Positive, Productive Posting
Positive, Productive Posting
Many threads talk about how or what to post here at Scapers. I’ll begin by citing several of the best (gathered from my Index, which may be helpful if you are new here, or looking for some of the classic and excellent threads here at Scapers). If you haven’t checked these out, they are all excellent (as are several others):
Forum Conduct Please Read - Heroscaper's Official Guidelines for Participation (GrungeBob)
Smart Mouth Responses to Innocent Questions - GrungeBob: "How is my response helping the community?"
If you happen to want my respect (or rep) here - Revdyer (brief but excellent comments--a must read)
Scapers and Your Safe Internet Experience - ninthdoc: "use common sense"
The right way to enter Scapers! - Shades fan's intro to how to join Scapers in a positive way
Welcome aboard! - Aldin's welcome to new members, includes overview of site and resources
An Open Letter to "Help Me Build an Army" Threads - Nooblar gives good advice for using Scape to build an army
NOTE: Before Posting Your Question... - Soul Shackle's excellent FAQ for new Scapers (read it before posting a question)
Better Posting and You Revisited - Miniature Geek's we-wish-it-were-just-humorous take on posting (if you TXT, please read it)
(BTW, if you you want to know about rep, check out the first post in this thread: Your HSers REPUTATION And You)
However, I’ve felt for a while like adding my own spin on posting here at Scapers. It is simple general rule that is easy to remember.
My general rule (and like all general rules, it’s appropriate to break at times) is what I call Positive, Productive Posting.
Positive reflects that my sense is that one of my main goals here at Scapers is to keep up the great tone and collegiality of the members here. In part this goes back to years of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” being hammered into me (and, hey, it worked!). But a bigger part of it is that I like to assume the best of people (esp. when they are safely online and hundreds of miles away …). I find that as I assume the best of people that 90% live up to that and that I make great friends and have fascinating conversations here at Scapers.
I love the tone (or perhaps I should say the attempted, encouraged tone) of these boards and love that I feel like I’ve made some great friendships here. I love the Scapers community and want to be part of making it even better (yes, it's cheesy, but no less true for it).
Productive is a bit tougher to define—and purposefully so. Roughly it means that I want my post to “do” something, to move something forward. Sometimes that could happen with a simple smiley (notice there are two hedge words in that phrase), but most of the time it means that I want to add something to the conversation (yes, it is a bit English 101 sounding, but a true and useful maxim, again, generally). Also, I often find that taking the time to specifically respond to others (using quote helps with this) makes a big difference in terms of creating productive dialog here on Scapers.
My goal is to be sure that I’m not just saying “Yeah, me too” or “Hey, that's funny,” but to add something significant to the current conversation (and, hopefully, to the larger thread’s conversation as well). So, you’ve likely seen some of my posts where I say, roughly, “That’s hilarious, [Scaper]. What really interests me about [X topic] is [Y].” I think acknowledging someone’s humor is valuable (and certainly positive—even productive in a sense), but beyond that I generally want to see if I can also add something else to make reading my post worth something more to most readers of the threads (not just one reader).
It isn’t hard to keep these two concepts in mind (though, yes, I forget at times), and I find it makes a big difference on the boards. In a way, I'll admit my two points here are just another way of hitting again on Grungebob's guiding phrase: "How is my response helping the community?" But I don't mind that, since it is a strong point, well worth repeating and exploring.
(I will add that the all-day Wave 8/8.5 Release Day celebrations threw a big kink in my thoughts and I found myself just responding to what others were saying--it was all very conversational that day. So there are a few dozen posts out there that definitely don't match my goals here....)
Also, note that some threads are more conversational than others. There is a big different between the Books (which should be very strictly kept on topic, in my opinion) and the Title Advocacy or Remarkable Post threads (no offense to IMax or Rev, who, respectively, began these). If you want to chat, there are lots of threads where that works out just fine. [Places like Meet Other Scapers are great for chatting and meeting people, for example.]
Hopefully though we can keep chatting out of the Books or the WotC Feedback and similar threads, since we have to remember that for many, many users, this is just (sadly, in a way) an excellent online resource--they are looking for info. (For years, I lurked before posting, just enjoying all the info here--I still feel a bit awkward about starting a new thread. I suggest to all new Scapers to spend a bit of time lurking to get the lay of the land and see how we interact here.)
Thanks for taking a moment to listen to an "old" university English professor soapbox for a moment. Hope you all found something positive and productive in this post .
Last edited by 1Mmirg : July 31st, 2008 at 12:07 AM. Reason: Added Miniature Geek's link (thanks, Dredd Stev)
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