Guide to Creating a Thread Title
This is a guide to assist new posters with creating a specific thread title for their new topic. There have been some vague titles, especially in the general section, and this guide should help you make sure yours is not one of them. A vague thread title may cause readers frustration, and it could prevent you from reaching your target audience, or from getting the help that you need. Anyone might make an occasional vague title, if they post in a hurry, or to purposely be humorous. But, this is for those who might do this consistently, continually posting topics that are vague or overly broad. If you would like some assistance with creating a thread title, read on.
Vague topic #1 example:
A person who sees that thread title might be thinking, “Well…what about it?” There are so many areas of discussion within that, that the title should be broken down to something far more specific. If the thread is about 3A tricks, you may want to consider “3A Tricks” as the title. If the thread is about 3A players, consider “3A players.” If the thread is about 3A yo-yos, consider “3A Yo-Yos” for the title.
Now, let’s pretend that you decided that the thread is about “3A players.” Now, you have to ask yourself if there is something more specific about 3A players that you would like to discuss. If your thread is about players who were 3A World Contest winners, consider titling it “3A World Contest Winners.” If the thread is about 3A player styles, title it “3A Player Styles.” If the thread is about discussing the best 3A Player Videos, title it “Best 3A Player Videos.” It can be broken down further too, but it only needs a break down sufficient that the reasonable person can gather the point of discussion from the title alone. The reader should know, before they mouse over the topic, or click on the topic, what point of discussion they will be reading or participating in discussing.
I have seen titles like “General 3A Discussion,” that avoid the breakdown, and at times this works fine. But, in an active and busy thread, several independent conversations may break off inside that one thread. A few people might be engaged in discussing a video, a few will be discussing tricks, a few will be discussing players, and a few will be discussing yo-yos. The thread becomes difficult to follow, overly broad, and not as good a read as it would be, if the title had been broken down further. It can become five different independent conversations in one thread. You always want your thread to be a good read. There are never guarantees of course, but it all starts with a good thread title.
Vague topic #2 example:
A person who sees that as a thread title might be thinking, “Help…with what?” There are so many things a person might need help with., even if we might guess it is yo-yo related help. Different members have different areas of expertise and knowledge. So, if you are looking for help with a stuck bearing, consider the thread title “Help with A Stuck Bearing.” That would attract everyone who might be able to assist you with the help you need with stuck bearings. It will also attract others who are having the same problem, as they might want to read about the solutions proposed. “Help with Choosing String.” “Help with Cleaning My Bearing.” Those are titles that might attract people knowledgeable about what you need help with. Remember that there is a “Looking for Help/Recommendation” section. Always post requests for help in the appropriate section. But, first read to see if the question has been proposed already, before creating a new thread on the topic.
The closest thing I can think of to a thread title, as a non-internet example, would be a newspaper article title. Pick up an old fashioned newspaper and read the titles, then skim through the articles. Notice how the title is meant to grab attention, but it also gives you a clear idea of what you will be reading. Some titles will be better than others, but a person reading the newspaper can skim through the titles and decide if the subject matter interests them…or not. A thread title should allow readers to do the same. People want to know what is offered for discussion and quickly engage or move on.
4 Tips to Remember:
A good thread title is usually more than one word. If you use “3A” or “Help,” it shows that not much thought went into putting a title together. Try to come up with five or six words instead. It will help flesh out the title to something that might be more specific.
Do not use part of a sentence, or a partial phrase, that does not let anyone know what is offered for discussion. Refrain from using partial sentences or phrases like:
Have you noticed…
What do you think…
Can you change…
These are examples of recent thread titles. None of the above let the reader know what specifically will be discussed in the thread.
Ask yourself if you would know what is offered for discussion, based on the title you are considering. If you would have no idea, many others would feel the same way. Put more thought into the title to find a better one.
If you think your thread will not get a response on the merits of the discussion topic, and you feel at all compelled to trick people with a vague title, so that they will look at your post…refrain from posting the topic altogether. Some questions are better off sent in a PM to a forum expert, a friend, or member who you think might know the answer. If you do not have confidence in your topic, no one else will either.
We are not perfect, we all just seek to improve. That is all we can expect. I will try to take my own advice too. May you have a wonderful time on the forum, and post interesting topics for TotalArtist to read and discuss. ;D