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The Blog

  • Beware!  It crawls.... It creeps.... It eats you alive!
  • The indestructible creature! Bloated with the blood of its victims!
  • Terror has no shape - scream now, while there’s still room to breathe!
  • If it had a mind, you could reason with it. If it had a face, you could look it in the eye. And if it had a body, you could shoot it.

These lines were some of the taglines from the 1958 classic horror movie “The Blob” starring a very young Steve McQueen about an alien lifeform that consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows.  I don’t know about you, but if you’re not careful, participating in online blogging can sometimes seem like the same thing.  Perhaps some of you can have experienced how The Blog may seem harmless and innocuous one minute, but can quickly snowball into a destructive man-eating lifeform the next minute! 

The term “blog” was coined in mid-1999 and is a contraction of "web log."  Since then, blogging has become increasingly popular, both on personal websites (“online diary” or “bloggery”) and on community forums (“digital communities” or “online discussion sites”).  Typically on a community forum, members will start a thread with a question or thought, and other members will post their responses.  It is these community forums that tend to draw more controversy and seem to take on a life of their own, which is sometimes not all that positive, so blogging on community forums will be the focus of this article. 

I have seen and even experienced blogging gone bad.  I have read demeaning posts on coin forums that made me shake my head and even made me groan and want to scream.  I have read derogatory blogs that spewed such maliciousness that it made my skin crawl.  Perhaps you too have read posts on some of the various coin-related forums that made you want to reach through the computer and put the author out of everyone’s misery!

I am not trying to scare anyone away from participating in online discussion forums - on the contrary, I have found online coin forums to be very rewarding and have learned a great deal from their members.  I am hoping that by writing this article, it will encourage and help those interested in joining an online forum to have a more positive experience and to be able to have a better understanding on how to participate and contribute in a more knowledgeable and constructive manner.

Regrettably, it is not uncommon for otherwise benign people to hide behind the relative anonymity of computers while typing and posting whatever controversial, negative, attacking, and/or inappropriate words come to their mind.  Sometimes they even do this while “under the influence” of chemicals which only enhances their inflammatory remarks.  In any event, reading or participating in negative blogging can detract from and spoil the intent of an otherwise positive, enjoyable, and usually educational experience.  So here are some behavioral tips that, if more people practiced, might enhance everyone’s experience with The Blog.

  • Read and follow the forum rules.  Community forums are NOT public and each forum usually posts their own set of rules so be sure to read them carefully before you begin posting.  Forums usually have moderators who will follow threads and can modify, lock, and/or delete any thread and/or post they feel is inappropriate for whatever reason.  And they can also remove and ban a member for further participation on their forum.  “Freedom of speech” does not necessarily apply to privately run forums so it is best to behave according to their rules if you want to participate.
  • Don’t take posts and comments personally.  To me, this is one of the most important things I have learned while participating in blogging forums.  Of course, it’s easier said than done, but it will serve you well when the time comes – and most likely it will!
  • Don’t be controversial and make posts just to get attention.  Only post when you have something of note to add, and then keep your posts professional and respectful.
  • Avoid derogatory and disparaging remarks about fellow forum members.  Learn how to deliver interesting and professional opinions without criticizing others.  If you have a personal issue you want to address with another individual, take the issue off-forum either in an email or a private message (pm) rather than in a public forum setting.
  • Crude and vulgar language should be avoided at all cost.  Any form of defamation, strong language, criticism, or even downright critical opinion of another member is unnecessary and only draws attention away from the actual topic being discussed.
  • Use emoticons (tiny pictures like smiley faces, thumbs up, etc.) and other symbols to indicate tone. When posting on a forum (or in an email for that matter), there is an absence of indicators that help demonstrate voice tone, facial expressions, body language, and other emotions. In the absence of these valuable social cues, emoticons and symbols can help make your tone and intention clear to other forum participants.
  • Don’t "hijack" forum threads.  Stay on topic. If you’d like to discuss a different issue or problem, start a separate thread.  If someone posts a coin they want to “show off” or have people comment on, unless you have a specific related reason to do so, avoid posting a photo of your coin, as it may detract from the original poster’s coins.
  • Be very careful about what you write because anything you write on the Internet stays on the internet.  And you don’t want your words to come back later and “bite” you.

The next few tips are geared toward being more technically proficient in the blogging world:

  • Read all of the posts in the thread before posting on the internet forum. This will help forum participants avoid repeating points that have already been discussed in depth.
  • The title should consist of important key words that briefly explain what your post will be about.
  • Avoid typing and spelling mistakes – go back and read your post before you release it.
  • Avoid typing in all caps or all bold, as this is the equivalent to yelling on an internet forum.
  • Avoid creating extremely long forum posts on a regular basis.
  • Post links to cited facts or other posts that are referenced.
  • Avoid posting a link to a site that requires a user to register on that site.
  • Don’t quote an entire post if you are only responding to a specific comment.
  • If you are the original thread starter or opening poster (OP), avoid writing a response after each and every comment – wait for several replies, then write your response (you can quote and reply to several different posts in your one response)
  • Don’t respond to a post just to increase your post count (the number of times you post on a forum from the date of joining).
  • Be careful not to post copyrighted material.

For those of you who would like a more in depth understanding of the internet forum world, I found this Wikipedia link to be very helpful:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_forum#Thread

And last but not least, I compiled these general blogging terms and coin-related abbreviations from various websites that may help you understand and navigate the coin blogging world.

 

AT

Artificial Toning

B&M

Brick & Mortar, your local coin shop

Board

Short for “message board” similar to "bulletin board” and “discussion forum”; discussion forums are more interactive than message boards or bulletin boards

Blog

Short for “Web log”; an online diary of your thoughts on a specific topic or whatever crosses your mind; see discussion forum

Blogger

Person who blogs, a person who post comments or questions on blogs

Blogging

[vb] The act of posting on blogs; [adj] those things related to blogs

Blogosphere

The Internet blogging community

BOLO

Be On the Look Out

BRB

Be Right Back [used in chat rooms]

BST

Buy, Sell, Trade, BST Forum

BTW

By The Way

CAC

Certified Acceptance Corporation, an independent numismatic coin authentication service

CBH

Capped Bust Half

CCW

Counter Clock Wise, as in rotation of a die, used in rotational error identification

CPG

Cherry Picker’s Guide

Discussion Forum

Interactive online communities formed for group discussion and presentation of information on specific or general topics; “blogs” and “message boards” are related terms; many online communities also have group and private “chat rooms” and private instant messaging features for their members

DIVA

Designated Ike Variety (same idea as VAMs, but for Eisenhower dollars)

DNC

Did Not Cross, coins submitted to a third party grading service that do not cross into their holder

Down thread

[adv] Earlier posts; comments that are found below the post you are reading or responding to

Dreck

Particularly inferior coins

ED

Early Date

EDS

Early Die State

EMDS

Early Middle Die State

EOR

End Of Roll, as in a coin that was exposed at the end of a bank roll that exhibits paper flap toning

FB

FeedBack, eBay term for seller/buyer comments

FB

Mercury dimes exhibiting Full Bands due to an excellent strike

FBL

Full Bell Lines on rev of Franklin Half Dollar

FE/Flyer

Flying Eagle cent (1856-1858)

FEP

Friendly Eagle Pattern, 1971 D Ike dollar with the RDV 006 reverse

First Strike

First coins struck by Mint dies

Flame

[v] To post a series of highly inflammatory insulting comments, often using profanity

Frankies

Simple slang for Franklin half dollar

FSH

For Sale Here on the BST forum

FT

Full Torch (used to designate a full strike on Roosies)

FWIW

For what it’s worth

GAE

Gold American Eagle

GSA CC

Government Services Administration, Carson City mint

GTG

Guess The Grade

Grand Slam

When a coin sells for 100X or more than the original purchase price

H/O

Hello

Heading

[n] The name the poster gives to his/her comment

Homerun

When a coin is sold for more than 10X the original purchase price

IIRC

If I Recall Correctly

IMO

In My Opinion

IMHO

In My Humble Opinion

IMNSHO

In My Not So Humble Opinion

IRL

In Real Life

J/K

Just Kidding

JMHO

Just My Humble Opinion

JMO

Just My Opinion

KoolAid

“Drinking the KoolAid” - becoming a firm believer in something; accepting an argument or philosophy wholeheartedly or blindly (term originated with the Jonestown Massacre)

LDS

Late Die State

LMAO

Laughing My Ass Off (see ROFLMAO)

LOL

Laugh Out Loud

Lurk

[vb] To visit a discussion forum without posting comments

Lurker

[n] Often “newbies” (see newbie) who start out by lurking on the site before becoming active posters

MA

Market Acceptable

Macro

Photography term usually associated with a type of lens setting for close ups

MAD

MisAligned Die

"I made a coin"

A coin was bought raw and then submitted for certification by a third party grading service

Matte finish

Also thought of as SATIN finish, mint dies glass bead blasted/pickled

MDS

Middle Die State

Micro O

Super small New Orleans mint mark

Milk spots

Milky white spots that mysteriously appear on silver eagles due to improper rinse at the mint. They also show up on Peace dollars

MOL

More Or Less

Moon Shot

Scanner bed or camera image taken without magnification or so far away, you need the Hubble to identify the coin

Moose

An incredible coin, usually one that grades MS/PR67 or higher or a coin with astounding eye appeal

MPD

MisPlaced Date

MPL

Matte Proof Lincoln cents (1909-1916)

MS70

Name brand for coin cleaner

NARU

Not A Registered User (an eBay username that has been banned from further using eBay as a result of disobeying rules)

Newbie

[n] A person who is new to a particular discussion forum [blog]

NN

Numismatic News

NPB

Non-Paying Bidder, used in eBay

NT

Natural Toning

OBW

Original Bank Wrapped coin rolls

OF

Open Forum

OGH

Old Green Holder, PCGS slab with green label

OMM

Overpunched Mint Mark such as a D/S

OP

Original Poster, thread starter

OT

Off Topic, a post that is unrelated to the opening post or topic

OTOH

On The Other Hand

Open thread

[n] A thread that includes posts about multiple topics. In an open thread, a person cannot go "off topic" or have "thread drift"

Pallad (or Pd)

Palladium

PC holder

PCGS holder

Plat (or Pt)

Platinum

PM

Private Message, can also stand for Precious Metals

PMD

Post Mint Damage, something occurred after the coin left the Mint

PMDD

Poor Man’s Double Die (die erosion created trailing ghost 5’s in the date, not a true hub doubled die)

Pop

Population, as it pertains to registered coins that are slabbed

Post

[n] The comment; message; [v] the act of submitting a post

Poster

[n] The person who writes a specific post; the same as “blogger”

POV

[n] Point Of View

POTD

Post Of The Day

PQ

Premium Quality

PUP

Pickup Point, a characteristic that usually indicates a nice strike

Rattler Holder

Small first generation PCGS holder with green label; referring to how the coin rattles inside the hard plastic holder

Re-post

[n] [Repost] A comment that has been previously posted on that website or on another website; [v] the act of putting a post in a thread that had previously been posted

RFR

"Run, Forrest, Run!" Avoid at all cost

Roosies

Roosevelt Dimes, particularly 90% silver 1946

ROTFLMAO

Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off. Some letters of this shorthand phrase are omitted to make phrases such as “LMAO” and “ROF”

RPD

RePunched Date such as 1869/69

RPM

RePunched Mintmark such as D/D

SAE

Silver American Eagle

SDB

Safe Deposit Box

Site

[n] Short for "website"

Skin

Originality of a coin as it pertains to strike, luster and look

SLQ

Standing Liberty Quarter

SNAD

Significantly Not As Described (eBay term)

C U later

See you later

TAT

Turn Around Time

TPG

Third Party Grader

Thread

[n] A series of posts either on a specific topic or, in the case of an "open thread," on multiple topics, or any topic at all

Thread drift

[n] An off topic post in a thread on a specific topic; thread drift is frowned upon to a greater or lesser degree depending on the particular discussion forum or the particular thread within a discussion forum

TOS

Terms of Service, are rules by which one must agree to abide by in order to use a service. Usually, such terms are legally binding

Top Pop

Population being #1 for the grade, as it pertains to registered coins that are encapsulated

Troll

[n] A negative reference for a person who posts on a discussion board for the purpose of disrupting the conversation

TTT

To The Top

UHR

Ultra High Relief $20 gold struck in 2009, dated MMIX

URL

[n] The address of a website

VAM

Van Allen and Mallis (Morgan and Peace dollar varieties)

VEDS

Very Early Die States

VEMS

Very Early Middle States

Widget

Run of the mill, common date coins

w/

With

WTB

Want To Buy

WTC Coins

World Trade Center coins (coins minted from silver recovered from the site)

YN

Young Numismatists

WTG

Way To Go (a compliment)

 

 

 

 

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