Tutorial: How to compose an effective thread title & post

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Thread: Tutorial: How to compose an effective thread title & post

  1. #1
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    Tutorial: How to compose an effective thread title & post

    Several fellow OSW members and I have noticed lately that there has been a rash of new threads with vague or misleading titles & posts. Often it has been new members who have done this, but some veteran members are also at fault. The problem with this is that people who are looking for help or who have questions often miss out on getting the help or answers they seek. To help alleviate this problem, here are some tips to help properly put together an effective thread title & post.

    Be Precise If your thread title is simply "Help", "Help Needed", or "Question", you may get several views of your thread, but no solid help or answers. Instead, put into your thread title what you are looking for, in as few words as is necessary. For example, if you want help with outfitting a figure of a British soldier in the Crimea in 1854, using "British Uniform" as your thread title is too vague; instead, try something like "Need help with British uniform in Crimea, 1854". That way, you will likely catch the attention of our resident experts on the British military who can answer your questions.

    Use Proper Spelling and Grammar Although this forum is U.S.-based, it has an international membership, and many of them learned English as a second language; it's also likely that some of them write it better than you do, even though you may be a native speaker. Please attempt (to the best of your ability to do so) to use proper spelling, grammar, & punctuation to communicate effectively. For example, capitalize proper nouns: it's John Wayne, not "john wayne", and it's WWII, not "wwii". Also, know the difference between "there", "their", and "they're", as well as "your" and "you're" (particular pet peeves of mine).

    Be Concise Please get to the point. If you're asking a question, ask it, then close up your post. If someone who replies needs more info, then you can post a reply with the needed info.

    Do Some Research Before Posting If you want to know what the going rate is for an out-of-production Hot Toys or Soldier Story figure, please check eBay first before posting here. If you want to know when the Woodland BDU was first issued, then please check Google or Wikipedia. If you can't find the answer in those places, then post here.

    Be Polite It should go without saying that this is a high priority around OSW. Compared to another well-known forum (which shall remain nameless), we're a pretty darned nice bunch of folks around here, and we appreciate the same treatment in return. For example, if you have something complimentary to say about a kitbash, please go ahead and post it. On the other hand, if you have nothing nice to say, please consider carefully what you post. When offered in a friendly manner, constructive criticism is often welcomed; if you can point out any inaccuracies or offer advice to improve something, it is generally appreciated. When posting an opinion about a manufacturer's products, honest opinions (either good or bad) are valued by the members, so feel free to let your true feelings be known; just be aware of the fact that some manufacturers are members here too.

    In closing, I didn't write this to demean or denigrate anyone here, it was just written as a (hopefully) helpful guide to make things go a bit more smoothly around here. I hope I haven't offended anyone, I sincerely just want to help make OSW a better experience for everyone, whether a new member or a veteran.

    David
    Last edited by highwayman57; 07-31-2015 at 06:11. Reason: Altered thread title
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  3. #2
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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    It seems to me a good idea


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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Fair points and well made.

    CHEERS!

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Great idea highwayman57. Let's hope your tips catch on

    Eric

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    watcha talkin' bout', not speling goodly....?

    Seriously, good points made, excellent suggestions!
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    A good and useful post with totally valid points. My one area of reservation is that "On the other hand, if you have nothing nice to say, perhaps it would be best if you kept it to yourself." Within obvious limits of reasonableness and politeness, there's nothing wrong with negative, and I think OSW should be all about the comments, good and bad. If it's a comment on a kitbash, no one should be afraid of giving any criticism meant to help or for improvement, so long as it's polite, and it's about the bash (not the person). If it's a comment about a mass manufacturer, then frankly I think there should be no hesitation to make genuine negative comments, apart from no extreme language etc. It's always a good thought to pause before posting a negative comment and ask "Why do I want to post this," but I don't think we should have an artificial attitude of "Good thoughts only, no negativity here."
    The guidance counselor was surprised: “I didn’t even know career aptitude tests had a Super-Villain category.”

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Thank you so much for doing this.

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonbase Alpha Male View Post
    A good and useful post with totally valid points. My one area of reservation is that "On the other hand, if you have nothing nice to say, perhaps it would be best if you kept it to yourself." Within obvious limits of reasonableness and politeness, there's nothing wrong with negative, and I think OSW should be all about the comments, good and bad. If it's a comment on a kitbash, no one should be afraid of giving any criticism meant to help or for improvement, so long as it's polite, and it's about the bash (not the person). If it's a comment about a mass manufacturer, then frankly I think there should be no hesitation to make genuine negative comments, apart from no extreme language etc. It's always a good thought to pause before posting a negative comment and ask "Why do I want to post this," but I don't think we should have an artificial attitude of "Good thoughts only, no negativity here."
    I didn't mean by that to say that there should not be constructive criticism.
    I will amend the comment to clarify that particular portion.


    David
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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by highwayman57 View Post
    I didn't mean by that to say that there should not be constructive criticism.
    I will amend the comment to clarify that particular portion.


    David
    I know you didn't mean to suggest there should be any restriction on constructive criticism. I wanted to stress that point because it may be that eventually your post or something like it becomes a Please Read top thread as recommended Posting deadlines. In that case it should reflect that we're not here just as cheerleaders, and there should be no restriction against negativity per se, just against rudeness etc. The line is probably different talking about the work of a fellow OSW'r than talking about a mass manufacturer (though ultimately they are people too).
    The guidance counselor was surprised: “I didn’t even know career aptitude tests had a Super-Villain category.”

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonbase Alpha Male View Post
    I know you didn't mean to suggest there should be any restriction on constructive criticism. I wanted to stress that point because it may be that eventually your post or something like it becomes a Please Read top thread as recommended Posting deadlines. In that case it should reflect that we're not here just as cheerleaders, and there should be no restriction against negativity per se, just against rudeness etc. The line is probably different talking about the work of a fellow OSW'r than talking about a mass manufacturer (though ultimately they are people too).

    Disclaimner: Not trying to be political here. Just having some fun with the last sentence in your post.

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonbase Alpha Male View Post
    I know you didn't mean to suggest there should be any restriction on constructive criticism. I wanted to stress that point because it may be that eventually your post or something like it becomes a Please Read top thread as recommended Posting deadlines. In that case it should reflect that we're not here just as cheerleaders, and there should be no restriction against negativity per se, just against rudeness etc. The line is probably different talking about the work of a fellow OSW'r than talking about a mass manufacturer (though ultimately they are people too).
    I've edited and (hopefully) improved that section to reflect your concerns. Please take a moment to read it again and see if it meets your criteria.

    Thanks,
    David
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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by highwayman57 View Post
    I've edited and (hopefully) improved that section to reflect your concerns. Please take a moment to read it again and see if it meets your criteria.

    Thanks,
    David
    I think it's perfect -- well done
    The guidance counselor was surprised: “I didn’t even know career aptitude tests had a Super-Villain category.”

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonbase Alpha Male View Post
    I think it's perfect -- well done
    Thanks, MAM... I was trying to follow my own guidelines in my original post.

    David
    My Trade Feedback

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by onesixthpolice View Post
    watcha talkin' bout', not speling goodly....?

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by highwayman57 View Post
    Several fellow OSW members and I have noticed lately that there has been a rash of new threads with vague or misleading titles & posts. Often it has been new members who have done this, but some veteran members are also at fault. The problem with this is that people who are looking for help or who have questions often miss out on getting the help or answers they seek. To help alleviate this problem, here are a few tips to help properly put together a thread title & post.

    Be Precise If your thread title is simply "Help", "Help Needed", or "Question", you may get several views of your thread, but no solid help or answers. Instead, put into your thread title what you are looking for, in as few words as is necessary. For example, if you want help with outfitting a figure of a British soldier in the Crimea in 1854, using "British Uniform" as your thread title is too vague; instead, try something like "Need help with British uniform in Crimea, 1854". That way, you will likely catch the attention of our resident experts on the British military who can answer your questions.

    Use Proper Spelling and Grammar Although this forum is U.S.-based, it has an international membership, and many of them learned English as a second language; it's also likely that some of them write it better than you do, even though you may be a native speaker. Use proper spelling, grammar, & punctuation to communicate properly. For example, capitalize proper nouns: it's John Wayne, not "john wayne", and it's WW II, not "ww ii". Also, know the difference between "there", "their", and "they're", as well as "your" and "you're" (particular pet peeves of mine).

    Be Concise Get to the point. If you're asking a question, ask it, then close up your post. If someone who replies needs more info, then you can post a reply with the needed info.

    Do Some Research Before Posting If you want to know what the going rate is for an out-of-production Hot Toys or Soldier Story figure, check eBay first before posting here. If you want to know when the Woodland BDU was first issued, then check Google or Wikipedia. If you can't find the answer in those places, then post here.

    Be Polite It should go without saying that this is a high priority around OSW. Compared to another well-known forum (which shall remain nameless), we're a pretty darned nice bunch of folks around here, and we appreciate the same treatment in return. For example, if you have something complimentary to say about a kitbash, please go ahead and post it. On the other hand, if you have nothing nice to say, please consider carefully what you post. When offered in a friendly manner, constructive criticism is often welcomed; if you can point out any inaccuracies or offer advice to improve something, it is generally appreciated. When posting an opinion about a manufacturer's products, honest opinions (either good or bad) are valued by the members, so feel free to let your true feelings be known; just be aware of the fact that some manufacturers are members here too.

    In closing, I didn't write this to demean or denigrate anyone here, it was just written as a (hopefully) helpful guide to make things go a bit more smoothly around here. I hope I haven't offended anyone, I sincerely just want to help make OSW a better experience for everyone, whether a new member or a veteran.

    David
    --

    David:

    "Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."
    ~ Arthur Bishop | The Mechanic (2011)



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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaForceChung View Post
    --

    David:

    I'm glad you like it, DFC!

    BTW, Blazing Saddles is my second favorite Mel Brooks movie!

    David
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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    David:

    I too thought about creating and posting such a thread, but given my acerbic humor style to say the least . . . if I did the context and intention would have come off the wrong way; therefore, I didn't go through with it.

    I'm glad and appreciate you did and it came out well written in it's context, intention, and prose.

    This thread needs to be a permanent/sticky post at the top of this section for new and old members alike.
    "Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."
    ~ Arthur Bishop | The Mechanic (2011)



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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaForceChung View Post
    David:

    I too thought about creating and posting such a thread, but given my acerbic humor style to say the least . . . if I did the context and intention would have come off the wrong way; therefore, I didn't go through with it.

    I'm glad and appreciate you did and it came out well written in it's context, intention, and prose.

    This thread needs to be a permanent/sticky post at the top of this section for new and old members alike.
    Thank you very much, DFC!

    David
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  21. #19
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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Brilliant suggestion and I fully agree. Appropriate guideline for posting!
    Being a self confessed recovering "Grammar Nazi" I know how you feel highwayman!
    Grammar is very important, it's the difference between....
    helping your uncle Jack off a horse! or helping your uncle Jack, off a horse! ����

    Ps
    Should be made a sticky?!?!
    Last edited by Von Luger; 05-25-2015 at 22:37.

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    well....well said, and you proved your point! i'll be sure to consider what i am posting. i do hope, that i haven't made enemies here!
    Hail Cobra!

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    What a brilliant post. Highwayman you have put down many things I don't like about posting on OSW better than I could have done. I am glad at least one other person thinks the same as me !!
    This should be stickied somewhere for all to read for sure .
    Thank you !

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by CobraTrooper11 View Post
    well....well said, and you proved your point! i'll be sure to consider what i am posting. i do hope, that i haven't made enemies here!
    --



    "Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."
    ~ Arthur Bishop | The Mechanic (2011)



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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    I agree, this should be pinned at the top as a "PLEASE READ." This needs to be read!

    I'm also glad somebody posted something like this, and that I'm not the only person that sees the need for these "tips." This list applies to WAY too many posts. Thank you Highwayman57!

    It's funny and sad to call them "tips", since all of them go without saying to some of us. It's like finding it necessary to tell someone to be quiet in a library. Who the heck doesn't know to be quiet in a library? Who the heck doesn't know to SPELL correctly when posting on the world wide web? Ever heard of "spell check"? Could just as well call it "Tutorial: How to not look dumb or lazy."

    Another thing that bugs me (and this could almost be included with grammar/spelling) is people using texting abbreviations in posts. You ain't texting, so don't use it! Nobody is awaiting your response, so take your time and spell it out.

    Thus endeth the sermon.
    "Grant us wisdom from Thy mind, courage from Thine heart, strength from Thine arm, and protection by Thine hand. It is for Thee that we do battle, and to Thee belongs the victor's crown. For Thine is the kingdom, & the power & glory forever, Amen." SF Prayer

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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by Joebros View Post
    Another thing that bugs me (and this could almost be included with grammar/spelling) is people using texting abbreviations in posts. You ain't texting, so don't use it! Nobody is awaiting your response, so take your time and spell it out.
    --

    SO . . .

    Abbreviations such as . . . (for example)

    AFAIK | As far as I know
    IMHO | In my humble opinion
    POS | Piece of $%^&
    WTF! | What the <CENSORED>!
    IDK | I don't know

    Would be better served and utilized if completely written out?

    I'm just asking.
    "Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."
    ~ Arthur Bishop | The Mechanic (2011)



  27. #25
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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaForceChung View Post
    --

    SO . . .

    Abbreviations such as . . . (for example)

    AFAIK | As far as I know
    IMHO | In my humble opinion
    POS | Piece of $%^&
    WTF! | What the <CENSORED>!
    IDK | I don't know

    Would be better served and utilized if completely written out?

    I'm just asking.
    At this point this is a matter left to personal style and preference, surely? I agree with the recommendations about spelling and punctuation, but as long as posts don't look like Twitter gibberish, I don't think we'd micromanage abbreviations, or make anybody write in a different manner than they're naturally used to.

    Some of those abbreviations are legitimate enough to rate their own dictionary entries. "IMHO" has a much lighter casual tone than spelling out "In my humble opinion;" and WTF can't be spelled out at all. Plus we make strong use of emojis here so it would be weird to suppress abbreviations and contractions. IMHO.
    The guidance counselor was surprised: “I didn’t even know career aptitude tests had a Super-Villain category.”

  28. #26
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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Want another tip?

    Space your text out some.

    Breaking up a big rant or something into paragraphs lends natural pauses to the reading, and even spacing some sentences apart can be used for effect.

    It's a lot easier to read something that has a bit of care into HOW it is read, rather than reading a huge chunk of text. A lot of writers just want to get their thoughts out and down on the page (or screen), and they ignore ( or just aren't conscious) of how anyone else will read it. Some punctuation helps too, as does spelling, but the odd slip-up there is excusable if the whole thing is easy to read. Think of it as a gift to the reader, you respect them enough to take an extra bit of time and a few extra steps to make it worth their while. And it'll get your point across too.

    But not if you write things like I just did.


    Just for an example, let's take that chunk of text and break it up just like I suggest and you decide if it's easier to read or not:

    "It's a lot easier to read something that has a bit of care into HOW it is read, rather than reading a huge chunk of text.
    A lot of writers just want to get their thoughts out and down on the page (or screen), and they ignore (or just aren't conscious of) how anyone else will read it.

    Some punctuation helps too, as does spelling, but the odd slip-up there is excusable if the whole thing is easy to read.

    Think of it as a gift to the reader, you respect them enough to take an extra bit of time and a few extra steps to make it worth their while.

    And it'll get your point across too."

  29. #27
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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Can I go off on a limb here and say that I think the post is written half-sarcastically? Hehehe. But some good points there. If it keeps on happening there will be a need for a reminder.

    For me, I don't abbreviate. I "HAHAHAHAHA!" and not "LOL". I didn't want it to become a habit, to be honest, as I correspond via email with other professionals in my line of work. Personally, and this just my opinion, text-abbreviations, in whatever format, is reserved for the younger crowd. If you're over 30, you shouldn't be doing it!. I am assuming by that age we should be professional enough to have a decent conversation. Or maybe I'm just too old for that sh*t.

    Having said that, I don't mind it if people do that. I don't care all that much. And I still try to figure it out sometimes if I can't understand so I can communicate with them better. I know enough that it is a generational thing. I grew up in the age of telegrams, where abbreviations are a necessity, so I have no qualms about it.

  30. #28
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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    David thanks for writing this. I cant tell you as a mod how often we are asked to clean up or change a title or heading.

    Just of note... If you don't like something say so, but have a valid reason or point. Saying something is bad for the sake of it doesn't help anyone. If for example the stitching is wrong on a uniform or item, then that is something...
    " and just what would you do with a Brain, if you had one"? "Prince, harley....come on....Cooper you are such a goofball
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    Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by crusader1xxx View Post
    David thanks for writing this. I cant tell you as a mod how often we are asked to clean up or change a title or heading.

    Just of note... If you don't like something say so, but have a valid reason or point. Saying something is bad for the sake of it doesn't help anyone. If for example the stitching is wrong on a uniform or item, then that is something...
    --

    Fine.

    The coffee in the break room sucks.

    The soda machine constantly does not work.

    The biscuits and gravy in the cafeteria sucks. They use just cheap powered gravy mix and pre-made biscuits they just warm up.
    "Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."
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    Thumbs up Re: Tutorial: How to compose a proper thread title & post

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaForceChung View Post
    --

    Fine.

    The coffee in the break room sucks.

    The soda machine constantly does not work.

    The biscuits and gravy in the cafeteria sucks. They use just cheap powered gravy mix and pre-made biscuits they just warm up.

    DFC, sounds like McDonalds or Wendy's.

    I agree 100%

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Tutorial: How to compose an effective thread title &amp; post
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