Start A Discussion
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Here is the text from a message that I sent to the Roseville Issues Forum, on "How to Start a New Discussion." Please, feel free to use it as it, or modify it as you choose.
Also, feel free to help modify/improve this template. Go ahead and make edits or add ideas, this is meant to be a dynamic and ever changing document.
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1) It takes 3 people to really launch a topic.
The person who posts the original message and at least two people who respond within a few hours. Even the most interesting topic, starts to get "old" if no one has responded within about 6-10 hours. If you want to see a particular topic succeed, please be the person to "second" or "third" it, by posting a response. If you don't have any concrete ideas for information to add to the topic, then at least ask a question or simple let folks know that you are also interested in a topic.
2) If you want to see a topic succeed, reply QUICKLY.
In general, a topic looses momentum the longer the span between posts. An topics starts out will a little momentum and can get more if someone replies quickly. After several hours, a topic without any response usually begins to loose "momentum" and eventually "dies" within about 24 - 36 hours. BUT, don't panic, even dead topics can be revived with a little effort.
3) Only about 1 in 3 topics really get much traction in the forum.
Its very usual for topics to "die" sudden deaths in the forum. For a topic to "take off" it must first capture the attention of other forum members and sometimes compete with other topics for public attention. Don't feel bad if your topic doesn't "take off" the first time. Try following up with another post on the same topic or wait a few days and introduce a new topic.
4) Try - try again.
Just like the little engine that could, forum participants must sometimes be persistent and post 2-3 times on a topic, before they get any response. Factors as diverse as the weather or competing topics can effect whether or not any particular topic succeeds on a given day. I've seen a topic fall flat on its face one day, only to "take off" into a fascinating discussion a week later, when the same or another participant re-introduced it.
5) Don't tell anyone I said this, but sometimes it helps to be a LITTLE provocative. ;-)
While, we want to keep things respectful and civil in the Roseville Issues Forum, I must admit that a provocative question at the end of your post, is more likely to draw a response and start a discussion than a very boring and balanced post on an issue. However, being provocative can be a double edged sword and I urge folks to be responsible in how they use it.
6) If you'd like to see a topic discussed in the forum, post a comment or question - DON"T WAIT for someone else to start it.
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