Upon my return, I have experienced much joy and some grief: Through meticulous study of visible habits, I have reached the conclusion that there is need for a more profound understanding amongst you of the complexities of foruming. Therefore, as I am a person possessing a certain expertise on the matter, I have set out to compose a decree, the commandments of which should aid and guide you in your yearning to forum better; and, through developing your foruming abilities, you will be entrenched deeper together, entwined together tighter and with stronger bonds, and for it become a stronger and more fearsome Clan. So let us, then, turn our attention to the grave matter at hand.
We must begin by understanding what it is to forum and why we do it. To forum, you might think, is to rack up post count? You could not be farther from the truth. Post count is but an indicium. An indicium of what, you might ask next. Does it show how good somebody is at foruming? No, though to this statement, there is a half truth. The best forumers have high post counts. This is fact. But the other side of the truth is, naturally, what content lies behind that post count? And here we see, it is not fair to even call post count half the truth; for it is, in truth, less than half. It is perfectly possible to have a post count whose digits stretch beyond the column in which they are contained, and still find oneself want of competence. And now we are moving towards the very quintessence of foruming: The acts of camaraderie, the strengthening of fellowship, the building of bonds; for this, good people, is the purpose of foruming.
It is not, then, as you can see, something to take lightly, but pay heed to that which is said in this text, and it will go you well in all matters--foruming and scaping alike.
Some aspects are more important to foruming than others. As outlined above, foruming rests on two bearings. One is the post count of any given poster, which coupled with the user's age provides indication for his activity. Older is generally better, but if the post count is terribly low, so as to be a display of absence rather than of wisdom and old age, then it might indeed be frowned upon. The other bearing is the content of each and every post that makes up the total count. Always are you to prefer that which has higher overall quality, never to be impressed by numbers alone; for an obsession with numbers leads to posts of dismal quality and a general degeneration of the Forum, and, as is evident, such degeneration will eventually spell the end of all foruming and must be avoided at any cost. We see then, that post count is both dangerous and enamouring; beware of those infatuated with its charm, for it is weighted in a fickle balance, this one of the two bearings; fortunately, it is the less vital of the two. Let it not be thought that post count is without merit. No, for without post count, those most productive of forumers will find themselves bereft of that immediate conspicuousity for which we humans seek, and loss of its most treasured members will often spell disaster for a Forum. For what entity could without its main components persist? I will treat in the following these two aspects in greater detail, and also what is required to produce a good deed of foruming, that is to say, a good "post".
Some information about the nature of post count has already been provided, but some still remains. Post count is, on the whole, a positive feature of a forum. Some forums, though they are few and far between, do not display post counts: On these forums, users are robbed of their seniority and identity: In certain cases, this might prove beneficial, and in particular if one's goals are maleficient. Examples of such forums where imprudence and can be found amongst the Chan-kin; for though there are lustrous Boards of magnificence amongst them, the very nature of these beasts lends itself to corruption and abasement; though there might be beneficium in a restrained gallivanting with these sirens, the utmost care must be taken so as to not be stranded and left prey to crows. There is no need to cite examples of forums on which post count is displayed; for so many are there, and so common are they to behold, that to do so would be snide. In short, then, post count should be displayed, as is already the fashion on this Forum.
As has already been hinted at, each and every post is the most important piece of foruming: For what constitutes foruming but the authouring of posts? Very little indeed. Here, then, I require of you the most attention; for, in this part, we shall delve into the specifics of how a post is created and what separates a good post from a bad one.
Let us first look at a post's creation. As I'm sure you're already aware, every post is unique. They might look like another, but it is indeed never the same post as another, for some things are always changed between the two, be it context, author or content. The first requirement one meets on the road to conceiving a post is to meet attain the necessary rights. For if such rights are not present, the Forum will not accept your attempts, and you must remain an anonymous guest. On some forums, guests do indeed have posting rights, but such Forums are the spawn of SOPA and must be avoided like Comcast itself. When you have attained the rights to posting, you have surpassed the greatest of obstacles on the way to producing a post and are ready to move on.
As the steps we are about to discuss are rather simple, we will proceed in less detail than when we return to profundities. Next, you have the option of creating a thread, which might also go under the name topic, or to navigate the Forum and add a post to an existing one. The merit of either depends wholly on the post's content, and so, be it an Original Post or not, it is not of the utmost importance to discriminate between the two, though there are certain differences we must touch upon in later parts. The post itself can contain letters, numbers, symbols, images, hyperlinks and whatever else the forum might allow. Then the "submit" button must be pressed, and you will have created a post. Be careful not to hit backspace only once if you wish to return whence you came, for that could result in a double post, something which is deeply frowned upon.
And now, for the most important subject of all: The Content of a post. It is obvious that every post must have content. That content could be as little as a space, or as much as the forum allows, if indeed there is an upper limit. We must deal here, when appropriate, with the differences between an Original Post and posts which follow the lead of Original Posts; much between them is shared, but there are differences in their animas which it is important to grok. Therefore, differences will be pointed out in due course.
Though the ways of dissecting a post are many, I choose a to walk a path of two parts: Respectively, a post can be split into propriety and substance. If a post does not satisfy the needs it must, for an Original Post to spur discussion or similar and for the responding posts to trot, it is without merit and its author ought to face excommunication. And further, it might be possible for a post to stay within the limits of propriety without bringing anything to the table. Such posts are also to be despised and, though less serious an offence than the previous, excommunication should at the very least be duly considered. As there is no room in this post to deal with it elsewhere, it should be said here that upon excommuncation of users, it is important to go through with excommunication in a manner that is defamatory; for if it does not serve as an example, then it does little good. One efficacious method of doing this is one which I believe this Forum currently employs - letting the excommunicated users' legacy be that of dishonour through addition to a group of banned users.
But back to the matter: It is difficult to state generalities about whether posts be proper or not; such depends entirely on the context in which they are made. It is important to develop one's eyesight into a keen tool, capable of discerning what is proper and what is not, so as to avoid impropriety in one's own posts. It can be said, however, that Original Posts must be subsequent to the Forum in which they are posted, and it is absolutely vital that an Original Post is placed in the appropriate subforum, a feature which most Forums have. Of subsequent posts it can be said that they must pertain to the Original Post, or else a post which does so; once removed can be tolerated whereas as twice or thrice removed is most improper, and is in common parliance known as "off topic". Forums in which most threads devolve so are quickly deserted and left barren.
We turn now to the substance. Substance is a thing of many facets; some posts are but one sign, whereas some are longer than short stories; still others contain only a hyperlink, image or video, and the variations are truly infinite. We find again that it is an insurmountable task to state as generalities every aspect of substance; yet some things can be said. Let me repeat, then, that good taste is an indispensable tool and will guide every tiniest variation in the right direction so as to much more easily compose a pleasant whole, than that bad taste with which nothing comes out right and composition is a battle in which the foe returns instantaneously to the battlefield and so cannot be vanquished. In developing this taste, it is imperative to glance at those most glorious of one's peers, and through their glory find guidance; which in turn can be digested and developed into a personal expression. For lacking taste, no result will ever be good but that which is so by chance. In addition to good taste, there is the importance of knowledge. I use knowledge here as something overarching: It encapsules knowledge both common and specific, as well as manners and linguistic proficiency. It is imperative to be well-read and to know the tastes of your peers; for it is in their eyes your work is judged, and similarly with your eyes you judge others' work, and to have insufficient knowledge is to lack the means with which you partake in the community. Certainly exception must be taken here to employing the community as a source for learning; such behaviour is generally to be encouraged, for this too solidifies the bonds that hold the community together.
I hope that through this text you can prosper and flourish, for behind every great Clan lies a good Forum; and a good forum is built through its participants' skill in the art of foruming. It must further be said that while I have attempted to frame this post with a wide scope, many things will inevitably be left unsaid in a field so vast and diverse, and so I must apologize that I could not go into greater detail.
Edited by Nose, 21 November 2014 - 06:09 PM.