How to Start a Great Discussion
edited February 2021 in Getting Started
Thank you for starting new discussions and asking questions. The more you contribute, the better this forum becomes.
Here are a few tips to help you create great discussions:
- Make the discussion title or question as descriptive as possible. A good discussion title is a short preview of your post and is what gets people to click and read. A well written title is also going to help search engines better index your post which will bring more people into the discussion. For example, instead of ‘Won’t Connect’, try ‘Help, I’m having problems getting my Acme modem into bridge mode.’
- Proof read. Spelling mistakes, typos, and bad grammar will distract readers from the point you’re trying to make. Vanilla automatically saves drafts as you type. If you’re writing a long post, save it as a draft and come back to it after a few minutes or as long as it takes your brain to forget what you had written.
- Use minimal formatting. Overly formatted posts can also distract from the message and it encourages others to do likewise and you end up with a hard to read thread.
- Put your post in the right category. The right category can be the one that has a relevant category name or it can be a category where this kind of post is often made.
- Use tags. Tags are helpful for others to find keyword related posts. It also helps the site admins get a sense for what topics are popular.
- If you want responses, ask for them. In marketing this is called a ‘call to action’. If you want others to comment, you can encourage them by asking them to do so. If your post is just an FYI then don’t.
- Go easy on the insider jargon. Inside jokes and inside references can be fun and make the community unique but too much of it can turn off new members.
- Add an image. Images add visual interest and make your post look great when shared to social networks. You can embed an image using the button bar or you can upload one from your desktop or phone.
- Include Sample Data. Using sample data really helps to get answers. Remember to keep all data anonymous and don't share any company-sensitive information.
- Mention others. Credit other members if you are building off their previous comments or if you want to draw them into the discussion. Put the @ before a username to mention someone.
- Take ownership. Most important of all, take ownership of the discussions that you have created. Respond to comments promptly and thoughtfully. Thank others for commenting on your discussion and help with moderation if things get heated.
Thanks for posting! And as always -- Have fun!
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