I've never posted any official rules because, honestly, it's never come up. Up to this point the community has been generally very well-behaved without requiring banhammer intervention, for which I'm very proud of you all.
Also I don't have time to enforce them and I'm an old hand myself, so I'm afraid I'd just be writing up some arbitrary old netiquette that might not be applicable anymore to today's youngsters. If you think some word of law would make you feel better though, let me know.
I don't really like installing forum mods because it makes forum upgrades harder, I realize SMF does not have the best moderation tools but forum software itself has become kinda archaic (we still support WAP!), so I'd rather not poke it too hard, lest it collapses.
Anyways I'm well familiar with old taboos like double posting, quote stacking, bumping, necroing, etc. In my opinion context is everything. A lot of that stuff was deemed taboo because most people were well-versed with forum software to wanna abuse and exploit it across the internet. That's not really the case anymore, everything can be used for good or bad, so I think moderators should always judge the intent before taking action.
Examples of good uses of double posting (makes threads easier to read and content easier to digest):
- Organizing big encyclopedic posts (eg. mod first posts). Multiple posts let you easily break content into sections and link to each one providing a lite "wiki" format.
- Reserving posts for future use, usually thread creators, because you plan to organize your content (see above) or worry you'll exceed the post limit in the future.
- Bumping a thread with good reason
(new update, resolution to old problem, rediscuss an old topic with new information, etc). This also applies to old threads (necro-ing).
- Splitting a post because it reached a limit, is quote-heavy, or otherwise just ugly as a single post.
Examples of bad uses of double posting (clutters up threads and draws attention unnecessarily):
- Duplicate posts (accidental or otherwise).
- Talking to the void, soliciting feedback hoping eventually you'll figure out your goal. Think it over before
you post. Remember there's a Preview button.
- Posting in quick succession when a single post would do. We already have a chatroom, it's called IRC. If you wanna edit your old post and bring attention to it, it's better to delete and repost it.
- No-content bumps. I realize the Mod forums can move fast and you wanna make your mod visible, but if your post adds nothing, don't try to force attention to it.
- Basically, any kind of spamming and attention-seeking.
Sorry if you were expecting a hard and fast rule.
But I think we're people, not robots, and should be treated as such. Likewise, I hope you're moderating to make the forums a better place and not just out of blind obligation. After all, editing people's posts without explanation can also be considered rude netiquette...