1) Be original. Don’t repeat the same old bumper-sticker slogan everyone on the planet has seen ten thousand and six times already. Example: In almost every story about animal rights loons, a subject I still follow, some idiot has to comment, “I belong to PETA – People Eating Tasty Animals, hur hur hur.” OK. It was mildly amusing the first time I saw it. In 1997. It stopped being amusing about ten seconds later.
2) Use a furshlugginer spell-check! Taken from an actual forum only this evening: “no coinsadence… (sic)” Seriously? You couldn’t take sixteen seconds to look up how the word was spelled? You’re OK with looking like an ignoramus? Speaking of which:
3) Don’t use lazy, stupid ‘netspeak. “You” is two more keystrokes than “u.” What does that take, nine nanoseconds? Is your time that valuable? Let me answer that – it’s not.
4) Fact-check. Don’t post stuff that is stupidly easy to prove wrong. Don’t pass on the stupid tinfoil-helmet horseshit your brother-in-law emailed you behind an endless string of “Fw fw fw fw fw fw…” headers.
6) Don’t be a cheerleader. Don’t post two or three word posts proclaiming “Great post!” “I agree!” “Right on!” Stop it! If you don’t have something substantive to add, don’t hit Reply.
7) Don’t spam. I don’t care how convinced you are that the Bilderbergers are taking over the planet so they can sell it to the Quaagars from the Glixtonian Nebula; stop copy-and-pasting the same warning over and over into every forum you can find.
8) Grow up. Don’t engage in juvenile name-calling. From my own Rules of the Game page: “In name-calling I include juvenile crap like “teabaggers, DemoCRAPS, Cantservatives, LIEberals,” and so on. We’re all grown-ups here. That kind of horseshit belongs in junior high school. Leave it there.”
9) Don’t whiff off. If you start a discussion, stick around to finish it. Don’t drop a contentious statement in and run off to leave your post lying in the forum like a fresh cow pie.
10) If you are, at present, doing any of the above – STOP. Stop it NOW.
That is all.