Writing Style Suggestions


The Boardwalk is not like other forums out there. We pride ourselves in robust engagement; we want our forum to make you think, make you laugh, make you feel better about yourself and others, and make you want to come back. Remember, one of the reasons we were created in the first place was to give people that interpersonal experience that they were missing during the CoViD Pandemic.

Toward that end, we would like to share some ideas for how to use and converse on our forums. These aren't rules, necessarily - they're guidelines, and they are meant to let you know what to expect when joining us.

Don't just ask a question - start a conversation! Asking questions is okay - but if you do, be prepared to engage with the answers. Don't just open a topic with a question and not post again in the thread - especially if you then just move on to the next thread and the next question. We don't really need any interviews...everyone will tell their own stories in their own time. And toward that end: if you're looking for something to do other than ask people about their favorite donut...

Tell a story along with it. Everybody has things that interest them, or opinions that they wish to be heard. Don't worry about thinking no one else is interested - go ahead and write! If people aren't interested, they'll skip it...but you'll be surprised how many people actually do read what you have to say, even if it's a topic that's way outside their own experience. On The Boardwalk, we like that you like it. And who knows, your enthusiasm might be infectious enough to get members here intrigued.

Look for existing conversations. On The Boardwalk, we don't have rules about "necroposting" or "resurrecting" old threads. Look around for things that look neat, or are related to what you wanted to say. Don't worry about joining in - if it was meant to be private, it would have been a private message, and if the moderators wanted you not to follow up on it, they could (and sometimes do) lock or delete it.

No "me toos". As a general rule, avoid posts that simply express general, unspecific agreement or approval -- "me too", "that's neat", "I agree", and so on. Instead, look for the thumbs-up in the right corner of the post window and click on that.

Be polite. We don't really have any politeness problems on The Boardwalk, but this is the Internet and it can't really be said enough times that the person you're talking to on The Boardwalk is an actual person. If you're in doubt, read over your post out loud and see if you would want it to be heard by that person, or any person. If there isn't a way you can respond civilly, don't respond to the post. And don't be afraid to ask the moderators if you are dealing with a situation that you feel is getting out of hand.