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Teri Lanza

Teri Lanza
Editorial Director
tlanza@vpico.com

Forum Terminology: A Refresher (or Intro) for Self-Storage Talk Members

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Like all electronic media, Self-Storage Talk, the largest online community in the industry, has adpoted some of the jargon and abbreviations synonymous with the Internet, e-mail and text messaging. Some of these terms go back to the late 1980s, before most people had even heard of the Internet, and other terms are fairly new additions to the Web vernacular. As a forum, SST's overall tone is quite informal. As an editor, I cannot advocate for full-fledged text-speak on the forum, with the possible exception of "LOL" for "laughing out loud." Terms such as "gr8" for great or "l8r" for later make me viscerally ill. But there are some terms that are useful in an informal, forum context. Some of our posters are forum veterans who use these terms with ease. Others are newbies who are just getting acquainted with forum-speak. So, I thought it would be a good idea to run down through some forum-related vocab to make sure no one is confused.

Bot - A non-human spammer

Bump - Because the forum displays the most recently updated threads first, people have been known to post in a thread for the sole purpose of bringing it to the top. This is called a "bump" post, and it's prohibited on SST. That's why you won't see the phrase "TTT," or "to the top," appear on this forum.

CYA - Cover your ... well, your posterior. When discussing legal matters and disclaimers, this term appears often.

Emoticon - A face or symbol that can be added to any post or thread title.

Flame War - A petty argument that monopolizes a discussion thread.

Infraction - If moderators warn you multiple times to stop breaking site rules, you will receive an infraction, which is basically a public demerit visible in your profile. The next step beyond infraction is removal from the site.

Lurker - A lurker is someone who constantly reads the forum but never registers and posts; term is usually used negatively, though usually jestfully, not with vitriol.

OP - Original poster

OT - Off-topic

PM - Private message

Sig - Short for signature, a member can set this to appear with each of his posts.

Spammer - Speaking of vitriol, one recipient of it is the spammer, who posts nothing but advertisements and promotions. Many times, the spam is unrelated to the topic or industry. We do everything we can to keep spammers off the forum, and if I do say so myself, we do a pretty good job.

Sticky -  A thread that stays at the top of the forum because a moderator has "stuck" it there. These threads are usually important announcements.

Thread - A thread is a vertical chain of posts, designed to flow like a discussion. Usually, the oldest post, or the one that started the thread, is the first post.

Troll - Someone who posts solely for the purpose of irritating others and stirring animosity. A troll posts frequently and without regard for manners. Though they may not always break forum rules, trolls are constantly skirting the line between annoying and outright against the rules.

Now we've covered the most important terms, and there's no reason not to sign up and join the fun, if you haven't already. To post on SST, you must be a registered user, but registration is free and can be done at www.selfstoragetalk.com/register.php.

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