***** Posting tips for posting threads on Cowboys Zone *****

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I thought it may be helpful to post a few thread posting tips that might help explain a few things and maybe help a few people avoid things like deleted posts, edited thread titles, merged threads, etc. as well as increase the odds that users will actually read and reply to their threads.

There's a lot to read, but worth reading when you have time, especially if you have wondered why your threads, posts, etc. have been edited, moved, merged or deleted in the past.

Threads -- Avoid using short thread titles!

The reason for this is that a thread title should be descriptive of not only the general topic of the thread but also provide a little direction or more narrowed focus of the content. Just posting "Dak Prescott" for example only tells people its yet-another Dak Prescott thread and users are less likely to read or reply to yet-another thread like many they have read and replied to already.​

Another reason to avoid short thread titles is that a lot of users are on mobile devices which means they are less likely to read new threads unless they offer something new, unique or appealing in some way.​

Short thread titles are way more likely to be edited by the staff.​

Threads -- Avoid using long thread titles!

Long thread titles can actually give away too much information especially for mobile users who are less likely to read every thread.​

For example, if you post a thread title such as, "Why did Dak Prescott throw the ball out of the end zone on fourth down and cost us the game?" a lot fewer people are going to read that thread than if you had used a thread title such as, "What was Dak Prescott thinking on that fourth down play?"​

Why? Because the first thing people will have to ask themselves is "Which fourth down play?" The second thing is that you avoided the "cost us the game" statement which emphasized a finality of the topic as the game was over.

Most importantly, long thread titles wrap to multiple lines on mobile and narrow resolution devices, which makes it much less likely a user will read the entire title.

Long thread titles are very likely to be edited by the staff.​

Threads -- Avoid splitting a sentence between the title and the beginning of your post!

Every so often, we see a user post a thread title such as, "Why did McCarthy start to" and then in the first part of the post available only after the incomplete thread title is clicked continue with, ".. throw a challenge flag on that play?"

The user posting this may think they are forcing users to read the thread to find out the rest of their thread title and topic, but in reality, most users simply do not read these kinds of threads any more, especially mobile users.

Incomplete thread titles will almost always be edited by the staff and the version the staff uses may not be what you wanted. Why? Because if you split a thread sentence between a thread title and first post, it may be too long to use as is for a thread title, so the staff member may either shorten it or simply replace it completely with a new thread title.​

Threads and Posts -- Avoid posting user-based call out threads!

It is fine to call large groups of users out using general group-like names such as "McCarthy lovers", "Dak haters", "Homers", etc. but if you call users out by name, especially using the @Reality user tagging system, your thread and/or post will likely be deleted.​

Threads -- Always check the first three pages of the Fan Zone before posting a new thread!

CowboysZone gets a lot of traffic and has a lot of users posting each day. As a result, threads get bumped off the first page sometimes in as little as 30 minutes. When you are posting a new thread, be sure to check at least the first 2-3 pages of the Fan Zone to see if a similar thread has already been started. If so, reply to it rather than start a new thread.

Sometimes duplicate or similar threads are merged and other times they are simply deleted and that includes any replies, LIKEs, etc. that you and other users may have received. To avoid that, avoid posting duplicate threads.​

Threads -- Avoid using CAPITALIZED words, parenthesis, asterisks, etc. in thread titles!

Any all-capitalized non-acronym words in a thread title will be replaced usually with an all lower case version of the word. If you use a single first-letter capital letter only, it will usually be left alone and can better emphasize what you are wanting to draw attention to in your title.

For example, if you post a thread title such as, "What was Dak Prescott THINKING when he threw that ball?", it would be edited to "thinking" and possibly the title re-written completely by a staff member.

You should also avoid using quotes in thread titles.​

Threads -- Avoid using anything in thread titles meant to draw attention to your thread visually!

Along with CAPITALIZED words, parenthesis, asterisks, etc., you should avoid trying to visually draw attention to your thread. Why? Thread titles should draw users in based on their content, not "look at me!" tactics.

Thread titles that use characters and other methods to draw attention to them will almost always be edited or rewritten completely by the staff. In some cases, they will be deleted if the staff feels the title was an outright attempt at attention grabbing.​

Threads -- Avoid posting fake or otherwise misleading thread titles!

Posting fake or misleading thread titles will almost always result in the thread being deleted no matter how well written the first post is.​

Threads -- Avoid posting sensationalized thread titles especially if the first post is not very long!

If you post a thread title such as, "Cannot believe McCarthy wasn't fired during the game" and your first post says, "Thoughts?" at best it will be moved to the Overtime Zone and at worst (and more likely) it will either be merged with another thread or deleted by the staff.

A thread with a well-thought out non-short first post has a better chance of remaining in the Fan Zone than a drama-laden titled thread with a short first post.​

Threads -- Avoid posting new threads when several other same-topic threads exist!

When there are several McCarthy or Prescott threads already in the Fan Zone, you should really try to post your McCarthy or Prescott posts in one of those threads rather than start a new thread.

That said, there is a way to start a new thread and reduce the chances it will be merged or deleted.

When the staff sees a new thread with several similar threads already existing, they will typically view the thread and look at the first post. If it's short, it's most likely being merged or deleted. If it's a well thought out post, it makes it much less likely (still no guarantees though) it will be merged or deleted.
Threads -- Always identify humor thread titles as humor, a joke, etc.

If you post a thread with a serious sounding title and then your first post makes it clear the thread title was bait to get users to click and see your maybe/maybe-not-so funny post, it is very likely either your thread will be deleted or the thread title edited by the staff and/or moved to the Overtime Zone.​

Threads and Posts -- Avoid posting non-Cowboys threads and posts in the Fan Zone!

While it should seem obvious, the Fan Zone is for Dallas Cowboys discussions only! A lot of fans check the site throughout the day and have very little time, so we have always tried to keep the Fan Zone as a pure Cowboys focused forum to allow for Cowboys fans to stay on top of Cowboys news and discussions when either their time is limited or they simply don't care for all of the other topics.

This also includes not posting former player, coach, etc. threads UNLESS they retired or ended their career as a Cowboy. Even then, there is a limit to how many of those threads we will allow.

For example, we have allowed one or two main Dez Bryant threads in the Fan Zone. Now that he has signed with the Saints, all Dez threads belong in the NFL Zone. All existing Dez-related threads in the Fan Zone will be moved there soon.
Threads -- Posting boycott, protest, etc. movements is not allowed on the site!

While we respect that as fans we all get upset with the team and the organization, we are not a platform for organizing boycotts, protests, billboard purchases, etc. While CowboysZone has a lot of users, its only a very small percentage of the Cowboys nation of fans and any "movement" would not yield any results anyway. Bashing the team here is fine as long as you are posting thought out posts of course!​

Threads and Posts -- Avoid posting or promoting other sites, non-official social media accounts, etc.

Posting or promoting sites, non-official social media accounts and posts, off-site petitions/surveys/polls, etc. will lead to the thread and/or posts being deleted as well as possible ban of the sites' domains, social media accounts, etc. from the site completely. This includes personal social media accounts!​

Posts -- Avoid quoting user posts when you think they may have violated a rule!

When the staff deletes a post, whether it is deleted or the user who posted it was benched and the post was deleted as part of the process, the next thing the staff does is check for all quoted replies and delete those as well.

That means good posts that did not violate the rules end up getting deleted simply because part of their post includes a quoted part or all of a post that was deleted and/or violated the rules.

If you are going to respond to a post that you think is likely to be deleted for any reason, avoid quoting that post and just post your reply to the thread!​
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