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Quality Threads: Dos and Don'ts (locked)

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If you have any more suggestions to add to this thread, please PM MmeBunneh. For discussion and questions on this thread overall please post in the Discussing the Quality of Threads thread!

Before you create a new thread, it is always good to check out the Official/Commonly Used Threads Masterthread as it saves space on the forums for newer and other creative threads! Posting in the same type of thread every month gets a bit boring after a while (plus they get locked).

There are OT Guidelines for posts, remember threads follow the same rules too!

Many people post threads daily in the forums. It’s always a good idea to ask yourself a few questions before you submit a new topic. This should be a simplified guide for different types of threads. Happy posting!

Good threads typically have instructions or ask specific questions.

Threads that promote bandwagoning or “discuss” can get locked if it’s determined that they only spam the forums but only if the users themselves prove so. Realize however that if the entire purpose of the thread is to troll users who post serious answers to their threads, it will be locked.

If users can show interest in a thread and participate in the discussion then there won’t be a lock. If you think a thread was locked unfairly, PM a moderator.

What type of threads tend to kick off well? Asking fairly specific questions and giving specific but open ended instructions. What are some examples of that?

Some threads get closed due to the lack of discussion or lock blocks. How should you start a thread title then if you want to avoid being locked for that? Here is an example:

  • “Discuss TOPIC” → “Discuss how TOPIC are [enter a subjective line here]”

In theory, remember that not every thread you make is going to work out.

“Discuss [controversial opinion]” isn’t necessarily something moderators lock, it’s just likely that it will be quickly derailed by people instead of actually discussing something.

Moderators give users the benefit of the doubt on “Discuss” threads but very often it’s just one or two users thread spamming. If the thread has a spam OP but decent discussion starts in the thread before a moderator gets to it, it will most likely be left alone.

The OP gives a clear indication of whether or not there’s something to discuss—but moderators can’t predict how OTers are going to respond to certain threads, so sometimes they’ll hold off from locking to see where it goes.

If someone posts an image that says “discuss”, the chances are that it will be removed. If someone gives something specific to discuss about the picture, like “look for [x] in the picture” (e.g. Sookie’s thread) it’ll be left alone.

Encouraging people to post pictures in threads without discussion is considered picture spam, OT is not an image board.

You can use a picture in your OP to reinforce your point or use it as a part of discussion. An example would be DMinor’s Ukraine riot thread.

If the picture is used as a way of encouraging discussion or it is used as the subject of discussion or instruction then it’s perfectly fine to do so. Posting pictures with the caption “discuss” doesn’t warrant discussion and encourages people to post multiple pictures in a thread. That will be considered as spam, not discussion.

Blog or microblog threads are another place of question and it is up for the users to decide on how they interpret it. Certain threads that just go into ranting will most likely be locked if it’s something random that no one can relate to whereas other threads (such as aguspal’s question about reporting bus drivers) gives people the chance to relate to the OP.

A great master-thread to post in if you want to talk about an event or experience from your day/life would be the What’s new, OT? thread. It is an excellent micro-blogging thread that many users have posted previously in the past.

If the OP gives no room for anyone else to discuss or relate to with their own experiences it’s better off either re-wording it or just holding it off. We’re not Tumblr, WordPress, BlogSpot, we’re Off-topic’s Kongregate!

If a thread is locked (due to spam or derailment) and the OP thinks it should be unlocked, private message Gevock or myself (MmeBunneh) and explain your case.

Sometime’s moderators make mistakes. There have been cases such as:

No one’s ever asked me in OT, but in Tyrant the other day someone wanted a thread unlocked after it was mistakenly locked for spamming, I unlocked it, gave a message asking people to keep it on track otherwise it would be locked again, and let it be.

- Stots

Remember: Moderators are users too and they like to have fun also. If you reason it out with them respectfully they’ll respond back in the same way you treat them. Moderators are willing to give threads another chance, provided that they think there is discussion value.

So what is bandwagoning? It’s when users create a gimmick from a thread/post that they find amusing and spam it all over the forums. This can mean variations of the original thread/post by creating multiple new threads or spamming the same post over and over in the forums all across different threads—regardless of what the thread is and supposed to be about.

Bandwagon threads not only annoy users and disrupt the forums but they also degrade the quality of posts.

Threads that are created that ask for users to do an action to a user in the above post (such as the Rate the song above you thread) are generally not allowed in the forums as they’re considered forum games instead.

One that is allowed in Off-topic however is the Compliments thread so go on there and say something positive about another user!

Derailment is a major issue in OT. What is derailment exactly?

When you take a thread off of it’s original track and introduce something completely random (or in worse cases, harassment, insults, etc.) you’re essentially derailing what could have been a perfectly good thread into a train wreck.

One thing to note however is that the OP of the thread can also be the user who derails their [own] thread. Don’t make yourself look like you don’t know how to participate in a discussion or conversation, follow the original topic of the OP.

This is the list of current masterthreads

So what is a masterthread exactly? It’s basically a thread that was determined to be “official” or discussed often enough that one thread is used each time to talk about it instead of spamming the forums with multiple threads on the same topic.

These threads may include:

Always check the masterthread if you know that your thread may be something that is commonly talked about!

This guide was written originally by Stots and re-written, formatted, and had different items added by MmeBunneh. This is a work in progress in part by several other users.

Formatting (Textiles, HTML): Gevock, adv0catus
Grammar/Spelling: Cocoa, Gevock, spoofdebris (honorable “swag enthusiast”)
Proof-reading: Stots, Gevock, Zamininc, Cocoa
Suggestions (sections, ideas): Stots, Gevock, TwistedCakez

Stots wrote the original post which this thread was based off of. With permission, I used his original post as the skeleton for this thread. He was an excellent mentor, helping revise, edit, and proof-read the original versions of this thread.
As said, the original thread in its infancy needed quite a bit of work! Gevock proof-read the entire thread multiple times and helped me fix the headache of formatting, testing out the thread formatting several times, and helped out with a number of things.
While struggling to figure out how to fix the thread (before the final version of what you see now, it was broken due to using textiles and HTML together) adv0catus formatted the entire thread to textiles only (to prevent it from breaking again). He also taught me how to not break the textiles, how to change the url to threads, and other miscellaneous things.