Huge post etiquette

I have plans to make a huge post about voting rights legislation. This would be Great Debates. I want to discuss the merits of the first title of this law, out of ten titles. Even limiting the thread to the first title of the law, the subject matter is 300+ pages of dense legalese. :yawning_face:

The OP will be very short with links to summaries and guides.

I’m contemplating posting my summary notes of the law (roughly 30 pages :open_book: if you printed it). That would be posts two and three, but it’s organized with spoilers like this and takes little space:

spoiler (click to show or hide)
part a, subpart a


part a, subpart b

bla bla

part a, subpart b

bla bla bla

What is the etiquette for the next post(s), where I present my specific criticisms of various sections of law? I have ten distinct points to make with >3,000 words :writing_hand: . One of these points is way more important than the rest and could maybe have its own dedicated post or maybe topic. The other nine, I’m not sure if I should put all together or split up.

All the content is written at this point, I’m just wondering how I should post it. 4 or 5 posts in a row seems like a bit much. 14 posts in a row definitely seems like too many, and I think Discourse would probably put me in time-out. So what should I do here?


tl;dr? see bold.

The proper etiquette may be to find another place to publish such a manifesto.

Do you have any recommendations? :broken_heart:


Sorry if that was excessively harsh. And no I have no places in mind.

I would suggest picking some narrow aspect at a time for a thread OP with links to relevant source material. See if you get any takers for discussion with short focused posts. IMHO this is not the place for 3000 word pontification.

Often, a long post will conclude with a very brief summary or overview marked as “TL;DR”.

It bugs me to read a long post, that may or may not interest me much, only to find a succinct TL;DR at the end.

Everybody, if you feel the need to put a TL;DR, put it at the beginning.

What are you hoping to get out of the contemplated post? This board isn’t a law school seminar. Ideally, how do you hope people will engage with the post? Realistically, how do you think that they will if it’s 30 pages long?

The tl;dr of this law is going to be about thirty pages no matter who writes it, and that’s only on Title 1. I have a guide from the Brennan Center for Justice which is even longer. But I have a link to a six page summary from a proponent which will be in the OP, and a link to talking points from a conservative publication.


Yikes! Your tl;dr needs a tl;dr!

The law is over 300 pages. The summary is 30 pages or you lose details which is what I want to discuss. My criticisms, the 3,000 words, maybe six if you printed them.


So, ten threads about different aspects of the same law?

Ten threads on the first title of the one law?


Keep in mind the SDMB is not a blog. We may close down the kind of thread you’re describing reminding you this is not your blog.

Not saying we will, but we’ve done it before. I know I have.

So what should I do? As you moderate GD, I yield to your judgement.


Can you just provide a link to the legislation and then a link to a particular part that most intrigues and/or concerns you?

Out of the ten, I could just pick the one point and do a thread on that.

It wouldn’t be all I’m looking to discuss but if doing more risks a warning, I can settle for that.


Not a warning, just a lot of work for nothing. I know I’ve closed a few blog like OPs since I’ve been a mod. I think one came with a strong modnote as Colibri had already told that poster that the SDMB was not his blog.

You could try searching for the word Blog in posts by mods. That might help you decide.

I’m signing off for the night

And I suggest keep your post on that aspect tightly focused. IF that generates worthwhile back and forth discussion THEN follow up with another aspect. You may find a narrow audience interested. Might not but you only need an interested few.

  • Make a livejournal account.
  • Upload your entire document in however many sections you like.
  • Post a link or links inviting commentary on all of it or portions of it, with summaries of lengths appropriate to this forum.
  • Discuss.*

*Or don’t. I suspect you will find few people here willing to read through your 30-page summary. Suggestions to heavily tighten your focus are good ones. If the material simply cannot be distilled further than what you’ve done, you may want to find a venue more focused on the interpretation and debate of legislation. That’s not a dig - just a reminder that the SDMB is a general-purpose forum and its userbase reflects that.

Yes, start by deciding how you hope other posters will interact with you, and try to facilitate that. Pick a descriptive title and make sure the first paragraph of your OP invites the sort of interaction you want.

It sounds like it’s the law itself that is super-long. Don’t post it here, just post a link to it.

I think it’s okay to post your spoilered summary, with a tl;dr warning what it is. But it’s probably better to find another place to post it, and then link to that too. One easy option is to create it in Google docs, which you can link to here.

If you have ten criticisms, and one is the most important, you probably want to start with a post just about that. Any maybe post a guide to the relevant parts of either the law or your linked summary, so other posters can find what you are talking about.

Note that I am not a GD mod, and rarely even hang out there.

You have put a lot of effort into this and when you publich it on the web anonymously you lose authorship. You won’t be able to publish it again. Is it worth it?
Why not self publishing it, making the e-pub version free or really cheap, so that people could download it and discuss it? The OP linking to that and explaining it could be very short, the debate could have a solid ground (your whole, well structured text) and your work could be properly quoted.

In fact, you can post it publicly (on your own website, in a google drive, on a drop box server… with either a copyright or a copyleft notice on it, retaining your ownership. If you post it here, you give a copyright to the owner of this site.