why we do this "job"...and then we remember we signed on because we care about our fellow users and wanted to help...For those of you who have expressed your support, we are grateful! For those of you who will most certainly recognize yourselves (or maybe not... ), ease up and remember that this is a game site with its own rules and all we are doing is ensuring they are followed...If everyone follows the rules, then everyone wins.
 

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Tue, 18 Jan 2011 21:16

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
Something that Markus posted under Maintenance Announcements a while ago caught me eye and I thought it fit quite well with the subject so I'm reposting it here as a reminder to everyone to please NOT POST your email addresses in the Forums or on your Hotel walls! A short wander through the Hotel in the past few days and I could have collecting well over a dozen email addresses from users to do with as I pleased...If you are ABSOLUTELY certain that you want to share your email address with someone you have met through iWin then do so by PM...I really wouldn't recommend you do it at all but it's your identity so yours to worry about...Please remember that anyone you share your email info with may well be someone who is not looking for a new friend but rather digging for personal information to ease their goal of identity theft or worse...

Community Update 10/20/10: Our Customer Service department has received a number of queries from concerned users regarding emails they are receiving from someone purporting to be representing iWin. As the messages are disciplinary in nature regarding alleged Terms of Service violations, the recipients are justifiably concerned. These emails are NOT being generated on behalf of anyone at iWin and seem to be the product of a mischief maker. Please note that our Terms of Service forbid this sort of behavior. There are a couple of things you can do: (1) Be selective in those you give your personal email address to from this or any other website. (2) Any legitimate correspondence from iWin will come from an email address ending in "@iwin.com," never from gmail, hotmail, or yahoo accounts (3) Your spam filter is your friend.
 

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Tue, 18 Jan 2011 21:17

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
I've noticed a trend over the past few months...users quoting others but not add anything to the topic of their own. Not sure why they're doing that but heads-up, those types of posts just get deleted! If you want to add something new to the discussion in a topic, then please share your comments and thoughts but please do not just quote others without actually adding anything.

Another little trend ( I think our younger users may be at the root of this one... ) - just posting smiley faces...sigh...Those get deleted too; as my mother would say, use your words to share how you feel or what you think. I love reading different users comments in the Forums, good thing since I spend so much time there... and I'm always a little disappointed when I just come across one of these two types of posts...

Oh yes, one more trend creeping back in...posting in all caps! Please do not type your comments in all caps! You'll get one warning about the all caps and then your post just might get deleted...No one likes to be shouted at so all caps posts are a definite no-no! The same applies to using large font for entire posts; use the regular font or your post will be edited by a mod to reduce the font back down...

A lot of this has been said before in this topic but with the new users joining us, I thought it was time to bring this topic back into view...Looking forward to reading all the great posts...Come on everyone, share your thoughts and game strategies and stories, just do it within Forum guidelines...
 

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at Sat, 29 Oct 2011 08:37

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline

Today's issue - Language in the forums...are the mods just being prudes? TAKE 2! There are certainly a few users out there who think we are when they see their posts edited for language issues...so this is being reposted in the hope that people posting to the Forums will understand where we are coming from on this issue and why the posts too often have those little asterisks in the middle of a sentence or posts...or have simply disappeared from the Forum...

Yes, this is a family site with younger members involved in the threads and on the games but anybody that comes onto the site with the expectations that it IS a family site, has the right to expect that they will not be assaulted with crude, rude and inappropriate wording in the posts that they read or on the walls that they visit...Posts that are appropriate viewing for everyone are expected and anything else will get deleted...

In fairness, since the younger users of the site often get pointed to as the worst offenders, just wander the Hotel walls and the Forums and you will see, as the mods have, that the worst offenders are the adult users...The younger users may have the excuse of their youth (doesn't mean they'll get away with it...) but the adult users really should know better! Think about what you post and ask yourself if you would want your son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandkids, grandmother, father-in-law, rabbi, minister, teacher etc seeing that. Is it an appropriate example to set as an adult to the younger generation or as one adult to another? Some of the expressions and words we have to edit out make us wonder if this is what some users consider appropriate speech for any venue...This isn't a bar or a singles club or even the privacy of your own home; these are PUBLIC Forums and being rude, crude and/or vulgar is just not acceptable!

Some expressions are used by many but that doesn't mean they aren't offensive...this is an international community. with users from 9 to 99 years old (well according to the profiles anyway...) so what you think is ok may be extremely rude to someone else...some words just get used without any idea as to their origins...a lot of words commonly used to add "punch" to a post are words with a sexual basis (I'm sure you can figure out the words I mean...) When a word's definition in any online dictionary comes up with a crude definition in the first few lines of that definition, you can be pretty sure that this is how it will interpreted in a Forum post, depending on how it is used in a sentence...Words are fascinating; a word used in one context may be perfectly ok but when placed in a sentence in a certain way can become quite offensive; innuendo by substitution doesn't really hide the sense of what is being said.

The mods are not a prudes, just respectful of others and the mandate we have to keep these Forums appropriate for all ages...Any verbiage or wording that does not meet that standard will be deleted! No warning, no discussions, just gone! Arguing with the mods about deletion because of inappropriate language will get you nowhere...just watch the words you use and there will be no need for us to delete...seems easy enough... If in doubt, don't say it! If you feel that the mods have overstepped or misinterpreted, then you can certainly file a ticket with Support challenging our deletions. We take screen shots of those posts that we do delete for inappropriate language and can submit them to Support to defend our decisions. We will not discuss or defend our decision to delete or edit language in the Forums!

As I read elsewhere in another forum about language edits and deletions - "Is it the lack of ability to articulate your meanings or thoughts without interjecting words that some might find objectionable?" The short answer is yes!
 

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Mon, 13 Dec 2010 17:53

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
Having had to delete a few topics and edit a few posts due to violations of the Code of Conduct lately, maybe it's time for a refresher. So here is an abbreviated version of the Code of Conduct -

1. Be respectful of other guests and moderators at all time.
2. Do not post copyrighted, trademarked, or any content that is not explicitly allowed for reposting. If you quote somebody else from elsewhere, give credit where credit is due...just like when you were in school, no plagiarizing please...
3. Don't post anything that contain profane or vulgar language, that which could in any way be deemed threatening, libelous, degrading, defamatory, or in any way be considered offensive on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation or disability.
3a. Don't start topics or post about any polarizing social or political issues; that covers religious debates as well....
4. Constructive criticism of iWin, its products and services or staff is fine; the use of these forums as a means of unconstructive disparagement of iWin, as well as the promotion of other sites, products and services is prohibited. No references or links to competitor sites or sites with links to competitor sites are allowed in the Forums.
5. Flaming (the act of posting messages primarily motivated to aggravate and upset others) and trolling (the act of sending messages with the intent of illiciting angry responses) are not allowed on these forums.
6. If you don't agree with a moderator action, then please contact us by PM to present your thoughts (constructively please...yelling at us isn't exactly conducive to our seeing your point of view...) or file a ticket with Support to challenge our decisions. The mods will not debate or defend our decisions in the Forums.
7. Your posts should be coherent and understandable to the reader so please - no smiley only posts or text-speak...some of us just won't know what you're talking about...
8.. Do not post private information of any sort (yours or others). So no email adresses, personal blog adresses, or any other personal information that will make it easier for someone to track you down or steal your infomation...Be safe!

For a full version of the Code of Conduct and the Terms of Service , just click on the bold blue letters to be taken directly to them.
 

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at Fri, 28 Jan 2011 21:24

momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
Well after a stretch of having to lock down more duplicate topics than usual, it's time for a reminder...Please use the Search function to look for existing open topics BEFORE creating a new topic! As can be seen by looking at the Recent Topics page, the mods have had quite a time keeping up with the number of topics that already had a home...The number of registered users on the site is now close to 165,000; a lot of them will browse the Forums looking for help, not necessarily posting but just looking...the mess of duplicates and the pages of results from searching have got to put them off! The need to trim down errant posts and topics is evident...

We have cleaned out the duplicate Game Chat topics to reduce the topics to just the one per game that is clearly stated in the Topics and Guidelines which apply to the Forums as a whole....Duplicate topics are now deleted after a week and, if you look at the Game Chat pages, you can see that there is just one topic for each game. We are also locking and deleting duplicates for other issues which reoccur and have a proliferation of topics. The Featured Rooms issue was one (over 20 topics on this issue were locked and deleted) and we have done the same to others. Use the Search function for what it was intended - to make it easier to see what has already been said and to add your comments to those topics! The Forums can not function as a venue for sharing issues with each other if everyone goes off on their own and starts a new topic; it's no longer a conversation just single users talking to themselves...

So use the Search function, find the existing topics and add your voice to that discussion. Do so respectfully and constructively, within the terms of the Code of Conduct and the Terms of Service. Contravene the Terms of Service or the Code of Conduct and the Forum Guidelines and your post WILL BE edited, deleted, moved or locked by the mods...That is our "job"...Those are the rules; the bulk of the 165,000+ registered users on iWin follow the rules and participate within them... If topics are locked or moved, warnings given, posts edited or deleted, then the Terms and Guidelines weren't followed...that is the way it is...So please consider this before posting: if you can not abide by those Terms, then please refrain from posting to the Forums.

Repeated contravention of the Forum rules will get a user banned from the Forums so your choice is simple - follow the rules of the Forums or do not post to them ... Repeated contravention of the Terms of Service and Code of Conduct will get a user banned from the site as a whole so your choice is simple there as well - follow the rules or leave the Hotel and the site...iWin's site, iWin's Forums, iWin's Hotel...and iWin has the right to decide how they are used so iWin's rules. Seems pretty straight-forward!


Code of Conduct
Terms of Service
Forum Guidelines
 

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at Sat, 4 Jan 2014 08:08

joannchacon
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Messages: 18 , Offline
thank u so much for infomation when i started i was typing in caps. I thought it would help me see better i got corrected real fast. haha i got bullyied this weeken and handled it wrong. i came here to get some answeres! thank alot. i have fake nails and hubby likes my hands to look that way. i mispell alot of the time, i let some people know, i have them is misspelling rude too? gotta keep the peace in the house for hubby hehe. jo ann  
joannchacon
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Messages: 18 , Offline
thanks again i wish i would of utilized this useful forum since day 1. i just got so wrapped on my new iwin hotel yea!!  
MadMac1
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Messages: 33 , Offline
Hi moderators

I have just spent a valuable couple of hours enjoying the forums.
Firstly, moderators, you are doing an amazing volunteer job. The huge chunk of time this work must take from your daily lives is difficult to ascertain, but you still continue. Thank you.
Secondly, although I have been playing on iWin since last year, and used the search facilty often, I did not notice the three drop-down sections until after reading your posts. I feel a little dumb - how could I not notice? It works perfectly and took me exactly where I wanted to be. It's great!
Your lives must be full of frustration as you have to repeat your guidelines often, I have seen that over the months, please no capitals, please not off topic etc. Is it possible that you could ban repeat offenders from your forums? Maybe that would make life easier for you as well as users; or is it going too far?
Thank you again.
Mac  
momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline

Thank you MadMac1! It's nice to know that our "work" is not in vain and that is does help! Although removing repeat offenders who won't follow basic Forum guidelines such as no posting in all caps, staying on topic or using the Search function (glad those 3 tabs are coming in handy for you...) might make ours and other users easier, it's not that simple. Contrary to what some users may think or say, it is actually quite a process to get banned from the Forums and is not done lightly nor is it done just on the moderators say-so. We, as moderators, hope that reminding users to stay within Forum Guidelines or adhere to the Code of Conduct and the Terms of Service will get the offenders to look closely at how and what they post but it is an ongoing process that we work at bit by bit. Yes, some users get banned from the Forums but it is seldom only due to Forum offenses...sometimes but not often. All of a user's history gets evaluated by iWin when they consider a Forum or a site ban and what the moderators have said is just a part of that story.

With a new moderator now on board (welcome Peggy!), the load is shared a bit more now so we can actually play a few games and decorate our own Hotel rooms! So many games to try and so many Opals to earn...and I haven't had much time to play Jewel Quest Online in a while now...maybe I'll do that this weekend!

Thanks again for the words of encouragement!

Dee, volunteer Moderator
 

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Sat, 4 Jan 2014 08:10

MadMac1
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Messages: 33 , Offline
Hello Dee
You are alert - what a quick reply. I am glad you have another moderator. Welcome Peggy.
Banning a user from the forum seems like a complicated business, can moderators have a personal system (similar to flagging but not as severe) where you could have a record of users you have had to explain forum guidelines to? For example, if a user continues to post in capitals after several polite reminders, you could upgrade to a more serious reminder.
Or at least, a large print message on the forum page to read guidelines before posting.
I enjoy the forums, as well as acquiring knowledge, it is good fun to see different points of view and some ideas are excellent.
Please don't say this is off topic - but are all the moderators women? Maybe we men don't have the stamina, or the patience!
Enjoy your games today.
Mac  
momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
We do change our notifications if a user is a repeat offender; we will go the Pm route to expand on the warning explications and we may go as far as totally deleting posts if the behaviour continues...That will often get a user to sit up and pay attention. As for large print warnings on the main Forum page about reading the Guidelines...been there, done that! We will keep putting the message out there as there are new users every day and the process is a never-ending one...We try new methods all the time, create new topics and post helpful (we hope) hints...It is a challenge but it's worth it if it makes the Forums a better place for people to have fun and share with other users and players, while keeping it a family friendly site.

As for your "off-topic" question about all the mods being female, I don't think it's a particular plan of iWin's to have just female moderators. We just happened to be latest ones who got asked and we all accepted upon being offered the "job". There have been several other moderators since the Forums began; some have moved on and are no longer on the site, others, like Dinismurf (Hi Dini! ) had other commitments which caused them to choose to take off their moderator hats but are still around and helping in their own, very appreciated, way. It does require a certain flexible commitment, some familiarity with iWin and a bit of a thick skin at times... Stick around for a while and continue with your well-written and well thought-out responses and heck, maybe you'll just get an offer to join the gang!

As for the games, I have had a thoroughly enjoyable (NOT!) day of preparing this year's taxes for my family...I guess that's kinda like playing games... but I'm setting up for a night of JQ online and some All Access games I just downloaded so the evening should be more fun than my day so far! Dee, volunteer moderator
 

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Sun, 20 Mar 2011 14:08

MadMac1
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Messages: 33 , Offline
Thank you Dee.
My ideas are redundant, but if I think of any more, I will post them.
Offer in the future or not, I do think I have either the knowledge or the patience!!!
Continue your good work and enjoy games when you can.
Mac  
Griddlebone
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Messages: 602 , Offline
Well, I have no idea how I managed this but I was trying to edit a note I posted in the JQ3 topic and instead ended up quoting my note. I can't figure out how to delete the duplicate note, but it wasn't intentional. Can users delete their own postings? Thanks for the information and for all the work you mods do! I've been there and (smiling sweetly) you can have that job!  
momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
Griddlebone wrote:Well, I have no idea how I managed this but I was trying to edit a note I posted in the JQ3 topic and instead ended up quoting my note. I can't figure out how to delete the duplicate note, but it wasn't intentional. Can users delete their own postings? Thanks for the information and for all the work you mods do! I've been there and (smiling sweetly) you can have that job!

Hi, sorry users can't delete their own messages (I deleted it for you by the way...); you probably hit the quote button instead of the edit button...it happens so don't worry too much about it. Next time just type in a note in that post that you want it gone and we'll delete it for you. As for the length of the post, if you hit the Post reply button above the blank posting box instead of just typing in there, you'll have access to the BBC codes and more room to type your message...Hope that helps a bit! Oh and thanks for the thanks! Always nice to be appreciated, especially by someone who's been there! Dee, volunteer moderator

 
Griddlebone
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Messages: 602 , Offline
Thanks Dee!  
momaie
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Messages: 2451 , Offline
I think it's time to cover Rule #7 of the Forum Guidelines again...DO NOT POST PERSONAL INFORMATION! Yes, I was yelling but it has to be heard loud & clear! The internet can be a lot of fun, meeting new people, sharing stories and finding out all kinds of new things...It's easy to get into a really comfortable space where, without thinking, you start sharing way too much! Unless you have met someone face to face or have other means of confirming who they are, it is never a good idea to share personal information with virtual "friends"...

With the internet, you don't really have a clue if the person you are sharing all your life's details with is even close to who they say they are. Posting private and personal information in the wrong location can have serious consequences. Identity theft is a rapidly growing concern. Divulging too much information could give predators and those with bad intentions valuable information. SO JUST BE CAREFUL! There are a lot of wall posts where people are sharing their email addresses or Facebook sign-ons, for example, with others, out there in the open for all to see. Please remember that anyone can wander the rooms in the Hotel and see those wall posts. If you really feel comfortable sharing your email address or other details, then please do so in a PM...at least then only the intended user gets it and not the whole cyberworld community...

There are many online sites that offer tips on internet security; just have a look at some of them for tips on keeping yourself and your family safe on the internet. Here are a few I found with a quick search:

http://www.atg.wa.gov/InternetSafety/Adults.aspx -- from the Washington State Office of the Attorney General
http://www.ccmostwanted.com/topics/sguide.htm -- Cyber Criminals Most Wanted
http://us.norton.com/familyresources/index.jsp ---Norton by Symantec

Check these out as a start and please remember that keeping yourself safe on the internet is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. Sites such as iWIn can have all the security features they may want but if you hand out your email address or offer personal information to virtual strangers, the sites really can't be held responsible for what may happen!
 

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Wed, 13 Jul 2011 17:47

momaie
[Avatar]
Messages: 2451 , Offline
Just found another nice site for internet security in layman's terms:

http://www.geekgirls.com/security_beginners.htm -- geekgirls.com
(their main page doesn't seem to work but the link will bring you to their internet security stuff directly and that is the interesting stuff anyway...)

 
momaie
[Avatar]
Messages: 2451 , Offline
This is such a serious topic that I thought I'd throw a little humour in here... Just ran across these on FaceBook this morning and got a good laugh! Just remember that the "youngins" may not understand what We mean when we use these so use with discretion...

MIDDLE AGE TEXTING CODES:
ATD - at the doctor.
BFF - best friend fell.
BTW -bring the wheelchair .
BYOT - bring your own teeth.
FWIW - forgot where I was.
GGPBL - gotta go, pacemaker battery low.
GHA - got heartburn again.
IMHO - is my hearing aid on?
LMDO -laughing my dentures out.
OMMR - on my massage recliner.
ROFLACGU - rolling on floor laughing and can't get up.

Just remember that posting can be fun but always remember to BE SAFE!

Dee, volunteer moderator

EDIT: Since this topic was created, the Search function no longer shows Forum topics; it only brings up game titles. So please ignore any references to using the Search function to get around the Forums...It's a shame that part of the Search function was deactivated though iWinModTeam
 

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Mon, 31 Jul 2017 22:04

 
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