Trim Those Quotes!

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posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 03:09 PM
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Dear fellow members,

I want to raise awareness of the rules for quoting posts:

ABOUT ATS: Warnings for excessive quoting, and how to quote

These rules, along with others, have been established by the administrators to help ensure a high level of post and content quality on AboveTopSecret.com, which benefits everyone by making posts and threads easier to read and understand.

I'm focusing on quoting because it's one of the most visible problems I see as a moderator skimming through threads looking for innocent members to harass.


Campaign Trail

Many of us have become lax about quoting, and many new members may not know that excessive quoting is prohibited. The problem is compounded when new members see old members using poor quoting form, and the problem quickly gets out of hand.

It's not that members intend to be sloppy or negligent. We're human, we post a lot, and it's natural for us to forget these sorts of things if we're not reminded about them now and then.

That's why I haven't been handing out quote warnings (which cost points), but instead making edits or -- where there's a lot of excessive quoting in a thread -- going so far as to make off-topic posts asking members to trim their quotes.

I'm sure some members may get the wrong idea and think of this as some sort of "crackdown", but that is simply not the mentality here.

Think of it as a campaign: I want to encourage my fellow members to clean up those quotes and improve the post quality on ATS, simple as that.

That's where you can help. One by one, with each post, we can do this. Not by handing out massive numbers of quote warns, not by threatening anyone, but by simply taking note of the quoting policy and saying, "Okay!"

No muss, no fuss, no drama, and no warns.


Fair Warnings

Regarding warns, please bear in mind that any quote violation is warnable, and you can be docked points by any staff member for any and all violations you commit.

Each quote warn isn't too costly, but they can add up, and if you are the subject of repeated and persistent warns, further steps may be taken.

I haven't issued any warnings yet, but members who ignore my repeated requests to clean up their quotes may get them. Before I go "drawing my gun" on anyone, however, I really, really want to make sure they know better first.

I don't want to knock points off anyone for an honest mistake, and I will give all members the benefit of the doubt.

But only when there's doubt.

External Tags

While we're on the subject of quotes, be sure to use the [ex] and [/ex] tags to quote material from sources external to ATS:

New External Source Tags

These tags are designed to ensure that non-ATS copyrighted material is clearly identified in our discussions, so that it is handled legally and ethically.

This is very important to the integrity of our community, so I urge all members to remember to be diligent in using these tags.

I can understand some members -- especially new members -- feeling overwhelmed by the many rules and procedures we must follow, but the benefits come in the form of a discussion forum second to none and a rich set of features for members to take advantage of.

Open Lines

As with these policies and any ATS policy or staff action, members are encouraged to ask questions and express any concerns they may have.

No, the administrators probably won't go changing a site policy because a single member doesn't like it. But ATS is very focused on what the membership as a whole wants, and it's the combined feedback of many members that guides the administrators in making their decisions.

If you ever have any questions, comments or concerns about anything on ATS, the staff is committed to helping you. Don't hesitate to U2U a moderator or Councilor, submit a Suggestion or, in cases that may be of interest to many members, post to the Board Questions & Business forum.

About Us

It is unfortunate but common that Us/Them dichotomies can form between members and staff on Internet discussion forums, but I believe ATS is different.

We are all members of the best conspiracy community on the Internet, all have a passion for the unknown, and can all help one another to improve the quality of our contributions and our discussions.

It's a lofty goal, but one that is within our reach, and your ATS staff -- your fellow members -- are here to help.

I encourage anyone who wishes to comment or ask questions about the quoting policy to fire away in this thread.

Discussion is what we do best.




posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 03:14 PM
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Very well said, Majic!


(My first reply was better.
)

[edit on 3/24/2006 by cmdrkeenkid]



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 04:28 PM
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I think this is something that needs to be said.
And, I couldn't say it nearly as well as Majic has



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 04:35 PM
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Can't say we haven't had adequate warning!

P.S. In the event I become leader of my own nation, I declare Majic my personal Lawyer/Diplomat/Spin-Doctor. You're one heck of a good poster, Majic



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 04:48 PM
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Okay, I"m at a loss. Are we supposed to curb our quotes of external sources, or other members, or both? I don't often quote HUGE portions of text from anywhere or anybody, but I DO use the quote tags to separate my input from the source material I interject, if only as a matter or orderliness. In short, how much is too much?



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 06:26 PM
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Toelint - Read the links that Majic provided and all your questions will be answered.



posted on Mar, 26 2006 @ 06:32 PM
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I didn't think anybody could write such a long post about quoting, without actually discussing any of the rules.


But yeah, if there is one thing that irks me, it is people quoting an entire 500+ word post, and then adding three or four words of their own after it. Or people who write inside the quote box.



posted on Mar, 31 2006 @ 02:50 PM
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Beat The Wrap


Originally posted by Yarcofin
I didn't think anybody could write such a long post about quoting, without actually discussing any of the rules.

Touché!


Yeah, perhaps it's a bit roundabout, but I opted to "wrap" the official policies rather than try to paraphrase them too much.

And hey, it was my first BQ&B polemic as a moderator, and there's definitely a learning curve involved. Fortunately, I can go back and edit these as needed, and plan to do so now and then to try and streamline them a bit.

But first, I'll need to have my verbosity gland removed.


Well, maybe not. But the main thing I want to convey in all cases is that these policies exist not to harass and annoy ATSers, but to make ATS a better place.

And to that end, suggestions, comments, questions, criticism, etc. are always welcome.



posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 12:58 PM
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Majic would not be Majic without his verbosity gland!


I'm a big proponent of nicely, neatly trimmed quotes! They're sexy!


Great stuff, Majic!



posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by Yarcofin...Or people who write inside the quote box.


That is one of my pet peeves.

At first glance, posts like that appear to just be a quote, and nothing more.

To do my part, when I see that happening with a new member, I u2u a mini tutorial explaing how to reply out of the (quote) box.


Mechanic 32.



posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 09:05 PM
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im not sure how to make little quotes (adressing piece by piece of someones statement instead of quoting the whole thing and typing it underneath the quote



posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 11:12 PM
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Can I Quote You On That?


Originally posted by urmomma158
im not sure how to make little quotes (adressing piece by piece of someones statement instead of quoting the whole thing and typing it underneath the quote

The secret to "point/counterpoint" quoting is breaking down the post being quoted and inserting extra [quote] - [/quote] tag pairs as needed.

The simplest way to do this is to use the Quote button to reply to the post, then edit it to your tastes.

Measure By Measure

For example, your post looks like this when I hit the Quote button:
    [quote][i]Originally posted by urmomma158[/i]
    im not sure how to make little quotes (adressing piece by piece
    of someones statement instead of quoting the whole thing and
    typing it underneath the quote [/quote]

To reply point-by-point, I first break it up the way I want, like this:
    [quote][i]Originally posted by urmomma158[/i]
    im not sure how to make little quotes

    (adressing piece by piece of someones statement instead of quoting the
    whole thing and typing it underneath the quote [/quote]

Then I insert the tags needed to make these into two different quote blocks by copy/pasting the necessary tags like this:
    [quote][i]Originally posted by urmomma158[/i]
    im not sure how to make little quotes [/quote]

    [quote][i]Originally posted by urmomma158[/i]

    (adressing piece by piece of someones statement instead of quoting the
    whole thing and typing it underneath the quote [/quote]

Then I insert the replies I want to give to these quoted blocks, like this:
    [quote][i]Originally posted by urmomma158[/i]
    im not sure how to make little quotes [/quote]
    No problem, I can show you how.

    [quote][i]Originally posted by urmomma158[/i]
    (adressing piece by piece of someones statement instead of quoting the
    whole thing and typing it underneath the quote [/quote]
    Just chop up the quote and drop in the tags you need!

The result looks like this:

    Originally posted by urmomma158
    im not sure how to make little quotes

    No problem, I can show you how.


    Originally posted by urmomma158
    (adressing piece by piece of someones statement instead of quoting the
    whole thing and typing it underneath the quote

    Just chop up the quote and drop in the tags you need!

Quotable Notes

For every [quote] tag there should be a corresponding [/quote] tag to balance it out. Also, bear in mind that any text contained between those tags, including your reply, will appear in the quote block.

So make sure your reply starts after the [/quote] tag, or it will look like you are putting words into the mouth of a fellow member.

A good way to think of the [quote] tag is that it turns on "quote mode", while the [/quote] tag turns it off.

The same holds true for other BBcode tags, such as [b]bold[/b], [i]italic[/i] and [u]underline[/u].

The [ex] - [/ex] tags work the same way, and must always be used when quoting a source external to ATS, such as news sites, blogs, reference sites, etc.

It is possible to nest quotes, but it is best to do this only when it is really necessary, because nested quotes can get very confusing and may lead to a quote warning.

Practice Makes Better

As with anything, the key to getting the hang of BBcode is practice.

Always use the Preview Post button. Make sure the post looks the way you want it to look before submitting it.

If something doesn't look right, fix it and hit Preview Post again. This may take several tries. For a long post with lots of code, like this one, I may preview it dozens of times, tweaking it each time until I like it.

Also, for your sanity's sake, be sure to read this important article:

A public service announcement. How NOT to lose your work.

Better safe than sorry!


Editorial Discretion

Despite all your careful previewing and checking before posting, you will inevitably discover mistakes in some posts

Don't be shy about editing your posts to correct formatting problems or mistakes. I do it all the time, and am somewhat of a stickler about it, because I always bear in mind that people may read my posts years after I make them.

Please be careful about "editing history", however. Editing to fix errors or add a thought without making a new post is fine, but posting rude comments, waiting for a response, then deleting them is dishonest and can lead to staff action.

However, there is never anything wrong with wanting to improve the quality of your posts or editing them to clarify your point. That's what the Edit button is for, after all.

If you do post something that you soon after realize is wrong and change the substance of your post, please make a note at the bottom explaining why you changed it. For minor changes or typo corrections that don't change the meaning of the post, edit notes are optional and generally not expected.

Remember, your posts are the only thing other ATSers see of you in a discussion. The more neatly formatted and easy to read your posts are, the more attention and respect they will receive from your fellow members.

Neatness counts!


Know The Code

For more on BBcode, check out this excellent resource:

Zedd's Handbook of ATS Links

I hope my admittedly long elaboration on quoting helps those who may be having trouble with it, and remember:

Only quote what you need to make your point!

You can quote me on that.







(Betcha I don't get a one-line post warning for this.)


[edit on 4/12/2006 by Majic]



posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 10:44 AM
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thanks a lot now i can finally quote like everyone else !!!!!!!!!!!!!!



posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 01:34 AM
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Majic. On behalf of everyone here at ATS, We love you!!! That's one of the BEST posts I've seen in recent weeks. It's helpful to the total newbie and the vet alike. I especially like the new ex - /ex bit. That's pretty good.

Again, thanks.

TheBorg



posted on Jun, 17 2006 @ 05:09 AM
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Majic your last post here is the best tutorial I have seen yet, on how to properly use the quote functions here.

I myself, have no problems of how to use it, but many times I have struggled to tutor some of the newer members on it's proper usage.

Good job!



posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 05:24 PM
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I just got slapped for quoting 2 lines from a 16 line post, as excessive quoting. Sorry, i don't get it.

Any help would be appreciated, as it isn't the first time it's happened. Thanks





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