The following is a compilation of the guidelines that many other forums use in their communities and has been adapted for the RITMRC Forums.
There are to be no deliberate personal attacks. Do not feel compelled to defend your honor in public.
Stay on topic.
Please pay attention to the topic of your messages, and check that it still relates to the purpose of the forum to which you are posting.
It is never appropriate to post the same message to more than one forum. Don't do it. It is never appropriate to post the same message to more than one forum when one of those forums has general in its name.
Borrowed from the Mozilla Foundation and Modified: http://www.mozilla.org/community/etiquette.html
Power-posting is when board members post 'empty' messages to the board, in order to simply increase their number of posts more quickly. Examples of power-posting are replying to a message with only 'LOL' or 'I agree', but failing to contribute anything further to the discussion. If you reply to a message, make sure you have something to say. Power posting clutters up the forums, clutters up the 'new posts' function, and uses extra bandwidth and server space. While we don't mind people using bandwidth to chat usefully on the board, we do mind people using it just because they want a more impressive 'post counter'. If you're not sure if you're power-posting, take a moment and think it over before you post. If all your post contains is a 'LOL' or an emoticon, it's a power-post. If it adds something to the discussion, it isn't.
Right from the horses mouth at: http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Forum_Etiquette
Make your questions (and responses) as clear and intelligible as possible. Please use punctuation and well structured sentences. Please do not use excessive punctuation!
Avoid "chat lingo" & shorthand.
From TweakXP(abridged and modified): http://forum.tweakxp.com/forum/Topic130928-29-1.aspx
And some from the top of my head:
1) If it doesn't need to be said, don't say it.
2) Do not feel compelled to reply to every post. Post only when it is necessary. Refer to the section on Power Posting.
3) Ask ONE and ONLY ONE question at a time in ONE forum. Posting questions everywhere only confuses the membership and makes it hard to track the posts.
4) Think before you post, believe it or not, half of the posts out there are not necessary.
5) Moderation is good.
6) You don't need to say something about everything. If it doesn't concern you, don't post just to post something. Refer back to the section of power-posting.
7) Give others time to respond.
8 ) Grammar was taught in grammar school for a reason. Use it.
9) Personal notes to others are better kept personal. Not everyone wants to know.
10) Re-read this document.
Furthermore, here is some reinforcement from Wikipedia:
Certain rules of unspoken etiquette should be followed when using Internet forums. They include:
1. Read any rules and guidelines established by the community; some may have different regulations on a particular subject. Always be courteous.
2. Before creating a new topic thread, search to see if a similar topic already exists.
3. Follow standard grammar/spelling rules and try not to use slang.
4. If the forum is categorized, post in the correct section.
5. Include as much technical information as possible if posting a technical inquiry.
6. Stay on-topic.
7. Avoid double posting and Crossposting.
8. Respond to topics started by others more often than starting topics of your own so that you don't appear arrogant and unlikable.
9. Avoid the use of all CAPITAL LETTERS in posts. (All CAPS is considered "shouting" and causes readability issues.)
10. Do not resurrect a very old topic if you have nothing extremely significant to add. This practice is known as revival or a "necro", short for necromancy, from the practice of necromancers in fantasy animating the dead.
11. Try to refrain from lashing back at a poorly behaving member or participating in a flame war; instead, notify the messageboard's staff of the event.
12. When quoting a previous post, include only the relevant portion of that post.