Hey guys and gals, just thought I'd list a few of the basic rules when looking for Flashpoints and getting into a group to do them.
First of all what are Flashpoints? For the most part Flashpoints are important story line sequences which offer a social and entertaining side line away from your normal missions. Flashpoint couriers usually take the form of Droids on the Imperial or Republic Space stations and are also scattered around various planets as well.
Flashpoints are level based. The first one is found as you leave your starting planet where you have learned the basics of combat and how to play your character.
1) Try to get into a balanced group, for example a tank, healer and a couple of dps. The beginning one is reasonably easy and will give you a basic understanding of group encounters.
2) Try to be understanding of new players and be as helpful as possible. These encounters are not the standard "dungeons" that most WoW players are used to and the roles required by each player can change during a Flashpoint. Sometimes a player will be needed to off-tank or interrupt special abilities; other times they might just need to do as much dps as possible.
3) Listen to the story lines and enjoy them. Obviously repeated occurrences of the same Flashpoint will make you want to skip through options but be courteous to players who haven't done the Flashpoint before and want to listen to the story line.
4) Asking people if they would like to join should never be a problem. Most likely you will notice in the general chat multiple people asking for members to specific encounters. Sometimes people tend to ignore this chat and sometimes getting asked to come do a Flashpoint can be a nice breather from missions etc.
5) Enjoy yourself.
[Editor's addition 6) don't go AFK without at least informing the group if an emergency comes up.]
1) Be rude or overbearing. Obvious reasons.
2) Actually most people should know how to behave so I won't go into these issues of etiquette.
3) Don't be scared to ask questions on how to better play your character in an encounter. Some people will no doubt not expect this and may act rude or unaccommodating but the majority of people will see this as an opportunity to try and work together.
4) Don't be afraid to try new things.
[Editor's addition: 5) don't start a Flashpoint if you know you won't have the time to finish it, unless you've cleared it with the group first]
These listings are pretty much commonsense but one important thing I've noticed about all of the Flashpoints I've done so far is that they are far more geared towards the social aspect of the game with gaining social points and unique pieces of gear, than that of gaining or farming experience. Quite frankly some of these encounters are very long and you should only do them if you have the time and want some unique entertainment and social activity. [Editor's addition: be prepared to set aside up to two hours]