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  • GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR POST

    GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR POST
    Some tips and hints on how to get the best responses to your posts.

    Introduce Yourself!
    Post in an Appropriate Section of the Forum
    Don’t “Piggy-Back” on Other Threads
    Give Your Post a Helpful Title
    Make it Easy to Read and Understand
    Use your Spell-Checker
    Give a Good Description
    Post Decent Pictures
    Add Rather Than Delete or Edit Pictures
    Don’t Swamp Your Post with Too Many Items
    Be Clear What You Want and Tell Us What You Already Know
    Location, Location, Location!
    Be Straight and Honest!
    Be Polite and Receptive
    Have Realistic Expectations
    Keep Checking Your Post
    Be Patient!
    Give Feedback


    Introduce Yourself!

    If you haven’t already done so in the “Welcome to the Forum!” section, please tell us a little about yourself if this is your first post. It really helps other members when they are making their responses to know things like where you are from, how long you have been collecting and what level of experience you have.

    Post in an Appropriate Section of the Forum

    Each section has a few words under its title explaining what the section is for. If your post is a query of a general nature or you are in doubt where to post, make your post in the “Artifact Questions & Answers” section or – if you are seeking identification of a mystery item – in the “What Did I Find?” section.

    Please don’t post the same item in multiple parts of the forum, hoping for a better response. It just results in confusion and means that the responders are not then all part of the same conversation and discussion.

    Don’t “Piggy-Back” on Other Threads

    It’s bad manners and also unhelpful to add items you need identifying onto a thread created by someone else… unless the items are clearly related. Start your own thread and put your own questions.

    Give Your Post a Helpful Title

    The worst possible titles for your post are things like: What’s This?; Is this a Point?; Is This a Fossil?; I’m Stumped!; Recent Find; Have No Clue; ID Please; Help!; and probably worst of all: “???”. These kinds of titles give members no indication of what it is you’ve posted. Also, titles like this are used over and over again, making it difficult for members to keep track of a post in which they have a particular interest.

    Use a title which is more distinctive and informative. Titles like: Stemmed Texas Point Unknown; Is This a Paleo Scraper?; Odd Looking Green Lithic ID; Asking About Hopewell Culture; Any Experts on Florida Types? You’ll get a far better response.

    Make it Easy to Read and Understand

    Please avoid writing in ALL CAPS; forum etiquette considers this to be “shouting”, and it’s also hard to read… as are large blocks of unpunctuated text. Please also avoid “text-speak” (SMS shorthand); these abbreviations may save characters on Twitter and such, but we don’t have those limitations here and we place a premium on clarity.

    Please bear in mind that abbreviations or local jargon may not be understood by others. Equally, there may be technical terms which not everyone is familiar with and which require some additional explanation.

    Use your Spell-Checker

    The forum has a search engine that helps folks to find posts in which they have an interest… but it won’t find things if they have been mis-spelled. Anyone looking for “pestle” or “mortar” will not find “pestel” or “morter” for example.

    Give a Good Description

    Some basic dimensions will always help in identification. For mystery items it also helps to have some description of basic properties. How hard is the item, does it have any particular texture, how heavy is it, does it show translucency when held up to the light, is it attracted to a magnet… and so on?

    Post Decent Pictures

    No-one’s really going to be able to help with an identification (no matter how good your description) unless you post a picture. For most items a view of both faces and often an edge view will be helpful. Often, we find that large pictures are 70% background and 30% of the item in question. Crop that background out so we can concentrate on the important part!

    Note that our server has an upload limit of 2 Megabytes for individual pictures and the forum has a display size limit of 1440 x 900 pixels. Although you can upload a 2 Megabyte picture, the forum software will then make an attempt to scale your picture to a convenient size for display which approximates to 1400 pixels in the largest dimension. Pictures which exceed these limits, or which the software cannot re-size (it may struggle if you upload multiple large pictures in one go), will typically generate an “Invalid File” error message. You may need to re-size them yourself.

    After you have uploaded your pictures, remember to insert them at "fullsize" in your post (you can go back and edit your post afterwards if you forget). Otherwise they only appear at thumbnail size or as attachment links. There's a tutorial on adding pictures to your posts here:

    http://forums.arrowheads.com/forum/n...ures-to-a-post

    Great pictures don’t need expensive cameras. They need good lighting and sharp focus. If weather permits, you’ll always get a better result outside in bright sunlight rather than indoors with flash. Use that little flower icon on digital cameras for close-up pictures… that’s what it’s for.

    If you’re getting over-exposed and washed-out pictures from an automatic camera, placing something white in the background can trick your camera into correcting this. The reverse applies if your pictures are under-exposed and dark… put something black in the background.

    A plain, neutral, unfussy background is helpful, and remember to include something for scale. A small rule or a tape measure is better than your fingers, knee, cigarette lighter, coffee table etc. Coins are less desirable, but OK as long as the coin is universally recognisable.

    Take plenty of pictures and select only the best for posting. Usually you’ll get a range of qualities and the best picture is usually the last one you took!

    Add Rather Than Delete or Edit Pictures

    Please do not delete or replace posted images, especially after discussion of them has ensued. Doing so can cause a great deal of confusion and result in subsequent comments no longer making any sense. It is better to add new/revised images via a new post to the same thread. Leaving the original images in place helps ensure continuity of the discussion that follows and is of benefit to future readers.

    If you need to go back and correct some text at a later date, it’s better to do that by editing the post and inserting something like “[correction: I meant larger, not smaller]” so as not to confuse folks and create apparent anomalies in subsequent comments.

    Don’t Swamp Your Post with Too Many Items

    If you have multiple items that you want help with, or multiple questions on unrelated topics then please split them down into manageable groups and post them separately. It’s really difficult for folks to respond to questions about a frame you bought at auction that has 50 points in it, your grandpa’s box containing 50 years of collecting history, or a miscellaneous haul of points, rocks, fossils and teeth you found in a local creek.

    Be Clear What You Want and Tell Us What You Already Know

    If you already know what you have and are proudly showing it off then please say so and/or post your items in “Show and Tell – Your Site Finds and In-Situs”.

    If you already have a belief what something may be, or have already been given opinions elsewhere then it really helps members to know that. It’s often a lot easier to give a view on whether an opinion is correct than it is to start from scratch and it helps stop going over old ground. If the item was purchased and came with a seller’s description or was accompanied by an old label then please tell us what was claimed for it.

    Also, there’s nothing more frustrating for members going out of their way to find reference documents and other information that they think will help you… only to get a response along the lines of “yeah, I’ve already seen that stuff, but I was hoping someone could give me more detail about….”

    Location, Location, Location!

    We all understand if you have a “honey-hole” where you’re making great finds and don’t want to give that away. But we need to know where (and sometimes in what circumstances) a find was made to provide a proper identification. “A creek in the Southwest” is not a location! “Texas” is a very large place. At minimum, we need to know the state and ideally the county or region within that State. It can make quite a difference if you’re near a state border as opposed to bang-slap in the middle of one.

    Don’t assume we will know where you are or where you’ve been looking… even after you’ve been around on the forum for a while. We won’t always remember what you said when you first introduced yourself (we have over 9,000 members). Many members show items which they have found (or bought) from outside their home territory. Also, we won't necessarily know where the “roadcut on i22” might be; and there are 35 states with a place called “Springfield”!

    It’s also very frustrating when a thread goes along the lines of: “Hi, I’m from Atlanta, Georgia and wondered if anyone knew what this clay pot might be”, prompting the response: “It doesn’t look like it’s from the Southeast” and the retort: “My grandma got it from a neighbour she had in Los Angeles. He was Chinese.”

    Remember that we have Canadian members too, as well as a few from wider afield.

    Be Straight and Honest!

    Regrettably, we get a fair number of items posted which have been found at estate or garage sales, purchased on eBay etc where the poster claims them to be personal finds. That doesn’t help the enquirer or the responder… particularly if we are then relying on a claimed find area which may be incorrect – even if the artefact itself turns out to be authentic. There’s no “shame” in building a collection of purchased artefacts; many fine collections have been assembled that way and not everyone is fortunate enough to live in an artefact-rich area.

    We also get a fair number of posts about “controversial” items where the poster claims that an unspecified “expert” has already confirmed an item to be authentic. If that’s the case then please tell us where that opinion has come from. If those details are not forthcoming then such opinions are usually given little credence.

    Be Polite and Receptive

    All forums have a history of people throwing mud and stones at one another… often as a result of misunderstandings of tone, as well as differences of opinion. Ours is no different! It’s often helpful to use those little emoticons (the smiley faces and such) to make it clear when you’re teasing, joking, or uncertain. A smile or a wink can go a long way to keeping things in perspective.

    There are lots of folks here with a great deal of experience. Of course they aren’t always right (!) and sometimes what you can see in your hand may not be what can be seen from the pictures you post. However, if you ask for opinions then that’s what you will get. There’s no point in posting something about which you have already made up your mind, asking for opinions, and then becoming rude or argumentative if the opinions differ from your own.

    Have Realistic Expectations

    Not every point has a specific name, many artefacts were produced through wide time-frames by multiple cultures and it’s not always possible to say whether an item is genuine from pictures alone. Sometimes the best that can be said is that it’s “consistent with…” or “looks to be an authentic…”

    Also, the forum does not operate as a valuation or authentication service. Folks may give an informal view on typical prices seen at artefact shows or from dealers but not usually more than that.

    Keep Checking Your Post

    The first responders may not have the best information! There is sometimes a tendency on forums for an element of “competition” whereby some posters are desperately keen to be the first to provide an identification and may sometimes do so with a conviction that is not backed up by their experience. Novice members keen to make an impression frequently do this.

    If you go to “User Settings” and “Notifications” under your profile name at the top right of the forum page, you can choose how and when you would like to be notified about activity on the forum… including whether someone has responded to your posts. You can get notifications via your email address or on the forum itself (a small red indicator will appear against “Messages” to the left of your profile name and you can click on it to see what has happened).

    Be Patient!

    Many forum members are busy people and may not be able to respond immediately. Even the experts may need a bit of thinking time to mull over what they are looking at and perhaps check a few relevant publications before responding. Also bear in mind that not everyone is in the same time zone as you and the forum has members outside the United Sates who may be in bed when you are posting, or have different public holidays to you.

    Give Feedback

    It doesn’t hurt to say “thank you” or to hit the “Like” button when someone has given a helpful response. If you disagree or don’t like the answers being provided, tell us why. Provide references, better pictures or other evidence.
    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

  • #2
    This is a very well written and informative post, I think that many of our long standing members would benefit from reading this. The only thing missing is a reminder to in the photo upload portion to not only make sure that you insert your pictures but to choose the full size option.
    Bruce
    In life there are losers and finders. Which one are you?

    Comment


    • skrewkase
      skrewkase commented
      Editing a comment
      I havent found the full size option. on my phone or I would bruce. and I would make them where you didnt have to stand on your ear also..but not figured that out either.im to busy looking for points to play with my phone.lol

    • painshill
      painshill commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Bruce

      That's a very good point... I have now added in a comment to that effect.

    • 2ndoldman
      2ndoldman commented
      Editing a comment
      Hopefully they are still looking into getting a mobile app for the forum. I too would like to be able to fully post and reply from my phone.
      The issue of orientation may be in how you are viewing the pictures on your phone. If you are holding your phone in an upright position and the picture is correct then it should be correct when you upload it. However if you are holding your phone lengthwise and the picture looks right then it will likely upload sideways. Try editing you pic and rotating it to the proper orientation before posting.
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