!!! GOOD MANNERS FOR BULLETIN BOARD USERS !!!
Data Port Premium Bulletin Board System
The following are a few points of general BBS etiquette. If you
wish to maintain your welcome on whatever system you happen to
call, it would be to your advantage to observe these few rules.
1. Don't habitually hang up on a system. Every Sysop is aware
that accidental disconnections happen once in a while but we do
tend to get annoyed with people who hang up every single time
they call because they are either too lazy to terminate
properly or they labor under the mistaken assumption that the
10 seconds they save online is going to significantly alter
their phone bill. "Call Waiting" is not an acceptable excuse
for long. If you have it and intend to use the line to call BBS
systems, you should either have it disconnected or find some
other way to circumvent it.
2. Don't do dumb things like leave yourself a message that says
"Just testing to see if this thing works". Where do you think
all those other messages came from if it didn't work? Also,
don't leave whiney messages that say "Please leave me a message
". If ever there was a person to ignore, it's the one who begs
someone to leave him a message. If you want to get messages,
start by reading the ones that are already online and getting
involved in the conversations that exist.
3. Don't use the local equivalent of a chat command unless you
really have some clear cut notion of what you want to say and
why. Almost any Sysop is more than happy to answer questions or
offer help concerning his system. Unfortunately, because about
85% of the people who call want to chat and about 99% of those
people have absolutely nothing to say besides "How old are
you?" or something equally irrelevant, fewer Sysops even bother
answering their pagers every day.
4. When you are offered a place to leave comments when exiting
a system, don't try to use this area to ask the Sysop
questions. It is very rude to the other callers to expect the
Sysop to carry on a half visible conversation with someone. If
you have a question or statement to make and expect the Sysop
to respond to it, it should always be made in the section where
all the other messages are kept. This allows the Sysop to help
many people with the same problem with the least amount of
effort on his part.
5. Before you log on with your favorite pseudonym, make sure
that handles are allowed. Most Sysops don't want people using
handles on the system. There is not enough room for them, they
get silly games of one-upmanship started, it is much nicer to
deal with a person on a personal basis, and last but not least,
everyone should be willing to take full responsibility for his
actions or comments instead of slinging mud from behind a
6. Take the time to log on properly. There is no such place as
RIV, HB, ANA or any of a thousand other abbreviations people
use instead of their proper city. You may think that everyone
knows what RIV is supposed to mean, but every BBS has people
calling from all around the country and I assure you that
someone from Podunk Iowa has no idea what you're talking
7. Don't go out of your way to make rude observations like
"Gee, this system is slow". Every BBS is a tradeoff of
features. You can generally assume that if someone is running a
particular brand of software, that he is either happy with it
or he'll decide to find another system he likes better. It does
nobody any good when you make comments about something that you
perceive to be a flaw when it is running the way the Sysop
wants it to. Constructive criticism is somewhat more welcome.
If you have an alternative method that seems to make good sense
then run it up the flagpole.
8. When leaving messages, stop and ask yourself whether it is
necessary to make it private. Unless there is some particular
reason that everyone shouldn't know what you're saying, don't
make it private. We don't call them PUBLIC bulletin boards for
nothing, folks. It's very irritating to other callers when
there are huge blank spots in the messages that they can't read
and it stifles interaction between callers.
9. If your favorite BBS has a time limit, observe it. If it
doesn't, set a limit for yourself and abide by it instead.
Don't tie up a system until it finally kicks you off and then
call back with another name. This same rule applies to
downloading or playing games. Only one person at a time can be
logged on to a BBS and it isn't fair to everyone else if you
overstay your welcome. Remember, a BBS is best when it can be
left wide open. If you try and cheat the rules you just hurt
everybody by forcing the Sysop to adopt more stringent policies.
I can't count the number of systems that are now locked tighter
than a drum because of people who cheat and abuse.
10. Don't call a BBS just to look at the list of other BBS
numbers. Most especially don't call a system as a new user and
run right to the other numbers list. There is probably very
little that's more annoying to any Sysop than to have his board
completely passed over by you on your way to another board.
11. Have the common courtesy to pay attention to what passes in
front of your face. When a BBS displays your name and asks "Is
this you?", don't say yes when you can see perfectly well that
it is misspelled. Also, don't start asking questions about
simple operation of a system until you have thoroughly read all
of the instructions that are available to you. I assure you
that it isn't any fun to answer a question for the thousandth
time when the answer is prominently displayed in the system
bulletins or instructions. Use some common sense when you ask
your questions. The person who said "There's no such thing as a
stupid question" obviously never operated a BBS.
12. If by some chance you should encounter an error while you
are online (Heaven forbid!), ALWAYS take the time to leave the
Sysop a message describing the circumstances. Don't just say
"There was an error". That is not helpful in the least. Chances
are that he knows there was an error. What he needs to know is
what you were doing when the error occurred so that he can have
some chance of finding and correcting it. If the error happened
after you input something, tell him what it was. Remember that
a BBS can't improve unless you're willing to help.
13. Don't be personally abusive. It doesn't matter whether you
like a Sysop or think he's a jerk. The fact remains that he has
a large investment in making his computer available, usually
out of the goodness of his heart. If you don't like a Sysop or
his system, just remember that you can change the channel any
time you want. Calling a Sysop names or making uninformed
comments about his lifestyle only shows you for the child you
14. Keep firmly in mind that you are a guest on any BBS you
happen to call. Don't think of logging on as one of your basic
human rights. Every person that has ever put a computer system
online for the use of other people has spent a lot of time and
money to do so. While he doesn't expect nonstop pats on the
back, it seems reasonable that he should at least be able to
expect fair treatment from his callers. This includes following
any of the rules for system use he has laid out without
grumping about it. Every Sysop has his own idea of how he wants
his system to be run. It is really none of your business why he
wants to run it the way he does. Your business is to either
abide by what he says, or call some other BBS where you feel
that you can obey the rules.
If you have any questions, leave me a message to the SysOp!!!