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Ways that You Can Contribute to this Resource
Most DSMers use this site to get answers to their questions. Many will "take" and not "give back", and that's completely fine, it's the nature of the internet. But in order to ensure that this resource continues to help other DSMers for years to come, we encourage you to contribute helpful content whenever you can. Pay it forward by becoming a contributor, not just a consumer of information. Here are some ways that you can give back to the DSM community by posting quality content for others to benefit from...
Post Helpful Replies to Questions
By far the easiest way to contribute to this resource, or any forum for that matter, is to find threads where people are asking for help and post genuinely helpful replies. Most of the time it's simply a matter of pointing people to an existing post where the answer can be found, since many questions that get posted have already been answered in past discussions. With that said, the answers aren't always easy to find. If you know the answer to their question, take a few minutes to post it without giving them a hard time for not finding it on their own - do show them how they can find it next time, in a friendly way, in addition to your answer. Describe the steps you took to locate the answer. And if you don't know the answer to their question, please don't guess and post misinformation that could end up making their problem worse. Follow this link to find threads in the Newbie forum that haven't received answers yet. Or, check the New Posts to see if you can help anyone posting questions.
Post a Tech Article/How-to Article
Documenting an install or describing how to do something through a write up and good photos is one of the most helpful contributions you can make in a community like ours. It requires some planning and a little bit of effort on your part, but it's a great way to pay it forward and ensure others do the same. Choose a category here and post your tech article today.
Post a DSM Profile and a Build Thread
One of the absolute best things about online automotive communities is "build threads" - threads that document the progress of an owner's journey with their car. If you're a member here and you own a DSM, chances are you are a great candidate to start and maintain a build thread. Keep the community involved in your progress as you install your modifications and share the results of those mods. Include your experiences at the track and/or at the dyno.
To get started, you will first need to create a DSM profile for your car, if you haven't done so already. Once that profile is created, you will go to that profile and click on the "Discussions" tab, which is next to the "Specs & Mods" tab. That is your build thread, which was created automatically with your DSM profile. Go ahead and post some replies in that thread with updates. Here is a great example of an epic build thread, posted by one of our moderators, in case you need some inspiration. If you created a build thread without first creating a DSM Profile for your car, visit this page and a moderator can manually connect your existing build thread to your profile for you.
Help Identify Clutter and Bad Posts
Forums like this are full of discussions, some of which don't bring much value to those who are searching for answers to their technical questions. If you come across a post in a tech discussion that offers no value to the discussion, is misinformation, or is disrespectful, use the REPORT button so a moderator can take a look and take action if needed. If you come across older threads that ended up having no resolution, or are full of outdated or irrelevant information when compared to today's standards (for example: posts referencing obsolete tuning devices that are no longer used) report the thread so that we can consider removing it from the forum in order to clean up the search results. The more people helping us clean up the archive, the better.
Offer to Help Moderate the Forum
Most people think of moderators in forums as power-hungry egomaniacs. The reality is, every community like this needs volunteers to help keep things organized, clean, and free of trolling. Our moderators aren't banning people left and right, they're usually moving threads to the best forum category, deleting off topic posts, merging duplicate threads, and occasionally stepping in to resolve conflicts to keep the forum clean and useful for all. If you want to get involved and volunteer as a moderator, the best way to work towards doing so is to first "Report" threads that need attention. This helps show our moderating team that you understand the rules of the site and that you are interested in helping resolve the issues. After reporting threads regularly, send a private message to the site admin and mention you're interested in helping out as a moderator. The team will take a look at your posting history and your reported post activity and will see if there's a need to add another person to the team.
Just Be Friendly to Others
It should go without saying, but sometimes it has to be said. The more welcoming you are to newcomers, the more helpful you are in general, the better off this community will be. The attitudes of our members is what shapes this forum and in some ways, the DSM community as a whole. This site was created to be a useful resource where DSMers can learn from each other and share experiences, regardless of their level of knowledge and/or expertise with the platform. Be respectful and others will follow suit. If you come across a troll or a ridiculous argument, report it to the moderators and allow them to handle it. Avoid getting involved and making the mess worse.