by Max Barry

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by The MEOWWW of Valentine Z. . 773 reads.

Valentine’s Guide and Etiquette in Forum 7, and a Guide for a Better Nation with Factbooks! ♥

Valentine’s Guide and Etiquette in Forum 7.

Hello, Valentine Z here once again! ♥ How are you all doing? I hope that you are all having a great day! I am writing this dispatch to just help out Forum 7 in general, because… not many people this side of the play it seriously, or know about it, but I must say it myself that it’s not just about spammy forum games anymore. Forum 7 is more or less becoming a place where nations can be casual with one another, and they can provide feedback – both directly and indirectly – in factbook, flag, or characters that they might have.

So now you ask… what authority do I have to talk about the rules of the game, and to tell people how to play? Why am I brigading and mini-modding this place? Why am I gatekeeping?! Well, rest assured that I am not intent on doing any of that! ^^ I only came in one Winter of 2015, after all! The fact of the matter is… this is not a set of rules, but etiquettes, for both veterans and newbies of Forum 7. It is indeed a very charming and welcoming place for first-timers, and I wouldn’t have gotten here without F7 as a whole giving me feedback! But like other threads and other parts of NationStates, F7 indeed has standards. It’s not just about spammy games anymore. :3

These don’t have to be followed word-by-word, but like you as a character and as a person, there is always room for improvement.

Let’s get started! Some terminology:
- AN = Above Nation. AAN, AAAN, AAAAN… can be used as an additive if the thread requires.
- BN = Below Nation
- AL = Above Leader
- BL = Below Leader (though rarely used)

Quickie forum-post shortcuts (for Firefox users, replace Alt with Shift+Alt, e.g. Shift+B+Alt for Bold):
Alt+B = Bold
Alt+C = Code
Alt+H = Takes you to Board Index
Alt+I = Italic
Alt+K = Save Draft
Alt+L = List tag
Alt+O = List tag, but [list=]
Alt+P = Img tag
Alt+Q = Quote tag
Alt+S = Submit
Alt+U = Underline
Alt+W = Url tag
Alt+X = Logs you out.
Alt+Y = [ * ] / List element

Standard DISCLAIMER: This guide does NOT supersede and overwrites NS’ OSRS. If in any event there are discrepancies, the OSRS MUST ALWAYS BE CONSIDERED FIRST.

1 – Do not double-post!

Doubleposting is when you post over the previous nation that has replied to you. It is as simple as this:

Nation A: [Post here]
Nation B: [Reply to Nation A]
Nation A: [Reply back to Nation B]

This is not against the rules if you add new information to it every time, but it is indeed frowned upon, unfortunately. If you want to add something or reply back to them, you can either put a /skip, or ask them if they would like to continue through a TG.

The /stillme's are discouraged for the most parts. There is a grey area on how they operate, but if you have an issue with a post, ask first! Otherwise, or if you came across a serial poster with low effort.... it's best that you stay away. ><

2 – Foe-Listing is fine, but do not abuse it!

Foe-listing is a way of saying that from this point forward, you have ignored that person. That much is fine, and sometimes, it is simply unfortunate that you crossed paths with them one way or another. However, both sides can be at fault for this if not careful.

For the one that Foe-Listed, it will be wise not to tell and gloat that the other party will be ignored from that point. Foe-Listing is not against the rules, but according to OSRS, ignore-cannon and gloating is if done in excessive amounts. Please try to avoid that.

I have first-hand experience with this, so… as aforementioned, there are times when two of you crossed paths again and since you foe-listed them, you have a liberty to skip over them. However, this should not be taken as an excuse to hunt down their posts and skip them on whatever latest things they are posting. Not against the rules AFAIK, but… it’s a little touchy and you would just really want to avoid the drama. One-off things are still okay, since there are always moments when the thread came to a halt and you have no choice, or that you genuinely didn’t see the nations you have Foe-Listed. ><

Best advice? Cut ties and just give each other a silent treatment. Don’t get it to the point of spamming! Though, relationships can always be mended, so... work towards it if you want to! ^^

3 – Factbooks are your friends!

Ahh, this one! This happens to both newbies and even some veterans. For instance, take the Your Leader’s Opinion on Above Leader thread. As the title says, you will need a leader and a good amount of information on that. Otherwise, the BN (Below Nation) will have to skip you, or give a generic answer on what to do with your nation.

If that happens to you for n-th times, don’t worry! First step is always realising the issue, and for you, you can certainly take this as a way to learn and make a new factbook on your own. It’s such a daunting task, I know. I don’t have anything of substance either when I first came in. No one does! But with passion in writing, and along with the helpful people in Factbooks and National Information (F&NI), or other RP Help threads, you are bound to get help!

Some sources to help you out!

If the nations are open to TGs, which they mostly are, ask them as well! You can always ask someone for more advice on what you can do to help yourself! Note that it should ultimately come from your passion, so you can’t expect stuff to be spoonfed to you. Get your hands dirty!

Templates are not a kiss of death. A Wiki template is not a kiss of death. You are always free to edit the current template to your liking! Though of course, always credit the ones that provided the templates! It is against the rules to plagarise!

4 – Read them up! Get informed!

Now that the factbooks are done, it is only right that you take the time to read someone else’s factbooks. You don’t have to read everything, but a simple glimpse, or a 15-second speed read can be all that is needed. You can also browse through the various factbooks they have quickly, and save them later as a bookmark in case you want to read them.

It’s not against the rules to have a short answer; you are not forced to write 100-200 words on what you think of someone’s leader. A single sentence or a line is actually very, very fine! But that sentence must be well-informed instead of the usual “We are positive / neutral / negative with this leader.”

Instead, you can consider “We are positive with this leader because of their stance towards pacifism… and they have a rather cool science lab that they go to in their free time!” Make it more personalised!

I want to reiterate that this is NOT me forcing certain styles and rules onto F7; you are free to give the replies as you please, but to be informed of another player’s factbook, is also a sign of appreciation for their work. After all, we all do this as a hobby and passion, and it’s only right that we give each other the love!

5 – Have fun and be positive!

This is mandatory. Have fun on the forums! Just chill and hang around, get the much-needed feedback! No one will harp on you for first-time mistakes, and a lot of us are willing to help you with anything that you might have. (Feel free to TG me if you want, I’m always open!) Embrace the clichés if you want, embrace your nation’s weirdness, whatever you want! Just have a lovely time on the forums! ♥

As it was said before, no one gets to their developed worlds overnight. It all takes time and effort. But most importantly, to have passion in your work! There’s no wrong in appreciating someone’s work and to be inspired by them!

Like with a person’s character, your nation will grow.

The MEOWWW of Valentine Z