I’m a model SPUFer. Fourteen thousand posts. Three thousand rep. Five stars. Nearly everyone loves me. Whoever doesn’t love me generally gets torn apart by a bunch of Soldiers and Demomen all eager to get my heals. Few people genuinely think I’m an idiot. And I’m well known, at least within the realms of the Steam User Forums. Is this all because I have a gimmicky username? No. It’s because of a few simple things that everyone ought to consider while posting on any forum.
Today, I present to you how to be a model SPUFer. Like me.
1. Follow forum rules. And common sense.
Obvious really. Except when those rules are changed whenever moderators feel like it. So that means don’t talk about anything you wouldn’t talk about in front of your parents, unless you do it in code. That’s why jag whacking is acceptable. Heck, anything is acceptable as long as you cover it up with TF2 nonsense. It’s also worth noting that nowhere is safe except for PMs. Even dead forums get moderated if enough attention is drawn to them. Should be common sense to follow forum rules anyway.
2. Get involved.
Again, a fairly obvious one. Get involved with the community. You see a thread? Post in it. You see an event? Post in it, even if you won’t be able to make it. No one is going to notice you or even acknowledge your existence if you’re some random 1-star guy with 3 posts. Unless you make yourself into a one-post joke or something, but even then, people won’t always notice.
3. Make friends.
It’s a community. Make some friends. Most people will accept a friend request if you say who you are and what you want and that whoever you’ve just added seems like a nice guy.
4. Get even more involved and do stuff.
Being a video game forum, that means there’s stuff outside the realms of SPUF. Yes, really. Maybe arrange a few games of TF2 or an event or something. Bitches love events.
5. Get yourself a gimmick.
All the popular people on SPUF are known for something. Aabicus was a nude model for a while. Jay and Corvette have their weird master-maid thing. You can summon Caldoran by mentioning random crits. Huff has his fire axes. Gruntilda_ speaks in rhyme, like any good witch should. But gimmicks can go wrong, just like with Good Question, who’s now synonymous with Demoman hate and slightly inaccurate numbers. You don’t need an obvious gimmick like me. Just something that makes you a bit different.
6. Be helpful.
If you’re reading this blog, you probably know quite a bit about TF2. So make yourself a better person by sharing what you know. Although traffic has died since SCUD came along, people still pop by and ask for help. Be a decent person and help them. If you can’t help, offer the basic set of tips (validating, reinstalling, etc.). Don’t be a douche and say “it doesn’t affect me!” because that helps no one. If you have nothing helpful to say in a help topic, don’t say anything. If you don’t know how to fix something but have been affected by a poster’s problem, then do mention it, so other people can see and possibly help.
7. Know when to shut up.
This is the big one. This is what gets people banned. A lot of people just don’t know when to let go. You end up shouting at each other over and over again, then saying something that you regret. Then people get infractions, or worse, banned. (Speaking of which, I haven’t seen anyone be put in Timeout for ages, always straight permas). Yes, I know, that guy is wrong about how game-breaking the Short Circuit is. I know, it pains your very soul. But it’s not worth being permanently(?) removed from a community. Let’s be frank, people are stubborn bastards and you can’t always change their minds. But it’s also hard to stop. Arguing has a habit of snowballing.
Let’s put it another way. If you or your opponent are now scouring old threads looking for things and you’re calling each other unskilled, then it’s time to stop.
You know what? You don’t even need to follow this guide. Just be nice to each other, okay?