ID:277776
 
All users should be forced to watch this before they join.
http://www.videojug.com/film/ how-to-behave-on-an-internet-forum

It really would clear up most of our problems.
[EDIT: If stickies are ever invented, this needs to be one!]
It's my experience that trolls, and other such e-tards tend to know better, they just either A) play dumb so they can get away with their blatantly inappropriate behaviour when they get smacked by a moderator, thus nullifying their punishment, or B) don't care, as they can find a new forum to troll, get around the ban, or just whine until they get unbanned/unmuted.

There's also another rule of the internet at work to make this unhelpful:

"The more helpful the post on an internet forum, the less readers. Those who can be most helped by a post simply will not read it. This fact is even more true when said post is a sticky or an announcement."

This is is only less commonly known than the rule that: "Women on the internet do not exist. The minute a woman makes a user account on a website, she is from there on, male."

^_^
In response to Ter13 (#1)
Ter13 wrote:
"The more helpful the post on an internet forum, the less readers. Those who can be most helped by a post simply will not read it. This fact is even more true when said post is a sticky or an announcement."

But at least with a sticky you have a good excuse to ban people when they're in blatant violation of an obviously posted rule.
In response to Foomer (#2)
Sticky posts make it easy to find forums that I don't want to read.

Say I've got a suggestion or a question and I go to the forum. 9 sticky posts, all saying "IMPORTANT" and "URGENT".

I'll sit back and way "Good thing they had those sticky posts, or I wouldn't have known that they were total assholes!"
In response to PirateHead (#3)
Although I think its ridiculous to have 9 sticky posts on a forum, I really don't follow your reasoning.
In response to Foomer (#4)
Forums end up putting up these huge masses of literature documenting how people are expected to behave, things they are supposed to know before posting, and before you know it you develop a community who shouts down anybody who hasn't already read the forum's how-to novel.

In other words, sticky posts indirectly create barriers to participation, and thus decrease the quality and diversity of posts.
In response to PirateHead (#5)
PirateHead wrote:
In other words, sticky posts indirectly create barriers to participation...

Correction, misuse of sticky posts indirectly create barriers to participation.

A basic set of guidelines is a damn good idea for a sticky. http://www.byond.com/help/forum?id=65 is a good example of a correct sticky(that isn't a sticky because BYOND doesn't support it).
In response to Danial.Beta (#6)
Technically we could have stickies, create a new forum category named "READ BEFORE POSTING" and just stick everything in there...
In response to Flame Sage (#7)
O_O There's a BYOND help forum?
In response to Foomer (#4)
Wurm Online's forum was a prime example. It's currently down, as it got "hacked" I.E. they didn't remove the /install directory when they added the forum. Idiots.

Each forum has between 2 and 10 stickies, and 1 and 5 announcements. The general forum is the worst. It has like, 15 or more stickies relating to breaches of the rules, respecting the moderators, threats, eating mexican food, you name it.

It's completely retarded.

Plus, the entire community is full of morons. Wurm is a buggy game. The creator, Rolf, does not think before he adds things to the game. He introduces ten times as many bugs as he fixes, and everything he adds is either half-assed or unbalanced. He "fixes" the only balanced crap by unbalancing it, or removing it completely, and completely screws up the economy and doesn't fix it or reimburse people.

^These are generally acknowledged facts by most of the community.

However, the minute a person makes a suggestion how to fix something, or even makes an observation that something isn't quite right, the entire community jumps him, flames him, and tells him to leave the community if he doesn't like the game.

This is an example of a forum gone wild. Notice the stickies, and stay away.
In response to Ter13 (#9)
I don't see why old stickies shouldn't either be removed once they no longer apply, or reformatted and merged with some other sticky.

All these forums really need is one sticky at the top of each forum laying down some simple rules to follow. For example, we could put something on the classified ads forum stating, among other things "Do not ask for help on a game that you have not started!" - Which would give the mods free reign to delete all those "please build my anime game for me!" posts.
In response to Foomer (#10)
Foomer wrote:
Which would give the mods free reign to delete all those "please build my anime game for me!" posts.

The mods don't need a reason to do anything.
In response to PirateHead (#5)
Diversity of posts is of highly dubious value in most forums....

I find stickies helpful in many forums, especially when they list useful FAQs and the like. For example, in a game strategy forum, I like to be able to quickly find frequently used acronyms and strategy references (IE "Pio rush" is a strategy of producing lots of pioneers with flamethrower upgrades to rush enemy enemies and structures; PE refers to Panzer Elite, etc.).

In some of the painting and modelling forums, I like stickies that catalogue user's postings so I can see contributions without having to try to figure out what they titled in in a particular post.

In short, stickies are like any other tool and can be effective if utilized properly.
In response to Jmurph (#12)
Jmurph wrote:
In short, stickies are like any other tool and can be effective if utilized properly.

It sounds like those stickies are ugly hacks in place of better systems for distributing information, such as FAQs and wiki pages.