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Posting Filler vs. Adding Content

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Posting Filler vs. Adding Content

Postby dWhisper » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:26 am

You know, there are some of us on here old enough to remember a world without the internet. Sure, the internet has actually been around since the 60s, but it didn't have any real public access until the middle of the 90s. And if you want a sure-fire way to depress and enrage someone on the staff, point out that you were born after Windows 95 first came out.

Now what does this have to do with our code of conduct and guidelines on how to use the site? It may be hard to believe, but once upon a time, you didn't need to share every little thing that popped into your head. You didn't have to put "lol" in a discussion, because someone would actually have just laughed. No one made a big deal about it unless they were a stand-up comedian worrying about timing, because it's just part of the conversation.

I've already covered this before in the post How to Write Posts and Influence People... if the only thing you have to say in response to reading something is to put lol, or worse, just a smiley, there's no reason to respond. That's probably the worst example of "fluff," posts that don't add anything to a conversation. It's fine to do that in a text message, but a forum like this works a bit differently.

Think about when you're talking to your friends... what do you remember the most about a conversation? Is it the time someone laughed, or when someone responded? Fluff basically pads out a conversation without adding anything to it. Let's look at this exchange (which is completely fictional and something I made up)...

Solo: The new protocol droid printing is done well, but something about it seems a bit off. I'm not liking the increase in detail on a lot of the newer figures, because it seems to take away the LEGO feel of it.
dWhisper: I know!
Onions: I kind of like the new detail, it makes them more distinct. Plus we can always use more droids.
Solo: That's not to say I won't buy every single one of them.
dWhisper: lol :lol:

Sure, I might have wanted to be part of the conversation, but if you remove everything I said, would it have changed a thing? If the answer is "no" to any of that, then my post was fluff. You don't even need to write a fifteen paragraph post to add something, but keep it on the conversation. Here's a simple truth of the internet... no one cares if you laughed at something, and none of us think you actually laughed out loud.

In some ways, this factors in to the whole "necro-bump" topic as well, because most of the time, a fluff response floats the corpse up to the surface. Have something to add, then that's great, we welcome it, especially if there's more to be said. You'll find that putting substance into your posts makes you an even bigger part of the community than just a simple tack-on.

We are still not your billboard, even if you're not selling anything, or Everyone hates links to the real thing you have to say

We have a rule here, that we're not your billboard. That means we don't let members, even staff members, just post up stuff to link to our eBay auctions or Bricklink stores. You can put a simple link in your profile if you want. The reason for this isn't what you think... it's not because we're mad we don't make a cut on your sales. Part of it is that we don't want to be seen is liable for bad transactions, but even more than that, we're a community, not a link site. Link sites tend to really suck.

But what does this mean, we're not your billboard even if you're not selling something? It means that if the only reason you're making a post is to link to your content on another site. We get that you want people to see it, but when you come to our place and the first thing you do is ask people to leave, it makes me want to find you and poke you in the eye. No one likes the friend who shows up at your house to grill and keeps asking people to cover over and play some Xbox at his place instead.

That's not to say you can't post those links, we welcome that, but at least make use of the community. If you're going to post a MOC, give us some pictures, a description, and stuff here. If you're going to do a review, it certainly better be here, with pictures and effort, not just a link somewhere else.

Oh, and no one ever likes going to Brickshelf. I'm just sayin'
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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