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The Grand List of Forum And Community Laws


(permanent link) added: 2009-10-03 23:16:03 sponsor: CAD (last reply: 2009-10-05 10:18:15)

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Inspired by The Grand List of Console Role Playing Game Clichés and compiled in 2007, The Grand List of Forum Community Laws (Previously titled "The Laws of Forum Psychology and Phenomena") attempts to catalog and explain some of the more notable trends in message board communities, such as the behavior of certain kinds of users, certain kinds of threads, and what to expect if posting certain kinds of posts. Now, perhaps it could come to TV Tropes, so that everybody could add their own. Just for Fun, of course!

The list is far too long to put into a single YKTTW, but I'll post some of the more interesting laws here to see if it garners enough interest.

Rules:
  • The rules don't have to be true, they just have to sound like they're true, to the point where a lot of people would agree with you. Think along the lines of Graph Jam. You're welcome to pull statistics out of nowhere if they sound right.
  • Try to keep the "rant" threshold down below 20%. Don't post new entries just to vent or to bash people.
  • Try to give your laws clever names, perhaps using naming conventions from the RPG cliche list or trope naming conventions.
    • If you are really proud of your entry and it's a really good one, you can name it after yourself.
  • Have fun. Obviously.

Anyway, here we go...

Notable Excerpts from The Grand List of Forum And Community Laws

  • Theory of Relativity, Forum Version: As the rate at which you check a forum for replies approaches light speed, the rate at which the forum receives new posts approaches zero.
  • The Time Sink Theorem: A forum with an associated chatroom will be less active than it would have been if it had no chatroom.
  • The Law of Diminishing Attention Spans: Typos, grammatical errors, or other syntactical errors in an otherwise well-written post will draw a good deal of attention away from the content of the post, even if the meaning is still clear. Several of these errors may serve to hide the content of the post altogether, prompting readers to point them out instead of responding to the meaning.
  • The Wishing Star Rule: No matter how crazy or stupid-sounding a concept for an upcoming game or movie, there will be at least one person who will claim "this could be really good if done properly."
  • Catchprase Effect: If a thread is created to bring attention to a humorous video or flash animation, at least one of the replies will consist of a quote from the video and nothing else.
  • The Great Law of Amateur Game Development: If a person creates a thread about a game project in order to recruit help or otherwise advertise it, and they haven't started it yet, it will never be finished.
  • Wimp Syndrome: On a board which advocates a specific series of games with multiple difficulty levels, the board's users will not take you seriously if you do not play on the hardest difficulty.
  • The Heartbreak Effect: Users who visit a forum after an extended period of server downtime will be disappointed to find that there are no new posts.
  • CAD's Theorem of Topic Closure: A clear, well thought-out, and well-written post is less likely to receive a reply than a poor post, because it leaves less left to be said.'
  • Blast from the Past Rule: If a user resurrects a very old thread, the post will almost always be devoid of meaningful content.
  • The Field Expert Effect: Separating all or part of the content of a post into a list of bullet points will make the poster feel more important.

If you want to see more, you can check out an older version of the list here. The newest version is not available online... yet.

I was going to just launch the page, but I figured I'd just YKTTW first in case the general consensus was No Just No. So... thoughts?

replies: 7

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