You will eventually post something bone-headed that will come back and bite you on the butt. It’s embarrassing and unpleasant and can feel awful, but if you remember these guidelines at a glance, you’ll minimize this.
While the above guidelines apply all over the Internet, there are some AAR-specific Netiquette guidelines as well:
- Staying on topic is important on both our forums and discussion lists. When in doubt, refer to the introduction accompanying each forum and the guidelines that accompany both our discussion lists.
- Do not talk about the forums on the forums themselves. This is a site about the discussion of books and those who read them. Once the discussion stops being about something, and starts being about the site and each other, it’s very easy for the forums to slide into irrelevance.
- While it may not be apparent why you are asked to post about Book X on this forum and Book Y on that forum, we have our reasons – both administrative and monetary.
- We are believers in Internet openess, so readers, feel free to link to pertinent articles elsewhere, but web owners and bloggers, unless you are an author or part of a writer’s group – in which case we encourage you to take advantage of our Writer’s News forum – we think it’s bad form to grow your site at the expense of ours. Please remember that AAR is your host; posts on our forums that poach our readers for your website are not appropriate. We liken it to going to someone’s house for a dinner party and inviting the other guests to leave the party for your house. (Similarly, it’s considered bad form to “poach” email addresses from our forums or lists to “grow” other sites and/or lists.)
While we want AAR to become as important to you as it is to those of us who work here, we want you to have a life away from your computer screen. If you feel you are getting too involved in a topic or spending all your free time at the site, as much as we love having you, we encourage you to spend some of that time with your friends, families, pets, and yes, books. Take a walk, play a game. . .chill. We’ll be here when you get back. If you feel really strongly about something, you may want to write about it for a future ATBF article so that it’s online in perpetuity.
On the flip side, if you come to AAR only to lurk, we don’t think you’re getting everything out of the site that you could, and you are limiting the benefit others may have to your ideas and experiences. Please consider coming out to play with us – it’s loads of fun and doesn’t hurt a bit! One of the best things that has come out of AAR for me has been my new friendships with readers and authors all over the world. If you stay in the shadows, you may be missing out on some terrific relationships.
If you have questions or concerns that pertain to the administration of AAR, feel free to email our ombudswoman, Lynn Spencer, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a particular question or issue about a review that is not yet online, please mail the managing editor.