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Much Ado About Spam!

Posted by JaneTwilight , 02 June 2011 · 478 views

Hi there! :D

If you have clicked on this blog, then there's a likely chance you've found yourself at some point over the past few days rather confused about what does and does not classify as spam in the Memory Lane thread.

As you are already aware, this year's House Cup Memory Lane Challenge has been divided into three seperate threads; one released every month, revolving around a different topic in the Harry Potter series. The first of these three threads was posted in the House Cup subforum only a few days ago, and revolves around books and movies 1-3 in the series.

Unfortunately however, I have noticed a considerablely large amount of spam floating about this thread. The majority of this spam has been caused by people going off-topic. However, I realise that going off-topic can be a rather easy thing to do when participating in a Memory Lane discussion, so I though it would be wise to create this blog to explain in the best way that I possibly can, how to avoid doing this.

When adding a post in Memory Lane, you must ALWAYS remember to make reference to the topic of discussion. In this month's case, the topic of discussion is books and movies 1-3. Many people have asked whether or not they are allowed to refer to aspects of the other books and movies in the series. The answer to this question is yes, but ONLY if it is required to help establish the point that you are trying to make. Whether you do or do not make reference to aspects of the other books and movies in the series however, does not change the fact that you must continue to make references to aspects of any of the first three books and movies.

If this confuses you, then DON'T worry! Below I have provided an example of what is, and what is not classed as spam in Memory Lane.

Say for instance, we are talking about why Sirius Black is our favourite character.

Spam: Sirius has always been my favourite character. For one thing, he's Harry's Godfather. When you take into consideration the fact that Harry grew up with no parents or other relatives who showed him love or respect, you can see why Sirius played such a significant role in Harry's life. He was always there for him. Take for example the situation in the Goblet of Fire, when Harry explained to Sirius about the dream he had had of Voldemort, and the way his scar had burned over the summer. Without a second thought, Sirius chose to travel all the way back to Britain from wherever he was hiding from the Aurors, just to ensure Harry was safe. I was sad to see him die in the Order of the Phoenix, he didn't deserve that fate.

Not Spam: Sirius has always been my favourite character. From the moment I discovered the truth about him in the scene in the Shrieking Shack in the Prisoner of Azkaban, I knew he'd remain my favourite character. He appeared in Harry's life at a time when he really needed a father/uncle figure, what with the past experiences he had had to face at the hands of Voldemort in the first few books. He also gained a lot of my respect in the third book when we learnt of his motives for wanting to kill Peter Pettigrew. It wasn't because Peter was the cause of Sirius having to spend thirteen years in Azkaban, it was because he'd sold Lily and James to Voldemort. The fact that Sirius, at that moment in time, chose to prioritise James and Lily over himself really made me respect him, and is one of the major reasons why he remained my favourite character up until his death in the Order of the Phoenix.

As you can see, the first post is clearly spam. Although good points have been contributed to the discussion, no reference has been made to any aspect of the first three books or movies whatsoever. In the second post however, similar points have been made, but they have been backed up with evidence from the third book, therefore changing the post from spam, to an on-topic contribution to the discussion.

People have also asked me whether they are allowed to refer to books when answering the questions provided in the Memory Lane thread's initial post. Again, the answer is yes, but only if it links in to the point you are trying to make, AND you still refer to the topic of discussion (in this case any aspects of the first three books or movies).

Also, be sure to keep in mind other things that will be classed as spam in this challenge:

- Double posting. This should really go without saying. The forum rules don't allow it, and neither will we!
- Any post under three sentences: Posts in Memory Lane need to contribute something to the discussion. By following this guideline, the chances of you doing this will be increased. Never the less, we will not accept you using any of these sentences to make irrelevant comments such as 'I can't think of anything else to say' or 'yay, look at how many posts my house has made today'.
Any post that doesn't contribute to the discussion: There's no point in using a multitude of quote boxes and then just posting comments below each saying: I agree with this. You need to contribute your own thoughts, or we'll just class your post as spam.

I hope that this helped to clear things up. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask in the comment section below.

Happy posting, and goodluck to everyone!

- Katie -

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Jun 12 2011 05:20 AM
I just saw this, and I think it is really helpful Katie :)

One of the reasons why I don't hang around the memory lane thread is actually because I'm afraid of spamming and sometimes I can't think of anything to contribute (so I don't).

But if I ever do comment in the memory lane thread, I'll know more about what exactly is classified as spam, so thanks for this, it's very helpful :D
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