Forum Guidelines

Forum Guidelines

The SDS Online Forum is open to all, but there a few guidelines we want you to follow to ensure that when you get involved, you do so safety, securely and in a way that represents yourself and/or your professional organisation well.

Be Smart

Use your common sense. If you wouldn’t say it out-loud in public, don’t say it online. Think before you post. Keep your language simple and clear. Don’t share sensitive information. Represent yourself and/or your organisation well online just like you would in person. And if in doubt, just ask

Be Human.

We like to get to know people, so put a bit of yourself into what you post. Forum users aren’t looking to talk with a robot. Our Forum is about relationships and that means understanding when to be empathetic and when to be direct. It’s about understanding the person you’re speaking to, and being appropriate with how you reply. Just be yourself, and you’ll go far.

Improve the discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Spend time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who can answer your question.

Read this before doing anything!

  • Like things! Use the Like button instead of posting “+1”, “agreed” which won’t help the forum assess your interest or gauge support for ideas.
  • Search on your idea for a topic before creating a new post, maybe someone has it covered
  • Check the category: is it the best one for your topic?
  • Cross-posting is putting the same post in multiple topics/categories, please don’t do this!
  • Empty replies , replies without content, aren’t helpful - use the like button to show your interest
  • Diverting from the topic is bad manners in forums too! If you think the conversation would benefit from going in another direction use Reply as Linked Topic and kick it off there.
  • Signing your post isn’t necessary, every post as your profile information so keep that up to date

Dealing with negativity

Unfortunately, the internet isn’t always a happy place and sometimes when people post online, it might not be in the nicest way. You need to make a call on how to respond to each message. Some key things to remember are:

  • Deal with it straight away . People who are upset don’t want to be left waiting, so deal with the post (however that might be) as soon as you can.
  • Determine the response . Not all posts need a response, and sometimes responding can fuel negativity. You can flag the post so Moderators can identify the best way to deal with the post. If in doubt, can provide advice.
  • It’s good practice to acknowledge people . Even if you’re simply saying ‘thank you’, it’s good to let the individual know you’ve seen and are handling their post or message. You can be emphatic, say you’ll pass feedback on, but as above, sometimes you may decide that even an acknowledgement could cause an issue. Ultimately, it’s your call.

Some quick Do’s and Don’ts


  • Be credible in how you communicate, and be transparent.
  • Give credit where it is due. Don’t try to pass off another’s work as your own.
  • Be nice, have fun, build relationships.
  • Admit when you’re wrong or have made a mistake, doing so as soon as possible after you realise your error.


  • Create an ‘official’ profile for your team or organisation without checking with your manager.
  • Post any form of confidential, private or protected information. This could be contact information such as phone numbers. Instead, direct people to a website contact page.
  • Be drawn into disputes, debates or comment where you’re not 100% sure of the facts. If in doubt, don’t post.
  • Don’t make negative comments about another person or organisation, especially if this could be labelled as libellous. Be nice (you’ll get it in return.)
  • Be careful with content, be aware of what you’re sharing and where it has come from. (Reputable source, copyrighted?)Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

Terms of Service

Yes, legalese is boring, but we must protect ourselves – and by extension, you and your data – against unfriendly folks. We have a Terms of Service describing your (and our) behavior and rights related to content, privacy, and laws. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.