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Old 09-29-2004, 09:15 AM   #1
The Barrow-Wight
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1420! Idea + Example = Better Topic

Over the years, I have often seen members start new topics with a question to the general membership of the Downs. Questions are not bad in themselves, of course. We encourage people to ask lots of them. But the topics I am talking about, usually in Mirth, have the potential to be humorous but are often hobbled from their inception by the way they are presented.

When starting a topic, you should first be careful not to begin a dreaded 'list topic'* They are detrimental to the forum and your overall mental health. Next, starting a topic with a question, you should always answer it yourself and give a detailed reason for your answer, encouraging others to do the same. Simply asking a question and waiting for others to discuss it is a little lazy and will probably result in a ‘list’.

Bad
Quote:
If Hobbits formed rock bands, what would they be like?
Better
Quote:
Quote:
Imagine that the old gaffers in Hobbiton woke up one morning to a frightening new noise: Rock’n’Roll. Across the Shire, young tweeners were growing their hair long and shaking their hips in immoral, Elf-like gyrations. A respectable hobbit gentleman couldn’t sit down to a pint in his favorite pub without being drowned in racket of such hooligan music groups as the The Hoom, Prince (of Dol Amroth), Flogging Merry, and Sheryl Crebain

Performing tonight in the Green Dragon: Nob Dylan (all the way from Bree!)

He’ll sing such great songs as:
Like A Rolling Stone of Erech
All Along The Watchtower of Amon Sul
Tangled Up In Lhûn

(Hey! Give me a break! This is an example, not an actual post! )
Without creating a list, tell us about another band that might perform in the new rockin’ Shire. What are they like and what songs do they play?
In the better example, the poster presented an idea and gave a good example of the type of post he was looking for. That's what everyone should strive to do when creating a new thread. If you start the thread, be the first one to show us how it's done. Don't just throw ideas out.

Thanks

* List Topic: A statement/question inciting a perpetual string of self-clones.
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Old 09-30-2004, 05:03 AM   #2
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Ok, that's a good and necessary post to make Barrow-wight, but you know what you have to do now don't you? Start that Rock'n'Roll thread, it sounds great!
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Old 09-30-2004, 06:26 AM   #3
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Rock on!

OK. I can do that. *thank goodness for cut and paste*
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Old 10-01-2004, 08:31 PM   #4
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You mean that was originally just an example? An example???

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Old 10-20-2004, 03:52 PM   #5
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In view of this sudden rush of topics calling for higher quality posts (i.e. A Call by Imladris, Redundancy on the Rise by LePetiteChoux, Estelyn's Rant, and this thread), I found it the perfect time to add my two cents . "Here's my two cents" has become a very hackneyed phrase and its meaning usually lost, but to those readers who still hold on to it, the writer is seen as setting themselves up to fail by implying that their input isn't worth two pennies, much less a second or two of our time that the writer would want us to take to read it. It is that very phrase or some variation of it (Including "Well, I searched for something like this and didn't find anything, so please don't shut me down, Mr. Wight.") that almost every thread is being started off with these days. It is a very ineffective attention-getter that I'm sure you all know is crucial to a good introduction that will attract people to read your topic. If you seriously feel like your say is not worth 1/50 of a dollar you need to rethink why you are posting, or if you have indeed searched thoroughly enough. If you do think your post will pass, then stand behind it and be confident. Don't second-guess or youself, or others surely will.

Indeed, BW "Idea + Example = Better Topic", but I say "Idea + Example + Confidence = Even Better Topic.
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Old 10-20-2004, 05:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Including "Well, I searched for something like this and didn't find anything, so please don't shut me down, Mr. Wight."
I do this because I don't know how to work the search engine (ie, I know how to use it but I have bad luck finding anything on it -- sort of how my brother can find what he's looking for on Google and I can't) and I don't want to be beat on the head (no matter how gently because I have a huge ego problem) for making a duplicate topic along with a gentle chide to use the search function. I use it as a sort of indirect apology and an acknowledgement that I did do my homework before posting.

However, I totally agree with what you said about confidence.
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Old 10-20-2004, 06:44 PM   #7
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Lindolirian, good point! I can remember a thread on the "two cents" issue; I think it was called "The Phantom Finance" and was started by Rimbaud, but I can't locate it at the moment.
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Old 10-20-2004, 06:53 PM   #8
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Phantom Finance
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Old 10-20-2004, 07:04 PM   #9
Estelyn Telcontar
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Why thank you for finding the link, Imladris! See, your search was successful this time - for whatever reason, mine wasn't...
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Old 10-20-2004, 07:08 PM   #10
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Tolkien

You're welcome -- I just went under Rimbaud's name and clicked "Find all threads started by Rimbaud" -- fortunately (should that be unfortunately?) he has started few topics so it was relatively easy to find...I didn't use the search because I couldn't remember if it was under Mirth or the Downs...
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Old 10-20-2004, 08:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imladris
Ha! Indeed, see what I mean? Thank you so much, that's a great thread!
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