I see some very good advice here on how to make your threads more popular (and some that I wouldn't suggest....).
But here are some other things to keep in mind:
Where you have started your thread:
If the forum you have started a topic for discussion is in a highly popular forum that has many threads being started in it, it's possible that your
thread get's "pushed down" by newer threads. People logging on at certain times, may not have time to scroll down and may not just see your thread,
so you may have to bump it.
When you post your thread:
This could be another key factor. While ATS is an international forum, there are times when there are more people on here than when there is not (and
not just time zones, but time of day too, you may find more people logged on in the evening or during lunch hour).
Is it's a "Book" or a "Quip"? :
I don't like threads who's OP is very, very short. As you said, a posted video with the words "what do you guys thing?" drives me up the wall. I
like to see what the OP thought about it also.
At the same time, if you write a "Book" (an OP that opens with 4 posts which are walls of text), you may find that a lot of people don't have time
to read it all, or have too short an attention span, especially if it's a subject that they only have a passing interest in. While you may have a lot
of info to put out, try to keep to the major points of your subject only.
Keep in mind that while you may have threads that you thought were well wrote out, and should spark a lot of discussion, that it may have only gotten
attention of Lurkers, who do not post, do not flag, and do not star. They may not even have an account but just read threads. What looks like 2 flags,
a couple of stars, 4 replies and you guess you might of had 10 reads, might actually of been read by 40, 50 or more people who just don't post, but
they did read your thread.
Just keep making threads on subjects that you like to discuss, or on things that you have found that you think are interesting, but do not seem to
have threads on here about. Eventually you'll get enough people that will be interested in something and you could get a great thread going. You
might even get a "following" after you've been here a while. Some members on here (not always mods) have a lot of threads that people read and
discuss in, and when ever they create a thread, they get quite a bit of discussion going on it.
Slayer69 is a good example of someone like that on here who is not a mod. He mostly posts in the Ancient Civilizations forum, and he always seems to
find very interesting topics that no one has heard of, or only very little on.
Of course that doesn't mean that members only interested in discussing Gun Rights, WW3, and UFOs are going to be interested in it, but ATS is huge
and has a LOT of content. All of it posted by members like you and I.
So don't give up. Keep at it. Even the Trolls are important. They show people how one should not act on here!