If you’ve ever ventured into the HubPages forums, you know that things can get a little hairy. This is by no means unique to our community; it’s an occupational hazard for any internet user. I can’t necessarily help you navigate the World Wide Web, but I can share my insights from a long history of successful forays into the forums, from which I’ve managed to emerge relatively unscathed.

  1. Know thyself. Before you enter the forums, it’s important to check in with yourself to see where you are mood-wise, and whether or not you’ll be able to handle whatever you might encounter–be it titillating or aggravating. Going into the forums already frustrated is a recipe for disaster. There are days you’ll be able to conduct yourself responsibly in a heated discussion on politics or religion, and there are days you won’t. Be realistic, and…
  2. Be prepared. I may not agree with all the teachings of the Boy Scouts of America, but they do have a good point with this one. Think about what you want to achieve in the forums. Are you looking to kill some time? Get some advice? Make new friends? Engage in educated debate? Once you’re clear in your mind about what you’re looking for, go find it… but try not to get side-tracked. If you find yourself straying from the path, refer to Tip #1, and know when to walk away.
  3. Plan an escape route. This is an extension of Tip #2, but in addition to having a plan of attack, you also need to meditate on your getaway, should the need arise. Everything might go well, but if something unforeseen should happen, and you find yourself getting hot under the collar, it’s important to have a plan. Whether it’s taking a half-hour break from the forums to research a new Hub, or shutting down the computer for the night, decide beforehand what you’re going to do to cool down, and follow through with it.
  4. Remember the human. I take this from Virginia Shea, who literally “wrote the book” on Netiquette. It’s the first of her 10 Core Rules, and the most important. Psychological studies show that most people have a lot of difficulty connecting online activities with offline consequences, so you’ve got to make a concerted effort to be the exception. Keep in mind that, just as you are an individual beyond a username, other Hubbers are too. There are human beings on the other end of that internet connection. (Yes, even I am a person, despite what you may have heard to the contrary.) Treat us all with human courtesy.
  5. Lighten up. Seriously, guys. Seriously. The forums are supposed to be fun! If you’re not having a good time (whatever that looks like for you… see #1), just don’t do it! HubPages is full of clever, inventive, hilarious Hubbers. We may not always agree, but that only means that we all have something unique to contribute to the larger community. And I think, on the whole, that’s a good thing. Hey, it certainly keeps things interesting. 😉
Posted by:HubPages Admin

13 replies on “The HubPages Forums – A Survival Guide

  1. *lawls* this is great guys but … but … the only one’s that will observe your advice are the one that (probably) don’t need it anyway. Forums are funny places, full of funny people, with funny ideas and funny topics. And not all the funny’s here are meant with a smile 😉

  2. Good advice.

    One more that I find hard to follow: Don’t Feed the Trolls!

    Lighten up is good advice, but I can’t bring myself to lightent up on racists, homophobes and bigots.

    [Light’n Up was the name of a famous sailboat on San Francisco Bay that won the San Francisco to Hawaii race. Great name for a boat and good advice for Hubbers!]

    Ralph Deeds

  3. Treat others as if they are human…well spoken, Maddie.

    Are you strict? Sure! Do I get out of hand sometimes? Well, I try not to. 😉

    But by in large I agree with the steps you take to keep HP sane. I may never agree with everyone all the time, but you’re doing something that not everyone can really step up and do with a sense of responsibility.

  4. Sometimes forums are fun and people do help each other and that’s why i like forums. Nice advice there, i think taking break from online life can change mood as well. (atleast it worked for me).

  5. Most heated discussion on politics or religion segments of the forums are quite interesting, especially seeing that people are quite unique with their candid opinions. Most importantly – I like the advice on treating every hubber behind the user names as humans…It’s fun!

  6. Like a chess game, people should think a few steps ahead. So consider what you’re going to say in response to someone you don’t agree with, and weigh up how you will feel if they reply to you in the same manner that you responded to them.

    If it’s likely to make your blood pressure go up, don’t say it.

  7. I have never actually been on any forum it sounds like it might be pretty scary. I think i will stay away for the time being at least until i become a brave person. What is a forum actually used for or what is the purpose of a forum? I feel so ignorant not knowing. Please help me out a little in the most plain and simple words as possible. Thanx millions!

  8. Truely. You just can’t. Forums are like kindergartens- except there is no actual blood.

  9. …and I suppose you could add “Common sense isn’t !” (Isn’t common, that is.) Forums are certainly not for the faint of heart. Some days it can be hard to find a positive thread.

    Good advice, Maddie.

  10. I read this a few times and kept mistaking this sentence “Are you looking to kill some time?” as “Are you looking to kill some one?” I didn’t think it was out of context and laughed at what I thought was a pun by Maddie.

    The hubpages forums are certainly character building. Good advice Maddie and thanks for the laugh during my morning cuppa.

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