Approved by Birkal So, this is something I've been harping on for a long time, and Birkal suggested that maybe I could turn it into an article or something. So i kinda wrote up a rough draft, Birkal looked it over and said it looked good, and suggested I post it here for ideas. Remember, the goal of this article is not to air pet peeves, but to attempt to make the CAP forum more accessible, and improve our optics, by trying to "look outside the bubble." If you have any suggestions for ways to reword the article, bring it. If you have suggestions for other cultures that are turning good men away, bring it. If you want to say "no pwnemon you're wrong and also stupid," bring it (but realize i'm actually right). If i did anything wrong in posting this thread, blame birkal sorry. Posting Cultures in CAP: A Guide for Veterans CAP is a very unique segment of the Smogon community, and with this uniqueness comes some unique posting habits. Many of us, steeped in CAP tradition for a long time, tend to forget how these cultures look to the world around us, and this is incredibly detrimental to its recruitment of new members. So I implore all of the CAP veterans who’ve been around for at least a project or two to look at this guide, and take the principles within to heart, both for the long-term health of the project, and for my sanity. Too Long; Didn’t Read: CAP discussions are lively, full of info, theorymon, and most importantly, arguments. This often means we have a lot to say, and CAP posts can grow rather large. But when it comes to convincing someone of your viewpoint, while it may seem counterintuitive: brevity is key. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying length is always worse - sometimes it's unavoidable - but it is never better. Even the most well-intentioned user, such as myself, will waltz into any given thread, go “holy crap, forty new posts, and each at least three paragraphs,” and skim them, often just looking for the ones that already support what I was thinking so I can feel good about myself. Think it doesn’t happen? Remember, you, as a veteran, are a special case. 90% of people in CAP are not veterans, and they refuse to devote hours on end to reading the nuances between a 129 and 130 base special attack and how the latter contributes to the concept. And believe it or not, people don’t need to be hit over the head with a paper thick enough to leave a concussion, full of examples, damage calcs, winding logic, rebutted counterarguments, etc. The beauty of the forum, as opposed to the essay, is that it’s a live medium. Use this to your advantage! You don’t need to provide and rebut counterarguments in your post – if someone disagrees, they can come in, post with those counterarguments, which you then debate. And because they’ve got a personal stake in the argument now, they’re much more likely to actually pay attention to what you say! (As are other people: I mean seriously, people at each other’s throats are fun.) There’s a line between engaging in a debate and thread-hogging, but as you’re already experienced users I trust you to know where it is. Not only is it a bad way to get your point across, posting “tl;dr:” is just plain bad for the health of the project. New and old users alike will likely be intimidated by how much there is in a discussion thread and be less likely to join in themselves, providing more viewpoints and, the ultimate goal, more good contributors. So don’t do this. If you find yourself doing any of the following, your post can probably be pared down: bolding individual words or phrases (sentences are generally a different matter), brainstorming counterarguments, breaking one point into multiple paragraphs, writing a summary at the bottom. These are all signs that your post is saying more than it needs to, and that most people won’t, in fact, read it! Remember, you don’t have a captive audience with your posts – there’s a whole world outside the computer screen and another whole world at their fingertips. If you want to be a good contributor, the number one thing to remember is to make sure that people think that reading your post is the best possible use of their time. Otherwise, you could make the best points, and nobody would know.