The Complete Steemit Etiquette Guide (Revision 2.1)
This is the completed version of the Steemit Etiquette guide.
As I have said multiple times before (and sorry for repeating it but some people don't seem to get it) these ARE guidelines not RULES.
They are meant to make everybody's community experience better and especially help those who are NEW to Steemit. Nobody is perfect and I suspect most of us have fallen in to the trap of making some of these mistakes.
As the saying goes : - "to err is human."
Further there is nothing to stop you from routinely breaking all of these suggestions. You will likely get flagged and ruin your reputation but nobody will stop you from doing it.
Nobody can stop you.
That is the nature of a decentralised platform.
Changes and thanks
Compared to the previous versions of the guide I have changed the order of some of the points as well as made further additions, changes and omissions based on previous feedback.
I have also used smaller resized versions of the main images to enable faster loading as well as replacing some of the images with ones I thought that were more suitable.
I would like to eventually get a version of this done with some new art by @klye as I had in the original guide but I thought it best to get at the very least some kind of finalised version out before paying to do that.
Recently @timcliff reached out to me in relation to including an updated etiquette guide in the landing page for newcomers as proposed here. So I thought it best to get a final modified version out so that there is at least something complete for new users.
With that in mind please let me know of any further additions or changes you would like. Also let me know of any typographical errors.
This has taken a considerable amount of time to refine, check and rewrite. I do hope you find it useful.
Finally special thanks to the following users for their additions and amendments: @englishtchrivy, @jasonstaggers, @timcliff, @dgiors, @cathi-xx and @stellabelle - apologies if I have left anyone out (please let me know and I will add you).
A quick definition from the Cambridge Dictionary
01) Don't post and run
We are all pressed for time but it but it just looks plain bad if all you ever do is post and never curate or comment on other work. In a way this could be seen as simply taking from the system without giving.
02) Don't over-post
As I said most people don't have much time. Take some pity on your followers and don't post 10 times per day. Not only will less people actually take the time to read your work but you may end up annoying and losing followers. It will also reduce your payouts if you post more than 4 times a day.
03) Don't post nudity or graphic imagery unless you tag it with NSFW
This is important. It may be acceptable in your nation to be showing bare breasts on your work computer but it might not be the case where your reader is located.
Also your reader could be a child. Please keep this in mind. Graphic images without this tag are likely to be flagged.
04) Don't be a fake, plagiarise or pass off others' work as your own
This is important. It relates to people trying to make money by impersonating others, making false claims, or stealing other people's work to claim it as their own. There is a whole community of people watching you here and you will eventually be found out. Just don't do it.
No matter how much you earn it is not worth it for the damage to your reputation.
05) Don't engage in tag spamming
If your post does not directly relate to a particular tag you shouldn't be using it. A post about trumpets that just happens to have a photo of a trumpet in it should not be tagged with "photography", similarly a post discussing DASH is fine in "cryptocurrency" but should not be tagged with "ethereum". Tag spamming annoys people and rather than getting you extra upvotes is likely to get you a flag.
06) Don't re-steem everything you see
This goes hand in hand with overposting. The re-steem feature is great. It's new and shiny and a different way to share but please be conscious of your followers. Unless they are only following you, you have to assume that their feed has other re-steemed material in it. Further just because YOU like a subject DOESN'T mean that they do. Just be polite and only re-steem limited numbers of posts that you are sure others will like.
07) Don't post unrelated links in comments
This is considered link spamming. We all understand that you took great pride in your post but if your link is not related to the direct conversation and seems to be there purely to promote your own work then it looks bad. You are at risk of getting flagged and it is unlikely people will appreciate what you are doing. There is a great chat channel for promoting your links as well as a forum section - put it there.
08) Don't directly ask for votes
This is similar to posting unrelated links. Asking for votes is fine if it is in the post promotion channel but it should be done indirectly by posting a link i.e. it is bad form to ask someone directly for a vote. I don't think there is anything wrong with asking if people have seen your post but directly asking them to vote for it is rather unfair and goes against the spirit of proper curation. It may also make some people feel uncomfortable for this very reason.
09) Don't expect reciprocal votes
If you are voting purely for the purposes of getting more votes then you are doing it wrong. You should only vote for content you like and should not expect people to vote for you just because you voted for them - it removes the whole point of curation. Further people may take offense to your expectation as it indirectly implies you did not like their content but only voted for reciprocation.
10) Don't bribe people for votes, re-steems, follows or ask directly for money
This is fairly easy to understand. It is likely to get you flagged as well as potentially annoying others. Plus once people have followed you there is no guarantee they will keep doing it. So you will just be wasting your money AND ruining your reputation. I have also heard of people asking directly for cash - this may be OK in the case of charitable causes but NOT when the charitable cause is your own wallet. It looks bad and will also damage your reputation.
11) Don't use the wallet to get attention
The Steem wallet allows people to send messages. Unfortunately people have recently been using it to send out tiny amounts of Steem as a means of advertising themselves or their posts. Don't do it you will waste your money and annoy a lot of people.
12) Don't ever use @all in the chat
This pings everyone and is very annoying. There does seem to be a solution in the works that will remove the ability to do this so hopefully this will not be a problem for long.
13) Don't direct message people you don't know in the chat
I have seen lots of people doing this particularly to whales and people with higher SP. It is understandable but it is also an intrusion on people's privacy and hardly polite. Don't do it unless someone has explicitly said they are OK with it (e.g. reporting abuse to Steemcleaners etc.) or you have another really good reason - just sharing your post is not good enough.
14) Don't flag content just because you disagree or don't like it
This has been a matter of much debate within the community and there are still disagreements about it. Right now the legitimate reasons for a flag are considered to be abusive content, plagariasm, spam and also disagreement on rewards.
There is still general consensus that simply disagreeing with someone or not liking a post is not sufficient grounds for flagging.
15) Don't be a stalker or a troll
Some time ago there was a particular user who was deliberately going after female members of the community in a distinctly unsavoury way. People may think this is acceptable online but I personally think it is disgusting and reprehensible behaviour. Luckily the reputation system can help by silencing these people but we also need to make it clear that we won't accept it as a community. Further any activity bordering on criminality is particularly stupid since it is recorded in the blockchain. It should also go without saying that general trolling behaviour will not help your reputation either.
16) Keep the adolescent remarks to yourself
I have noticed a few users making the kind of remarks on images of women that are quite immature and frankly I would expect from a 13 year old boy. I know these aren't necessarily done with any malice but we as a community need to be a friendly and inviting place for women and I don't think it is particularly helpful. You as a man may find it funny but I'm not sure a woman would - imagine if it was your mother reading your comments.
17) Don't be a drama queen
We all have bad days and we have all been complete arseholes from time to time but the best thing to do is deal with it in an adult way. There have been a number of people who have instead proceeded to have a complete meltdown and create all kinds of unnecessary drama. This never looks good and you will only embarass yourself in the long run - particularly since it is stored in the blockchain to remind you forever.
18) Don't go on witch-hunts
This is not new but seems to be happening more lately. People are ganging up on each other in a way which I don't think is really helpful. I think it is fine to point out problems or inequalities when you see them but unless someone is specifically doing something malicious I think this can only serve to make Steemit less friendly and inviting to people. It is particularly striking when multiple people seem to go on the offensive against a single person:
18) Don't make it personal/Don't make argumentative posts
Maybe it is because I'm English but I don't think it is polite to do an entire post focussing on a single person without first discussing it with them and trying to resolve the situation person to person. If you want to call out certain kinds of behaviours it might be more productive to do so in a more general manner so people don't feel that they are being singled out. If you go after a particular person all that will ensue is an argument that will continue to escalate and make everyone look bad.
19) Don't critique people's work unless they have asked you to
I normally ask for people's opinions on my work and I am fine with criticism (although even I have feelings) but just because someone has posted their work up does not mean that you should start critiquing it if you don't like it. Not all people are thick skinned about things and I have seen a few cases of people demolishing another person's work in a distinctly unpleasant way. Also if someone has asked for a critique keep it polite and constructive. If you are not able to do that move on.
20) Do admit when you are wrong /Do apologise
I had an old teacher at school who used to say that it takes both honesty and bravery to admit you are wrong. We tend to like to pretend we are always right even when we are not. People are generally forgiving and if you have been an idiot just own up to it and apologise. People will respect you more for it.
21) Do forgive people
This is the other side of apologising. We all screw up and we all make mistakes. If someone has apologised and is trying to make amends please give them another chance. Holding grudges not only harms the other party, but it harms you and the community as a whole. It can also make you look petty and immature. Part of being an adult is accepting the failings of others as well as our own. As I said earlier "to err is human".
22) Do take a step back
In keeping with the previous few points sometimes it helps to take a step away from your computer and do something different to help you regain perspective. If you are getting into a lot of arguments and conflict give yourself some time away and reflect on things.
23) Do answer your comments
If people have taken the time to make a comment on your post you should at least take the time to read them and in appropriate cases reply to them. It is understood that if you have a lot of comments you can't always answer them all, however, ignoring your comments could be considered being ungrateful.
24) Do help others out and do thank people
A lot of us know cryptocurrencies and are familiar with the concepts. That does not apply to everyone on Steemit. Everyone has to start somewhere and if you find someone who needs help or has a question don't wait for someone else to act - help them out yourself if you can. That is a fundamental of a good community. Also don't forget to thank people and pass on the good will.
25) Do share great posts.
There are links at the bottom of every post that allowing sharing on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Be a good citizen and help to spread good content by sharing it on other social networks and also posting links in the "postpromotion-other-only" chat channel. This not only helps out the poster but helps to spread the word about Steemit by showing people what great content is available. Steemit should not just be "every person for himself/herself".
26) Do check out new posts and curate
There are many new people joining Steemit every day. Unfortunately it is hard to get noticed. Please try to spend at least some of your time looking at new posts rather than just being on your own feed or the trending page. Not only do you have the prospect of discovering a new hidden gem and making a new user feel appreciated, but you could also be rewarded much more handsomely for the curation. This also applies to the chat, if you are expecting other people to look at and curate the links you post it makes sense that you should take a look at other people's posts too.
27) Do always comment when you flag a post and go back and check it
I think simple courtesy dictates that if you flag a post you should tell the poster why.Obviously if the reason has already been posted by other people this becomes less necessary. You should also go back and check to see if the content has been verified or the poster has complied with the reasons for the flag and if so remove your flag. Simply flagging and vanishing is not really fair.
28) Do provide verification
This is relevant to point 4 but I have placed it here because I wanted to put all the "do" suggestions together. Unfortunately as often happens in life dishonest people have made it harder to trust those who are posting on Steemit. You don't HAVE TO verify but it may help people trust you more and get you more up-votes.
There are even secure ways to do it now that allow you to maintain your anonymity. Please read this excellent post by @reneenouveau for a detailed explanation.
29) Do always read the rules for the chat channel you are posting in
This goes without saying. Read the rules of the channel before you post. I think mistakes are bound to happen, when they do, apologise and delete your post. If you persistently break the rules you will likely end up permanently muted and unable to post.
Reward for Reading: The Obligatory Kitten Photo
Due to the excessive length of this post here are 2 photos and due to popular demand we have a puppy too:
Photo Credits: The definition of Etiquette at the top of the post is a screenshot taken from the Cambridge English Dictionary here. All photos are taken from my own personal Istockphoto.com and Thinkstockphotos UK account. Further information can be provided on request.