Writing good posts
- An effective forum post is concise and relates directly to the discussion thread at hand.
Written below is an excellent article by Ikeni about how to be a good forum poster http://bbs.evony.com/showthread.php?142130-How-to-be-a-Good-Forum-Poster
For those unwilling to read all of this, there's a TL;DR (too long; didn't read) section below the main guide
Welcome to the Good Poster Guide. For some individuals, good posting comes naturally and it's very easy for them to make good posts consistently. An example would be Conrad Jalowski, but in my opinion that's scholarly posting, what I consider on a separate level to just regular good posting. Maybe you're looking to make a name for yourself as one of those members people respect, and your attempts have failed so far? Maybe you just want to improve your posting for that good feeling you get from the change from a spammer to one who frequently makes constructive posts. Whatever your reason, if you're interested then read on!
You don't always have to be serious. That'll give the impression that you're robotic. Yes, you could be making good posts constantly, but you need to express a semblance of humanity or otherwise people may find you more of an oddity than one of those admired members. If you can find the perfect mix of good posting and humor, then you're there. Spot on. My sense of humour is particularly awful though, so I tend to refrain from pulling jokes too much.
- Posting style
Coming from a guide I want you to read, it may sound weird me saying this, but don't copy other peoples' posting styles. If you're going to be a good poster, you have to come up with your own kind of style which will probably vary among person to person. A few tips I have to offer though, are the following:
Refrain from posting a few words or a one-liner. If you're going to post in a thread, it should add to the discussion and you should make a post which brings up the main points brought up by the OP, or if the thread has twisted in to different topics (excluding the spammy ones) then to answer those.
Don't post pointless spam or lolcats for the sake of it. Honestly, they really aren't funny unless it's timed perfectly. For example, if someone makes an extremely obvious point (e.g "World War II was bad"), then followed by some "O RLY?!" comment would be funny (in my opinion anyway). Of course, afterwards rather than targetting that poster, get back on topic. Preferably keep comments like this between you and your forum friends, if it's someone you don't know then they might get offended.
Try to remain posting in topics you know about. For example, if someone makes a thread on the Jewish Revolts in Judaea during the 1st Century AD in the Roman Empire and you know nothing on the topic, there's no point adding to the thread since it wouldn't be anything constructive. On the other hand, if say the Vietnam War is your strong subject, then add as much to the thread as you can. Your viewpoint and facts would be appreciated.
An example of a bad post:
"the americans beat the nazis on d-day because they were better than all of the other countries in ww2"
An example of a good post:
"The Allies were able to land successfully on D-Day due to various reasons at the time. Rundstedt wanted to hold the panzers in reserve whereas Rommel wanted them up front, believing the battle would be decided within the first 24 hours. Hitler came to the compromise by allowing a part of the armour to be deployed further inland in Normandy while allowing some of them to be placed further up. An example would be the 21. Panzer-Division which was in Caen on 6 June 1944.
Total air and naval supremacy had been achieved by the Allied forces at the time, and Operation Fortitude, a British deception campaign had firmly convinced the German intelligence (Abwehr) that a landing was going to be launched at Pas-de-Calais (hence why Hitler deployed his strong divisions, such as the 1.SS Panzer-Division (Leibstandarte) in the area. Despite approximately 2,000 losses being inflicted on the American troops at Omaha beach, the landings at Utah, Sword, Juno and Gold went pretty much without a hitch. The beachheads would rapidly expand post-landing, but it was the Bocage which would inevitably lead to the month after months of intense combat, and the urban terrain in Caen which would be the bane of the British forces too."
- Remain polite
If you're arguing with a member with an opposing viewpoint, try to remain as polite as possible. Getting angry at them serves no purpose at all, and will just make you look like an idiot. Just think, everything posted on this forum will remain there for years and years afterwards. It's a permanent mark, and when you look back you may realise how silly you might have looked at the time. To limit the amount of embarrassment you may have in the future, try to contain your frustrations.
Another thing, is not to answer trolls. They are attempting to derail your thread, and answering them will simply derail it further and antagonize you. Just ignore them and stick to the topic at hand. They'll get bored and go away. Problem is, there is always someone who will answer them, so by not answering you're simply limiting their number of victims as much as possible. If they break the rules, report them and they'll be punished by the appropriate authorities with a punishment befitting their violation of the rules, taking in to account their history on the forum and the severity of what they had done.
You may have a massive inclination to post in every thread, but don't. Try to hold back. It's much better to have ten informative posts than one hundred smaller ones, since the amount of content they'll add to the threads they are posted in will be fairly minimal compared to the ten informative ones. Not posting so much allows you to let other members to express their views, and then when it comes around to you posting in the thread there's much more for you to answer rather than replying to every single new post that gets made. Having a high post count means nothing unless they're good posts, in which case it would be an accurate measurement of your contribution. Although not much better, rep is a better way to gauge the level of contribution by a member. For example, I have 23 points (given by a total of four members) all for good posting.
An easy way to get started would be to maintain your grammar in your posts to as high a standard as you possibly can. If you want to make a good post, it's good if you at least make it look like a good post. Then, you just need to try and stick to topics you know about, and try to add as much as you can about the topic in hand rather than just a short little one-liner. Try to stick to the subject and don't start directing your posts at other members in an attempt to upset them. If you can do something along the lines of what i've suggested in this thread, in time you will be able to execute what i've written as ideas flawlessly and you will be appreciated for your insight in threads. To use the same example, Rota is admired on this forum and is rarely questioned. It's a double-edged sword because it means he's highly trusted, but then on the other hand he could then post a nonsensical post and people would still agree with him due to what he's done in the past. No way is this an attempt to insult you may I add, it's just a point I felt I needed to raise.
If you've been bothered to read all of this, I appreciate it and I hope it'll (even if slightly) improve the overall posting quality on this forum, hell I would be happy if it improved one member's posting quality since it means what i've written has actually worked, even if to a limited extent. Two little disclaimers though, even though I feel if you want to improve you should try, don't ever make it a mentally taxing commitment. Forums in all truth are for fun, and if you don't have fun in doing what i've suggested in this thread, then don't try and force yourself to do it. Also, since the off-topic forum is supposed to be more laid back, the suggestions i've offered in this guide shouldn't be applied so rigidly since long detailed posts don't really have much of a place in there and it's more of a place to unwind and relax than try to spark a debate. Nonetheless, there is the thin line between spamming and relaxing, and you should always try to stick with the latter.
Don't derail an intelligent thread
Be yourself (as in don't worry about what the rest of the "group" will say or do if you post. Just say what you think/feel keep it within the rules so it doesnt cause drama/infractions/suspension/banning.)
Essentially all it takes. Everyone has something individually different about them, how they talk, their opinions, thoughts, feelings or sense of humor. It makes for an interesting forum and cool people to meet