This was one of the first forum threads that I saw on the F1F forum when I joined it two years ago and I recently remembered it. I didn’t have much to say about the topic then but I feel like I could tell you some of my thoughts and feelings about commenting on this website now.
1) I don’ t think there is a general recipe for a good comment or a COTD. It can be a good joke, a thorough analysis, an unusual look at things, a debate-inspiring thought, a story about personal experience, etc. Anyway, I think it’s better if you don’t post comments thinking ‘Now I’m going to write a comment that will probably be picked by Keith as the COTD’. Almost all of my COTDs came when I absolutely didn’t expect them.
2) The length of the comment generally doesn’t matter. If someone is too busy to read it or simply doesn’t want to read long comments, then so be it. I have seen (and read) a great 3-word comment and a fantastic comment that was 1777 words long. I often read the long comments as well, particularly if they are written by my friends. Of course, I try to avoid overexplaining but the length of my comments really depends on the situation (and perhaps my mood, too).
3) I usually try to post comments and talk to other fanatics only when I really feel like it, without other considerations. I have posted long comments at relatively ‘ordinary’ articles that have been written several days ago and not said anything on hot and extremely popular topics at times.
4) I try to avoid lengthy discussions unless I happen to enjoy them or I really feel like something important that I would like to point out has been left unsaid. It’s pretty hard to make people change their minds and that’s never been my aim, too. I think that people should exchange their views and have a good time here, not desperately try to prove that Kobayashi is better than Kovalainen or vice versa.
5) I try to find the right balance between emotions and cool-headed analysis in my comments. If I like Maldonado (by the way, I really do), I don’t hide it but I also don’t say that Perez was to blame for their collision at Monaco. My emotions and preferences undoubtedly sometimes have impact on my comments (which probably isn’t a bad thing as F1 is all about passion) but I try not to let them take me over and make me sound ridiculous. I try to show the necessary respect where it is due and avoid confusing likeability with performance.
6) I try not to be populist or aggressive. These things can bring you some attention and even some fans in short term but they usually degrade the level of the discussion and scare the many intelligent fanatics away.
7) I try to be open to other views and am ready to change my opinions, too.
8) I don’t like people, who come here only to praise and defend their favourite driver. There is nothing bad about having a favourite driver and defending him but it can get annoying if that’s all that one is capable of.
9) Sometimes I post jokes or half-jokes but I think one needs to be very careful with them as I sometimes find other people’s jokes dumb and I obviously shouldn’t expect that everyone else will get my ‘humour’, too.
10) Finally, I try to remember that I’m not an F1 insider and, even though I might know a lot about the sport, compared to the average Joe, I still am far from it and can mostly only speculate or assume something but not be 100% sure. For sure, I form my own opinions and tell them to the others as well but I try not to take them deadly serious.