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Thread: Want People to Read Your Threads?

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    Question Want People to Read Your Threads?

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    We have seen people get numerous quick responses to their questions, and we have seen the same question ignored time and time again.

    The people who have had their questions ignored tended to get upset, feeling that they're being singled out and ignored on purpose.

    Well, that just isn't the case. Most of the time, people don't respond to a post because they simply didn't open the thread... And, if people did open the thread, they didn't respond because they didn't understand the problem.

    People on the Internet are flooded with information. This post is not an exception; it is simply more information screaming out to take up the attention and time of whoever wants to look at it. With so much information out there, and so little time (only our lifetime), it is no wonder that people skip posts that they don't think they would be interested in.

    So, here is a few compiled helpful suggestions for those who think their posts are being ignored. Try them for a week and you'll notice an improvement in how people respond to you.

    1: Use a Description Title.
    This is the foundation for being noticed. Without this, no other tips matter.

    On a board with this much activity, nobody could ever read every single thread. Here's a suggestion of what you can do when you get on this board.

    1: Check Personal Messages.

    2: Hit the New Posts button, scroll through the first page or 2 and look for threads that you have either responded in, or that have a title relating to something you're interested in.

    3: Go to the specific sub-forums that you're interested in. It may be Debate, In The News, and Gamers. Notice that the General board is not included in this list... we'll get to that point later.

    During point number 2, when you're searching the new posts, you have the greatest chance to find threads that catch your attention.

    Here's how to make your threads noticeable from the New Posts search:

    Do not title it "Please help." This is a support board, and lots of people need help... Do you need help dealing with DEERS? Do you need to get a company to recognize a POA? Do you need help defragging your hard drive? Are your cookies going stale and you need people to eat them? There are many ways that people can and will help you, but if we don't know whether we can help you or not, we probably won't even open the thread.

    Instead of "Please help." Use something like "Hubby may have PTSD. What do I do?" A title like this alerts those who have had experience with PTSD and shows that you aren't just here for pity, you actually want help.

    Describe why you are posting in your title... What are you hoping to get out of the thread? What are you hoping others will get out of the thread? Why should those people care?


    2: Be Understood.
    The most important part of this rule is to use correct punctuation and grammar. At least try. That's all that we ask.

    Your goal when writing a post is to be understood. If people don't understand you, then why write?

    You do not have to be a Grammar Nazi. While some people will cringe at the incorrect use of there/their/they're, its/it's, and your/you're, we can still get out the meaning of your post. If however you leave out punctuation, write in text speak and do not capitalize anything we will have a hard time figuring out what youre trying to say this makes the post hard to understand and people will get through about three run on sentences before giving up in frustration

    Commas are your friend. They give you a natural pause within a sentence, allowing you to chain related ideas into one complete thought. Capitalization is your friend as well, though not completely necessary. Also, separating your post out into different paragraphs will avoid the Wall Of Text that send many people running for the Back button on their web browser.

    To create a new paragraph, simply hit <Enter> twice.

    Over-using punctuation is better than not using it at all. If you put an extra comma in your sentences, that's fine. If you put only one sentence in each of your paragraphs, that is fine. If you Capitalize words that shouldn't be, that's fine.

    If you ask for the differences between its/it's, their/they're/there, and your/you're, we'll be happy to explain it, but we also realize that sometimes the rules of grammar are confusing, and nobody expects perfection.

    The second part of being understood is recognizing that written words do not convey tone. It is up to the reader to fill in the blanks and guess. Some people might read a condescending tone, while others will read something as coming from some brainiac nerd, or just a supportive friend.

    If you're joking, put in smilies to show that you're joking. LOL is an excellent way to show people that it's alright to laugh, since you're already laughing. Try to make your emotion painfully clear, so that only people understand your mood.

    As for spelling... although some people really don't care, some people care deeply. It is far more important to be understood than to be right... but if you can be right and understood at the same time, so much the better. Some people are terrible at spelling, using spell check or (sp) after the word can be helpful, however, so long as others can understand what you are saying, don't stress too much.

    Finally, this is a rule that probably won't apply to most people. If you're writing a very long post (over 1000 words), give the readers a way to skim through it. This post is broken into sections, and the main point that is trying to made is put in the section headings. Italicizing, underlining text, bolding and color also help when trying make sections it stand out, as does putting in numbers.

    The rule to keep in mind when making an article easy to skim is to make certain that the section headings are clearly visible... Make them short, 1 or 2 sentences at most, preferably just a simple phrase, and make the headings meaningful. Give away all of your secrets in the section heading, then explain those secrets in the body of the section.


    3: Put the Thread in the Right Sub-Forum.
    Remember back in section 1, about titling your article, when explaining three steps when visiting this board? The third step is to go to the specific sub-forums that interest you... You may tend to read all of the new posts in each forum that you're interested in and ignore the General board as much as possible; Some people are not interested in general chat on a day to day basis. General chat boards tend to be a dumping ground for any and all random threads.

    There are too many threads in the General board... The average thread stays on the first page for 8 hours or less. If the people who would be interested in your thread happen to be asleep, they'll probably never see your post.

    However, threads put on the other sub-forums tend to stick around on their first page for a couple of days. Now, for someone to miss your thread, they'd have to be on vacation. It might take an extra hour for your thread to be noticed, but it will certainly be noticed, and best of all, it will be noticed by people who care about the topic.

    Here is an example: Some people don't care about pregnancy, so they are just going to ignore threads about pregnancy. If they stumble across a thread about someone trying to conceive, they're going to go on to the next thread. It really doesn't matter who the OP is. The side effect is that the thread will show a higher count of people who viewed the thread, but since they won't respond, the OP will feel like they're being ignored on purpose. Most of the time it is people ignoring the topic, not the person. If the thread was put in a pregnancy sub-forum, then those who don't care for the topic, would be able to ignore the thread without increasing the post/look count, and the people who care about pregnancy will be able to find the thread much easier... so more people will respond, the OP will feel supported, and everyone involved will learn something.

    4: Sometimes, a Thread Just Gets Missed.

    It isn't personal. In any board, even the meanest, most spiteful troll is only being ignored by 10% of the active users. (Please don't feed the trolls. If someone drops a drama bomb, just shake your head and go on to the next thread.) Sometimes, even with all of your best efforts, your thread simply doesn't get noticed. With a board this size, it happens, nobody means for it to happen, people are sorry when it happens, but even the most senior members have threads with no replies.

    If your thread drops off of the first page of its sub-forum, and you don't feel that it has received enough replies you can either bump it, or ask a moderator to move it to a more appropriate sub-forum.

    5: Get People to Participate.
    The best way is to ask a question... Get their opinions, or their further insight. Also, invite people to ask questions of their own.

    So, to demonstrate how this works, I'm going to ask a question... And yes, it is a real, serious question. I know that a lot of people have picked up additional tips on how to get themselves noticed, and not everyone a monopoly on knowledge, so...

    What are some of your tips on getting people to reply to threads?

    Feel free to ask for clarification, whether another tip may/may not work, etc... We're here to learn from each other, so let's learn!

    Four more tricks to add to the list:

    6: Be Creative with your Bumping.
    A lot of times, especially with long and complicated posts, people will go on to another thread with the intention of coming back later and leaving a reply. Well, intentions are all well and good, but people forget to come back.

    The way to remind people to come back and finish leaving their thoughts is to either reply with more information, or use some sort of running joke. When the debates get out of hand, people tend to throw in silly posts to lighten the mood. A lot have taken this and run with it... Whenever they participate in a thread in debate, and a response kills the thread, throw in a relatable reference to get people looking back, using a no-relatable joke however can be a thread killer.

    Also, adding these tips is a perfect example of a bump without just bumping. Whenever you can, add more information, or ask more questions. Get more people involved and get them to keep coming back.

    7: These steps work on more than just message boards.
    Nearly everybody here uses email. Everybody has used email at least once in order to register on this board. If you apply these same steps with your email... that is, use a descriptive message title, make certain that you're understood, make certain that the email is being sent to the right person/people, get the recipients to participate in the discussion (ask questions, be open for questions), and remember that sometimes your messages get missed (Ask for an update after a couple of days with no reply), then you'll be much more effective at using email.
    These steps also apply for people on facebook or running blogs.


    8: Respond personally to the replies that you want more of.
    For instance, as much as people will post thank you posts to this thread... and it is truly appreciated, and we all want to see more of them, we also want to see more tips and tricks as well. If we combine our tips with more thanks, then we get the best of both worlds, right?

    The point is, pay attention to the posts that you want to see more of, and casually ignore (without letting anyone know that you're ignoring) the posts that you want to see fewer of. Sometimes this means not responding to a friend, but it always helps in keeping the thread on track.


    9: Keep the discussion going!
    As long as you want people to keep responding to your thread (or emails, or blog posts), keep responding to them as well. Talk with them. Enter a real discussion...

    And even if your thread gets stickied (which is sometimes considered no-man's land for posting replies by many people), let everyone know that it is alright to keep talking.

    However, with saying all this, if a thread has been dormant for over a month and you feel there may be something you can contribute, do not bump it. Start a new thread and quote the origional thread in the OP. This will bring in more people that can relate NOW and also new, freash information


    (This thread is a revised version of Ghedi's How to :: Get people to respond to your threads)
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    #2
    Thank you! This is great information
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    #3
    This is a great thread with great info!

    Another suggestion I have is to be mindful of how you use brackets. I always hover over a title before I open it up. A lot of times I personally skip over posts that have brackets unless what I can see in the hover is something that really jumps out at me.
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    #4
    Great info!

    Also, the time of day you post should be taken into consideration. For instance, if you are concerned with the maximum variety of people viewing your thread, bump it at various times ex: early morning, afternoon, evening, and late night. Obviously this is an extreme example. Please don't bump a post fifteen times just because you think it didn't get enough replies!


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    #5
    Wow, very good information Thanks staff for this!!!
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    #6
    Man...I'm sorry for whoever had type all that out!
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Debra View Post
    This is a great thread with great info!

    Another suggestion I have is to be mindful of how you use brackets. I always hover over a title before I open it up. A lot of times I personally skip over posts that have brackets unless what I can see in the hover is something that really jumps out at me.
    This bears repeating.

    Great post, Mods. I was glad to see the points about punctuation, grammar, paragraphing and text speak. It's very difficult to read something without white spaces.

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Debra View Post
    This is a great thread with great info!

    Another suggestion I have is to be mindful of how you use brackets. I always hover over a title before I open it up. A lot of times I personally skip over posts that have brackets unless what I can see in the hover is something that really jumps out at me.
    ME TOO!!!!

    I find brackets obnoxious...
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Debra View Post
    This is a great thread with great info!

    Another suggestion I have is to be mindful of how you use brackets. I always hover over a title before I open it up. A lot of times I personally skip over posts that have brackets unless what I can see in the hover is something that really jumps out at me.


    Quote Originally Posted by decks89 View Post
    ME TOO!!!!

    I find brackets obnoxious...
    I don't necessarily find them obnoxious in general, but it seems here lately they have been WAY overused...that, I find obnoxious!
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    #10
    Thank You!!! Oh my goodness, SO much great information.

    I'd like to add (since you asked us to add, not just thank) that people ARE aware of certain users out in the boards. Therefore, if ALL you EVER do is gripe and moan in the Venting forum, it's going to get old fast. If you want to gain the support and friendship of others on the board, you need to start first by giving support and friendship. Post in as many sub forums as possible that you're interested in. If you're hanging out in the Venting forum, hate to say it, but you might not be leaving there anytime soon. Go have fun, maybe The Bored Room or Pillow Talk might loosen up that tension.
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