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Tips on Posting Style?

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posted on May, 26 2005 @ 02:23 PM
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One thing that has struck me as somewhat strange in my short time on the boards here is the discrepancy in the number of comments, questions, etc. in response to a topic. Quite often, it seems that the less work that went into a post, the more popular it is. I see some posts that are little more than a paragraph, stating stuff along the lines of "Aliens are here and the government is covering them up. What do you think?" The replies to posts like these will often take up several pages. In contrast, when there's a lengthy post that has a lot of research behind it (whether valid or not) there's generally only a handful of comments or questions.

As some of you may realize, I say this because I have made a couple of posts that fall into the latter category (at least in my opinion.) As I made them I was truly hoping for some kind of response, especially skeptical criticism so I could find the holes in the argument and see whether they might be reasonably patched. I know that I don't cover all the bases, that there have to be some questions left unanswered. I try to do the same to others who post in the same vein; I try and be the skeptic, whether I believe or not, and see where their concepts sink. I don't get much chance to really pull that off; most of the time I can't find a problem that no one else has found. Granted, I do like the points given from the number of replies, but I honestly couldn't care much less as long as there was a reasonable discussion going on that could show me where my logic may be at fault. I wouldn't argue one bit if the powers that be here took the point system away, as long as I knew I was growing as a writer and a researcher just from the experience of being here.

What I would really appreciate from some of the more seasoned members is some tips on writing a post that will get discussion. Are the topics I post too long? Not sensational enough? Is my writing style boring? I think this forum is a great place for debates, logical or otherwise, and I think some tips on how to write an "interesting post" would be of great value to the community. Just my opinion though.




posted on May, 26 2005 @ 02:32 PM
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While I haven't seen any of your posts in question, I can tell you based on my own experience (about 13 years worth) of WWW message boards, that an economy of words is a treasured virtue.

I look at it like this, if I have to read more than one paragraph to get the "jist" of someone's post I am probably going to lose interest. Like listening to a lecture, lay the idea, theory, question, whatever out up front and capture your audience's interest or they will surely fall asleep in their seats.


$0.02 delivered.


m...



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 02:33 PM
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Or maybe not. There is a definite correlation between the quality (or lack thereof) and the number of replies, the same could be said for apparent quality. I implore you not to forgo hard work, and research just to "hit the big one." ATS deserves more than that, and you'll always be able to look your avatar in the eye, vice casting yourself in the eternal abyss of


Cast off the frustration, redouble your efforts, and trust that in the end, the posts that make a difference flourish.

Carry on.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 02:45 PM
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You aren't the only one who's noticed this. If it's any consolation though, don't look at Replies, but at the number of Viewed...
If a post is well researched, and presents interesting info, I'd wager this will be a MUCH higher number than the replies.

Take my Roswell threads for example. Lots of research, not so many replies. However lots of views, which suits me fine, as the goal was to share the message and the info, not generate replies.

Yet a purely speculative alien thread I posted (just as an experiment), garnered multiple pages of replies, and in almost no time. Just the nature of the beast I suppose.

Of course, that's one of the purposes of the "Applaud" that we mods can give out, as recognition of such quality posts. And don't feel bad if you had a post or more that should have gotten it but didn't...it's a subjective thing, and we may or may not have stumbled upon it.... I'm pretty sure you've gotten some though...



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 03:11 PM
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Hey MCory1,

I'm not really one to give you advice since the same happens to me...a lot.
I haven't really seen many of your threads. Can you provide a few examples of threads you have started that you feel didn't get the amount of responses you felt they deserved?

There are a number of possible reasons for what you describe.

* You may not be giving yourself enough credit. It may be that your threads are better researched and laid out than you think. ATS is not really a community of "yes men/yes women", rather many of us are here to read and learn, so if people agree with your points and have nothing to add, they usually won't bother to make a "me too" post like you see on a lot of other forums.

* If you submit a well-researched post in a topic that few have a lot of knowledge about, you are greatly narrowing down the amount of people that can add something constructive to the thread or argue against your points. Anyone can rattle on with wild speculations in answer to a question like, "Do you think there are lots of different races of aliens?", but if for example you want to discuss the debunking of the Bob Lazar claims, then the number of people who possess the knowledge base to do so intelligently, or who are interested enough to do some research into the matter, will be much fewer.

* It may be (and I think this is my major problem) that some of the topics you find interesting, the majority of other people don't. There are many topics that I feel are very important and intriguing, but when I start a thread on it, the reaction is sometimes little more than a *shrug* and a "mmm, yeah, I guess so."

* The favorite topics of the day will usually get more replies, and so will extremist views. Post something claiming torture is a legitimate means of extracting information and watch how many replies you get, or post that all Muslims are terrorists and watch the sparks fly. But are these really the kinds of threads you want to start?


I understand your concerns, because I used to measure the quality of my threads by the number of replies as well, but later I realized that's bollocks. Now I look more at the number of views to at least get a vague idea of whether I've contributed something that is valued by other members or not. Granted, this is not really a true gauge either because sometimes a catchy title will produce the same effect.

Have a look around at the threads started by quality members such as twitchy, Valhall, Gools, Sanctum, Nygdan and many others, and you will find that often (but not always) they don't get a huge amount of replies, but their threads are always of a high quality, contribute valuable info or thoughts, and will usually get a large amount of views. So don't be disheartened - quality cannot be measured by popularity. Just think, millions and millions of people buy Britney Spears albums...

Wow, I typed that much. Anyway, I hope this bunch of waffle helped a little.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 03:39 PM
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I just read you "Archuleta Mesa" thread (think I spelled that right) and it was [B]EXCELLENT!.

It also has 162 views at the moment, THAT'S good. Like WCIP and Gaz have stated that is your "guide" if you will.

I won't re-iterate what others have said about replies by those with nothing to add, me too, etc... those are all very true here and we LIKE it.


The only thing I would have done differently on that post is put (Dulce Base) in the subject. I have never heard it referred to as a mesa. I'm certain (after reading your grand post) that's the correct name for it but if people don't recognize something they generally won't look.

I have to say that you are an example of the type of member we CHERISH here. Thoughtful, courteous, and you do your homework!


PLEASE take heart in the views and keep up the GOOD WORK!


m...



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 04:23 PM
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I really appreciate the comments Springer--I'm not good at receiving compliments--and the subject was something that I thought of this morning, way too late to change it. I see Gaz has changed it though--thanks!

The number of views is something that I have paid attention to, but I'll admit it was always in a bad light. More along the lines of "man, I have X number of people reading it, but no one is saying anything..." Between the three of you I think I'll change my tune on that one


Wecomeinpeace, you bring up some valid points that I had never really considered, although I have noticed the tendency for the popularity of extremist views. As far as giving myself enough credit, I do try and tend towards modesty above all else, but at the same time I know that I don't know everything, and that I don't think of all the possibilities. Someone's got to have a twist in the road that I didn't see.

I will admit that one reason I like getting replies is because it keeps the thread alive for people to read. That can be written of as narcissism, I will neither admit nor deny anything there. And I know that's one way the board evolves, by new topics sprouting and older topics dying.

If I may make a suggestion based on that idea, one that may seem a little off topic, would it be too much to ask for a member-based reading room, where posts that are more like articles are voted in? There's many things that aren't exactly "news worthy," nor would making them sticky be logical. But might very well be worth keeping alive for the sake of reading or future comments, such as Gaz's Roswell series. It might also increase the number of posts in this vein. Just a thought.



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 06:07 PM
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Hi MCory!

Keep up the good work. I'll be reading your post on Dulce for a while I fear!



posted on May, 26 2005 @ 07:22 PM
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Good post and even better replies!


Like others have pointed out people do read long posts.

I've had many posts garner just a few responders. For example my great depression thread only attracted a few people to comment but has been viewed over 4 000 times.

I don't know how many times I've spent a half-hour reading a thread and come away feeling that everything I could have said was already said better than I could have. So I move on.

Don't worry, quality is recognised and much appreciated.
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