Why I Dislike Quote Posts

I do not quote post. I find quote-posting to be rather narcissistic, mostly unnecessary, and somewhat smacking of the Smart Boy. I don’t think it should be banned or restricted, but I have to admit that I do tend to roll my eyes at a post that quotes a post that already has healthy engagement with dozens of comments.

There is, of course, a place for quote-posting. Ironically, the people who absolutely should be quote-posting don’t, while most of the people who do really shouldn’t. The ideal place for quote-posting is when your comment is excessively tangential to the original post or would otherwise tend to derail the discussion of the topic at hand. For example, if you’re going to take pedantic and detailed exception to some minor aspect of the post in question, or if you’re a Protestant/Catholic who is going to take the opportunity to unnecessarily express your very important opinion of the Roman Catholic Church/Random Protestant Denomination, that would be a good time to quote the post and thereby branch the discussion in an appropriate manner that most of the commenters on the thread will tend to appreciate.

If, however, you’re merely quote-posting to ensure that your Very Important Comment is not lost amidst the general stream of commentary on the topic, well, that’s simply not necessary. I’m not going to say that such a quote-poster is necessarily seeking attention with all the intensity of a girl on a pole chasing dollar bills, but that’s pretty much how it tends to strike me, anyhow.

Here’s how you can tell the difference: how much engagement of your quote post can you reasonably expect in comparison with the original post? If there is a reasonable fraction, then you’ve probably reasonably branched the discussion and provided a useful service to the community. If, however, there is no engagement, then you’re just quoting-posting to no purpose and everyone would be better off if you would simply comment on the original post instead of quoting it. Once you start to recognize the pattern of when others engage and when they don’t, it should be possible for you to improve your decision-making in this regard.

And for the love of all that is good and holy and beautiful and true, please recognize that a quote of this post, or any post on the subject, will neither be clever nor witty nor anything but painfully obvious.