(Yes, that 1 in the topic name is intentional)
Many moons ago, I wrote a post called How to Write Posts and Influence People; it was actually written on the old forums, and posted in the BCS, back when I was a newly minted MOD (or it might have been before then... who can remember 5 years ago?). After some input from members and other members of the staff, we revised it and it became an official part of the CoC when the new site was born in 2009.
While most everything in there is still valid, it's time to expand what the thoughts of the staff and mods of the site here and try to make things even better. Rest assured, we're not trying to bring about the days of ruiling with an iron fist, when seeing a name in green or red means terror and death (I was overruled on that in a staff meeting... so enjoy it until I can gather more power). What we are trying to do is make this a place that's better than a chum bucket of every thought and quick post and thought, where people talk (or type, as it were) with one another. So, there will be a bit of expansion of our Guidelines on here, but hopefully, in ways that make sense.
This has always been a tough point for the staff here; on one side, it's always annoying to open up a forum and see a few dozen topics that are all basically the same thing. No one wants to see something like this...
New X-Wing has Porkins!
Do any of the new sets have new minifigures?
New X-Wing available at Shop@Home
Why isn't teh Porkins minifig fatt?
And yes, the typos are intentional. Sure, some of them might not seem like the same thing, but let's just pretend that they are. They're all over the place, and while not really true duplicates, like three threads asking where to get the new set, they're all around the same thing, the 2012 X-Wing set (9493). Could these all be in the same thread? Absolutely. They should be, because no one wants to have to type the same reply a half-dozen times to different people. This is all basically noise, and it's what we're trying to avoid.
On the other hand, this is probably even worse to see...
New 2012 Sets!
Good luck ever finding usable information on there. We used to encourage these "catch all" threads. For those who weren't here in the old forums, they were born when the Bantha Coffee Shop used to be the busiest area of the site. When we redid the place back in 2009 though, we changed how we structured stuff... instead of just being LEGO Star Wars, it became just Star Wars, and we put all stuff about it in there. Same with the licensed sets, and the other areas. The discussion moved out of there, and the BCS sort of died down. It's still here, but can go weeks without anything new showing up.
We created them to put things together like video game discussions, books, or other things that never got enough traffic by themselves to really keep around. For some things, they're still valid. But for stuff that fit in our focus, they get amazingly unwieldy very fast.
So what's the rule here? Well, there isn't one... it's a "use your best judgement" sort of thing. See what threads are there, and see if things are going to fit. If you see the monster thread like the new 2012 one, and you want to talk about Jabba's Palace all by itself (and let's be honest, who doesn't?), and there isn't one, go ahead and create it. If for some reason, it doesn't fit, the staff will slap you so hard it... wait, no, we'll be nice and close the thread and bump it back to the bigger conversation. Sometimes, we might even go the other way, and pull the conversation out of the bigger thread and put it in its own place.