But here it is:
- link anything which you didn't write yourself in the OP, and throughout any subsequent points so people can see your sources. This is obvious but so few people do this it becomes trite to keep pointing it out.
- say something totally stupid in your op, but not so stupid you just get openly ridiculed, it has to be just stupid enough to cause a debate, but not stupid enough to be ridiculous.
- posting threads where you already have all the answers is a waste of time. Although you may not agree, they seldom last if you are the worlds biggest authoritah on a subject.
- Make the topic controversial (not trolling though), no brainer, Hitler, The Middle East, Nuclear Iran, anarchy vs democracy seems to be popular, I call it the Marmite effect, you can't go wrong with two vehemently opposed ideologies of love and hate.
- say something original or interesting, it might be an old point, but some fresh viewpoints even if someone else's will often be remarkable in resurrecting zombie topics, like Bush developing Alzheimers, retrospectively explaining why he was such a retard in high government. It turns out Margaret Thatcher was harbouring Nazis, hence her strong tyrannical bent towards the end of her et tu Bruté like career. Etc.
- try and post on it occasionally, not always necessary, but if you think a topic still has legs then keep it alive.
- don't post on dead topics just because you think thread length = points in the game o' web, it doesn't: bumping old threads to say something that has been covered or is significantly unimportant, will not make friends and influence people, and is liable only to bring mockery on a thread tarnishing its import.
- You'll never go wrong appealing to the lowest common denominator. Whilst we like to think that we are a little more culturally sophisticated at ILP, a thread that is about a popular meme or event or x, is never likely to fail.
- Don't throw your toys out of the pram and storm off if no one agrees with your masterpiece. Nothing is likely to kill a thread more completely than claiming you are misunderstood, a genius a head or ahead of your time, a visionary in a world of blinkered plebs, The Kwizats Hadderach, The next big shiz etc. People are apt to be swayed by logic on this forum, at least, not your supposed shining magnificence. Warning: people may think you are a dick. It has to be said though some very preposterous ideas often create a long running thread by virtue of the OP being so obstinately devoid of reason that it just runs and run on a sea of stupidity. Famous threads I care to name are anything by HtH. It has to be said although he was on planet space cowboy, who really knew how to be weird and delusionally impervious to reason. Not a talent as such but obstinacy can produce something worthy, if only in the sense that you are the but of a joke. Recent threads well that one about a political system based on what horny teenagers want was a gem.
- keep it broad, but nor so broad it has no focus or direction.
- derailing your own thread is not always a bad idea, but it needs to be done at the right time, so as to either gain a thread split (two threads for the price of one) or a stern warning from whomever decides they are the resident interweb police: normally not a mod, thus refreshing the topic, usually by iterating what its all about and what happened so far.
- Trolling is fun if you are nine but, whatever your mental age nothing brings about bans and warnings and the demise of a thread faster than a group of hungry hyenas/frotting bonobos: it's not big or clever. It might be funny from the outside but chances are you are making enemies you can't even see. Stick to trolling up forums where it is accepted form is my advice.
- Don't ever flame someone first, if you are going to insult someone make it clever and seemingly related to the thread, that way it's liable not to appear as an ad hom, at least obviously.
- The longest thread I ever had the pleasure of being part of was about alien life, chances of having visited Earth. I shouldn't of been surprised though, it was the perfect forum and arch forum for such a discussion. This is just another statement in the vain of the interesting and controversial thing I said earlier
- Grammar/spelling Nazism has its place, but it is not appreciated in the heat of an argument unless you are Aspergers and lack emotional sophistication. Hint: believe it or not, the strength of an argument is not rendered any less so by misspelling/using their. Likewise your argument is not suddenly leant credence because your prose is immaculate. No one cares.
- bullet points are groovy for many pointed pointfulness.
- don't post tl;dr if its your thread, you're supposed to care about peoples opinions on your own thread. Actually don't post it at all, sure in your head you'll think I am so bang on trend in this apathetic age of indolent derision, but really people will just think you are a tit, in the vast majority of cases.
- Make it funny, hell if it's not going to plan, take the piss out of it.
- Before you even post a thread think about what you are trying to achieve and evaluate if it is likely to happen. Then if you decide you will convince everyone in seconds, don't post it unless you want a very short exchange of agreeds. If it is likely to be targetted by the usual suspects repeatedly until your brain leaks gunk, then post it straight away and don't even plan what you are going to say, let the muse take you.
Meh I'm bored now
- quit before you bore people
- If you are going to post a nine page op, make it interesting, not a religious/areligious barely comprehensible rant. Save that for later.
- if someone decides this post is useful, there's no guarantee they're gonna read every reply, might as well centralize the good ideas in the first post.*
- don't edit your post to reflect replies that happen later on, if you're going to edit make sure it's not some psychic stuff, that answers every post from hence forth.**
There's probably a lot more but...
Edited to add: * and add **